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.
mtn. biking 101
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 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtngoat13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    12

    New guy needs help with upgrades

    Ok folks I am new here and to mountain biking, I have rode a bike for most of my life but for the last few years. Bought a Schwinn Sidewinder from Wally World last month, it has almost 100 paved miles on it, after reading a lot here about wal-mart bike I have decides to upgrade.

    I am look at the Giant Revel 0, but I am curious what I should upgrade from stock, the store is giving me 20% off everything for the first month after I buy the bike and lifetime adjustments.

    So what would you change and why, I want to start hitting the trails but right now I don't think the Schwinn would last long.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    CSC
    CSC is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    255
    Upgrade break calipers to Avid BB7's, and upgrade the rotors to CS2's or 3's

    good deal: BlueSkyCycling.com - 2011 Avid BB7 Disc Brake Combo Kit

    EDIT:
    Better deal: BlueSkyCycling.com - Avid Mechanical BB7 Disc Brake 160mm

    Cheaper...unless you just have to have matching brake levers, haha.

    Upgrade pedals to decent platforms with pegs. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, there are a lot of good choices out there...I have Sunringle Zuzu's, which are on the expensive side, but they can be completely serviced, so should last a lot longer than un-servicable ones.

    Tires...the bike comes with Kenda Small Block Eight's, correct? Should be good for now, though if you want to ride in the winter, you might look at tires with a more aggressive tread pattern. Hold off on that purchase untill you have an idea of where you ride, and what you might want.

    Brakes and pedals should cost no more than $200...and maybe even less, depending on your bike shop's prices. I bet they charge enough that 20% off won't get you as good a deal as buying online and having the shop just install everything. Do some price research before you commit to anything, though.

    Besides that, everything else should last you a while...at least long enough to get you hooked on the sport!
    Last edited by CSC; 08-09-2012 at 02:22 PM.

  3. #3
    duh
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,694
    I would do a week or two of riding to see if or what you don't like about the bike. It could be just fine for you and the way you ride as is.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    232
    That's going to be a huge upgrade for you. I'd ride it like it is. Use the discount to buy a helmet, some shorts, water bottle and holder, a pump, an emergency toolkit, a couple tubes, a pouch to keep them in, etc, etc.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,151
    It would be cheaper to buy a bike with better components to begin with than upgrade anything major on a new bike. Either ride your Schwinn into the ground and save a little longer, or get the Revel and ride it as-is for a while to get some use out of the new and adequate components it comes with, then buy upgraded ones as the stock components wear out.

    The helmet you have should be fine, but get some tube patches, a spare tube, some tire levers, and a pump if you don't already have one. All low-dollar items except for the pump. I used a car tire pump I already had for a long time.

    You can sink a lot of money in a bottle cage. But Velocity makes one in a dizzying array of colors, weiging in at about 30 grams, for $5. I got mine at our local Giant dealer.

    I travel pretty light -- we are in a well-populated area and are never far from a road if I break down. I got a cheap multitool from ebay but leave it in my toolbox unless I am on a trail that is more out in the boonies than we are here. I have started carrying 4mm & 5mm Allen keys. There isn't much on my bike (or cleats on my shoes) that they won't fit.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    232
    I really like my Topeka survival toolkit. A bunch of good stuff in a small package that can mount to your seatpost.

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Tools/SurvivalGearBox

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,673
    If there's room in your budget to throw money at the bike immediately upon purchase, spend your "real" number upfront instead.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    duh
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,694
    Quote Originally Posted by MoTec View Post
    I really like my Topeka survival toolkit. A bunch of good stuff in a small package that can mount to your seatpost.

    Topeak® Cycling Accessories
    I like their alien tools. I have the alien II and love it but the alien III looks awesome.

    Topeak® Cycling Accessories

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtngoat13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for the help, I already have a mini morph pump, Park Rescue Multi tool, bottle cage, bottle, spare tubes, patch kit and under seat bag for all of it(may get a better one). I also have a helmet but I may also upgrade it.

    As far as budget goes, the Revel is the top end of my budget because I am getting one for me and the women's equivalent for the misses. I wanted to see if there was anything you would change out to get some ideas of what I need to save for.

    I am looking forward to the new bike I am sure it will be a serious upgrade from my current one, she has an older Giant Acapulco with a rigid frame.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    142
    I agree with the posters cautioning against upgrades. The upgrade spiral is a tempting one, but not worth it.
    It starts out with a $500 to $600 bike. You end up spending $700 in upgrades over a year in small increments. You end up with $1,300 invested in a bike you could have bought new for $900. The upgrade costs sneak up on you since you are nickel and diming it. You spend $40 here, $80 there, maybe $100+ as you have funds. Before you know it, you have spent hundreds, even thousands over time.
    I would ride it as it is and only replace stuff as it breaks.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,151
    Quote Originally Posted by MoTec View Post
    I really like my Topeka survival toolkit. A bunch of good stuff in a small package that can mount to your seatpost.

    Topeak® Cycling Accessories
    I like that -- the price isn't bad either. And a replaceable chain breaker pin even.

    Question, what do you use a chain hook for?

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    232
    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    I like that -- the price isn't bad either. And a replaceable chain breaker pin even.

    Question, what do you use a chain hook for?
    You know, that's a good question. I've got an older model of that kit that did not include it but I think I can make a guess. I expect that it'd be used to hold the chain together so you could work on it easier.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtngoat13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    12
    Mo Tec, I like that kit, what does that thing look like on the bike, I cant figure how it mounts? I may be missing something

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nrlions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    35
    It's fairly easy to pick up a set of Fox Racing forks on eBay for 400$. I don't think you could possibly go wrong with that.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,151
    Quote Originally Posted by MoTec View Post
    You know, that's a good question. I've got an older model of that kit that did not include it but I think I can make a guess. I expect that it'd be used to hold the chain together so you could work on it easier.
    Ok, I see -- if you have to connect the chain while it is on the cogs and threaded thru the tensioner etc. then it makes sense to take the tension off the part you are trying to connect.

    I have been solving the problem by removing the wheel or using my master link pliers Park Tool Co. » MLP-1 : Master Link Pliers : Chain to hold the chan ends while I position everything with the other hand.

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,047
    I would consider this bike in the same price range but a 29. Same fork with same or better components.
    Airborne Bicycles. Guardian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New guy needs help with upgrades-guardian.jpg  


  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by deke505 View Post
    I would do a week or two of riding to see if or what you don't like about the bike. It could be just fine for you and the way you ride as is.
    Definitely do this first...after that, you may want to make a couple of "personal preference" upgrades that are fairly cheap. First thing I did was switch to ODI Rogue lock on grips and an upgraded saddle that I was sized for...total cost about $75 and made a big difference to me.
    New guy...2012 Trek Xcal 29er

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    232
    Quote Originally Posted by mtngoat13 View Post
    Mo Tec, I like that kit, what does that thing look like on the bike, I cant figure how it mounts? I may be missing something
    Hey, sorry I missed this earlier.

    I don't have a close up pic of it but you can see it in this pic of my bike. It's high on the seat-post. I have to slide the whole thing down to remove the toolbox because the box comes off of it's mount by sliding up. It doesn't move around when I'm riding or anything.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •