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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    newest member first mountain bike looking to upgrade

    Ive been wanting to start mountain biking for years and finally purchased my first bike. Its a schwinn rocket 3. I would really like to start upgrading it but i have noidea where to start.

  2. #2
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    Im a newbie but Id say just save your cash till yo can buy a new bike. It would be less expensive. Plus this bike will teach you about mainintance. Ride what you got till you got enough to get a better bike. Just my 00.02

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrd View Post
    Im a newbie but Id say just save your cash till yo can buy a new bike. It would be less expensive. Plus this bike will teach you about mainintance. Ride what you got till you got enough to get a better bike. Just my 00.02
    From my understand the rocket 3 is a pretty decent starter bike. Couldn't it be that much better with some upgrades?

  4. #4
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    How old is the bike? 9 or 10 yrs old? Don't waste your money trying to upgrade that bike. Ride as much as you can and build up your skill set. Save your money for a newer bike with better parts and technology.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clicker1 View Post
    How old is the bike? 9 or 10 yrs old? Don't waste your money trying to upgrade that bike. Ride as much as you can and build up your skill set. Save your money for a newer bike with better parts and technology.
    I wanted to at least add disk brakes. Is it worth it? Any idea on what over all cost would be?

  6. #6
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    For discs on the front you need a fork with disc caliper mount and a hub with rotor mount
    Same for rear hub and some mounting provision for the rear caliper.
    Shimano SLX is a best brake value set after you get that sorted

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    For discs on the front you need a fork with disc caliper mount and a hub with rotor mount
    Same for rear hub and some mounting provision for the rear caliper.
    Shimano SLX is a best value set.
    Is it worth it? I was think around $300.

  8. #8
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    No. The cost will include a new or used fork plus wheelset plus frame mod plus rotors plus brake set. This is the time of year to sell your bike.
    The Bike Direct Gravity Point 1 is 450. It would need a fork upgrade sometime for 175 from Nick at Suntour.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    No. The cost will include a new or used fork plus wheelset plus frame mod plus rotors plus brake set.
    No I'm not right with the cost or no it's not worth it?

  10. #10
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    The cost will be alot more unless you can scrounge all the parts and do the welding for the rear brake mount.
    Bike Blue Book says your bike was 500 new and as a 2004 is worth 134 today.

  11. #11
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    Maybe ill just have it tuned and enjoy it. Once confident on the trails I will upgrade.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbrodacz View Post
    Maybe ill just have it tuned and enjoy it. Once confident on the trails I will upgrade.

    If you're talking about upgrading by buying an entirely different bike, then this would be the wisest choice IMHO.

    Your dilemma plays out here regularly. It's easy to love your first real mountain bike, but if you insist on following the sentimental path of upgrading part by part instead of saving for a new bike, just be honest with yourself and know that path is considerably more expensive to end up with an entry level frame and a various assortment of parts that may or may not match all that well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    If you're talking about upgrading by buying an entirely different bike, then this would be the wisest choice IMHO.

    Your dilemma plays out here regularly. It's easy to love your first real mountain bike, but if you insist on following the sentimental path of upgrading part by part instead of saving for a new bike, just be honest with yourself and know that path is considerably more expensive to end up with an entry level frame and a various assortment of parts that may or may not match all that well.
    That makes a lot of sense. Do a lot of people but a frame and upgrade it they way they want or are the more expensive bikes pretty much set from the start? Sorry for the basic questions. I am brand spanking new.

  14. #14
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    Some people buy a frame once they know what kind of riding they like. By that time they may have a fork and wheelset. They have bars and a seat and have looked for deals on other components.
    You can also get a complete of ebay in the off season and change a few things while riding.

  15. #15
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    Looks like I have a lot of learning to do.

  16. #16
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    Re: newest member first mountain bike looking to upgrade

    Should have never bought a 10 year old bike in the first place, don't spend any money upgrading at this point. Tune it under reasonable costs, and ride the crap out of it

    Save money for another bike. 2-4 years old or get a new bike from airborne or bikes direct. Decent bikes start at $600, nice bikes at $1200

    Do not build your bike up from scratch, that requires A LOT of knowledge and existence and still costs more than just buying a complete bike.

    This it here?
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...%203&Type=bike
    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

  17. #17
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    Well, 10 year old FS anyway.

    2003 hardtails are compatible with current-model forks and nicer ones will take current-model discs, so no reason not to.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Well, 10 year old FS anyway.

    2003 hardtails are compatible with current-model forks and nicer ones will take current-model discs, so no reason not to.
    ????

  19. #19
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    What he is saying is that many 10 year old hardtails are designed for 100mm travel forks, disc brakes, and will still work with other currently produced components like cranksets. And, the geometry is still (arguably) current.

    Full suspension bikes have come a ways in suspension design, so even if the pivots were still like brand new, the technology of your average full suspension bike produced in 2003 is generally behind the times. Platform shocks were just beginning to hit the scene, but were not common like they are now too.

    So, I think you'll find many that advise you to go ahead and ride your bike, repair what breaks with modest replacement parts, svae for that dream bike down the road, and enjoy what you have now. It's likely still much more capable than you are, so it son't be holding you back for a while yet. The reason I would advise this is because I did what you were asking about and ended up spending a fair amount of money to end up with an entry level frame with some nicer parts hung on it, and then bought another bike later on. A wiser move that would have allowed me to buy an even nicer bike later on would be what has been said above. It's tempting to upgrade that entry level bike, but now worth it in the long run. The exceptions might be tires, pedals, saddle, grips, and handlebar so that it fits you correctly.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    What he is saying is that many 10 year old hardtails are designed for 100mm travel forks, disc brakes, and will still work with other currently produced components like cranksets. And, the geometry is still (arguably) current.

    Full suspension bikes have come a ways in suspension design, so even if the pivots were still like brand new, the technology of your average full suspension bike produced in 2003 is generally behind the times. Platform shocks were just beginning to hit the scene, but were not common like they are now too.

    So, I think you'll find many that advise you to go ahead and ride your bike, repair what breaks with modest replacement parts, svae for that dream bike down the road, and enjoy what you have now. It's likely still much more capable than you are, so it son't be holding you back for a while yet. The reason I would advise this is because I did what you were asking about and ended up spending a fair amount of money to end up with an entry level frame with some nicer parts hung on it, and then bought another bike later on. A wiser move that would have allowed me to buy an even nicer bike later on would be what has been said above. It's tempting to upgrade that entry level bike, but now worth it in the long run. The exceptions might be tires, pedals, saddle, grips, and handlebar so that it fits you correctly.

    Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. I think ill just get a tune on the bike and maye some new tires (no idea where to start) and enjoy it and learn more about the sport and then upgrade to a better bike.

  21. #21
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    For tires, start by narrowing it down to a class. What kind of riding are you planning? Any competition? How big are you? How big are the toes you've got?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    I'm 5'8"ish maybe 5'9". I'm in northern Illinois so I'm it's mainly gravel, mud and rocks moderate hills. I don't think ill be doing competition anytime soon. I am not sure what you mean by toe size. Shoe size? 10.5

  23. #23
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    Oops, toe size was a Swypo. I meant "tire size."

    Are you expecting to ride roads, service roads and wide, reinforced trails, or singletrack?

    I'm 5'8" too, but that wasn't quite the answer I was looking for. Several pounds ago, I wondered why anyone would ever want wider than the stock tires. Now I have wider tires too, and really like them.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Oops, toe size was a Swypo. I meant "tire size."

    Are you expecting to ride roads, service roads and wide, reinforced trails, or singletrack?

    I'm 5'8" too, but that wasn't quite the answer I was looking for. Several pounds ago, I wondered why anyone would ever want wider than the stock tires. Now I have wider tires too, and really like them.
    I am not sure what the tire size is. I am guessin whichever size came with the bike. The bike will be primarily used on singletracks and the road but I don't know just some of the other trails are in the surrounding areas.

  25. #25
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    Just get a full knob. They'll be advertised as "trail" by most manufacturers. Now that I weigh over 150 lb, I'm really liking the 2.3" width.

    I don't think tread pattern is that important among different tires with full-sized knobs.

    You also will see rubber compound, casing thread count, and bead type advertised. Luckily, you don't have to choose all three of those things. Get a 60 or 120 tpi casing and the other two things take care of themselves.

    I'm fond of Schwalb tires; I'd recommend the Rocket Ron or Nobby Nic as a general trail tire, and an example of a full knob tread. But, their name is on my jersey somewhere and they list for a pretty high price.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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