Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cecald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    95

    The search to reduce grams: FS 29er build for wife

    I would sincerely appreciate any suggestions on the following spring 2014 build as I've never put a bike together with cutting weight as a primary goal.

    We're upgrading my wife's bike, and she would like to start riding a full suspension 29er. A bit about her - 105 lbs, 5'2"; expert fitness & cardio, but still shy of intermediate technical skills. We have been riding a solid mix of XC/Trail terrain in Nepal, which her last bike was horrendously inadequate for (I tried upgrading her years ago, and she didn't want to . .. . anyways). Moving forward, we're moving to Eastern Europe, and will probably have more pure XC terrain for the next 2 years, though we're hoping to supplement with trips to the Alps throughout.

    Thus - we'd like to build a bike for her that is confidence inspiring, is capable enough to tackle intermediate technical descents, and is extremely lightweight due to her small size. There are no pricing limitations as of yet, though we're also eyeballing a possible 27.5" bike in her future as her technical skills & confidence progress.

    The biggest variable right now is that we have not settled on one particular frame/model. She's due in another week or so, and the local bike shops don't have the models & sizes in stock right now. The two frames that pop immediately into mind are: Juliana Joplin Primeiro, and Niner Jet 9 Carbon (or RDO - not sure of the differences aside from a Carbon rocker). There are others for sure (Spec. Rumor, Trek Lush 29, etc) and we'll keep an open mind and test ride all possible this spring.

    With all this being said, I'm curious to see how light we can get a FS 29er for someone who is pretty darn lightweight with a fairly light riding style. Here's what I've put together so far for parts, and I'm completely open to suggestions.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Caveats: I realize final build will weigh more than the gram counting shows, just using this as a benchmark. Also, prices are just to give me an idea of what this might run total, not too worried if they aren't entirely accurate.



    N.E. = needs estimate

    Component Description Grams Cost (est)
    Frame Niner Jet 9 RDO 2450 $2,900
    Wheels Stans Valor 29 1230 $2,000
    Axles ? N.E. ?
    Tires Racing Ralph 2.4 1070
    Fork Rockshox Reba RLT 1564 $450
    Bottom Bracket N.E.
    Crankset Race Face Next SL 425 $300
    Cassette xG-1195 275 $400
    Chain PC-XX1 252 $65
    Rear Derailleur X01 252 $270
    Shifters X01 91 $140
    Housing/Cables N.E.
    Brake levers XTR Race 162 $400 (set)
    Calipers XTR Race 190
    Front Rotor XTR Race 180
    Rear Rotor XTR Race 180
    Handlebar Renthall Fatbar Lite Carbon 180 190
    Headset N.E.
    Stem Megaforce 2 30mm 107
    Grips ESI Racers Edge 50
    Saddle TBD N.E.
    Seatpost Clamp TBD N.E.
    Seatpost Rockshox Reverb 125mm 535 380
    Pedals Time Atac XC12 Titan/Carbon 240 315
    Total GRAMS 9433
    Total POUNDS 20.8

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,652
    I prefer to use a 29er at 5'6" (on a great day) but I can't imagine my 5'1", 100lb fiancee riding my bike. There would be some serious fit compromises there.

    My bike is using a FlatForce stem and a -5mm Niner bar, and I only have 1.5-2cm of saddle to bar drop. I understand building a high-end bike, and I love how fast 29er roll, but I think she'd be better off with a 27.5" bike. That's what we're building for my fiancee.

    Also, while I love my Fox DOSS on my enduro/AM ride, I don't see the need for one here. If you can't get your ass off the back of an XC rig, your bike doesn't fit properly. Same thing with a Renthal Fatbar. Really? She weighs 105lbs.

    In terms of weight and cost reductions, you can find a lot things cheaper on ebay. XX1 cassettes are sub-$300 on ebay these days. XTR rotors are nice, but you can get 85g rotors for <$20, such as the Ashima AiRotor.

  3. #3
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,436
    Don't rule out the Trek Superfly 100 either, in size S....
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    85
    I'm a small woman at 5'3 & personally I think that the geometry on the 29ers gets pretty weird at sizes that would fit me, & I think it will be worse for your wife. As the others have stated, I really think that you should be looking at a 650b for her.

  5. #5
    Thumper
    Reputation: WickedLite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    377
    I'll agree with 650b. Use to have one and loved it but 29er works better for my uses. I will be building a 650b ht for my 14yo for this coming season.

    Don't think you are limited on just 650b frames. There are many 26ers that are 650b compatible.

    650bpalace.com is the place for that info. Look at "26" Frame Convertible List", top right of page.

    I will also add that with her weight and doing xc you can go lighter weight on them parts and stay at or even under your price mark looking at your list.

    To each their own for their own reasons but I would suggest swaps to:
    Formula R1,

    180g for bars is not light and I would suggest flatbar. Zoom 90g $125 or NN 125g $28.
    but if you had to go rise even Merek is lighter and cheaper.

    WW guys suggest UNO stems, seem like a nice cheap ww buy at 80g witha ti bolt swap.

    Lizard Skin DSP grips 30g or MCS ergo foam grips 11g. She prob has small hands and you can cut to fit for lighter.

    I'm a egg beater fan.

    I'm sure you can go lighter and cheaper with your list but that's all the input time I got. Good Luck

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cecald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    95
    Appreciate the thoughts towards 650b - with that being said, we're interested in 29ers for this build. She's already test ridden a Niner Air 9 and loved it, especially the rollover from the wheels. We'll of course test ride some 27.5 frames as we go along to see what we think, but I'd like to get this back on track towards dropping weight. If there are some specific frame recommendations though - I'm all ears!

    Zachariah - I'll add the Superfly to the list. I honestly forgot about that one, thanks!

  7. #7
    Thumper
    Reputation: WickedLite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    377
    Not hijacking just adding a frame to list kind of.

    I wish someone could give me a weight and review on the Pinarello DOGMA XM 9.9 . It looks like a lightweight with smart design. Might be worth looking into for your build if cost is not a factor as I am sure it will be absurd. Their ht has great reviews and priced at $3500 frame alone. yikes.

    DOGMA XM 9.9 ? CICLI PINARELLO S.p.A.

  8. #8
    Epic rider
    Reputation: rapsac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    330
    12 Anthem X29
    13 XTC 29

    07 Epic Marathon carbon
    04 Stumpjumper FSR Anniversary
    03 Stumpjumper FSR Pro
    00 Rockhopper Pro

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    83
    A Mt Zoom handlebar would be lighter, around 160g. Or if you can afford it, something from AX Lightness or Schmolke.

    Have you considered a Cannondale Scapel frame? It blurs the line between XC and trail and is exceedingly light, not to mention it's head tube is designed for Lefty forks, another area in which you could save considerable weight. If you do decide to use a lefty you can also save weight by using an MCFK steerer tube.

    Good choice with the Valor wheelset, if you really wanted to shave the weight you could keep the rims and replace the hubs with something lighter such as Tune or Extralite.

    I don't know what the price difference is between XX1 and X01, but the weight difference is around 50 grams I believe, something to consider.

    If you do decide to use a through axle fork, Tune DC15 is very light and worth consideration.

    I assume you would use the new M987 XTR brakes, very new and they get a good review on Bikeradar. Other than that there's not much information about them aside for their light weight. Other than XTR I would look at Formula R1 Racing, lightest there is pretty much.

    An Extralite stem is probably your best option, if you'd rather save money UNO stems with Ti bolts are very close. My own 80mm version is 84g I believe.

    XTR rotors are heavy, Ashima Ai2 are the lightest pretty much but gaps in the rotor are too big for my liking. KCNC's Razor rotor or the original Ashima Ai rotor might be better.

    Eggbeater 11 will save nearly 150g but pedals are preference.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cecald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    95
    Wow - awesome responses. Really appreciate your responses Wickedlite and robgall13 - you've given me a lot to think about and I'll need some time to process some of these ideas!

    Brands like Uno and extralite are brand new to me so I'll get started researching options for the cockpit. I'll also see if we can drop some weight in the rotors per Le Duke and rob gall's suggestions.

    Adding the Scalpel to the list, now I just have to find a dealer around here. . . . . . maybe same for the Pinarello, though I'm guessing that will be much harder to test ride or find at all. I will also check w/ the Giant dealer here to see if they'll carry the Lust or the Intrigue models for the coming year. Honestly, we're more interested in the Intrigue as a more downhill oriented ride for her. Just got on the mailing lists for the Santa Cruz & Niner dealers in case there is a demo day this spring so we'll see what happens!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,681
    650b Anthem would be worth a look.

    If really set on 29ers, the Specialized Epic World Cup in size small would be a good choice. The ETT is short and they have the shortest chain stays of any FS 29er. Also, they only have 90mm head tubes, which helps keep the froth end lower.

    The Niner RDO flat bar or an Enve flat bar are excellent choices. Not crazy expensive, light, and durable.

    I would avoid the Ashima rotors at all costs, they chew up pads badly and don't work as well as ones with more material. If you are going to use XTR brakes, get all of their advantages and use the matching rotors (XT rotors if you need 6 bolt).

    The Formula Rotors are lightweight and have enough material to still work really well.

    I'm a fan of Formula brakes as well as the new Maguras, if you are looking for other options.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cecald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
    650b Anthem would be worth a look.

    If really set on 29ers, the Specialized Epic World Cup in size small would be a good choice.

    The Niner RDO flat bar or an Enve flat bar are excellent choices. Not crazy expensive, light, and durable.

    I would avoid the Ashima rotors at all costs, they chew up pads badly and don't work as well as ones with more material. If you are going to use XTR brakes, get all of their advantages and use the matching rotors (XT rotors if you need 6 bolt).

    The Formula Rotors are lightweight and have enough material to still work really well.

    I'm a fan of Formula brakes as well as the new Maguras, if you are looking for other options.
    Hey Briscoe - thanks for the recommendations. We'll be on the lookout for one of the Epics as well I guess! Sounds like it is definitely worth a look on our part.

    I'll check into the weight & widths of the Enve & Niner bars too.

    Neither of us has any real world experience w/ the Formula brake systems . . . . I know the XTR are pretty well proven out, and offer great performance which is why they were on my initial build compilation, but can you offer any additional info on the Formulas?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,681
    The Niner RDO bar is one of the lightest carbon bars, at that width, that you can buy. ~156grams at full length. It's also nice because you can flip it over and get a -5mm drop. This is important/useful when trying to get more saddle/bar drop on a 29er for a smaller rider.

    The Formula brakes are stellar. I think they have more power than XTR and they are VERY light. They are a little more tedious to setup, but after than... no issues. Honestly though, the XTR are brilliant and you wouldn't be ill-advised getting them. I might be switching to them this season.

    My wife is about 5' 2.5" and rides/races 29ers... so we know very well about the challenges of making them fit. She's been on S-works Stumpjumper 29er Hard Tails for a few years now (this will be her 3rd season on them). If she would choose an Epic, the fit would be easier, as they have shorter reach in size small and a higher BB. But, she's a HT rider. Her solution has been a -17 deg stem, flat bars, and running her fork at 80mm travel. Has worked great... but she could ride just about anything and be happy/do well.

    The new Syntace Flat Force stems are also worth a look, if you need more bar drop. We might investigate those this year.

Similar Threads

  1. Help me build and AM wheelset around 1800 grams, Flow rims
    By y0bailey in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-13-2012, 04:13 PM
  2. Shaved 3 grams off my '11 S-works Epic 29er!
    By Epic29er in forum Specialized
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-01-2011, 12:53 PM
  3. Stan's new 1380 grams 29er wheelset?
    By gcavy1 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-26-2011, 08:33 PM
  4. Replies: 21
    Last Post: 02-24-2011, 02:09 AM
  5. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-14-2011, 03:25 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •