Andi’s purposely alternative, accidentally purple Pole Taival build

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In a world where the usual bike parts are as rare as hen’s teeth, Andi set out to see if he could build a bike using parts from the less obvious suspects.

You probably know as well as we do that getting hold of parts isn’t easy. Thanks to the pandemic, ships in canals, Brexit and various other factors it’s now more difficult to get components to build a shiny new ride than ever.

But surely there must be a way to get your new bike fix? What if instead of going with the tried and tested you picked components from lesser-known brands? Andi decided to give it a go, in fact, he has another similar build in the process (watch this space) using a selection of parts from brands that may not instantly spring to mind, plus a few items found in the shed.

While it was my intention to chose alternative components, it was never my intention to build the most purple bike I have ever owned, but once the cascade of purple began it was hard to stop! Below you’ll enjoy an FGF style list of the parts I used to build this big purple Pole with a few first impressions and details of each component. Keep your eyes peeled for reviews on most of this kit, and if you have any questions jump to the comments section!

Pole Taival Frame

  • Price: €725.81 frame only
  • From: Pole
pole taival build
The purple combo was not planned!

I ordered this Pole Taival frame in early 2021. I actually don’t remember when I ordered and paid for this frame but it took around 3 months for it to arrive. I’ve no idea why it took so long, the tracking stopped after Hellsinki so either it went for a trip or Brexit held it up, either way it’s here now. The time between ordering the Taival and receiving it was so long that I had actually forgotten that I had chosen the purple frame and expected to open the box and see a Polar Blue bike.

I opted for the medium-sized bike which is actually massive!! This medium bike has a monster reach of 480mm!! It also has a rather long headtube meaning that I had to switch the raised headset top cap included with the frame for a flat one. What’s noteworthy about the Pole Taival frame is that the headset was pressed in out of the box which was very nice (as I still haven’t found my bearing press!).

SR Suntour Durolux R2C2 Fork

Yes, that’s not the right brake mount but it’s all I could find…

The Durolux has been hanging around my shed and spending a little on numerous bikes over the past few months. I tested this fork last year along with its matching TriAir rear shock and was blown away by the performance of each. The Durolux gets all the adjustments you would expect from a high-performance suspension fork but with a retail price below the competition. My fork is actually a 170mm model, 10mm more than the Pole is designed for, but I won’t tell them if you don’t. On top of all the bells and whistles, the smooth travel and the stiff chassis, the Durolux uses sealed cartridges meaning fixing your fork takes minutes.

Pro Kor Dropper Post

Pro is Shimano’s brand for components like bars, stems, saddles and dropper posts, and although it is a Shimano brand you don’t really get to see it all that often. In all honesty, the only reason this dropper is on the Pole is that it’s the only 30.9mm dropper I have. The action is good, but I’m not very impressed with the quality of the bolts or the design of the seat clamp. Pro has designed the clamp to use a single bolt that clamps on the saddle rails horizontally, it’s actually a great idea just the implementation needs work. The bolt used to clamp the rails is made of a soft material and to get it to the right level of torque to hold the saddle in place caused it to deform. I swapped the bolt to something of a higher quality but even at the correct torque, the saddle can still shift if you land on it.

Nukeproof Horizon Wheelset

  • Price: £249.99 rear £149.99 front
  • From: Nukeproof

I didn’t realise just how much Nukeproof kit is on this bike, but that suits me fine as I really rate it. The Horizon wheelset came with a Shimano HG freehub making it perfect for use with the Microshift Advent X 10-speed cassette.

Granite Designs Stash

I like to use the Granite Design Stash tool because it replaces the star nut in the fork steerer while also giving you a neat little trail tool to use at the same time. I have no issue using star nuts except I can never find a spare one when I need it, and like my bearing press, I can’t find the tool to fit them (and I don’t want to do a Sam Pilgrim). Granite also offers the Stash tool with an expanding wedge design too. You can read my review of the Granite Stash Tool here.

SDG Bel Air Saddle

Ok this is where the accidentally purple comes into play. SDG launched the Bel Air 3 last year and at the launch, Silverfish sent me a black saddle and this black and purple model. The black saddle was easy to match with any bike, but this version has been sat around waiting for the perfect build. The Bel Air 3 is a really comfy saddle too which is perfect for hardtails and long climbs!

Fovno CNC Phantom Chainset

  • Price: TBC
  • From: Aliexpress

Normally I would choose a Shimano or SRAM chainset for a build, neither is very flashy but they’re reliable and well priced. But keeping with the spirit of this alternative build, and because I probably can’t find anything else, I’ve fitted a Chinese made chainset. I met the guys at Fovno at Eurobike one year where they showed a Microspline freehub for Hope hubs before Hope had. The company makes various parts under a bunch of brand names including this rather pretty CNC chainset. The Phantom chainset has a 30mm axle and comes with the BB. In the packaging comes a direct mount chainring, but for my build I went for the optional spider and 104BCD ring.

Dekas narrow wide chainring

  • Price: TBC
  • From: Aliexpress

Dekas is part of the Fovno family and is the brand name used for their chainrings, and other parts including tools. When they sent their CNC chainset to me they also included a bunch of chainrings in various colours including purple. It would have been rude not to fit the 32t narrow-wide ring to my Pole.

Nukeproof chain guide

At this point, purple was taking over the build and I was just going with the flow so when I needed a chain device I requested this colour. Nukeproof ships their chain guides with all the necessary bolts and washers to get it perfectly lined up. It’s a simple design but it’s very effective in keeping your chain on in the rough stuff.

Microshift Advent X Drivetrain

For years if you wanted a drivetrain then your options were pretty much limited to Shimano or SRAM, of course, if you go further back there were more options, but in recent years that was pretty much it. But more recently we’re seeing other makers move into the drivetrain world. Box, Sunrace, TRP and Microshift all offer mountain bike drivetrain alternatives, and at a time where SRAM and Shimano aren’t so easy to find this is good news. The Advent X is MicroShifts 1 x 10 wide-range drivetrain, and the brand produces everything from the cassette, to the shifter and rear mech. It’s affordable too like the whole drivetrain can be purchased for less than a GX cassette! Watch out for a review in the next few weeks.

Tyres

  • Price: Top Secret
  • From: Top Secret

As you can see my build certainly has tyres, but I can’t tell you anything about them at the moment. Stay tuned!

Shimano XT 2 piston brakes

  • Price: Free(ish)
  • From: My Shed

In an ideal world, I would have a pair of 4 piston brakes on this bruiser, but I had this set of 2 piston XT sat in the shed and it would be a shame not to use them. Although they have just 2 pistons each, they do a good job of grabbing hold of the 203mm rotors, though I would like to switch the organic pads out to some sintered for a little more bite.

Nukeproof Horizon Purple Bar and Stem:

  • Price: Bar £64.99 Stem £69.99
  • From: Nukeproof

Sometime last year, I think, Nukeproof released a bunch of purple kit. I’ve used this bar and stem combo on a few bikes, but it’s not until this build that it looks spot on. I mean just look at that purple front end! Both the bar and stem are beautifully well made, well finished and super reliable. It might not have the same bling appeal as other brands, but if it was my money I’d be looking through the Nukeproof catalogue!

Nukeproof Horizon Sam Hill Pro Pedals

When I asked for my chain guide I explained to the guys at Nukeproof that I was building a big purple bike. They obviously thought I needed more purple so sent out a fresh set of Sam Hill Pro Horizon pedals too. I’m not going to say too much about these pedal, but ask myself, Amanda and Ross which pedals we run and … well .. I bet you can guess the answer.

SDG Thrice Grips

The Thrice grip from SDG has a dual-density design and oval profile, they also use a single lock-on clamp meaning more of the grip is actually useable. The inner core is firm for stabilisation while the outer is made of a really comfortable compound that absorbs shocks really well. They come in a bunch of colours too, hint hint Silverfish..

What’s next?

Well of course most of these parts are going to get a review at some point in the future so watch out for that, but also keep an eye out for a similar alternative build. You may have seen that I received a Cotic BFE Max a few weeks back, and this week a package from TRP and Praxis arrived so keep your eye’s peeled for another alternative hardtail build.

If you have any questions or comments about this build, the frame or the parts please let me know in the comments section below!


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