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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    First post - Modification help

    Hi All


    I'm after some advice on modifying/customising my bike. Im a bit of a newbie too, only 2 months riding, but i am the kinda guy who wants to run before they can walk.
    I have a stock 2014 Giant Talon 1 27.5 (except for pedals)
    I'd just like to make a few changes to suit me and my riding style. I am not concerned about lowering the weight of the bike either.


    All mods will be done by a LBS as i have no idea what i am doing and dont have anyone who could help me


    Currently i intend to fit a RF NW 30T Chainring within the next month. I am hoping this wouldnt cost more than $150 AUS


    Now for the Questions:


    What about handle bars, WHy do riders change them?
    Are riser bars justifiable on a HT?
    Do they give more of a AM or DH feel?


    What about the length of the bars? currently the bike is 670mm.
    I think i would like to go a little shorter. Does 10mm make a big difference


    What about stems. how can they vary in conjuction with the stock handlebars or new/riser bars?


    Do handgrips make much of a difference?


    What about seat posts? are there better or worse types?
    DO they make better quality seat post sleeves as the stock is hard to adjust.


    At this stage i would rule out changing wheel, crank, brakes, RD and cassette, and associated shifters.


    I'd consider a dropper post down the line too.


    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Handle bars are changed to get the rider where they want to be .Any bars that you like are find, some would feel wrong ,or put you in a position that be the best. Risers let you sit up a little more all else being equal. Stems are for getting the correct reach and the right bar height. Grips Go with what feels good to you. Some posts are easier to adjust ,some are lighter ,some have setbacks,not sure what you mean by sleeves. Some posts use shims ,I wouldn't think that your bike would have them. In the US you can get a chain ring for under 50$ ,there 4 bolts holding the ring to the crank ,easy to change rings ,look at you tube of park tools for videos.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelbourneStorm View Post
    What about handle bars, WHy do riders change them? Some out of preference, some riders want wider or more narrow bars, some riders want the lightest bar possible

    Are riser bars justifiable on a HT? Yes

    Do they give more of a AM or DH feel? Some riders prefer lower bars, some prefer the bars to be higher. It's personal preference, not whether it's AM or DH feel


    What about the length of the bars? currently the bike is 670mm.
    I think i would like to go a little shorter. Does 10mm make a big difference? 10mm can make a difference? The easiest way to see if you'd like shorter bars is to slide your levers/shifters/grips toward the stem 10mm and put your hands on the bars and see if you like it. If you do, cut them down.


    What about stems. how can they vary in conjuction with the stock handlebars or new/riser bars? Well, for starters, you have to have the correct stem steerer and bar clamp size to match your fork and handlebar. To maintain proper steering feel, shorter bars and longer stems are paired together, much like wider bars and shorter stems are.


    Do handgrips make much of a difference? Yes. If a grip is uncomfortable (and some of them are), you probably won't enjoy using them. Also, some grips are more durable than others.


    What about seat posts? are there better or worse types? Yes. Most of them use the same basic principle, some have better clamping mechanisms than others, some are lighter/heavier, etc... Ultimately they all accomplish the same thing, whether they cost $15 or $150.

    DO they make better quality seat post sleeves as the stock is hard to adjust? I assume you mean the seat post clamp, yes they make nicer ones, but it depends on your frame. If it has an integrated clamp, you won't be able to add an aftermarket one. Your LBS should be able to answer that for you.
    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Right off, I'll have to ask why the 30T chainring choice? You're losing a lot of tractability through the crankset by utilizing such a quickly-rotating gear. 30T will/does create altered cadence and altered-ratios but at the expense of how much effort at the pedals can be put to use w/ a similar amount of measured time.

    The other option would be to install a larger cog infront of the Cassette. As things are now, the two big Manufacturers advise to not exceed 36T with cassette gearing. This will change in time soon.

    My suggestion is to try 38 or 39T at the rear wheel. If there's already a 36T on the back, whatever gear is on the front will be reduced by apx. 4- & 6T respectively at the crankset, but totally lacking the over amplified pedal-stroke transfer due to the quick-wrap of the 30T CR.

    Find a comfortable drivetrain before altering Stem Length/Handlebar Width, because extracting the most from any gear combination is all about Body English and maneuverability over the crankset.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for your tips

    My original intention was to go 32 but after riding in my currently middle 32 ring i just wanted that extra granny, so i have figured 30T is the safest bet. Not worried too much about the top end.

    I did consider adding an 11th cog to the rear but then id have to get a new shifter and possibly RD. Probbaly dont wanna go there. once again i would consider a sram 1x11 for my next bike during the build.

    Still being an inexperienced rider, i dont if changing the bar and or stems would benefit me. I guess it takes a few years to know exactly what you want.

    Yes, i meant a seat post clamp too. Mine is not built into the frame. I would like to change that

    The current brakes are sHi All

    I'm after some advice on modifying/customising my bike. Im a bit of a newbie too, only 2 months riding, but i am the kinda guy who wants to run before they can walk.
    I have a stock 2014 Giant Talon 1 27.5 (except for pedals)
    I'd just like to make a few changes to suit me and my riding style. I am not concerned about lowering the weight of the bike either.


    All mods will be done by a LBS as i have no idea what i am doing and dont have anyone who could help me


    Currently i intend to fit a RF NW 30T Chainring within the next month. I am hoping this wouldnt cost more than $150 AUS


    Now for the Questions:


    What about handle bars, WHy do riders change them?
    Are riser bars justifiable on a HT?
    Do they give more of a AM or DH feel?


    What about the length of the bars? currently the bike is 670mm.
    I think i would like to go a little shorter. Does 10mm make a big difference


    What about stems. how can they vary in conjuction with the stock handlebars or new/riser bars?


    Do handgrips make much of a difference?


    What about seat posts? are there better or worse types?
    DO they make better quality seat post sleeves as the stock is hard to adjust.


    At this stage i would rule out changing wheel, crank, brakes, RD and cassette, and associated shifters.


    I'd consider a dropper post down the line too.


    The current brakes are shimano m395 with 160mm rotors
    would changing the rotors be enough to aid in stopping power or does the whole system need to be changed. Do many people change the rotor size to 180mm?

  6. #6
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    Couple quick things.

    1) If you want more granny, don't go to a 1x. Just ride the bike stock. It's cheaper too. Or get rid of the large ring and put on a bash guard if you're banging it into things that often. I told myself I wouldn't make that change until I actually got skipping in my big ring, and while the teeth that point down when I put my pedals at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock are a bit eroded from the occasional impact, that hasn't happened yet. I'm a bit skeptical about the utility of this change, though I know a lot of people are really into it right now.

    2) Bike fit is really important. I don't explain it as well as this guy.
    How to Fit a Bicycle

    I'd add that it doesn't matter what combination of different stems and bars you use to get your grips in the right place. It's a little easier to find risers with a nice sweep, and they're more popular lately. On the other hand, I think risers look a little silly stuck to a -17 degree stem. For me, getting this part right takes a little trial and error. So start with the bars, since switching to a different handlebar effects stem choice, and then buy cheap stems until you get it nailed. It should really only take a couple, but still, if you buy a couple fancypants carbon stems, that's a lot of money.

    I don't care that much about my grips until they start to wear down badly or they rotate on my bar. If I'm buying grips, I like the ODI Ruffian.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Just to add the the advice given already -

    Grips can make a big difference. Tough thing is, it all comes down to personal preference, so nobody can really give you good specific advice. Some people like 'em big and fat, some people like them really thin. I prefer them in the middle myself. Fat ones cramp my hands, skinny ones beat my palms. Hard ones give me blisters, soft ones fall apart too fast. YMMV. Luckily, they're cheap, so try out a few different styles and you'll get an idea what works for you.

    Stems and bars are a lot more expensive to go the trail and error route with. Ride your bike enough so you get an idea specifically what it is you want to change about the way it feels. Feel too hunched over, tall in the saddle, or stretched out? Wrist/hand/back pain? Want your front end to come up more easily? Once you have an idea what it is you actually want to change, you'll be able to narrow down your choices. Changing parts just to change them with no idea what you're trying to accomplish is a giant waste of time and money.

    On the same note, I wouldn't bother changing your chainring until you've worn out the one you've got.

    Larger rotors will give you more stopping power. No need to buy a whole new braking system, but you would need to buy the correct mounting adapters for the rotor size you choose.
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