1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Which are Best Bits to Swap Out - GT Aggressor XC1 & XC2

    Hi to all you MTB types, I'm a newbie to this forum and relatively to the "Scene" so please be gentle with me. ( I tried this post on another section, which was probably the wrong one & got little feedback, so here goes)

    So here's my quandry: (And loads of questions ;-}}

    I have an almost new (100 miles covered) GT Aggressor XC2 (Re-badged Avalanche 2) which I've been out on about half a dozen times and I love it. BUT I suffer from "Upgradeitis" with most hobbies and life in general and yesterday, I won me an Aggressor XC1 (Avalanche 1) bargain on fleabay, Brand New, NEVER been ridden!

    Now here's my dilemma: I love the black frame colour of the XC2, as opposed to the grey of the XC1 but the XC1 has supposedly "Better" components for the 100 extra at Retail, so I'm quite prepared to swap things around to gain my ideal "Keepie" bike (If the difference in quality etc is worth the grief of the transplant!)

    I need some advice please, as to how much better, if at all, the items are and
    MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHY.

    Basically, it's the whole gearing system, the Forks and the Brakes that are needing to be judged as it may neo be as simple as just a straight "Frame Swap-over" Here are my choices:

    Brakes: Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic V Shimano M485 Hydraulic (6 Bolt)

    Forks: Suntour XCR 100mm (Rebound & Lockout) V Rockshox Tora 302 Air(Travel,rebound & lockout adjuster) My own observation is that the Lockout on the Suntour is 100% lockout but the Tora still has movement. On paper, the Tora seems better with it's multi-adjustment but all I can find is bad reviews. Tora has 2mm thicker leg-tops

    Gears: Deore shifters & Front mech / Deore LX 27 speed rear mech V Shimano ? shifters, Acera front mech / Deore 24 speed rear mech - both rear mec's look very similar so is the difference just down to a washer here & there, or much more?

    Chainset: Suntour Duro V Truvativ 5D (Not sure what the BB's are - how do you tell?)

    In a nut-shell, I want to build the "Best" bike from the choices above but I don't really understand just what makes a "Better" component. Would it be as simple as a complete Frame-Transplant then?

    I'm intending to ride on light woodland trails, slightly rocky moorland paths and a bit of roadwork. I'm a slip of a 270lbs bloke, so I won't be breaking any endurance records, probably just my spirit and the valves to my heart

    If anyone can help me with the above, I'd be internally grateful (Unless you just say "Forget the colour thang and keep the XC1", in which case you'll just sound like my wife!!!

    many thanks in advance, to anyone with enough time / good will to humour me.

    Fraz
    Last edited by Fraz; 12-23-2008 at 02:29 PM. Reason: bad title

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraz

    Brakes: Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic V Shimano M485 Hydraulic (6 Bolt)

    Forks: Suntour XCR 100mm (Rebound & Lockout) V Rockshox Tora 302 Air(Travel,rebound & lockout adjuster) My own observation is that the Lockout on the Suntour is 100% lockout but the Tora still has movement. On paper, the Tora seems better with it's multi-adjustment but all I can find is bad reviews. Tora has 2mm thicker leg-tops

    Gears: Deore shifters & Front mech / Deore LX 27 speed rear mech V Shimano ? shifters, Acera front mech / Deore 24 speed rear mech - both rear mec's look very similar so is the difference just down to a washer here & there, or much more?

    Chainset: Suntour Duro V Truvativ 5D (Not sure what the BB's are - how do you tell?)

    In a nut-shell, I want to build the "Best" bike from the choices above but I don't really understand just what makes a "Better" component. Would it be as simple as a complete Frame-Transplant then?

    I'm intending to ride on light woodland trails, slightly rocky moorland paths and a bit of roadwork. I'm a slip of a 270lbs bloke, so I won't be breaking any endurance records, probably just my spirit and the valves to my heart

    If anyone can help me with the above, I'd be internally grateful (Unless you just say "Forget the colour thang and keep the XC1", in which case you'll just sound like my wife!!!

    many thanks in advance, to anyone with enough time / good will to humour me.

    Fraz

    Ok, I'll take a stab at it via my opinions.


    Fork: I'll take the Tora over the XCR. I'm very impressed with my 2006 Tora 302. I really think people put up some awful reviews for products that they use in very abusive ways. I do mainly XC riding with jumps of about 2-3 feet. I've never had a single problem with my Tora, and it's taken a beating. I've had a bit of experience with low-end Suntour stuff and have not enjoyed their forks.

    Brakes: Definitely take the Shimano M485's.

    Drivetrain: Take the Deore shifters, the LX rear derailleur and Deore front derailleur. The Shimano line goes (from "worst" to "best") : Altus, Acera, Alivio, Deore, LX, XT, XTR (and you can toss the new SLX in between LX and XT.) I've found that anything below Deore is pretty "meh" quality.

    Crankset: Both of those cranks are pretty low end. I'm not familiar with the Suntour Duro, but it appears that the Truvativ 5D might be a tad better. I'd prefer to skip on both of them, though.

    Btw, I'm not familiar with those bikes, but does one of them only have an 8 speed cassette? If so, you may wanna think about swapping over the 9 speed cassette. Keep the shifters/derailleurs as I listed above.
    Last edited by holycrikey; 12-23-2008 at 06:03 PM.
    2006 Giant Pistol 1 - Full XT Drivetrain

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by holycrikey
    Ok, I'll take a stab at it via my opinions.


    Fork: I'll take the Tora over the XCR. I'm very impressed with my 2006 Tora 302. I really think people put up some awful reviews for products that they use in very abusive ways. I do mainly XC riding with jumps of about 2-3 feet. I've never had a single problem with my Tora, and it's taken a beating. I've had a bit of experience with low-end Suntour stuff and have not enjoyed their forks.

    Brakes: Definitely take the Shimano M485's.

    Drivetrain: Take the Deore shifters, the LX rear derailleur and Deore front derailleur. The Shimano line goes (from "worst" to "best") : Altus, Acera, Alivio, Deore, LX, XT, XTR (and you can toss the new SLX in between LX and XT.) I've found that anything below Deore is pretty "meh" quality.

    Crankset: Both of those cranks are pretty low end. I'm not familiar with the Suntour Duro, but it appears that the Truvativ 5D might be a tad better. I'd prefer to skip on both of them, though.

    Btw, I'm not familiar with those bikes, but does one of them only have an 8 speed cassette? If so, you may wanna think about swapping over the 9 speed cassette. Keep the shifters/derailleurs as I listed above.

    Fanx a bunch for your detailed response, the Shimano listing is very useful to a newbie. You're thinking down the same lines as me and I agree with you about "Reviews". It always seems to be bad news that folks write and I guess most folks are pretty hardcore MTB-ers, so they may push components to the limit & then some.

    Thanks for the input, any conflicting advice out there? or am I spending Xmas transplanting frames?

    Fanx thus far & Merry Xmas to y'all

  4. #4
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    I figure you might as well swap out whatever parts you want. After all, you aren't spending any additional money to do so, so all you are using is time. Not bad at all.

    I love our review section here on MTBR, and it's helped guide many of my purchasing decisions, but I definitely take them with a grain of salt. There are most definitely some disgruntled riders out there who simply post to bash an item that ended up not working out or an item that they just abused to destruction.

    Have fun swapping out the parts!

    Btw, should you have any other questions, check out Sheldon Brown's website. His website is a HUGE resource of biking info. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ and if you need help with readjusting derailleurs or any installation problems, check out Park Tool's website @ http://www.parktool.com/
    2006 Giant Pistol 1 - Full XT Drivetrain

  5. #5
    Rod
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    I would pretty much do a frame swap between the two bikes. Like the other poster I'm not familiar with the cranksets, but I would put all of the avalanche 1 parts on the avalanche 2. I haven't ridden the Tora, but a lot of users talk about how good it is and I had a suntour fork on my Giant Yukon that I didn't like. Also transfer the wheelset for the 27 speed drivetrain from the avalanche 1.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

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