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  1. #1
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    suggestions for cycle build

    been riding my entry level giant talon 29er. cable brakes, crap forks, heavy all around bike. a couple of months ago I decided to race for fun. did quite badly (as to be expected) but still had heaps of fun racing. after seeing what other people were riding, and having run my bike into the ground i think it is time to upgrade. i want to race on something that i wont need to upgrade. i like the hard tail 29er feel but some hydro brakes and a fork that actually works are on the list. ive sat in cycle shops and burned my eyes out reading bicycle reviews. i don't really trust what the salesman or dealer reviews on the internet. would like to hear right from the racers themselves. any input greatly appreciated. thank you

  2. #2
    I'd rather be riding
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    I have a superfly AL. I like it. Rides rough, but it's an alloy hardtail not many don't. Check this out -- Superfly 7 - New! - Trek Bicycle

    If your looking for a good deal most manufacturers have a similar bike. Look for a rs reba or fox fork, slx/xt drivetrain and some solid tubeless ready wheels.

  3. #3
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    awesome. that trek is nice. now your second paragraph. you were meaning if i was to upgrade my talon to search for those parts? wheels seem simple, the lighter the better. just have to figure out what light is in the mtb wheel world

  4. #4
    I'd rather be riding
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    I actually meant when looking at completes. I feel like you'd come out better selling the talon and starting with something new.

  5. #5
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    gotcha. so even that superfly could use some upgrading. would you say all b/s aside id be in the 2500-3g range for a superb machine?

  6. #6
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    doing a bike build is great for someone experienced who have the knowledge to know exactly what they want, and build the bike exactly the way they want it.

    If youre a beginner racer and havent done a build before... it would be cheaper and more productive to buy a complete bike and spend more time in the saddle getting faster and getting to know your personal preferences on components.
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    doing a bike build is great for someone experienced who have the knowledge to know exactly what they want, and build the bike exactly the way they want it.

    If youre a beginner racer and havent done a build before... it would be cheaper and more productive to buy a complete bike and spend more time in the saddle getting faster and getting to know your personal preferences on components.
    you know, that's the reality of it. guess I was looking for a shortcut. maybe I should change the direction of this thread from "what to build" to what comes after a Giant Talon

  8. #8
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    What sort of terrain will you be racing on? Beginner races are typically short enough that a hardtail is not going to make you suffer for 2 to 3 hours in the saddle. Do you think you'd like a full suspension bike?, or do you like the solid rear end of the ht? For shorter races I really like my hardtail, I find the longer and rougher the race the more I want a FS bike.
    What sort of budget?, you could very likely get a great used lightweight 26er for well under $1000 if you're a good shopper, probably 50% more for a very good used 29er?

    I like having a 'training bike', you may want to consider keeping your current bike for a lot of your training miles.
    The benefits of the 'training bike' include: your race bike stays in better shape for race days. You can ride the training bike on a wet nasty day and just roll it into the garage without cleaning it up after, which saves time on those days when it's hard enough to find time for a workout (ever have those?? ). The training bike has heavier everything, and you get a harder workout per mile, your race bike feels that much better when you jump on it, and it doesn't take many rides per month to stay familiar with your race bike. You wear out $18 chainrings vs very expensive titanium/etc chainrings (and everything else).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    What sort of terrain will you be racing on? Beginner races are typically short enough that a hardtail is not going to make you suffer for 2 to 3 hours in the saddle. Do you think you'd like a full suspension bike?, or do you like the solid rear end of the ht? For shorter races I really like my hardtail, I find the longer and rougher the race the more I want a FS bike.
    What sort of budget?, you could very likely get a great used lightweight 26er for well under $1000 if you're a good shopper, probably 50% more for a very good used 29er?

    I like having a 'training bike', you may want to consider keeping your current bike for a lot of your training miles.
    The benefits of the 'training bike' include: your race bike stays in better shape for race days. You can ride the training bike on a wet nasty day and just roll it into the garage without cleaning it up after, which saves time on those days when it's hard enough to find time for a workout (ever have those?? ). The training bike has heavier everything, and you get a harder workout per mile, your race bike feels that much better when you jump on it, and it doesn't take many rides per month to stay familiar with your race bike. You wear out $18 chainrings vs very expensive titanium/etc chainrings (and everything else).
    i like riding rough terrain, rocks, etc. I am not really sure what the race scene around here has to offer. the one race I did was very fast and flowing, not technical at all.

    I know all my racer friends who got me involved are running 29ers.I am about 5'8/lightweight and sometimes feel like I have a lot of wheel under me. this had me testing the idea of a good ole 26. i guess id really have to ride one to see.


    FS.... well not sure honestly


    of course the lower the price the better since I don't know 100% what I want. the trial and error phase.

  10. #10
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    Test ride everything. go find demos at as many bike shops as you can find. Good luck.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  11. #11
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    I would really look for a good used 26er hardtail for your first season, there's a good chance you will would pick a different race bike after your first season than before it.
    If you budget allows, ignore the above and buy something fantastic.

  12. #12
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    Test ride everything you can. I wouldn't get anything below the SLX or Sram 9 level. Cheap hydro brakes are usually worse than their mechanical counterparts.

    I would continue to lean heavily towards the 29er end. 29ers make you feel more confident and I think are better for beginners. An aluminum hard tail will be fine until you start doing the longer races. Look at a mid level Giant XTC. It is light years better than the Talon.

    What is your budget? Have you ridden a full-suspension?

  13. #13
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    If I were to have to choose between 26, 27.5 and 29, all thing being equal I'd choose the larger wheels, but I'd rather race a 'very good quality' 26er than a 'good quality' 29er. I'd also choose a bike with better shock, wheels and brakes over one with higher end shifters, but cheaper wheels and brakes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sb.Reno View Post
    Test ride everything you can. I wouldn't get anything below the SLX or Sram 9 level. Cheap hydro brakes are usually worse than their mechanical counterparts.

    I would continue to lean heavily towards the 29er end. 29ers make you feel more confident and I think are better for beginners. An aluminum hard tail will be fine until you start doing the longer races. Look at a mid level Giant XTC. It is light years better than the Talon.

    What is your budget? Have you ridden a full-suspension?
    id like to keep it under 2k. I have not ridden a full suspension. very dumb question, if not aluminum framed, what would be next better choice? carbon?

    what is the opinion on surly bikes? there was a few at the race (in CAT1) that caught my eye. purely a visual thing, thin frame

    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    If I were to have to choose between 26, 27.5 and 29, all thing being equal I'd choose the larger wheels, but I'd rather race a 'very good quality' 26er than a 'good quality' 29er. I'd also choose a bike with better shock, wheels and brakes over one with higher end shifters, but cheaper wheels and brakes.
    maybe I should be stalking the classifieds... hmm. I don't really care about placing right yet, just don't want to show up with a sword to a gun fight. I just test rode a giant xtc actually. guy at the shop said $1350 was a good deal, but hes the one making the deal hah! ill have to see what level it was. roxshox fork, 29", hard tail, hydro brakes. of course it felt like a feather compared to my talon but Ill have to get more details.

  15. #15
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    Your finishes are going to be 99% about your engine and skills, not so much about your bike unless you have a complete POS. But that 1% can be the difference between 1st and 5th in a close race (look at how many guys often come in within 2 minutes of the leader). I raced my nearly 20 year old 26er a couple of times in the past year, and my finishes were very consistent with finishes on my 29er race bike and carbon cx bike. Pick a weight goal, like sub 24 pounds. I'd probably look at brakes as very important, -although they area a cheaper component, shock as 2nd most important, wheels 3rd, then groupset. Decide now if tubeless is what you want, just to have that sorted out. Research brakes before you make a decision on a bike, -the new shimano stuff is getting great reviews. Figure out which shocks you're going to consider too.
    Yeah, aluminum or carbon are the most likely choices, aluminum being a lot cheaper, titanium is fun too but expensive. I have one of each, they're all very different (old ti 26er, carbon cx bike, scandium/aluminum 29er), but the carbon bike is very 'damp' and stiff, - I do like them all.
    You got lots of great choices for under $2k, especially in used hardtails.

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