Ragley BigWig Custom Build | Amanda's Steel Hardtail V2

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Back in February I bought my first hardtail frame; a Ragley Piglet. Steel, 130mm travel, 650b, green… and I LOVED IT. I didn’t have any particular reason for choosing steel, I just wanted it. It turns out steel is heavy, much heavier than the carbon test bikes I have access to. So when it came to replacing my stolen bike I had an opportunity to make new choices. Longer travel? Lighter? A nicer colour..?

I went for blue. That’s about all that’s changed really… oh, and I’m now on a 29er. I’m only a few rides in, but the big wheels seem to be much more forgiving and I’m riding a lot faster than I used to. So my soft spot for Ragleys is undeniable, and I’d like to share the build with you all.

As with the Piglet, I haven’t been fussy with the build and have been very grateful for anything donated – especially refurbished parts. I’ve accidentally ended up with one of the nicest looking bikes in the office…

Ragley BigWig Custom Build 2019

  • Price: £550.00 frame only
  • From: Hotlines
ragley bigwig custom build
Blue steel

One of the main things I love about this frame is the straight line from the top tube down to the rear axle, it’s just so neat. The colour looks great no matter how dirty the bike is, and I think a metallic paint job on thin tubes highlights the shape of the frame.

Cane Creek Helm Air 29 [Refurb]

ragley bigwig custom build
When refurbished forks look better than some new ones

These forks were a gift from Extra UK, and aside from a few chips in the paint they look and feel brand new. I’ve never ridden Helms before, and I’m ashamed to admit it took me a few minutes to figure out how the axle system works. So, a great opportunity to try something new! Bonus: they suit the bike.

RRP ProGuard

ragley bigwig custom build
Calderdale is reet muddy

This mudguard is comically large, but I feel like I couldn’t ride without it now I’ve experienced full mudguarding. It’s a really sturdy fit, too, which means there’s no flappy noises or creaks. I doubt I would ever have bought one of these, but if anything happens to it I absolutely will be replacing it like-for-like.

Crank Bros Highline 7 Seatpost

Easy to install (with special thanks to the illustrated instructions), fast, not too violent, has a really easy to use saddle clamp with a good range of angle adjustment, and Crank Bros do different coloured lever grip stickers to suit most bike colours. So far, I cannot fault this seatpost. It’s so reliable! I do prefer mechanical seatposts.

SRAM G2 Ultimate Brakes 🌈

  • Price: £265.00
  • From: SRAM

Would I have paid extra for rainbow bolts? Nope. Would I buy them in the future? YES. Look at them! It’s such a small detail, but looking down and seeing rainbow bolts makes me smile. Partly in a ‘who do I think I am’ way, but mostly because they suit the frame and they’re something I never thought I’d have. (Thank you Alex).

The brakes themselves have won Hannah’s Editors’ Choice 2019, and I couldn’t agree more. The dual adjustment means I can set each one up exactly how I want it, and having broken my right index finger once upon a time I do have a very particular preference with bite point and lever reach. The carbon levers can go towards compensating for the weight of a steel frame…

SRAM GX Eagle 1 x 12 Drivetrain

  • Price: £405.99
  • From: SRAM

Ross set my gears up for me, because I’m really terrible at indexing. I’ve taken this poor bike on the most disgusting yomp through a sandy, muddy, heathery field that should have left me skipping gears at the very least, but it didn’t. I’ve not owned a SRAM groupset before and I’m happy with it so far. Shifting seems really smooth and responsive.

DT Swiss E1900 Wheels [Refurb]

I like learning new things, and this is the first set of wheels I’ve had with centre lock. It only took a few minutes of ‘ehh?’ in the workshop.

Cane Creek Hellbender 70 Headset

ragley bigwig custom build

“My headset has a better name than yours.” The Hellbender is Cane Creek’s new tier of component, bridging the gap between the entry-level Forty and the super-high-end 110 series of headsets.

Wolf Tooth Bar Kit One

I have this tool system on test, and it’s already proved to be extremely useful only a few rides in. I thought it might be a bit gimmicky, but the tools are easy to access and they’re really nice to use. I dropped my bike on tarmac when taking photos of it, and there’s a tiny scratch on the bar end, so they pass the impact test. I’m also really glad I can use my old Vans waffle flange grips.

Timber! Bell

ragley bigwig custom build
No more shouting ‘RING RING’ at the canal bridges

These bells are brilliant. I always found it hard to judge when you should ring your bell – too soon and it either goes unheard or you make people stand and wait for you. Too late and you scare them and they potentially fall into the canal. So much anxiety! This is the perfect solution, and you also have a cowbell at the ready for any impromptu heckling.

Thank you to everyone that helped me rebuild a hardtail, here’s to endless photos of my bike in nice places.

ragley bigwig custom build

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