Chinese Carbon IP-057 custom build Mountain Bike

Stocking up on water 

When deciding on a 29er frame as a basis on which to build a reliable hard tail around a Chinese made carbon fibre frame might not be the first to spring to mind. In fact I was very keen on a titanium frame but the cost soon put paid to that; especially when I began tallying up the costs of all the custom modifications I wanted such as a third pair of bottle mounts underneath the down tube and SS Couplings. In the end I started to focus on building a bike that was light weight.

So having read numerous posts within various forums and paying particular attention to the notoriously long thread here and hearing good reports of reliability I thought I would start emailing Peter at XMI-Play.com. I was incredibly impressed with how quickly he responded to my questions. Browsing the website I took a liking to some carbon rims which I’d never previously considered due to cost but these seemed to be pretty reasonable. OK, three times the cost of an alloy rim but I was getting carried away here and browsing this site was like letting a kid loose in a sweet shop. So my shopping list included the following…

ComponentAmount Paid £Price US$Rate US$ to £Cost of Component (Breakdown) £RetailerDelivery Time
IP-057 17.5'' BSA UD matte 142x12 axle frame4001.63245.4www.xmiplay.com
Custom painting for frame and fork: Dark Metallic Grey (419C) and Flouro Metallic Green (375C) with top gloss finish1151.6370.55
IP-FK-052 UD matte 15mm thru axle fork1301.6379.75
Front 15mm and rear 12mm thru axles351.6321.47
IP-M930C 29er XC rim 32H UD matte1551.6395.0927.12.13 – 31.12.13
IP-M930C 29er XC rim 32H UD matte1551.6395.0927.12.13 – 31.12.13
IP-SP7 31.6mm UD matte seat post401.6324.54
NECO headset151.639.2
Shipping1251.6376.69
4% Paypal Commission46.41.6328.47
Total Paid744.161216.41.63
Spare rear derailleur hanger151.589.49
4% Paypal Commission0.61.580.38
Total Paid9.8615.61.58
Import VAT + Parcelforce Fee48.2127.12.13 – 09.01.14
TOTAL802.23

So after beginning the whole process of deciding which components to buy, my correspondence with Peter, ordering through to final delivery took 25 days. From dispatch to delivery took just 13 days from China to the UK. Now considering that I’d ordered a custom spray job and this was over the Christmas period I thought that was really impressive.

It had been a fair while since I’d bought a new bike and somehow the SRAM 1×11 groupset had completely passed me by. I had even ordered some of the Shimano XT components to go 2×10. Then when I read about SRAM X01 I thought it made complete sense. A simpler system forgoing the front derailleur and corresponding shifter aswell as the second chainring. It would only be useful to me if the gear ratios were equivalent to the Shimano XT drivetrain components that I’d already ordered.

Using the gear ratio calculator on Sheldon Browns website I decided that this was the system for me despite it’s huge expense.

 

Gear Ratio Comparisons

What really made the difference in my mind was the 10T sprocket. This is something no other drive train (at the time of writing) offers and would allow me to keep the high gearing that I’m used to but with some low gearing the huge 42T sprocket can offer. This bike needed to serve as my commuter over the winter as my road back was rotting away so the gearing would really help out here. Anyway back went the XT groupset and I started ordering up the X01 components whenever discounts became available.