Off the Peg or Custom Build?

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  • Off the Peg or Custom Build?
  • Premier Icon kiwijohn

    There’s always something to change before you leave the shop.
    Bar & stem on the Yeti. Closely followed by grips, tyres, seatpost & added a chain guide.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster

    My current bike (Mondraker Dune) lasted all of 4 hours before I started swapping stuff. Only kept the forks, frame & wheels.

    Went from SLX 3×9 to X9 2×10, fitted my Reverb & saddle, etc.

    Will be swapping the wheels when I get round to buying a decent front with 20mm axle compatibility. I like the tyres it came with though.


    I don’t think I’ve ever bought a bike from a shop.

    The chances of finding a bike which has everything I want on it is pretty slim. So to me it seems a bit bonkers to spend thousands on something with parts on it that you are not as keen on or would prefer something else.

    Also, it’s a bit like cars, you lose money the second you push it out of the shop.

    If you pick up parts wisely, you can build up something to your taste which you won’t lose anywhere near as much money on as you swap out parts or sell on.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    just reminded me the tyres would be coming off too!

    Premier Icon somafunk

    Last complete bike I bought was back in 1994, a Marin Indian fire trail from Dales in Glasgow and that had hope wheels/mavic rims, manitou 3 fork. Middleburn chain set, x-lite ti bars, x-lite bar-ends and shimano spds within the first week of getting it, the second week included fitting a synchros stem, synchros seat post and flite saddle, by the third week it had Onza canti brakes and red kool-stop pads , by the fourth week I may have just rode it. 😀

    Since then I have very sensibly just bought frames and done my own builds.

    (And I’ve still got the Indian fire trail)


    I think I’d always custom build now. Off the pegs are usually evenly specced across the board… But I’d quite happily take Deore/SLX group and some average finishing kit and then go ballistic on the wheel budget for example which you just won’t get on an off the peg. Maybe it’s a 29er thing as I never used to be that fussy about wheels on 26″

    Would deffo be doing the Maths on a Canyon as a donor bike first though!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    As I peruse the final bits of my planned new bike I was offered some good deals on complete bikes. Great price but I would have wanted to swap out some bits…
    Drive Train – Shimano to SRAM
    Bars – Too narrow
    Brakes – swap to my hopes
    Wheels – swap out for my newly built Pro II’s

    So who buys complete bikes and how long before you start changing stuff. Only my second hand first MTB bike and my very second hand DH bike came built up.

    Premier Icon oldagedpredator

    If I was going full sus I’d probably by off the peg as it would be first one. The current hard tail has just been in evolution since 2001. Now on forth frame and third set of forks but nothing of original left. Well maybe a bottle cage. I just figure the kit is of a level that it’s more cost effective to overbuild and replace as parts wear out. Although havent looked at what it’s second hand value is and difference in that to new vs cost of upgrade.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname

    My current bike was getting bits swapped as soon as it came back from the shop!

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    My Canyon in 10 months old. The only things on it that are stock are:

    – Brakes (inc rotors)
    – Tyres
    – Forks
    – Front mech
    – Chain

    Everything else swapped out. Grips in the first month, wheels in the next couple for some Hope Pro II Evos on Crests to go tubeless, then bars and stem, shifters from SLX 3×10 to XT, drivetrain from XT 3×10 to XTR 2×10 chainset and XT shadow + rear derailleur.

    It was excellent as a first full suspension bike, but I’d probably buy custom now. Would be a different story if I were slightly taller, or longer in the legs though!


    first real mountain bike was an (rather expensive for back then) off the peg one back in the mid 90’s to be fair there wasnt much variety of components/accessories back then but i loved the bike…it got nicked so i had to start again…but wasnt feeling as flush so i bought another off the peg one but this this one was cheap and nasty but served as a short term starting point….since then every other bike has been a custom build…it might seem more expensive in the long run but compared to buying a new off the peg bike now and not being happy with the entire spec and then changing/upgrading i think it balances out…but with a custom build you get it set how you want and with the parts you want…

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