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.
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Thread: Upgrading Parts

  1. #1
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    Upgrading Parts

    I just recently bought my first bike, a Trek 4300 w/ disc brakes. I didn't want to spend too much on my first bike, I have a lot of hobbies and they're all expensive, and I wanted to see how much I'd actually ride it. Well, I'm already addicted, so where do I go from here?
    I understand this is any entry-level bike, so what should I expect to break? What upgrades should I consider? Or should I just save money and eventually get a full-suspension bike with higher level components?

  2. #2
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    I too have purchased a trek 4300 disc for the same reasons as you. My first upgrade was a chain, the stock trek ones suck. For my second upgrade, I'm probaby going to get a new BB and crank, as mine are starting to break. After that, a new rear derailleur. Lastly, I'll prolly swap out the shimano discs for some avid BBs and if I don't have a new bike by the end of the summer, then I'll upgrade the rst gila fork, It's not too great. In all honesty, just upgrade as things break, and save up for a new bike. The trek 4300 is nice to test the waters with, but it will hold you back if you really try to get into the sport. I love mine to death and It'l probably be my commuter bike soon.
    I live in Maine and I hate lobster.

  3. #3
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    I would say use your stock bike until the performance of the components dose not match your skill. The you can either decide to wait to buy a whole new bike or upgrade what you feel is necessary. The last thing you want is to upgrade to a component that isn't all that good and you regret is years from now.
    [SIZE="3"]The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado[/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikect
    should I just save money and eventually get a full-suspension bike with higher level components?

    Yes


    Learn the ins and outs of riding on this bike. Once it is wasted (in a year or two) you'll have a better idea of what you want/like/need. Upgrade to a new bike that has those qualities. You'll spend a lot less money and be a better rider when you make the transition

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    Thanks guys, I guess I'll just ride it 'til things start breaking, and reacess my situation then.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by [CrazyRick_11]
    I would say use your stock bike until the performance of the components dose not match your skill. The you can either decide to wait to buy a whole new bike or upgrade what you feel is necessary. The last thing you want is to upgrade to a component that isn't all that good and you regret is years from now.
    This is something I never understood. How do you determine whether your skill is beyond what the bike can handle. Aside from the obvious answer of "if you don't feel it, then you're not ready to upgrade" what are some of the signs?

    I've had an Ibex 450 for 2 years now, and it works great for Midwestern trail riding, and as a commuter bike. My first upgrade will be the pedals. Aside from that, my deraillures work fine, suspension seems to fit the terrain, tires do OK, and my seat is stock. I suppose I'd need to ride a more expensive bike on the same terrain to see where mine falls short. Otherwise, how else would one know?

    All I have that's post-market is a flashlight and a pump.

    Cheers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirrill
    This is something I never understood. How do you determine whether your skill is beyond what the bike can handle. Aside from the obvious answer of "if you don't feel it, then you're not ready to upgrade" what are some of the signs?

    I've had an Ibex 450 for 2 years now, and it works great for Midwestern trail riding, and as a commuter bike. My first upgrade will be the pedals. Aside from that, my deraillures work fine, suspension seems to fit the terrain, tires do OK, and my seat is stock. I suppose I'd need to ride a more expensive bike on the same terrain to see where mine falls short. Otherwise, how else would one know?

    All I have that's post-market is a flashlight and a pump.

    Cheers.
    I sort of look at it from my stand point. Allow me to explain...I feel as though I am a decent rider, by no means great so if I were to go out and buy a Scott Spark, that bike I consider to be out of my league and redundant to purchase. I sort through my options on upgradeable parts the same way, it's useless to buy an Sram XO derailleur when an X7 is just great. That's the best thing about MTBR you get different point of views of how different people make different decisions.
    Hope this helped clear up what I ment.

    CR11
    [SIZE="3"]The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    that makes sense. I suppose I should just try a better bike and see the differences.
    unfortunately, no one I know rides, and "test-driving" a nicer one on a parking lot is rather moot.

    Time will show I suppose.

    Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by [CrazyRick_11]
    I sort of look at it from my stand point. Allow me to explain...I feel as though I am a decent rider, by no means great so if I were to go out and buy a Scott Spark, that bike I consider to be out of my league and redundant to purchase. I sort through my options on upgradeable parts the same way, it's useless to buy an Sram XO derailleur when an X7 is just great. That's the best thing about MTBR you get different point of views of how different people make different decisions.
    Hope this helped clear up what I ment.

    CR11
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    Is that good news?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirrill
    that makes sense. I suppose I should just try a better bike and see the differences.
    unfortunately, no one I know rides, and "test-driving" a nicer one on a parking lot is rather moot.

    Time will show I suppose.

    Cheers.
    I wish there was a shop that I could like rent a demo bike and ride the sh!t out of it to test it. Unfortunately around where I live there is nothing like that
    [SIZE="3"]The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirrill
    This is something I never understood. How do you determine whether your skill is beyond what the bike can handle. Aside from the obvious answer of "if you don't feel it, then you're not ready to upgrade" what are some of the signs?

    Cheers.
    When you get to the bottom of a long steep descent do you want to shout "woooohooooo!" or do you feel that if you could only muster some strength in your aching arms, you'd throw your bike into the weeds and walk home?

  11. #11
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    After a good while riding my Trek4300, I wasn't really happy with it, so I upgraded. I got a new wheelset because I wanted disk brakes to stop my 200 lb ass, but the trek I got was cantilever brakes. I also put in a nine speed drivetrain. I also got rid of that RST thing and strapped on a Tora 318 Solo Air. Soup to nuts about 750-800 bucks, and I am super happy with it. Maybe in the future, I will scrap that bike, salvage the parts, and put them on a shiny new 8500 ZR9000 frame with some other new goodies, but I am still pondering that idea. I would rather build something myself that just buy off the show room floor. I like to be independent like that. As long as you are happy, who cares?

  12. #12
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    this is a good question and I have done it a couple of times now myself.

    Here are things that forced me to upgrade. Obviously broken parts. With the cheaper wheels and such i would be end up trueing the wheels after every couple of rides. Once I had strong wheels then it wasn't so much a problem.

    Alot of the other high dollar stuff is going to be for weight savings. I have never broken a set of cranks, not a set of gears etc etc. Ya stuff wears out so you can replace as necessary.

    A noticable difference that you can upgrade is your fork. You can probalby spend alot of money on a nice fork and even a beginner will see the difference in some area unless they are on pavement. But when you spend that kinda money on the fork you kinda have to wonder if you should save up and get a FS complete bike or have a $600 front end on a $500 dollar bike.

    The way I look at going to FS (i am still on a hard tail) is my riding ability. I am a pretty good rider and I am faster on the DH or can keep up with all the people I ride with even though they are on 5" FS bikes. Ya i can probalby be faster if I was on a high end FS bike but until i feel i can't keep up this is fine with me and i still have fun.

    At some point you may feel that the bike maybe holding you back, weither it be on the down hill as people that the same skill level are just blowing past you, or maybe the uphill where it feels like the bike is just to heavy. But at this point you will also need to see how much money you can drop on to it and you will know more at what you want out of the bike. But until then i say just keep the bike in good condition (replace parts when they need to be) and as long as you are having fun go out and have fun.

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