how to build a mountain bike from scratch

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My Full Suspension Specialised MTB is a superb bike, however I’m fascinated about a brand new journey. So I started to surprise, what if I construct my subsequent mountain bike myself?

Can I construct a mountain bike myself?

Studying: the right way to construct a mountain bike from scratch

Sure, you possibly can construct a mountain bike your self. Now, except you’re a mechanical engineer and metals knowledgeable, don’t attempt to craft the body and elements by yourself. As a substitute, decide and select each element, all the way in which right down to the bar grip and seat put up clamp. Then put all of the elements collectively.

Mountain Bike Construct Guidelines Abstract

Listed here are all of the elements you’ll want to think about. Later we’ll focus on every class in additional element.

  1. Body – Hardtail, twin suspension or fats bike. Body materials may be aluminum, metal, carbon or perhaps a mixture. Select wheel dimension (present business commonplace is 29”). Additionally, brake programs may not work on all frames.
  2. Rear derailleur hanger – Connects derailleur to border. Often aluminum.
  3. Wheel set – Pre-built wheels. Search for one thing gentle however not flimsy. Unique wheels may require particular instruments.
  4. Hubs, spokes, rims – For many who wish to construct out every part. Wheel constructing just isn’t for newbies. Hub materials, efficiency and stiffness matter.
  5. Wheel axle – Via axles at the moment are commonplace. Fast launch is an older choice.
  6. Headset – The set of bearings that enable your fork to rotate. Most are threadless.
  7. Entrance Fork – Normally, you’ll desire a suspension fork. Many, many fashions to select from.
  8. Rear shock – For twin suspension bikes. Could be included with body.
  9. Stem – Attaches headset to deal with bar. Size and angle are essential.
  10. Handlebar – Take into account width, sweep, rise, general geometry and materials.
  11. Shifters & brake levers – Will be bought individually or in group units.
  12. Handlebar grips – Extremely private.
  13. Brakes and brake pads – Discs rule. Cantilever and V-brakes are different choices.
  14. Seatpost – Commonplace or dropper put up. Take into account totally different supplies (i.e. aluminum vs. carbon fiber).
  15. Seat put up clamp – Should work properly. A spot for weight weenies to shave off a couple of grams.
  16. Seat – Extremely private. Should match to be cozy. Not too clunky although.
  17. Chainrings – The cogs on the entrance. Sometimes a set of 1,2 or 3, and they are often a part of groupset.
  18. Crank arms – May be a part of grouset, however you may swap out. Size and weight are key issues.
  19. Backside bracket – The place the cranks connect. Search for one thing strong right here that’s suitable together with your body.
  20. Cassette – Cluster of cogs on the rear. Additionally, normally purchased with groupset.
  21. Chain – Shimano and SRAM are the main manufacturers. Include groupset.
  22. Entrance and rear derailleur – Concentrate on efficiency. Additionally, a part of shifting groupset.
  23. Pedals – Flat or clipless. Typical using terrain will assist resolve.
  24. Cables and housings – For non-hydraulic brakes and shifters.
  25. Tires – Plenty of selections on the market. Driving type and terrain will decide the tread sort.

Wow! That’s an extended checklist.

Yep. The checklist is in depth. Now there are many superior pre-built bikes on the market, however for individuals who prefer it super-custom, they construct it themselves. Additionally, for tech lovers, it’s a enjoyable venture to spec out and construct your individual bike.

Is Constructing Your Personal Mountain Bike Cheaper?

This can be a powerful query to reply. When you construct a mountain bike with tremendous low-cost elements, then you’ll in all probability get monetary savings. When you purchased all the very same elements as a manufacturing unit made bike, and put in them onto a inexpensive body, you’ll in all probability get monetary savings too. Nonetheless, I’m unsure if these are clever methods to avoid wasting.

Now except you could have cash to burn, watch out when constructing your individual bike. When you go for costly elements in each class, the entire value can undergo the roof. You’ll be able to actually spend a number of 1000’s of {dollars}.

I’ve written extensively on MAKE vs BUY an MTB on this Article. What’s higher Constructing vs Shopping for a Mountain Bike

How Do I Know What sort of MTB Geometries to Select?

How are you aware how a lot handlebar sweep is best for you? Or what about stem rise? Properly, there are some formulation you possibly can attempt, however there are simpler methods. To start with, in case your present journey matches you, then use the identical geometry. You may make changes as you want too.

As an illustration, let’s say you want your handlebar width, however want the place was a bit larger. Simply go along with a stem with extra rise and produce the bar nearer to you, however hold the handlebar geometry the identical.

When you don’t have a motorbike you want now, take a look at journey already constructed bikes. As soon as you discover one you want, use the specs as a information for element choice. That is very true for body dimension and geometry.

Now let’s break down the elements in additional element.

Selecting a MTB Body

The primary resolution is body sort – hardtail, twin suspension or fats bike. If you’ll do any using harsher than rail trails, I might go along with a dualie.

When you do a number of using in sand, mud, snow or gentle filth, then a fats tire bike is sensible. These require a particular body to accommodate the extremely broad tires.

Lastly, a hardtail is ok for all different kinds of using. Now in case you keep strictly on flat pavement with no potholes, you would even resolve to ditch the entrance suspension fork and go inflexible.

Rear Derailleur Hanger on a MTB

Although that is form of a non-important merchandise, I point out it right here because it’s a part of the body kind of. The hanger is a small piece of steel that connects the rear derailleur to the body. It’s designed to bend or break in case you smack the derailleur. This prevents your body from getting broken.

The rear Derailleur is a crucial characteristic. This easy little merchandise allows upgrades and most significantly supplies a replaceable connection to the body.

Discover out extra about what a “hanger” is on this ARTICLE.

Wheels and Wheel Units

If you’re fascinated about constructing wheels from all the person elements, you may wish to rethink. Placing collectively the hub, spokes, and rim require a number of ability and follow to get it proper. For newbie bike builders, it is sensible to buy pre-built wheel units.

There are a ton of selections on the market. I wouldn’t go for something too unique, since spare elements and adjusting instruments may incur extra expense. Nonetheless, you will get a really candy pair of hoops that use commonplace spoke and nipple configurations.

Learn extra: Breast Bondage: Simple Harnesses Even If You’ve By no means Used Rope Earlier than

The nipples are the tiny bolts that join the spokes to the rim. By rotating these, the rim may be trued. Additionally, ensure that the wheels you decide match the cassette you’ll use (the stack of cogs mounted to the rear wheel).

Via Axle or Fast Launch? (QR)

Some readers may not even know what a fast launch is as they’re quickly going out of favor. These are the axles that assist maintain the wheel onto the bike. Fast releases (QR) have a lever that you just open to take away the wheel from U formed fork or body dropouts.

Via axles are inserted and adjusted by means of a closed fork or body loops. This supplies for improved stability, security and dealing with.

QRs are simpler to make use of and mount to bike racks sooner. Nonetheless, the protection and efficiency make via axles my selection for brand new bike builds.

Click on on Image for a FREE PDF MTB Construct Guidelines

MTB Headset Concerns

This is likely to be probably the most unnoticed bike elements till one thing goes unsuitable. The headset is a collar-like set of bearings that inserts into the vertical entrance tube of the bike, and the fork slides inside it. The headset permits for easy steering whereas holding the steerer tube and fork collectively working as a single unit.

Threadless headsets are commonplace on trendy MTBs. They’re “threadless” as a result of the headset is held collectively by stress (not threaded) created by a headset cap bolt which screws into right into a star nut within the steerer tube.

Headsets may be funky to put in. Seek the advice of with a store tech and watch loads of on-line tutorials earlier than diving in.

MTB Forks

That is one element that requires time to decide on. The issue is that no single fork can do all of it. As an illustration, in case you free journey a number of tough terrain and hit jumps, you’ll want a fork that has a loads of journey.

When you do largely cross nation using although, you will get away with a much less beefy fork which will even save weight. Make certain the fork is suitable with the wheel dimension you select too.

Fork selection is almost a science in and of itself, and there are numerous adjustability choices. Additionally, value can range extensively right here – some forks can value $800 or extra. Don’t reduce corners an excessive amount of although as efficiency counts. Once more, consulting together with your native store guru will help level you to the suitable class.

MTB Rear Suspension

Similar to the entrance fork, the rear suspension has a number of choices. In might instances, the body might include a rear shock included. Or the producer might offer you a couple of choices to choose from. One of many causes for that is match. Rear shocks have tighter specs to suit them into the confines of a twin suspension body.

If you will get a rear shock that has a lockout, go for it. This allows you to nullify the rear suspension which might sap pedal energy. You’ll be glad about this on that lengthy filth street climb again to the parking zone.

Selecting a Mountain Bike Stem

The stem is the quick, stubby tube that connects to your bike’s handlebars. A very powerful half in deciding on this element is size and rise (generally referred to as angle or top). Most stems may be flipped over to offer drop as a substitute of rise.

The tough half is that stem necessities are additionally affected by the body geometry. An extended body may warrant a shorter stem and vice versa. Your physique geometry additionally comes into play right here.

Listed here are a pair guidelines of thumb.

  • Cross-country stem: 80-120mm size, as much as 30° drop. Locations you extra over the entrance of the bike which helps on climbs.
  • Path/Enduro: 50-70mm, 0° or 6° rise. For improved dealing with in technical terrain.
  • Downhill Bikes: 40-50mm direct mount stem that bolts onto the highest crown of the fork. Most downhillers go for 0° rise.

Mountain Bike Handlebar Decisions

There are all kinds of handlebar selections on the market by way of materials, diameter, width and geometry. Straighter bars are extra widespread with the cross nation race set, whereas riser bars (BMX type) are extra widespread for the freerider.

Right here materials could make a distinction within the journey. As an illustration, the usual aluminum bar might offer you a stiffer really feel, and it might additionally transmit extra vibration to your palms. fork although can easy out these results. Carbon fiber and titanium are lighter and soak up vibration higher than aluminum, however they’re costlier.

Bar widths range from 600mm as much as 840mm, and wider bars enhance management. You should purchase a wider bar and reduce it right down to the dimensions you like.

Groupsets or Particular person Parts?

For anybody constructing an MTB for the primary time, I like to recommend putting in a groupset. These are a set of elements all from the identical producer. As an illustration, Shimano makes the XT groupset which incorporates:

  • Cassette
  • Chain
  • Crank arms
  • Chainring
  • Backside bracket
  • Shifters
  • Entrance & rear derailleur
  • Brake levers
  • Disc brake rotors

One of the best half is that every one the elements are designed to work collectively. When you decide every particular person element, you could have compatibility points. Constructing a motorbike piece by piece solely results in frustration in case you don’t have expertise.

What’s the 1×11 groupset?

Again within the day, you had the rear cassette with 8-9 cogs and the entrance 3 chainrings. This gave you 24 “gears”, however there was some gear overlap. Now, the brand new pattern is only one or 2 chainrings up entrance and 11 cogs within the rear cassette.

This setup means much less shifting up entrance, much less weight and higher efficiency. It doesn’t matter what element set you employ, ensure that the wheelset can accommodate the cassette.

Get a Grip On It – MTB Grips

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You may suppose handlebar grips are a minor element, however suppose once more. Bike contact factors are a giant deal. Consolation is king, however management is essential too. Don’t get caught with fats, soft grips that make the diameter too huge in your palms. Then again, thinner handlebars may be compensated for with thicker grips.

Brakes For Your MTB Muild

As I’ve written on different posts, I really feel that disc brakes are far superior to different choices. Now right here you could find some wiggle room in selecting. Shimano provides groupsets that solely embrace the shifting however not brake elements.

This implies you possibly can attempt one other model of disc brakes in case you like. System, Hope, Magura, Hayes, SRAM and Shimano all supply nice disc brake teams. When you purchase the groupset, every part is included for full set up.

MTB Seat

As one other contact level, your seat selection is extremely private. Your sit bones ought to relaxation comfortably on the beefiest a part of the saddle. Typically a seat that has an excessive amount of cushion doesn’t make the journey higher. If it’s too cumbersome, the seat can intervene together with your motion whereas using.

MTB seats may be pretty costly, however they don’t should be. Sometimes model identify and weight are the largest value elements.

Seat Publish and Locking Collar

The very first thing to think about in regards to the seat put up is match. Will it suit your body and seat? Subsequent is materials. Like handlebars, seatposts are available in aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber. You’ll be able to choose for the standard seat put up which is ok for many rail path and cross nation using. If you’ll hit extra excessive terrain, you may wish to set up a drop put up.

Dropper posts collapse if you activate the handlebar mounted lever. Then, they spring again to the traditional using place. Decreasing the seat offers you extra clearance for jumps, drops and aerial maneuvers. Drop posts are heavier, so, when you’ve got the cash, go for a carbon or hybrid materials construct to avoid wasting grams.

The seat put up collar fixes the seat put up in place in your body. Some ultra-weight-weenies will search for methods to shave off grams right here. Getting a collar with a fast launch lever permits for straightforward top adjustment.

Click on on Image for a FREE PDF MTB Construct Guidelines

Backside Brackets for MTBs

Contained in the lowest a part of the body lives the underside bracket. In some ways, that is the guts of the bike. The crank levers connect to this huge axle. Don’t skimp on high quality right here as this element takes a number of beating. It could come included in a shifting groupset.

Make certain the underside bracket fis your body. For most traditional frames, a groupset backside bracket must be suitable.

Cassette, Chain, Derailleurs, Chainrings, Shifters, Cables, Housing, and many others.

As I discussed earlier, these all are available in groupsets. For the primary -time MTB builder, shopping for these individually may turn into an excessive amount of to deal with.

When it comes time to put in the chain, use the size information normally included with the chain.

Crank levers

This element is also included in groupsets, however it’s a must to select a size. The usual MTB crank size is 175 mm. Selecting the best size may be sophisticated. Some consultants say it is determined by your femur and foot size. Shorter riders may have shorter cranks, however not all the time.

When you go for a shorter crank, you could lose leverage. To compensate, you may want to alter bike gearing. Did I say it’s sophisticated?

For starters, I like to recommend going with the usual 175 mm dimension crank. When you discover issues with knee, calf of again ache, you may swap out.

MTB Pedal Choices

So far as I’m involved, the one two choices are clipless or flat. When you already desire one type, you may simply stick with that. Nonetheless, making an attempt a distinct pedal sort may open up new using potentialities to you.

Best Mountain Bike Pedal
Finest Mountain Bike Pedal

Clipless pedals have a mechanism that locks your MTB shoe into place. You want particular cleats and sneakers to make use of clipless pedals.

In case your present pedals are in fine condition, avoid wasting cash and simply swap them over. Or, purchase the opposite type and check out them. When you don’t like them a lot, you possibly can all the time swap again. There are a TON of pedal choices on the market.

I’ve reviewed what I believe are the 2 finest choices for going CLIPLESS in your mountain bike pedals on this article. Really useful Mountain Bike Pedals

Bike tires in your MTB construct

MTB tires can change the traits of the journey perhaps greater than any single element apart from the body and entrance fork. Your tire selection is determined by the terrain you journey.

  • Rail path – Slick or semi-slick.
  • Cross nation race – Low profile tread particularly down the center. Light-weight.
  • Freeride – Aggressive knobs for higher traction. Take into account sidewall reinforcement.
  • Mud – Larger knobs, unfold aside for mud shedding. Slender profile to dig down. Or fats bike tires to drift.

Now, you may journey in a wide range of conditions. You’ll be able to both change tires for each (which is a ache) or go for an “all function” tire. Nonetheless, if freeriding is a part of your filth food plan, I might hold these on the edges so that you’re by no means caught off guard.

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