My old XC race bike, fitted with a selection of new and parts-bin components. It’s a lightweight rigid 29er suitable for someone from about 5ft 5in to 5ft 10in, depending on stem length. Although it’s a 16in frame, it’s quite long for its size. Being rigid, it’s obviously harder work rock gardens (although I have raced it on Dalby’s World Cup course), but it’s got real zip on ‘natural’ singletrack. The ergo bar ends are there to make it more comfortable.
The carbon fork will accept a front tyre up to 29x3in, although you’ll need a front wheel with a wider rim for that. Alternatively, you can fit a suspension fork up to 100mm but bear in mind that it’s a straight head tube and most new forks are tapered. You can find new (and secondhand) 1 1/8in steerer forks online.
The gearing is 1×10 Shimano Zee using a brand new 34t narrow-wide chainring and 11-36t cassette. Bottom gear is higher than many bikes but it climbs really well due to be lightweight and rigid.
Plus points: very lightweight for the price, dropper post, 1×10 Zee gearing, brand new brakes, brand new chainring & chain, decent 29er tyres.
Negative points: scratches on the frame (as you’d expect), ‘old’ standards (e.g 100/135 hubs, straight head tube), cheap grips, not tubeless.
Weight: 11.6kg/25.5lb (without pedals, which weigh 472g)
Frame & fork: Scandium aluminium frame with 68mm threaded bottom bracket shell, 1 1/8in head tube, and fittings for one bottle cage. On One carbon fork with aluminium steerer.
Wheels: 29×2.25 Nobby Nic tyres. Front wheel: On One Reetard rim, On One QR hub, 32×3 spokes. Rear: Mach 820 rim, Shimano Deore QR hub, 32×3 spokes.
Transmission: Shimano M424 SPD pedals, Shimano Acera FC-MT300 chainset (175mm cranks), 34t SunRace narrow-wide chainring, Shimano Deore bottom bracket, Sram PC1051 chain, 11-36 cassette. Shimano Zee shifter & derailleur. 10 ratios, 27-79in.
Steering & seating: Friction-fit grips, Promax ergonomic bar ends, Niner Flat Top handlebar, 80mm Brand X stem, Hope headset. Ridgeback saddle, 100mm TransX dropper seatpost upgraded with better quality Ztto lever, bolted seatpost clamp. Extras: bottle cage, mudguard on down tube.