Project: Canfield Brothers Balance

Canfield Brothers Balance (click to enlarge)


We put together a “Do-It-All” Bike Build Guide in order to help out riders in their quest to build a good all around bike. Questions on this type of bike have came up more and more lately and we felt that we could help out the community with a detailed guide on what parts would do well for this type of build.

As a proof of concept I have created my own “Do-It-All” bike that I feel should be able to handle itself very well in varying terrain. I wanted to create a bike that very versatile by using adjustable parts as well as have the construction needed to handle abuse. After all of the part decisions were made I am confident that my build will work well for me as “Do-It-All” bike.

As with all builds they are very personal in nature. This build was built for me. I weigh 140-145lbs with gear and stand 5′ 7″ tall. Yes, I am a skinny little guy but what can I do? I try to ride light and pick my lines carefully. I usually don’t go charging rock gardens with reckless abandon or really do anything too crazy. I am by no means an expert but I’m aspiring to get there. This build was monitored closely for weight as well as performance. These characteristics allow me to run a few parts that others might not be able to get away with as easily. If this is your case there are a lot of alternative parts on the market that should work well for you in order to adjust your build to your riding style.

On the subsequent pages I’ll go through my build part by part and explain why I chose them for this build. While I picked each part for its benefits, each part will have its problems as well. A full breakdown of all of my weights and lots of pictures will follow. Hopefully this information will help you with your next build and give you some insight into possible part choices.

The full gallery of all the pictures from the build can be seen here.

Frame and Fork:

Frame: Canfield Balance (SM)

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Why I chose the Canfield Balance

I chose the Balance for a few reasons. It’s a highly versatile bike with a very nice suspension design. The construction was burly enough to handle what I am going to be throwing at it while still keeping the weight reasonable due to its full aluminum tubing. I am also a big fan of Canfield’s color selection and having a frame that is relatively unique.

Below are some highlighted reasons why I chose the Balance.

  • Adjustable travel: The rear travel can be adjusted to 4.86″ or 6.02″. This amount of travel is what I felt would work well for me in most situations. I’d liked to have had maybe an inch more of travel for bigger maneuvers but 6″ seems to work pretty well for now.

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  • Adjustable chainstays: The chainstays can be set to either 16.25″ or 16.75″. Since the chain stays are shorter on the Balance it makes the Balance easier to manual and helps the bike through technical terrain.

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  • Excellent suspension qualities: The suspension on the Balance is what initially sold me. Canfield’s suspension design works really well at handling square edges due to its rearward axle path. The bike pedals extremely well with little to no bob. The suspension is very progressive and the links are made with one piece construction using 20mm bearings. By using 20mm bearings the Balance is able to handle more abuse due the load being put on a larger surface area.
  • Nice geometry: With the Marzocchi 66 SL 1 ATA in full 180mm travel mode my bottom bracket sets at around 14.5″. This is plenty low and gives the bike a great feel in most situations. This could be too low for some riders and crank length selection should be considered. The bike handles well with a head angle that isn’t too twitchy or too slack for most situations.
  • Shock options: The Balance can be purchased with either a Fox DHX 5.0 coil or a Fox DHX 5.0 air. I chose the coil over the air due to my riding style and the coil feel.
  • ISCG mounts: The Balance comes with ISCG old mounts. This makes it easy to mount chainguides.

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  • Front derailleur compatible: You can run a front derailleur on the Balance. I chose to not set up my Balance in this way but it is a nice option if I ever want to use it.
  • Full seattube: The Balance has a full seattube which allows me to have the ability to drop the saddle when DJing and descending and raise it up when I need good leg extension for climbing.

Fork: Marzocchi 66 SL 1 ATA

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Why I chose the 66 SL 1 ATA

I chose the 66 SL 1 ATA from Marzocchi due to its adjustability, weight, and hot looks. The ability to go from 180mm of travel to 140mm of travel easily was very appealing to me and works very well for creating a versatile bike. The 66 offers other adjustable options as well which helps in tailoring the bike to various terrain.

Below are some highlighted reasons why I chose the 66 SL 1 ATA.

  • Adjustments: The 66 SL 1 ATA has more adjustable options than you can shake a stick at. Rebound, Travel, and Compression are externally adjustable to fine tune the fork to the terrain you’re riding. The air can be adjusted in both the bottom out chamber as well as the ATA. The bottom out chamber allows you to more finely tune the progressiveness of the fork near the end of its travel, while the ATA compensates for travel adjustments by automatically tuning the progressive air.

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  • Weight: The weight of the 66 is relatively light due to its air spring. By keeping the weight down the front end is easier to maneuver and the overall bike weight stays down.
  • Construction: The 66 is built with burly 35mm stanchions which are mated to a beefy crown assembly. The lowers are built just a strong with a 20mm thru-axle.

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To see more pictures of the frame and fork check the gallery.

Wheels and Tires:

I went with a custom wheelset because I wanted to be able to pick and choose the build pieces. I was able to custom tailor the wheelset to the exact specifications I wanted. The wheelset was designed to be light yet very strong and I am impressed with the results so far.

complete wheelset (click to enlarge)

Hubs: Hope Pro II

Why I chose Hope Pro II hubs

I chose the Hope Pro II’s for some pretty simple reasons. They are cheap, light, and offer decent durability. I kicked around going with a Hadley in the rear due to its reputation and quicker engagement. In the end I chose to go with the Hope’s.

front 20mm hub (click to enlarge)

The front is a standard 20mm hub and the rear is the 135mm bolt-on model. I chose to go with the bolt-on vs a quick release for added strength and durability.

rear 135mm bolt-on hub (click to enlarge)

Nipples: DT Swiss Pro Loc Aluminum

Why I chose DT Swiss Pro Loc Aluminum nipples

I went with DT’s Pro Loc nipples because I wanted to have a strong wheelset that I wouldn’t have to worry about losing tension. The Pro Loc’s are designed in such a way that they keep the spoke-nipple connection from coming loose. This should keep the spokes tight. I went with aluminum nipples for extra weight savings.

Rims: DT Swiss 5.1d

Why I chose DT Swiss 5.1d rims

I went with the 5.1’s because they are lightweight and should have enough strength to handle the type of terrain I’ll be throwing at them. A lot of discussion has gone on about these rims and whether or not they can handle season long abuse. I don’t weigh as much as most riders, so I believe they should work out for me just fine. The rim width is a nice size which sets up a good tire profile.

DT Swiss 5.1d rim (click to enlarge)

Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray

Why I chose Sapim CX-Ray spokes

These were a must have for me when I built this wheelset. The CX-Ray is a phenomenal spoke with lots of great qualities. They are built very very strong with some of the highest fatigue rates around. The spoke tension built into these wheels is around 25% higher than a standard wheel making the whole wheelset much stronger.

Tubes – Nokian MTB 26 Lite / Kenda Standard

Why I chose Nokian MTB 26 and Kenda Standard tubes

For right now I’m running some MTB lite tubes from Nokian and I have some other standard Kenda tubes I’ve been running too for the moment. They are holding up fine so far. Once tire testing and fitting is done I’ll set up a more permanent configuration using DT Swiss’ or Stan’s tubeless kit.


Depending on the conditions and the type of riding I’m doing I plan on having a few different sets of tires to choose from. Each has their place and time and have worked really well for me in the past. Below I have listed my choices and why I chose them.

The biggest issue with any tire selection will be the actual inflated tread width. The Balance does not have the available clearance for some larger sized tires. I have yet to test all of the tires I currently plan to run but the 2.5 Continental’s currently on the bike barely clear.

rear tire clearance with a 2.5 Continental Diesel ProTection’s (click to enlarge)

  • Continental Diesel ProTection – I like the Diesel ProTection from Continental because it is a very light tire that actually offers a decent amount of sidewall protection. The tread performs relatively well in most situations and has enough grip. Its a tire the rolls very nicely and offers a good profile.

  • Kenda Nevegal – When I want to ride a little bit more aggressive and need some bigger lugs in my tread I will switch over to Kenda’s Nevegal. It is a highly proven tread pattern that works really well in a lot of situations. There are enough versions of the tire to allow the Nevegal to be used for lots of different disciplines and terrain.

  • Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR – The Minion’s are my full on downhill tire of choice. They have a nice tread that grips very well and rolls decently enough.

To see more pictures of the build check the gallery.


When I was choosing the drivetrain parts for my build I wanted to make sure I kept the bike versatile while realizing how I was going to be using the bike most of the time. I tried to pick parts that will be durable enough for most situations while still trying to keep the weight down. I did not feel that I would be using this bike enough as a trail bike to warrant a front derailleur and dual chainring setup. The frame does have the ability if I want to in the future which is a nice option to have. With respect to gear ratios, I wanted to set up the bike so that it was able to climb when needed but I also didn’t want to pick a ratio that I’d be able to spin out too easily on descents.

Cables: Stock

Why I chose to use stock cables

I chose to run the stock cables because they were already installed with the shifter and made it easier vs using something aftermarket.

Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 6500 12-27t

Why I chose to use a Shimano Ultegra 6500 12-27t cassette

I felt that a 12-27t cassette would be a good set of gears for this build. I felt that by having the lowest gear at 27t and my highest gear at 12t that I’d have enough low and top end for most of my riding situations. I went with a road cassette because they are lighter and the ratios are tighter allowing me to more finely tune the gear I want to be in. I chose to go with the Ultegra level because the weight savings to go up to Dura Ace was not worth the cost for this build.

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Chain: KMC X9SL

Why I chose to use a KMC X9SL chain

I went with the KMC X9SL chain because of my experience with KMC chains. They have very good strength and durability qualities. The X9SL is a very trick looking chain that is also very light.

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Chainguide: e.thirteen SRS w/ wide backplate

Why I chose to use a e.thirteen SRS chainguide

I went with e.thirteen because they are highly proven chainguides that I’ve had great experiences with. I did not go with a DRS guide for a dual front chainring setup because I did not see my self using this bike enough for trail riding to warrant the parts. I originally started out with the intention of using e.thirteen’s STS chainguide. However, the STS backplate did not give me enough of an angle to route the chain below the lower link correctly. A quick email to e.thirteen’s support and Jonas was able to diagnose my problem and suggested that I’d be better off by using their SRS wide backplate. This backplate allowed the lower guide to have a bigger angle keeping the chain farther away from the frame.

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Chainring: e.thirteen 34t guidering

Why I chose to use a e.thirteen 34t guidering

I went with e.thirteen’s 34t guidering because it matched brands with the chainguide, they’re lightweight, and I didn’t get a chainring with my crankset. The 34t chainring allows me to climb well enough for most situations and is a tall enough gear for my top end.

Crankset: Truvativ Holzfeller OCT crankarms w/ Howitzer Team bottom bracket

Why I chose the Truvativ Holzfeller OCT crankarms with the Howitzer Team bottom bracket

I wanted to use the new Holzfeller OCT’s on this bike because of their strength and lightweight hollow design. SRAM’s published numbers showed that these cranks have very high stiffness and strength numbers vs Shimano’s Saint and RaceFace’s Diabolus cranks. I chose the 170mm version because I felt this length would keep my cranks clear of obstacles without sacrificing too much climbing ability over the 175mm version. I went with Truvativ’s top of the line bottom bracket to mate up with my crank arms to form a nice performing package. The bearings themselves are larger and are protected with 8 seals in order to offer a very durable bottom bracket.

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*Special thanks needs to be given to Alan at Drop N Zone for working so hard to find these cranks. They were not easy to come by at all and I really appreciate it.

Housing: Nokon

Why I chose Nokon housing

I chose to go with Nokon housing because it’s very slick looking and I wanted to keep my shifting as smooth as possible. Nokon does a good job of keeping dirt and debris from getting to your shift cables as well as helps keep weight down. The Balance is set up to run interrupted housing for the shifter but I was able to fit the Nokon between the routing tabs very nicely and keep a clean look.

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Pedals: Wellgo MG1

Why I chose Wellgo MG1 pedals

I went with the MG1’s from Wellgo because they are some of the lightest pedals on the market. They aren’t that thin and they don’t really look overly exciting. However, they are durable and have replaceable pins. At this weight and price they are a hard bargain to pass up.

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Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105

Why I chose a Shimano 105 rear derailleur

I chose to run Shimano’s 105 model because I wanted to run a short cage derailleur that didn’t cost a lot in case I broke it. The 105 tucks up out of the way very nicely and allows me to run a short and tight chain. This model is also one of the only all black derailleurs you can get. This particular one I bought was from 2003 with the original packing grease.

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Rear Shifter: Shimano M760 XT

Why I chose a Shimano M760 XT shifter

I like the feel of Shimano and the way their shifters work. The M760 offers the ability to have dual release shifting which is nice and it doesn’t cost a lot.

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To see more pictures of the parts check the gallery.


When I was researching brakes I wanted to find a pair that offered a generous amount of power and modulation. The brakes needed to not be overly heavy and have some adjustment features to tune the brakes to my liking. I also wanted to make sure that I picked a rotor package with the same characteristics of being able to offer ample amounts of power and modulation.

Brakes: Formula K24

Why I chose Formula K24 brakes

By and large every pair of Formula’s I’ve ever been around were set up great. They always have a nice lever feel with superb modulation. The K24’s don’t cost as much as some of the higher end Formula’s but they still weigh less than most of their competitors and have more than enough power for me. I also really like the FCS adjustment which allows the stroke to be adjusted at the lever. It allows the me to set the point in the lever’s position where the pads will make contact with the rotor. I went with a 200mm rotor in the front because I knew I would be using this bike for downhilling quite often and a 200mm rotor offers more power, better heat dissipation, and modulation. The rear rotor is a 180mm in order to still offer good modulation with less weight.

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For the cockpit parts I tried to keep everything pretty simple and proven. I did however, sneak in a few personal pieces to keep things interesting. I wanted to use parts that would be durable enough for most situations but also didn’t tip the scales too heavily.

Grips: ODI Rogue lock-on

Why I chose ODI Rogue grips

Even though I have smaller hands I find the larger Rogue grip more comfortable. I like the cushion that if offers and the grip pattern functions well. I chose to go with lock-on’s cause they are easier to change when swapping parts.

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Handlebar: Syncros Bulk 7075 Alloy

Why I chose a Syncros Bulk handle bar

I chose the Syncros Bulk handlebar because I wanted to find an oversized bar that was readily available in a white colorway. The Bulk also comes in a very low 20mm rise that I found out works very well for me. I chose the lighter 7075 alloy version and chopped the bars down about 3/8’s of an inch on each side for a custom width that fits me.

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Handlebar end caps: Straitline

Why I chose Straitline bar end caps

I chose to run Straitline’s bar end caps because they are sleek looking and match my color scheme very well. They also extend the bars a bit for a nice wide grip.

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Headset: Hope

Why I chose a Hope Headset

I went with a Hope headset because I wanted to try out a different headset product that had a good reputation. Everyone says Chris King is the best and I wanted to see how the competition stacks up. So far I have been impressed with the headset’s smoothness and ease of installation. The Head Doctor was a bit more tricky to install and adds a little more weight than a traditional starnut, but it is reusable and works quite well.

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Saddle: Tioga Spyder

Why I chose a Tioga Spyder saddle

This is probably one of the more controversial parts on the bike. While the Spyder saddle looks uncomfortable to the naked eye, it is actually quite comfortable due to the amount of flex. Durability might be an issue with this saddle over the long haul but for now it looks great, feels decent, and doesn’t weigh much.

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Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece

Why I chose a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost

I went with Thomson’s Masterpiece seatpost because of its light weight and high strength qualities. While the Masterpiece is more money than the Elite, the little weight savings is nice.

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Seatpost collar: DKG Flip Lock

Why I chose a DKG Flip Lock seatpost collar

I went with the Flip Lock from DKG because it is one of the lighter quick releases available. It has really clean looks and is a classic part that works very well.

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Stem: Thomson X4

Why I chose a Thomson X4 stem

I went with Thomson’s X4 with 50mm of reach. This stem was an easy choice for me due to its great looks, quality construction, and light weight. The design won’t hurt your knees due to it’s curved rear section and is proven to secure well.

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Check the gallery for more pictures of the parts.


The total weight of the build currently sits at 34.1 lbs. With 1300g downhill tires and a tubeless system installed the build should weigh in at around 36.5 lbs. I hit my target weights almost right on the nose. The bike is light yet strong and should be able to handle everything I want to throw at.

There are a few items that could have been used to lighten the build up as well as others that would have weighed it down slightly. You’ll have to decide when you build your bike what parts you’ll want to sacrifice the weight, strength, or cash to meet your performance goals.

The headings are sortable! Click on Part Name, Model, Year, Real(g) to sort by that column heading.

Part Name Model Year Real(g) Pic.
Frame Canfield Balance (S) 2007 3500
Fork Marzocchi 66 SL 1 ATA uncut steerer w/o axle 2007 2621
Axle Marzocchi 66 20mm axle 2007 90
Headset Hope w/ Head Doctor 2007 147
Front Brake Formula K24 850mm 2007 241
Rear Brake Formula K24 1500mm 2007 255
Front Rotor Formula 200mm 2007 173
Rear Rotor Formula 180mm 2007 135
Bottom Bracket Truvativ Howitzer Team 2007 383
Front Adapter Formula 200mm 2007 23
Rear Adapter Formula 180mm 2007 24
Adapter Bolts Front and rear disc adapter bolts x 4 pair 2007 44
Rotor Bolts Formula rotor bolts x 2 sets 2007 24
Front Wheel Hope Pro II, DT 5.1d, CX-Ray, Pro Loc AL 2007 848
Rear Wheel Hope Pro II bolt-on, DT 5.1d, CX-Ray, Pro Loc AL 2007 1033
Crankarms Truvativ Holzfeller OCT 2007 550
Bashring e.13 36t Supercharger 2007 204
Chainguide e.13 SRS W40 2007 189
Chainrings e.13 34t Guidering 2007 32
Chainring Bolts e.13 2007 37
ISCG Bolts e.13 16mm bolts 2006 11
Chainline Spacers e.13 2.5mm spacers 2006 5
Chain KMC X9SL 2007 265
Chainstay Protector LizardSkins Super Jumbo 2007 23
Pedals Wellgo MG1 2007 377
Pedal washers Truvativ 2007 2
Shock Fox DHX 5.0 Coil 2007 796
Seatpost Thomson Masterpiece 27.2 x 330mm 2007 193
Seatpost collar DKG 2007 42
Saddle Tioga Spyder 2007 157
Front Tire Continental Diesel ProTection 2.5 2007 808
Rear Tire Continental Diesel ProTection 2.5 2007 805
Front Tubes Nokian MTB 26 Lite 2007 128
Rear Tube Nokian MTB 26 Lite 2007 126
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 2003 229
Rear Shifter Shimano M760 XT w/ cable 2007 150
Housing Nokon 52” w/ liner 2007 51
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 6500 12-27t 2007 230
Stem Thomson X4 50mm 31.8 2007 178
Handlebar Syncros Bulk 7075 20mm rise 31.8 2007 287
Grips ODI Rogue lockon 2007 109
Bar End Caps Straitline x 2 2007 36
Trimmings trimmed part pieces 2007 -96
Total Weight 15465g | 34.1 lbs


Enjoy the photos of the completed project. More pictures can be seen in the gallery.

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