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Building a Clyde friendly bike...

1281 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  MaddSquirrel
Alright, so here is the deal... I'm 6'4, 300 lbs. I have a normal standover of about 21" on the last bike I rode, which was a 2007 smith and wesson bike, hardtail. I rode those for about 2 years (it was my job). The cockpit was a little cramped, but a longer stem would help. Here's the question. I have never ever built a bike. I would like to assemble one by myself, everything but the wheelset. I am looking at a 29er, hardtail. I have about $1k to spend, but can go up about $200 for improvements that are necessary. So, what components an tools do I need?

rear cassette
front chainring
brakes (hydraulic disc worth it?)
front fork (heard good things about the Reba, but for clydes?)
wheelset (any cheap and strong suggestions?)

I am very unfamiliar with bare 29er frames that are sub $450 in price. I can spend more over a longer period if I assemble a bike, as opposed to buying a complete. $200 a paycheck is much easier than $1000 off the bat. The big money items I forsee are frame and fork.

I will be moving to Washington state, and forsee rooty/rocky singletrack in my future. I will be crosstraining at the gym, hitting the stationary often. Hopefully, in the two months it takes to build the bike, I can drop some of the weight.

Also, tools! No idea. I think Park will be getting quite a few of my bucks.

Anything I missed? Suggestions?
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If I had $1K to spend on a HT 29er right now it would be the Motobecane Fantom Pro Excellent parts kit. I don't think anything come close for less than $1500 from the competition. You would need the 21in. Compared to what you could cobble together for $1000 piece by piece it is a far superior build kit.

As far as the tools go, for 90% of my wrenching all that is needed is metric allens and metric box end wrenches. I recommend Bondhus on the allens and craftsman on the box ends.
You may need to take the frame to your local bike mech. to have the head set pressed in and the BB installed if you don't want to spend the money on those tools but like AL29er said, the rest should be doable with simple hand tools. I have been toying around with building my own 29er too and I have found that with a decent fork and a cheap frame the cost will be up around $1200. That is not sourcing any parts from ebay or the like so it could be done for less possibly if you looked at other sources for parts. I was thinking about getting the bike suggested above and just taking it to my LBS for a good going over and tuning and then ride it the rest of the season and then upgrade the frame next year and just swap parts over. Still not sure what I am going to do yet.
I just got a21inch moto fantom pro 29er last week, I was going to get a cannandale but I would have had to replace the fork dart3 immediately (I’m 6'3 265). I may end up replacing the handle bars but everything else is great. I hit hard technical trails last week and the moto did fine. much better than my old trek. Ill give you w report in a couple of weeks, point being why replace the frame? you going to reduce the weight by 2 lbs?...that being said it is a good It is a good experience to build a bike from the ground up…then you know the bike!
For a cheap frame you can get the motobecane outcast frame at You can run this frame geared or single speed. $185.
Look at performance, they have an Access frame for $200 and look at pricepoint, they have the Razzo frame for around $200.
Selftest, I'm a similar size and weight.

I'm very interested to see what front fork you choose, especially whether it will be coil spring or air. I understand that for riders above 250 lbs, air forks can be problematic, but my understanding of this subject is very limited.

Good luck and thanks for starting this thread.
Selftest: I was in your position a few months ago. I decided to buy a decent frame and do a slow build-up. It turned into a fast build-up after I broke my other bike. (Mine's in "29ers" under "Post Pictures of your 29er", entry #47.)
This forum is great info, particularly this topic. I lurked a long time. Experienced Clydes have good advice. I picked a component at a time. I'd see which items people liked on the forums. I'd check the reviews (link at top of page), and I'd go shopping on eBay, craigslist, LBS, and local classified. Then I'd move to the next component.
I also gave Park Tools a bunch of my money, even though I already have a stackchest of basic auto tools. I like tools. Just getting to use the BB tools once made it all right.
PS: S&W bikes, huh? Are you retiring out here?
Here are a list of frames for you to check out:

On-One Inbred 29er (Pretty Cheap for a good frame)

Sette Razzo (toss up, but most like their 26er frames)

Soul Cycles Dillinger (I have an Icon and the Chad the owner is great, new generation is coming and the last gen. frames are about to go on sale, usually sub $200)

Banshee Paradox ($550, but Keith and Jay are great guys, more All Mountain style geometry)
Here is the link to the Soul Cycles Blog:

I love the dropout system and a Rear Maxle option is in the works.
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