Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

A confused dad :(

richieTrichieT Posts: 2
edited October 2013 in MTB beginners
Hi peeps
I am new so sorry if this should be posted elsewhere however I have a bit of a problem and am seeking advice.
I have always ridden my trusty Raleigh Max ;) to take my dogs for a run everyday and recently my son who is nearly 15 has started to be obsessed with MTB however I don't really know anything lol
He has been banging on for months about building up his own bike and to my absolute horror he has even rocked up at home yest with the frame he wants to use and I heard the dreaded words........ can we start building my bike. He says it will be good father - son time however that translates to ... this is gunna cost ya.
Now I am fully aware he has much more knowledge then me on the mtb topic as apparently my Raleigh max should have been on the arc according to him, however I am the one with the garage full of tools and the money he will be using to build his 'epic' bike.
What I would like to know is what places can I get parts from etc that are good and are there any places/makes to stay clear of?
The bare frame he has acquired is a voodoo hoodo I believe?
Does anyone have any links to info I can read about what parts will fit etc?
I have done some reading but its all so confusing nowerdays with suspension and disc breaks etc etc and tbh I don't want to look like a tool infront of my son so any advice as to what parts etc I can recommend he use will not only make me look good but also stop me from falling for the ...... oh these £500+ wheels are the only ones thatll fit this bike dad lol
I am obviously happy that he is a keen mtb'r however I don't want this build to be totally unrealistically expensive as this will be his first proper mtb (he currently rides one we purchased from ebay)
A list of parts or links covering what will be needed/recommended would be great.
Sorry for going on a bit but now the frame is sat in his room I am guessing we have to start soon so any advice would be great.

Many Thanks



  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    Simplest route is to swap as much as possible from the current bike onto the new one. Will probably need new cables at a minimum. After that it's a case of spending what your budget/mind finds reasonable. Ebay can be a good source.
    What was wrong with the current bike?
    On top of this, you may find that despite having lots of tools you will need more specialised ones to put the bike together.
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I often think it would be easier to negotiate with terrorists !

    It is normally cheaper to buy a new bike than buy the bits to build your own. Buying a good quality bike second hand will also save money as will checking out the sales of 2013 bikes currently on at the moment.Do you have a budget in mind ?

    If your son is still growing a fair bit this may end up being more of a stop gap bike until he is fully grown but it is good he is interested in mountain biking as he will get fit and learn mechanical skills. You could suggest he gets a full bike and then spends some time stripping it down and upgrading it a bit at a time. This is how I learnt and it is cheaper / less risky. You can get fairly cheap bike tool sets which will do most jobs and park tools have various video's you can watch about installing, tweaking and replacing compenents.

    See what you think and people on here can suggest suitable bikes etc for your budget and needs ;)
  • zulu12zulu12 Posts: 16
    Welcome to the asylum!!! You don't have to go stupid expensive to put together a decent bike. The sizing on components is largely universal but always check first. There is a thriving 2nd hand market which means you can get top spec stuff in reasonable condition for a fraction of the new price, try pinkbike & ebay, there are a number of facebook pages as well. Be on your guard though, the usual rules apply, if its too good to be true then it probably isn't.

    In terms of technical advice/assistance there is plenty on this forum along with a number of forums you can visit which will help.(just a tip when visiting the forums, do a search of their topics/subjects for what you are looking for 9 times out of ten its been covered previously) If all else fails your local bike shop should be able to help, I wouldn't rush to Halfords though. Get down to the trail centres as well and speak to the locals, they will point you in the right direction.

    Good luck, hope it goes well & keep us posted on the build.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    The important factors that are going to affect what parts fit your son's new frame are:

    1. Dropouts (the two holes where the rear axle mounts into the frame).
    2. Bottom bracket shell (the bit where the pedal cranks pass through the frame) You will need to source a bottom bracket to fit the shell size and thread (if any), as well as the cranks you want to fit.
    3. Headtube (the tube at the very front of the frame, that houses the headset (bearings that hold the fork in place)) - you'll need to source a headset that fits the headtube and the forks that you choose.

    For each of the above, there are several current "standards" that different frames use depending on their intended use, manufacturer and year of manufacture.

    The best thing you can do is get your son to find out what year Hoodoo it is and the kindly folks here should be able to tell you what standard each of the above is. Then you can work out what parts (if any) you have that can be used, and what you need to find.
  • ... -12-46194/
    That links to bikeradar review of the bike . £ 500 for a complete bike new , certainly don't want to go over the top building it up .
    Wheels , drivetrain , brakes , handlebar , saddle seatpost , tyres, fork they soon add up.

    Scour second hand , including classified here . Be firm on budget . Occasionally get deals on groupsets of gear .e.g just examples of what is included , as you see it is not cheap . Buying a ready built bike is often far cheaper .
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Best bet is to buy a local bike that is cheap with a beaten up frame, swap over that which suites (do a little homework first) and then top up the rest from the classifieds and ebay/gumtree.

    I did this with my bike, link in my sig, first iteration it was on cable discs, cheap wheels and forks, but rode pretty well, that cost about £250 to get rolling (inc the frame at about £35).
  • Buying a new bike can be cheaper. But, it is a lot more satisfying building a bike. Also, if you and your son build it you will know how to replace/ maintain parts if they start going wrong. As said above scour eBay and classified, there are some bargains to be had.
  • What is he currently riding? Just because it came from ebay doesn't mean it isn't a proper MTB, and even if it isn't many of the parts may be transferable till you can upgrade them. (Bars, stem, seat, seatpost, possibly bottom bracket and cranks). I'm guessing it isn't disc brakes in which case the wheels won't transfer. Nothing wrong with rim brakes - but there's nothing wrong with cocoa and a cardie - doesn't mean a 15 year old will like them..

    Pretty sure the hoodoo will take a 1 1/8inch fork steerer which are pretty common as till about 2 years ago that was pretty much the only standard. It will also probably be the biggest single expense on this build - and the thing that will affect proper MTBing the most. Anything with that steerer size from rockshox, fox or marzocchi will prob be ok for the job. Obviously they have high and low end stuff with priced to match. Check what the max travel fork you can fit is - i would guess 120mm. i would imagine a 15 yr old will be wanting to fit 200mm travel monsters on it! Longer isnt nevessarily better - it is for a different job. 100mm travel is great for general XC riding. 120-130mm for stuff a bit bigger - makes uphill harder and downhill easier as well as weighing more. Generally suntour forks found on cheaper bikes are poor (and hence in abundance on ebay after upgrading)

    Bars come in 2 sizes, although 31.8mm (oversize) are probably the most common, so your stem needs to match the bars and the steerer tube on The fork (although you can get a shim you are better buying right in the first place).

    Front derailleurs come with different size bands depending on the seat tube diameter (and other methods of attachment too) and are top pull or bottom pull depending where the cable routes. Rear derailleurs are pretty straightforward, SRAM and shimano are both fine for gears - if you are a novice best advice is not to mix and match though, use one or the other throughout for shifters and derailleurs, different models from the same brand should be fine. Ie SRAM x7 shifters with an x9 derailleur

    Seat posts and collars (if not on the frame) come in a variety of sizes which need to match the frame, saddles, grips are pretty universal.

    Hydraulic disc brakes fill many with dread - but aren't that scary. There are 2 fitting standards - post and IS. Adapters from one to another cost peanuts so don't worry too much about that. The fluid they run on differs with brands (hydraulic fluid or mineral oil)

    Bottom brackets come in 2 sizes and many different types - which need to match the cranks. Wheels come in more sizes now but 26" will be by far the most common, which is what you need. SRAM and shimano are completely interchangeable for cassettes and freewheels.

    Depending what is on the frame, you will need a headset press (and remover if a damaged one is there). A tool to fit the bottom bracket (different depending on the type). If everything you buy is working that should see you through - other wise cone spanners for wheels, chain whip, cassette tool, bleed kit specific to brakes spring immediately to mind.

    I would be amazed if you build that piecemeal for less than the bike cost new! It was the best budget buy at the time (for quite a while) in one of the mags, so worth building. But I would highly recommend scavenging the parts from another bike to build it.

    All of the above is sweeping generalisation on the whole (you could fill a whole book on the subject). Expensive as it may be don't forget to factor the quality time into the cost - your lad actually has a point there. And if he continues with his MTBing he will have learnt a lot of valuable maintenance skills that will save him a ton of cash in the future, as well as potential hardship while stranded with a mechanical in the middle of nowhere that is actually easy to fix...
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