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NSMB 2020 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

May 4, 2020, 9:26 p.m.
Posts: 1210
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

I've been working on this for my daughter for about 2 years now, my ultimate max-min project. Bought the frame from Giant's warehouse sale for $25 and went from there. I should be into this for around $500 all said and done, and it's basically done aside from a rear brake lever. I'm still considering hydraulic brakes, but these Avid mechanicals are as good as any 8ish year old should need. I still have a couple years to figure that out.

The classic high bb for this bike with 26" wheels is perfect for 24" wheels sitting right around 12.5" now. Quality short cranks that didn't break the bank were tricky but I found some 152mm Suntour Zerons and they included a steel NW ring and use a normal Shimano 24mm external bb. I'm especially proud of the modern effective seat tube angle, running the old school Raceface seatpost backwards. Not too many posts have a wide enough adjustment range to pull this off. 

I'd love to be able to get an angle adjust headset to slack the head angle out a couple degrees, but this is already slacker than what I started out with back in the 90s hah!

May 4, 2020, 9:28 p.m.
Posts: 1210
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Failing at the nsmb interweb again

May 4, 2020, 11:12 p.m.
Posts: 907
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Kids and bikes can be a magical thing. Your daughter will never forget the bike your building for her and putting so much thought into.

Bravo dad!

May 4, 2020, 11:20 p.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 15, 2013

That's killer, hope you guys have a blast!

May 5, 2020, 7:05 a.m.
Posts: 1141
Joined: May 11, 2018

Is your family accepting new members - I'm jealous of your kid

May 5, 2020, 7:15 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Well done. That's a great build !

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

May 5, 2020, 2:51 p.m.
Posts: 159
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Awesome build! I can't let my daughter see that.

May 5, 2020, 3:26 p.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 15, 2013

I don't really care to start another FS bike thread so I'm going to post this here since it's related to FS bikes.

I currently have a 2016 Banshee Darkside built up basically as a long travel Enduro / Park bike. It's 180mm F+R with all lighter pedal parts on it, it's pretty pimp. Top of the line 2017 Fox 36 and Float X2, Hope hubs cranks bb, Shimano XT brakes drivetrain, carbon Chromag bar, the whole 9 yards. It has like 20 rides on it, it's in really great condition with zero issues aside from some rear tire air leakage while tubeless. Downside - it sucks to pedal. Like a lot.

I also have a Chromag Wide angle with 6 year drivetrain parts, but newer everything else. Same chromag bar/stem, XT brakes, trash wheels,  Factory 36 as well.

I don't really need the 2 bikes and I don't have the room for them anymore. I'm considering selling them both and buying one roughly 150mm bike, 29 or 27.5 not sure yet. Something that can pedal and is capable like Sight or a Range or something. I really don't care about doing all the insane double black tech shit anymore, not that I couldn't do it on one of those bikes, just mentioning. Every double black I've ridden on my Darkside I've also cleaned on my hard tail so I'm not worried about myself or the bike "not being capable enough" or anything.

Because both of my bikes are a bit older I doubt I'll get much more than like 3500ish combined for the 2 (even though the Darkside is pretty pimp), but then I'm not even remotely close to even a mid level new bike, let alone one with even close to similar spec as the Darkside. At ~4 grand you're still getting entry level suspension and GX parts which is insane. I've considered selling the Chromag as a full bike, and then sell just the DS frame and build my pimp kit on a new frame, but the DS wheels won't fit most new frames because the darkside is 150mm rear end, so then I have to build / buy new wheels in addition.

It really feels easier to just sell them both and buy a new bike but the huge downgrade of parts spec is a real kick in the balls unless I save for like a year lol.

Now the other thing to consider is that the Darkside is designed to be run as 160 if you put a shorter shock on it, and I can lower the fork easily with no cost. I also own a Marz 380 DH fork. So I was also considering selling the Chromag, using that money to buy a nice shorter shock to run most of the time with the 160 fork. Then I put the longer shock and 380 on it for the days I want to go to the bike park. That way I can just have the single bike and not take a huge loss of money or parts spec, or have down time while I'm saving for a replacement bike.

Anyone have any input on this? I feel like I'm going crazy trying to figure this out.


 Last edited by: thaaad on May 5, 2020, 3:32 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
May 5, 2020, 5:57 p.m.
Posts: 1306
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

I would never want to be caught without two fully functioning bikes. I know, not really a lot of help. I also like to buy completes. I think you can get more bang for your buck and make smart upgrades as you go. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. If you’re married, asking for forgiveness is always easier than getting permission.

May 5, 2020, 9:10 p.m.
Posts: 18
Joined: Aug. 14, 2019

Posted by: thaaad

Because both of my bikes are a bit older I doubt I'll get much more than like 3500ish combined for the 2 (even though the Darkside is pretty pimp), but then I'm not even remotely close to even a mid level new bike, let alone one with even close to similar spec as the Darkside. At ~4 grand you're still getting entry level suspension and GX parts which is insane. I've considered selling the Chromag as a full bike, and then sell just the DS frame and build my pimp kit on a new frame, but the DS wheels won't fit most new frames because the darkside is 150mm rear end, so then I have to build / buy new wheels in addition.

2019 and newer fox 36 performance are nicer than older factory. The new air spring is just better. I was surprised when I bought my new bike. I thought I would switch the fork out with mold factory but kept the lower end but newer fork because it felt way better.

May 5, 2020, 9:31 p.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 15, 2013

Yeah I know, I was a tech at the Fox Distribution / service center here in van. But lots of 4-5k bikes are coming with rhythm forks which are garbage.

May 5, 2020, 10 p.m.
Posts: 1517
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Buy the mid-level bike that you can afford now, later when you have the money trade up the parts you want to upgrade? Brakes, possibly fork?

I bought a short travel full suspension bike about 6 months ago, going off the same philosophy as you about not being focused on hucking anymore. It's worked out well, glad I did it.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on May 5, 2020, 10:32 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 5, 2020, 10:06 p.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 15, 2013

What did you buy?

May 5, 2020, 10:38 p.m.
Posts: 1141
Joined: May 11, 2018

Here is what I would do. 

1. Sell your hardtail. 

2. Sell. Your darkside frame

3. Convert your hub to 157mm. 

4. Put your build on a 2020 knolly warden. Fresh geo, they pedal well and can take anything you want to throw at it. 

Once you put together a custom build like you have, it never makes sense to part with it until you are truly done with it or it wears out. 

Also, do you really have no room for a second bike? I agree with flatch, two bikes is the minimum.

May 6, 2020, 10:15 a.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 15, 2013

RAH, I was actually already strongly considering doing exactly that. They are just quite a bit of money, $3200 plus tax for a frame. Not saying they're not quality bikes that's just a huge chunk of change. I really like the guys from Knolly as well, every time I've talked with Noel and Cavan they've always come across as such great guys, and I've never talked to them in a client / sales setting. I used to run in to them at a coffee shop near work.

The flip side is that selling a frame has always proven to be a pain in the ass for me. The last 3 frames I've sold have taken ages, even when priced appropriately IMO. I considered trying to sell the frame first and riding the Chromag in the interim.

As far as room goes, we rent a 650 sq foot 1 bedroom. We are sleeping on a fold out couch in the living room while our 2 year old sleeps in our old bedroom. I could go in to more detail but there is no more room for bikes in our place.

Edit - Man... I feel like every word out of my mouth is about the money. It really isn't about the money it's about making a good decision and getting mostly what I want lol.


 Last edited by: thaaad on May 6, 2020, 10:23 a.m., edited 1 time in total.

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