Opinions on my (near) ultimate build- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Opinions on my (near) ultimate build

    I'm looking for feedback on my (near) "ultimate" bike build. There's no right answer of course, but I'd like to hear opinions about my plans. This will be my biggest bike expenditure ever so I'm being pretty careful (read: anal) about it. Most of my questions can be answered by "it depends" and I understand that. Looking for "gut reactions" as well as reasoned responses.

    I'm a 190# XC rider, living in Park City, UT (lots of climbs).

    Frame-- C'dale Scalpel (if I can get it cheap), otherwise a LaMere F.S. frame, size XL (generic Asian frame similar to a Spark or Scalpel). I think JP's frames are the best bang for the buck. I would like to hear detailed ride reviews on them.

    Shocks-- Lefty 110mm XLR + Monarch XX + XLoc Full Sprint dual shock remote.
    Questions: Lefty carbon or alloy? The weight difference is about 100 grams at a price difference of $500. The build will already be super light so I'm inclined to save $500. Thoughts? I really want dual remote lockout, but is a Kashima soooo awesome that it's worth sacrificing dual remote and swapping the Monarch out for a Kashima?

    Cranks-- SRAM XX BB30, 2 x 10. C'dale SLs are too expensive imho for limited performance gain.
    I'm tempted to go for 2 x 9 or even 2 x 8 for greater reliability and less indexing problems--??

    Brakes-- XT

    Shifters & dérailleurs-- I'm still debating between XO and XT/XTR. I'm leaning toward a mix of XT/XTR somewhat along the lines of this: Art's Cyclery BlogAsk a Mechanic: Shimano XTR - Where To Spend Your Money » Art's Cyclery Blog
    I think the deciding factor for me is durability and I *think* Shimano wins out here. I'm open to being wrong but that seems to be the consensus, no?

    Other-- Ashima brake rotors, Enve bar, XTR pedals.

    Wheels-- I'm considering spending big here on a pair of Enve wheels, but I've got lots of questions. AM or XC? Are NOX wheels as stiff? Are Derby wheels a viable choice? I've already got a pair of Crests laced with Project321 hubs and a pair of Arches with Hope Pro IIs. I would like to round out the quiver with close to the best wheels possible. But Enve's are mucho $$ Are the NOX or Derbys as durable or stiff?

    Cheers,
    Russ

  2. #2
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    you should be all set...
    2014 Nail Trail 29...

  3. #3
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    Alloy Lefty, save the $500. XT should be fine. IMO.

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    O.k., after a bit of research, I'm going with the Nox XCR-29 wheels + I9 Tourch rear hub. $1,000 cheaper than equivalent Enve wheellset, much wider, 2-year warranty, and only a tad heavier.

    And I'm settling more into the XT group idea (with XX crank). Any opinion on whether to go 2 x 9 vs. 2 x 10?? Am I over-estimating the problems with a 10-cog system vs. a 9-cog system?

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    I've been running Sram X0 2X10 (24x36) on both my RIP 9 and Epic for a couple of years. Also X0 derailleurs because I'm totally a grip shift guy. I ride several time a week, and had no performance/durability issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdabike View Post
    Alloy Lefty, save the $500. XT should be fine. IMO.
    Yeah, +1 on this. No need to spend the extra $500. Everything should be fine!
    Last edited by Max24; 03-07-2015 at 10:08 PM.

  7. #7
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    K.C., I thought the XO cranks only came in 26/38. How did you get a 24-tooth ring on there? An after-market ring?

    EDIT: XO comes in a 24t option but not XX (only 26t, but there are aftermarket options for a 25t).

  8. #8
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    Can't believe you live in Park City UT and your ultimate build is going to be an XC whip For me my ultimate build there would have to be a more versatile bike that let me enjoy the downs as much as the climbs, something with more relaxed geo, bit more travel, other than that the rest of the build looks fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  9. #9
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    Check out the RaceFace Next SL cranks. Lighter and cheaper than XX with a removable spider. Any gear setup you can dream of will work with them. X0 would save you even more money but not quite as light. I run 1x10 so X0 makes the most sense for me due to the versatility and budget balance.

    And don't be scared of 10 speed. 2x10 stuff works fantastic but a 2x9 would be cheaper. With lots of climbing in UT I'd definitely go with 2x10 if it's in the budget.

    I have the Derby rims laced to DT 350 hubs. For under $1000 out the door I find it hard to believe anything out there is better for the price. They're "AM" wheels so not as light as you can go for the money but there's zero perceptible flex. Tubeless is incredibly easy as well. Easiest setup I've ever done. In fact, it's darn near impossible to get a tire OFF the rim the bead shelf is so tight. I call that a good thing. Not worrying about burping or blowing a tire off is great. They've been set and forget, my kind of upgrade They're works of art in your hands. Fantastic quality! That much awesomeness shouldn't be that cheap!

  10. #10
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    LB has wider hookless 35mm carbon rims available if you email Carolin. 30mm inside laced with Sapim Lasers and brass nips to DT 350s will give you a wide addition.

  11. #11
    AOK
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    Opinions on my (near) ultimate build

    I would skip the XX cranks and instead go for XO or even XX1. The reason is that XO has SRAM's removable spider, while XX does not. The removable spider is great if you decide you want to run 1x in the future - opens up a lot of possibilities with many aftermarket spiders and direct mount chainrings.

    If you are tempted to go 2x9 or 2x8, I would encourage you to also look into 1x10 or 1x11. The gearing range might meet your needs, and you save weight and complexity by dropping the front derailleur.

    Whether you go Shimano or SRAM, go for a clutch style derailleur. This gives you a quiet drivetrain and will help with chain retention if you go with a 1x drivetrain at some point.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by russmcb View Post
    K.C., I thought the XO cranks only came in 26/38. How did you get a 24-tooth ring on there? An after-market ring?

    EDIT: XO comes in a 24t option but not XX (only 26t, but there are aftermarket options for a 25t).
    There are available with 24t option, I purchased mine as a new 'take off' at a local bike shop.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the help!

    Lynx, ha ha! This IS my more versatile build--my first F.S. bike! I've been railing downhills on my aging hard-tail Superfly so my new build with 110mm in the front (instead of 80mm) + having a shock in the rear will feel like I've gone super-plush for the DH (to me). But, yeah, I'm an XC weight-weenie at heart. One day I'll get a 40lb DH machine and ride the lifts to the bike park all day… or at least get an AM bike…. What would you recommend for pushing the build a little more toward an AM bike? Put a 120mm Lefty on it? Different rear shock? I'm more or less set on the LaMere frame. I plan on riding hard until I crack the frame and they have the best warranty and crash replacement policy ($800).

    Dfyxzy--
    Awesome tips! I didn't know about the RaceFace Next SLs. The modularity of those looks excellent! Any word on the durability? My old XTRs were indestructible. The XOs are tempting but a 248g difference (>.5lb) is pretty significant… which I'd tolerate if there was a *huge* difference in durability.

    I haven't seen any reviews of the Derbys. I finally thought I had sorted out the wheel issue and decided on the Nox--limited weight penalty over the Enve's and arguably better wheels. How do the Derby's compare to the Enve's or Nox wheels? @EB1888: Same question for the LightBike wheels…. the Nox seem like higher production quality for a bit more $$. Am I wrong?

    AOK: Clutch dérailleur it is! Probably shadow 2+, but still open to an XO/XX build.

    I thought a lot about going 1 x 11, but I've heard things get really noisy in the extreme cog positions--but maybe a clutch derailleur mitigates this--?? And the $450 cassette replacement 2x/year sounds un-fun. Although I guess there are cheaper non-SRAM options that are less costly. I love the simplicity of it, and the idea of getting rid of the front shifter and derailleur, but it also has hub implications as I understand it. I want to keep the new build compatible with my old wheel sets that I have for my dilapidated superfly (that I still use for cross races and other stuff).

    This build is shaping up! Thanks everyone!

  14. #14
    AOK
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    Opinions on my (near) ultimate build

    Depending on the gearing you need, you may be able to go 1x10 or even 1x9. This opens up many choices for derailleur and cassette and also allows you to run with a normal freehub. With all of the direct mount chainrings out there that will mount to the SRAM removable spider cranks, you can use smaller chainring sizes which may be enough to make 1x9 or 1x10 work.

    I have happily been running 1x10 for several years with a 28T ring. Gives me plenty of gear range for my terrain.

    The derby rims are great, but if you want light they may not be the best choice. They are light relative to other wide rims, but heavy compared to something like the Nox rims. Derby rims are roughly the same weight as Stan's Flow rims. I have a set of wheels with Derby rims and they have been flawless. Just don't think of them as a lightweight option just because they are carbon.

    You might also look at the I9 torch wheels. Cheaper than some carbon options and still stiff and relatively lightweight for alloy rims. I have a set of the I9 torch trail wheels and they are great. You can find some complaints about early wheels that had bearing issues, but it sounds like I9 has long since fixed the issue. (Zero issues with my wheels, fwiw)

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    AOK, what 1x10 setup are you running? I'm open to a 1x10 or 1x11, if the cross-chaining issue could be mitigated--I've heard "lots" of reports of excessive riding in the granny cog (which I would be doing in all the big hills here) wearing down the chain ring and cog quickly. I guess it would be possible to set the ring up closer to the inside if you know you'll be doing lots of more work in the bigger cogs and this might take care of the problem. This way you're cross-chainin on the small cogs which I'd rarely use and more centered over the big cogs which I'd be using more frequently. Any reason this couldn't be done?

  16. #16
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    yep...you should be fine...just gotta write the check...should be all down-hill from now on out
    2014 Nail Trail 29...

  17. #17
    AOK
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    Opinions on my (near) ultimate build

    Quote Originally Posted by russmcb View Post
    AOK, what 1x10 setup are you running
    Depending on the bike I have either SRAM XX1 or XO cranks with a single ring. SRAM XO type 2 short cage RD. SRAM 11-36 cassette and KMC 10-speed chain.

    No issues with chain line, etc. I have several friends running similar 1x9 or 1x10 setups without issue.

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