New Bike, Cheap Brand-X Frame – How-to get it ready + Need your help!

Hey everyone, happy off-season! In the last couple of winters I showed you
how to build a bike from scratch and I have quite a few videos about that. But this time, yes, I’m gonna build something new, it’s not really new because
I’m trying to reuse a lot of things I had that’s a Rockshox Revelation fork, I’ve had some 11 speed gears around, I had that rear wheel, ended up buying a front wheel for 100 bucks, I ended up buying a 9 speed triple crankset for very cheap, but most importantly I ended up
buying a super cheap frame, and in this short video I’m gonna show you how I’m gonna prep this up, just to turn it into a real bike. You don’t have to look hard
to find Brand-X online and I’ve never really used anything serious from them but this time I ended up buying this frame. This is a 27.5 hardtail that I’m
gonna build for myself. Believe it or not, I’ve never had a 27.5 bike. I already mentioned that price was my first criteria for selecting this frame, so much so that I can tell you I paid slightly more for it than I paid for that front wheel which was 100 bucks so that’s quite impressive. This is an aluminum frame, 27.5 again,
it’s been around for a while, and if you look back here you’re gonna notice that this is a good old time 135 millimeter spacing, which is fine I don’t mind that. And everything is routed on the outside
of the frame which I think I prefer anyway. You can see the quality of the
welds right here by the head tube, head tube which is tapered and I really like that because it will take tapered forks. This is a Rockshox Revelation, it’s 150 mm travel, I’m gonna modify it to 130mm. Would you guys want me to do a video on how to change the travel on this Revelation fork? Let me know in the comments below, I’ve never done videos about fork servicing
but I can definitely do that for you. Continuing on, here’s back to the
bottom bracket. I like the threaded bottom brackets because they are easy to maintain this is a 73 mm shell and if you watched
my “How to build a bike from scratch” series you know how to measure your frame and get
to the appropriate bottom bracket. Continuing on the seat tube: 31.6 mm, 34.9 mm seat post clamp here. Seat clamp that is not provided, kind of unusual, but this is a cheap frame
so I guess I’m gonna have to buy one of those. And talking about what
you don’t have, it is the bottle cage mount screws you don’t get those with this
frame. And also, if I bring you back here where
your rear caliper will get installed this is called an IS mount. And in order to install any of the brakes
you might love today, you’re gonna need one of these. This is an adapter, IS to POST mount adapter. What this frame has plenty of though, is these cable stops. This being an older frame it was supposed to be installed with segments of housing,
so these would be cable stops, and then each inner cable will be
flopping around here on its own. What I’m gonna have to do is drill these out. With the frame upside down, you can see some sort of a serial number over there and you can also see that there is no protection on this frame whatsoever. If you read on the reviews, a lot of people are going to complain that the matte
black finish looks pretty but it shows all the marks. And I can probably attest
to that because I already have a bike in matte black. So there is no protection whatsoever
and I would highly recommend to use at least something like
this: this is the 3M Scotchgard Clear Bra They use it on the cars but you can find
strips like this. Definitely cover the downtube, the top tube,
probably the seat stays and chain stays because I already see marks over here and it’s probably gonna get pretty nasty with usage. Chain stay is not protected with anything
on this frame either, and this is an area that’s gonna cause a lot of noise, and also the paint here is gonna be damaged right away
by the chain. Highly recommend to use something like this, I’ve been using it for a while. It is the professional-grade, moisture sealing electrical tape from Scotch. So I already mentioned that I went for
this frame because of the price, but is it any good? I already mentioned the headset which is tapered,
and I like that, I also love that the head tube is at 68 degrees, which can make this a pretty decent trail bike. Also, to go along with that, your seat tube angle here is at 74 degrees. So it’s not at 75 or 76 degrees,
like most of the modern bikes out there. However, with a combination of 68 and 74 degrees,
I think it’s gonna be more than decent. Also this frame was built with 120 to 130 mm
fork in mind. Well, as soon as I modify that RS Revelation
from 150 to 130 mm, I think that’s gonna give me a pretty capable hardtail that should be quite playful given that the chain stays are pretty short, at 425 mm, and the components that I’m gonna put on it are gonna be at least half decent. The weight of this 17-inch,
or a medium frame is 2.04 Kg, That would be 4.8 pounds. It’s not light by any means but it’s pretty much according to spec. I promised you guys a couple of ideas on how to drill out these cable stops. First of all, I’ve applied some tape on the frame, just so I don’t scratch the paint. So at the very minimum what you’re going
to need it’s a round file. I found it into a needle file set, because it has to be tiny. And together with that I’m always using a piece of housing. This is the Shimano SP-41 that I plan to use and I’m gonna use this along the way, just to make sure that I don’t make these holes too too big because I want the
cable to be snug in there, so it doesn’t rattle. So I’m gonna use that along the
way. Now, if you have access to something like this, this is a rotary tool, a Dremel, always use, first of all, always use protection you want to take care of your eyes, but if you use these grinding bits the tiny, tiny ones that
people usually wonder what to do with them, they will be good for that task. Actually this time,
I’m gonna use what’s called a Diamond Point. This is an engraving tool that should be good enough for the aluminum that I’m working with right now If all you have is a tiny round file, arm yourself with a lot of
patience, and why not, a couple of beers, and just go out at guys! It’s gonna work, it’s just gonna take a while because you can only fit the very tip of the file into the hole. Using the Dremel is a lot faster… The tiny grinding tip, and the
round file seem to be the tool for the job again and you can see the cable
going through this first stop. And if I can give you a conclusion, a carving bit like this works wonders because it removes a lot of material. Use the grinding stone to polish it. If you have just a round file, that’s perfectly fine, it just takes a lot more work. Don’t waste your time with the Diamond Point, because that’s not the good tool for the job. And look at this!
All my stops are drilled out so I’m good to go. And here’s the frame ready to go guys! Pretty excited about this little project. I have the film installed pretty
much everywhere, I have mounting bolts for the bottle cage, I have the the 3M mastic tape, I have the adapter for my POST mount brake,
which I don’t have yet. I turned that 9 speed Shimano triple into a beautiful crank set with a 34 tooth
chainring, narrow wide, I can probably fit a 36 in there, but one big question that I still have in my mind is: am I gonna be tempted to install a dropper post on this bike? With a 68 degree head angle and 130 millimeter fork, I think I’m gonna be very, very tempted to ride this hard, harder that I’m supposed to. And for that, I’m gonna want a dropper post. The problem is this, this frame is not
setup to take anything internal, and I don’t really like the externally routed droppers. If I was to go for one of those, I can probably use the mounting bosses down here to run any cable I want for the remote. However, if I am to run an internally routed dropper, I’m probably gonna have to drill a hole right down here, just so I’m able to run a cable on
the outside of the frame. What do you guys think? Would you go for the
internally router dropper or the external? Let me know what you think, I’m curious if you’ve done something like that before, and if you consider it worth it. What else can I say? I’m pretty excited any intrigued by this little frame. I think it’s gonna turn into a cool little bike I will probably make it a 1×10 because I still have some parts in the parts bin. What about you guys? Would you be tempted to buy something like this? Do you have a 26er that you want to
turn into something a bit more modern, or are you in need of building something
only because… Let me know what you think in the comments below I’ll try to keep
you informed with the status of my build. But for now, I think this is it. Let me know if you have any questions. Keep an eye on social media
and all that kind of good jazz, and until next time, I will keep you guys in the loop. Take care guys, Cheers!

26 thoughts on “New Bike, Cheap Brand-X Frame – How-to get it ready + Need your help!

  1. Solid frame, the welder did a good job laying down nice evenly spaced beads. Can't go wrong for the cost either, the only possible thing that could make it better is if they went to a flat mount disc brake option.

  2. I was just thinking of doing the opposite and increasing travel to 140 on my reba… that would be great to see.

  3. Yes to free travel and beer. I had an utterly reliable KS ETEN Lever until last month but an asshole stole the Kona Shred it was attached to.

  4. Cool video. I have been considering doing the same thing for a winter bike. If I were you I would just go with an external mounted post because holes drilled in the frame seems to hurt resale value LOL. I can also give you a little tip and that is you are going to want to run the highest volume tires that you can because those chain stays are super thick and that means that the bike is going to feel very harsh. I had a Dartmoor Primal with thick chainstays like that and it was awful with low volume tires.

  5. I went for Nicolai/Geoemtron G1 large, I am 181cm, just waiting for dropper post and adapter and front rotors.
    my old 26er hardtail has 69 deg head angle, I think and slack seattube, and is way too short, my trail bike is also too short, but my new bike fits me much better with 515 mm reach. also 61deg head angle with the 170mm fork. so quite a different build than you are going for.
    I use many parts I had, plus second hand parts only those parts I mentioned that are new and the Fox 36 fork is second hand from suspension expert converted to coil.

  6. Def go for an internal dropper.
    I've drilled 2 bikes with no problems for 3 years now.
    I would also leave the revelation at 150, and you get a setup similar ro what i run, my frame is a dartmoor primal, it is also cheap but can take a beating.

  7. I always want a dropper post, but it sounds like routing the cable in that frame is your biggest concern. I wonder how much headache you would save if you didn't go for the cheap frame and got a frame suited to your objective other than low price? I would hate to invest a lot into a bike that may only leave you regretful.

  8. I.S. brake mount, 135mm dropout and external cables… missed the time where everything was simple and cheap. Now you can buy a cassette for the price of your bike.

  9. Personally leave the fork travel as is.
    For drilling the frame and running a dropper, do it. I’ve done it on previous frames and rode them off jumps and drops with no drama at all. Ensure the hole is well finished and oval to allow the bend of the cable outer.
    About 10-12mm long by 5.5mm wide Is perfect and allows a small grommet to be fitted preventing cable rub.

  10. I’ve got one of these. Drilled a hole for an internal dropper exactly as you described. Works great. Set mine up with 26” wheels and a 150mm fork.

  11. I put an Lyne Components external dropper on my bike. Good value. Easy to install. Actuator on the post works well vs other designs where you end up with a big cable loop that moves as the seat goes up and down.

  12. I would go with an external routing dropper post but at the mid cap, like the PNW Cascade

  13. Hey so, I had old frame that I drilled for the internal dropper post. It's 2014 Marin San Rafael, I drilled around the same height that you have shown but to the left side of the bike, after drilling I used 3d printer to print rubber enclosure for the hole and glued it using gorilla glue, then I used couple 3M cable stops on the downtube and routed dropper cable to the the handlebar. It turned out to be pretty good and you definitely have to look twice to understand that it is DIY, and not factory made

  14. Nice description. Fitting a back carrier is easier with a IS brake attachment, one of the 2 M6 screws helps this. Bsa 73 thread is my favourite. Chainring 36 tooth is perfect, and I think is place enough. If I'll buy 26 wheels, would be enough place for 2,8 inches tires on the rear? What kind of rigid fork, through axle or quick release would you recommend?
    I would drill the vertical tube for dropper Seat post cable.
    Thanks for your helpful video.

  15. Not used that frame but as I’m in the uk I’m rather tempted to buy an fit a brand x dropper post on my bike. Seems good value

  16. Would definitely like a video on servicingRockShox silver or gold air because I think most people have those as their forks as they are the budget ones

  17. If this was my frame, I would definitely go external dropper. On some droppers, the cable housing is attached to the collar of the dropper unlike the RockShox reverb which the cable is mounted towards the rails of the seat post. This design is much better and you don’t notice the cable at all.

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