Buy a Bike vs Build a Bike / Thoughts and first words

All of these bikes were built Frame-Up.

Buy a Bike vs Build a Bike / CX + MTB Bike Builds

Bicycle Selection Knowledge before Buying a Bike, or Building a Bike.

This page has Video's from experts on bike selection as well as 6 different Custom Frame-Up Builds


Not everyone is ready to build their own bike. Not every one has the skills, the tools, or the space to build a bike.  I was in that same situation many years ago. Loved bike riding, never took one apart. I started as a road cyclist in the 80's. Got my first MTB in the early 90's.  In the late 90's I was in the market for a new road bike, and I got a Bianchi Strada. 


With the large selection of bikes at Belmont Wheelworks, they only had one road cycle (Strada touring bike) with a flat handlebar. I bought it and instantly loved it. As a mountain biker, a road bike with a flat bar felt perfect.  No hunching over, and now I can carry a backpack. Can not carry anything on your back with Drop-bars. Never felt comfortable on drop bars, always feels like it is an unsafe riding position. Problem is, almost no one makes quality cross bikes with flat bars.  Hybrid bikes have flat bars, but they also have a 9 pound front fork that does nothing. So, in the mid 2000's I started to build my own bikes to have the components I want, and the fit I like. All of the bikes shown in the above photo were built Frame-Up.


There are many benefits to building your own bikes. All of my bikes use the same components. I can keep a couple spare items in stock and they can be used for any of my bikes.  All of my bikes have these same common components: Avid BB7 brakes, SRAM twist shifters, SRAM front/rear derailleurs, 9 Speed Chains, cassettes, and cranksets. SPD pedals, seats, bar-ends, brake levers, 100mm QR fronts, 135 QR rears (most bikes), tubeless rims / tires, and SRAM hubs. I have never had a SRAM free-hub failure.  Lots of other hubs have failed on me.


CX Bikes / Flat Bars vs Drop Bars: 

Drop Bars or Drop Down handle bars are on all modern road bikes. They put the cyclist into a more aerodynamic position on the bicycle which helps greatly with speed.  When your speed is over 18 mph wind resistance becomes an increasing issue. So road racers, long distance speed cycling, and general road cyclist can ride in the best position for max cycling efficiency.

  

Lets speak Truth here: Maybe 5% of the cycling population can ride above 18-20mph for the duration of the ride. The rest of us are in the 12 - 16 MPH category on the Road.  4 hours in the saddle and that average drops.  Even on a solid road bike, only a few times was my riding average above 18 mph.

CX riding average speed is 8 - 14 MPH on trails. 

So why the Drop-Bars?  You gain aerodynamic nothingness...


For the type of riding I have done in the last 30 years, when I am riding over 18 mph it is counted in minutes not hours. So, I am a person that would not benefit from having drop bars.  To me they are really uncomfortable, and I also think it increases rider fatigue when on the trails. Because the riders weight is shifted forward over the front wheel, it makes it hard to avoid obstacles, do small jumps. Braking is also affected because all your weight shifts even more forward for braking which causes the front wheel to squirm and wonder under your weight.


Flat Bars are on all mountain bikes for one main reason. Steering control.  Drop down bars have very poor steering and handling control.  Ever try to apply brakes on drop bars while on a bumpy trail?  You can almost break your wrist trying.

Flat bars give you strong braking control, steady steering control, and puts your body into a more up-right position which allows for better hill climbing, better trail vision, and better braking control.


All of my cross bikes have flat bars. I will never travel over 20 mph for extended times on the CX bikes, and I like the up-right riding position. When I say all my bikes, I have 4 CX bikes and 4 mountain bikes. I have a smaller group which are my regular riders. Each of my bikes have a specialty application. Each bike has a special time of year to ride, type of weather to conquer, or a special type of terrain to traverse.  Similar riding positions also make for a seamless transition from bike to bike.  I could be on 3 different bikes in one week during peak riding season.


 About the Following Mountain Bike Selection Video:

This is a really great video about the thoughts behind selecting your Mountain Bike.  Even though this video is 27.5+ specific, it is really a great thought analysis for what kind of riding you do, and what kind of bike you will need to make it happen.  

The thoughts described in this video apply to all bicycle selection. Just the size of the tires change.  I have tried to describe in words through various web page articles what this narrator does very well in this 11 minute video.

I agree with everything talked about in this video. Especially FAT BIKE comments and his Sidewall Comments on the Plus Tires and Fattie tires.  I have had most of my sidewall slices on the 27.5 Plus tires for exactly the same reasons. I also agree with the overall general conclusions of this Video. Fat Bikes and Plus-Bikes are for a special group of riders. Riders still learning the trails and how the bikes work. Wider Tires and these bigger bikes (tires) basically one-up your ability level because the bikes are more capable. However there is a cost,  if you carefully listen this narrator is telling advanced riders to stay away from these big tire bikes for lack of performance in speed, race, and endurance ride conditions. This narrator clearly but quietly states he does not prefer these bikes.


The Schwalbe Nobby Nic's are featured in this video and they think they solved the Sidewall issue for 3.0 tires, we will see.  See this link:  <3.0 Nobby Nic> tire review. 


Also below is a great video about Frame Geometry. Well narrated and easy to understand. Explained in detail is the (2) most important measurements you need to know for a great frame fit.

TRAIL BIKE Buyers Guide and Selections Thoughts Video

This is a really great video about the thoughts behind selecting your Mountain Bike.  Even though this video is 27.5+ specific, it is really a great thought analysis for what kind of riding you do, and what kind of bike you will need to make it happen.    


This video features the Nobby Nics, which I have just installed on my 27.5+ and have recently wrote a quick tire review.  <3.0 Nobby Nic Link>


Everything you need to know about Bicycle Geometry

20 Minute Video, everything you need to know and what is really important when making your assembled bicycle or bare frame selection.

The CX Ravager: A Bike built around the MAXXIS Tires

image140

Name: CX Ravager / A bike built around the Maxxis 40mm CX Tires

Every time I ride a bike with these tires on it, I am always impressed on the performance of these tires.  


These are the MAXXIS 40mm Ravager CX tires.


I have had this tire/rim combo installed on 3 other bikes. Over 600 miles of riding with this wheelset. I figured out that any frame that hosted this wheelset, that bike would become a Super-Bike.   Every time I took this wheelset on any technical trail system, I was always impressed on how well these tires perform. They always surprise me on what they can climb or travel on.  Great for Rock Gardens, Baby Head trails, muddy slippery climbs, dry steep climbs, wet steep climbs, fast twisty trails, loose rock trails, and just about any other type of terrain you can think of.


 I built this bike to host this MAXXIS Wheelset. 

This bike was designed to take maximum advantage of what these tires have to offer.  


Total build, this bike weighs in at 23 pounds with the SPD pedals installed. Front Chain-Ring is 46x36x20, Rear Cassette is  34x11.  This bike has the ability to climb any trail any MTB bike can, and probably do it faster. $330 Amazon China Carbon MTB Frame (my third one like it) 3.1 pounds, 142 through axle, internal cable routing, and It has fancy Green/Purple reflective paint that changes color at different angles. The installed Fully Rigid Front Fork by Carboncycles has over 6000 miles on it. It is from a recently retired frame. Most of this bike was built with repurposed components. I am very impressed with this fork. I have (3) bikes with this same type fork on them.  This bike also has the newest seat tech and seat-tube tech. Hopefully the combo will smooth out the bumps a little bit.

image141

MAXXIS Ravagers mounted on 27mm inside width tubeless rims

It is important to have a wide rim for these tires. These tires are mounted on 27mm inside width rims.  These wider rims allow the tire to have a square profile with the ground contact. Because I have a full surface tread contact with the ground , I can run these tires at 50 pounds air pressure. That is what makes them fast on climbs. 

The only CON for these tires is they will wear you down on a long ride.  They have a lot of road surface resistance. 

image142

MAXXIS 40mm CX Ravager

If you can look closely you will see there is a lot of knob damage on the outside sets of small knobs. These tires have 700 miles on them.  Most of this knob damage was on a nasty trail when the tires had less than 100 miles a couple of years ago. 

The much bigger side knobs on these Maxxis Ravagers is why this tire holds the trail like a full size mountain bike tire.

image143

Exotic Fully Rigid Carbon Fiber Fork

This fork has over 6000 grueling miles on it. I think it has another 6000 miles left in it. Carbon tubes, but has a steel crown, steel steer-tube, and steel dropouts. I have not seen any other fully rigid fork I would rather have on my bikes. I do not think I would feel safe with a fork that has a carbon fiber steer tube or crown.

image144

New Seat Technology

The Flex Seat.  The thin carbon casting flexes in the center of the seat position. It has about 3/4 of an inch of center seat flex travel. Does not sag, it is always flat until you hit a bump for the flex action to cushion. 

This is the first bike I have used one on.  It does work, it is strong. It is very lite.  I am not sure if it helps my ride.

 I know I don't hate it. If it helps with the bumps, then that is great. I have found I slide around on this seat a lot. Not sure at this moment if that helps my riding, or hinders it. Went on a long 35 mile ride, was kinda wishing the seat had a pad on it for that ride.

image145

New Seat Post Technology

This seat-post was a disaster when I got it. It did not work at all. Some of the moving parts inside of it were too tight tolerance.  Had a few other design issues too.  I did re-engineer the entire seat post to get it to perform the way it should. Over-all it has about 0.5" to 0.75 inches of travel over low frequency bumps. I can feel it working, and I have noticed a smoothness for the cracks in the roads.

 

NEW TECH INSIDE: Instead of a spring, this seat post has a 4" long column of squishy rubber.  As it compresses, the rate of compression changes and springs back softly.  It does not act like a Pogo Stick like many metal spring units.

It works great now. Out of the Box it was crap. Too many modifications need to be made to get it working.

image146

FLAT BAR vs DROP BAR Steering

 FLAT BARS belong on Cyclo-Cross bikes. 

No question about it. 

I have been riding CX bikes on rugged trails for over 15 years now.  

Drop Bars Suck, and Flat Bars are awesome for many reasons.


Drop Bars or Drop Down handle bars come stock on all modern Road Bikes and Cyclo-Cross / Gravel Bikes. They put the cyclist into a  more aerodynamic position on the bicycle which helps greatly with speed.   When your cycling speed is over 18 mph wind resistance becomes an increasing issue.  Drop bars put the road racers, long distance speed cyclist, gravel riders, and general road cyclist can ride in the best position for max cycling and wind efficiency. 


CX riding average speed is 8 - 14 MPH on trails. 

So why the Drop-Bars?  You gain aerodynamic nothingness...

Drop Bars increase rider fatigue when on the  trails. The riders weight is shifted forward over the front wheel, making it hard to avoid obstacles, and to pull up the wheel for small jumps. Braking is  also affected because all the riders weight shifts even more forward when braking.  This will cause the front wheel to squirm and slide while trying to stop. 


Flat Bars are on all mountain bikes for one main reason. Steering control.  Drop  down bars have very poor steering and handling control.  Ever try to  apply brakes on drop bars while on a bumpy trail?  You can almost break  your wrist trying.

Flat  bars give you strong braking control, steady steering control, and puts  your body into an up-right position which allows for better hill climbing, better trail vision, and better braking control.


Bike Frame Builds

image147

29" Titanium Cyclo-Cross Bike - Habanero (Frame $1100):

 Purpose: Long Mid-Summer Road Rides

WTB Exposure 34c Road Tires, 

100mm qr / 135mm qr

50/36/26 Triple Ring - 12/34 Cassette

Disk BB7 - SRAM shifting components

Flat Handlebars - X-Force Carbon fork

Frame = 3.0 pounds

23 Pounds fully loaded

Birthday 2005 

Frame Broke 2020. After 8000+ grueling miles 

Bike Usage: Long road rides with 40 - 100 mile range. Very fast, confident, and comfortable on the road. Disk Brakes and road hugging traction.

Will take you and your bike-packing gear across country. Has properly located equipment holes for the rear racks.

image148

29" Titanium Hard Tail Mountain Bike - Habanero (Frame $1100):

 Purpose: Advanced Level Mountain Biking:

AKA: Lynn Woods / Harold Parker / Kingdom Trails

WTB 2.3" Werewolf (front) -  100mm qr

WTB 2.25 Trail Boss (rear) 135mm qr

46/34/22 Triple Ring - 12/36 Cassette

Disk BB7 - SRAM shifting components

Flat Handlebars - dropper post - 

120mm travel MTB

28 Pounds fully loaded

Frame = 3.5 pounds (Extra Thick Tube version)

Birthday 2006 / >5,000 miles. Most of those miles were at Lynn Woods, and the steer tube broke. As a Titanium Frame bike, it lasted twice as many miles as any other sacrificed bike at the alter of Lynn Woods. 

Habanero Frames replaced it for free with a special order Thicker Tube Frame, rebuilt it in 2016, > 1500 miles since

Bike Usage: Tarzan MTB Rides >40 miles super technical / extended duration Rides.  Best bottom bracket clearance of all my bikes. Advanced Level Rock gardens, fast MTB downhills,  and super twisty trails with marginal traction moments.  This is my best Mountain Bike.

image149

27.5" Plus - Carbon Mountain Bike - Framed (Yellow Frame $900):

 Purpose: Advanced Rock Trails, 

down-hilling and any time traction is going to be limited (including wet/mud).

Schwalbe Nobby Nic's 3.0 front and rear.

36/24 Double Ring - 12/42 cassette

110mm x 15mm / 142mm x 12mm

Disk BB7 - SRAM shifting components 

Flat Handlebars - dropper post - 

140mm travel MTB

29 Pounds fully loaded

Frame = 3.0 pounds

Birthday 2015 / >1000 miles since

Bike Usage: Kingdom Trails, down hill parks, or the "technical-stuff" at Lynn Woods.  Advanced Level Rock gardens, fast MTB down-hilling, technical climbing when traction is limited, mud season, snow season, and super twisty wet trails with marginal traction moments.  This bike has better traction in wet/muddy conditions  because of the Nobby Nic's tires. Other 3.0 tiresI have tried never worked well in muddy / wet conditions. Typically fatter tire bikes don't like wet roots, have traction or over-steer issues.

CON: Unsatisfactory Bottom Bracket height even with 140mm fork. Also MAX rear tire width is 3.11", wider than that you will have frame rubbing.

image150

27.5" Hard Tail Bike Update (2020)

Ok, so I have owned this bike for about 6 years now. Been playing with the bike configuration a lot. In 2019 I put a mechanical dropper post in and I updated the front fork to a 140mm 110x15.  This bike has always been a pedal strike machine, the 140mm fork helped that just a little bit. But it was this latest  change I made that really changed my mind about this bike. This bike is finally fast and exciting which was something it was always lacking.


I have been swapping different 3.0" tires on and off this bike for a few years. I really liked the 3.0 WTB Rangers when I had them. The Knobby Nics were super great, never fast enough for me.  This latest change I went away from the 3.0" tire format.  Then I went to smaller rims and smaller wheelsets.

 In this photo, I have switched to the Vittoria Agarro 2.6" wheelset mounted on 35mm WTB KOM Rims. Saved over 0.5 pounds on each wheel too.


I think I finally found the correct tire rim combo for this bike.  While in the past with the 3.0" tires, the bike was always fun but never had the speed that I like.  I am also a long distance rider, and this bike would wear me down mostly from tire/trail resistance. Also known as traction. This is why 3.0 tires have a lot of traction, the price is paid in energy to spin them. 

All that has changed and I am very happy with this bike now. It is still a pedal strike machine but it has it's place in some of the parks here in Eastern Mass. See the Vittoria Agarro Tire review on the 27.5" Tire review guide page. This bike is a very aggressive climber, and I expect lots of fun in the rock gardens.

image151

29" Carbon Cyclo-Cross Bike - NASHBAR (Black Frame $400):

 Purpose: Road / Trails 

Long Distance Advanced Level Cyclo-Cross:

MAXIS 40c Rambler trail rated tires.

100mm qr / 135mm qr

48/34/24 Triple Ring - 12/36 cassette

Disk BB7 - SRAM shifting components

Flat Handlebars - SPD cleats - 

Fully Rigid - Exotic Carbon Fork

24 Pounds fully loaded

Frame = 2.9 Pounds

Birthday 2015 / >6500 miles

Retired 2020/ rear axle dropouts worn down.

Bike Usage: Any gravel trail or bike path. Single tracks, twisty technical trails... short of technical rock trails, or muddy wet trails.  Steering around larger obstacles is easy and fun.  This bike is very fast on the trails. This bike is meant to come off of the trails and transition to a fast road bike for extended duration trail / road riding. 

Swap on a pair of 40c Maxis Ravagers and this bike becomes a very formidable fully rigid mountain bike.  The climbing ability of this bike is off the scale. 

This bike accelerates up technical dirt hill climbs, where suspension bikes do not.

image152

29" Carbon Fully Rigid Mountain Bike - Amazon (Orange Frame $325):

Purpose: Advanced Trails, 

Advanced Level Cyclo-Cross:

WTB 2.3" Werewolf (front) - 100mm qr

WTB 2.25 Trail Boss (rear) 135mm qr

46/34/22 Triple Ring - 12/36 cassette

Disk BB7 - SRAM shifting components

Flat Handlebars - SPD cleats -  

Fully Rigid-Exotic Carbon Fork 

25 Pounds fully loaded

Frame = 2.3 pounds

Birthday 2018 / <1000 miles since

Bike Usage: Any gravel trail or bike path. Single tracks, twisty technical trails good for technical rock trails (except rock drops), good for muddy wet trails and climbs everything better than any other bike on the trails.  This bike is faster on the twisty singletrack than any other riders you are with.  Perfect for long distance technical Cyclo-Cross rides, and mountain bike rides, 

with limited road riding.  Very tough bike.

This bike kills it at Willowdale. BUMPS are Tons of fun...

image153

29" Carbon Hard-Tail Mountain Bike - Amazon June 2019 Build (Red Frame $330):

 Purpose: Advanced Trails, Advanced Level Mountain Biking / Rock Gardens / 

Extra Technical Rides
WTB 2.3" Breakout (front) - 15mm x 110mm

WTB 2.25 Trail Boss (rear) 12mm x 142mm
42/32/22 Triple Ring - 12/36 cassette
Disk BB7 - SRAM shifting components
Riser Handlebars - SPD cleats -  140mm Manitou
Dropper / 28 Pounds fully loaded
Frame = 2.3 pounds
Birthday 2019 / <100 miles since
Bike Usage: Lynn Woods / Harold Parker / Kingdom Trails Single tracks, twisty technical trails, down-hilling,  best for technical rock trails, good for muddy wet trails.
This bike is the fastest set of wheels I have ever taken on the Technicals  in Lynn Woods.  

The 140mm fork,  low pressure soft sidewall tires, and a plush cushy seat with 1-inch travel makes the entire ride feel like you are on a full suspension.  This bike climbs everything very easily, the fully rigid axles create a stiffness that is really noticeable.

(See this Bike Build and Wheel Build video's below)

$400 NASHBAR Carbon Frame Build (2015)

image154

$400 / 2.9 Pounds / 18 Inch / MTB Frame

First, there is no buyers remorse, this Frame Rocks.  It just needed some love.  The first few hundred miles of use, I only went on rough trails a few times. 

But when I did, the back rotor would be rubbing the pads by the end of the ride.  After a few times of this, I figured out the Axle Skewer slipped.      

The Rear Axle alignment would change when on very rugged trails. The QR Axle Skewers were not holding tight enough to the frame. The reason is because the Metal Alloy could not bite into the carbon Drop-Out.

image155

Carbon Material is Harder than you may think...

The Carbon Fiber is so strong, the Metal Alloy Axle Skewer could not bite into the Carbon material.     


Took my Dremel Tool and carved out a QR bolt seat on both the Cassette Side and the Brake Side Axle Drop-Outs.


Shown: Carbon Drop-Out after 1000 Miles of Use. Still no sign of the Axle Skewer biting into the Carbon. Just tooling marks from the Dremel. Note: The Derailleur Hanger has plenty of Teeth Marks from the Axle Skewer.

image156

All Better Now...

Does not look Pretty, but sure did the job.  The Axle stays in alignment even on the hardest trail rides since the modification. While the Derailleur  Hanger did not have an Axle - Skewer Slip Issue... I already had the Dremel out..so I could not resist.


Currently with over 3200 miles on this frame. It is SOLID. Very happy with this frame, but it did need it's minor adjustments.

Fully Rigid Mountain Bike (Carbon Build)

Why a Fully Rigid?

In the 2010's I became interested in riding a Fully Rigid Mountain Bike. My main squeeze on the trails has always been my 29er TI-Hardtail.  Never liked a Full Suspension bike, they never climb for me as well as a Hardtail. I also like how the bumps make the ride exciting. With the exception of fat-bikes, I do not know anyone that rides a Fully Rigid MTB.  Very few MFG's make them besides Surly.


Had a Fully Rigid Surly Karate Monkey from 2011 to 2015. Never could get that bike to move for me. It was slow, and heavy. I think the main reason it was slow was because it had bad geometry. 

The Surly KM was the first bike to be called a 29er.


Then starting in 2014, I was riding a Fully Rigid Fattie. I liked the connection to the trails without any suspension. Yikes, the tires were so heavy, and wicked bouncy. I tried many tires and rims to get the weight down, and quash the bounce.  I never liked the speed or the feel of a Fattie and in snow it is worse. 

As I said when they came out, Fat Bikes are just a passing Fad. 

I converted my Fat Bike to an E-Bike, and now I like it again.

(See the E-Bike Page)


When I started riding that Fattie,  I was also getting hooked on the speed of Cyclo-Cross bikes on the trails.  CX bikes have some trail restrictions because of the narrow tires. I wanted a fast fully rigid bike that can zoom down the rugged Single-tracks we have here in New England.  CX bikes do very well here, but there are times where I need to back off in corners on rougher terrain.  I knew the problem I was seeking to solve was in the tires. They are just not wide enough for some trail conditions.


This is why I wanted a Fully Rigid MTB.  I liked the Rigid Fattie  trail connection, but it was too slow and heavy (35 pounds). The CX bike is super light (11 pounds lighter) and the trail speed is much, much faster, but there are cautionary moments with the thin tires. 


Needed something from both worlds. 

 A typical 120mm front suspension fork weighs ~4.9 pounds.

Using a well built 1.1 pound Rigid Carbon Fork. I shed 3.8 pounds of weight off the front-end  

 Lost 2 pounds off the alloy frame via use of a Carbon Frame. Instead of Fattie Tires that weigh 7 pounds (fr) and 8 pounds (rr), these 2.3 MTB tubless are 4.5 pounds (fr) and 5.5 pound (rr).

A 2.5 pound difference each tire..  

Total ~11 pounds weight saved


Without any suspension, I put a lot of trust for the traction and trail tracking ability into the tires. As I state many times throughout this website, Tires make or break your bike. Tire selection is the most  important consideration on a Fully Rigid MTB.  


Finished Product:

This bike turned out to be a very capable trail machine. Very happy with this type of bike for trail riding. I use this bike very often. It is now my first bike of choice for the CX 39 Mile Boston to Salem Ride. I will use this fully rigid MTB bike  in place of my CX bike when I feel the trails will be tricky. 


Initially I intended to make this bike a Single-Speed. (even shown in the photos) Like so many of the other bikes I own, most of them also started out as Single-Speeds.  For over 2 weeks I was playing with the front chain-ring (1x sys) to find the right gear for me. Went as high as a 46 Crank Gear, and this bike with these 2.3" MTB tires did a constant 19mph on the road. But with a 12x36t on the back, could not climb much.


Tried a 32 Crank Gear on the front, and climbing was great, not the super steep stuff, but it was very slow on the road. Barely past 13mph. With a 36t front ring, I found a great balance of high end road speed and good climbing ability.  


The Final Configuration: 

After messing around with Fixed gear, and a 2x system, went to a 3x system and totally love this bike now. It will climb the steepest of hills and maintain a pace of 20 mph on the road or the trail. 


Just to make clear... This bike climbs EVERYTHING.

Front: 22/34/46t 

Rear: 12/36t


If a MTB Bike is fast on the road, it usually means it will be fast on Hard-Packed trails.  This Bike is VERY FAST.  This bike ripped up a constant 18.5mph on a 3 mile straight dirt trail that I know very well. It also tracks twisty single-tracks like it is on rails. 


To answer the initial question... Why a Fully Rigid? Because they are fast, fast, fast. The feel of a fully rigid is also a great experience. There is a learning curve to get the rhythm  down. Once you learn to glide the over the bumps instead of riding on them, you will really be impressed.


Can almost promise if you get a Fully Rigid, it will become your favorite bike too. Having a MTB that weighs in under <25 pounds is a bonus you can feel, and these bikes accelerate quickly.


Tech:  

Frame: Carbon 2.3 Pounds 18inch MTB

Fork: Exotic 29er Rigid Carbon Fork / Alloy Crown (I do not trust Carbon Crowns)

Rims: WTB KOM 29i 29er (weighs same as carbon) 

WTB Weirwolf 2.5 Tubeless (front)

WTB Trail Boss 2.3 Tubeless (rear)

12x36t x 22/34/46t w/SRAM 1:1 long-cage

BB7 Brake-Set

image157

Building The Red Barron / $330 Carbon Frame

Most of the basics and cautions while building your own bike, Frame-Up...!

See the Wheel Building Video below for the building of the Wheelset for this bike below.

Video: Carbon Flex Fork vs Fox

An honest comparison between new and current Trail Forks.

Tubeless Wheel Building Video

Basics of Wheel Building. For any folks that want to dip into building your own wheel. 

 

Front:  29" WTB KOM i29 Rim / WTB Breakout 2.3 /  SRAM 15x110 Hub / 4.0 pounds with 180mm rotor.

Rear:  29" WTB KOM i29 Rim / WTB Breakout 2.3 /  SRAM 12x142 Hub / 12-36 cassette


With no screw-ups, it takes about an hour to build a wheel. Screw-ups happen often. Forgot to show the cross-lacing.  Spokes are very flexible, you will need to gently weave and bend the last 16 spokes to get them in.




Frame Broke (Video)

All bikes break.  This video shows the sudden failures of aluminum and carbon-fiber frames.  Check your frames frequently for any signs of cracks or damage.

Never use a Carbon Crown Fork.