Is this $350 MTB good enough? AKA... House of Steeds! TL;DR
Couldn't resist, sorry!
This is a build for my oldest son, who went from just big enough for a medium frame, to the upper limits of a large in about 18 months. The frame is a 2008 Giant Rincon that I purchased when they released their 2008 warranty frames for sale this spring. It saved my finacial butt, read on to find out how. The breadown is as follows:
2008 Rincon Large frame: $50
Rockshox XC28 fork: $80
Giant Handlebar: $15
SRAM X5 shifters: Previous take-off from my bike
Avid BB5 levers: Previous take-off from my bike
Cannondale D2 grips: $8
NukeProof stem cap: $4
Chinagood stem shims: $3
Aheadset headset: $10
Giant water bottle cages: $7 (x2)
Bontrager seat: Pulled from his previous bike
Giant seatpost: $20
Cannondale seatpost clamp: Previous take-off from my bike
Shimano bottom bracket: $10
FSA Dynadrive crank: Previous take-off from my bike
Bontrager pedals: $20
Chain: Previous take-off from my bike, matched to the cassette below
Cassette: Previous take-off from my bike, matched to the chain above
Front Acera Derailler: Previous take-off from my bike
Rear Acera Derailler: Previous take-off from my bike
Maddux Disc 3.0 rims laced to Formula hubs, with skewers: Previous take-off from my bike
Avid BB5 calipers and rotors: Previous take-off from my bike
Geax Evolution tires: $20 (x2)
Tubes: $4 (x2)
Cables and housings: $10
I get a discount at my favorite LBS, but it's no better than I could have done by being saavy with online purchases. The advantage came in having Giant branded parts where one would typically expect them, so the bike looks like any other Giant in the store, except for the older frame. Yes, there was an initial cost the the "free" parts, but they were just sitting in the garage as backup parts for my bike, which is a luxury. They still are backup parts for my bike
I havent weighed it yet, but the bike is lighter than my Cannondale F5 (before I started swapping parts), which is good for his featherlite 130Lb butt. Of course, he's off at Philmont Scout Ranch right now, packing twice as much weight up and down mountains and ridges with ease, so I don't think a few pounds here or there would matter.
He hates the color. Truly hates it. Loves military style FPS games, hell, the grey/green frame of 2009 was named HALO 1, but, whatever, teenager.
This story began when I decided to build up a bike with parts from his medium frame bike, a 2010 Trek 4300 I purchased from lady who rode it six times, left it wet so the chain rusted, and apparently didn't like the husband who bought it for her enough to stay married to him. It was a steal at $280, needing only a new chain and some high-quality touch-up paint for the three small scratches on the frame. He never found out it wasn't new. Here's the "new" bike:
The goal was to have a used frame painted up all nice and pretty in the colors of his choice, with graphics under clearcoat. I found a good candidate, a 2008 Trek 4100, but in my haste, failed to follow my own rule to eyeball every square inch. I was on a timeline, and had been texting a Craigslister that was slow to respond. By the time we worked out a meeting, it was after dark. I did a test ride, stressed the frame, and ran my hand along all the tubes fairly well. I imagine the bike looked awesome at one point, I love the black on red simple paint scheme:
Well, sound, touch, and a little sight wasn't enough. Apparently the rear wheel had become extremely untrue at some point, and had rubbed the frame long enough to wear through the left chainstay!
Who does this to an expensive bike!?! That guy, apparently. Also, he whacked maybe four inches off the seatpost, then pipe-threaded a few more inches. What the hell? Had about 3.5" of actual useable seatpost length.
So... the busted up frame is being built up as a ride to wherever the hell bike because I paid $100 for a complete POS and I don't care if it gets stolen because... POS. A POS that required a new seat post, that is, so $110, and a new hanger, so $125, plus it's getting new cables, so, $140.
Where did all the partS come from? Here you go...
My steed is decked out in full commuter regalia today. The contraption below the bontrager seatpost rack and bag I made to carry a lunchbox. During the winter I can strap extra clothing, rolled up in a drybag, to the bottom of the rack behind the lunchbox. I went this route because the seatpost rack is damn sturdy and a hell of a lot cheaper than the better pannier racks. Well, up until you purchase the Bontrager lock-in bags. But I like the bags, they are high quality, look good, and they have several sizes that can be changed out in 10 seconds. No bolts down at the dropouts to deal with for the weekend trail rides, which is nice.
She's received a few upgrades:
Shimano XT crank, shifters, and deraillers
Xpedo Face Off pedals
Avid Elixir 1 brakeset on Hope caliper adapters
Formula two-piece, 180mm rotors
Cannondale D1(?) grips with Bontrager barends
Specialized water bottle cages
Cannondale stem (shorter, higher rise)
Fat-a$$ gel seat with a fat-a$$ gel pad. Got a WTB Pure Race V for father's day, but the butt bone skin said I need to hold off for another 40Lbs or so. That was with the aforementioned gel pad attached.
My wheel build: Maxic EX729 rims / Wheelsmith 2.0 spokes / XT front hub / Saint rear hub
Front wheel: DT Swiss RWS 9mm through-axle skewer / 9mm-15mm aluminum adapter.
Rear wheel: DT Swiss RWS 10mm through-axle skewer / 1mm thick, 12mm diameter carbon fiber tube.
Yes, I will be getting a 15mm through-axle fork. I got the carbon fiber tube from an RC helicopter shop. I also have a 10mm-12mm aluminum adapter, but wanted quick release capability. The solution presented itself after I had purchased the aluminum adapter (it uses bolts at both ends). I got the XT front hub because it has the same finsh as the Saint rear hub. I did not go with a Saint front because they are all 20mm, which is overkill for my riding, and most of the forks are stouter/heavier/pricer.
Night time riding is courtesy of Gloworm XS, NiteRider Solas, and a second, 1W big-name rear lamp, I forget the brand.
And since this post was rediculously long, here's my youngest's ex-bike. He traded up to the black Trek above just two ays ago, but can still ride this bike, so it is now a ride wherever without major concern of theft bike. Cost me $180. Have since replaced the front v-brake ($15), grips (10) and tires ($36). It's been a no-touch bike outside of the brake and grip failures. Tires for the 15 mile road rides we do every month.
I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!
I expect browsing to be low for a holiday weekend, but, damn, I've never had a post with this much detail go down like the Titanic.
I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!
Apparently the potato salad was bad yesterday; I am in no mood to leave the house just yet...
So I guess you had one view...
Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill
Wow, I tried to stay with it, but I had to quit, it killed me.
Live to Fish, now Love to Ride
Originally Posted by Flamingtaco
all those bikes are nice!
You're not the only bike-build fanatic around,ya know.
Real nice stuff...and thanks for the nice story.
But... pictures! Even the illiterate could participate! And I made good with the tl;dr as well.
I was told there would be fames and fortunes. Way to go, interwebs.
I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!
We are birds of a feather.
I got hooked on hunting down frames and parts years ago...I'm surprised I hadn't seen your posts before.
For me...it's a toss-up whether I enjoy building or riding more.
I hope you enjoy reading posts like this as much as you seem to enjoy writing them.
Going forward,I will prolly be writing a few stories myself...so get ready.
Don't worry about flame...there are members who enjoy posts like yours.
Keep on postin'.
I really enjoyed your thread.
By the way- nashbar.com has closeout frames too. You have to chek though...it can happen at any time.
In fact...they have some now.
I got some killer deals too.
Seriously hunting for compliments?
I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah
I fell asleep after the first couple lines...how did it turn out?
This is the mountain bike forum,right?
IMO, it's a good place to talk about bikes.
Nothing wrong with talking bikes.
People around me don't want to hear about bikes...so if we're bike people,hey, let's talk bikes. I for one liked the story.
I'm gonna re-read and ask questions and comment on your builds, OK?
If we can't talk here on the forums, where can we talk?
I don't know about everybody else, but most of my everyday friends are not into bikes.
At least not building them, anyway.
What fork is that on your red Cannondale?
Does it ride well?
Zarr: Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate someone appreciating my stuff Not really a fanatic, so much as saving money and getting exactly what I want or need. I noticed a lot of the other build threads get bombed with chatter, so I was suprised two day had passed and only crickets has stopped in. Also, worst post ever to reply with quote!
I do read a bit on MTBR, especially those where the OP isn't just throwing wads of cash at their build, and is carefully considering parts and cost. I'd like to see more builds on a budget. Seems many have jumped on the Hope/Chris King/etc bandwagon (as one example) and ignore the tons of equally good oem parts available at rediculously low prices.
Silentfoe: Actually, I hunt for comments, good or bad. I like feedback. I can get attaboy's at work, home, or on the trail at any time, but never the insight that thousands of fellow MTB'ers can provide. That's not to say that I don't like attaboy's (who wouldn't), but I like to think I'm looking for a bit more than just slaps on the back. This is my only thread about my bikes. It was precipitated by my perception of having done a good job of saving dough on the Giant build, and my desire to have that perception confirmed or denied.
Time229er: I think it turned out great, but my son thinks it smacks of bad fashion. I say he's a teenager, what the hell does he know, but my wife says I must reinforce his self-esteem no matter how bad he looks in knee-high, bright blue socks with cacky shorts and matching shirt (the socks, not the shorts).
Zarr: To answer your question, it's the oem RST Deuce 100. As much as I've seen complaints about it being a cheap fork, I've got three years and thousands of miles on it, and I'll dare to say I'm the heaviest rider doing technical trails and jumps in this forum, weighing between 350 and 420 these past three years. No, I am not jumping 2ft logs, but I was a roadie before roadie was a thing, raced for years, did the triathalon thing for a while, etc. Upon my return to cycling I built strength through mile after mile for a year on the road until I was able to climb hills on the trail. Was actually a suggestion by a friend, I had purchased the bike because I felt I'd taco the wheels on my road bike, and maybe collapse the frame.
But I've digressed. The fork has held up fine for three years. I've got the spring on max, and it sags too much when I put my weight on my hands, but I'm an old roadie, and we don't put all our upper body weight on the bars, so it comes out about right.
It's not plush like an air fork, but it performs the same as it did on day one. No noises, no knocking, lockout still locks out although it blows out a touch easier now, and rebound adjustment still has good range. My only complaint is that it seems the dropouts are not perfect, as the wheel will steer left, and you can see the tire is not perfectly centered looking down from the stem, but it's not enough to be measureable, and it isn't enough of an issue to bother fixing.
It has been a great fork for the road and trails. I have to set it firm for black diamond trails so it won't sag under my weight and endo me every few miles, so I can't comment on how comfortable it is for serious trail riding. I'd say it's a great budget fork, but can't perform like a much more expensive fork that has nice tricks like variable compression and rebound, speed dampening, etc. If you're coming from a rigid for like I did, you'll be all like, wow!
I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!
I'm waiting for the movie to come out.
Originally Posted by time229er
Cannondale F29 carbon
Jamis Renegade Elite
Kona Big Unit SS/full rigid
Kona Private Jake SSCX (build in progress)
Thanks again for the thread.
I got a couple (Well,maybe a few-LOL) of nice deals on warranty frames for myself and some friends and relatives who I am building u bikes for.
I also hunt down deals on ebey,etc. for bike stuff.
The mistake I made early on was believing there was a world of difference between the high-end stuff and mid level stuff. In some caes that may be true, but also sometimes there isn't. Of couse it depends on how meticulous a person is about longevity ,quality and weight, but as long as the parts WORK properly, and one is not that critical about the criterias mentioned earlier, one can build up a pretty nice bike. I like to have different types of bikes, and I have to say I don't have sufficient funds to build up a stable full of top grade bikes. So I can relate to what you are doing. A lot of times you can come pretty close to the top stuff too. The most important thing is to ride safe. I gotta get myself organized so I can post up some of my bikes too.
Anyway, it's good to meet you and hope we will meet more going forward here on the forums.
Yeah sorry, I lost interest about a 1/3rd of the way in. You need to start a blog or something.
Originally Posted by Flamingtaco
i'm sure the movie will boring as all fvck too...
Originally Posted by Nubster
After you listed your weight , that was a good endorsement for the fork.
Also-chek your private messages.
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