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.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    PMBA Beer Guy
    Reputation: ricocpa's Avatar
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    Middle ring size

    I am replacing my crank which orginally is a 32 for the middle ring. I was contemplating getting a Shimano SLX with bash guard which has the middle as a 36.

    Is there a major difference?
    Board Member Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association (http://www.phillymtb.com)

  2. #2
    addicted to chunk
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    going from a 32 to a 36 up front will be noticable...
    Riding.....

  3. #3
    PMBA Beer Guy
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    What will be noticable?
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  4. #4
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricocpa
    What will be noticable?
    going from a 32 to a 36 up front
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  5. #5
    PMBA Beer Guy
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    No sh!t.

    I meant what will I notice while riding? Will there be more tension while pedaling due to more teeth? I am new at this and have never tried any other crankset, cassette, or changed any set up on my bike yet.

    My middle ring has gotten banged up for the umpteenth time and my BB is creaking like a mofo. I think it's time for an upgrade from the Truvativ Blaze that came on my bike.

    I am debating whether to go with the Shimano SLX M660 (22/32/44) or the SLX M665 (22/36/bashguard). If I get the M660, I will replace the 44t outer ring with a bash guard.
    Last edited by ricocpa; 04-02-2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: add more substance
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  6. #6
    local jackass
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    Truvativ 2.2

    i love mine and its not to expensive at $130
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  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I have the SLX M-660. I really like it. However, I don't tend to bang up my big ring, so I haven't tried to replace it.

    If you sometimes use your big ring when you're riding your bike, a 36t is probably a better size for the outer ring. You'll have to use a cog one or two shifts lower. If you don't, you'll probably be happy with the 32t ring. If you tend to be in a lowish cog in when you're in your middle ring most of the time, you'll probably be happier with the 32t ring. In either case, there's a ton of overlap between the gear ratios in most mountain bike drivetrains, so your favorite ratios will still be there unless you actually use the fastest three cogs when you're in your big ring.

    I don't know what the prices on these things are, exactly, and am too lazy to look it up. But it seems like you'd save some money by getting something that's two rings and a bash guard to begin with, rather than buying a crankset and a bash guard.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    if you're a very fit rider, get a 36. if you're not, get the 32.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    middle ring

    I run a 38/22. Go figure.

  10. #10
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    Surprised no one has mentioned a 34 yet. Good compromise, you still have more than enough top end for singletrack and a better shifting pattern than 36/22.

    David B.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    middle ring

    I ride my bike on the street alot and need the the "top end" for slight down hills.I need the 22 to get my beast up the trail.I do need the be careful shifting though.Actually I use 38/11 on the trail also..

  12. #12
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    You won't notice much of anything while riding. You'lll just shift into a gear that you're comfortable with for the terrain that you're riding.

    If you find yourself jumping between big and small rings a lot, then swapping in a 34-tooth ring (David's suggestion) is a good idea. You can swap just the ring down the road. You are not tied to a 36-tooth ring forever.

    Theres' so much overlap in a 22/32 setup that you really don't lose any ratios by going to a 22/36.

  13. #13
    PMBA Beer Guy
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I decided to go with the M660 that has the 22/32/44 set up. I have a Race Face bash guard on my current (orignal) crankset, so I won't need to spend extra $$ on a BG. And from my research is actually lighter than the bash guard that comes on the M665.

    They were both exactly the same price, so that is why I was in a dilemma. I have never tried any other set up and didn't want to screw myself if the 22/36 set up was majorly different.

    I do mostly XC riding in rocky/rooty terrain.
    Board Member Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association (http://www.phillymtb.com)

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    The M660 is also a good setup. And no worries. You're not locked in. It would only cost about $30 (the price of a new middle ring) to experiment w/something different.

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