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  1. #1
    pwg
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    What are the best and lightest all mountain parts and components to add to your bike?

    Ok, so I cant afford to rush out and buy my dreambike and actually, I dont even know what it is. Im riding a newish Cannondale Gemini and am about to embark on the slow process of adding new bling bits to it.

    Whilst the bike may not suit all (and possibly not even me it will probably go for a lighter 6 inch thing at some stage), I did just want to pose a hypothetical question; if money wasnt the biggest issue what are the best and lightest parts you would add to your bike?

    What Id ideally like is a list of the best parts (and best for me means light as well this is the all mountain thread but it has to withstand some decent abuse)

    Id be interested in what people say.

    Ill kick of the list but freely admit I have no real idea.

    Cassette: Sram PG-990XO
    Rear derailleur: Sram XO
    Shifters: Sram XO trigger
    Brakes: Probably Avid Juicy 7s, but I hear they have a new model which will usurp them.
    Bottom bracket no idea (like some suggestions as I'm in the market)
    Stem: possibly Roox (just for bling value.
    Headset:
    Crankset: Raceface Next LP (the carbon ones)
    Rims
    Handlebars
    etc

  2. #2
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    Bottom bracket: Shimano XT HT2 or RF X-type
    Rear mech: Sram X9, not convinced about the X0 for AM with the carbon knuckle.
    Stem: Thomson Elite
    Headset: King
    Bars: Easton EA70 monkey bar riser
    Wheels: Mavic Crossmax XL

    I find all the above are strong and relatively light. Tyres also make a huge difference to how "heavy" your bike will feel. Millions to choose from, but it should be your first consideration when contemplating an upgrade.
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Singletrack Addict!!!
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    As price is no objective and light weigh important: I think...

    Rear dearailleur - Sram Xo with alum cage
    Front Der - XTR or XT
    Crank / BB - Shimano XT - XTR
    Cassette - Shinano XT - XTR - lighter than Sram - no noticeable performance difference
    Seatpost - Thomson Masterpiece
    Bar - Easton EA -70 alum - Carbon EC70
    Brakes - Light and durable - Magura Marta's
    Seat - does not apply - get the best one that fits your butt. WTB's are goood...
    Wheelset - Crossmax XL or Custom built - Rims could be Mavic XM819, DT 5.1 laced with DT or wheelsmith double butted spokes (some may prefer other) to CK, Hadley or Hope hubs. Those Industry Nine and Easton looks good too.
    Quik releases - Hope all around or Salsa
    Stem - Thomson
    Shifters - Sram XO (maybe the new shimano XTR) we'll see how they perform
    Tires - good luck - too many
    Pedals - Mallet mag - Candy SL -?
    Fork - Pike Air, Nixon Intrinsic Air- Fox 36 depending on bike..
    Rear Shock - Cane Creek Double Barrel titanium coil -Swinger 4 way - DHX Air -
    The world needs a huge socio-economic change...be it. We all need to ride more....

  4. #4
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    well what is your budget. you could be looking at 1-2k in parts if you get all top of the line stuff. XO drivetrain, maguras, CK headset, & thomson parts is around 1500 and that doesnt even include fork, crank, wheels and other stuff.

  5. #5
    pwg
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    Budget is pretty open. Im not going to do all of this at once it will take a while, so I was just after a list or discussion of what people think are the best bits.

    uktrailmonster, are the Shimano bottom brackets that good?

    2 votes for the Crossmax XL wheelset better look at them.

    Love a Cane Creek rear shock they certainly fit the bill, but only come in limited sizes unfortunately.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relayden
    As price is no objective and light weigh important: I think...
    Fork - Pike Air, Nixon Intrinsic Air- Fox 36 depending on bike..
    -
    If light weight is important, the Fox 36 doesn't count. All those forks are 5+ lbs.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwg

    uktrailmonster, are the Shimano bottom brackets that good?

    2 votes for the Crossmax XL wheelset – better look at them.
    The Shimano XT external bottom brackets are excellent. Combined with the XT Hollowtech II cranks, they're much stiffer and lighter than a traditional internal bottom bracket. Only thing I don't like are the XT chainrings, which are made of cheese. Replace those with Race Face rings and you end up with a great setup.

    The Crossmax XL wheels are very stiff and light too, ideal for AM. They get mixed reviews, especially in the US for some reason. People seem to either love or hate them. Usual complaints are non-standard spokes and fittings, dodgy freehubs and narrow rims. No problems with mine after 2 years and they still look great. The UST rims work great too. Highly recommended.
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    The best AM part will be:

    Gravity Dropper.

    P.S. Another vote for Crossmax XL.

  9. #9
    pwg
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    I've just had a look at the Gravity Dropper yep I want one of them - apart from the weight penalty, I can see myself loving it.

    One question though, is it a hassle to turn your bike over as the lever is on-top of the handlebar? I often take off tyres etc with the bike upside down.

  10. #10
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    Brakes: Probably Avid Juicy 7’s, but I hear they have a new model which will usurp them.

    Usurp... you just take ur SATs or GREs???

    This is a wild guess, but I bet if you throw out 2 of ur chain rings, front derailleur, shifter, and
    cables and replace it with this chainguide: http://www.gamutusa.com/g25.html
    you will a lot. Mine felt lighter anyway.
    I also gave up my wtb rocket v race for a less comfy titanium Intense Spider saddle for the weight. I'd go with one of wtb's titatium saddles though.
    Also, any relatively well rolling tires will help alot, or a less tacky rubber (specialized enduro pro)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwg
    I've just had a look at the Gravity Dropper yep I want one of them - apart from the weight penalty, I can see myself loving it.

    One question though, is it a hassle to turn your bike over as the lever is on-top of the handlebar? I often take off tyres etc with the bike upside down.
    Gravity dropper is great - worth its weight in gold. Never had a problem with the lever, but I never turn the bike over. Why do you have to do that? It's just as easy the right way up!
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

  12. #12
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    Gravity Dropper will be the single best thing you add to your AM bike....I love mine and anyone else who ever sees it out on the trail immediately wants one after trying it!!!

    Second best is the E-13 DRS. No more derailled chains, period. With a 36/22 gives good range.

    Third best - tyres. I vote for either Schwalbe Big Betty (850gms) 2.4", super tacky (gooey gluey), or 2.35 Minions ST.

    After that, the normal finish kit, Thomson stem, CK headset, CK hubs, etc. I vote for Shimano cassettes and mechs (XT level), SRAM shifters (X9 level), SRAM hollow-pin chains. Rims I find make little difference, but currently rocking the Sun singletracks.

    If money no object, then I want the Ohlins (CC) Double barrel shock, with a Ti spring. Oh, and some Ti springs for the Fox 36 VAN would be good too.....

    Pedals - PD-M647. Always. The most reliable/durable caged SPD out there.

  13. #13
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    Rear mech: Sram X9, not convinced about the X0 for AM with the carbon knuckle.

    Believe it or not, when I destroyed my XO, the "carbon" (it's actually a plastic composite that LOOKS like carbon) was the only part that DIDNT break! All of the metal pieces sheared but the composite did not.

  14. #14
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    Sorry to disagree with most of you, but it doesn't get any better/lighter than this:

    Fork: Pace RC 41 Fighter (1600g) 150mm
    Bottom Bracket: Acros BB Ceramic
    Cranks: Middleburn RS-7 X-Type (coming out soon)
    Headset: Chris King Titanium
    Brakes: Formula Oro Puro (I would choose Mono Minis (203/183) over them though)
    Handlebar: Easton Carbon XC
    Stem: Hope 70mm (130g with Titanium Bolts)
    Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece or Use Titanium
    Seat: Tune Marathon (107g and very comfortable)
    Seatlamp: Tune Wuerger or Hope QR
    Cassette: XTR or Tune Titanium/Carbon
    F. Dera: XTR
    R. Dera: XO
    Shifter: XO Trigger
    Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater Triple Ti
    Replace all bolts with Titanium Bolts

    Wheelset:
    Hubs: Hope Pro II Disc
    Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
    Nipples: DT Alu Prolock
    Rims: DT 5.1 or Notubes ZTR 545

    regards,

    Leon

  15. #15
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    Gemini is awesome

    I have a Gemini 900 and it is a versitile bike.
    Great for BMX tracks and downhill tracks and still a good trail bike.
    The changes I have done are;
    short stem - race face 1.5 to fit breakout fork
    Gravity dropper
    4 way air shock.

    Uphill and fast but flat trails fork travel to 130mm.
    Seat extended or 1" down.
    Rear travel in 150mm, air shock 25%sag 100psi in spv
    I have found myself keeping up with most cross country bikes
    On the downhill sections extend forks to 150mm, seat fully down and go fast and fly off the jumps.

    BSX
    Fork 150mm
    rear travel in 150mm, air shock 35% sag

    Downhill -really bumby rooty
    Fork 150mm
    Rear travel 170mm, coil shock

    Enjoy your bike it has great geometry and wont break.
    Good riding!

  16. #16
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwg
    I've just had a look at the Gravity Dropper yep I want one of them - apart from the weight penalty, I can see myself loving it.

    One question though, is it a hassle to turn your bike over as the lever is on-top of the handlebar? I often take off tyres etc with the bike upside down.
    That was the first think I noticed when I mounted mine. The lever looked like it would get damaged if I flipped the bike upside down, a common thing to do during trailside repairs. I ended up rotating the lever unit backwards until the lever was below the hieght of my grip-shifters, which can take the bike resting on them. It turns out it's easier to use this way anyway.

  17. #17
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    God Save the Queen?

    Leon,
    You sound English! In California I would not buy very many of those parts due to supply consideration and warranty. I'm sure you are right about the weight of the parts. But, unless you have a contract for riding I would not spend the $$ for weight savings, I would prefer the best riding bike on the planet with a minimum of maintenance.
    Cheers,
    Kane

    Fork: Fox preferably Vanilla anything but the Talas
    Bottom Bracket/Cranks: Shimano XT 760
    Headset: Chris King Aluminum (it's lighter than Ti!)
    Brakes: Formula Oro K24 (these are the best brakes on the market!)
    Handlebar: Easton Carbon XC
    Stem: whatever you need for the fit
    Seatpost: Thomson or Easton
    Seat: WTB cheap and make sure that it fits
    Seatlamp: I don't even know what a Seat lamp is?
    Cassette: XT
    F. Dera: XTR or XT
    R. Dera: XO
    Shifter: XO Trigger
    Pedals: Crankbrothers chromemoly or Time
    don't Replace all bolts with Titanium Bolts
    Wheelset: Crossmax or DT 240's with 32 spoke and either Mavic 819 or DT rim
    Spokes: DT's if you build the wheels
    Nipples: brass on the back and Al on the Front
    This package is neither stupid light not stupid expensive.


    Quote Originally Posted by LtoThaEON
    Sorry to disagree with most of you, but it doesn't get any better/lighter than this:

    Fork: Pace RC 41 Fighter (1600g) 150mm
    Bottom Bracket: Acros BB Ceramic
    Cranks: Middleburn RS-7 X-Type (coming out soon)
    Headset: Chris King Titanium
    Brakes: Formula Oro Puro (I would choose Mono Minis (203/183) over them though)
    Handlebar: Easton Carbon XC
    Stem: Hope 70mm (130g with Titanium Bolts)
    Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece or Use Titanium
    Seat: Tune Marathon (107g and very comfortable)
    Seatlamp: Tune Wuerger or Hope QR
    Cassette: XTR or Tune Titanium/Carbon
    F. Dera: XTR
    R. Dera: XO
    Shifter: XO Trigger
    Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater Triple Ti
    Replace all bolts with Titanium Bolts

    Wheelset:
    Hubs: Hope Pro II Disc
    Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
    Nipples: DT Alu Prolock
    Rims: DT 5.1 or Notubes ZTR 545

    regards,

    Leon

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtoThaEON
    Sorry to disagree with most of you, but it doesn't get any better/lighter than this:

    Fork: Pace RC 41 Fighter (1600g) 150mm
    Bottom Bracket: Acros BB Ceramic
    Cranks: Middleburn RS-7 X-Type (coming out soon)
    Headset: Chris King Titanium
    Brakes: Formula Oro Puro (I would choose Mono Minis (203/183) over them though)
    Handlebar: Easton Carbon XC
    Stem: Hope 70mm (130g with Titanium Bolts)
    Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece or Use Titanium
    Seat: Tune Marathon (107g and very comfortable)
    Seatlamp: Tune Wuerger or Hope QR
    Cassette: XTR or Tune Titanium/Carbon
    F. Dera: XTR
    R. Dera: XO
    Shifter: XO Trigger
    Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater Triple Ti
    Replace all bolts with Titanium Bolts

    Wheelset:
    Hubs: Hope Pro II Disc
    Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
    Nipples: DT Alu Prolock
    Rims: DT 5.1 or Notubes ZTR 545

    regards,

    Leon
    Sounds more like weight weenies special than AM. Ti bolts on an AM rig? Have a word.
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

  19. #19
    Paste eater
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    Quote Originally Posted by zkampyman
    Leon,
    You sound English! In California I would not buy very many of those parts due to supply consideration and warranty. I'm sure you are right about the weight of the parts. But, unless you have a contract for riding I would not spend the $$ for weight savings, I would prefer the best riding bike on the planet with a minimum of maintenance.
    Cheers,
    Kane

    Fork: Fox preferably Vanilla anything but the Talas
    Bottom Bracket/Cranks: Shimano XT 760
    Headset: Chris King Aluminum (it's lighter than Ti!)
    Brakes: Formula Oro K24 (these are the best brakes on the market!)
    Handlebar: Easton Carbon XC
    Stem: whatever you need for the fit
    Seatpost: Thomson or Easton
    Seat: WTB cheap and make sure that it fits
    Seatlamp: I don't even know what a Seat lamp is?
    Cassette: XT
    F. Dera: XTR or XT
    R. Dera: XO
    Shifter: XO Trigger
    Pedals: Crankbrothers chromemoly or Time
    don't Replace all bolts with Titanium Bolts
    Wheelset: Crossmax or DT 240's with 32 spoke and either Mavic 819 or DT rim
    Spokes: DT's if you build the wheels
    Nipples: brass on the back and Al on the Front
    This package is neither stupid light not stupid expensive.
    I'm on my way to replicating this VERY build... Like you said, it a GREAT compromise between weight/durability and $$$$. I've got all SRAM though...

  20. #20
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
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    For AM riding it is hard to beat a Gravity Dropper. May not be the lightest piece of equipment nor the cheapest seat post out there but it is the best thing to happen to mountain biking sense suspension and disc brakes.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  21. #21
    HIKE!
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    Gravity Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfiend
    For AM riding it is hard to beat a Gravity Dropper. May not be the lightest piece of equipment nor the cheapest seat post out there but it is the best thing to happen to mountain biking sense suspension and disc brakes.
    another vote for the Gravity Dropper. Get the remote for certain, that is the key. 3" drop seems about right to me. I've seen others getting dual position drops, but riding with them, it looks tricky to hit one position or the other..... stick with 3" drop, you can't go wrong.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    another vote for the Gravity Dropper. Get the remote for certain, that is the key. 3" drop seems about right to me. I've seen others getting dual position drops, but riding with them, it looks tricky to hit one position or the other..... stick with 3" drop, you can't go wrong.
    Totally agree, GD is the best AM addition out there. One of the few gadgets that really does live up to the hype. It could be refined further though and I'm sure it will be.
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

  23. #23
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    Refinement, agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    Totally agree, GD is the best AM addition out there. One of the few gadgets that really does live up to the hype. It could be refined further though and I'm sure it will be.

    Yeah, the GD is pretty sublime and the function is great. The magnetic pin set up is rock solid and really genius. Function is perfect. A redisign and making use of forging and maybe some molding methods could clean up the remote switch, the seat rail clamps, and the switch assemble on the post. Just liscense the thing out to SRAM or to Cane Creek, or someone, and let them put some more development dollars into it, but as it sits, it is the best addition I've had for ATB riding in 15+ years. I'd give up my disc brakes before I'd give up the GD.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    Yeah, the GD is pretty sublime and the function is great. The magnetic pin set up is rock solid and really genius. Function is perfect. A redisign and making use of forging and maybe some molding methods could clean up the remote switch, the seat rail clamps, and the switch assemble on the post. Just liscense the thing out to SRAM or to Cane Creek, or someone, and let them put some more development dollars into it, but as it sits, it is the best addition I've had for ATB riding in 15+ years. I'd give up my disc brakes before I'd give up the GD.
    License it out to Thomson. Imagine a gravity dropper Thomson Elite, that would be my dream seatpost

    I managed to crack mine through the hole in the upper tube for the seat mounting pin. It had been going really well until that point for about 8 months. I'll give it another try, since I'm certainly never going back to a fixed seatpost!!

    If you've got one of these, I'd keep a close eye out for cracks forming around this hole. If you know what you're doing it would be worth dressing any sharp edges or burrs around the hole to reduce the stress raiser. At least the failure was quite benign in my case. I just heard a loud crack after going over a bump on the trail. The post cracked across the forward upper half of the hole, leaving the broken piece still clamped in place. The seat was still fastened securely for the ride home. It would have been different had it cracked on the lower half!
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

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