New Hardtail Build Time!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Hardtail Build Time!

    I've been shopping around for a new hardtail to replace my 2012 Stumpy and while a few companies come kinda close, nobody sells what I want. I've been riding for a little over 40 years, mostly hardtails and mostly CC. I've always just bought my bikes off the shelf at shops, but I don't think that's gonna happen this time. Time to build one.

    Almost none of this is set in concrete, but so far here's the direction I think I wanna go.





    Of course the total will be something different, but for those things on which I haven't really decided, I've estimated what I will spend. But I expect to be pretty close to the $2500 mark once it's all done. I didn't really start out with a price in mind - just started plugging in stuff that I want to use & the number seems reasonable enough for what I'm getting. I've shopped around quite a bit in this price range and just can't find what I want in a pre-built bike. There are always tradeoffs. Seems like this is clearly the right path.

    So a nice bike, although not a high end build, but I think going any further here on parts would get into diminishing returns territory. I'm not a particularly hard or fast rider - I just like to ride & am thinking all this will suit me well for years to come. No racing for me. I don't think I'd benefit from carbon. I'm not a weight weenie, so the extra weight savings would not be worth being worried about my frame if it struck something...plus that would add to the cost. Reliability is more important than weight. And cost - I do not want to get crazy there. I keep a few bikes around at any given time and am not a kazillionaire, so need to keep it sane there.

    OK, I lie, I do intend to run a tubeless setup this time to save on wheel weight. I've been using strips for years and while they generally work, occasionally a stubborn goat's head or screw or something works its way in. And those things are kinda heavy - especially when you add in tube weight. I did not have the best luck with tubeless the last time I tried, but am going to give it another shot. Obviously it can be done reliably.

    Comments, suggestions, criticisms welcome. Thanks for riding along!

  2. #2
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    I don't see any drivetrain related things in your list.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    I don't see any drivetrain related things in your list.
    "group" - SLX...just lumped it all in there instead of pricing out stuff individually

  4. #4
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    Just ordered my new frame from a local shop. They're having supply issues with some other things, so this may be a slow burn, but I should have a frame Wednesday! I was also cautioned about buying Mavic wheels these days and would be interested in hearing what the peanut gallery has to say about that. I'm certainly not set on them, but have a set on my Yeti that I really dig & figured why not do it again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob feature View Post
    "group" - SLX...just lumped it all in there instead of pricing out stuff individually
    My bad I must of skimmed over it.
    Which Slx group are you using? If 12 speed are the Crossmax wheels available with a Microspline freehub?
    Change begins by doing something different.

  6. #6
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    not sure why you'd choose Mavic wheels other than price. I can't think of any reason to chose those. what is the internal width on those, 25mm? there are a dozen or two variables to consider with rims and tires, but most seem to agree that 25mm rims are optimized for 2.2-2.3" tires. if you want modern wide tires like 2.4+, you'll benefit from a little more width on the rim.

  7. #7
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    tubeless doesn't do much, if anything, to "save weight." it saves you a lot of hassle though. ANY modern wheelset that is worth buying at all with have tubeless-ready rims that do not require special rim strips. most wheelsets come pre-taped for tubeless as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    My bad I must of skimmed over it.
    Which Slx group are you using? If 12 speed are the Crossmax wheels available with a Microspline freehub?
    Not sure yet - figured I'd get wheels sorted first & get to that part later. Food for thought though, thanks for the heads up.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    not sure why you'd choose Mavic wheels other than price. I can't think of any reason to chose those. what is the internal width on those, 25mm? there are a dozen or two variables to consider with rims and tires, but most seem to agree that 25mm rims are optimized for 2.2-2.3" tires. if you want modern wide tires like 2.4+, you'll benefit from a little more width on the rim.
    I landed on the Mavics because I have a set on my Yeti and like them. I'm by no means set on them, but seemed like a good place to start. The shop I'm working with recommended the DT Swiss M1900. Good lookin' out on the rim width too. I think I would like to go with a larger tire.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    tubeless doesn't do much, if anything, to "save weight." it saves you a lot of hassle though. ANY modern wheelset that is worth buying at all with have tubeless-ready rims that do not require special rim strips. most wheelsets come pre-taped for tubeless as well.
    The reason I figured I might save some weight is that I use those puncture-resistant strips between the tube and tire and they're kinda heavy. Removing tubes and the strips should make for a lighter setup - at least in my head.

  11. #11
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    Hooooooly cow wheels have gotten expensive. I did not shop this part of it well enough. I went into this thinking 3-400 beer tokens would get me a nice set of hoops. But ya can't even get a nice rear hub for under 200. Thought about just building there too, but not sure I'll save any money. Clearly this part is going to require a lot more poking around. That whole microspline business is going to complicate things as well so that's back on the table. Thanks again for the heads up on these fellas.

  12. #12
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    I have spent waaaay too much time looking for wheels and I don't think you can get anything decent for under $500. I have high standards for what I want in a wheelset, especially how quickly the hub engages.

  13. #13
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    Wonder how bad these could really be? $250 for the set

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-MT620-B-29-Wheelset

    XT for $400/set

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT...20-29-Wheelset

    That's more like it. Only a 300g difference between the 2, but the XT set gets better hubs - assuming better everything. Rim width is right. Anybody have anything bad to say about these XT wheels?

  14. #14
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    I would get the XT wheels. Keep in mind that they are microspline only... unlikely to ever be able to convert them to Sram XD driver. Not that you'd want to though

    They have 30mm inner width, which is what you should be looking for. $400 is a great price. I love Mavic as a company, but they haven't kept up with the times unfortunately.

    There is an entier thread dedicated to teh Timberjack in the Salsa forum
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  15. #15
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    Way cool, thanks for all that. I found them cheaper even, and in stock, but not sure about Universal Cycles...never heard of them. Then again it looks like they run at least one big store. Might just give them a call and see if they seem legit if I can't find them locally.

    Yeah, that's what the shop I was talking with earlier said about Mavic - that and proprietary spokes and/or nipples. And he said something about one of the business units having financial difficulties - which could make proprietary parts hard to come by if they do go tits up. My Crossrides have been great though - nothing bad to say about them. They're a few years old, so maybe that makes a difference, but they're good by me.

    I'll have to go over & check out that Timberjack - thanks again.

  16. #16
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    Universal Cycles is legit. I've ordered from them quite a few times with no problems
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  17. #17
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    Sweet, good to know. That wheelset they have on clearance is the race version actually and maybe older? Skinny little rims though so that's right out. They do have the front in stock though. Rear I haven't found yet.

    Still hoping to get lucky locally. I do like to use local shops as long as their prices aren't too crazy...been quoted some prices here over retail.

  18. #18
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    Got a few more things settled on & ordered up. Looks like XT wheels it is. Scored the set for $430 shipped (had to pay $20 oversize shipping for wheels). Group is on the way as well. SLX 1 x 12 most of the way, but XT rear derailleur. This will be my first 1x - hope I like it. I do ride a good bit of steep stuff, so I'm a little concerned about climbing, but I'm hoping the 10 - 51T cassette will be good there. Mounting a 30 up front.

    I decided to use some parts off another bike 'till next pay period to keep it under $2500 in the short term. In all likelihood though this will take a few weeks to put together (mostly finding and waiting on parts), so that may not even need to happen. I'm also getting this idea in my head of using a nicer fork - maybe something closer to my Fox Float 34, so this may wind up being a bit more than I had in mind at the end. Decisions... I'm going to sleep on the fork thing for a bit - not convinced the Fox is twice as nice. 4 other bikes here I can ride, so no need to rush this.


  19. #19
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    I have a wtb volt 135 saddle you can have if you don't mind paypaling me a couple bucks for the shipping
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millennial29erGuy View Post
    I have a wtb volt 135 saddle you can have if you don't mind paypaling me a couple bucks for the shipping
    Oh wow, that's way cool of you! Just so happens that's one of the saddles I was thinking of trying! Um, I'm in! PM incoming.

  21. #21
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    I love the spreadsheets! I have several of those now for all kinds of bike stuff. I have saved info about the geometry of all the bikes I have owned so I can compare any future bikes to my past experiences. most of it is motivated by budget limits (married life). I currently have one that is set up to find me a wheelset for under $500 that does not suck. harder than you might think! the fact that my bike currently does not have wheels on it as all is a good motivator.

  22. #22
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    I could not live without spreadsheets - use them all day at work for all sorts of stuff. Using the Open Office version for these and it's a little wonky compared to Excel. It makes stuff up sometimes so you have to watch it. But for free it's good enough for me.

    Gotta love Colorado Cyclist. I'm only maybe 60 miles from them, so my parts showed up in slightly over 24 hours with free shipping!!

    Lot o blue in that box!



    I guess I need a frame now. I don't think I'm going to make it by the shop before they close today so I'll probably try & pick it up tomorrow.



    Still need quite a few parts. Don't have a fork, stem, bars, grips, rotors, pedals, or cables yet (unless there are some in these boxes).

    It's like warm Christmas! Now if you'll excuse me, I have some boxes to open

  23. #23
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    If you were looking closely at the parts pictures you may have noticed CC sent me 2 derailleurs. They sent the SLX that comes with that kit AND the XT. I only paid for an upgrade. While I'd like to think they did that on purpose, I'm guessing they'll want that back. It's cool that I get to play with them side by side though. They are remarkably similar, yet have quite a few items that set them apart - at least visually. I'm going to take a bunch of pictures of these when I get time and will try to note all the differences.

    Got most of my stuff ordered up now. Can't go to shops right now and getting someone on the phone who can spend some time talking through stuff has been challenging so I've picked up most of my parts online. That has been tougher than expected as apparently the bike business is booming right now and finding suitable parts has been very time consuming. I am going to buy my fork from a dealer though as soon as I figure out who that will be - probably Pedal. I've had good experiences with them.

    But I'm almost there. Well, not as far as parts in hand goes but I do have most of the stuff paid for and pointed in this direction. More importantly I have most everything picked out. I couldn't get too picky and had to make a sacrifice here and there because of availability but I think all the big things are decided.

    If you were wondering, the stuff in blue is paid for and the stuff in green is in my hands.


  24. #24
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    Went and got my frame today!



    First impressions are pretty good. Build quality is impressive for the price point. It actually came with a headset - did not know that was included in these framesets, so I cancelled that order. There's a nice chunk of change not spent. These bearings are not sealed, so no telling how long they'll last, but they're in the box so I'm going to use them. Cups are already pressed into the frame too!

    Dropouts are a bit less precise than I had imagined







    Not that I'm too worried about it. I'm sure everything will click into place as it comes together. But with the adjusters locked all the way back, the axle doesn't want to turn without a good bit of effort.

    Got the bottom bracket on too, but not without a bit of drama. This Loctite stuff they put on there kinda threw me off. It's kinda stiff, and I've encountered this stuff before, so I expected some resistance going on. However I mistook the resistance of cross-threading for the resistance of that stuff. Thankfully I was moving slowly and was able to correct with hardly any thread damage - only nicked the first thread, but I still took off a little aluminum.

    Which begs the question of why things are done this way. The bottom bracket threads were perfect when I backed it out. The aluminum I took off came from the frame. Why on earth, with all the progress that has been made in bicycles over the years, are manufacturers using softer materials in frames than bottom brackets? WFT over? I've never had one do this, and it scared the crap out of me. Perhaps there was some imperfection in the threads that I did not notice, but in my perfect world, there would be a metallurgical reversal there where the bottom bracket threads will deform before the threads on the frame.

    So that was a bit more time than I expected to spend on that. Got to crank assembly after that and realized I'm going to need to go buy a wrench big enough to get the lock ring on the chainring tight so stopping for now. The rest of the stuff I need to get the cockpit done won't be here 'till next Friday anyway and I still don't have a shock. Struck out at the usual suspects LBS today.

    I've been playing with this drivetrain a good bit as it's all new to me. What can I say - I'm impressed. It's light years ahead of what I've been using on my almost decade old builds. The drivetrain parts look like they're from outer space. I was showing the crank to my neighbor - went over to see if he had a wrench big enough to get the lock ring on. He noted that the little tool used to get the lock ring on is a good bit heavier than the drive side arm with the chainring on. Attention to detail is outstanding with this stuff. Manufacturing processes and materials, at this price point, are nothing short of amazing.

    I think I'm going to see about getting this drivetrain finished up tomorrow. Wish I could work on it more actually - I LOVE this kinda stuff. I'll almost be sad when it's done, but not really because I really wanna ride it! And once I get this bike sorted I'm tearing into a couple others 'cause they need some love. I'll probably be tired of wrenching by the end of that.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob feature View Post
    Dropouts are a bit less precise than I had imagined

    Not that I'm too worried about it. I'm sure everything will click into place as it comes together. But with the adjusters locked all the way back, the axle doesn't want to turn without a good bit of effort.

    Got the bottom bracket on too, but not without a bit of drama. This Loctite stuff they put on there kinda threw me off. It's kinda stiff, and I've encountered this stuff before, so I expected some resistance going on. However I mistook the resistance of cross-threading for the resistance of that stuff. Thankfully I was moving slowly and was able to correct with hardly any thread damage - only nicked the first thread, but I still took off a little aluminum.
    The dropouts on mine behave just like you describe. If you adjust them with a wheel/hub/thru axle fully installed, there won't be any alignment problems tho.

    My frame definitely needed a "chase and face" at the bike shop. It was not horrible, but outer faces were not parallel. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...ing-and-facing
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob feature View Post
    Went and got my frame today!



    First impressions are pretty good. Build quality is impressive for the price point. It actually came with a headset - did not know that was included in these framesets, so I cancelled that order. There's a nice chunk of change not spent. These bearings are not sealed, so no telling how long they'll last, but they're in the box so I'm going to use them. Cups are already pressed into the frame too!

    Dropouts are a bit less precise than I had imagined







    Not that I'm too worried about it. I'm sure everything will click into place as it comes together. But with the adjusters locked all the way back, the axle doesn't want to turn without a good bit of effort.

    Got the bottom bracket on too, but not without a bit of drama. This Loctite stuff they put on there kinda threw me off. It's kinda stiff, and I've encountered this stuff before, so I expected some resistance going on. However I mistook the resistance of cross-threading for the resistance of that stuff. Thankfully I was moving slowly and was able to correct with hardly any thread damage - only nicked the first thread, but I still took off a little aluminum.

    Which begs the question of why things are done this way. The bottom bracket threads were perfect when I backed it out. The aluminum I took off came from the frame. Why on earth, with all the progress that has been made in bicycles over the years, are manufacturers using softer materials in frames than bottom brackets? WFT over? I've never had one do this, and it scared the crap out of me. Perhaps there was some imperfection in the threads that I did not notice, but in my perfect world, there would be a metallurgical reversal there where the bottom bracket threads will deform before the threads on the frame.

    So that was a bit more time than I expected to spend on that. Got to crank assembly after that and realized I'm going to need to go buy a wrench big enough to get the lock ring on the chainring tight so stopping for now. The rest of the stuff I need to get the cockpit done won't be here 'till next Friday anyway and I still don't have a shock. Struck out at the usual suspects LBS today.

    I've been playing with this drivetrain a good bit as it's all new to me. What can I say - I'm impressed. It's light years ahead of what I've been using on my almost decade old builds. The drivetrain parts look like they're from outer space. I was showing the crank to my neighbor - went over to see if he had a wrench big enough to get the lock ring on. He noted that the little tool used to get the lock ring on is a good bit heavier than the drive side arm with the chainring on. Attention to detail is outstanding with this stuff. Manufacturing processes and materials, at this price point, are nothing short of amazing.

    I think I'm going to see about getting this drivetrain finished up tomorrow. Wish I could work on it more actually - I LOVE this kinda stuff. I'll almost be sad when it's done, but not really because I really wanna ride it! And once I get this bike sorted I'm tearing into a couple others 'cause they need some love. I'll probably be tired of wrenching by the end of that.
    I have same frame. What travel did you go with on your fork?
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millennial29erGuy View Post
    The dropouts on mine behave just like you describe. If you adjust them with a wheel/hub/thru axle fully installed, there won't be any alignment problems tho.

    My frame definitely needed a "chase and face" at the bike shop. It was not horrible, but outer faces were not parallel. https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...ing-and-facing
    Sweet, thanks for that link. I had no idea that was a thing. I figured I'd learn a lot doing this, and have, but never saw that one coming. BB is on and nothing stands out to the eye, but if something feels wonky, that'll be something to check.

    Wheels showed up last night. Man, this bike is gonna be stealthy. Beyond the almost blacked out thing, these freehubs are almost dead silent. I really dig it 'cause the hub on my stumpy is stupid loud (Stan's). I do like that folks can hear you coming, but it's a little over the top.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    I have same frame. What travel did you go with on your fork?
    130

  29. #29
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    You guys with these Timberjack frames - do the internally-routed cables bang against the inside of the frame that you can tell? Tempted to wrap them in cloth Tesa tape.

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    Here's a silly question...

    How are you going to stop the thing? Are brakes part of your "group"

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by eplanajr View Post
    Here's a silly question...

    How are you going to stop the thing? Are brakes part of your "group"
    Figured the ol' shoe between the tire and the frame should get me by

    Me keedyep, part of the group. She's getting SLX binders. They're right here, but still don't have a bar or fork so they're mostly sitting in boxes waiting for the right time. Rear's on though.

    Did get my fork ordered today. It should be here next week. LBS actually came through for me there - woohoo! It took a while, but I was able to find a black Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 130mm, 51mm 29er fork. Rest of the cockpit's on the way, but that stuff isn't supposed to be here 'till next Friday. With any luck I might get to ride this thing next weekend!

  32. #32
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    Aside from a couple small items the parts acquisition is complete - assuming it all gets here. I don't see why it wouldn't. Should have everything here by Friday.



    I decided to hold up on a dropper post for a couple reasons. I can't decide if I want a dropper or a suspension post. And I don't know which one of either I would want, so that's just going to wait until later. I've never ridden with either, so I'm not really missing out on a need.

    Got the rear built up & all the cables routed through the top tube. The hydraulic line for the rear brake had a little nosepiece on it with holes for string or whatnot. I did not notice this at first and fished it through with a ziptie - which was remarkably easy. But getting the shifter cable through afterward was not so easy. I wound up tying floss through the eye of the hydraulic hose & pushing it back in to bring the shifter housing through first. In hindsight floss on both of these before sticking them through the first hole would make it all easier, but I did not think of this 'till I had them both out the other side.



    Zipties were used in the place of the included clips for a couple reasons. IMO they are more secure and allow the cable to play less in the cradle. I made sure they still have a little room to breathe, but they will bounce around less this way and hopefully chafe less...at least in my head. I also found those clips pretty hard to get off without a tool. And that made me think they might be easy to lose, so I went with zipties.

    Turns out all the cables and hoses I need were in the kits so saved a few bucks there. I don't like how rigid the shifter cable housing is, but I do get that part affects shifting performance so I'm going to assume whoever put that together knows what they're doing.

    I still did not tape the inside of the cables with Tesa tape. It is cloth and if; err no, when moisture gets in there it can get nasty. Might try to find some O-rings to fit around the cable. Might not do anything at all right away as this can be fixed later if it's a problem without too much fuss.

    Saddle came today Millenium29erGuy - THANK YOU!!! Feels like it has about the right amount of stuff in all the right places - looking forward to trying this out!

    At least at this point I'm really glad I did this instead of buying another off the shelf rig for a few reasons.

    1 - if anything is messed up, it's either my fault or I had bad parts (my money's on the former). But I'm reasonably meticulous - especially when I have plenty of time. I've moved away from paying people to work on my stuff in the last couple decades - especially my machines. Aside from the fact that I enjoy it, not everyone is careful and attentive when it comes to working on your stuff. My Stumpy needed many trips back to the shop to fix things that were caused by a novice shop wrench.

    2 - when things go wrong on the trail, I have a better idea of how to fix it. I installed and tuned all the components myself. If adjustments need to be made, I'm more comfortable and effective than I would be if someone built this up for me. I'm more likely to be able to get myself back to the truck before sunset.

    3 - it's just fun! It's not for everyone, I get it, but I'm going to have a hard time buying off the shelf again. Chances are you aren't getting exactly what you want anyway. Off the shelf builds are almost always compromises. That's how this build evolved. There was no one build kit that I wanted. And doing it the way I did it - replacing parts on a factory build would have been more expensive.

    4 - a continuation of the above - it saved me money. I won't bother you with all the details, but the factory XT build in this bike only uses 2 XT parts - rear mech and shifter. If you go through the parts list, it uses several parts 3 or 4 notches down from XT. All things considered I think this will be a much better specced bike for only another 400 bucks. If nothing else, it gets XT wheels where the factory build goes a good bit cheaper. I also don't need to deal with takeoffs when upgrading. I'm totally convinced that going this route actually saved money.

    5 - it's unique. As I understand it the only way to get a black Timberjack is to roll your own. All my bikes are black. Why mess with a good thing? . Not sure that's enough reason to sway decisions, but it's kinda neat riding something that probably nobody else around you is riding. Some of the color restrictions actually keep me from buying bikes. I'd probably have an Ice Cream Truck in here if you didn't have to buy it in pink .

    There's probably other stuff, but no regrets. This has been a great experience so far. As fun as it's been, still really wanna ride it though. That's the end game after all, but the learning experience has been awesome.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob feature View Post
    I decided to hold up on a dropper post for a couple reasons. I can't decide if I want a dropper or a suspension post. And I don't know which one of either I would want, so that's just going to wait until later. I've never ridden with either, so I'm not really missing out on a need.
    Why not get both? https://www.pnwcomponents.com/collec...28488424620109

    I haven't tried this but it is a dropper post and suspension post built in together.

    If not this I would definitely get a dropper. I have gotten so used to using mine I couldn't imagine riding a MTB without one.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  34. #34
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    I do love the idea of both. I'm just not sold on the tech. Seems almost too good to be true for the price.

    There are a couple/few of these devices running around out there...ran into one yesterday for 800 money units.

    Food for thought...

  35. #35
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    I got as far as possible with the bike last weekend, but it wasn't very far. Was still waiting on maybe half the parts to get here so I tinkered a bit - getting to know this new-to-me drivetrain. I still marvel at the stuff. When I paid $100 for an SLX cassette, it was kind of hard to swallow, but as you look closely at the thing it suddenly seems like a bargain. All the meticulous machining that went into making it makes you wonder how they sell it for a Benjamin. The thing's a work of functional art. If I ever start rapping, I'm wearing one of these around my neck yo.



    Not only have I never used tubeless before, but I've never set them up either. I figured - how hard could it really be? So I watched the 15 minute Park video and got after it. Turns out it's FAR easier than I ever imagined. Had the GMBN version playing as I was doing the front. Finished before he got to the part about it making a mess if you don't use a syringe. I didn't spill a drop with the pour in method. These Assguys were a little tough getting the last few licks in, but honestly the Stan's rim on the rear of my Stumpy is harder - way harder. Only needed one lever and the last lip was a little too easy - just getting the last 3 or 4 took some effort.



    Figured I was going to need a compressor to get these to seat, but decided to try an inflator first. For those of you who hoarde Milwaukee 12V tools like I do, you need one of these. I use it almost daily.



    I didn't buy this for bicycles - bought it to keep in my truck. But tried it out on bike tires and it's just so damn handy it gets used before every ride. No cord to drag around, no unwieldy floor pump that's gonna get worse with time, and I have a thousand batteries for the thing so it just makes sense. And it's cheaper than a lot of floor pumps.

    Back to the tires though, this seems to be a good combo of rims and tires for a tubeless setup. Beads both seated almost immediately. Used no soap. Took about 22 psi and they were there! I keep checking on them and although I haven't used a guage, I don't think they've lost any air. Kicking self for not trying this earlier. It's too easy. Long term impressions may vary, but for now I like.

    A pretty good idea what it's going to wind up looking like. It's a bit more beastly in person than the photo suggests. These tires are bossy.



    It's bigger than I thought it would be...like overall, but I've always liked bigger bikes. And heavier. Weight has never been a big deal for me though. I mean, I can tell the difference when you ditch a few pounds, but that was never the goal here.

    I have the droputs set all the way back. Going to ride it like that for a while and see how that works out. Dropout alignment was easier than I thought it would be. I just needed to get everything on and tweak - everything dialed right in.

    Going to cut the stem tomorrow, but am leaving the bars at full length until I ride it a couple times. These are about 1.5" longer than the bars I normally ride, but since it's there, I wanna see what I think.

    Looking at my parts here, unless something goes sideways tomorrow, I should be able to do some tweaking rides tomorrow and maybe even hit some trails Sunday! Still need to get the cockpit done, brakes bled and drivetrain tuned, but it ain't that far away from done.

    So far no regrets on any of this. Unless it's one of those unicorn deals, I don't see myself ever buying a ready to ride rig from a shop again. It's too much fun building. I did lean on shops to get this done though, so no plans to cut them out. I'm glad they're there and am happy to support them.

  36. #36
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    My name is George. I知 unemployed and I live with my parents.
    2017 BMC Speedfox 25-622 ISO
    2017 Salsa Timberjack 40-584 ISO

  37. #37
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    I really need to take some pictures, 'cause this one turned out sorta pretty, but I've been spending all my time tinkering & riding.

    This got held up a couple weeks waiting on parts, so I just finished the build Monday. Spent a couple days' spare time tuning on the stand, tweaking through neighborhood rides, bedding in the brakes on hills behind the house, etc.

    But I finally got to take it for a ride. I chose a long loop (for my current physical condition), about 20 miles of mixed urban terrain of mostly singletrack, but also bike path, stairs, sidewalks, etc...a good variety.

    The first thing I noticed was that the factory recommendations for the fork were far too stiff. Let about 15 psi out and found a sweet spot. Once I got that dialed it started feeling gooooooooooood. It feels as good as my Float 34 so far - really impressive. The lockout is better too - super stiff where the Float is just more low speed damping.

    The handling in a nutshell is, um, amazing. This has roughly the same wheelbase as my Yeti SB95, but the Yeti corners like a limo in the tight stuff. This bike is flickable - shockingly so. It's not light either. I think I have 5 pounds in tires. But it feels light!

    This is my first foray into single ring drivetrains and I think I'm sold. I need to replace the 3x on my Yeti and I'm pretty sure I'm going to mirror what I did here - save the shifter. The SLX shifter feels kinda funny. It shifts well, but feels a little cheesy. Overall though, I'm a believer. I've ridden poorly-adjusted 1x before and was not impressed, but after spending some time dialing this one in, I will probabably stick with a single front ring. This one's rocking a 10 - 51 range and I miss nothing about 20 or 30 speeds.

    I could go on all day long about the componentry, but I won't. I'll keep it short & sweet & report that this rig rides like a dream. It inspired me to make some much-needed changes to my squishy bike as well, but this will be the one that sees the most miles - the hardtails always are.

    The Stumpy this is replacing is going to get a BBSHD for work and grocery store duty. I have this dream of mostly retiring my gas vehicles and this puts me one step closer.

    Pics to follow once I can get off of it long enough to take them, but for now it's just too much fun to ride!

  38. #38
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    Last edited by rob feature; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:53 PM.

  39. #39
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    We just broke out of a heatwave, so I haven't ridden as much as I would have liked, but have gotten in 3 good trail rides now. I think the bike is totally dialed, and for the most part it exceeds expectations in every way. It handles like a dream. Cornering is precise and predictable, grip is amazing, feeling very little flex under full power sprints, hardly any room to complain.

    I did order a short travel Thudbuster - that should be here today. Even though the larger tires and lower pressures I'm using now help, it's still a hardtail and something to take the bite out of rougher sections is very welcome. I'll use this more than I would use a dropper and it will hopefully result in longer rides. Not sure if I'm going to get to keep this tailbag as I bought the neoprene bootie for the new post - seems like over time it would get a lot of crap in the moving parts considering where it is.

    Really enjoying this XT rear hub as well. It has a good bit more engagement points than anything I've owned before. I can see getting spoiled on these. It's reasonably quiet too. Actually this is the quietest bike I've ever owned...unless I get it on the pavement...then it sounds like an ATV.

    Fork leaves nothing to be desired either. I'd wondered if I would miss the feel of the twice-as-expensive Fox I've come to love, but so far for my needs it's just as good. There are probably plenty of riders who would disagree, but I'm finding no disadvantages in the Marzocchi unless I'm paying attention to weight - and I'm not. I did peel the stickers off - going for that murdered out thing. Black bikes are faster, ya know

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