Building a BUDGET ultra-light weight bike, your help needed!

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Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 6:39 pm

by eigerascent

Its very easy to build a super ultra light weight bike when you have wodges of cash to throw at it,
but I'm going to start a little project to build the lightest bike I can for pretty much the best price.. and I've set my budget at 800 euros (1000 dollars)

First problem: I haven't been into MTBing for years and years, but when I was I knew almost every component and its weight, now I am clueless..

Secondly: I really really fancy doing this with a steel frame, trickier I know (hardtail, no susp fork)

and finally: I'm in Europe.. with euro prices.. I can't import anything from the US.

While I was getting fat and lazy for the last 10 years, I learnt a lot about building computers, its so simple to build the fastest most powerful PC
when price is no object.. the real interesting part is trying to get the most power for the lowest price.. that balance point for each component

I want to do the same for an MTB, getting the parts will be no problem, its just knowing which parts to go for.. the parts that offer the best weight/price
ratio. I used to pour over MTB magazines and know that with just 500 quid I could build a bike far lighter than most 1500 quid bikes.. however
now, its a different picture.. and I've gotta start from scratch again.

So if anyone has done, or is doing something like this, please, feel free to list a few budget parts or throw some ideas

I am not so interested in strength, I've ridden a lot of trials and am a fairly smooth light rider, this bike will mostly be used to pedal around flatish fireroad.

Again, if anyone has any ideas, bung em down here, I'd love to know the bargains, light stems, bottom brackets, the ones that
really stand out.. and if I could get the bike to 19 lbs I'd be very happy.. in fact thats my goal.. 19 lbs.

cheers lads

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by Juanmoretime

I thought your post and introduction might be better suited here. First let me say Welcome to Weight Weenies. Its a very noble project since not everyone has deep pockets. I'm sure the membership with will you obtain your goals or at least tell you why it won't work or even come up with something close although it might stretch the gold card a bit.

Let's help this new member!

Might I suggest starting with as frame since it and the fork is the platform of any build. It sound like you might be in for some Asian carbon.


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by Jackalmiauleon

Last edited by Jackalmiauleon on Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
NO NUKES and visit my blog

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by flange

Hi (first post here)

Interesting topic and one that I may be able to help with. I built something similar to race my local MTB series and part of it had to be cheap(ish) but also strong enough to last a race season. I also prefer steel to alu/carbon and resent spending mucho mula on a bike that will get wrecked during a british winter of racing.


The above (if the link worked) is my new 20inch inbred which when weighed on my local shop scales came in at a smidge over 22lbs. Not amazing but pretty good for the cost/cheap steel frame/idiot building it. Spec as follows

Formula brakes
American classic wheels
King headset
Thompson layback seatpost
EA70 bars and EA90 stem
Middleburn Uno (for 1x9) with E*13 XCX
Slx shifter + mech
KMC chain
King headset

The wheels were £160 off a display bike from my lbs, as were the brakes. Obviously one-offs but there are plenty of second hand deals to be had. Seat post was one I had spare, king is pretty much an heirloom. I think as it stands all in, I'm looking around the £800 - £1000k mark although I'd need to sit down and work it out properly. I could loose at least another pound going to a better fork (Pro do a really light carbon one for £300'ish) and the tyres are non-folding so there's more weight to be saved there. I'd also recommend going 1x9 as you remove a load of excess weight that you'll not need given the type of riding you want to do. I'm also an ex-trials rider so that probably helps too!

For the record, it (with me on it) came second in our first race together this weekend just gone - bikes behind included a lot of carbon Scotts and Giants which made me feel very smug!

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Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 6:39 pm

by eigerascent

Hey there

nice bike, I'm still actually waiting to move house in the next few weeks so my little project is on hold just for the mo..

However, I've been browsing Ebay a lot and scoping prices on frames and bits.. especially a light weight steel frame.

This all comes from having an old '93 Stumpjumper that just rode so much nicer than anything I've had since. It was just a standard steel frame with
cro-mo forks.

Without being too up on recent components I believe there must exist a balance point of weight vs price for each category..

For instance, tyres are no problem, a pair of Schwalbes or Continental twisters can be picked up quite cheap from Ebay, those tyres fall into the sub 400g category, probably the best price to weight ratio saving you can put on a bike..

It just gets trickier when it comes to stems and bottom brackets.. e.g. I'm not going to blow 80 quid on a ti bottom bracket when I know that 80 quid could
save a lot more weight elsewhere.. and this is how I want the entire bike to be built.. as light as possible but without going up into exotic price territory..

I believe that the perfect price to weight saving point must come at around 800 quid, any higher than that and you start spending more than you are saving weight wise. And I think, if I get it right, could be possible to just hit 20 lbs at that mark (rigid forks, and possible cheating by going one ring cranks)

So, any info on other sites with good prices coupled with real weights would be great, just as to get my bearings, cheers!

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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:55 pm

by lemag

I tried to do this but with a road bike. The main problem I had though was that a "bargain" came along that was way over my budget it was too hard to resist. Needless to say I spent just over 3 times what I'd initially intended.

If you looking to build a bike for €800 and you target weight is 19lb (8.64 kg) why not try to apply a cost per gram budget across all components. For €800 an 8.64 kg bike comes in at just under 11 grams per euro. Of course for some components this won't be possible but for others it should be easily achieveable so there'll have to be some give and take but it could help you as a budgeting guide.

EDIT: just realised that I may have ressurected a fairly old thread. I'd be interested to know how you got on if you managed to complete the build.

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