29er build… critique my spec list before I buy the wrong bits…

  • This topic has 37 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by  keavo.
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  • 29er build… critique my spec list before I buy the wrong bits…
  • stooo
    Member

    OK – decided I’m gonna give this 29er thing a go. Aim is a fast rolling, comfy, winter proof mile muncher.

    On-One Inbred 29er (16″)
    Reba 29er forks (set to 100mm)
    Alfine rear hub gears… Stans Flow rims
    Deus cranks (I have some spare)
    70mm stem and wide bars (min 685) flat or low-rise.
    Brakes? Dunno yet… whatever I can find cheap. I like Hopes and avids though.

    Tyres – need advice here. Thinking 2″. Want fast rolling, but they’ve gotta be good through wintery mush.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Mud X 2″ 29er here – working at the moment

    thomthumb
    Member

    i’ve got a scandal 29er. (18″ btw)

    i’d recomend 80mm forks – keeps the front down and the bigger wheel rolls over things better anyway.

    i run my stem upside down, with flat bars – again to keep the front down.

    i’m using racing ralphs and i think they may be the tyre you want. I’ve got the 2.4s mahoosive but the narrower ones will have better clerence, or maybe the new nobby nicks?

    stooo
    Member

    I’m a big fan of RRs and Nobby Nics… run both on my Superlight, sometimes same front and rear sometimes RR on back and NN front. Certainly quick tyres. Nics are bad in mud but not great when it gets real mushy. Might not need that though.

    Mud X sound interesting… will look at those.

    stooo
    Member

    Any views on Conti Race Kings ? Seen them fairly cheap. Fast, but no grip in the mud?

    dobo
    Member

    i’m more on the xc side of things so i would go with a scandal as well and also some ztr crests instead of flows, stem size is personnel choice for fit purpose as are bars.
    i also prefer shimano brakes like XT over avid or hope, but never had the new expensive avid/hopes
    doubt theres much faster than racing ralphs unless you go for a cx tyre
    have you considered some rigid carbon forks?

    RealMan
    Member

    For winter riding, mud x or panaracer trailraker.

    Shimano brakes for reliability.

    And depending on how much you weigh and how gnarly you’re riding style is, do you need the flows?

    ona29er
    Member

    Have a Gary Fisher Mamba 21.5″. Run original Bontrager XDX (?) 2.1 tyres – never let me down in dry, wet or snow, bedrock, mud, loose. Normally run 45psi but have run at 80 for road work.
    Brakes are Shimano cable disc – work fine for me but maybe a bit lightweight for hte speed you will get on anything downish.
    Low rise bars, 660 wide (to be changed for something wider – nearer 700).
    You will enjoy! Have fun

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Light wheels = big difference on a wagon wheeler. Arch’s instead of the flows? Lighter spokes?

    RealMan
    Member

    What Andy said, that’s what I was thinking.

    mboy
    Member

    Mud X’s are mega grippy, they’re not quick or a decent volume though. Personally, I’d go for something a little bigger unless it’s an out and out mud tyre you want… The Race Kings look like a summer only tyre to be fair. I’m keen to give the Bontrager 29-3 tyres a go myself, the same as those that come fitted to the Gary Fisher Rumblefishes. They’re Tubeless ready too which is a bonus.

    Fork wise, defo have the Reba’s set at 100mm. I found my 29er Inbred felt a bit twitchy with them at 80mm, as the head angle is pretty steep. To combat the front end height, I have a short steerer, an almost flat stem, and wide flat bars.

    On the subject of bars, go for either flat or very minimal rise (like 1/2″ max)for definite, any higher and the front end will feel like its in the clouds…

    Alfine rear hub, can’t go wrong in my opinion. Rim wise, the Flow’s are quite wide, in fact they’re very wide. I’d only bother with them if you want to run 2.4″ tyres all the time. Otherwise go for something narrower, like the Stan’s Arch, or the rather excellent Mavic TN719 as fitted to my Inbred.

    Brake wise, well you’ve got to run a Shimano Centrelock disc on the hub anyway, why not run Shimano brakes? WAY more reliable than Hope and Avid in my experience. Buy some SLX or XT and have done with it… Superb brakes.

    Good luck, and remember to post pics when you’ve got it built!

    thomthumb
    Member

    fast rolling mud tyres. hmmm. 🙂

    lipseal
    Member

    I’d go for hope brakes then at least you can get spares.

    Premier Icon StefMcDef
    Subscriber

    Where you getting your Alfine wheel from?

    Anyone recommend a wheelbuilder for such a thing?

    mboy
    Member

    Building an Alfine up is no different to building up any other wheel. So you don’t need any specific wheelbuilder to build it…

    I built my own, but then I’ve been building wheels for a good few years anyway. You just need to work out the spoke lengths (which are quite a bit shorter than with a normal hub) and away you go.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    Run original Bontrager XDX (?) 2.1 tyres – never let me down in dry, wet or snow, bedrock, mud, loose. Normally run 45psi but have run at 80 for road work.

    Do your XDX’s come from a different universe to mine then – and at 45psi!!! Lethal! 😮

    stooo
    Member

    Lots of interesting points there folks…

    OK – background info on why FLOW rims…

    Firstly – I found a set second hand at a good price which are built with alfine rear.

    But also…
    I like pedalling fast, I like climbing, I like racking up the mileage. However, I also live in Innerleithen and have a bit of a hooligan in me on the descents and tend to hit stuff pretty hard and flat out.

    I tried running skinny XC rims on my superlight and have near trashed them in 6 months so going back to tough, light, wide rims… like FLOWs.

    I may have them rebuilt at some point with slightly skinnier rims, like 719s, but right now it’s about getting the bike built up for sensible money with bits I can find second hand… and I want it to handle any trail I’m likely to find around here. The wide bars will help with that too.

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Oh and if a Reba QR dropout, hope front hub with a 9mm DT RWS.

    Mud-x FTW!

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    16″ 29er? i’d stick with 26″ unless it’s going to be a jump bike

    stooo
    Member

    Toying with the idea of rigid forks too…

    Love the clean look and simplicity. Those with the alfine will mean there’s really no maintenance to worry about on a week by week basis.

    It’ll also be good for some long distance semi off-road touring I plan on trying to use the bike for next summer.

    I just wonder if it’s gonna feel too harsh for off roading through the winter.

    Rigid forks and single speed!

    Premier Icon sillyoldman
    Subscriber

    Stooo – I’ve got a set of Avid Elixir R’s 185/160 – £95 posted inc rotors and mounts?

    Also have both RaceFace Atlas Lo-rise bars – 685mm wide, or Bonty RL Lo-Rise 690mm bars – either any use?

    mboy – I’ve got some 29-3’s with very little use if you’d like to try them? £25 posted a pair?

    Email in profile if any items are of interest?

    I’d also suggest rigid forks, but accept that you may not be able to hoon quite so much as with suspension, then treat yourself to some nice sus forks when the clag has receded a bit? Brake-wise, I’ve been impressed with how the Shimano servowave system gets the pads further from the disc=no annoying grinding sounds (SLX here)

    Sam
    Member

    Do your XDX’s come from a different universe to mine then – and at 45psi!!! Lethal!

    I rode XDX’s last weekend at Bristol and they were about ideal for those conditions (well, at least because Dan was using the Saguaro tubs…) though in mud etc they are not great, definitely recommend the MudX well above them. I also use them at closer to 25 psi than 45. The Conti Mountain Kings also do well in the muck until it gets really sticky.

    Rigid forks and Shimano brakes would be my bulletproof winter bike choice as well.

    mboy
    Member

    sillyoldman you have mail… Dibs on the tyres please mate.

    and stooo, on the rim front, had assumed you’d be buying from new, in which case the £70 odd each for the Flow’s at their weight/width is what would have put me off, especially compared to the Mavics at little over half the price. The Mavic’s are 500g each though, so only 25g per rim lighter anyway, and they’re about 3-4mm narrower. I find the Mavics about right for anything between about a 1.8 and say a 2.3″ tyre, if you’re always running big tyres the Flows would be better of course.

    stooo
    Member

    mboy – cheers… yeah I may want slightly narrower rims on there so I can run narrower CX type tyres next summer for more touring type duties. Prob be running min 2/2.1 tyres for winter MTB stuff though, so should be fine I think.

    As you say though – second hand money, prebuilt with Alfine, can’t complain really.

    I predict you bike will look …..very like mine 8)

    I predict you bike will look …..very like mine 8)

    As for tyres, Nobby Nic from Bike24 are the business.

    stooo
    Member

    Bigdugsbaws – that does indeed look lovely… quite fancy one of those 😉

    How you find the alfine ?

    mboy
    Member

    Forgot to mention about gear ratios stooo…

    I’m not at home at the moment, but on my home computer I’ve got my Hub Gear Ratio calculator spreadsheet thingy on my PC at home, will gladly email it to anybody that’s not already got it. It’s very useful for working out what ratios will give you what speed/cadence/gear inches/gain ratio etc. I found before I bought an Alfine that everybody has differing opinions on what “acceptable” gear ratios are, depending on various things (where they ride, fitness, whether they spin or grind etc.) so I created it to take the guesswork out of choosing a ratio.

    The default ratio that usually comes fitted to 26″ wheeled bikes on an Alfine is 32T ring with an 18T sprocket. 29er’s have a 10% bigger rolling radius, so you’d fit a 20T sprocket instead to get the same overall ratios. I didn’t have a 32T ring at the time, but did have a brand new unramped 34T kicking about, so bought a 22T sprocket instead, giving me almost the same ratio (actually mine is about 1.56:1 as opposed to 1.6:1, but it’s close) that suits me for most of the time. However, if I was riding it exclusively on canal towpaths I’d want a much taller ratio, and if I was climbing Innerleithen on a regular basis, I’d probably want a much lower ratio… But that’s me, you may be different.

    What size Nobby Nics (and the Ardents in the pic) are you running there bigdugsbaws? And how do they fare all year round? And does ANYONE have an idea when they’ll be in stock again, I keep looking but no joy! 🙁

    Oops double post, never spotted that!

    The Alfine is great, built on Flows makes a superb wheelset. I used mine for 2 years without problems then sold it at the beginning of the year and went 1*9 over the summer until the Alfine 11 came out. However, by July, I missed it so much I bought another as I much prefer it to a geared setup now!

    FWIW, I’m using a 32 * 22T setup on the 29er and its fine for getting up the steepest bits of GT & Inners.

    Mboy, the Ardents there were 2.25 but I use the same size nobby nic now, which I think are slightly wider.

    Ardents are best in the summer, pretty iffy in slidy conditions. NNs are back in stock again at bike 24??, if its ardents you want, I have a couple that you can have for cheap 😉

    stooo
    Member

    bigdugsbaws – might be interested in the cheap ardents if they’re still in OK nic.

    Mail address in profile.

    Will check them later Stoo, but pretty sure they are little used and you can have the pair for a tenner. Will be in Peebles on Sunday if you are about.

    stooo
    Member

    I’ll be in Inners on Sunday mate… could probably arrange a meetup or something. Sounds good to me though.

    Yeah will try and pop down then. Will have the Alfine 29er too if you want a go?

    stooo
    Member

    Would be cool to take to take a look certainly – looks a little on the big side for me, but would nice to try out an alfined up bike, especially one with big wheels.

    keavo
    Member

    i like little alberts, for an allrounder in winter, they are quite narrow with a lot of bite. tried rigid forks, they are o.k. but a suspension fork doesn’t add much maitainence really and i have more fun with one. flow rims are great and not much heavier than arches.

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