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  1. #1
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    Slight upgrade help.

    Bought a Trek Marlin 5 29er 2017 model (new for $350). So far I've bought decent pedals, lock on grips, Maxxis tubeless tires.

    I understand my bike is entry level, and from what a lot of people say, you shouldn't upgrade too much.

    I hate the way it shifts though... sometimes takes a few seconds for a gear change and they sometimes slip if I'm riding trails. I'd like to upgrade to better components and fork.

    If I did, can I use the better components and fork on a different bike when I eventually outgrow this one? Swap it back to stock and sell it, keeping the better components for the next bike, or will I need to be careful of what I buy in case the next bike doesn't fit the components.

    Or should I just put up with the crap shifting until it breaks.

    I know this has probably all been asked before.
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  2. #2
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarshallMTB View Post
    Bought a Trek Marlin 5 29er 2017 model (new for $350). So far I've bought decent pedals, lock on grips, Maxxis tubeless tires.

    I understand my bike is entry level, and from what a lot of people say, you shouldn't upgrade too much.

    I hate the way it shifts though... sometimes takes a few seconds for a gear change and they sometimes slip if I'm riding trails. I'd like to upgrade to better components and fork.

    If I did, can I use the better components and fork on a different bike when I eventually outgrow this one? Swap it back to stock and sell it, keeping the better components for the next bike, or will I need to be careful of what I buy in case the next bike doesn't fit the components.

    Or should I just put up with the crap shifting until it breaks.

    I know this has probably all been asked before.
    It's hard to tell from the website/photos whether your bike's fork has a tapered steerer or if it's consistent-diameter. If your current headtube is not tapered, then you'll likely not be able to buy a new fork worth transferring to your next bike.

    As for components, the Shimano components you have should be capable of shifting just fine. Personally I'd check into derailleur hanger misalignment, stretched cables, compressed housing, etc. In other words, something wonky as opposed to replacing components.

    You're correct that chasing improvement through upgrades is more expensive than spending a bit more on a new bike in the first place. More labor intensive too, especially if you plan to disassemble them to install on your next bike. Another thought: in order to move your upgrades to your next bike, this indicates your next bike will be a frame rather than a complete bike. That's an expensive way to go, too. If I were you, I'd seriously weigh the disadvantages of doing this. I believe it'd be better to sell what you've got to invest in another complete bike with superior components.
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  3. #3
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    I'll probably just leave it with what I've bought and maybe have the components checked over tomorrow. I need to buy some tools, so I can learn more than just fixing tires and adjusting the basics. I know it's a tapered steered, and seen a fox fork for $150 in really good condition. Want it to be a bit lighter and more responsive. As long as I get a year out of it I will be happy to upgrade to a better bike. Advice noted, and thank you for taking the time to reply and help.
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  4. #4
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    The drivetrain is pretty mediocre but I also wonder how long have you owned the bike. It could very well need a tune up after a few months. The cables will stretch and you'll find shifting performance to be poor. It can also be a matter of technique that's the issue as well.

    I wouldn't bother upgrading components. A good fork can easily run you $300 or more. Instead of dumping $500 into the bike it's better to buy a newer one as you typically get more bang for your buck.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  5. #5
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    I bought it from someone just a few days ago. Apart from the gears not being quite right, it's decent enough for now. I've been looking on YouTube at how to adjust the rear derailer, as the chain is grinding against it when I put it at it's lowest gear. I've spent around 140 on the minor upgrades, but I am wondering if I should have just held off and put the extra towards a slightly higher spec bike. I'm still a complete beginner though, so I'm probably best just riding it and getting used to the trails that are around me... and getting fitter.
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  6. #6
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    You will need a tune up. Not hard to dial in the gears to get them working just so. It will take time however.
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  7. #7
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    Probably just needs a tune up. Unless it was ridden a lot then something is worn. I wouldnt upgrade unless it breaks or gets worn out.

  8. #8
    Riding rigid
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    You could have held off and got a slightly better spec but if the bike is out of adjustment, even with nice parts it will shift like crap. You could always save up for the next better bike, but then there is always something better. How long do you put off buying a bike so you can afford a nicer spec bike? It's time away from actual riding. Try adjusting it your self, you can learn a lot from YouTube. Also check out the Park tool site. If you really muck it up, take it to your LBS.

  9. #9
    Cycologist
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    Second vote for the Park Website for tune up info.
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  10. #10
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    You can replace the rear derailleur cable and the housing pieces and the ferrules. Even better would be to make it one run with a single length of housing.
    Your derailleur can be bent in towards the center of the wheel or bent out away. You can straighten it with your hands and eye. It can also be twisted. Usually a big crescent wrench is needed for leverage to twist it back in line. REi has a good price on coated cable and lined housing/ferrules.
    You can get a good Epixon fork with a straight steerer off ebay for 200.

  11. #11
    turtles make me hot
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    I've had people bring me bikes that shifted horribly or not at all and 99% of the time it needs cables and some slight adjustments.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info. I've started making a playlist (or several) of different aspects of bike adjustment. Was actually looking at the rear adjustment and replacement, and it doesmtbseem too difficult.
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  13. #13
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    I've been on that website quite a few times looking at things. I will have a look at the back deraileur tomorrow and see what I can do. Cheers.
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  14. #14
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    The guy I bought it from said he had ridden in and broke the cables in, (the bike was only used a few times), but I do think at the least it will need adjusted.
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  15. #15
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    That's what I was thinking to myself too just today. Held off and got another bike. I sold my 2009 hardrock and got the Trek the same day for 100 less than store price. I'm sure I can make the money back if I realist the bike, but I've just bought the tires, grips and pedals, so I will live with my decision
    As long as I can ride it and learn on it for a year, then I'll be happy.
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  16. #16
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    You have your answer in the other thread, No any new bike that you buy that isn't entry level will not have a 7 speed drivetrain and a straight 1/8 steerer tube.

    Check if it needs a tune, but also it could be your technique. You can't shift under load even with a top end drive train.
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  17. #17
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    I found shift cables like just a bit of chain lube every place the cable enters and exits the plastic guide.

  18. #18
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    Noted. Thanks for the tip.
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  19. #19
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    Cheers. Going to give it a look at later on today. It isn't terrible, but does need a slight adjustment.
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