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XC/trail HT build

fredyfredy Posts: 308
edited March 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hi all, I am planning to build up (or upgrade depending how you look at it) a bike for long distance XC, commuting and surrey hills trail riding. It's not needed for any big stuff or DH duties but I don’t want the bike the break after a crash or jump. My main reason for posting this topic is that I have never built a bike before and I know that there are a number of compatibility issues to look out for (I’m thinking mostly about the head set/forks and BB areas). So if I can give you my initial plan then I would greatly appreciate any pointers regarding its feasibility and also any tips or spec suggestions you may have.

Anyhoo, here's my spec list:
- Must be light for XC purposes
- Relatively tough for trail use
- Ugly/low value for theft proofing (this isn't too important)
- 120mm fork (not really fussed though tbh)
- Initial outlay will be about £800.

To start off, I have a Carrera fury '09 as a donor; my guess is that to lose most weight I should swap out the frame first. The on-one 456 carbon looks ideal as its light, not too expensive and comes with no decals so harder for thieves to sell!
Next on the list of things to swap would be the cranks as my current set (truvativ something-a-rather with powerspline BB) is heavy and unreliable and at a guess they probably don't even fit the on-one frame (random guess though, I’ve not checked yet). I don't really know what to get here, my plans is to search merlin cycles for anything in the sale that is light and reliable (deore XT perhaps).
For my final chunk of money I’m not sure whether to change my wheel set (Mavic xm317) or my forks (epicon 120mm), I don't even know if I have a choice regarding the fork. If I can get a better weight saving from wheels then I would be looking at superstar (open to suggestions) but if I have to change forks then the RS revelation looks like a good buy according to reviews. The rest of the bike i would upgrade as and when i can with the end goal weight of <12kg if possible.
So that’s my plan, is it feasible?
Thanks in advance!


  • I've done the build route myself as I wanted a xc/commuter bike, it's not a cheap route togo down. I've spent around £600-£700 for my Marin build & used a number of 2nd hand parts to keep the costs down and it isn't exactly light (27lb).
    Heres the spec of my Marin
    Frame : 2009 Marin Rocky Ridge (Small 15")Headset : Cane Creek S-3
    Forks : Rockshocks Recon Silver TK (100mm)
    Stem/Bars/Grips : FSA 110mm / Easton Monkey Bars / Kona Jack shoot
    Wheels/Tyres : Shimano XT m775 Hubs with WTB rims/ Schwalbe Land Cruisers 26x1.90 with Slime inner tubes
    Drive Train : Shimano Deore BB/Chainset M590
    Front Mech : Shimano XT M770Rear Mech : Shimano XT M771
    Shifters : Shimano Deore M530 (3x9)
    Cassette : Shimano HG50 With HG53 Chain & SRAM powerlinkBrakes : Shimano Deore M535 Hydraulic 160mm/180mm / RT67 SLX Centrelock Discs
    Pedals : Shimano M424
    SeatPost/Clamp/Seat : Easton Haven 400mm SeatPost/Hope Seat Clamp/ Charge Spoon Saddle

    Items in red were 2nd hand to cut the costs a little

    To be honest unless you want the experience of doing the build I would look to buy a ready made bike and keep your tinkering to maintenance times ;)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    My Modified Carrera Kraken (I started with a bare frame) weighs in at 11.5Kg with pedals and the bits currently on the bike have cost me a grand total of £415, very few parts were new, most are good used parts sourced through the classifieds or ebay. Last post in this thread shows the current status. Mine runs the same Truvative powerspline cranks and original carrera fit (4 years old) BB as yours!

    PM me if you want more details about how I managed the weight at that cost!

    I would suggest you strip the Fury down to indivual parts and see where it's worth spending the money, while a nice carbon frame is, well, nice, it may not be the best place to blow nearly half your budget, forks and chainset will give better bang for your buck and an all new frame will probably mean seatpost/clamp and front mech all need replacing.

    Keep your Fury DDM wheels (they aren't bad wheels) for some city jet or similar slick tyres for road duty.

    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • fredyfredy Posts: 308
    Thanks for the tips guys! 27lb is really quite light in my books, but 11.5kg is even better! I wouldn't be getting any road tyres though as i dont ride on any roads, i hate them! and also i have had just too many problems with my BB to want to keep it.
    My bike currently weighs 16.5kg and i imagine most of that would be in the frame. The 456 carbon is over a kilo lighter than most steel frames of the same price so i think i could make most weight saving here. i know its a lot of the budget but it has be better than saving the odd 100g here and there with £50 handle bars, seat posts and mechs, no?
    But like i said, i welcome the wisdom of the experienced! I'll create a spread sheet and see what i can do with the money, not that i can rememebr any of my math lectures but i'm sure there is some kind of Z-transform or integral that will just give me the answer, ha ha!
  • If you are still going for a build then take your time when looking for components. IMO while the 456 Carbon looks fantastic (it was a contender for me) I couldn't justify the price tag over a decent aluminium frame saving me nearly £200.

    Another great tip is to shop around and look for last years components, this can get you new parts for close to the price of 2nd hand newer models. Don't get too hung up on getting Deore XT components, get the right forks/wheels then look to see if you can stretch passed Deore to SLX. I've been running an SLX chainset/shifters on my Cube for the Passed 18months and Deore Chainset/Shifters on my Marin/Kona for the past 1year and all have worked faultlessly, both sets with over 1000miles on each 8)

    If you want some bling you can always upgrade at a later date when components start to wear
  • fredyfredy Posts: 308
    Good ideas, i like! i'm not after bling, i'm after a cheap looking bike for theft proofing but the XT is the only set of cranks i have found that publish a weight (i've not looked very hard though to be honest :oops: ).
    I'm not 100% set on the 456 frame, it's just the lightest i have found for the money so i am open to suggestions if you have any.
  • I forgot to weigh my Marin frame before I built it up (too excited). Most Alu frames should be light enough, If I remember rightly I only paid £70ish inc delivery for my Kona frame & about £100 for the Marin.
    You do take a risk buying without seeing though.

    Another good way to get a nice bike is to look for a 2nd hand bike that was bought last year and only used a couple of times, this way you get a ridable bike and then just upgrade the components you want/need to as you will already have a newish/lightish frame. This way you also get the oppertunity to try it for size/ride before you buy, building from scratch is a bit of an unknown unless you really study geometry setups etc
  • fredyfredy Posts: 308
    I stripped my carrera this weekend and weighed all the parts... with tescos value kitchen scales. Anyhoo here are the results:
    The entire bike weighs roughly 14kg, most of the weight is in the frame (2.85kg), wheels (2.6kg) and forks (1.9kg).
    The best value saving i can make is in the seat post by getting an exotic carbon post for £44 and saving me 312g.
    The biggest weight saving can be had in the frame by getting the 456 at £300 and a saving of 1.35kg.
    A significant saving can be made in the wheels too. By upgrading to a set of super star supperleggras i can save around 855g for <£200. Getting XT cranks will save me 382g and an exotic carbon bar will save almost 200g for £61.
    Overall i can get the weight down to about 11kg for £800. Thats a massive saving of 3kg! my canyon can't me more than a kg less than my carrera and that goes like stink so i can't imagine what a 3kg saving would be like. Even if i didn't get a new frame i could still save the best part of 2kg and for just £500. Not to shabby i think.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    I don't believe the frame or wheel weight, is that frame genuinely bare, my Kraken frame is 1.735Kg, still got the BB (300g), Headset (120g) etc etc? The heaviest ally frame I've weighed is 2.2Kg, likewise are wheels less discs,cassette and QR, my daughters Carrera front is 968g, would est rear at about 1100g max....cassettes weigh about 300g. Buying good used will jack up your value!

    MBUK recently did cranksets with weights, check out the reviews!

    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • fredyfredy Posts: 308
    I was using kitchen scales so all weights can be taken with a pinch of salt...
    The frame wasnt bare, it still had a break caliper and hose, head set bearings and front mech which i believe i subtracted from the frame wieght using online data. The wheels were iffy though, i did have to support them with external forces so they didnt fall off the scales but i tried my best. Again, the wheels were full wheels but i subtracted, disc, tyre and cassette weight from the measured value using online data. I didn't take into account the inner tubes however or rear QR.
    Hmmmm, so you don't think there is much of a weight saving to be had then?
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