XC/Trail Hardtail build seeking advise- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    XC/Trail Hardtail build seeking advise

    So...
    Someone recently broke my U-lock and stole my stumpjumper... I see this as an unfortunate reason to upgrade!
    I've decided to go ahead with my first frame-up build, but having never built a bike, I'm looking for opinions and advise! Any info is appreciated!

    The build, in general, will be a 27.5" hardtail, 1x10(or9), chromoly steel trail bike for about $2000-2200.

    Frame: My favorite frame to date (of the ones I've ridden) is a 2014 Kona Explosif... However, I cant seem to find one in my size (17"), so I'm looking for something comparable. 4130 or 853 chromoly, 68(ish) degree head tube angle, able to be set up 1x10 and about $500-700 for a frame.

    Drive train components: I want something solid and bulletproof. Weight is not an issue... The whole thing needs to come in below a few hundred bucks.

    Brakes: Shimano hydros.

    Forks: Probably Rebas... if you disagree, try to talk me out of it!

    Wheels: Not really an issue (I think I know what I want), but if you have an opinion, I'll take that into account.

    Other stuff... voice your opinion!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Sirtalis; 10-28-2014 at 08:34 PM. Reason: add info

  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    If you can afford it, Mavic has a smokin' new Crossmax 650b wheelset that weighs only 1400g.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  3. #3
    Sir Shreds-A-Lot
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    on one 45650b. killer bike and low entry price on the frame. stick to slx components and throw a nice 120/130 revelation on there. wheels are really going to be up to you depending how much you want to spend on them
    1985 Trek 670
    2016 Kona Process 111
    2017 Ritchey P29er
    2018 Trek Domane SL6

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice!
    I found a 2013 Explosif frame for a about that same price and jumped on it! I got Revelation rct3 130m forks, Stan's Flow wheelset and slx brakes. I'm piecing everything together as I go along, but I think this is going to turn out to be a helluva bike. This is my first full build, but I'm fumbling through it just fine so far. Here is a list of my planned components, if anyone has any input (especially of the "XXX won't work with XXX" variety) it will be super helpful!

    (Edited some stuff as I went along...)

    Frame: 2013 kona explosif
    Forks: Revelation RCT3 130mm
    Wheelset: Stans Flow on Stans 3.30HD
    Brakes: Shimano SLX
    Rotors: XT RT76 180/160
    Headset: Cane Creek 40 ZST44/EC44 (tapered)
    Crankset: Zee
    Shifter: Sram x.9 9 speed w/ Jagwire cable and housing
    Derailleur: Zee
    Cassette: XT 9spd
    saddle: Charge Spoon
    seatpost: Thomson layback
    tires: WTB trail boss
    stem: WTB 100mm (100mm is too long, now 70mm RaceFace)
    handlebars: Ritchey WCS 2x
    chain guide: e13 XCX
    grips Ergon: GS1
    pedals: wellgo MG-1


    I'll post some pics of the build, just for fun!
    Last edited by Sirtalis; 11-16-2014 at 12:13 AM.

  5. #5
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    Looks cool! :0) Long stem though, especially for a 130mm fork?

  6. #6
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    Yea, the stem might be too long... it turns out that it's actually a 100mm, but I already had it, so I'm going to throw it on and adjust from there. I think the stock stem is 60mm (but I could be wrong). The stock bike I rode seemed like it might have benefited from a longer one, but this is probably too much. Guess I'll have to put it together and see!

    Most of my parts showed up today, hopefully I'll have everything by the end of the week so I can throw it together this weekend! Woo!

  7. #7
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    Done!
    ... Well assembled at least. Now working on adjustments and fit to get it just right.

    The stem is indeed too long, I ordered a 70mm from RaceFace, that should definitely improve things. Other than that, the build went surprisingly smoothly considering, I have never done it before! Just a few tweaks, and I'll have my dream bike!

    The Explosif frame has crappy split-housing cable guides that makes it a pain to run full length housing. However, it also has guides intended to run dropper post lines... I don't have a dropper post, so I ran a full length cable housing on the dropper line mounts. It's not perfect, but it works great! I had to use a few zipties on the rear triangle, but the result is a solid, full length cable housing (I'll get rid of the ugly white zipties asap!).

    Can't wait to get out on the trail and try to break it!

    XC/Trail Hardtail build seeking advise-imag0121.jpgXC/Trail Hardtail build seeking advise-imag0123.jpgXC/Trail Hardtail build seeking advise-imag0124.jpg

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirtalis View Post
    The Explosif frame has crappy split-housing cable guides that makes it a pain to run full length housing.
    Can't you just run a drill through them to make the hole big enough for the housing? Wouldn't need to widen the hole much.

    Personally, I've never had a problem with split-housings. I think they work fine.

    Enjoy your new bike :0)

  9. #9
    Sir Shreds-A-Lot
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    Congrats nice build! Nothing more satisfying than piecing together a build and taking it for a rip. Have fun and report back!
    1985 Trek 670
    2016 Kona Process 111
    2017 Ritchey P29er
    2018 Trek Domane SL6

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Can't you just run a drill through them to make the hole big enough for the housing? Wouldn't need to widen the hole much.

    Personally, I've never had a problem with split-housings. I think they work fine.
    I actually thought about doing this (and I might still do it). The only problem that I had, was that my current drill setup won't let me get close enough to the frame to drill straight through cleanly. I could always use a dremel to open it up, but for now the zipties are working great.

    I have had split guides on most of my bikes too, and the only problem is that when water gets in, it never comes back out (I live in the pacific north west and it is WET here, so keeping the bike dry is not really an option). Then when it drops below freezing the shifter stops working. So I kind of want to stick with full length housing, just to keep as much water out as possible.
    I got a Jagwire cable set with good housing ends and a sheath that would cover the bare parts of the cable, which actually seems pretty bulletproof, but I figured; If I can run it full length, why not do it?


    I took the bike out for its first trail workout yesterday. Best - Hardtail - Ever.
    I can honestly say, this is my favorite bike I have ever ridden. Money and time well spent!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirtalis View Post
    The only problem that I had, was that my current drill setup won't let me get close enough to the frame to drill straight through cleanly.
    What you could try is drilling through the narrow end at an angle, just to open out the hole a bit, then finish it off with a file. It's only aluminium so will file away very easily.

    Another possibility is filing the slot in the top open so that the cable drops in, rather than having to slot it though. Then drill/file slots in the sides so that you can put a tie through to secure the cable. You could even file them into the correct shape to accept the plastic U-clips you get for hydraulic cables.

    Just a few ideas.

  12. #12
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    I like the ideaa of cutting the guide into a slot, thanks for the suggesion. I might do that this weekend if I get off the bike long enough to work on it

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