As I wrote earlier, I am building a new mountain bike. It’ll be a 1×10 speed 29er in black and silver. I’ll be doing most of the assembly myself again; as last time I got the professionals to unite frame, headset and fork. This time I will build the wheels myself: the best road wheels I ever rode are the ones I built myself a few weeks ago, so why would I want to ride anyone else’s? It also give me a chance to do something quite unique with the spokes, which I will show you later…
I have finalised the component list as:
- Specialized Carve Pro frame. Acquired.
- RockShox Recon Silver TK Solo Air 15mm through-axle fork. Acquired.
- WTB ST i23 TCS 29″ rims, tape and valves front and rear. In transit.
- Specialized Ground Control 2Bliss 29×2.1″ rear tyre. Acquired.
- Specialized Purgatory Control 1Bliss 29×2.3″ front tyre. Acquired.
- DT Swiss Competition spokes and nipples. In transit.
- Shimano XT hubs front and rear. In transit.
- Shimano XT hydraulic trekking disc brakes.
- Shimano SLX Ice-Tech 160mm centre-lock rotors front and rear. In transit.
- Shimano XT I-Spec 10-speed rear shifter.
- Shimano XT Shadow+ 10-speed rear mech.
- Shimano XTR 10-speed chain.
- Shimano XTR pedals. Acquired.
- SRAM PG1070 11-36 cassette.
- Race Face Evolve stem. Acquired.
- Race Face Evolve Flat bars. In transit.
- Race Face Evolve Narrow-Wide Single chainset (34 t00th).
- Race Face Ride seat post. In transit.
- Race Face Half-Nelson grips. In transit.
- Specialized Romin Evo Pro saddle. Acquired.
As you can see it will be a 1×10 29er with a group set you would characterise as mostly XT and finishing kit you would mostly characterise as Race Face Evolve. I suppose I should explain the deviations…
I can’t use the Race Face Evolve seat post because its innovative rail clamp isn’t compatible with the innovative oval rails on my saddle; as the right saddle is considerably more important than matching the seat post it’s the saddle that wins. I could have gone with the cheaper Race Face Ride line for everything so that it would match, but the reviews say that the BB from the Ride cranks is essentially unridable and once you add in the cost of replacing that the Evolve gear works out cheaper.
I am using the SRAM cassette because it has better ratio steps than the Shimano 11-36 cassettes. When Cerys switched from an SRAM cassette to a Shimano on her trekking bike she found the ratios had change for the worse, which prompted me to build a mathematical model to design ideal cassettes given the top/bottom sprocket tooth count and the number of sprockets. In the cases I have looked at the SRAM cassette is predicted to have better feel than the Shimano equivalent.
I’m using the XT trekking brakes rather than the XT mountain brakes because the levers are longer and I prefer to use all my fingers for braking rather than the two you can fit on a normal XT lever. I’m using the XTR chain because I have tested the equivalent Dura-Ace chain on my road bike and found it a more than worthwhile upgrade. I’m using the XTR pedals because I already have them, and they’re incredibly better than any other Shimano mountain bike pedal.
I would have preferred to use an SRAM drive train because the rear mech lock button looks quite useful if you need to change the rear wheel. But right now the more reasonably-priced SRAM lines are in very short supply in the UK and the mech I actually want (X7 type 2 short cage) is not sold retail anywhere. Furthermore I will only have one set of wheels for this bike for the foreseeable future so the rear-wheel will only be rarely removed.
Speaking of retail availability, those of you with very random knowledge will have observed that the Carve Pro frame is (a) not made any more and (b) was never made available as a retail frameset. This is true. The fork is also not available retail. I got both legitimately from the same outlet: the frame is a 2012 US model which was never built into a bike and the fork was available, I think, because a customer of the bike shop bought a pre-delivery fork upgrade for a bike which should have had the RockShox Recon Silver TK fitted as standard.