Spent the last few years on 29er's and for the riding I do they just didn't suit so i decided to go back to 26 inch.
I sold the 29er an began looking for a new 26 hardail. Went to a lot of shops, serched the net, took a few test rides but nothing stood out from the limited 26ers around and I got fed up with every sales assistant giving me the "for your height you should be on a 29er they roll better blah blah" line.
So I decided to do a ground up custom build, get a frame I like and the parts I want and use a few nice things I had in the parts box (king headset etc)
Got hold of a 2001 Zaskar Race (thanks sausagefingers!) with easton tubing and good geometry, long and low tt very XC race machine.
Had the frame painted metalic silver and being retro at heart and a big gt fan I built it up to pay homage to the gt's of 93 - 95 so hit Gil up for some 95 style decals in team yellow and blue.
For the rest of the kit I had a nice king headset and flite re-issue saddle to use. With the wheels scored a set of Mavic 717's in silver on silver XT hubs on eBay for under $100 (they pretty much give 26 inch wheels away atm)
I got a full XT groupset 1/2 price from France of all places and got the silver version as opossed to the ever popular black, again thinking of the 90's deore xt.
So in the end I was able to build up a bike cheaper than what I was looking at in the store, has all the parts i like, rides great and I like the look of.
Retro look with modern performance
Frame: 2001 GT Zaskar Race (L=19inch)
Decals: 1995's custom made by Gil_m
Fork: 2012 fox RL Fit 100mm
Headset: Chris King
Stem: Kore elite 110mm 7 deg rise
Handlebar: Gravity 777 silver cut to 660
Grips: Ame GT Logo
Grouset: 2012 Deore XT 2 X 10
Hub Skewers: XT
Rims: Mavic 717 XC
Tyres: Ritchey re-issue Z-max (soon to replace with maxxis)
Saddle: Salle Italia re-issue Flite titanium
Seatpost: Syncros classic
Weight: not sure yet but it's light