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  1. #1
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    Wink Newbie looking for upgrade advice.

    Hi Guys been looking on the forum and it seems great! So this is my first post!

    I need some help - I'm truly confused!

    I have a 2008/2009 Giant Boulder Disc that has been well used – but not well maintained… I have had it from new. It spends most of its time getting to and from work which is a mixture of road, path, and muddy tracks - I go the scenic way – but also maybe a couple of times a month I take it around the local woods which often finds it up to its hubs in mud, bouncing over deep furrows, rocks, roots and getting soaked.

    It has now go to the point where it is pretty much un rideable…

    1) Rubbish Suntour forks are wrecked – I have opened them up but there is not really a lot I can do, I have cleaned them up packed them full of grease but whilst they are now moving again there is a bit of float in them.
    2) SRAM X4 Derailleur hanger has sheared trashing the mech.
    3) SRAM shifters had the indexing guide smashed off
    4) Tektro discs brakes are not working well even with new pads need a lot of effort on the lever to slow down and sometimes it feels like its never going to stop! The rotors are starting to rust at there mounting points and also around the edges.
    5) Bottom bracket is creaking – it was replaced last year but I suspect with a cheap one!
    6) It does not shift well and never has really.

    So here is my predicament – I can not afford / justify a new bike of the calibre I would like. So I have been thinking about upgrading this one. But that has just put in another minefield.

    First off is it worth upgrading the parts on this bike? I guess the completion of this process would be to eventually I could take those good parts and fit them to an upgraded frame. But would those upgraded parts still be worth using by that point…

    The bike currently has Suntour forks I’m not sure which they are xc or xcr (def not raidon or epicon!) with a single spring! SRAM X4 shifters and rear mech, Shimano front mech, SRAM Chain set. Tektro mechanical disc brakes. WTB Velocoraptor tyres.

    What is the best way to upgrade what are the best parts to use? Been considering buying some second-hand rock shock recons or Reba off eBay is this a good idea? Also looking at secondhand shimano shifters so I can switch to Shimano mech – but am I wasting my time? My bike is 8 speed most new stuff seems to be 9 or 10 so more parts to change...

    Should I buy a second-hand bike off ebay?

    I don’t want to spend any more than £250 (the giant originally cost 450).

    At this rate I will end up doing nothing – I’m currently riding my wife’s bike which is too small for me so need to do something!


    Any advice gratefully received!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Start maintaining your wife's bike and save for a new or used one. Check out the ride to work subsidy.
    There is zero chance you can get yours upgraded for anything close to your budget.
    Add up the cost of the parts you need and see for yourself.
    SLX or Deore are excellent quality. Figure in new brake and derailleur housings and cables.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Join your local bike coop. Maintain your bike from their parts boneyard.

    1) Consider a rigid fork. Inexpensive, simple, light, etc. etc. etc.

    There's something to be said for maintaining a commute bike, even a crappy one. Replacement for £250 is just rolling the dice again.

    2) The hanger's a pretty inexpensive part, if you can get one. Try any Giant dealer. If you get no love, try derailleurhanger.com.

    3) Put a piece of tape over the hole.

    4) Tough one. BB7s are nicer but might eat your whole budget.

    5) Get over it.

    6) New cables and housings. Use the bulk stuff. Take your time to cut the ends of the housings so they're really square. A bench grinder is great for this. A handheld milling tool or a hand file will do in a pinch.

    Don't think "upgrade." It's a commuter.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Yeah but that still creates a dilema for me... If I saved up 500 would a £500 bike be better than a giant frame fitted with 500 worth of parts?

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Irrelevant. If you have to save up, it's too much money to spend on a commuter.

    Don't hang £500 worth of parts on your Giant.

    How secure is the place you keep it when you're at work? What about when you run errands on the way home?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Whilst it is a commute bike I do use it for other fun stuff, weekly! so I want something that feels nice to ride at all times. I'm looking at a voodoo hoodoo which gets a good review

    Voodoo Hoodoo review - BikeRadar

    £500

    But for the same £500 I could replace almost every part on my Giant with a much nicer parts especially I bought a few wisely off ebay! But I would still the same frame...

  7. #7
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    I stick it in warehouse at work - if it goes missing I know who!

    When I cycle home from work I go 10 miles cross country (fields, paths, tracks etc..) this is where the fun bit comes... when I cycle in i go direct on the road. I don't really think of it as a commuter, as I use it for fun most of the time - i just happening to also work in between!

    New bike?

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    So buy a different bike to ride for fun and keep the commuter as a commuter. The initial cost is a little higher since you also have to fix up your commuter. But commuting seems to do its own special kind of wear, and having a bike for each is something I've found very useful ever since I cadged my first 12-speed to use as a commute bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    Tay
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    Difficult situation you have there. Unfortunately i don't think your budget will allow for upgrades to every part you need. You may have to get some, and leave others as they are. You could get some parts 2nd hand, but firstly you would have to know your stuff, and secondly your always taking a risk buying 2nd hand online. You could get given a load of rubbish. On the other hand, you may get a great little bargain. With funds being tight at the moment, you'd have to ask, is it worth the risk?

    I'v came across many people in the same situation or similar on other sites, and 9 out of ten times they're given the same answer. Try one of the RockRider bikes from Decathlon, or one of the bikes from Halfords, like a Carrera Vulcan or a Voodoo Hoodoo as mentioned above.

    Now, they aren't going to be the best specced or lightest bikes in the world, but they genuinely good little bikes that will easily hold up for your intended uses. Top bang for buck bikes. The Vulcan once got a 5 star rating from Bikeradar and a big thumbs up from just about everybody. I think the Hoodoo did aswell? The RockRider was once reviewed on the gadget show and came top of the budget bike catagory.

    Check them out at Decathlon and Halfords online. If it were me, i don't think i'd be looking anywhere else. Your final alternative is to save a little longer and build up your funds. Just depends how you see it.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your search.

  10. #10
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    My commute is not really a commute - I cycle to work, do some programming, then I take the bike out for some fun on the way home. If I had two bikes one would never be used! My budget is self imposed so I will increase it if I feel I can justify it.

    Having just done a nut & bolt strip down I think I will just buy a new bike, the only item that is not worn or broken is the frame! Unless I would end up with a better bike by fitting new bits to my frame then i would get if I bought a new bike for the same money.

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Sounds like you should buy a new bike.

    Since your budget is fictitious, give a little thought to a real number. It sounds like you've been riding for a few years and you've learned you should maintain your bike. So this is as good a time as any to move up to something nice.

    Do still consider where you'll be storing the bike at work. Lots of expensive bikes scattered around my current work place, but I would never have taken one of my nice ones to school, or to gigs when I worked as a stagehand.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Checkout Performance Bike shop, they add solid sales today.

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