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  1. #1
    Breaker of Spokes P. B. Walker's Avatar
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    Advice: Components for new mountain bike

    Hey all,

    I'm in the process of buying a new mountain bike. I've decided to go with a Seven Verve. This means I get to choose most of the components that will be on the bike. I've been doing as much research as I can, but I was hoping some people here could make suggestions on what they think would work best for me. I mostly plan on riding cross country type riding on fireroads and single tracks. No jumping or downhilling. I do longer rides (50 to 100 miles) for the most part and want parts that are durable and strong. I'm also looking for speed as well. I do a lot of road riding, but train for a off road charity ride every year. It's a 185 mile charity ride over 2 days on the C&O Canal towpath. So I will be doing a lot of riding on that towpath for 2 or 3 months. And then in the winter, I usually ride my mountain bike when the roads and paths get crappy with snow and whatnot. I did almost 6K mile last year and am on pace to do almost 7K this year. I'm a big guy (clydesale), 275lbs.

    The components I'd like advice on are:

    Wheelset:

    I was looking at Mtbreview.com and I see that cane creek has a few set of wheels that are very highly recommended. I'm worried about them being strong enough to hold me. I was thinking of going with something that has titanium spokes. I also noticed that Chris King Disc Mountain wheels are recommended, as are Velomax Climax and Mavic Crossmax UST Disc. Again, the main thing for me is to find a set of wheels that are very very strong since I'm a big guy, the second important thing is a fast hub. I recently switched wheels on my old mountain bike (to a SunTour set) and noticed instantly how much slower they were from my ancient set of wheels.

    Suspension Fork:

    I know next to nothing about suspension forks. Main thing is that I want something I can lock out on the fly for when I'm on level pavement or trail and want to stand up. But then switch back when I hit the rocky/rough sections. Strong and light are the other considerations.

    Disc Brakes:

    I've noticed that the Avid disc brakes come highly recommended. I definitely want something that brakes well, but I also don't want to have to do a ton of maintainence on the brakes. I saw that the Avid Juicy Seven is pretty well recommended.

    Cogset/Crankset/derailluers:

    I was just going to go with XT components, but I see that SRAM has some recommended parts. The main thing is that I want something that's durable and long lasting. I'm definitely not a weight weenie so I don't need top of the line. There are times when the trail is quite muddy, so I'd need something that performs well in all conditions.

    Shifters:

    SRAM shifters? Anyone have them? Like them? Negative/Pro comments? I did test ride a bike that had the XT shifters and while they were acceptable, I sort wanted something where I could shift a large number of gears quickly. I have a early 90's mountain bike that has shifters that allow this. I don't know the name of the shifters, except that they are shimano.

    Chainrings:

    I am interested in going with a big larger set of chainrings instead of the typical 22/32/44 teeth chainrings... maybe something around a 26-28/34-38/46-48. What are my best options in that department. I'm not sure if Shimano offers those and every place I've seen them sold they are the standard 22/32/44.

    Thanks for any advice or comments in advance.

  2. #2
    Xtreme Biker
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    $$$$ ? How much $$$$ U Got ?

  3. #3
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    From one clyde(I'm 6'6" and just under 300#) to another here is what I would do. Don't try to get anything super light or you will be replacing it.

    As for wheels Get a set of King disc hubs and build them up on a goot Mavic disc rim. They should be 32 hole and build them with 2.0 or 1.8/2.0 butted stainless spokes. Stay away from ti spokes or you will end up with a supper spoungey wheel. If you want a fancy wheelset look at the crossmax xl disc and they should do well for you. Personally I ride on a very heavy wheel set. It sucks climbing but I found I was having trouble keeping anything running true. (I just ride xc not jumps or drop or any of that crap. I'm and old school rider. I ride for the sake of riding not to be "extreme") I ended up going to a deep areo rim by Velocity. It's a tank and you have to run longstem tubes, but I've never had one go bad on me. I've only had to replace 1 because I folded the sidewall too far to bend it back.(hit something with a flat) On the plus side they are great for decenting and keeping your speed on a flat!

    I can't give you much recomendations for discs other than get something with a large rotor up front and stay away from cable acutated.

    I'm a grip shift person my self. I love the fact I can finness it into gear if i'm under power of if it's a little out of tune. having a friction front derailluer is the way to go as well. Checkout the the X0 stuff from Sram it's light but works.

    You may want to look into a crank with standard bolt pattern instead of compact. Which means you won't have a shimano crank. Check out the Race Face cranks you can get either the Turbine or the Next in a 74/110 BCD. With a 74/110 you are limitied to a 24t inner ring, but there are a lot of chain ring choices for a 110 bct. The chainring will also be stronger with the larger BCD.

    Now on the more radical side of big rider thinking. You should also take a look at going with 8 speed if you can find it. This fist time I rode 9 speed on dirt I broke the chain twice! I'm staying with 8 speed as long as I can!
    Last edited by Brianjonesphoto; 06-01-04 at 05:42 PM.

  4. #4
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    something I forgot If you go with a hug that has an aluminium cassette body make sure you get a cassette that has a spider like the XT and XTR. I had a lower end cassette on my hugi with an aluminum body and I couldn't get the cassette off after one season. It had dug into the aluminum so far I couldn't get it to release from the body.

  5. #5
    Breaker of Spokes P. B. Walker's Avatar
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    Brianjonesphoto... that's for the reply.

    I actually have debated having a wheel set hand built for me using a fast hub and a good rim. I had to do that with my road bike also. Unfortunately, the wheel builder that did such a great job on my road wheels has moved to another state. And btw, he used velocity rims for those wheels and they've been almost unbreakable. I think I've only broken one spoke in 6600 miles. I saw that velocity makes some MB wheels called climax and another set called rogue. They look like they are vshaped rims.

    You mentioned get a big rotor up front for the disc brakes. Do larger rotors mean more stopping power when it comes to disc brakes?

    I ride about the same as you... just to have fun and not be extreme. Thanks again for the reply.


    And as for the $$ question... I don't want to go too far overboard, but I don't necessarily want to go cheap. I mainly want to keep the total cost under 4K. I think the frame will run about 2K.

  6. #6
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    yes a larger rotor does 2 things. 1 it give you more leverage for more stopping power and 2 it will disapate heat faster and be less likey to experience brake fade due to heat built up on a long desent.

  7. #7
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    Under $4g gives you a lot of room to work with... I would avoid Rockshox forks... they are lighter typically but I think they are very flexy and not all that durable when compared to Marzocchi and Fox.

    One better than a lockout, Fox has a Terralogic fork that acts like the "brain" shock on a Specialized Epic where it locks out rider input coming from the top down (ie when you are standing over the bars and climbing it doesn't bob)... its pricey ($600ish) but its pretty light (under 4lbs) and works so beautifuly its rediculous, but I'm 150lbs so check to be sure it can handle your size.

    XT stuff is pretty durable so I wouldn't think you'd have a problem going with that. I would avoid the XTR cassette though b/c I have seen a few people bend the Ti gears. As for shifters I have the '04 XT STI (brake lever shifters) and like them. I can grab gears as quickly as I could with my old Rapidfires (most likely what you had). What you have to be sure of though, is that you don't get a Rapidrise rear derailleur! You are limited to one gear at a time with Rapidrise and can't jump 5 gears at once. However, Rapidrise does allow you to shift under load while climbing.

    For wheels, something laced 3 cross will be the most durable, 2 cross would probably be ok too, especially if you are going with large rotors, since disc brakes do add some stress to the rims. Since you're a big guy you want to take out all the flex you can I'm sure. Its my opinion that for larger riders, the rim and lacing pattern make a much bigger difference in durability than the hub. Chris King hubs are basically the best available, but if price is a factor you would probably be served well by XT hubs, or something of that level. Lighter wheels will be a problem for you so I would avoid the Cane Creeks and go with something a little bit heavier.

  8. #8
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest the Fox Terra Logic fork, but got beat to it. I'm a Clydesdale too, not into lightweight XC, so I use a Marzocchi Z1 with a 20mm through axle. The through axle stiffens up the front end considerably. I sacrifice weight for strength. Plus, I prefer the feel of a coil spring over an air shock. But that's just me!

    Wheels, a good quality hub like Chris King laced in a 3 cross patter with double butted spokes (2.0/1.8/2.0) using wheelsmith or DT Swiss spokes. I like Mavic rims, and have also had good success wth Velocity although the Velocities are a bit heavier. Chris King hubs are top of the line, and there are other great ones out there. Check out Woodman Products. I'm using a set of Profile Racing Hubs that I absolutely love and they're pretty bombproof.

    Tires are almost as important as wheels. As a big guy, you should compromise some weight in this department and go with a slightly wider tire. 1.9's don't cut it for us. 2.1 is the minimum and 2.3 is what I recommend.

    I'm not a fan of the new XT or XTR STI integrated shifter/brake combos, I prefer seperate shifter pods. XT is all you need. The new Sram 9.0 triggers are very promising.

    Discs. Everyone talks about the added maintenance of discs. I don't understand this. I've bolted my Hayes to my bike and have done little to adjust them other than changing the pads. I've used several brands, Hayes, Magura, Coda, Shimano and prefer my Hayes.

    Cranks, you should be able to get a 24/34/46 ratio easily, but other than that and you'll have to custom order it. Plus, once you get above a 46 big ring, the front derailleur starts to give you a lot of problems with adjustments. The spread on the ratio is too great and you'll get you chain dragging when in the granny gear.

    You didn't mention anything else. As a clydesdale, I recommend you steer clear of titanium bolts, stems, handlebars, posts...etc. I know the temptation to have all Ti stuff is great, but it won't hold up. Ti has a high strength to weight ratio, but it's not AS strong. The benefit of Ti is it's high modulus of elasticity. It will flex and return to initial state better and after much repetitions over steel or aluminum.

    I recommend a Thomson Elite seatpost over any/all others. They're the best, don't look for any others. I have 5 bikes and 5 Thomson posts! The double bolt clamp is durable and allows for inifinite adjustabiltiy. Single bolt clamps do NOT hold up for riders of our "heft".

    Good Luck.

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  9. #9
    Breaker of Spokes P. B. Walker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Definitely gave me some stuff to think about.

    I am pretty tempted to just stick with the XT components. I looked on their website and see that you can get a larger gear ratio with the crankset. And since we'll be ordering all the parts separate, it shouldn't be a big deal to get a higher ratio. I don't want to go too high, but the 22/32/44 ratio I have on my current bike is just too low for me and the type of riding I do. I spend most of my time in highest gears and there have been a few occasions where I'm totally maxed out.

    That Fox fork sound just about perfect.

    As for tires, I was going to go with a 2.0 inch tire... one of the specialized tires. Not the amarmadillos, but one with the flak jacket technology.

    It almost sounds like I'd be better served to get handbuilt wheels instead of buying one of those higher end wheelsets. I definitely like the chris king hubs. I will definitely talk to my local LBS about their thoughts on that. I had my wheelset on my road bike built for me, so it wouldn't be a problem to have a mountain bike set built too. I haven't had much luck with Mavic rims, but that was with the road bike wheels.

    Has anyone tried out any of the Avid disc brakes? I've read some good reviews of them.

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