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  1. #1
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    Seeking advice for HT 29er build

    My co-worker recently bought a 29er and absolutely loves it. He's encouraging me to buy one as well to do some riding. I'm a recreational road biker that rides weekends in fair weather. I'm 5'5" and weigh 195 pounds. I built my road bike from a frameset and plan to do the same with a 29er. I've narrowed my choices down to either the Jamis Dragon 29 steel frame or the Giant XTC Composite 29er frameset. I do not like aluminum frames so steel or composite is the way to go for me. I'm seeking advice on high value "bang for the buck" components. I need everything for the build except a saddle. I don't care if the brakes are mechanical or hydraulic as long as they are reliable and good value. I prefer Shimano equipment based on experience with that brand, but I'm open to anything. Also, I'd like to go tubeless on the wheels, but it's not that critical.

  2. #2
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    Go with Shimano XT components. Light weight, smooth, reliable, long lasting. If you want to save the most weight and don't mind spending the money to do it, go with Shimano XTR components.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  3. #3
    Rod
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    I agree with Ambassadorhawg. (that's a long name to type) You cannot beat XT. It's light weight, very durable, shifts great through all conditions, and long lasting. I would build it with almost a full XT kit. Shifters, crank, derailleurs, brakes, and get you a nice set of wheels for your riding. I would also recommend you getting a set of tubeless wheels when you get your bike for flat protection and the ability to run lower pressures so you can get more grip.

    I have the above setup on my bike and I am very happy with it.

  4. #4
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    XT is a great idea; just make sure you go 10spd (SLX is also very comparable). I'm not even suggesting it for the extra gear, I am because of how quick it shifts. The gears are closer and it shifts tight man! It's not much more and right now, the XT stuff is cheaper than the SRAM 10spd stuff for some reason....

    The SLX crankset is a steal and can be found for $119!

    Get a decent fork: Fox in my opinion is a little better, but RockShox Reba's are very nice and can be had for around $350 brand new

    Brakes - Avid series of Elixr's are nice, so are Shimano SLX. Just don't get Elixr 1's; those are junk. The 3's are good as are the 5's.

    Wheelset - most important component - and YES you want tubeless without question. Blackflags are good and affordable but Stan's are the best option if you can spend around $450 or so. There are better wheels, but they will cost you even more.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  5. #5
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    29er frames

    Hey 2gumby2; why only those two frame choices? Have you demo'd others?
    I demo'd about 5 last summer and was blown away by the handling characteristics of the G2 Geometry that Trek/Gary Fischer produces. Great, nimble handling for a big bike. Check it out on their website. Not a fan of Giant.

    Get carbon if ya can, I agree with good wheels, XT components, Fox shock, tubeless. Did I mention good, light wheels...? Essential for a 29er.
    Don't worry too much about the saddle - you'll be out of it most of the time!

    I ended up scoring a Superfly carbon HT 29er - really dig it.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2gumby2 View Post
    My co-worker recently bought a 29er and absolutely loves it. He's encouraging me to buy one as well to do some riding. I'm a recreational road biker that rides weekends in fair weather. I'm 5'5" and weigh 195 pounds. I built my road bike from a frameset and plan to do the same with a 29er. I've narrowed my choices down to either the Jamis Dragon 29 steel frame or the Giant XTC Composite 29er frameset. I do not like aluminum frames so steel or composite is the way to go for me. I'm seeking advice on high value "bang for the buck" components. I need everything for the build except a saddle. I don't care if the brakes are mechanical or hydraulic as long as they are reliable and good value. I prefer Shimano equipment based on experience with that brand, but I'm open to anything. Also, I'd like to go tubeless on the wheels, but it's not that critical.
    Well, your off to a good start. Atleast your a$$ knows what it likes and you have the seat of your pants to build on.

    Not so sure, I'd lump "bang for buck" components along with most composite frames, unless its a more generic frame. Why blow the budget on a sweet frame if your going to put so-so wheels, fork, brakes on it? Steel might be a better option. Sure its heavier, but you could also put a little more cash towards, well....better wheels, brakes and fork.

    Unless of course you have a $4000+ budget.

    Best thing to do is get out and ride/demo as many bikes as possible before your purchase. As mentioned, "your a$$ knows what it likes".

  7. #7
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    Great recommendations! Can someone provide a link to the Stan's wheels mentioned by Pauldotcom in the previous post? I found a company called Ghisallow Wheels that looks interesting.

    I'm leaning toward the Jamis or Giant because they have the frame material I'm interested in (steel or composite) and they're within my budget. The Super Fly at around $2,900 is about twice my budget for a frame set.

    Good to hear that the Simano XT is well regarded. I've always been happy with Shimano components.

  8. #8
    Rod
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    I have the aluminum version of the XTC 29 and I like it a lot. It is smooth, the carbon will be even smoother, quick steering with my narrow bars, and I can go around switchbacks no problem. Giant makes a good product.

    I also had the 26 inch dragon and it was a good bike too. I'm sure the 29er will be much smoother with the bike wheels. I had the dragon for many years.

    Tree fort bikes has a Stan's Crest laced to their 3.3 hubs for 425 shipped. You are 5 pounds over the weight limit on these though. Stans ZTR Crest Wheelset - 29" in Tree Fort Bikes Wheels (cat85)

    A better option would be the Arch EX for more strength and durability. Unfortunately, I am unsure where you could find the best deal on these. The weight limit on this wheelset is 220 lbs. and only 100 grams more. Post in the "where are the best deals" forum and I'm sure someone there will be able to find you a good price.

  9. #9
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    Stans at Tree Fort:
    Stans ZTR Arch EX Wheelset - 29" in Tree Fort Bikes Wheels (cat85)

    I like the Arch for rocks/all mountain stuff and they are also pretty light.

    I bought mine from BikerBob who can be found on this site. He is the ULTIMATE in deals and best in customer service. I bought custom ones with Stans hubs, red nips, and white color for cheaper than they are selling the stocks at Tree Fort. Message Bob and he will get you what you need.
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  10. #10
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    Does BikerBob have a website or can anyone give me point of contact information for him?

  11. #11
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    Here:
    BikerBob.com
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  12. #12
    Hueston Woods Trail Crew
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    Reach me by email [email protected]
    or 513 726-4100

    I have a great Redline D660 15" frame made of high end Japanese Sanko steel I'd like to build up. Could be the right size for you.

    Something like this fellow's build.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Seeking advice for HT 29er build-redlined460.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the great recommendations. I ended up having BikerBob build a bike for me using the Redline D460 steel frame. I'm going with Shimano drivetrain, Rock Shox Recon Gold fork, Avid BB7 brakes, Stan's NoTubes rims and hubs, Truvativ bars, post, and stem, Ergon GP-1 grips, Cobb's Cycling seat, and Kenda Small Block Eight tires. I'm looking forward to the new bike.

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