advice for building a xc mountain bike?

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    • #81272

      Hey all,

      I’m new to the sport and have been riding a rigid but would like to upgrade. I am thinking of building a bike once summer is over (maybe spending around $1000-1200?) and was looking for books and websites that would helpful with this project. Of course any advice or tips from you all would also be helpful.

      I have been riding mostly singletracks but would like to be able to do small jumps every once in a while and some technical courses. I guess I’m undecided between a hardtail and a cheaper FS.

      Found a Jamis Parker 1.0 frame for $365 online. Is that sort of what I should be looking for, given my price range and riding preferences?

      Thoughts?

      Thanks!

    • #81273

      Do you already have most of the componets and do you have the skills and tools needed to build a bike? MOST (not all) of the time its is cheaper to buy a bike with what you want on it than it is to piece it together. Aside from that I hear Jamis makes a good bike but I don’t know how the pricing should run.

    • #81274
      ".spree." wrote

      Hey all,

      I’m new to the sport and have been riding a rigid but would like to upgrade. I am thinking of building a bike once summer is over (maybe spending around $1000-1200?) and was looking for books and websites that would helpful with this project. Of course any advice or tips from you all would also be helpful.

      I have been riding mostly singletracks but would like to be able to do small jumps every once in a while and some technical courses. I guess I’m undecided between a hardtail and a cheaper FS.

      Found a Jamis Parker 1.0 frame for $365 online. Is that sort of what I should be looking for, given my price range and riding preferences?

      Thoughts?

      Thanks!

      dude, here’s my advice. for 1200 dollars you are not going to be able to build a decent xc bike. i would recommend shopping around for a good deal on a complete. if you want, you can definitely upgrade your components later on if the bike you buy has a frame you want to stick with.

      i currently ride a jamis dakar xlt 1.0 (all mountain, but that’s what I was shopping for). I can definitely vouch for jamis making a good frame, mine has been bomber while i have destroyed alot of the components on it (decent components). you can get an awesome frame from jamis for a fraction of the price that you might spend on a gary fisher/trek/specialized.

      when i bought mine, the bike shop i was looking at was running a deal on their slightly used rental bikes. i ended up picking up a bike which retailed for $1,600 for only $800 dollars!! it had one season of light rental use, and had been tuned up and ready to go by the shop. came with all of the warranties and everything.

      so when shopping for a bike on a budget, a route like that is something i recommend.

      again, it would have retailed for $1,600 as a jamis, but a comparable gary fisher frame with the same component set would have been much, much more!

      you’re on the right track buddy, keep shopping!

      (sorry that got long)

      ps have since been upgrading some of my components… i love my ride!

    • #81275
      "Goo" wrote

      [quote=".spree.":1ji3aw15]Hey all,

      I’m new to the sport and have been riding a rigid but would like to upgrade. I am thinking of building a bike once summer is over (maybe spending around $1000-1200?) and was looking for books and websites that would helpful with this project. Of course any advice or tips from you all would also be helpful.

      I have been riding mostly singletracks but would like to be able to do small jumps every once in a while and some technical courses. I guess I’m undecided between a hardtail and a cheaper FS.

      Found a Jamis Parker 1.0 frame for $365 online. Is that sort of what I should be looking for, given my price range and riding preferences?

      Thoughts?

      Thanks!

      dude, here’s my advice. for 1200 dollars you are not going to be able to build a decent xc bike. i would recommend shopping around for a good deal on a complete. if you want, you can definitely upgrade your components later on if the bike you buy has a frame you want to stick with.

      [/quote:1ji3aw15]
      Given I already had the fork, I built a Giant Trance 1 from the frame up with $1,300.

      On the other hand, Jensen USA has the Jamis Parker complete bike on sale for $849 right now.

    • #81276
      ".spree." wrote

      Hey all,

      I’m new to the sport and have been riding a rigid but would like to upgrade. I am thinking of building a bike once summer is over (maybe spending around $1000-1200?) and was looking for books and websites that would helpful with this project. Of course any advice or tips from you all would also be helpful.

      I have been riding mostly singletracks but would like to be able to do small jumps every once in a while and some technical courses. I guess I’m undecided between a hardtail and a cheaper FS.

      Found a Jamis Parker 1.0 frame for $365 online. Is that sort of what I should be looking for, given my price range and riding preferences?

      Thoughts?

      Thanks!

      First off, welcome aboard. Always nice to hear of new people finding the sport and this site.

      As far as building a bike goes, it can be an incredibly rewarding process that will provide you with a huge sence of satisfaction and appreciation for your new ride. You can learn SOOOOO much about how bikes work and why certain parts function better for certain types of riding. The feeling you get from knowing that there are VERY few things that can happen to your bike that will truely end your ride is liberating, to say the least. I may be considered a real tool, but there’s nothing like knowing that YOU are the reason your bike is clean, smooth, and fast.

      But there are a few things you have to make sure that you know about before hand.

      Cost. Other people have alrready mentioned it so I won’t harp on it too badly but cost should NOT be your reason for building your own bike. It’s WAY cheaper to buy one pre-built than to do it yourself. If cost is your main reason for wanting to do it, DON’T. Bike companies can buy components wholesale and pass on the savings. You also need to factor in any specialized tools you’ll need to purchase. You can always leave certain specialized jobs to the local bike shop but that also adds cost. I’m not saying that money should be NO object but it can’t be the dominating factor.

      Specs. If you are a beginner, this area can seem the MOST overwhelming. What parts should I buy to make the bike ride the way I want? In order to properly answer this question you either have to talk to people and trust them to steer you correctly or you have to already have an idea of what will work for your intended riding style. You will be somewhat limited due to cost restraints but many of the best components are not the most expensive so you can’t simply judge a bike by its price tag.

      Frame style. To judge a bike, you really have to ask yourself, "does this bike do the job I intended it to?" Road bikes aren’t intended to go offroad. Downhill bikes aren’t intended for climbing or much flat ground pedaling. A rule of thumb, the larger travel (shock and fork) a bike has, the less enjoyable it will be to ride it up the mountain. Certain frames have different qualities about them that will help reduce "pedal bob". Certain frames will allow you to adjust the seat tube and head tube angle to change the handling characteristics.

      Given your price range and riding preferences, a simple hardtail would work VERY well. They’re snappy, fast, light, cheaper (not cheap), and can handle small jumps if built with proper components. A FS frame would probably eat up most of your building budget unless you could find a good used one. Good used frames can be found but you need to know how to spot the good ones from the garbage.

      I’d suggest going to a couple bike shops and riding different bikes of each style first to help you narrow it down. See if the shop will let you take it out to the trails so you can demo it in the same environment you will be riding it. Once you have a better idea of WHAT you are looking for in a new bike, then you can worry about finding one that matches your price range. You might be surprised to learn just how much of a difference there are between the performance of different frame styles. I started on a rigid and moved to a hardtail and it took a few rides to really get used to the fork up front. Now I mainly ride my FS and it can be like night and day going between the old bike and the new one.

      Have fun doing your "research" and get back with us as you have questions and start figuring stuff out.

      Good luck and enjoy your new addiction.

    • #81277
      "maddslacker" wrote

      Given I already had the fork, I built a Giant Trance 1 from the frame up with $1,300.

      well that’s given a lot, and is already 100 dollars + fork over high end of budget.

      "maddslacker" wrote

      On the other hand, Jensen USA has the Jamis Parker complete bike on sale for $849 right now.

      dude, now that sounds like a steal to me! the components set on there is probably going to be not much better than mid-range, you think?

    • #81278

      Thanks for all the replies.

      So I figured that building a bike would be more expensive than buying a complete; saving money was definitely not the point of wanting to build a bike.

      I really just wanted to go through the process of learning about all the components, how everything works together, and putting the bike together. It seems like a great project to work on during the 5 months of snow that I’ll be getting soon enough. I also figured that 5 or 6 months would give me time to look for some deals on the components needed, and learn about what I would need to do.

      Goose mentioned specs as being something that could be overwhelming. Do you think I would need to know more about ‘my riding preferences’ to build a bike I would be happy with? I’ve ruled out a FS and am going for a decent hardtail build.

      I am really just looking for information here, I’m not about to go around buying cheap parts as I see them or anything. And I haven’t ruled out buying a complete either, I just want a general idea of what I should be looking for, and what I should be learning about, if I were to try to build a bike over the next few months.

      Again, any suggestions of good books/websites to learn about bikes from would be helpful too.

      Thanks again!

    • #81279

      Well as far as details for for a hard tail it is a lot easier to put one of those together than a FS bike. What you really need to know here is when you get a frame. You need to know what kind of headset (integrated, internal, or regular) then BB width (getting the correct BB either 68 or 73mm) (english or Italian threads)((most likely english))

      For front derailleur you need to know if it is a top swing or bottom swing (this detail is important for clearance issues with water bottle bosses and such.

      Then of course you need to know how much travel in the front the bike is designed for. 3 -4 -5"

      Finally you need to know the seatpost diameter.

      All these specs can be found by the frame manufactures website.

      Ohh yes I assume your going with disks ..Make sure the frame is disk compatable…You will see the mounts on the rear seat stays.

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