I've been out of the MTB scene for a bit. I rode a Kona Unit rigid singlespeed on and off for about a year and sold it because I didn't like having to drive to get to trails. I've since moved close (quarter mile) from some great, hilly trails and got a frame from a friend of mine for practically free. I've decided to build up a cheap 1x9 based off that, and I wanted to get some feedback on my plans so far.
Caveat - I know a lot of people will say beginners should buy a complete bike, but I have ridden before and I know how to wrench from road bikes. So, please don't tell me to buy a complete bike unless my plan is REALLY awful - but if it is, don't hesitate to yell at me.
What I have so far, most of it from my parts bin:
KHS Alite frame
Manitou Mars 80mm fork
new FSA Moto cranks, MegaExo BB, 36T ring and bashguard
Deore XT (rim brake only) wheelset
Cane Creek headset
Shimano M540 pedals
I was thinking something along the lines of Deore or SRAM x.5 to keep the drivetrain pretty cheap and some decent V brakes. I don't want to start a Shimano vs. SRAM debate, but are those two groups relatively evenly matched? Also, would it be worth the money to upgrade to LX or x.7?
I'm trying to keep this project as cheap as possible, as I have less than $100 into it already. If I can complete it for under $250 total, I will be quite pleased.
I'm too much of a roadie to be that familiar with the mountain groups and how they stack up (and my last XC bike was a single speed), so thanks for the tip about X.7. I don't really know where the sweet spot is in either Shimano or SRAM's mountain line, so that's probably where I need the most help.