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1. Rigid carbon fork; LBS have a Shimano Pro 29er, but is there another brand you would recommend.
2. Drivetrain; Shimano or SRAM? I run RED (road) Force (CX) , but not sure of anything in the mtn world.
3. Wheelsets; Would it be better to have a custom build or factory built?
4. Discs; best ones available
5. Tires; I used every tire back in my era. But, have no clue now. What happened to the green Michelin Wildgripper or white Onza Porcupines in white?
I am going with a flat bar and some small barends just like when i rode in Vail, SoCal, Moab, Boulder, Banff. Parts available in my garage are; DuraAce 7800 cranks 130mm 38/44 chainrings, Force RD, 970XTR pedals, Flite Ti saddle, Thompson Elite Seatpost (330mm, zero setback), Shimano 105 12-27 cassette...any thing from this bin worth using?
Thanks for your input.
SRAM 10-speed stuff is far less crisp than shimano 10-speed.
I'm a SRAM 9-speed guy, but of 10-speed groups, shimano is far better build quality and feel. Shimano xt and xtr brakes in particular are more reliable than any of the offerings from SRAM.
As far as wheelsets, if just depends what your budget is. I really like shimano and mavic factory wheels for proper UST tubeless. Stans do some popular and light factory wheels also.
Otherwise, a stans or mavic rim laced to the hub of your choice is a good bet. I like Shimano XT and DT swiss 350s hubs, but you can get something blingy if you want.
The PRO carbon fork is nice, but ritchey do a similar one that'll match the bike better. White Brothers also do one. There are some monocoque rigid carbon forks available as well, from niner and Whisky Parts co.
Drivetrain? Shimano XT or XTR or maybe the new Sram XX1 but you'll need a special rear wheel for that.
I'd get the wheels built up locally with DT, King or XTR hubs. DT spokes. Mavic or Stans rims.
The best reviewed discs are XTR then XT then a big drop off. Don't buy any Sram discs, they all suck.
Tires? Conti Race King 2.2 or Schwalbe. You'll probably want to go tubeless. Ask local riders what they use.
New Ultimate flat bar with Ritchey WCS bar ends.
You can use your bin stuff (if they fit) but that would be a high gearing.
I think the magura MT8s are the highest performing brakes on the market right now: if you're concerned with weight and ultimate blingability. Otherwise, Shimano's XTRs are very, very nice, as well as XT and SLX, but you're paying a small weight penalty over the Maguras. Stopping power of either of these two will be comparable. The Formula R1s, in my opinion, have the potential to be the highest performing brakes out there, but rotor clearance is basically zero, so you will have a constant battle with pad rub. Hopes are reliable and well made, but stopping power versus weight is very poor. Avid's quality control is poor, and their design (taperbore) is flawed, though they can perform allright. I'd rock some X0 trails if they were given to me.
King hubs are reliable, fairly light, reliable, build stiff wheels due to their high flanges, reliable, have quick engagement, and are reliable. Some kings laced to arch rims would build a pretty stiff and light wheelset. 29er factory wheelsets have improved quite a bit: especially the nicer Mavic wheels, but the rims are narrow if you're into running wide, thin casing tires.
SRAM Mech's bend really easily. I went through 3 this summer (and that was without wearing out a chain, that's how little the bike was used compared to the singlespeed!). Back on shimano and not bent it yet. Odly it always seemed to be the really chunky parralelogram section that bent, I think Shimano forge theirs rather than CNC, maybe that's the difference.
Rigid forks, see if you can track down a pair of forks off a Singular Swift. They're identical to the niner steel forks, but typicaly sell for £30-£40!
Brakes, shimano, relaible, cheep, very powerfull.
I'd always go handbuilt for offroad wheels, CBA with paying to have factory wheels rebuilt at a silly cost. Hope Hoops? Cheeper than King, and the only difference in bling levels is a percieved one due to the cost!
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