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.
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  1. #1
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    New to sport... ?'s about upgrading...

    I haven't ridden in a long time! I use to ride BMX when I was to young to understand what riding BMX was...

    This summer I saved up and bought a new 2008 Trek 6000. Because of my lack of experience with shox and gears, I'm getting very frustrated with how my stock bike is working. I love my bike, and have become very obsessed with it.

    I'm hoping to get some input from experienced riders on some of my questions...

    My bike is 100% stock and I would like to upgrade a lot. I want this bike to be a hardtail machine. I'm a college student, so I'm very low on cash, but have a birthday and some holidays coming up where I can ask the p's to help me with some upgrades. I'm getting a lot of rattle and shifting out of my gears that I'm not liking. I think the proper term is "ghost shifting?" I would also like to eventually change my front fork. It's fine for now, but I would love to get the Cadillac feel.

    Can anyone give me advice on what they would do to make this bike exceptional with a decent budget. I haven't gotten it tuned yet, and a buddy told me after riding it hard for a couple of months my first move should be to have it re-tuned. Is this solid advice for me before I throw some cash on this bike?

    I would also like it to be a little lighter... after all, that was my final deciding factor in going hardtail instead of full-suspension for my first mountain bike. I think clipless will help weight, but I have no experience with clipping in.

    Instead of dragging this on, will someone please look at my bike setup at the Trek website and tell me what they would do to this bike to satisfy them. Hopefully someone will read this and think of it as a progect for them on my budget! Thanks guys, I love this sport and truely love reading y'all's passion for it also!

  2. #2
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    Welcome to MTBR

    Few things..

    A lightweight wheelset and lighter tires will give the bike a snappier feel, there's plenty of choices there, just going to a good LBS and asking around will get you the answers there.. Also, just bring the bike to the LBS where you bought it, they will fix whatever your derailleur problem is.

    Clipless pedals will likely weigh more than your current pedals, especially if you get one of the steel Shimano MTB pedal sets, those are meatwads. However, that's not to say that they're a bad idea, as the bike will feel like it's "Hi-Po" if you learn how to pedal in circles properly.

    Weight can also be saved in the bars, something like Easton Monkey-Lites would be nice, but that's getting to the point of saving trivial amounts of weight.

    Someone else will have an answer for your fork question, as I really don't know anything about what models are available right now!


    Cheers!

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    One more question though... I bought this bike at a store that I'm no where near. I'm already down at school, but supposedly we have a great LBS. Before I take it to them, and idea on what a general good tune-up will costs me?

  4. #4
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    Tune-ups can vary greatly, anywhere from $25 - $75. It all depends on the shop and what they do with a tune-up. It's also fairly easy to do yourself. Check out the repair section of parktool.com for help. There's also some good books on bike repair out there.

    Like said, lighter wheels will be vary noticeable. Wheels, clipless pedals, and your favorite saddle would be the only upgrades I would do until things start to break.

    The shifting problem is definitely an adjustment issue and will be an easy fix. Your fork might not be dialed in just for you. My rockhopper has the Dart3 fork. I think it is a little heavy, but responds good once it is set up for your weight and riding style. Read up on adjusting the preload and rebound and give that a try before shelling out big bucks on a new fork.

  5. #5
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    Thank you also... I have no knowledge on any of these upgrades though. Any recommendations you can give me on what brand and style for these upgrades? What's your saddle preference? Would a carbon seat post help noticeable weight also? Brand and part names would help a ton. Will the LBS adjust my Dart3's for me? If not, is there somewhere I can read how to do so myself? Thanks!

  6. #6
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    http://www.parktool.com/repair/ - is the first place I look for answers to repair a bike. Yes, your LBS can adjust your fork. However it is really easy so you shouldn't pay for it.

    You will need a zip tie and your fingers. Tie a zip tie to the part of the fork that slides up and down(stanchions) into the fork lowers. Make it tight enough it will stay put on its own, but will move up when the fork is compressed. Carefully sit on your bike so as not to bounce and balance yourself against a wall. Hold still a few seconds. Get off the bike. Look at the zip tie, and measure how high it moved just from your weight. You want it to move about 25% of the travel, in the case of the Dart3, 25mm. This is called sag.

    Looking down at the fork, you will see two knobs on the top. The lockout on the right and the preload on the left. Adjust the preload until you get the desired amount of sag. Less preload makes it softer, more makes it more firm.

    Look at the bottom of the fork. On the right side you will see a little tab, this is the rebound or damping adjuster. It adjusts how quickly the spring in the fork returns to its unsprung state. Too little damping and you'll feel like you are on a pogo stick, too much and you will compress your shock too much and the ride will get really rough. This takes trial and error based on how you ride. I'd start in the middle and go from there.

    As for saddle brands, those are hard to recommend. Each person's sit bones are different so each saddle will feel different to you. My LBS lets you try and return saddles until you find one you like.

    Especially on a college budget don't get caught in upgadeitis. Bike parts wear out than that is an excuse to buy something nicer. Your trek has a SRAM drivetrain. It's a good brand. X-0 is their top of the line parts. Probably not on a student budget. x-7 would be the next upgrade from yours, x-9 even better.

    I'm not sure how your campus is, my bike was stolen when my apartment was broke into and the campus cops wouldn't come right away. They claimed they didn't investigate bike thefts because they happened all the time and never found the bikes. (I guess they didn't care that is was a $1000 + bike and it was a robbery being that the bike was inside and I was home at the time) Anyway that's just something to keep in the back of your mind while you are at school. Doubly so if you lock your bike at the bike rack during class.
    Last edited by emtnate; 08-10-2008 at 06:09 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks a ton! I really appreciate your care and support! I'll try and get my hands dirty with this fork. I appreciate your knowledge and input!

  8. #8
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    Someone will hopefully see this, but there's an online store that will send you a selection of saddles. You can probably find it by searching..

    Try them all, send back the ones you don't like, and keep the one you do.

    In general, you can't go wrong with a decent WTB or the like saddle.

    Carbon fiber seatpost would be a nice upgrade if you broke the one you've got, but you really don't need it. Focus on wheels, and getting your fork all set. Clipless pedals are very nice to have, but they're not for everyone. That said, they're dirt easy to use (takes about 10 tries of clicking in to get it perfect) and if you keep the tension on the mechanism low, they'll release very easily and safely. You'll probably want a pair.

    Otherwise, as said, ride it till you break something, then upgrade.

  9. #9
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    The saddle demo program is by Competitive Cyclist. It is $75 for 11 saddles shipped to your door.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/mo...es/demo-saddle


    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson
    Someone will hopefully see this, but there's an online store that will send you a selection of saddles. You can probably find it by searching..

    Try them all, send back the ones you don't like, and keep the one you do.

    In general, you can't go wrong with a decent WTB or the like saddle.

    Carbon fiber seatpost would be a nice upgrade if you broke the one you've got, but you really don't need it. Focus on wheels, and getting your fork all set. Clipless pedals are very nice to have, but they're not for everyone. That said, they're dirt easy to use (takes about 10 tries of clicking in to get it perfect) and if you keep the tension on the mechanism low, they'll release very easily and safely. You'll probably want a pair.

    Otherwise, as said, ride it till you break something, then upgrade.

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcruff1
    I'm getting a lot of rattle and shifting out of my gears that I'm not liking. I think the proper term is "ghost shifting?"
    That is usually an adjustment issue. The Parktool site probably has something on it. Also, go to the derailer/shifter manufacturer's website and download their installation/maintenance instructions.

  11. #11
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    What kind of weight should I be looking for in a new wheelset? I can't find how much mine weigh right now... Better yet, if you were the market for a new wheelset, what would you buy?

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    Upgrading a new bike.... WHYYYYY???

    Replace what breaks and what you do not like. Is the seat good? Is your riding position OK?

    Get your drive train adjusted, or learn to do it yourself. Check if your wheels are still round. Go ride your bike.

  13. #13
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    haha, thanks. I'm just a little upset with some things. I won't be upgrading immediately, just was curious about what I should do first once I get a good feel for things.

  14. #14
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    The wheelset you want depends on the conditions you ride. I don't have any recent experience with bontrager wheels. I've trashed the Alex rims that come stock on Rockhoppers in 5 months. The local trails are rough with roots and log rolls, I end up truing the rims after every couple of rides. Sun Rhyno Lite's and Mavic Crossride and 117s are popular choices among the group I ride with.

  15. #15
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    WTB makes some nice rims.

    I'm 200 pounds riding full rigid and I push it a lot more than I should..

    Just go to the local store, they'll know the trails and what will work.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Upgrading a new bike.... WHYYYYY???

    Replace what breaks and what you do not like. Is the seat good? Is your riding position OK?

    Get your drive train adjusted, or learn to do it yourself. Check if your wheels are still round. Go ride your bike.
    I agree with perttime. That's a decent bike that should last you many years. Ride it for all it's worth. After a couple years of developing MTB skills, you'll know what needs upgrading. Until then, you'll just be wasting your money.

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