Help Designing New Bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help Designing New Bike

    I am a long time bike rider, most recently riding a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo (26er) since 2001. My current ride is completely worn out after 15,000 miles of riding (read needs new drive train and suspension fork, and wheels). I was going to replace the worn parts, but for the same price, I can just get a new ride. I am leaning towards a 29er since I mostly ride rough remote roads such as those described in the Great Divide Race (http://tourdivide.org/). For this type of riding, I need a light bike, but durability and the ability to find spare parts in remote areas is also important. I never intent to race the bike and I do not plan on hauling camping gear with me---day riding only. A hard tail with a good suspension fork is also sufficient for the type of riding I do.

    After trying out several 29ers, my favorite frame geometry is the Gary Fisher Genesis G2 geometry. This gives me the choice of the any of the Gary Fisher bikes (e.g. Paragon, X Caliber), but also the Motobecane Fly Team Ti Frame has nearly identical geometry (same standover, effective top tube length, head angle, seat tube angle, effective chain stay length, wheelbase). This frame also come with the RS Reba Race SL 100 mm fork.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...TI_29_2010.htm

    I much prefer the Ti frame for my application due to its better durability and better shock absorbing qualities. My question is what grade of components should I put on this bike for my application. Motobecane sells a race version of this bike decked out with light weight racing components as described here:

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...TI_29_2010.htm

    However, my initial thoughts is that many of these components are somewhat fragile for my application. Also, I may need to replace worn parts in remote areas, and I would think it would be difficult to find replacements for say a FSA Afterburner MegaExo crank in Ten Sleep, WY. Therefore, I am leaning towards buying the Shimano SLX series of components that I perceive to be more durable and more widely available.

    Please fire away with your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    I'm not going to give my opinion on which bike to get...but I will tell you this about your concern with the FSA crankset. FSA uses the same bottom bracket configuration as Shimano and the same chainring bolt pattern so finding parts for it in "Ten Sleep, WY" would be just as easy as for the SLX crankset because it would be compatible with the Shimano parts.

    That is all

  3. #3
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    Thanks mtnbike72. Any thoughts about the reliability of the high-end FSA cranks? Or, not to pick on FSA, which of the Shimano drive trains---SLX, XT, XRT---would be more reliable for riding thousands of miles of rough gravel or fire roads? That is really what I am getting at in my post. I am sure that FSA makes a crank equivalent to the Shimano SLX so the question is really about the durability of lighter weight high-end racing components that Motobecane puts on its higher end bikes like the one I mention above.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Rain
    Thanks mtnbike72. Any thoughts about the reliability of the high-end FSA cranks? Or, not to pick on FSA, which of the Shimano drive trains---SLX, XT, XRT---would be more reliable for riding thousands of miles of rough gravel or fire roads? That is really what I am getting at in my post. I am sure that FSA makes a crank equivalent to the Shimano SLX so the question is really about the durability of lighter weight high-end racing components that Motobecane puts on its higher end bikes like the one I mention above.

    I can tell you our experience. We have sold thousands of bikes with FSA and do not negative feedback on them and the rate of issues we see with them is inline with Shimano or Sram.

    In addition, their factory not only makes FSA cranks; but also builds cranks, BB, and chainrings for many other brands. Lots of riders are on cranks from FSA factory and do not even know it as the cranks have other names on them.

  5. #5
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    Not to nitpick, but if you never plan on loading the bike up and only plan on day trips, why are you worried about replacement parts in out-of-the-way locales?

    That said, SLX or XT both have a proven history of durability (well assuming SLX is ~the same as LX) and compatible parts are easily found.
    Enjoy the ride!

  6. #6
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    I think SLX is a merger between the strong but heavy hone, with the quite good but unpopular LX.

    Their new AM build.

    However I would assume you are wanting reliable components, non weak, non over-reinforced for big drops stuff.

    Shimano XT cranks win for that, light ,reliable, ugly, boring.

    SLX is stronger, but that strength is in the crank arms. You just want a reliable interfact that will not wear out.

    However SLX is fasionable at the moment, so if you like fads go for them

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect
    I can tell you our experience. We have sold thousands of bikes with FSA and do not negative feedback on them and the rate of issues we see with them is inline with Shimano or Sram.

    In addition, their factory not only makes FSA cranks; but also builds cranks, BB, and chainrings for many other brands. Lots of riders are on cranks from FSA factory and do not even know it as the cranks have other names on them.
    Mike (Bikedirect): My concern really isn't FSA versus Shimano. Rather, it is XRT-grade of components versus XT-grade versus SLX-grade. CaveGiant has provided some excellent feedback regarding this issue, suggesting that XT-grade components provide the best trade off between weight and durability. By the way, Mike, when is your Ti Fantom 29 going to be available? That might meet my needs just perfectly.

    Edit: I have the same concerns about Gary Fisher's Superfly, except in this case I also worry about the durability of its carbon frame.
    Last edited by Hard Rain; 01-29-2010 at 09:15 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    However I would assume you are wanting reliable components, non weak, non over-reinforced for big drops stuff. Shimano XT cranks win for that, light ,reliable, ugly, boring.
    Thanks!!!! This is exactly the king of feedback I am looking for!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBIkid
    Not to nitpick, but if you never plan on loading the bike up and only plan on day trips, why are you worried about replacement parts in out-of-the-way locales?
    Even though I will have access to a vehicle on the said day rides, I still may need to replace parts. So, using the WY example, I would rather have parts that can be serviced close to Ten Sleep---read Worland---rather than having to drive several hours to Casper, Cody,Sheridan or Billings.

  10. #10
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    I gotcha. I spent 5 weeks in Powell several years back, so I'm a little familiar with the lack of services that we usually take for granted.

    I agree with Cave that XT is the best combo of durability, weight, cost and replaceableness. I think SLX gives you most of that too, maybe a little more slanted to more durable/heavier. I run SRAM drivetrain on all my bikes, but always with an external bearing Shimano crankset (LX on one, Hone on one, XT on one).
    Enjoy the ride!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBIkid
    I gotcha. I spent 5 weeks in Powell several years back, so I'm a little familiar with the lack of services that we usually take for granted.

    I agree with Cave that XT is the best combo of durability, weight, cost and replaceableness. I think SLX gives you most of that too, maybe a little more slanted to more durable/heavier. I run SRAM drivetrain on all my bikes, but always with an external bearing Shimano crankset (LX on one, Hone on one, XT on one).
    Exactly my point. If I was in Powell for 5 weeks, I would want to be riding every possible road/trail in the Big Horn Mountains rather than driving to some bike shop looking for parts!

  12. #12
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    XTR shifters & SLX or XT derailleurs.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico
    XTR shifters & SLX or XT derailleurs.
    Thanks for the feedback. Based on your experience (29er since 2003), how much advantage to you see to the big wheels? I have test ridden a couple of 29ers and they seem better than 26ers so I am moving ahead with my purchase, but my impression is based on limited experience. For your type of ridding, how much improvement have you seen with the 29er versus your previous 26er(s)?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Rain
    Thanks for the feedback. Based on your experience (29er since 2003), how much advantage to you see to the big wheels? I have test ridden a couple of 29ers and they seem better than 26ers so I am moving ahead with my purchase, but my impression is based on limited experience. For your type of ridding, how much improvement have you seen with the 29er versus your previous 26er(s)?
    I'm 6'3" and right around 100kg. So going to the big wheels in '03 after riding tons of miles off road on 26ers since '85 was interesting. Right away I could feel that my '03 Paragon 29er fit me way better than any bike had before. I could see that a lot more fun could be had on the big wheels. Strange thing is, it took me about 6 months to get pretty decent on the big hoops and then 6 more months to feel solidly in the groove.

    My bike is a HD AM build with fairly long travel at 135mm ft. & 115mm rear. Mondo wide and heavy 36h KH rims, 8" rotors, steering damper & Gravity Dropper seatpost. I built it for my favorite playgrounds: Downieville and Tahoe. Works very well in Colorado and Utah as well. A lot of other places I ride it is total overkill, but since I like to keep dialed into one platform,I ride one bike everywhere.

    My riding and bike have evolved towards higher speeds thru rock gardens and bigger drops these last few years. Not big drops by FR standards, but way more than the classic xc mode I was in for nearly two decades on the little wheels. I simply can't imagine doing the stuff I'm riding now on a 26er of any style as the little wheels just feel wrong to me now.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico
    XTR shifters & SLX or XT derailleurs.
    This is good advice. I have an XTR bike and an SLX bike and the most noticeable difference is in the shifters.

    The fact is all three groups work really well. You get the best bang for your buck with SLX. My only gripe is that I wasn't real impressed with the SLX BB. The enduro bearing upgrade is cheap and easy though. XT and XTR are nicer and lighter if you are not real price sensitive.
    Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
    - Albert Einstein

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