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Old 10-10-03, 08:55 AM   #1
DAR71
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spec'ing a new bike...opinions?

Hello all.

When I was at a LBS the other day, I got a chance to check out one of the employees' bikes, a Santa Cruz Chameleon. I soon decided I need to make one mine.

I'm a 200lb rider, and I ride "aggressive XC".

I looked into the build kits available from Santa Cruz, and found similar build kits online for hundreds of $$$ less than what Santa Cruz charges.

I've cut and pasted the build kit I found on bikesource.com. Here is the URL for anyone wishing to see it the other way. build kit


FRAME AND FORK- Chameleon frame with FOX Vanilla 125RLC -$1000

HEADSET Tange TG Threadless Black
STEM Bontrager Race
HANDLEBAR Kore Rise 1.5 Black
GRIPS Salsa Juegos de Fuego
SHIFTERS LX ComboM 570
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano LX Combo
BRAKES Avid Mechanical Disc
FRONT DERAILLEUR Deore M 510 (one size fits all)
REAR DERAILLEUR LX M 570
CRANKS Deore M 510 Black
CHAIN RINGS 22-32-44
CHAIN HG 50
BOTTOM BRACKET ES 50
CASSETTE 12-32 HG 50
SADDLE Velo Flite Style
SEATPOST Kalloy Uno 350mm
TIRES IRC Mythos 1.9/2.1 Kevlar Rust
TUBES Presta
FRONT HUB LX M 525
REAR HUB Deore M 525
RIMS Mavic 139 Black
SPOKES 2mm DT Straight Gauge Silver
NIPPLES Brass

This build kit comes to $ 500

The only thing I can see is that this kit doesn't offer a 30.9mm oddball seatpost. I'm sure I can add one for a nominal upcharge.


I'm not sure whether or not I'll have the LBS assemble the bike for a fee, which they said they'd do, or assemble some of it myself, or all of it, or what. I am pretty mechanically inclined, as I earn my living as a diesel mechanic. I may buy one of those "el cheapo" tool kits for $40 from Nashbar.

Any opinions on this build kit? I know some of the components may be a bit low-end, but I plan to upgrade some of them in a year or so. I'm running dangerously close to being over budget (according to the "spousal unit"), so my options are relatively limited.

My thinking is that with the Santa Cruz frame and the Fox Forx, at least I have something worth hanging better parts on in the future.
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Old 10-10-03, 09:01 AM   #2
DAR71
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Oh, and I forgot another $89 for Eggbeater cro-mo's.
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Old 10-10-03, 09:06 AM   #3
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Skip the eggbeater's and get some platform/clipless pedals if aggro XC. If you like Crank Bros. get the Mallet!

On a personal note, I'd get a different set of cranks (don't like Shimano ones). Like a Truvative or Race Face Prodigy. This is more of an appearance thingy, and nothing to do with quality as the Shimano ones work well, I just don't like their looks.

Same thing with the Bontrager Stem. Any decent stem will work, I just don't like the looks of the Bontragers.

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Old 10-10-03, 09:08 AM   #4
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One more thing, for a couple dollars more, you can get a better headset from FSA!

The Tange is about as cheap as they come, and the FSA's have a better bearing in them. If you're planning on jumping, upgrade to the FSA Pig!

L8R
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Old 10-10-03, 10:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAR71
Hello all.

When I was at a LBS the other day, I got a chance to check out one of the employees' bikes, a Santa Cruz Chameleon. I soon decided I need to make one mine.

I'm a 200lb rider, and I ride "aggressive XC".

I looked into the build kits available from Santa Cruz, and found similar build kits online for hundreds of $$$ less than what Santa Cruz charges.
Yup, I bought a Blur this year, and found that I could get a better deal on the components than the S/C build kits. I ended up specing the bike just as I wanted it. I ended up with better components @ about the same price.

You may want to think about the Superlight. With the same component spec, the Superlight is just a click over 1 pound heavier than the hardtail. If you choose the 5th Element Air, you won't get much pedal bob. Just something to further muddy the water! Good luck - I love my Blur!
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Old 10-10-03, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
I'm not sure whether or not I'll have the LBS assemble the bike for a fee, which they said they'd do, or assemble some of it myself, or all of it, or what. I am pretty mechanically inclined, as I earn my living as a diesel mechanic. I may buy one of those "el cheapo" tool kits for $40 from Nashbar.
If you go the DIY route, make sure to budget for a good book on bike repair, because I tell ya - putting together bikes involes much trial and error, and often requires specialized equipment. I would definitely get the LBS to install the headset, BB, and cranks if you are a novice. No offense, but you don't want to botch the installation of those bits.

Lots of luck
BK
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Old 10-10-03, 10:42 AM   #7
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I say build it yourself, if you run into problems you can always pay the LBS. Stuff like installing the headset and cutting the fork I would have the LBS do, mainly because if you cut the fork wrong you are out ALOT of money I don't think there is a better learning experience. I also agree about the headset see if they can swap that for a different one. JensonUSA also has some good deals on build groups you can get. Might also talk with your LBS see what they can do for you.
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Old 10-10-03, 12:20 PM   #8
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The build kit looks pretty good. Only advice I have is to upgrade the headset and the rear derailleur. You can upgrade to an XT for about 10 bucks more. Also you can get eggbeater pedals for $59 - $69 bucks online.

By the way, here is my horror story about my Chameleon. This happened last night.

Went to pick it up last night.
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