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Recommendations/advice for bike build...(8 posts)

Recommendations/advice for bike build...NewDayNewWay
Oct 17, 2003 5:23 PM
Hey all,

Would you guys mind taking a look at the following and providing some recommendations and thoughts about what I've got planned for my build? Any advice or recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Note... I'm not trying to get any advice on sizing or specific gearing (I'll figure that out myself) but would like recommendations for brand names and component level.

Here is what I'm shooting for...
* Cross bike, but will not be racing. Gravel fire trails, forest roads, smooth single-track
* weight not huge consideration; 20-24 lbs (between weight, cost, and reliability/performance, reliability and performance are the most important factors, cost second, and weight is a distant third)
* Price: up to $500-$600 for frame, maybe up to $700-$800 for all components and misc. parts; total cost no more than $1,400-$1,500, but less if I can get just about the same reliability for less

I would guess that if I spend $800 on components and parts that about a third of that might go to a wheel set? So maybe about $260 for wheels? Does that seem reasonable?

Frame / fork - – leaning towards steel but would consider aluminum (Ridley Crossbow looks pretty nice, but what other options are there?)

Chain ring – Double only - I rarely go into the big ring on the road, so I assume I can't go 105 or Ultegra on gravel and single track because I need a smaller big ring. What are my options?

Bottom bracket – Assume this is largely driven by choice of chain ring – I like the spline on my road bike / don't care for square taper. Other? Recommendations?

Cassette – XT okay?

Rear derailleur – XT okay?

Front derailleur – 105? XT? Is LX adequate?

Brakes – Canti or other "traditional" – no disk brakes – Recommendations?

Shifters – STI, no bar comp – 105 or Ultegra? (Better to go 105 and spend more on wheels? Or go Ultegra and spend less on wheels?)

Wheel set – I don't want to build my own wheels. Do you use special wheels or are these the same wheels used on road? Recommendations?

Handlebars – Recommendations/opinions?

Headset – Recommendations/opinions?

Tires – Clinchers only. What are some of the more common options? What would be a good standard tire size for the type of riding I'll be doing?

Things I already have or know I will be buying...

Seat post – Thompson / Cost - $90
Pedals – Already have them (SPD-959) / Cost - $0
Seat – Already have (WTB Rocket Laser) / Cost - $0
Stem – Will pick something / Cost – Assume $40-$50
Miscellaneous parts (cable housing, bar tape, etc.) / Cost – Assume $40-$50
So this is already about $200! Ouch! Can I even do this for under $800 for components and parts?

re: Recommendations/advice for bike build...dontnomuch
Oct 18, 2003 9:16 AM
Have you considered a singlespeed 'cross bike? You'll save money on components and it's a blast to ride.

These are some recommendations based on what I've used...

Salsa Bell Lap bars are really nice. But any road bar can work just as well.

Brakes-If you're going to use it more as a trail bike, you could use some v-brakes (you'll have to run an adaptor.) Avid's canti 'cross brakes seem to be really popular and Avid makes good products.

Frame--there's a lot of stuff out there. But I'd recommend a frame with a 1.125" headtube so you can use mtb stems which are cheaper and easier to find than threaded stems.

Headset--it depends on your preference.

Crank/bb--singlespeed makes sense if you rarely go into the big ring. A 34 or 36 front could work nice. Or you could run a 1x9.

Cassette-XT orLX is fine.

Rear Der.-XT or LX is fine.

Tires--If it's going to be a trail bike, run a fat tire on the front. I've been using a Ritchey 42c on my bike. Tire clearance on your frame will dictate the size of your rear tire.

Wheels--It depends on what you want to spend. Look at blowout specials to get a good deal. If you're a big guy you may want to stick with straight gauge spokes and 2x/3x spoke patterns.

I hope this helps. You'll get other opinions. Keep us updated on how your project works out!!
re: Recommendations/advice for bike build...NewDayNewWay
Oct 18, 2003 2:32 PM
You peaked my interest with mention of single speed. At one point I was seriously considering building a SS for road riding in the winter. Since my goal is just to do some off-season joy riding in the woods I think I'm going to go for it!

Maybe I'll just go with a Surly for this build. I would suppose that the weight savings from components would far outweigh additional weight of the frame. Will I need a chain tensioner to build a single speed with the Surly frame?
re: Recommendations/advice for bike build...msmootsiemartin
Oct 18, 2003 8:36 PM
I don't think you will need a chain tensioner with the Surly frames. The 1x1 and the Cross Check both have horizontal dropouts. If you are interested in the Cross Check as a single speed, check out Excel Sports build package with the Steamroller...they may substitute the Cross Check frame and build the entire bike for under a grand. I recently built a Surly 1x1 as a towny bike and just love it.

Good luck,

Single Speed Build Questions...NewDayNewWay
Oct 19, 2003 1:30 PM
Now that I'm building a single speed, would you guys mind providing some guidance/opinions on the following plans? Please keep in mind that this bike is for gravel roads and fairly tame single track...

Frame: Surly Crosscheck

Sizing? I ride a 58 cm Trek 2300, and with a Thompson no-set-back seatpost, it fits like a glove. I've got a 2" drop to the bars with 2 cm of spacers and 110 mm 7-degree stem. The key dimensions of a 56 cm CrossCheck match almost exactly the sizing of my 2300 (the TT and SO are virtually the same). The standard question... Should I go with the next size down? The 54 cm CrossCheck has a TT about 1 cm less. That doesn't bother me, and with the winter clothing, 1 cm less might be OK. And of course I could always run a 120 mm stem. The concern would be the spacer stack. Would I need a 4 cm spacer stack on this to get a 2" drop to the bars? And 2" for casual riding in the woods may be a little too much for me. So maybe go with the 56? Opinions?

Chain Rings and Cranks - These prices seem a little unbelievable for single speed parts! What do you guys typically do on this, buy a complete 105 or Ultegra or something else, take off the large chain ring, and put spacers under the bolts?

Hubs - I would like to run a flip-flop, and I might put a fixie on one side and a freewheel on the other, or do both sides as different size freewheels. Recommendations? Surly? I see that has Surly 1x1s with Mavic X221 rims.

It would seem that no dishing is needed for these wheels. So maybe I will build my own wheels!

Thanks all!
Single Speed Build Questions...pauly
Oct 20, 2003 6:37 AM
The Surly is a fine frame. If you want to get a little lighter/fancier, check out the Spot (also with horizontal drops).

The Surly hubs are great. I have built up both a free/free hub and a fixed/free hub. One on Mavic MA2's the other, MA3's. Not a bit of trouble with either. I'm doofus with a set of tools, so if I can do it anyone can. Read Sheldon Brown's website and have at it.

I have some older Sugino (110bcd) cranks on my SS and they work fine. Salsa "Standard" chaninrings are cheap, durable, and unramped, and they come in a lot of different sizes.

if youre not going to racectisevn
Oct 18, 2003 9:26 AM
get a surly. spend the $ you save on some good wheels, maybe salsa delgado rims on king hubs and a matching king hs. go with a 105/xt drivetrain if youre preference is shimano and sti. If youve got $ left over go with higher end cantis, maybe pauls or similair. you can build a pretty chi-chi crosscheck for waaay less than $1400.
Try this on for size, if you don't intend to race....GreenFan
Oct 18, 2003 5:46 PM
Pick up a used Trek XO1 with low miles...(I just happen to have one available), throw a couple of bucks into upgrading a few choice parts to Ultegra, pick up a smaller big ring from any one of a number of vendors made by TA Specialties for Shimano cranks (either a 45, 46, or 48 tooth if the stock 50 is too big) and've gotten through the majority of the project well under $1000 and have plenty left over for tires, tubes, clothes, food, etc...