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Component list for a new hardtail - comments ?

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Component list for a new hardtail - comments ?

Old 11-16-04, 01:39 PM
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Akak
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Instead of making a bunch of "what do you all think of this..." posts, I'm going to post the bike I'm building and open it up to comments anyone would care to make.

My goal is have a good quality hardtail for general trail riding and racing. I raced mountain bikes in the Norba Sport class about 8 years ago but haven't spent much time on dirt since then. I raced triathlons for a bit but haven't raced anything in over 6 years. Needless to say, I've put on quite a bit of weight and have no cycling shape to speak of. I run 4-5 days a week but no cycling.

I'm intending on racing some or all of the Georgia Mountain Bike Series next year but I know it will be a long climb (pun intended) back into race shape. I don't want to spend a fortune on my first bike in 8 years but I don't want a junker that will be trashed after a season, either. With that, here are the components I've chosen and my reasoning:

Frame - I picked a Fetish Discipline hardtail that I bought on ebay for $100. It's basically an overseas, mass produced aluminum frame that's been shipped here and painted by Fetish Cycles. Eventually, if I stick with it, I'm hoping to upgrade to a better aluminum frame but for now, this one will work.
Fork - Marzocchi MX Comp Coil: Found a GREAT deal on one. Could go with the ETA version for more travel but it's way too long for the frame and since my last fork had 50mm of travel and worked fine, I'd say 85 is plenty.
Wheels - Mavic 517 with Shimano XT hubs and Maxxis 1.95 tires (not sure of the model)
Drivetrain - Full Shimano XT 9speed (M750). Didn't feel it was worth the price to go with the M760, which is the combo crank/bottom bracket setup.
Brakes - Avid Mechanical 160mm disk with Shimano XT levers
Stem, Seatpost, handlebar, headset - Ritchey Pro
Saddle, pedals - Undecided. Will use my old ones until I decide.

Any comments would be appreciated. I can build this whole thing for about $1350. Looking at a new Trek, it would cost me $1800 to get an LX/XT bike with a lot of Bontrager stuff on it so I think I'm getting a much better bike (all XT), frame not withstanding, of course, for over $400 less.
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Old 11-16-04, 02:41 PM
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DjRider04
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Id say ditch the XT levers and get Avid SD7's or Ultimates.
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Old 11-16-04, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DjRider04
Id say ditch the XT levers and get Avid SD7's or Ultimates.
I'd have to agree with this. On my old bike that is now long gone (sold to a friend and then stolen in NYC damn thieves) I had old Avid Speeddials. Best brake lever I've ever used all other factors aside (canti/disk, cable/hydro, etc.)
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Old 11-16-04, 05:24 PM
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Just curious, what kind of deal did you snag on the MX Comp?

Thanks
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Old 11-16-04, 05:29 PM
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Akak
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Originally Posted by swifferman
Just curious, what kind of deal did you snag on the MX Comp?

Thanks
Got it for $178. Lowest I saw on qbike was around $250 so I think it's a bargain. Can get the ETA for $40 more but it's SOOOO long and my frame is small (16") and built for a 100mm fork, not 120mm.
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Old 11-16-04, 08:34 PM
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I pretty much come from the same background. I'm finally looking for a new setup after being off for a while, so maybe we can compare notes.

Your drivetrain should be pretty stout. I rode the same XT drivetrain setup for about 6 years, only replacing the rear deraileur after it got smashed in a wreck. If you're trying to save some cash on your wheels, I'd suggest using the LX hubs instead. They're the same, as far as most can tell, and run a little cheaper. I'd change the levers, too. The XT levers are kinda flimsy, compared to the other aftermarket levers available.

I keep seeing the Fetish frames on Ebay, too. Have you got yours yet? From the photos on their site, I don't really like the cleanliness of the welds, but that could just be the weenie in me nitpicking. I'm looking for a steel frame, myself, so I keep finding myself looking to Surly or Spicer, right now.
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Old 11-16-04, 09:46 PM
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frame not withstanding, of course, for over $400 less.

However, a good quality frame will cost you more than $400 in most cases.

Some guy broke his Rocky Mountain Instinct frame, and it was out of warranty. Rocky wanted $1699.99 CDN for the frame

I usually find a brand new bike will be a much better deal overall. At this time of the year, you may be able to find a steal from a shop that just wants to get rid of their old stock. You maybe able to pick up a $1800 bike for $1400.

THe end result of going brand new is you may end up with a few small parts you may not like, but replacing small items will be much cheaper than buying a fork/frame.

Good Luck

Ming

PS. You will get a much nicer fork on a 1800 bike. The Fox F100X I'm looking at retails for $770 and goes for $575 on ebay. THat is only for a fork
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Old 11-17-04, 08:26 AM
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Akak, your spec looks great, couple of points though:

1) 517's are not recomended with disk brakes, the 317's (now called XC717D) are the disk brake rims
2) Tires - the two tires that seem to be the darlings of the racing scene are the Nokian NBX 2.0 Lite and the Schwalbe Racing Ralph. I love my NBX's, first race on them I won! They roll very fast, have decent grip and are fairly light.
3) Peddles - eggbeaters seem to the be peddle of choise these days. I'm still on 515's, the work OK, I'll replace them with eggbeaters if and when they ever die.
4) Crank - I'm assuming that you were planning on going XT? I'd check out the Raceface Evolve X-type, light, stiff, cheap and looks cool! Should cost less than the XT set, while giving performance that is at least on par.

Good luck with the build and the racing!
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Old 11-17-04, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KrisA
Akak, your spec looks great, couple of points though:

4) Crank - I'm assuming that you were planning on going XT? I'd check out the Raceface Evolve X-type, light, stiff, cheap and looks cool! Should cost less than the XT set, while giving performance that is at least on par.

Good luck with the build and the racing!
I'll give a strong second to considering the RF Evolve X-Drive; first thing that popped into my mind. Looks like you're going to end up with a nice ride!
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Old 11-17-04, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for all the advice and comments, folks. This website is SO helpful!

A little update so far:

I've purchased the frame, fork, and disk brakes (not levers). That's a Fetish Discipline frame, Marzocchi MX Coil fork, and Avid BB Seven mechanical disk brakes (160mm).

I see there are a lot of good crank options out there but for some odd reason, I like stuff to be matched so I'm going XT wherever possible. That includes Crank, BB, Chain, Cassette, shifters, and hubs. I'm still deciding on levers and may switch from XT to Avid based on comments here and the fact that I'm using Avid disks. That's a match

I'm switching my rims to the disk version of the Mavic's as KrisA and others recommended. I originally spec'd the bike with XT V-brakes so those were the right rims. With the recent change to disks, I'll change the rims.

Great advice on the tires. I am SO out of touch with tire technology. My old wheels have a set of WTB Velociraptors on them...I don't even think those are made any more.

After digging through my box of old parts from my previous racing days, I've found a few things that will work in the short term. I have a fairly new saddle and pedals so I'll use them until I decide to upgrade. My shoes are also serviceable. I was pleasantly surprised to see my old Nightsun light system works perfectly. I used to do a lot of night singletracking in the Santa Monica mountains and loved that light! There's not a lot of local singletrack where I live now (North Atlanta area) so it'll probably just be used on the roads but, hey, it's saddle time.

Now, for Yonderboy and the others also building up a bike, here are some of the best prices I've found. First of all, I have a friend who owns a bike repair shop so I'm getting most of the Shimano stuff at his cost. I've found that most internet companies have nearly the same pricing so it's pretty much a wash on most things but I like helping my friend out. For the other stuff...

- Cambria bikes (www.cambriabike.com) and Jenson (www.jensonusa.com) seem to have identical prices. I went with Cambria for my fork and brakes because I called them earlier and the guy I talked to was REALLY knowledgeable. Seems like good service. Nothing against Jenson, I just haven't used them.
- www.qbike.com is a nice site for doing instant comparisons, including ebay auctions. It doesn't have Cambria in its database though. It does have Jenson.
- I hear folks rave about pricepoint.com but I haven't found their prices to be that great. May just be the stuff I'm looking for.
- The Fetish Discipline paypal payment just went through so the frame hasn't shipped yet. I'll let you know what I think when it gets here. I know it's not a great frame but I couldn't justify spending $500-$1000+ on a frame before I know how serious my return to MTBing will be. For $99, I'lll try it out and upgrade later if I want. I'd REALLY like an Yeti ARC if they still make those. I remember drooling over those 10 years ago. Safety tip: Don't do a Google search for "Fetish Discipline" at work

The only parts that I'm not 100% decided on right now are pedals, saddle, and shoes. Since I have some old stuff to use in the meantime, I'll probably just wait until I find the perfect deal.

Thanks again for all the comments and advice.
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Old 11-17-04, 11:02 AM
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I went through basically the same process. $100 Discipline off ebay, mix of SRAM and XT drivetrain components, Hayes comp discs, psylo race forks.

I've had it together for about two months and am quite happy with the package. I'll probably tweak the bars a bit,
maybe change out the pedals...small stuff.

jeff
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Old 11-17-04, 11:09 AM
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I've been thinking of upgrading my shifters/derailleurs and would recommend you do some research into SRAM. I'm thinking of swapping out my 2000 vintage XTR with the new Sram X.9 triggers and X.9 derailleur. The new Sram triggers have been getting great reviews and you can avoid the Rapid Rise and the flippy levers of XT.

Just a thought!

I do prefer Race Face cranks over Shimano, but that's just a personal preference.

When looking at a seatpost, buy a Thomson. It'll cost you more initially, but it'll be the last post you'll have to buy. I went through 3 cheap $20-$25 posts before I broke down and bought a Thomson. Now, I've got Thomson's on almost all my bikes.

Another long term vs initial investment is a headset. Again, they are expensive, but will last longer than your frame. Chris King Headsets! The ONLY way to go!
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Old 11-17-04, 11:12 AM
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In relation to saddles, Fi'zi:k's gobi wing flex is on of the favourites for MTB racers and was awarded best racing saddle of the year 2004 in a MTB mag I have. Magazine reported that they rode for 10hrs flat with no comfort issues. It weights 250gr so its light. I have one myself and no issues.

Also the specialized body geometry saddles tend to get good reviews also from my readings of magazines.

And on cranks, XT hollowtech 2 with integrated bottom bracket and external bearings was also an award winner for this year, being light, shift and durable. Its only 60 grams heavier than the XTR rig but is half the price. (In Ireland anyway)
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Old 11-19-04, 06:29 AM
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I got my XT hollowtech 2 chainset for 105 over the internet the average shop price is 145. And the best I've found so far for the older XT chainset and BB is 80. so if you can get the XT 2 chainset it is worth the extra, the XT 2 is very easy to fit and look after, very durable and strong although the silver finish rubs off after a while, also being shimano it shifts flawlesly. It will also keep with your all shimano drivetrain but still have the advantage of external bearing which all top chainsets seem to be using now. That being said there is nothing wrong with the older XT.
And whilst I totally agree with A2psklnut's choice of Thompson and Chris King stuff which will in all liklyhood out last the rider, it is damn expensive stuff. FSA make some good headset at 30-40% the cost of Chris King and will still last for many years if looked after. Truvativ and Race Face make some good seatpost which will be cheaper than Thompson.
What will you do for shifting and braking? The Avid SD7 levers with the older XT or LX trigger shifters if you can still get them, I have used Deore shifters for nearly 2 years now and they still work perfectly maybe not as smooth as XT but I don't notice, they are cheap too. Use good quality cable's with your disc and shifters I use Avid Flak Jacket cable's and they made a noticable difference over the stock cable's.
Out of curiosty did you get the 85mm travel MX comps you said the 120mm travel was to long why not get the 100mm? Although you will probably find 85mm plenty.

Marc
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Old 11-19-04, 08:33 AM
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Shifters will be Shimano XT M750 shifters. I'm going with the Avid SD7 levers because they match the brakes and I can get a good deal on them. I think I'm still going to stick with Ritchey Pro for the seatpost, stem, and bars. I can get them for cost and they are very close in weight to the lightest stuff that's over twice as expensive. In fact, the $21 handlebars are lighter than some $100 carbon fiber bars I've seen.

Hadn't thought about cables. I used to use Ride-on goretex cables. They worked great with my old Gripshift but were a pain to maintain. I'll ask my builder if he can get the Avid cables.

I went with the 85mm fork because a) I got a sweet deal on it and b) I think it will be more than enough travel. I didn't see any deals on the 100mm so I didn't think it was worth paying full price for 15mm extra travel.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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