Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61

    Next Upgrade Advice

    Hi, I have read a lot of info on these forums and decided to register.

    I just got into Mountain Biking about 2 months ago and love it.

    Bike is a 2013 Giant Revel 1 29er. I have upgraded the fork to a Recon Silver and Changed my tires/tubeless as well as new pedals and Five-Ten shoes to go with them. Every upgrade has been a very noticeable difference. I want to make one last upgrade before leaving it as is for a while (this is getting expensive!).

    I was thinking of either new wheels or brakes and have heard wheels make the biggest difference in terms of upgrades, but I've noticed the past 4-5 rides I'm definitely getting much better and am going A LOT faster. The bike came with Tektro Novela brakes which worked great at first but now with more speed I'm starting to notice how long they take to brake sometimes.

    So, my thinking is maybe Shimano Deore M596 brake upgrade but I can spend 500-600 on wheels...would the brakes benefit me more at this point?

    Thanks for all the great info on these forums!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    588
    My vote goes for wheels as the next upgrade. Wheels are hands down the most noticeable upgrade aside from cockpit fitment upgrades (stem/height, bar width, saddle, seatpost, etc). When I did my very first wheel upgrade, I noticed it within seconds. Reducing rotating mass far exceeds shaving weight on non-moving parts. As far as budget wheels go, you can't beat the Stan's offerings, like crest or arch ex. Make sure to you mate the wheels with tires that fit your local trails, and try tubeless.

    Brakes are a nice upgrade but I'd save that till you feel the need to do so. Most stock brakes will work fine until your skill level grows. I'd recommend going with shimano SLX or better (XT/XTR). When used with ice tech rotors and pads, they are perfection. True one finger braking capability.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3,711
    SLX brakes with your rotors will work for brakes. You can take them to your next bike. A light front wheel like an ArchEx is good. Light tires tubeless also help.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    101
    If you HAVE 500-600 , then spend 600+ on a GOOD wheelset that you can take to another bike when you can.

    If not then you could go ahead and get brakes like the ones suggested and save awhile longer for the wheelset. Wheels with top end hubs are going to cost more.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    My vote goes for wheels as the next upgrade. Wheels are hands down the most noticeable upgrade aside from cockpit fitment upgrades (stem/height, bar width, saddle, seatpost, etc). When I did my very first wheel upgrade, I noticed it within seconds. Reducing rotating mass far exceeds shaving weight on non-moving parts. As far as budget wheels go, you can't beat the Stan's offerings, like crest or arch ex. Make sure to you mate the wheels with tires that fit your local trails, and try tubeless.

    Brakes are a nice upgrade but I'd save that till you feel the need to do so. Most stock brakes will work fine until your skill level grows. I'd recommend going with shimano SLX or better (XT/XTR). When used with ice tech rotors and pads, they are perfection. True one finger braking capability.
    I was looking at the Stan's Arch and Crest, but like you said, most stock brakes work fine until skill level grows. I am riding MUCH faster then when I started and now am starting to realize that the brakes are not working fast enough at the increased speed I am going. That's why I don't know what to do...I definitely feel like better brakes would help me out already but from what I have read and heard on the trails wheels make a HUGE difference. I already changed my tires to Specialized Captain Control S-Works 2.2 up front and a Fast Track S-Works 2.0 behind and have them tubeless with Stan's kit. Definitely noticed a big difference when I did this compared to the crappy tires and removed the tubes that came with the bike.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61
    Are the SLX a big upgrade over the Deore's? I have read really good reviews on the Deore set for the price. Also, never thought of changing just the front wheel alone...is this common?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3,711
    The SLX are functionally the same as XT and XTR with a 21mm piston and awesome power especially at the front. Some discussion is available in Brakes. Bikecomponents.de has a good price. They also have the XT trail lever model not available in the US(longer lever)
    You can buy just a front ArchEx for 199 or lace your own for a little less. A hub with changeable endcaps can work with future fork choices. Front hubs are simple--just two sealed bearings. The rear hub freehub system is more variably complex. I like 36 star ratchets.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The SLX are functionally the same as XT and XTR with a 21mm piston and awesome power especially at the front. Some discussion is available in Brakes. Bikecomponents.de has a good price. They also have the XT trail lever model not available in the US(longer lever)
    You can buy just a front ArchEx for 199 or lace your own for a little less. A hub with changeable endcaps can work with future fork choices. Front hubs are simple--just two sealed bearings. The rear hub freehub system is more variably complex. I like 36 star ratchets.
    So what about changing the rear brake and the front rim...would that be a good compromise? I use the rear brake much more than the front anyways. I have a cabin in North Carolina so I don't want to upgrade too much more on this bike. My plan would be to send this one to my cabin when I have the money to buy a higher end bike for regular use.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LB412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    760
    My vote is for xt brakes or a new wheelset... the latter being much mor expensive

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LB412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    760
    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    SLX brakes with your rotors will work for brakes. You can take them to your next bike. A light front wheel like an ArchEx is good. Light tires tubeless also help.
    focus on the rear tire for climbing and front for grip

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    150
    I just upgraded my wheels and brakes recently and both upgrades made a huge difference and I would say don't cheap out on the parts. If you really enjoy riding and plan to keep the bike then get the good stuff. From reading your post it seems you would benefit from the brake upgrade more than the wheels. You said "I'm definitely getting much better and am going A LOT faster". I went with the Shimano XT M785's and the Ice-tech 203/180 Rotors and have never had a bike that stops as good as this one. It makes me want to stop for no reason because I'm in disbelief of how good they work. My vote is XT brakes only because I have used them and they work! Then save some cash up for a nice wheelset and be sure to look for a set that has a convertible hub just incase you decide to upgrade the fork to a through axle? Keep us updated!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3,711
    Quote Originally Posted by rick5587 View Post
    So what about changing the rear brake and the front rim...would that be a good compromise? I use the rear brake much more than the front anyways. I have a cabin in North Carolina so I don't want to upgrade too much more on this bike. My plan would be to send this one to my cabin when I have the money to buy a higher end bike for regular use.
    No problem if this is the current budget.

  13. #13
    Flow like water
    Reputation: DavyRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    712
    Quote Originally Posted by rick5587 View Post
    So what about changing the rear brake and the front rim...would that be a good compromise?

    I use the rear brake much more than the front anyways.

    I have a cabin in North Carolina so I don't want to upgrade too much more on this bike. My plan would be to send this one to my cabin when I have the money to buy a higher end bike for regular use.
    No wonder you are running out of brakes. The front brake does 70% of the work! Have you ever noticed that lots of mountain bikes have a 180mm rotor on the front, and a 160 rotor on the rear? There is a reason for that.
    "Head injuries are pretty high-consequence" - AndrwSwitch

  14. #14
    Happy Trails
    Reputation: Scott In MD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    914

    Next Upgrade Advice

    Ride that bike just like it is for another year. Ride. Ride. Ride some more. Save your upgrade money for a new bike when you are ready to move up.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    No wonder you are running out of brakes. The front brake does 70% of the work! Have you ever noticed that lots of mountain bikes have a 180mm rotor on the front, and a 160 rotor on the rear? There is a reason for that.
    Huh...I have noticed that actually. I always assumed using the front makes it more difficult to control. So when should I be using more of the front than the rear and vice-versa?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Ride that bike just like it is for another year. Ride. Ride. Ride some more. Save your upgrade money for a new bike when you are ready to move up.
    I know I should, but I also want to leave a pretty decent bike up in my cabin when I'm ready to upgrade. I could have afforded a much better bike to begin with but wasn't sure it would turn into my new favorite hobby. I didn't want to risk having an expensive toy just sitting around. Now, I just think about when the hell I can get back out on the trails!

  17. #17
    Flow like water
    Reputation: DavyRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    712
    Quote Originally Posted by rick5587 View Post
    Huh...I have noticed that actually. I always assumed using the front makes it more difficult to control. So when should I be using more of the front than the rear and vice-versa?
    The front brake stops you. The rear brake is used to stop the rear end from coming around, and to get the front wheel back down when it is up in the air. It also adds a bit of braking, especially if you can shift your weight back over the rear wheel. On a downhill, you can shift your weight rearward and the rear brake will still make a small contribution to stopping power.

    Another factor is the amount of weight you place on the front wheel when cornering. Too little, and the front wheel has a tendency to wash out. Too much, and it will wash out anyway.

    Expert riders please chime in here.
    "Head injuries are pretty high-consequence" - AndrwSwitch

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: laine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    103
    I upgraded my wheelset to to Easton Havens - which is just in your budget: Easton Haven MTB 29er Wheelset 2012 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    Like you, I'm a relative beginner and I bought a bike that fit me and made a bunch of upgrades, every time, feeling better on my rides. But the wheelset made the most difference. I haven't upgraded my brakes, so I can't speak to that - the bike came with Magura M2 brakes and they seem fine so far to me.

    The other upgrade that made a huge difference was going from Deore shifters to XT shifters. Waaaaaay better. Much smoother shifting.

    -laine

  19. #19
    Root Master
    Reputation: TwoNeener's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    83
    I vote for brakes. You already said you were riding much faster than initially. So you might as well get something that will stop you when you need to stop.

    In the meantime ride that thing. It'll also help you figure out what kind of wheels you really want when the desire/need arises again.
    Join the Tribe...

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNeener View Post
    I vote for brakes. You already said you were riding much faster than initially. So you might as well get something that will stop you when you need to stop.

    In the meantime ride that thing. It'll also help you figure out what kind of wheels you really want when the desire/need arises again.
    Went with the brake upgrade - Shimano Deore's using my same rotors for now and also added a 71cm Riser Bar as mine is currently 60cm. Using my friends Trek Cobia today I noticed how much more comfortable I felt with the wider handlebars.

    Thanks for all the input...I will advise on Wednesday when I get to test out the new additions. Also mounted my GoPro today for the first time...great video of people biffing it in front of me...why the hell I didn't take it out before is beyond me. It also showed me and my friends that also just started some areas we need to work on that you don't see without video.

Similar Threads

  1. Looking for an upgrade need some advice
    By rcast0828 in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-16-2013, 12:07 PM
  2. Upgrade Advice
    By mountainmatt in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-26-2012, 10:19 PM
  3. Upgrade Advice
    By Tincup69 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 10-20-2012, 12:12 PM
  4. Need Advice on Upgrade
    By Epp838 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-10-2012, 03:51 PM
  5. Upgrade Advice
    By Jonesy95 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-04-2011, 10:24 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •