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  1. #1
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    Giant XTC Project

    Well my son has out grown the first bike i built him - a 16" Hutch Pro Racer replica -



    And decided he wants a mountain bike like dads. So decided that I would get a second hand bike and build it up properly. Colour scheme will most likely be the same as my 456 -



    Managed to pick up a cheap Giant XTC today from ebay. Its tatty but I'm not concerned about that as it will be blasted and powder coated, and the majority of it will be binned.



    Plan is for a 1x8 set up (bit of a pain that the crankset is a double, so will have to look what I can do about this), steel parts replaced with ali to drop weight, I've managed to source a 20" Spinner Air Fork (no mean feat as Spinner do not have any outlets in the UK), folding Maxxis Snypers and the big change will be to hydraulic discs, so that will mean building up my first set of wheels. Most bits will be second hand, but working on the basis that this should cost around the price of a new Specialized Hotrock but be much better specced. Looking to have it finished for my sons 6th birthday next month.

  2. #2
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    Very nice, this looks like it'll be really cool. Subscribed to this thread.

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    Hard to see the crank, are the chainrings riveted on and non-removable?

    If you are considering re-building the wheels, check out the minimal spoke re-build I recently finished at end of thread;
    Novara Pixie 20" project

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Hard to see the crank, are the chainrings riveted on and non-removable?
    Sadly yes, but I need to take a closer look at them as I may have a possible solution.
    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    If you are considering re-building the wheels, check out the minimal spoke re-build I recently finished at end of thread;
    Novara Pixie 20" project
    Cheers for that - very helpful. If i'm planning to go down the hydraulic disc brake route will I be able to go that minimal - especially at the front?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    Sadly yes, but I need to take a closer look at them as I may have a possible solution.


    Cheers for that - very helpful. If i'm planning to go down the hydraulic disc brake route will I be able to go that minimal - especially at the front?
    You cannot do radial lacing with disk brakes but lower spoke count with crossed spokes is still possible. Using same 36 spoke rims you have now, patterns with 12, 18 or 24 spokes are all possible.

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    You cannot do radial lacing with disk brakes but lower spoke count with crossed spokes is still possible. Using same 36 spoke rims you have now, patterns with 12, 18 or 24 spokes are all possible.
    Great - the wheels that are on it will most likely get binned and I'll start from scratch as the cost of replacing spokes and rim is pretty minimal. The new rims I'm looking at are 36h so am i best to stick to 36h hubs to make things easier?

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    If they are not bent, you might want to disassemble the rims and weight them before you go buy new rims. There are really no super lightweight 20" rims made, very possible that whatever new rims you buy would not weigh any less than the stock rims you already have. 330gr-350gr is probably fairly typical for a 20" singlewall rim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    If they are not bent, you might want to disassemble the rims and weight them before you go buy new rims. There are really no super lightweight 20" rims made, very possible that whatever new rims you buy would not weigh any less than the stock rims you already have. 330gr-350gr is probably fairly typical for a 20" singlewall rim.
    I'll second this.

    OP, I think you're over thinking this a little bit. Just fix it up and let him ride it. He's going to outgrow the thing in a year anyways. He will not notice a 100g weight savings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    I'll second this.

    OP, I think you're over thinking this a little bit. Just fix it up and let him ride it. He's going to outgrow the thing in a year anyways. He will not notice a 100g weight savings.
    This is a fair point, but the replacing of the wheels is not about how much it weighs but the fact that I simply don't want to get a freshly coated frame back from the powder coaters and build it back up with crappy parts - because a) it will look crappy and b) putting crapy parts back together is a pain.
    This is what the front wheel looks like on it currently -


    From all appearances this wheel never came originally with the bike (same goes with the fork, bars and stem) as the rear wheel is of a different design


    This means new nipples and quite possibly new spokes and still having mismatched wheels. The rims I'm looking at are £20 for a pair, so its far from a huge additional spend we are talking about here. I'd always planned to go with hydraulics due to hand strength, and the same reasons for a trigger shifter. I could just quickly fix it up but that isn't really the point - I want a bike that looks cool and that rides well - when your six how cool your bike looks is an important thing, plus I do get enjoyment from turning something that looks crappy into something shiny and new, it must be some sort of OCD thing!!!

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    Hydraulics are cool, but for my kids' bikes I haven't bothered for two reasons:

    1. v-brakes are plenty powerful for lightweight kids, even with weak little hands (but the right levers are important); and
    2. fork choice - its hard to find 20" rigid forks with disc brake mounts. There are some 20" suspension forks with disc brake mounts but they are either heavy or very expensive.

    For example, the 20" fork I made did not have disc mounting tabs. Neither does my modified Mag21 for 24" wheels.

    My current favourite brake levers for little hands are the promax v-point brake levers. The short lever version is perfect for little hands and can be adjusted close to the bar.

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    The only reason I'm going down the hydraulic route is that I have a set kicking around unused that I took off of another bike, plus both the fork and frame have the relevant mounts to get it to work, and I like the challenge of doing it. Previous experience with v-brakes with my older daughter has not been great - but like you said that is just more then likely down to the ones being used. For what I would spend replacing the current v-brakes on it I can source a couple of second hand hubs and run the hydraulics I have which are generally easier to use and more powerful - plus they look badass!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    2. fork choice - its hard to find 20" rigid forks with disc brake mounts. There are some 20" suspension forks with disc brake mounts but they are either heavy or very expensive.

    For example, the 20" fork I made did not have disc mounting tabs.
    Have to say the shortened Manitou fork you made looks fantastic - strongly considered going down that route (although they are pretty hard to source over here).

    I have managed to get my hands on a Spinner Air 20" fork for a very reasonable price - otherwise I would have most likely stuck with V Brakes.

  13. #13
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    I too am going the disc route, building the wheels and all. I am stuck on the fork. I am strongly considering this Carbon disc fork, but It's a lot of money for me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan300 View Post


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    Now they look a thing of beauty! And carbon forks make sense on a kids bike (apart from the cost of course!).
    I wanted some degree of travel in the fork just because my son rides natural single track with me, which is pretty rooty - my daughter has just moved up to a 24" bike and the larger wheel diameter and fork have definitely made things a whole lot smoother for her. My son is without a doubt in the "point-it-down-the-hill-and-pray" style of riding, so I'm hoping the the fork combined with the large volume maxxis snypers will at least reduce the chance of him getting bucked off of the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    ...I have managed to get my hands on a Spinner Air 20" fork for a very reasonable price...
    Nice one. They look like pretty much the only relatively lightweight and tunable option in 20" forks.

    My other piece of advice would be to get some good lightweight disc hubs. You can use them in future wheel builds as your kid grows into different wheelsizes. Light wheels and tyres make such a difference to how and what the kids can ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    Light wheels and tyres make such a difference to how and what the kids can ride.
    Tyre wise I have gone with the folding maxxis snyper - was going to go for Mow Joes but wanted the extra volume that snypers provide and they look to have a little more grip which is handy round here as it gets pretty slippy. Also if I'm being honest CRC had a ridiculous deal on the Snypers (under £11 each) which was just to good to turn down!

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I'm going to try to get some big tires also. I'm having a very difficult time finding anything else that will accommodate disc brakes in 20" size. I tried emailing some of the companies like spawn, specialized, etc. to see if they'd sell a fork separately but no luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan300 View Post
    I too am going the disc route, building the wheels and all. I am stuck on the fork. I am strongly considering this Carbon disc fork, but It's a lot of money for me.
    While it has a visual bling attraction, this carbon fork also has a hefty 210 pound rider weight limit and is made to pass current adult DIN standards, subsequetly it weighs 750gr (1.5 pounds)! For comparison, cheaper 700c adult road carbon forks weigh less than 400gr and non-disk aluminum BMX 20" forks can be bought that are much cheaper and weigh only 1 lbd. Redline R6 Aluminum Race Fork at Danscomp You could likely even start with a lightweight CrMo BMX fork and braze-on a disk mount that would produce a lighter disk fork than this heavy carbon example. I suppose the ultimate project would be to DIY build a kiddie capable carbon fork that is <300gr. Probably not something that any mass-manufacturer is going to offer since it would be too fragile for adult weight, big liability.

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    Bike all stripped down ready to go to the powder coaters



    OK - stupid question of the day - what type of headset fit this?



    The fork had been replaced on this along with the headset which is a bit of pain, but there you go.

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    Managed to sort the crank issue and for a bargain £13 from CRC, Funn SolJam 140mm cranks although the Chainring will need changing as it's 38t.


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    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    OK - stupid question of the day - what type of headset fit this?.
    Frame looks to be setup for an integrated headset,t you might try to ID the type and size at Headset Fit Finder

  22. #22
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    Here is what Mr Postman delivered today - all the way from Poland





    20" Spinner Air fork - quite possibly the only one in the UK, as spinner forks aren't sold here and I don't think any 20" bikes come with these as standard

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    Where did you find that! I'm looking for one for one for a couple of years time...

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    For anyone looking at disc for a 20 inch bike I suggest mechanical. Kids at this age aren't going to be good at modulation. The first time downhill they panic, hydros are sending them over the bars.

    My daughter is on a 20inch with mechs, it's nice I can adjust it so at full pull, it won't lock the front.
    Tantrum incoming
    Ibis Mojo 3
    Carver 420 TI

  25. #25
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    That is a sweet looking frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    Where did you find that! I'm looking for one for one for a couple of years time...
    After an awful lot of searching I managed to track down the european agent for Spinner who is based in Poland. If you are interested I can send you his details

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    Where did you find that! I'm looking for one for one for a couple of years time...
    I have 20" Spinner Air that I never put on my sons bike as I ended up buying the 24" Scott RC Jr for him. I'm looking to sell it if interested. PM if you want pics and info.

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    Pm'd you both

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    Ok, next part is the wheels.

    Started with one of these



    Which didn't match the rear hub and was not really the look I was going for, so broke out the polishing kit and ended up with this -



    Not a great photo but you get the gist.
    So onto my first wheel build - 36H hub and rim laced with 24 spokes. First ever wheel I've built and took a while to true but happy with how it turned out in the end, although there is still every chance I made a major mistake - so please feel free to point out any glaring errors!


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    And with the tyre mounted up -


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    Picked up the frame from the powder coaters today. Not the best picture as the frame is a brighter orange then it appears in the picture. Also managed to sort out the headset as well. Not many parts left to source now before I start the build up.


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    This bike is going to be awesome!

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    More polishing today. An NS quark stem I picked up cheap

    Before




    After



  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    Picked up the frame from the powder coaters today. Not the best picture as the frame is a brighter orange then it appears in the picture. Also managed to sort out the headset as well. Not many parts left to source now before I start the build up.
    Do you know what year the frame is? I can't find anything about disc brake tabs on the Giant's US site. May just have to go into my local Giant dealer.

    Did you cut the V-brake posts off the seat stays? Can't tell from the pic.

    Have you weighed the Spinner Air fork and the frame?
    Last edited by CJH; 11-10-2013 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Remove pic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    Do you know what year the frame is? I can't find anything about disc brake tabs on the Giant's US site. May just have to go into my local Giant dealer.

    Did you cut the V-brake posts off the seat stays? Can't tell from the pic.

    Have you weighed the Spinner Air fork and the frame?
    Frame is a 2009 model. As far as I know the frame itself has changed very little over the years so would imagine the new ones still have the tabs. I also don't think that Giant have ever made an xtc 20 with disc brakes either, so I assume they were put on a a "just in case" kind of thing.

    Not weighed the frame and fork yet but I'll see if I can later tonight, although the steerer is obviously uncut at the moment so weight will drop further.

    I left the V-brake mounts on in the end. Was really tempted to grind them off for a cleaner look but didn't want to risk damaging something. The only modification I made to the frame was to open up the cable guides for the brakes as they were set up for cables only and I'll now be able to run hydraulic houses through them without the need for cable ties.

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    Very nice. Great progress.

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    headset?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    Also managed to sort out the headset as well.
    Can you, please, provide more information on this. What kind of headset was appropriate to mount the spinner 20 air. I assume the fork has the standard 1 1/8 tube, right? In your original Giant XTC picture it looks like it has a quill stem, but the frame itself would accept 1 1/8 tube, am I right?

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    looking awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dizpark View Post
    Can you, please, provide more information on this. What kind of headset was appropriate to mount the spinner 20 air. I assume the fork has the standard 1 1/8 tube, right? In your original Giant XTC picture it looks like it has a quill stem, but the frame itself would accept 1 1/8 tube, am I right?
    This was the headset that i got for it from my local bike shop -



    This is essentially what would have been on the bike from stock. For some odd reason the previous owner of this bike and binned the original fork and fitted a steel fork with quill stem and just used a couple of caged bearings as a "headset". The quill stem has been binned and replaced with the NS quark stem and a Truvative XR handlebar. The Spinner is a standard 1 1/8" tube so should work with pretty much any headset.

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    Final parts all ordered up, so hopefully everything should be here by next weekend.

    One question i do have and any advice would be gratefully recieved - I have built the 36h rims with 24 spokes - which leaves 12 empty holes - my concern is that water/dirt will works its way in through these. Any ideas for how these can be plugged?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    Final parts all ordered up, so hopefully everything should be here by next weekend.

    One question i do have and any advice would be gratefully recieved - I have built the 36h rims with 24 spokes - which leaves 12 empty holes - my concern is that water/dirt will works its way in through these. Any ideas for how these can be plugged?

    Vinyl stickers, bits of electrical tape?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Vinyl stickers, bits of electrical tape?
    Did consider that , but wasn't sure how hard wearing it will be. I have some heli tape going spare so I may give that a go actually.

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    Polishing finally all finished. Here is the stem done and mounted up to the new bars -



    And the rear hub is finally done - rear wheel building time -


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    Have fun!

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    Teaser Shot!


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    Quote Originally Posted by paulski1966 View Post
    Ok, next part is the wheels.

    So onto my first wheel build - 36H hub and rim laced with 24 spokes. First ever wheel I've built and took a while to true but happy with how it turned out in the end, although there is still every chance I made a major mistake - so please feel free to point out any glaring errors!
    Looks good to me! But I've never built a wheel before.

    Can you share some more details on this step? What tools did you have available for this? Was there a specific online guide or video you used to walk you through this? Were there any unexpected challenges you ran into, or was it easier than you expected?

    I'm definitely interested in hearing more about this if you're willing to share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteer01 View Post
    Looks good to me! But I've never built a wheel before.

    Can you share some more details on this step? What tools did you have available for this? Was there a specific online guide or video you used to walk you through this? Were there any unexpected challenges you ran into, or was it easier than you expected?

    I'm definitely interested in hearing more about this if you're willing to share.
    I followed the guide on this site here

    The mistakes I made! Putting the leading spokes in the wrong holes - managed this twice, once on each wheel! First time was the wrong hole in the rim - second time the wrong hole in the hub when lacing the last set of spokes, the good news is that its pretty obvious as you end up with loads of the spoke nipple showing through the rim compared to the other spokes. I have also managed to lace the front and rear wheels slightly different! The first wheel i started to the left of the valve hole and on the rear wheel i started to the right (although I think the issue was more to do with the leading spokes). This means that on the front the spare spoke holes are every other pair of spokes and on the rear the spokes are in two pairs followed two empty holes. Its slightly annoying but I'm not that bothered. When i laced the first wheel I didn't count the number of turns that I made on each nipple - just roughly assumed that I had tightened each the same - this was a mistake! The front wheel to lots longer to true as a result.

    The second wheel was a lot easier then expected, and the process as a whole wasn't quite as complicated as I thought it would be. So long as you read through the instructions first and follow them closely its really not that hard.

    Tool wise - I had a spoke key, flat head screwdriver a pen and some sticky tape - that was it! Use the pen and sticky tape to help you see where the wheel is out of true by taping the pen to the fork/frame - its a pretty ghetto approach but worked ok and I'm not going to panic about the wheels being accurate to within the tiniest amounts.

    The only other thing you need to do is make sure you have the correct spoke length. There are loads of spoke length calculators on the web - some are simpler then others. Cannot remember the one I used i'm afraid though.

    Also take a look on here - there are people that are a hell of a lot more experienced then me with regards to this and can probably offer a lot better advice!

    Hope that helps.

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    Super helpful, thanks! There always seem to be plenty of guides on how to do something, but very little feedback from people attempting something their first time, and the speed bumps they hit.

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    A picture of the modification i made to the frame. This was originally set up to handle cable brakes, but thankfully i remembered to sort this before it went for powder coat (at admittedly the very last minute). The guides were cut down to widen up the hole and allow a hydraulic hose to fit through them, so no cable ties


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