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  1. #1
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    New to the forum.. looking to upgrade my Giant Revel for local trails

    Thought I'd introduce myself before I ask some noob questions.

    I recently started biking again (haven't done it since 10 years ago when I was 18) to get back in shape. I purchased a Giant Revel 1 a few months ago and with it as my faithful companion I've dropped from 247lbs to 199lbs . After months of abuse on the nasty granite of Thunderbird park it's starting to groan and moan quite a bit and the drivetrain has been beat down bad so I've built a shopping list and would like to get some opinions to make sure what I'm buying is actually an upgrade!

    Here's the list

    Shock: Rock Shox Recon (replacing Suntour XCM)
    Brakes: Avid BB7 (replacing the AWFUL tektros)
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio M410 (replacing squeaky SRAM X4)

    Now, I also need to fix the crank. I bashed it good against a rock so the largest chainring is in bad shape. The crank is an SR Suntour but honestly it looks like for near the cost of buying a new chainring I can just buy an entire Shimano crank set for a little more.

    My only issue is I have no idea if the bottom bracket that my SR Suntour XCM crank uses will work with a Shimano.. I'm an expert car mechanic but not too familiar with the interchangeability of these bike parts.


    So here's the other dilemma... my parts shop list is approaching $400-500 pretty quick and (dont flame me too hard) I can get an entire new FS bike from Bikesdirect (Dawes 2500 I'm looking at) that seems to more or less have better components in every regard than my Revel 1 has.. plus full suspension.

    It's a real question of do I need full suspension? I love doing Thunderbird park and want to start doing South Mountain. I've become pretty brutal on the bike and have no problem hauling my butt up and down the mountains for a few hours. I'm at that point where I want to make sure I get the right bike for what I want to do whether its getting a new one or upgrading the Giant.

    Thoughts? I'd appreciate it!

  2. #2
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    Maybe increase your budget to $1000-1500 and find a nice 2011/2012 Specialized/Trek FS 29er on Craigslist with at least X7 or XT components or possibly even better. There are deals like that, especially now that 2013 models are starting to show up at the LBS.

    I personally would not spend money to upgrade your current bike nor would I buy the Dawes or any other bike from Bikesdirect. That is my opinion.

    Great job on the weight loss. Keep it up!
    -boom

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomvader View Post
    Maybe increase your budget to $1000-1500 and find a nice 2011/2012 Specialized/Trek FS 29er on Craigslist with at least X7 or XT components or possibly even better. There are deals like that, especially now that 2013 models are starting to show up at the LBS.

    I personally would not spend money to upgrade your current bike nor would I buy the Dawes or any other bike from Bikesdirect. That is my opinion.

    Great job on the weight loss. Keep it up!
    I agree with boom. All those parts are going to add up quickly and you might as well use that money to get a new (to you at least) bike. Not to mention that most of them do not appear to be that big of an upgrade. You could probably get most of them back to working condition with a little elbow grease.

    I frequently ride T-Bird also, and bashed the heck out of the big ring (love them stairs out there). My solution, take it off and put a bash guard on (got mine at Home ) . I never used that ring anyway, and once the teeth get dented it is not wise to use it anyway (broken chain). You just have to adjust the upper limit screw on the front derailer so that it does not try to shift up to that ring.

  4. #4
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    Rei in portland has one more scott scale elite in large... Only one left I think in the country (in REI stores)... Its reduced to $1350... Its a hardtail 29er... Very nice bike...

    Full suspension frames break too often... I have never had an issue with riding a hardtail... You don't need a full suspension...

  5. #5
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    Swiss American Bikes on 43rd and Bell just released the news that the 2012 bikes are on sale to make room for the 2013s. If they don't have exactly what you want in the showroo,, they may be able to order it and save you some serious money.Use the Trek card, I think its 6 months no interest right now.


    Or- if you are like me (for now) and can't afford that extra bit of cash then you could find those parts lightly used on CL, from one of our members here, or Fleabay and save a heap of cash.

    On FS- it depends what you want or need. I rode HT for nearly 20 years before getting my first FS bike. I like it, especially as I was riding myself back into shape. But I like to ride XC and All Mountain- and FS bikes are heavier and sap too much kinetic energy (even with lock outs and propedal etc). That has me looking at 29HT again for my next ride, maybe even Singlespeed. FS does require a little more maintenance as well, but as far as them breaking too often-not sure that is the case if you buy the right bike for your riding situation, style and size. Far too many people ride FS bikes sitting down too much over bumps. This is not a proper riding style when you start to ride faster, and seatposts, frames and linkage are not designed for the forces put upon them when riding sat down (unless its a full on DH rig) so things tend to wear quickly and break if not replaced often. Of course, the bigger or faster you are, the more trouble you may have. But if you want to do more techy, DH oriented stuff like shuttling with the group on here-FS may be the way to go.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    Full suspension frames break too often... I have never had an issue with riding a hardtail... You don't need a full suspension...
    You're joking right?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by motochick View Post
    You're joking right?
    I have broken two full suspension frames each time I had owned each frame for less than one year... So, I will re word what I said... Full suspension frames, in my experience, are not reliable...

    I weigh 205 lbs... About the same weight as the OP...

    Do you still think I am joking ?

  8. #8
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    What "full suspension" frames were you riding?
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    What "full suspension" frames were you riding?
    It was a Haro Either R7 or R5 (sorry not the X). Maybe it was a crappy frame ? I was told it was a great bike at the time. I am just pulling from my experiences.

    I probably should have worded my resopnse differently. That it is my experience.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisaz82 View Post
    Shock: Rock Shox Recon (replacing Suntour XCM)
    Brakes: Avid BB7 (replacing the AWFUL tektros)
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio M410 (replacing squeaky SRAM X4)
    Fork: RockShox makes pretty good stuff IMO, check Ebay. Recon is a good start
    Brakes: Can't go wrong with BB7's
    Derailleur: If you have Sram shifters, they won't work with Shimano. If you're happy with the way your X4 shifts, try and service it first. Take it off and spray it with degreaser, then use your preferred chain lube on the moving parts and spring.


    As far as FS vs. HT - I'd say stick with HT for a bit. Seems like you don't have any issues with what you're on now. Despite what some people will tell you, there's really not much you'll miss out on not having a FS.


    As far as budgeting for a new bike you'll start to notice manufacturers load bikes up with really good components packages at the 1,000 - 1,250 - 1,500 prices. Save and aim for something in that range and you'll be a happy dude.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the help guys!

    I'm actually pretty happy with the Giant Revel.. I think the bike is still better than I am. I guess it's really just down to a decision whether I want to throw some upgrades on it or get a new bike (the Tektro Novela brakes HAVE to go, they are so horrible!)

    Rather than shop by price I'd rather know what I should be looking for in a bike. It seems like most of the $1000 range bikes have Shimano Deore stuff and either Shimano or TruVativ cranks and bottom sets.. forks are usually a Rock Shox XC does that all sound about right?

  12. #12
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    gee I hope I dont get flamed too bad for saying this... But I really like this fork... Its pretty much the only spring fork I have ever liked...
    RockShox XC 32 TK 29er Suspenion Fork - 100mm Travel - Free Shipping at REI.com
    Its comes standard on several $1000 price range bikes... It really has a great feel and rebound..

    Of course the fox and marzoucchi forks are great, but the bikes they come with are pricey..

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    Swiss American Bikes on 43rd and Bell just released the news that the 2012 bikes are on sale to make room for the 2013s. If they don't have exactly what you want in the showroo,, they may be able to order it and save you some serious money.Use the Trek card, I think its 6 months no interest right now.


    Or- if you are like me (for now) and can't afford that extra bit of cash then you could find those parts lightly used on CL, from one of our members here, or Fleabay and save a heap of cash.

    On FS- it depends what you want or need. I rode HT for nearly 20 years before getting my first FS bike. I like it, especially as I was riding myself back into shape. But I like to ride XC and All Mountain- and FS bikes are heavier and sap too much kinetic energy (even with lock outs and propedal etc). That has me looking at 29HT again for my next ride, maybe even Singlespeed. FS does require a little more maintenance as well, but as far as them breaking too often-not sure that is the case if you buy the right bike for your riding situation, style and size. Far too many people ride FS bikes sitting down too much over bumps. This is not a proper riding style when you start to ride faster, and seatposts, frames and linkage are not designed for the forces put upon them when riding sat down (unless its a full on DH rig) so things tend to wear quickly and break if not replaced often. Of course, the bigger or faster you are, the more trouble you may have. But if you want to do more techy, DH oriented stuff like shuttling with the group on here-FS may be the way to go.
    That is correct SIR !
    Tried to unteach my wife from doing that on a HT for years, ended up buying her a full-suspension.

  14. #14
    Andrew
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    I recently upgraded to the RockShox Recon Gold's (found on ebay for $270 shipped, bnib). Extremely happy with the purchase. Upgraded the stem at the same time to an FSA Oribital XL. Most forks are 1-1/8". Take a tape measure to the top cap (bolt that points straight down on the stem) and see if it's under 1.5". Suntour doesn't make nice stock forks so I think it's a safe bet to grab the Recon's.

    Also just installed some BB7's yesterday. Another wicked mod, definitely recommended. Pulled the 2011's off Pricepoint's site for $118/set in 185mm.

    The Alivio isn't much of an upgrade for a der, if you're needing an upgrade, I'd at least go with the Shimano SLX. If you currently have gripshift, changing to trigger shifters is going to make a bigger difference than swapping the der. Also, It might not hurt to hit up a lbs and just go in for a tune up and der adjustment.

    With that said, I've been building up my bike from the crapbox it started out as and I've already put way more into it than it cost to buy in the first place. I would have been much happier picking up a Sette Razzo SC or something similar in that price range ($1400) that already has all the components I'm upgrading my K2 to.
    2012 Trek Superfly 100

  15. #15
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    I also rode hard-tail for years, few times I was tempted to go for FS but couldn't find a real reason to. Not to say I won't one day splurge for a nice all carbon, full suspension bike.

    Currently with flexy titanium frame, forgiving seatpost and handlebars, good front shock, 29 inch wheels, proper grips/gloves and riding technique I can handle most xc/trail/mountain riding in the Valley. I don't do DH and rock hopping.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by drizzoh View Post
    I recently upgraded to the RockShox Recon Gold's (found on ebay for $270 shipped, bnib). Extremely happy with the purchase. Upgraded the stem at the same time to an FSA Oribital XL. Most forks are 1-1/8". Take a tape measure to the top cap (bolt that points straight down on the stem) and see if it's under 1.5". Suntour doesn't make nice stock forks so I think it's a safe bet to grab the Recon's.

    Also just installed some BB7's yesterday. Another wicked mod, definitely recommended. Pulled the 2011's off Pricepoint's site for $118/set in 185mm.

    The Alivio isn't much of an upgrade for a der, if you're needing an upgrade, I'd at least go with the Shimano SLX. If you currently have gripshift, changing to trigger shifters is going to make a bigger difference than swapping the der. Also, It might not hurt to hit up a lbs and just go in for a tune up and der adjustment.

    With that said, I've been building up my bike from the crapbox it started out as and I've already put way more into it than it cost to buy in the first place. I would have been much happier picking up a Sette Razzo SC or something similar in that price range ($1400) that already has all the components I'm upgrading my K2 to.
    $118 a set for BB7's is pretty good I'll have to go look! From what I understand they are about as good as mechanicals get which is why I've been lookin.

    I currently have SRAM X4 shifters and der ... I won't lie I LOVE the SRAM shifters.. the placement and the accuracy. The thing never hunts for any gears and always goes right where I set it. The problem is the gears inside the rear der always squeak like a mouse within a mile even after a full cleaning and lube. I bought from Bicycle Depot so they'll adjust it for free for life but at this point it's just plain worn out it seems

    On closer inspection today I've noticed the gears on the cassette are also pretty chewed up.. some look bent and some look like a file was taken to them. I'm kind of dissapointed the bike is only 3 months old and it looks like I might have to replace the entire drivetrain.

    I'm seriously just considering a new bike now lol

  17. #17
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    New bikes ftw. The Sette Razzo SC is awesome and comes with the same components you're looking at or better ones. Definitely worth checking into. You figure a few hundred to fix your current bike + the brake and fork mods, you're loking around $700 just to get it how you want it.. Might as well just upgrade the whole platform.
    2012 Trek Superfly 100

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by drizzoh View Post
    . If you currently have gripshift, changing to trigger shifters is going to make a bigger difference than swapping the der.
    Really? How is that?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by motochick View Post
    Really? How is that?
    Grip shift is sloppy and inaccurate with much room for user error if you don't shift exactly the perfect amount. If you under shift, the chain has a tendency to grind and if you overshift it likes to jump around, in my experience anyway. Trigger shifters allow for more precise shifting and also you are much less likely to accidentally shift by steering around obstacles or thru rough terrain just based on your hand movements on the grips.
    2012 Trek Superfly 100

  20. #20
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    Interesting. Sloppy? Impossible. Inaccurate? Impossible. Not sure how you can under shift or not shift the exact perfect amount, being that there are indents inside the shifter for every gear. Trigger shifters are no more or less precise....except maybe when talking about the front, then it is less precise cuz it doesn't allow for trimming. Never once had a chain grind or jump around....both of those sound like someone who has no idea how to adjust a derailleur. Never had an accidental shift, even on my DH bike, never experienced user error. I only have had 5 sets of twisties on 5 different bikes so I am probably full of crap. 4 sets of triggers, all in the give-away-bin.

  21. #21
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    Well.. I made an upgrade of sorts! I had some store credit with Amazon from trading in last semesters books so I ended up getting a New Diamondback Recoil for a whopping $317 out of pocket from them delivered to my door. Gonna go ahead and grab the Rockshox Recon Silver (air) and a Monarch rear shock and see where this thing takes me.

  22. #22
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    Sweet and enjoy the new ride. Also- you may want a second opinion on the rear cassette. The teeth are actually shaped a little funny to help smooth out shifts and prevent skipping between gears. Not saying yours are not worn out- but they may not be.

  23. #23
    Andrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by motochick View Post
    Interesting. Sloppy? Impossible. Inaccurate? Impossible. Not sure how you can under shift or not shift the exact perfect amount, being that there are indents inside the shifter for every gear. Trigger shifters are no more or less precise....except maybe when talking about the front, then it is less precise cuz it doesn't allow for trimming. Never once had a chain grind or jump around....both of those sound like someone who has no idea how to adjust a derailleur. Never had an accidental shift, even on my DH bike, never experienced user error. I only have had 5 sets of twisties on 5 different bikes so I am probably full of crap. 4 sets of triggers, all in the give-away-bin.
    I did put that was my experience with it. You must have higher-end shifters then what I used. I've only dealt with the lowest-end possible crap (i figured all gripshift was crap because of this). Swapping from the low end Sram GS to a fairly low end Shimano trigger (Acera/Avilo) my shifting responce/speed increased tenfold and is stone cold accurate now with all of the same other components (still on Tourney SIS fr and r der and crap cables). I'm glad you like them though. I love them for cruising around on the street, but I guess I'm too agressive off-road and always end up accidentally shifting like 4 gears when pulling up to get over or around something.

    OP, the forks should do you well. They're about the same as my Recon Golds but a tad heavier. I love mine and I'm sure you will as well. It's a night and day difference switching over to some quality air suspension. Make sure you pick up a shock pump as well if yours doesn't come with one. Also, you won't regret upgrading to a nice sealed headset if you don't currently have one. Night and day difference, especially if yours is dirty and taken a beating.

    +1 for having a second opinion on the rear cassette. It's fairly unlikely that you'd damage it unless you took some serious impacts/dumped the bike frequently. It's a somewhat difficult item to damage based on it's location. Chances are you would destroy the derailleur first since it hangs down farther and offers some protection for the cassette.
    2012 Trek Superfly 100

  24. #24
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    Other good cheap mech brakes that are strong as bull are the Hayes line (MX2/4). I have had hayes mechs, BB5s, and BB7s and short of the 'tool free' adjustments, the Hayes bite extremely well at cost dirt. tektro should be banned from brake building (owned Dracos, novellas and various other hydro and mech tektros with no power). Shimano mechas BR 447s etc are reasonable but tend to be heavy and harder to adjust IMO. Someone who's owned over 15 bikes (FS and hardtail) in the last 2 years, I've had a chance to demo just about every mid-range product out there at the moment so take my advice for what it's worth! Good luck!
    Keep the rubber side down

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