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comment Building my own full suspension MTB: How to I select a frame?
Buying the same bike as, let's say, a Trek, part by part will be #1) less expensive and #2) you'll have more control over quality of the components. I've put together a number of bikes, and they always came out to be less expensive with better parts than equivalent store bikes. Big brands mark up both the frames and the parts on the frames, and often times short-change on some of the crucial components - like wheels. How often have you seen a bike w/ Ultegra and Mavic Aksium wheels (low end wheelset)?