How to Build a Full-Suspension Mountain Bike from Scratch?

Considering custom a dream mountain bike with different premium components by yourself online? If the answer is yes, you are in the right place.

In this guide I will work you through step by step, you will know how to build a full-suspension mountain bike from scratch, and get all components you want to build a dream mountain bike.

OK, let’s dive in.

To have a clear vision for what components you needed, here is a full-suspension mountain bike parts list in google sheet, you can click and copy for your use.

Full-Suspension Mountain Bike Build List. xls

Before start, you should identify which riding style currently you was, there are Cross Country(XC), Trail, All-mountain, Enduro, Downhill, freeride riding styles.

Different riding styles have different design disciplines components, such as XC riding style and Downhill, they have different requested for strength, weight, and rear travel.

OK, let keep moving to check all the components of the full-suspension mountain bike you need to consider.

We have divided it into 4 parts.

Frameset system





-seat post


-seat clamp


Wheelset system






-disc rotor


Drivetrain system


-shifting level





-Bottom Bracket


-Cables and housings

Suspension system

-Rear shock

-front fork

Now let work through all these components one by one and all you need to know and avoid.

Before you going to start recommended you can set a budget for the build, normally if you want to build a middle-level full suspension mountain bike, you can set up the budget from $3000-3500.

After you have done, let’s dive into each component you should know before placing an order.

Frameset – Which kind of frame should I choose?

For frame material, currently, we have much range to choose from, there are carbon fiber frames, alloy frames, steel frames, and Titanium frames available on the market.

If you prefer a more light frame to save the total weight of your complete bike, you can choose a carbon fiber frame. carbon fiber is super light than all other material frames, but the cost is also high than others.

You should find a balance.

If you were looking to build a full-suspension mountain bike for a long journey, you can check the alloy and Titanium frame, since compared to the carbon fiber material frame, alloy and Titanium have more stability and durability. carbon fiber frame also stiffness, but it easy crack compare to alloy&Titanium when your crash.

The next one of the frame aspect it was the geometry, the head tube angle, for most of the MTB riders recommend 67-68 degree head tube angle will perfect for the trail.

When you check the frame geometry you can notice this part.

Handlebar – riser or flat bars?

The handlebar has different materials, the main material also carbon fiber, alloy, and titanium, but the most common use was carbon fiber and aluminum handlebars.

According to the different setup and riding styles, the different riders have to choose a riser bar or flat bar, if you prefer a more comfortable riding experience, and more reach, you can choose the riser bar, if your riding was more aggressive and for competition, you can choose the flat bar. except these, when you choose the handlebar, you should notice the clamp diameter, bar length, and handlebar diameter.

When you choose the stem you should especially check the clamp diameter of the handlebar. normally was 38mm or 31.8mm.


For the MTB stem, you also have many options in the market, recommend according to your riding style to choose from, I like the America brand RACEFACE stem, the stem looks great, from the shape and designs, you also can refer to other brands like 3T, ZIPP, FSA, etc…


When you buy the MTB frame, you can check the manufacturer’s specification of the headset, you can choose the FSA and Canne Creek headsets.

Normally then you ask the supplier they will answer you.

The headset will have an integrated or semi-integrated type headset, for most of the Enduro or AM frameset will use the press-fit headset, when you install the headset you need press-fit tools.

Some XC frames will no need, just put the upper and down bearings and cap you can install manually.

Seat post

You have a rigid seat post and dropper seat post that can install on the modern MTB frames, before you buy the seat post you need to check the inner diameter of the seat tube and outer diameter of the seat post, normally there are 27.2mm and 31.6mm of the seat post outer diameter available.

Seat clamp

Seat clamp normally will be included in the frameset if you buy the Chinese mountain bike frames, they normally included frame, seat clamp, rear derailleur hanger(default install on the frame).

There are 28.6mm, 30.0mm, 31.8mm, 34.9mm, and 36.4mm these seat clamp sizes for the different seat tubes.


If you need a more light complete bike, you can choose a full carbon saddle, otherwise, there are many saddle brands on the market you can choose from, like WTB, FIZIK, etc…


The wheelset was the most important for the MTB wheels, for some frames it can both install with 29er and 650b wheels.

Wheels consist of bicycle hubs and spokes, nipples, if your budget was enough, you can choose the DT Swiss hubs, it has a good reputation in the bicycle hub industry. and Sapim CX-ray spokes.

If you have a tight budget you can check some Taiwan-made bicycle hubs like Powerway/Bitex/Novatec.


If you want to reduce more weight of your complete bike, choose the carbon fiber rims will be a good choice, compare some big brands wheels, you can check out some Chinese brand carbon MTB wheels, you also can check our super light and stiffness mountain bike wheels, both 29er and 27.5 wheels available.

When you choose the MTB rims, you should notice that the rims need compatible with the tubeless tire, now the modern mountain bikes were most install with the tubeless tire, compared to the traditional inner tube tire, the tubeless tire was more durable and reduce weight.


Currently for most mountain bikes were using the thru-axle system, like front 15*100 rear 12*142mm, with MTB development, the boost version thru-axle was more and more popular, the boost version was front 15*110mm and rear 12*148mm. some old model MTBs will have a quick-release version, and now it was not easy to find.

Disc rotor

The brake disc rotor has 6-bolts and center lock two types, for the 6-bolts disc rotor it will have 6 screws, which you can easily recognize on the hubs.

when you choose the bicycle hub, you should confirm with the wheelset seller. if make mistake get the center lock, you can use an adapter to install a 6-bolts disc rotor, 6-bolts mount hubs can’t convert to center lock.


Normally the bicycle valves have Presta valve and Schrader valve, currently more and more bike rims were used the Presta valves, also due to the carbon fiber rims use, Presta vale only need to drill a small hole on the rims and it will have a small impact on the structure of the rim, compare Schrader valve, its diameter was bigger than Presta valve.

Drivetrain system

You can choose the two main brands, which are Shimano and Sram, when choosing the groupsets, you need to confirm which kind of Bottom bracket shell does frame fit, normally it has Press-fit BB86, thread BSA.

Currently, there are two shifting methods for the derailleur now, they are electric shifting and mechanical shifting, the price was different, if your budget was enough, you can try the new technology of electric shifting, like Shimano XTR Di2 and Sram Eagle AXS, this two-level drivetrain was these two brands top elite groupset. You will have a different riding experience if you use these components.

Clip Pedal

Normally the clip pedal needs compatible with cycling shoes, or you can choose to use the flat pedal, which depends on your riding purpose and riding style.

For most pro riders if need joins racing, recommended to use the clip pedals, if the riding style was Enduro or All mountain bike free ride, the good flat pedal will more suitable.

Rear Shock

The most important part of the full suspension frame was the rear shock, before you place an order with the rear shock, you need to confirm which kind of mount type did the frame compatible with.

Normally there are two types of mounts, the standard mount(eyelet to eyelet) and another one is trunnion mount. Confirm with your MTB frame manufacturer when you place an order.

Check the size of the rear shock as well, the length, and stroke, also do not forget to ask the bushing kits dimension for the frame, most of the rear shocks are not supply with bushing kits together with the rear shock.

Front Suspension Fork

You can choose from two big brands FOX and ROCKSHOX, when you choose the suitable front fork, consider your frame recommended front travel, normally if the frame was XC type, you can choose the 120-130mm front travel suspension fork, if the frame was Enduro/AM, you can choose 150-160mm front travel fork, do not beyond the recommended travel since that will change the wheelbase and control of the bike.

Finally, we have come across the whole components of the full-suspension mountain bike, if you still have questions or are not clear about the compatibility of the different components, leave a comment below or contact us at

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