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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello this is my first post on the forums, i just need some advice in regards to getting a HT, right now i have a FS iron horse desperado which is too big for me, its a 19.5 size frame so i want to get a 17" but riding it, i realized that i don't really need FS, the trails around here aren't THAT intense, and i would also like to use the bike to get around from time to time but the main reason would definately be for trail riding. I just want to get some opinions on which bikes to try out that come with good components. I am also interested in building my own, which would be reaally cool. Im in no rush to get one so buying parts over time wouldnt be a problem. I was looking at the LEADER 516H frames on their site. And i looked them up on this site and found A LOT of good reviews about the frame. So for now, that is what i am leaning towards. Any suggestions?
Oh, my budget would be 450-600. but id be willing to go a bit over it if i were to build a bike.
 

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Why not buy the frame you like,then swap the majority of the parts over from your FS and upgrade just the components that are worn,do not fit or are sub quality.Later as you upgrade other parts you can piece the FS back together with cheaper components enough to sell it.Seems like this would get you riding sooner,and cheaper initialy.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, i was leaning towards getting just a frame and swapping out the parts. For the same reason you mentioned about getting out there faster. BTW the IH that i have doesnt have stuff to drool over or anything, it hast manitou xct, i cant recall the disc brakes but it has discs nonetheless. But would you recommend any specific frame? Any preference you have in frames? Have you rode a Leader 516H or know of anyone that has. tnx for your input.
 

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I would not buy a Leader frame if I were you. I have only seen them on ebay and I don't know if I would trust the customer service if something went wrong. Have you looked at the Access frame from Performance bike? I bought one in 1998 (from Supergo) and I loved it. It was really light and stiff and performed awesome. Also check out Jenson, they have some great frames at closeout prices. I bought a 2006 Jamis Dakota Elite frame with carbon seat stays for $300 from Jenson. I love this frame, it is stiff for climbing but the carbon stays really soften things up on the bumps. It is what I would recommend, that is if you can deal with it being orange which I personally think looks great. The only bad part is that it weighs 3.99lbs for a 17". This is still light, but considering it is triple butted with carbon stays I would expect it to be much lighter.
 

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I have a leader 516h, and I have no regrets buying it. The frame is very well made. Its a beautiful frame. It feels better then any alum bike I have. If you get it, you will not be dissapointed. Customer service is great to. They are easy to get a hold of, and answer any question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, thanks to everyone for all the frames you've recomendded. Im down to either the 516h, they do have an actual site other than ebay and there seems to be no complains about their customer service or the frame itself for that matter.
http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/XC_Hardtail/product_125122.shtml

The other one that i'm looking at now is the jamis dakota elite, its 300 @ jenson so i think its the same one you have jsmith. i also like the orange, its an interesting color scheme, anyway thats besides the point.

The 516h is 150 and it weighs in at 3.6 lbs! It's also an 07'.
and the jamis is 300 weighing in at 3.99 almost 4 lbs! and its an 06'.

So idk! Ill have to think about this one for a while.:confused:
 

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poor leno,

I got my 17" Leader 516H frame from BlueSkyCycling. This thing is SWEET :thumbsup: Every time I take it out for a spin, it just feels better and better. No regrets here.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
made up my mind!

So i decided im going to go with the leader frame! The price and all the reviews helped a lot on the decision. But im actually selling my old bike, well...its already sold so i wont have any parts to switch over so ill be putting it together from scratch which should be exciting. Anyway, ill be ordering the frame directly from the leader store maybe next monday. I was wondering if any of you knew if i could just go to their location in San Diego and buy it there, i go to SD often and it'd be easier, plus there seems to be a mix up with the frame sizing so i figured it'd be best to go in person, not to mention i wouldnt be paying for shipping. So ill probably be back very often trying to get ideas of which fork, Crank, brakes etc etc to use. Thanks for the info. though, really helpful.
 

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What level are you planning on building up the frame? I toyed with building the Leader frame but build kits for "intermediate level" components just aren't there like in the road bike world. Seems that the kits are XT or X-9 and higher and having to individually pick parts for a Deore/LX or X-5/X-7 build - which gets expensive.
Also thought about getting a bikesdirect bike for parts and sell the frame, but the their parts in the build left a lot to be desired. Consider their $499 HT 700, advertised as an XT bike which has one XT component. While many manufacturers blend components, they usually don't drop down 2 levels. Likewise, noone would put a Dart2 shock on a true XT bike - Tora at a minimum. Who else uses Tektro mechanical disc brakes - forget Avid, Hayes, and Shimano that everyone else uses and usually hydraulic at the true XT level. Won't even go over the cranks, hubs and rims. It just wasn't worth it.

As I began pricing out the parts, I found it impossible to build cheaper than the very well equipted Ibex Alpine 650, or the similar priced and lesser equipted Cdale F5, Giant XTR2, or the GF Marlin disc. It's frustrating.
 

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poor leno,

A thread I started about my build: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=322403
In the end I made some changes and went with full X.9 drivetrain, XT Crank, Candy SL pedals, WTB Speed V saddle :cool:

Another Leader thread that has in some build pics and info: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=305990

Hope that helps with some component choices. Biggest thing you need to watch is the clamp size (31.8mm) and top pull for the front derailleur (low or high clamp is up to you), the size of the seat post (27.2mm), use a zero stack headset, bottom bracket size (68mm). Just about everything else is preference.

Cheers...

( edit: url for one of the threads I gave linked to page 2 and not at the beginning... corrected. )
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks a lot for the links Haouli, ill definately be looking over those a lot. Cof. geek man it looks sooo nice! You like motivated me even more than i already was, can't wait to at least get the frame itself!! Loving your bike man. Haouli, i was wondering why you chose the X-9, are they pricey?? Here is what im planning on getting so far:

Avid BB7's 160mm
for the wheels i was looking at the mavic crossride discs.
and panaracer fire XC tires.

Still not sure on shocks, Hbar, or crank....or shock, but idk, the shock will take me some time to get the cash for anyway.

Anyway, i'd appreciate any advice on what parts are a no no and which would go good with what.
Cof. geek, i was looking at the XT der. and i found quite a few of them named XT, which ones are good and which ones arent?
tnx
 

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poor leno,

I don't live in the US, so shipping can get expensive and returning stuff can be a pain. I was trying to get all the parts I needed from 1, max 2 online shops.

Was trying to make a decision on a rear derailleur in this thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=335654

For sure I wanted to use SRAM stuff, just was a matter of X.7 or X.9. In the end I just said to hell with it, little or no issues generally with the X.9 stuff,so I went with that.
From all indications the XT gear is pretty good. I don't think you can go wrong there. Year for year, I think the XT stuff is cheaper, but it seemed the X.9 stuff needed less adjusting between rides.
From all I have read, advice etc, the 516H frame was designed for a front fork with max travel of 100mm.

For sure you have the option of bargain hunting on parts etc. You will be very happy with that frame :thumbsup:

Cheers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah i think ill probably end up going with the X9's, even though they are pricier, id rather spend a little more money than having to adjust them over and over. Im confused about the low or high clamp option...what difference does it make? if any? another thing is the rear der. whats the diff. between the short/medium/long. i live in Orange County so luckily i wont have to deal with oversees shipping and whatever struggles that might cause. Should i get the trigger shifters or twist? the twist are cheaper but idunno, im fine with spending more money as long as the part will be reliable.
tnx
 
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