I don't think I can justify a Horsethief 1, simply because I don't think I can justify going above $4K on a new bike.

I am looking at the Horsethief frame, and considering building up a Horsethief myself, and if I am making any bad decisions, I would like you guys to help stop me before I make them.

The Charger Pros are currently $399 before shipping at Pricepoint. That's great because I absolutely love the Black Flag Pros on my XC hardtail.

This XT build kit is sub $700. (Good because my XC brakes are Shimanos as well, so same oil/bleed kit)

A LBS can get me the frame at a slight discount if I pay with cash/check, and that retails for $1699.

Combined with a spare Maxxis Ardent (2.1) and Aspen (2.25) tire I already have, a carbon stem and pedals, all I would need to take care of is the following:

  • fork
  • stem
  • handlebar
  • cables
  • grips


The fork is huge, obviously, but buying it to build myself would let me get a 120mm, 34mm stanchion fork, instead of of the 130, 32mm, which seems to be one of the few things universally recommended (34mm) when asking for advice, and the Horsethief seems to be designed to use the Fox Float 34 at 120mm travel.

It looks like it would be just over $2800 to get the frame, build kit and wheels, leaving me room to get a fork and the remaining components while still being significantly cheaper than the Horsethief 1, and not too far away from the Horsethief 2 in price.

Can anyone let me know why this would be a bad idea? I've got the tools and experience replacing drive trains, forks, brakes, etc, so I don't foresee building this as being too difficult, but I would genuinely appreciate any feedback before I make any purchases.

(Note that at this point, I have not ridden a Horsethief myself...the nearest demo is on a weekday and would require far too many hours of driving to make happen. The LBS is trying to confirm if there's any possibility of anything closer on their way to/from a VT demo.)