Options for 2006 Fisher Paragon
Let me start by saying I really enjoy riding my bike, a 2006 Gary Fisher Paragon. However, I have had it for 6 years and, after helping my fiance build up a really nice XC racer with new wheels and components, I have the itch to upgrade.
I have considered buying a new bike, but the cost of a better one is out of my budget right now. A new frame, like the Niner Air9 or EMD, is an option but I am not convinced the performance gain would be worth the cost. Now I am looking at new wheels to replace the original Bontrager Race Lites (weight unknown, but they've served me well through many rides and adventure races).
I've really only made a few additions to the bike to date: an XT cassette, an XTR chain, some carbon Bontrager bar ends, and a WTB Silverado saddle with Ti rails.
With a $400-$500 budget, where should I go from here? Help!
For reference, here's a link with specs for the stock 06 Paragon:
BikePedia - 2006 Gary Fisher Paragon Complete Bicycle
Wheels are always good, because they would go as an upgrade on any new bike except a top of the line at $6k.I like ArchEx rims, SuperComp spokes and alloy nips. The front hub is not critical. Go for weight and price. For the rear DtSwiss star ratchet internals. Run with light tires like RaRa Performance, you should feel a difference. The other upgrade would be SLX brakes.
Thanks, eb. I've been checking out the standard Arch EX wheels from Stans. How do those compare to the setup you suggested in terms of weight and price? What hub would you recommend for the front? I've been looking at the standard Crests, too, but at 170 pounds I'm probably pushing the limit.
I used a ZTR front hub and a Oem rear with star ratchets off ebay. The 350 DtSwiss has them. The front is a shell with two bearings. Pretty much low tech minimal potential problems. Mine has changeable endcaps so it can go forward to a 15mm fork on an upgrade. White and Hadley have similar.
Crests have a lower maximum spoke tension than ArchEx rims by at least 20kgf. This matters in the rear for dish. The drive side spokes may be 35 kgf higher than the brake disc side. This may give you a 65kgf and the possibility of loosening when leaned in a turn and flexed on one side. You have to check and tune them more. And the profile lacks some of the reinforcement of the Exes. They can be damaged easier.
For wheel building the Park TM-1 makes it fun.
My first build was one a year away from yours (Loved it!)--but then it cracked. So hope you have the lifetime warranty with the G1.. But first thing I would do (if you have the old Bontrager Race Lights with 28 spokes)--is to get a new Fork (that made the bike feel like a whole new bike!)--you have the 38mm Reba that came with it (get a 46mm Reba and see the difference!)
The wheels are just a bout as light as you can get and those had DT Swiss hubs with those.
Here is the pic of mine (I went all-out over 3 years...) because I loved that bike (and saved up and got better components as time went on.)--now I am working on my new Superfly ELite (this Spring it will have XX fork, Stans Crest EX, and 'new lighter Bontrager post and stem.) And the new XT brakes (I can't wait!!!)----but trust me (i have a budget and good things take time!!)----BUT GO WITH A NEW FORK---