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  1. #1
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    Felt Nine 80: Upgrade Parts or Replace?

    I bought my first mountain bike (Felt Nine 80) last fall and have enjoyed the sport much more than I thought I would. I went with a low end 29er for a couple of reasons; 1) I did not know how much I would enjoy ridding or if I would stick with it. 2) I had to buy three other bikes around the same time for my wife and two boys.

    Now that I see it is something the whole family enjoys and I know a bit more about bikes, I knew nothing when I started and only know a little more than that now, there are a few things I would like to improve on my ride.

    First, the wheels. If I have a hard impact, I can hear the spokes "ringing" and my rear wheel is slightly bent. I am going to take it to the bike shop and see if this can be repaired. But assuming the wheels were properly assembled, I have no doubt this will happen again. I'm around 200 lbs and not taking this bike off of jumps over maybe a foot high. Should this happen? Do I need better wheels or will a properly tensioned set work for me? If I do upgrade I want to go tubeless. I figure $500 minimum to upgrade the wheelset.

    The second area I would like to upgrade is the fork. I can get a Raidon LO R Air for $175 though their upgrade program. Is this a significant upgrade? Can I get a better fork for near the same or a little more money?

    So fork and wheels would cost around $675. That's more than I paid for the bike. Would I be better off getting another bike instead? The Airborne Goblin looks very good to me, but I don't know how I could demo one. If I upgrade wheels on my bike, would a $500 wheelset be better than what comes on the Goblin or similarly priced bike?

    Felt Nine 80

    Airborne Goblin

    Sorry for the long post. I'm still learning and trying to get ready for spring. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Thanks, but you didn't really answer my question.

  3. #3
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    Hey JD, I am new to biking, so new in fact I don't even have a bike yet! lol... BUT I did order a Felt 70, will get it next Sat. Nice to meet another Felt user. Here's my deal. I have limited choice here, I'm very rural. I found a bike shop who could order Felt. After massive research on Specialized/Giant/Kona/etc etc... (i was a librarian) I decided on the nine 70. My reasoning being that it has the best frame for a starter bike. This same frame is used for their $2400 model, the Nine 20. If I like my 80 (and biking) enough, I plan on upgrading components to basically the same as the 20 (prob with tubeless tires tho). I know it's not the most efficient use of $, but it's the only way I can do it. It all starts with the frame.

  4. #4
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    PS...Goblin frame sets are only $249, if you decide to change brands that may be the ticket!

  5. #5
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    I'm not unhappy with my frame, although I don't have much to compare it to. I have limited shops around me as well. My choices were Trek, Giant, or Felt. Are you sure all the frames are the same? I think the geometry is, but the materials and construction vary.

  6. #6
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    The frames on the Nine Series are the exact same til you reach the Carbon ones. Ant the Carbon frames start at $1500 i think.

  7. #7
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    Question for you. Do you have fenders on your 80? If so what ones?

  8. #8
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    No fenders.

  9. #9
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    There is nothing wrong with the frame. Could be a decent platform. Just upgrade as funds become available. I would pick up a Stan's ZTR wheelset and some new tires and mount them up tubeless. Start replacing drivetrain after that (I would switch to 2x10 SRAM or Shimano to your preference.) After Wheels and Drivetrain, you could start looking at things like bars, seatpost, etc.

  10. #10
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    edit, pick up brakes before bars, etc. I would switch to Hydraulics for modulation and weight savings. Shimano XT get great reviews here. I like the Magura MT line (2,4,6,8, take your pick). I would, personally, stay away from Avid brakes.

  11. #11
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    If you like the frame and it fits you well, I would upgrade your wheels first, then the fork. You can always swap them to a new frame in the future if you choose to. I started with a Trek Cobia and the only thing left stock is the saddle. If I ever plan on buying a new frame, I still have all my stock components to put back on my Cobia.

  12. #12
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    Felt Nine 80: Upgrade Parts or Replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by cbd5600 View Post
    If you like the frame and it fits you well, I would upgrade your wheels first, then the fork. You can always swap them to a new frame in the future if you choose to. I started with a Trek Cobia and the only thing left stock is the saddle. If I ever plan on buying a new frame, I still have all my stock components to put back on my Cobia.
    Good call on the fork.

  13. #13
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    You'v been a big help guys. I think I'll go ahead and upgrade my wheels and fork. If I stick with the sport though this year I'll figure out the next step after that.

  14. #14
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    Felt Nine 80: Upgrade Parts or Replace?

    Good plan. Have fun!

  15. #15
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    Had a change of plans this weekend. I pulled the Tektro Novella mechanical brakes off my Felt and swapped them with the BR-M486 hyd brakes from my wife's Scott Aspect 45. I plan to sell the Scott and let my wife have my Felt. After visiting a few local stores I have decided I should have gone with an 18" frame instead of a 16" Now the search begins for a new bike. Leaning pretty hard toward Airborne.

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