Carbon fiber all mountain trail bikes are awesome. They are light, nimble, stiff, and compliant with wide and light wheels for quick acceleration, improved descending and cornering, for overall fun AND speed.
But these bikes aren’t cheap... Here at DIY Carbon Bikes though we are about equipping you to build your own trail bike, customized for your budget and needs.
Below we will provide a build list and recommendations for a full carbon trail bike using our DCB F130 Trek Fuel Style Frame so you can build yourself a bike in the style of a Trek Fuel. However, both our prices and our weights are significantly improved over comparable Trek Fuel builds.
Our DCB F130 builds vs. Trek Fuel EX builds
The base model of a carbon Trek Fuel bike the Fuel 9.7 costs $4,100 (with taxes at LBS) with no carbon wheels and weighs around 30 ibs. Our DIY Carbon Bikes Bronze build with similar components but with AM carbon wheels costs right about $3,200 (with NO taxes) and weighs 29 ibs. (If this base price is also too much for you, see our Crazy Affordable Build at the bottom of this blog which is $2,415, the price of Trek's absolute lowest model but ours has Carbon frame, wheels, and bars and weighs 29 ibs)
The mid-level carbon Trek Fuel bike, the Fuel EX 9.8 costs $6,000 (with taxes at LBS) and weighs around 29ibs. Our DIY Carbon Bikes Silver build with similar components costs $3,800 (with NO taxes) and weighs 27 ibs.
The high-level carbon Trek Fuel bike, The Fuel EX 9.9 costs $8,000 (with taxes at LBS) without fully upgrading to XX1 so it still weighs 29ibs. Our DIY Carbon Bikes Gold build that is full XX1 costs $5,700 (with NO taxes) and weighs only 25ibs!
You can even substitute for a SRAM AXS wireless groupset and a RockShox Reverb AXS wireless post for only $1,150 upgrade cost. This DIY Carbon Bikes Gold build that is full XX1 and AXS would make the build cost $6,800 (with NO taxes). The similar Trek Fuel 9.9 AXS model is $9,000 (with taxes at LBS).
Here is a discussion of the different components for the builds. Below you will also find build lists.
All Builds: All of the build lists use our DCB F130 Trek Fuel Style Frame. The frame is in the style of the Fuel frame and is suited for 140 of travel and is perfect for aggressive trail to light to moderate AM/Enduro riding.
Silver Build: For a balanced build we recommend the RockShox Pike Select It has wide 35mm stanchions for Trail/AM performance with the improved charger 2 damper. It is $699, and weighs 1900g.
Bronze Build: If your wanting to save some $ our Bronze Build recommends RockShox 35 Gold which has good performance with 35 stanchions and the older Pike charger damper. The price is only $499, but it’s hefty at 2500g.
Gold Build: If you are wanting the best performance and weight but are willing to spend the $ we recommend the Fox Factory 34 for our Gold Build. It has exceptional performance and is around 100g lighter than the Pike Ultimate at 1790g for $909.
All Builds: For the build we highly recommend our DCB Carbon Wheels. They are carbon, wide, and light, and are just as affordable as a set of aluminum wheels. For this build you will want to use our 29er AM/Enduro wheels. Any of our AM/Enduro wheels will be compatible as long as you choose Boost 15x110 / 12x148 spacing.
Silver Build: We recommend the Fastace Hub Wheels or Bitex Hub Wheels for a balanced build. They both offer 3 degrees of engagement allowing for quick engagement in rocky, rooty, and technical climbs.
Bronze Build: The Novatec hub wheels are a good option for our Bronze Build as they cost less, but they do not have as quick of engagement.
All Builds: For all of our builds we recommend our AM/Enduro 29er 37mm (i31) rims. These rims are perfect for Trail riding and moderate AM/Enduro riding. They are wide internally for stable tires at low pressures and are still light for fast acceleration.
Silver and Gold Build: For the most part we recommend our Pillar 1420 Spokes. These spokes are light and create a nice stiffness to compliance ratio. The upgrade is only $60.
Bronze Build: If you are looking to save $60 you can go with our Standard Spokes and they are just around 100g heavier.
Silver and Gold Builds: Use the SRAM XD Driver if you decided to use a SRAM 11 or Eagle cassette from our Gold and Silver build.
Bronze Build: Use the Standard driver for the Bronze Build with the NX cassette.
The Rear Shock
The compatible shock for this build is ANY 200 eye to eye shock. This includes 200x51 and 200x57 shocks.
Bronze and Silver Build: Our shock recommendation for the balanced build to accompany the RockShox Pike Select is the RockShox Monarch RT3. The shock performs very well with the upgraded damper and the DebonAir gives it a top of the line highly tunable coil-like feel. It is light at 250g, and reasonably priced at $325. The 200x51 provides 130mm of rear travel and the 200x57 provides 140mm of rear travel.
Gold Build: If you decided to go with the Fox 34 Fork for the Gold Build then the Fox Float DPS would be the rear shock to go with. It has similar performance to the Monarch, with a similar weight at 250g, but goes for $459.
Silver and Bronze Build: For the RockShox shocks two hardware pieces are needed to fit into the F130 frame. Both are 22.2x8 and one is needed for the top and one for the bottom.
Bronze Build: For the Fox shock two hardware pieces are needed as well. Both are 22.2x8 as well... one of the top and one for the bottom.
The Drivetrain / Groupset
For the drivetrain on this build, we really like the SRAM Eagle 12 Speed. The price has come down and the 12 Speed offers 500% gear range. Even the cheapest Shimano 11 is still the price of SRAM NX Eagle, and the new Shimano 12 speed seems to offer no benefit over SRAM Eagle and requires a niche driver.
Silver Build: We recommend the SRAM GX Eagle Groupset for Derailleur/Shifter/Cassette/Chain. The cost of the groupset is $545 at 1723g.
Bronze Build: If you are looking to spend a little less and sacrifice mostly weight. The SRAM Eagle NX Groupset is $375 and 2011g
Gold Build: If you are looking to spend a little more $ to get the top of the line groupset at the lightest weight look to the SRAM Eagle XX1 Groupset $1495 at 1340g.
Gold Build AXS: Surprisingly its not that much more expensive to go ahead and go with the Sram XX1 Wireless AXS System Groupset. The groupset is the same weight and $2,000.
All Builds: All of these builds work with the BSA Dub Bottom Bracket.
Any brakes are compatible with this bike build, but we really prefer Shimano brakes for several reasons. First, as a DIY builder, Shimano brakes are just far easier to set up, and far less maintenance. Shimano brakes use Mineral oil which is less coercive. Also bleeding a Shimano a brake is much easier and less particular to get it right. Overall we recommend the new Shimano 4 piston brakes which are in upgrade in power with really no downsides.
Silver Build: For a balanced build we recommend the new 4 piston Shimano SLX Brakes Front and Rear. 4 piston brakes give a new advantage in stoping power. The SLX brakes are very reasonably priced at $348 for the set and truly offer no disadvantage. The small upgrade to XT brakes (pictured) does come with a heftier price tag at $420.
Bronze Build: If you are looking for the best price, we would say to go with the Shimano Deore 4 piston Brakes Front and Rear. They are go for $200 and weigh 630g and still perform very well with very low maintenance.
Gold Build: If you are willing to spend the most money for the lightest set you can grab the 4 piston Shimano XTR 4 Piston Brakes and they will be $649 and 620g and have a little more adjustability over the XT brakes.
All Builds: We recommend the simple, affordable, yet powerful and durable Shimano SM-RT56 180 front and 160mm rear rotors. They are $30 for the set. 270g This bike runs best with a 180mm up front and 160mm in the rear for the most balanced and powerful braking.
We LOVE Maxxis tires! In our experience they are the best tires for the money. The tubeless set up is so easy and sets up flawlessly on our DCB rims with a hand pump, the compound is supple, light, and long lasting, and the EXO protection makes them durable.
All Builds: For a build like this intended for Aggressive Trail/AM riding, we would recommend the Maxxis Minion DHF TR/EXO 29x2.5 and Maxxis Minion DHR II 29x2.3. The set costs $120. The Minion tires are perfect for aggressive riding conditions and still roll well. The 2.5 in the front is perfect as it is a little wider and better for slightly lower pressures ran in the front. The 2.3 rear allows for fast rolling and nimbleness with still a good amount of volume.
All Builds Alternative: If your looking for something a little wider and a little less knobby for supple riding with a lighter tire for faster riding a good combo is Maxxis Rekon TR/EXO 29x2.6 in the front and Maxxis Ardent TR/EXO 29x2.4
The Post & Saddle
All Builds: AM/Trail riding does not exist today without a dropper post. Dropper posts are a dime a dozen, but we have found that KS eTENi Dropper Post with lever is a a super affordable at $135 and is internally routed option that is easy to set up and functions very well.
All Builds Wireless Alternative: If you are willing to spend a little more, we love wireless dropper posts...If you go with AXS wireless system and would like to match that system the RockShox Reverb AXS Dropper Post will work with that system for $800. The Magura Vyron eLECT Dropper Post is a more affordable option as it runs $499 and is 595g for everything.
Silver and Bronze Builds: We love WTB saddles. They are extremely comfortable and well built. The affordable and quality saddle that we recommend is the WTB Volt Comp. The saddle is $35 and weight 316g.
Gold Build: If you are looking to shed a little more weight and spend more money you will have to go with a saddle with ti rails, and for the we recommend the WTB SL8 Saddle that weighs 200g and is $100.
All Builds: For handlebars and stem we recommend our DCB Carbon Handlebars. For a AM/Trail riding we recommend 760mm wide bars for $55 and 130g. They have a 15mm rise to give good leverage on the bar and have great weight and shock absorption. The wide bars are great for more control and opening up the lungs on climbs.
All Builds: For stems, we simply recommend a simple short alu stem for this build. They are light and well priced and get the job done. Specifically we recommend the Ritchy Trail Stem 60mm. Its only $35 and weight 130g. The wide bars pair well with short stem. The short stem creates handling that is fast and responsive, whereas the wide bars allow stability and control.
All Builds: We really love the ESI Extra Chunky These silicone grips feel great by providing shock absorption, are really light, and give a nice full feeling of control over the bar. They are $18 and weigh 80g.
Time to build!
(see pictures and descriptions above! Links to build components below!)Now its your time to build up your own dream AM/Trail bike! Below is summery of the three builds we have discussed. In the builds we have links to all the components. All the components besides the DIY Carbon Bike parts will send you to Worldwide Cyclery for purchase. Worldwide Cyclery is our partner in bike build components. They have great prices, shipping times, customer service, and selection. Simply add to cart to fill up your cart on Worldwide Cyclery with all the build parts and check out with both DIY Carbon BIkes and Worldwide Cyclery.
|DIY Carbon BIkes 29er F130 Trek Fuel Style AM Trail Mountain Bike Build|
|Builds||Balanced Build (Silver)||Affordable Build (Bronze)||High Performance/Light Build (Gold)|
|Avg Price||$3,800||$3,200||$5,850 (With FULL SRAM AXS $6,995)|
|Frame||ALL BUILDS - DCB F130 Carbon Full Suspension Frame - $775 - 2350g|
|Fork||RockShox Pike Select - $700 - 1900g||RockShox 35 Gold - $500 - 2500g||Fox Factory 34 - $910 - 1790g|
DCB 29er AM/Enduro 37mm, Fastace Hubs
15x110/12x148, 1420 spokes, XD driver
$605 - 1700g
DCB 29er AM/Enduro 37mm, Novatec Hubs,
15x110/12x148, P14 spokes, Standard driver
$525 - 1700g
DCB 29er AM/Enduro 37mm, DT350 hubs,
15x110/12x148, 1420 spokes, XD driver,
Upgraded 56t ratchet, $975 - 1600g
|Rear Shock||RockShox Monarch RT3 200x57 - $325 - 250g||
RockShox Monarch RT3 200x57 - $325 - 250g
|Fox Float DPS 7.875 x 2.25 - $479 - 250g|
|Rear Hardware||TWO Rockshox 22.2x8 -$25||TWO Rockshox 22.2x8 - $25||Two Fox 22.19x8 - $30|
|Bottom Bracket||ALL BUILDS - SRAM BSA DUB Bottom Bracket - $38 - 130g|
|Groupset||SRAM GX Eagle Groupset - $545 - 1723g||SRAM NX Eagle Groupset - $375 - 2011g||
SRAM XX1 Eagle Groupset - $1495 - 1340g
SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS Groupset - $2,000 - 1340g
|Brakes||Shimano Deore 4 Piston Front & Rear - $200 - 630g||Shimano XTR - BR-M9120 - $649 - 620g|
|Rotors||Shimano SM-RT56 180f 160r - $30 - 270g||Shimano SM-RT56 180f 160r - $30 - 270g||
Shimano SM-RT56 180f 160r - $30 - 270g
|Tires||ALL BUILDS - Front - Maxxis Minion DHF TR/EXO 29x2.5 and Rear - Maxxis Minion DHR II 29x2.3 - $120 - 1865g|
|Post||ALL BUILDS - KS eTENi Dropper Post with lever - $135 - 700g||<-- OR RockShox Reverb AXS - $800 - 701g|
|Saddle||WTB Volt Comp - $25 - 316g||WTB Volt Comp - $25 - 316g||WTB SL8 Saddle - $100 - 200g|
|Clamp||ALL BUILDS - Wolf Tooth Seat Post Clamp - $25 - 10g|
|Handlebars||ALL BUILDS - DCB Carbon Handlebars 760mm 15mm riser - $55 - 130g|
|Stem||Ritchy Trail Stem 60mm - $35 130g|
ESI Extra Chunky - $20 - 80g
Crazy Affordable Build
Are our three dream builds not in your budget? Below is our "crazy affordable" option. For those of you that have a small budget, but still want a good performing light full suspension AM Trail bike, this is the build for you!