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  1. #1
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    Need help upgrading new Trek X-Cal 7

    Hi all 1st post here, like the title reads I need help upgrading a new Trek X-cal 7. I took her out to the trails once here are my impressions.

    Stem too short
    Bars too much vibration
    Components are just plain horrible thinking upgrade to XT
    Fork is useless as well

    if I could get some opinions as to brands sizes and experiences that would be great.

    i was an avid rider back in the late 90's but due to a bad wreck and no one left to ride with I gave the sport up. Fast forward to now I have a 15yo son that I just introduced to the sport so off to the bike shops I went to get myself a new ride. I like the color of the trek and the frame fits perfect so I thought I would be happy with the bike as is but old habits are hard to kill so here we go time to upgrade.

    Thanks all

  2. #2
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    I have the same frame after breaking my two previous Fisher X frames, warranty replacement. After looking at the specs on your version I'd agree for more serious riding I'd upgrade but at what cost?

    Good upgrade parts can be found all over for pretty good prices this time of year. I'm running full SRAM X9 2x10 but since yours has Shimano spec'd I'd stay with it.

    I'd go with a new XT r.der. to help with chainslap it makes riding a lot more enjoyable.Use the rest of the drivetrain till it dies.

    These are just ideas I've found worked for me. As a bigger guy 6'01 215 I tend to lean toward parts that are on the sturdier side then the lighter stuff.
    I found some Easton carbon bars and stem (EC70) for a good deal and it helped with vibration big time. I went with a Ti Lynsky seatpost over a carbon post upgrade and it also helped a lot with ride comfort. Found an Easton EA 70 wheelset, last years version, for real cheap. Bought a Fox RL fork 15mm fork. Wheels have been great so far. Recently bought a Hope rear wheel with a 10mm axle which has made even more of an improvement. The 15mm axle in front and 10mm in back make the bike track wonderful and it just feels more solid. I use XT brakes currently with a 180 rotor in front.

    Bike rides fantastic with the parts currently on it, and I do ride it, about 100 miles a week with 90% off-road. I have found the frame is nice as a foundation but in your case not sure if spending to totally upgrade it would be worth it. For me since the frame was free and I had some other parts it went for it. I still wish at times I sold the new frame and bought a Superfly, just like the frame's look. Odds are no matter what I buy I always change parts.

  3. #3
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    I would take a look at SLX components. I think they are 95% as good as XT if not more just with a small weight penalty but easy to find some really good deals on them.

    Ouch just looked set those components. It's been a while since I have looked at trek/fisher bikes. The x cal used to be a nice ride but it looks like they have introduced a lot a "sub models"

    I think I would upgrade the fork first. Might be a few weeks too late but there are some great deals on the manitou tower pro to be found. Though finding a fork with a 52mm offset ie G2 geometry can be hard to find. Not that it is required but will slightly change the geometry.

    The list can go on but I'd stick by my SLX recommendation. Not sure where you ride but having the 36 tooth cassette with a 10 speed is nice on the trails I ride. Unfortunately that's a cassette and shifters. Then there are the cranks and wheels.

    Sadly I think at the price you are looking for all the upgrades you are looking at spending more than you did for the complete bike. I always seem to be spending money on my bike, either parts start to wear or I just want a better quality part. It could be worse, you could have bought a boat.

    Do you know how to work on your bike? If so look for deals at pricepoint, bluesky, jenson, etc

    Ps welcome back to riding, above all else just get out and have some fun.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  4. #4
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    Re: Need help upgrading new Trek X-Cal 7

    Sounds like you bought a Trek at retail. Or, new, anyway.

    Take it back. Trek is super-liberal about this stuff. Deal with the color and get the 8 or 9.

    If you can't get a Deore drivetrain working nicely, you can't get XT working nicely either. IMHO. And the 9 has an air fork, which saves you dealing with spring kits if the 8 in your size doesn't come with the right one. IIRC, all XC32 models have adjustable rebound damping, so both of the higher-level X-Cal models should be able to keep you happy for longer. I don't have saddle time with an XC32, for disclaimer.

    I notice bikes ship with really short stems a lot lately. At least, when they're not racing bikes. So you're likely to be buying a different one if you want to stay with the same frame size, regardless of trading up. How are you sizing your frame, btw?

    I think your bars feeling harsh are actually a setup problem elsewhere. One thing that's really improved since the '90s is tires. Try less pressure. It should smooth out everything. Even if you stick with the 7.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    I did buy a new Trek but I got a 10% discount lol. I looked at Higher end bikes but couldn't get past the colors. I like Specialized but the dealers around here are nothing short of a donkeys butt so that was out. I rode a Jamis and it just didn't feel right.

    So I have a special geometry fork.....Thats great.... So what happens if I run a normal fork not one thats G2? These are all the questions I asked my salesman and he said its no problem they can upgrade everything. Meaning they can at their prices LOL

    The cost for going to 10 speed XT isn't bad, for everything I need except Cranks is 230 through Nashbar. Fork is my biggest concern as I would like either a fox, Rock Shock or the new Marzocchi but after searching the net the geometry I need seems like a long shot.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

  6. #6
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    Don't rule out the Manitou. I never heard of them before reading reviews hear. I took the the risk of getting one without riding it and don't have any regrets. I think it rides just as well of not better than the Fox forks I have ridden and definitely better than the Rockshox Recon I used to have on my bike. Very good small bump compliance. Also they have a 48mm offset which is pretty close to the 51mm offset that the G2 fork uses.

    What does a change in offset mean. Basically how quick it steers. Shorter will be slower. A couple of mm won't change the geometry much. Now a bigger change in offset will change the head tube angle by a degree or two. Again not necessarily a bad thing. Just different. Search around this forum. Plenty of discussions on the topic. Also you can find g2 forks, just harder to find and expect to pay retail.

    One other thing to keep in mind with forks these days is a built for tapered head tubes. It looks like Trek has been slow to adopt this standard. Just don't buy the wrong shock as it looks like your bike uses a straight 1 1/8 steerer.

    I kind of agree with Andrew and take it back if they will and get the bike you want. Of course that sometimes means upgrading parts anyways. So if you are cool with spending all the extra money you will end up with the components you want. If you are going to keep the bike, I would upgrade the fork and ride the other parts until they wear out. Probably put other money to a good wheel set.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  7. #7
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    not sure what the sales guy was thinking or he just didnt know but you need a fork with a 51mm offset, that is what the G2 geometry means. the bike will work with a normal fork you will just be loosing the a ton of steering and responsiveness. fox and rockshox make these forks and you can get them anywhere, even ebay, just google it.

    I agree with the guy about the SLX stuff, it is pretty nice and has a good price point. I would also look at the SRAM XO1 stuff. I have been running XX1 all season and will never go back.
    The bars that came OEM on that bike BLOW, way too much sweep. i would look at a set of carbon bars, it makes a huge difference in compliance and feeling.

    scott

  8. #8
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    Here is the tower pro in 80mm. IMHO you won't find a better fork for $300, very tunable and plush. Only 3mm difference in the offset too. I ride my 120mm on all mountain trails and it perform flawlessly. My only compliant is that it makes my rear Fox shock feel inferior.

    Manitou Tower Pro 29er 80/100mm Fork | Manitou | Brand | www.PricePoint.com.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  9. #9
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    I don't think I have saddle time on a G2 bike, let alone the experience of owning one and then switching it to a fork with the more common offset. But, read some more old posts on the topic. My reading is that it wouldn't be a big deal.

    I don't think a 10% discount affects your ability to return the bike. The point is that you bought it new through an authorized retail outlet. I think you may also only be able to get store credit, but if you like the bike in general, that's not a big deal.

    I guess you need to decide if the color is worth the extra cost of upgrading this bike over just buying something with a spec you can ride long-term right out of the box.

    I've upgradeitised a bike. I'm not crazy about it. With the latest one, I promised myself I'd just get race-ready out of the box. So far, I've changed the stem and I had "my" pedals put on at time of purchase. That's it. I'll probably swap the saddle soon, since I found another of my all-time favorite on EBay, and the tires because race bikes always ship with a much lower knob than I like, but I think I'm doing pretty well - I've had it since July, and with the last bike, I'd already swapped out the whole front end by the time I'd owned it four months. So I'm feeling pretty good about trying for a good spec from the beginning instead of screwing around with upgrades.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    Now a bigger change in offset will change the head tube angle by a degree or two.
    Offset does not change head angle. Fork length will. Offset will change trail.

  11. #11
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    Take it back. Get the credit.
    Buy a SF 9.6. Same color scheme, no problems.
    You should be able to get 15% Black Friday off and 3% more for cash.
    The fork needs a SID RLT Motion Control DNA damper. Get 25% off. Couple swaps.
    This bike you can grow with.


  12. #12
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    I have a '12 version (marlin) and had to upgrade things, more cause cause I like to tinker over functionality. Except the forks, forks sucked ASS!!! Bought it almost exactly a year ago.

    Do what I did forks wise, talk to your Trek shop, mine cut me a huge deal on replacing my forks cause I wanted the bike (color) and didnt have funds to move up to something with better forks. After that was in love, was only a RS XC32 TK but is way better. They can get you Rockshox or Fox in G2 no problem as if you look their higher end bikes come with better forks in g2. Save alot of cash if they order it as replacement for bike that has the forks fitted instead of ordering as if normal retail sale. Thats how I got off insanely cheap. THIS WILL SAVE YOUR VIBRATION PROBLEM TOO, well part of it, other part more importantly as I know well, tire pressure, a few psi can make the difference in a nice smooth ride or getting the crap beat outta you.

    Something else shop will help with is stem. They should have some other stems around to find size you need. They should have fitted you a bit better to it when you bought it, mine trek shop did.

    Dont rule out manitou in the least!!! Im saving for a set for this next season, very close to g2 offset (compared to other forks) and a great fork, an insanely great reviews about forks and their customer service.

    Shifting probably not really smooth but if it bothers you that much sounds more like either a tuning issue (have lbs go through it properly) or your an sram person. I went slx 2x10 myself. I didnt like sram ergo on the shifters, could never get it right for me. Crankset though is m590 (cause it was cheaper and almost no difference) Very happy with SLX given me nothing but great shifting with 0 issues no matter conditions. XT is a great upgrade, difference between XT and SLX is minimal, slight weight penalty so just decide if the slightly less weight is worth the extra cash.
    Trek Marlin 29er

    Like It, Love It, Want Some More Of It!

  13. #13
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    I ordered SRAM X0 rear deraileur and grip shift shifters as that's what I am use to using. I also got some Easton carbon bars and an Easton stem so hopefully this will do it until I find the fork I want. That Manitou looks good, reviews are good now to find one in black and I'll pull the trigger on that too.

    Thanks all

  14. #14
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    I have a 2012 x-cal. Upgraded the bar, saddle, grips, tires and to tubless immediately. Then I went with XT brakes. Overkill probably but I'm running 180 rotors on from and rear. Recently upgraded drivetrain to 2 x 10. Everything is xt except the cassette (slx). I have a great lbs very close to me. My stock fork has been rebuilt to be better for me 6'1"/200. Before buying a fork I will buy a new bike and use all my xt components.

    Next is a wheelset. I'm probably going with I9 with arch ex rims.

    Good luck! Upgrading is fun but not near as fun as riding the trails!

  15. #15
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    I got the manitou tower pro 120 from price point for 200. It's getting installed and I'll have it back next week. Hopefully all goes well as I am done upgrading this for a while. Thanks everyone for your input.

  16. #16
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    good fork, its gonna feel like a different bike.

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