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1st Build. Any suggestions

Hi all. Apologies if anyone read this on MTBE - posted this type of question there days ago with no reaction. Seems like a ghost town?


Been a keen cyclist for years until work and family commitments reduced my opportunities for a regular rideouts.

With the lockdown I have dusted down the old steed and been enjoying some good trails around where i live. To keep myself busy ive also been looking for a project - i've picked up an '05 or '06 (hard to tell which) Giant Trance frame.

Looking for some ideas folks. Frame and Fox Float rear shock are solid (if a bit tatty around the edges but not fussed with looks). I already have a XT 3x10 chainset, should be recieving a Saint BB, XT pods and front XT derailleur today from an online bike shop at decent prices and also have in the shed a set of handlebars and a stem but thats it -plan to fit them and pick up the other bits 2nd hand or new if a good price.

Advice i looking for is. What are the best value components - weight vs performance vs cost. If anyone has any idea what length of steerer i need for forks? - i know its a straight 1⅛ but the length of the tube is much bigger than my Cube HT . Forks im thinking Suntour Air Axion/Epicon etc 100-140mm. What headset should I look at - anyone recommend a decent headset etc i'd need. Brakes? It wont be the quickest or flashiest build but i hope to learn alot along the way.

I know I will be missing out lots and have not considered many things. Only yesterday I realised I wouldnt be able to fit my stem/bars and pods until Id bought a sey of forks and headset hahaha.

Any advice greatfully recieved. Thanks in advance


  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 822
    Suntour forks will do an ok job and will come with a decent length steerer tube which like most new forks are supplied to be cut down to an appropriate size to suit your preferred handlebar height using spacers.

    Can highly recommend a Brand X sealed bearing headset from Chain Reaction Cycles. I bought one as a replacement for a cheap caged bearing one originally fitted which didn't last long.

    The Brand X headset uses angular contact sealed bearings like the ones used on more expensive brands and are the best type to look for.

    I bought mine on sale for £12 and it was great and worth whatever price they are charging now, sale or not.

    Brake wise best value for performance would be Shimano Deore M6000 hydraulic brakes with servo wave levers and ice tech compatible caliper using finned pads and ice tech rotors should you wish to go that far? Standard pads and rotors will be adequate for most riders and terrain.

    If your not that fussed about brakes then a bargain set of Shimano hydraulic brakes can be bought very cheaply on EBay, for example would only cost around £40 if you shop around for bargains.

    Wouldn't advise any cheaper cable operated disc brakes because there no where near as good, not much cheaper and need constant fiddling as pads wear opposed to fit and forget hydraulic brakes. Enjoy your build project, good luck!
  • dadoc2001dadoc2001 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your advice @reaperactual48.

    Will most definitely look at the BrandX headset and will look at the Deore brakes. My trusty Cube hardtail has BR-445 and i find them perfectly adequate - just cant help myself looking at XT components haha! Ive had mechanical brakes on a Boardman Hybrid and they were fiddly from the outset so not something im interested in - know exactly where you are coming from!

    Idea is this is meant to be an inexpensive 2nd hand build. Im so excited to get started i keep looking at new parts because they are immediately available! Need to show patience......
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