• This topic has 38 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 6 days ago by Clink.
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  • Budget xc hardtail, let’s see yours….
  • Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    Just loving my cross bike at the moment but I’m now thinking that a lightweight xc hardtail would be the way to go now lockdown has ended and we can get back into the hills.

    However I don’t have much money (might need to sell a bike to fund this).

    So has anyone recently built a lightweight xc hardtail on the cheap?

    If so what was it?

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Hmmm… Not that recent but budget, certainly. Are you taking second hand cheap or new cheap though? Anyway…

    Old style Bizango.

    Second hand but with rebuilt hubs, new 1x drivetrain (from when nx was actually pretty cheap) and secondhand Recons complete with homemade token system and tokens. Oh and cheap thud buster copy that is rather good. Good for my back too. Technically a winter bike but then I discovered Zwift.

    I’d forgot how much I missed barends then promptly spannered bike which broke them and damaged the bar too. Oh and my rotator cuff.

    Premier Icon tomparkin
    Full Member

    Assembled, rather than strictly-speaking built (parts bin build), over last summer’s lockdown period:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B_18Td0n6vr/?igshid=6rctiy2fvt4k

    It fit the no car, no gnar, not far bill well.

    26er Cotic Soul with 100mm Rebas, Stans Crest rims on DT Swiss hubs, singlespeed, old Deore brakes.

    I’m not sure exactly how light it is, but it’s very light — the frame is a medium from the old days of comparatively short/high/steep, it has no dropper, and no gears 🙂

    As I said it was a parts-bin build, but everything on it is second-hand apart from brake pads, bottom bracket, and the rear tyre I think, and it almost certainly cost less than £500 all in, albeit bought over time.

    It’s a great bike for an hour or so’s razzing around 😀

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    Cheers for posts. I just gave away my old 26″ Soul to a guy at work. I tried building it up as a gravel bike last year but I didn’t like the way it rode. I always said I’d never sell the Soul as I loved it so much (technically I didn’t sell it 😉), funny how things change.

    Of course second hand is acceptable, just need to comply with the following requirements:
    – Lightweight
    – More capable than a ‘gravel’ or CX bike
    – Fast off-road and not too shabby on-road.
    – Ideally 700/29″ wheels.
    – Comfortable to ride for a few hours
    – Fun to ride.

    So quite a wide brief.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    This actually looks perfect 😍

    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBOOWHGX/on-one-whippet-sram-gx-mountain-bike

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    Less than £1k? Maybe try an alloy frame 🤔

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    Not sure its lightweight, but its not bad
    Cove stiffee frame0
    XT m750 3×9 spd shifters/mechs(limited to 2×9)
    200? revelation 150mm fork
    sram X9 2×10 crank-( new bargain)
    Hope mono mini gold levers,cylinder covers,bore caps)
    Hope gold stem 90mm
    Hope gold pro2 wheels on DT swiss xc400
    Hope gold floaters 180/160
    Hope gold pedals
    Hope gold H/S
    Hope gold clamp
    Hope gold skewers
    Saint BB (it was gold)
    Raceface bars/post
    Not 100% sure on total but im sure it was under £700 complete build.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    That’s a lot of Hope for under £700, nice deal.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    Anyone have experience of the Sonder frontier frame? Seems awfully cheap.

    https://alpkit.com/products/sonder-frontier-v1-frame-only

    – Deore groupset
    – Prime wheel set
    – Rockshox Recon fork
    – Budget Saddle, post, bars etc

    Not sure how lightweight this would be though 🤔

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Building a budget XC bike is easy enough but adding lightweight as a requirement is going to make it very difficult. If I remember from another thread the On One Whippet with a carbon fork was still 11kg so not exactly lightweight for a rigid carbon framed MTB and still £1,000.

    We probably have a different view of what is lightweight though. I recently built up a rigid XC bike based on a 2.6kg steel frame that was 10kg and that didn’t really feel lightweight.

    Premier Icon docrobster
    Free Member

    Depends on your definition of “cheap” and “light”
    I was lucky enough to be given a pinnacle ramin 5 frame by a riding buddy a couple of years ago and I built it up with nos forks (xc30 for £144), cheap wheels and tyres, a parts bin 3×9 drive train, clarks m2 brakes for £40, no dropper etc. Total build cost was definitely less than £300. Definitely cheap. Not that light. Definitely xc angles.

    In the end I was offered a burlier hardtail frame this time last year which suits my riding better so the ramin got reborn as a monstercross thing with midge bars, rigid carbon forks and 36mm tyres etc.

    All this is assuming you could get parts for a build nowadays.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    That’s a lot of Hope for under £700, nice deal.

    Cheers 😀
    It was a cobble together, and was exceptionally lucky in ebay. Got a couple of matching gold bits and you know how that goes…once started it becomes the obsession.
    Its only downside is the seatpost is 26.8, and I dont think droppers go that small 🙁

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I would have thought the Sonder Disl a better bike then the Frontier. Won’t be light for 1k with the components on it (SX Eagle / Recon Silver), but should still be pretty fast and efficient. The NX Eagle built with Rebas for £1399 would probably be lighter – reba vs recon silver there’s no competition. Plus SX Eagle is defo a big step down from NX.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    I wonder where all that weight is hidden in that whippet build, I’d have expected it to be sub 10kg.

    Premier Icon devash
    Free Member

    I wonder where all that weight is hidden in that whippet build, I’d have expected it to be sub 10kg.

    Tyres and wheels would be my bet. Plus the finishing kit won’t be the lightest.

    Premier Icon gastromonkey
    Full Member

    What about the Decathlon Rockrider XC bikes? They start at under £1k.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Looks like a good budget XC bike. The fact the £900 version weighs 13kg with pedals backs up the point that you simply won’t get a budget bike that is lightweight.
    I would remove the lightweight criteria.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    I bought one of these from Merlin a month or so back and it fits the bill well

    https://www.merlincycles.com/sensa-merano-evo-race-mountain-bike-2021-217010.html

    Premier Icon twrch
    Free Member

    If you’re interested, I have a very light 29″ XC hardtail frame (size L) going spare. Message me for details.

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    This is an old GT frame that a guy at work abandoned when he left. It was a fairly low-end bike and was utterly knackered. The bearings looked like it had been buried in a swamp. The headset, BB, and hubs just fell apart into heaps of rusty mud when I pulled it apart. I just binned everything except the frame and built it up with bits from my spare parts heap to use as a commuter. It started with some old 80mm Rebas, but they kept leaking air so I put some new 120mm Epicons on and a BrandX dropper post. I mostly use it for commuting, but I can head up the hill behind work for a sneaky afternoon ride a couple of times a week. It’s a bit heavy and not fast, but it’s actually a pleasant bike to ride, fairly docile and comfortable. Getting it down to a light weight would be expensive, just no point worrying about that in a cheap hack bike. It’s not just that the frame is a bit overweight, it’s that I would have to build a completely new bike to get any serious weight savings.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    You’d think that there was a market for lightweight but simple mountain bike components. Using older technology and maybe building it with a weight limit in mind.

    Lightweight doesn’t seem to be a priority in mountain bikes anymore.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Can’t post pics but I was having lots of fun on mine today … then the dropper poo’d its pants.
    Second half of my ride all out of the saddle… new cartridge arriving next week so I’ll probably not bother sticking a fixed seatpost back in as I’m on the aggressive HT tomorrow at Twisted Oaks

    Premier Icon thols2
    Free Member

    You’d think that there was a market for lightweight but simple mountain bike components

    There is. That’s what Shimano XTR is intended for, plus the SRAM equivalents. Making stuff light requires expensive materials and manufacturing, so cheap stuff will always be heavier.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    My Nail Trail wasn’t bought as a lightweight bike, just a good trail bike.

    However it’s 12kg/26lbs without any attempt at loosing weight. It’s got really quite light wheels so feels sprightly.

    It cost £1k three years ago, changing the tyres it came with knocked half a kilo off and I was surprised when I changed the crank in the autumn how much the OEM Marin crank weighed compared to the SLX replacement.

    It’s worth looking at second hand (even in the current market) higher quality bikes if you want lighter.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    I wonder if a mark 1 or 2 Cotic Solaris might be just what I’m after, or even a Santa Cruz Highball or Chameleon or Ritchey P-29 or something completely different.

    Basically something to replace my old mark 2 26″ Cotic Soul (now gifted to and ridden by a guy at my work).
    This was built up with a real mish-mash of kit and was my only bike whilst the kids were very young.

    It had the following build:
    – 120mm Reba forks
    – 1 X 10 full XT groupset
    – Hope/Crest wheel set
    – 2.3″ Purgatory tyres
    – Short stem and wide bars (for its day)
    – Gravity dropper post and obligatory SDG Bell-Air saddle.

    I like a hardtail that is both fun to ride on natural and trail centre trails whilst also being comfortable enough for the odd long day in the hills, the Soul was great for this but after riding and owning 29ers I really didn’t enjoy 26″ wheels much anymore.

    I have the following bikes to cover most situations but still hanker for another bike:
    – Ritchey Logic road bike, used on the er.. road.
    – Trek Crockett cross bike used for local and longer mixed surface rides (currently my most ridden bike).
    – Stooge mountain bike setup singlespeed with 27.5+ tyres for the local trails and riding with the kids.
    – Cannondale Scalpel SE 29er full sus for endurance off road riding (to be honest, this bike is the least used)
    – Rock Lobster 26″ mountain bike setup with 700 wheels which lives on the turbo.

    Did I mention I don’t have much funds but do have some components in my spares box that could be re-housed if I got a frame cheap-ish second hand.

    So…. what anyone else in the same boat and if so what did you buy, build, repurpose….

    Cheers. 👍

    Premier Icon vdubber67
    Free Member

    I’ve got a 29er Mk1 Scandal in the classifieds if anyone fancies building a parts bin hardtail. Quite possible to build these pretty light….

    Premier Icon idiotdogbrain
    Free Member

    I wonder where all that weight is hidden in that whippet build, I’d have expected it to be sub 10kg.

    I swapped the 1×12 SX Eagle for 1×11 GX, and the tyres for Racing Ray/Ralph combo, to get to 11.11kg including pedals. Breakdown of build weights: http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/new-planet-x-whippet-rigid-content/page/3/#post-11846081

    But yes, the wheels are 2300g, it’s not currently tubeless, the cassette and bars are heavy, etc. Tubeless, Hunt wheels, and a carbon bar would probably see it close to 10kg but I don’t really care tbh – it rides fine as it is and I’ve never once thought it needed to be lighter.

    Premier Icon Gribs
    Full Member

    You’d think that there was a market for lightweight but simple mountain bike components. Using older technology and maybe building it with a weight limit in mind.

    Lightweight doesn’t seem to be a priority in mountain bikes anymore.

    For bars/stems/seatposts Chinese carbon can be cheap and light. EC90 stuff appears to be decent. It also allows you to run much lighter tyres as you’ll take it easier in rough stuff in case your bars break. For drivetrains you can save a lot of weight by not going for dish plate cassettes. A 10 speed 11-34 cassette combined with a 30t chain ring should be enough for anyone even half fit as if you can’t manage to pedal up with that you may as well walk as it won’t take any longer

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    If you want lightweight on a budget you need to build the bike yourself as carefully picking the parts can make a big difference. A 1750g pair of wheels can be built for around £100, putting money on lighter tubeless tyres rather than the crappy tyres the budget manufacturers spec, lighter bars, seat posts etc,. don’t actually cost much more and so on.

    However, I wouldn’t actually bother in your case and I would just ride the Cannondale Scalpel and it is a better bike than a budget hardtail.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    The thing about the Scalpel is that it is very capable and is perfect for the longer endurance distances I bought it for but it’s a bit on the dull side to ride.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    I would contend that some of you are still thinking of MTB weight in 26in terms.

    11kg (25lbs) is really quite good for an affordable 29er IMO.

    It’s worth looking at second hand (even in the current market) higher quality bikes if you want lighter.

    +1

    I used to have a Boardman Pro 29er, the black/sliver/green one which came with GX 11sp, a Reba and Guide brakes for under £1k.

    There are tons of them about and I’d certainly consider a secondhand one and upgrading the wheels if I wanted another budget XC bike.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    I’ve just spied this.

    https://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/bikes/hardtail-mountain-bikes/2nd-hand-cotic-solaris-29er-mountain-bike-2016-medium-duck-egg-blue__150973

    Now £1k is a fair whack for a second hand hardtail but this one does look a beaut.

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    Good shout on the Boardman 29er.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    Niner Air9 Carbon – £550

    It is a singlespeed, through

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    You bought that Niner for £550? Good deal.

    Premier Icon letmetalktomark
    Full Member

    I built this up last summer for ….. well I’m not sure really as I’ve barely ridden it (sort of stealth ad).

    Mainly built from bits from previous tried and tested builds – bar stem rather annoyingly!

    I did try to keep it period correct:

    Premier Icon didnthurt
    Full Member

    How much for the Solaris letmetalktomark?

    What size is as well?

    👍

    Premier Icon Kuco
    Full Member

    This mine, a Trek Procaliber 6 that I bought in a sale a couple of years ago for £800. It’s the main bike I’ve been riding this year over my road and full suspension bike. It’s had a few tweaks since I got it, different bar and stem took the double chainrings off and 11-speed shimano and I have just put 12 speed Sram on it.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Full Member

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2kXoQEa]IMG_4413[/url] by clinkclunk, on Flickr

    My Frontier. From memory Dial frame is ballpark same weight. I wanted something for local rides and bike packing; sent my wheels to them which saved me some money which then allowed me to get Rebas and rigid forks, all cut to same length with 2 crown races. I have a spare dropper which I may fit.

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