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Hey everyone, I am looking to make the transition to a Full Suspension bike and was contemplating the build vs. buy route. I have a friend who works at a bike shop that can assist me if I decide to buy individual components and build the bike.

So I currently ride a 1999 GT avalanche, and I plan to scrap the newer parts on it if I decide to build a bike. Some useful parts I would use from this old bike would be:

1. Specialized Phenom Seat
2. Thompson Seat Post and Stem
3. Easton EA50 Bars w/ Oury Grips
4. BB7 Front Disc Brake (185mm) with Speed Dial 7 Lever
5. Mavic Crossride Front Wheel with Kenda Nevegal Tires Front and Back
6. Crank Bros Egg Beater Pedals

I can get a Shimano XT M770 Kit for under $500 and that would take care of the drive train and then I would have want to buy something like a Santa Cruz Heckler frame for around $800, Fox 32 Talas for $650 and then I need a rear disc wheel for around $100-200 and rear disc brakes.

The total amount spent on the XT Heckler and components would then be approximately $2000-2200.

At this price, would it be wiser to buy a complete bike in this range, or will I have to sacrifice certain parts if I pay $2000-2500.

Thanks for your replies
 

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My angle on "new" bikes is to buy and buy used. Freshly built bikes can have some kinks that take time to work out. I bought my last bike (07 Stumpy) and it had been a summer rental from a shop in Telluride. I bought it over a year ago and it has been a champ. I bought it for $1200 and the same bike is going for $1200 on ebay over a year later. FYI - Moab blows out their rental line at the end of every spring, which is their busy season.
 

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I think building your own bike will almost always give you a better deal. It seems that even some of the highest priced bikes from Gary Fisher, Giant, Trek, Specialized, etc, seem to have at least one or two junky components on the bike. By building yourself, you should be able to save money and get the exact bike you want.

This gets even more cost effective if you either buy used or are patient and scope out deals on ebay or craigslist. I bought almost all of my components (all XT stuff) via ebay or online retailers. A good chunk of the items were simply take-off items from brand new bikes. For example, I got a brand new (take-off) 09 XT rear derailleur (shadow, long cage) for under $50. I also got the brand new 09 XT shifters and cables for under $50,, and a brand new (take-off) 2008 XT cassette for $21. There are killer deals out there if you are patient.

Not only that, but if you build it yourself, you will be FAR more educated and knowledgeable about your bike. If you have the tools and know-how, it should be a great experience.

Guy Cool makes a good point as well. A lot of the time, bike shops get rid of their lighty-used demo bikes for great deals.
 

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If you are up for cost saving suggestions I would suggest looking at a Fox 32 Vanilla R or RLC (I have the 32Van RLC and love the coil so I may be biased) they can be had for the 400-500 range. It isn't adjustable travel but with a heckler you are probably at the lower end of it's suspension spectrum with 140mm. Also you could pick up this http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/15...ts-135-Build-Kits/Sram-X.9-Disc-Build-Kit.htm It does come with a few parts you have but you could talk with pricepoint and maybe they could give you credit for some of the parts as trade in for a fork.

But if you can get the XT for 500 and a wheel for 100 you are in a better position, also I don't know how pricepoint handles the package deals and if you can break apart the package to trade for credit. If all else fails you can sell the parts to fund a fork or better rear wheel, also doesn't hurt to have some spares laying around.

800 + 679 + 500 = ~1979 +/- 100 which is below the 2000 line but now incredibly better.

I would build if you can afford it, you will enjoy the bike more and be better capable of taking care of minor repairs and tuning.
 
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