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  1. #1
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    Let's talk Guardian component upgrades..

    I received my Guardian a couple of months ago and absolutely love it. I came from a 2002 GF Mamba so the Guardian was quite the upgrade for me and at a great price point.

    Now I am ready to start thinking about upgrades. I think I will upgrade in this order:
    1. Fork (I am 210 lbs.) - to a Recon Silver or Reba
    2. Wheelset - no idea yet. Will use the stock wheels for commuting.
    3. Drive train - X7 shifters and derailleurs (might wait until this break first). Not sure about the crankset. I have a Shimano LX M582 I could put on it but it is silver.

    So what have you upgraded and/or what do you recommend?

  2. #2
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    since I'm a pretty light guy, I won't be upgrading my fork until I really need it.

    1) Wheelset - until my stock set takes a good amount of damage (if it ever does), I will be trying to get a better set for the weight advantage (pretty pricey). The stock kenda tires are not bad, but might look into going tubeless.

    2) Handlebar & Stem - not sure if everyone will agree but for personal preference, I want to change these to the Easton Haven flats but I'm not 100% sure if I want to go ahead and do this. I will try to adapt to the stock parts for now.

    3) Drive train - I've ordered a bashguard to remove the biggest cog so I will be on a 2x9 system. I might also shorten the chain to reduce chain slap if necessary. The ground clearance is by far a huge advantage for the type of trails I ride my Guardian in.

  3. #3
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    Thoughts on this crank as an upgrade...

    Shimano SLX M665 Crankset 36-22-bash W/BB at Price Point

  4. #4
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    I get this question from time to time when folks call to order a Guardian. Here's what I usually tell them.

    1. If this is your first real mountain bike and you are just getting into the sport, just ride it. Just enjoy the bike and spend time getting to know it and improve your skill level.

    2. Unless you weigh much over 170-180lbs, don't prioritize the fork as the first thing to upgrade. Light, stiff wheels are always the best improvement on any bike and totally change the way a bike accelerates, corners, and climbs. If wheels are out of your budget but want an improvement in rotating mass, buy a set of lighter-weight kevlar-beaded tires and go tubeless or run light tubes.

    3. As things wear out over time, replace them with better/lighter versions. Like the crank, for example. If you ride a lot you will eventually need new chainrings as they wear. When that happens, look for a new crank with outboard bearings. You'll notice a big improvement in stiffness and power transfer.

    Hope that helps!
    Airborne Dude.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I get this question from time to time when folks call to order a Guardian. Here's what I usually tell them.

    1. If this is your first real mountain bike and you are just getting into the sport, just ride it. Just enjoy the bike and spend time getting to know it and improve your skill level.

    2. Unless you weigh much over 170-180lbs, don't prioritize the fork as the first thing to upgrade. Light, stiff wheels are always the best improvement on any bike and totally change the way a bike accelerates, corners, and climbs. If wheels are out of your budget but want an improvement in rotating mass, buy a set of lighter-weight kevlar-beaded tires and go tubeless or run light tubes.

    3. As things wear out over time, replace them with better/lighter versions. Like the crank, for example. If you ride a lot you will eventually need new chainrings as they wear. When that happens, look for a new crank with outboard bearings. You'll notice a big improvement in stiffness and power transfer.

    Hope that helps!
    with that being said, I think I saw your prototype guardian (maybe it was a goblin) and it was black w/ the black flag pros. post that pic it's so ninja

  6. #6
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by swl7 View Post
    with that being said, I think I saw your prototype guardian (maybe it was a goblin) and it was black w/ the black flag pros. post that pic it's so ninja
    You mean this one? It's my prototype new Goblin that I put a bunch of miles on before we went to production with the model. I've wrestled with building up a new factory-decalled frame now but I really like the "prototypey" look of it. That and its rather special to me now since it was the first of the new breed..........
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let's talk Guardian component upgrades..-jeremygoblinproto.jpg  

    Airborne Dude.

  7. #7
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    What are some good wheels to look into for someone 280-300lbs that wants to lighten up?

  8. #8
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    jkidd, these are a stellar set for the price. there are some rear hub spin issues coming up, but they all warranty. make sure you get them from a transition dealer

    http://transitionbikes.com/Store_Detail.cfm?Token={ts_2012-10-16_23:04:52}-360d840c7b30d4f-4BD98765-CDFB-E1CB-CF43D511402A85BF&P=2641&o=2



    I have upgraded my fork to a Recon Silver solo-air. @ 275 lbs in my shoes, i needed the extra rigidity. I have a SRAM Xgen front derailleur because the price was right. I have deleted my big ring in place for a BBG bash. I have an old specialized take off saddle cause the factory one bent very badly. I replaced the seatpost with an Easton 30 for the better finite adjustment. I have a 203 front and 185 rear rotor. much better!

    I am days away from swapping to a Voodoo zombie rigid fork. this free's up the recon for my new build of a Yelli. plus i want a rigid bike for other reasons. I may end up getting those wheels linked above in white as an upgrade, though i have not decided. once i get the Yelli built, this bike will not be getting much hard trail use. more XC long distance and excessive climbs for training. so with that, i may go with much lighter wheels, like havens.
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  9. #9
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    I like those wheels.

    Also this might be a minor upgrade that you can quickly take care of. The KMC X-9 chain actually blows. You can also read the reviews of the chain here: KMC X9 Chain Reviews where one guy refers it to CHAINSUCK CITY

    I would say skip a few meals and cook at home so you can get a decent chain. Personally for me, since I changed to a 2x9 by taking out my big ring, I could get a shorter chain, but I'm not sure which one would be a good. Anyone have suggestions?

  10. #10
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    I replaced my Goblin wheelset with a set of Vuelta Niner wheels.
    They were a great value at about 270 shipped and roll really well. I can easily recommend these wheels if your on a budget, like me. Also went tubeless and replaced stock tires with Kevlar beads. The loss of rotating weight has made a HUGE difference in how fast I can pilot this bike.

  11. #11
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    Gotta say, the Reba rl makes a huge difference even for light riders that like to take it a little rough.

    On the other hand, I'm going to add that a new saddle might be a good investment if you plan 20+ mile rides. I need some recommendations if anyone else has swapped saddles to something.... More comfortable. The stock saddle isn't bad at all, and is ultimately personal preference

  12. #12
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    I've never had a problem with the saddle at all. I sometimes ride 50 off-road miles in one day and never get numbness or anything. I mean, it's a hardtail so you have to get out of the seat.

    I upgraded to tubeless but used the stock rims and tires. That alone made a big difference in rotating weight so I can only imagine what a lighter wheelset would do. I keep wanting to change to some more aggressive tires but I can't justify it since the SB8's are holding up really well to wear and tear.

    One of the things the Airborne guys recommended I do was change to some better grips. (I was complaining about hand pain on the longer rides.) So I installed some Ergon GS1's which have made a big difference. So far no long rides to really test them out but I like them so far.
    Nathan

  13. #13
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    Oh I almost forgot...I too upgraded to the Reba RL. VERY nice ride compared with the XC28. Big change in weight up front.
    Nathan

  14. #14
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    i do a lot of trail riding in both technical and non technical single tracks, but I've been sliding way too much on these kenda's. My form during turns isn't great, but I know that it's not terrible. Any recommendations on some good kevlar-beaded tires? I'm looking at the geax aka's but I'm not sure? And I guess I would need to get something under 2.2's?

  15. #15
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    The AKA's have become my new favorite 3-season tire (spring/summer/fall). I've been running them for about 16 months and find that they have been about the best all-round tire for where we ride most often.

    The 2.2 AKA's are fat, measuring just over 2.2 inches with the micrometer. The only reason they wouldn't fit on your Guardian is if you are still running the stock FD and want to use the small (granny) ring on your crankset. There is enough room for that size in the frame itself; it should accomodate up to a 2.3 easily. If you pick up an X7 FD or upgrade your bike to a 2x10 there's plenty of clearance.........

    Hope that helps~!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  16. #16
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    thanks Jeremy, I will most likely get the 2.2 AKA's. I do have a 2x10 setup, but its the granny and middle ring. I can probably get the tires now, and upgrade my FD when the time comes. I will also be picking up some new grips since my stock ones are torn up (probably some Odi lock-ons or some cheaper Oury's)

  17. #17
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    does anyone have the mavic crossrides on their guardian? I'm not sure if it's a worthy upgrade or if I should just wait for a better wheelset.

  18. #18
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    I like Mavic products a lot and own several sets of Ksyriums and Crossmax wheels.

    That being said, I've never had any luck with their Crossride range of wheels. I blew up two rear hubs. One blew up while riding by myself with about 6 miles to get back to the trail head, essentially it froze up and made the hub a fixed gear hub. I had to remove the chain so that I could hike/coast back to the parking lot. I'm generally not tough on equipment so I was surprised. But..........Mavic is really good about warrantying their stuff so I will say I was taken care of both times. So two thumbs up for their warranty/customer service!

    If you can afford the stretch to at least the CrossLands, I think they are a better wheelset IMHO. I've had a set of them and they've been great. And of course my CrossMax's have been bullet-proof as well.

    Just my two cents as a fellow rider. Thanks!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  19. #19
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    thanks jeremy. I've come to realize actually I'm not even that good of a rider to appreciate good parts, so before I even upgrade my wheelset, tires, or crankset/shifters/deraileurs, I'm just going to ride the crap out of this thing until something snaps. That's when I'm going to replace a component.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I like Mavic products a lot and own several sets of Ksyriums and Crossmax wheels.

    That being said, I've never had any luck with their Crossride range of wheels. I blew up two rear hubs. One blew up while riding by myself with about 6 miles to get back to the trail head, essentially it froze up and made the hub a fixed gear hub. I had to remove the chain so that I could hike/coast back to the parking lot. I'm generally not tough on equipment so I was surprised. But..........Mavic is really good about warrantying their stuff so I will say I was taken care of both times. So two thumbs up for their warranty/customer service!

    If you can afford the stretch to at least the CrossLands, I think they are a better wheelset IMHO. I've had a set of them and they've been great. And of course my CrossMax's have been bullet-proof as well.

    Just my two cents as a fellow rider. Thanks!

    Jeremy
    What would you recommend as good value set of wheels to upgrade the Guardian? I am about 200 lbs.
    Airborne Guardian

  21. #21
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    anyone put an x7 fd on their guardian? If so, which one are you supposed to get? there are so many!

  22. #22
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    34.9/35mm top pull, high or low-clamp. The original X3 seemed like it was like a mid-clamp, though that technically doesn't exist. I tried a high clamp at first and it was a bit longer and then bought a low-clamp and it was a bit shorter. You can use either, though I stuck with the low clamp since it was on the bike at that point and it just happens to be lighter.

  23. #23
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    I've been riding my guardian for couple months now and I have been very happy with the bike so far. Its my first new bike since my M300 Cannondale that I bought 17 years ago. ...needless to say bikes have came a long way since then.

    I wasn't planning on upgrading the bike at all this season but I decided to sell my racecar so I ended up with a little bit of play money. I bought a new wheel set and tires.

    Sun Ringle Black Flag Pros, Shimano XT cassette, Avid HS1 rotors, WTB Bronson (R) and WTB Weirwolf (F). The investment more than doubled the value of the bike. Using my cheesy postal scale I measured the new setup at 1800g (F) and 2220 (R) with everything including Stans sealant and skewers. The stock Guardian stuff came in around 1350g more total.

    The change was noticeable right off the bat. Obviously climbing improved as well as overall acceleration. The tires perform better on loose climbs and seam to go okay on hardpack. I'm really happy with everything so far. Good thing to 'cause I would have been pretty bummed considering the cost of all that stuff.

    As others in this thread have stated, the best thing to do with the Guardian is ride it. Especially if you're relatively new to mountain biking to 29ers. The bike, right out of the box was capable of handling everything I put in front of it.

    I'll keep the stock stuff around for commuting and maybe even use the Kenda SB8s for racing but we'll see.

  24. #24
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    I put x9 FD on my Guardian but back to x5 FD.
    X9's cage is wider than X5 so its rubbing tire when it goes smallest chainring.
    Let's talk Guardian component upgrades..-20130617_204214-1_zpsae8acd23.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Let's talk Guardian component upgrades..-20130617_204214-1_zpsae8acd23.jpg  


  25. #25
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    I just bought the x9!!! Is there any way around it? =\ I don't want to have to return it and get the x7...which should have enough clearance.

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