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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  1. #1
    RideDirt
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    New question here. What upgrade would be "worth it " next up ?

    So i got my bike back from the LBS , had some items changed up for me . Went with a wider and lighter bar, stem, seat post , pedals, removed 3rd ring and replaced with a e-13 bashguard , and FINALLY the proper tires i needed 2.3 up front and 2.1 in the rear . Bike FEELS amazingly better, handles perfect, and stays planted . I am going to upgrade my fork as i have a hard tail but after the fork , i was thinking about maybe looking into a new crankset ? What do you guys think ? I was thinking something extremely light weight and durable , unless there is something else i can upgrade that will save on weight and help the bike perform better ( as i get better as well ) . ?

  2. #2
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    Save the money and buy another bike may be a full suspension, that would perform better or at least add another flavor.

  3. #3
    RideDirt
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    Well i enjoy the hardtail and im not looking for a FS , this bike does great for the trails i use it on , just looking to get it a bit lighter per say . Ill be holding onto the bike for a while too .

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    Well i enjoy the hardtail and im not looking for a FS , this bike does great for the trails i use it on , just looking to get it a bit lighter per say . Ill be holding onto the bike for a while too .
    I am going to agree with mimi on this save your money. You arent going to get much weight savings unless you really want to shell out some hard cold $$$. I found that out the hard way. Your better off buying a better bike that is lighter in the first place than buying a heavy bike and trying to make it lighter.

  5. #5
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    save your money...

    and buy a full suspension bike. your body will thank you for it.

  6. #6
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    Well i could always transfer over most the parts onto a lighter frame if i did pick one up , thanks for the input i guess . Ill just ride out and replace when needed Yes the HT is a bit rough on some of these trails and rock beds lol etc but i dont mind .

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Sooner or later, I'm going to try to make my bike lighter. I'm pretty close to my goal weight for me, and after that, if I want to haul less up a hill, it's going to be by lightening the bike.

    Here's how I'd do it... I'd get a really nice, sensibly light frame. I'd been thinking scandium, but a company with a good reputation has a pretty inexpensive, competitively light carbon hardtail frame out. So maybe I'd start with that. And I'd get a scale. I'd strip my current bike to build the new frame, weighing everything as I went. Then I'd be able to make good decisions about how to take the most grams off for my dollar.

    The thing is, though, that it won't make much of a difference. Maybe in a race that takes me over three hours, it'll save me a couple minutes. Last time I did a race that long, that wouldn't have moved me up a single position.

    If you're more concerned with how the bike feels to ride, you can get better value by making good choices about where to save weight. The crankset, IMHO, is a pretty crappy place. A full water bottle weighs about a pound and a half, and a hardtail frame can usually fit two of them. I can't really tell the difference in how my bike rides with two full bottles vs. two empty ones. Saving even a couple hundred grams at the crank is not going to do much.

    On the other hand, I recently got some new wheels. The swing in weight was probably less than 3 lb. But, the bike feels more nimble with the lighter rims. Hubs are probably lighter too, but I doubt I could tell.

    Generally, I think weight matters more when it's far away from the rear hub, and less when it's close to it. Weight up high makes a little more difference than weight near the ground. And the specialness of weight lost from the wheels is greater when it's far from whichever hub, and less when it's close to it. From that perspective, not spending the extra few dollars on nicer tubes seems a little silly, although the idea of ultralight tubes struck me as silly for a long time, until I decided to try them. You've already found that weight's not the most important thing, though - that 2.3" tire has added weight to your bike, but it sounds like you're a lot happier with how it performs.

    I have yet to be impressed by a FS bike, but I also have yet to embark on a serious mission to find "my" FS bike. I think if I were considering either a new bike or a major project on my current one, it would be short-sighted of me not to put in more of an effort to demo different FS bikes, and either find the one for me or satisfy myself that it really doesn't exist.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    RideDirt
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Sooner or later, I'm going to try to make my bike lighter. I'm pretty close to my goal weight for me, and after that, if I want to haul less up a hill, it's going to be by lightening the bike.

    Here's how I'd do it... I'd get a really nice, sensibly light frame. I'd been thinking scandium, but a company with a good reputation has a pretty inexpensive, competitively light carbon hardtail frame out. So maybe I'd start with that. And I'd get a scale. I'd strip my current bike to build the new frame, weighing everything as I went. Then I'd be able to make good decisions about how to take the most grams off for my dollar.

    The thing is, though, that it won't make much of a difference. Maybe in a race that takes me over three hours, it'll save me a couple minutes. Last time I did a race that long, that wouldn't have moved me up a single position.

    If you're more concerned with how the bike feels to ride, you can get better value by making good choices about where to save weight. The crankset, IMHO, is a pretty crappy place. A full water bottle weighs about a pound and a half, and a hardtail frame can usually fit two of them. I can't really tell the difference in how my bike rides with two full bottles vs. two empty ones. Saving even a couple hundred grams at the crank is not going to do much.

    On the other hand, I recently got some new wheels. The swing in weight was probably less than 3 lb. But, the bike feels more nimble with the lighter rims. Hubs are probably lighter too, but I doubt I could tell.

    Generally, I think weight matters more when it's far away from the rear hub, and less when it's close to it. Weight up high makes a little more difference than weight near the ground. And the specialness of weight lost from the wheels is greater when it's far from whichever hub, and less when it's close to it. From that perspective, not spending the extra few dollars on nicer tubes seems a little silly, although the idea of ultralight tubes struck me as silly for a long time, until I decided to try them. You've already found that weight's not the most important thing, though - that 2.3" tire has added weight to your bike, but it sounds like you're a lot happier with how it performs.

    I have yet to be impressed by a FS bike, but I also have yet to embark on a serious mission to find "my" FS bike. I think if I were considering either a new bike or a major project on my current one, it would be short-sighted of me not to put in more of an effort to demo different FS bikes, and either find the one for me or satisfy myself that it really doesn't exist.
    Thank you ! I always do appreciate all of your replies as you reply with the mind set of " out of the box " and you provide a lot of great information , again thank you! Yes , i shed some weight correct but i did add some as well but where it added , it helps perform better which i can accept . I dont mind doing a trade off for performance as well , i wasnt sure if a crankset actually weighed a lot and would be a good upgrade performance wise and weight wise , meaning takes less energy/force to be applied to spin the crank . Again , this is just a hobby for me and im happy with a hardtail . Even the fork i am upgrading to is lighter and obv performs better as well which will help with my riding to be better . I dont do any racing so i wont need a carbon frame but they are sexy lol , just not really looking to shell out $1500-2k for just a frame when this is soley just a hobby to have some fun with my workouts during the week .

    Also the wheels + hubs sounds like a smart upgrade as well , even tho its a small amount being shaved off , you have to think about the faster and smoother spin now, and quicker engagement as well .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    So i got my bike back from the LBS , had some items changed up for me . Went with a wider and lighter bar, stem, seat post , pedals, removed 3rd ring and replaced with a e-13 bashguard , and FINALLY the proper tires i needed 2.3 up front and 2.1 in the rear . Bike FEELS amazingly better, handles perfect, and stays planted . I am going to upgrade my fork as i have a hard tail but after the fork , i was thinking about maybe looking into a new crankset ? What do you guys think ? I was thinking something extremely light weight and durable , unless there is something else i can upgrade that will save on weight and help the bike perform better ( as i get better as well ) . ?
    Good on you for changing out the handle bar, stem and seatpost. These are important changes to ensure proper fit for efficiency + comfort = performance. I presume your LBS had you professionally fitted and sold you appropriate parts accordingly.

    Tyres are also important performance upgrades - probably the best bang-for-your-buck, in my mind. Bear in mind tyre choices are very subjective, and vary greatly on conditions, trail, and riding style.

    Other performance upgrades that matter in my opinion are forks, brakes and wheels. They are all big ticket items.

    Remember this axiom: "Lightweight. Durable. Inexpensive. Pick two".

    Consider if it's worth sinking big dollars on an entry level bike/frame. Alternately save up for a lighter bike.

    Your call.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Carbon hardtail frames don't cost $1500 if you don't want them too.

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FROOCWH/...-whippet-frame

    I don't know if this frame is really any good, so do your homework. Lots of people on the site are pretty happy with their On-one products, though.

    The Voodoo Sobo frame is around $650, and "should" be pretty light - it's scandium. Which is hotlicious. There used to be some Kona Kula frames floating around the 'net for less, but that inventory seems to be drying up.

    And of course, there's e-hongfu or whatever that site is called.

    I'm actually pretty happy with my Hardrock frame. It does the job I want it to. But I wouldn't use it as the basis for a lightweight project either.

    Unless there's something seriously wrong with your crank, the difference with a more expensive one is going to be weight and the stock chain rings. I could swear I can feel a difference in stiffness with the new one, but I also know it should be stiffer - realistically, if a crank arm is flexing enough to feel, it's a couple hard rides away from failure, or a broken bottom bracket spindle - whichever's moving.

    My wheels are actually pretty modest. They're my plain brown wrapper race wheels. Sun DS1-XC rims on DT 370 hubs with DT double-butted spokes. The rim is claimed to weigh 410g - so not super light, but better than what I had and I expect them to give me several years of service. The engagement may be a little faster than the Shimano M-475 hub, but I can't feel a difference in speed. They do feel more positive, though.

    Being honest with myself, I could really use a complete 'A' bike, not just a set of race day wheels or something. Too bad I'm back in school for a while.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticctacc View Post
    Good on you for changing out the handle bar, stem and seatpost. These are important changes to ensure proper fit for efficiency + comfort = performance. I presume your LBS had you professionally fitted and sold you appropriate parts accordingly.

    Tyres are also important performance upgrades - probably the best bang-for-your-buck, in my mind. Bear in mind tyre choices are very subjective, and vary greatly on conditions, trail, and riding style.

    Other performance upgrades that matter in my opinion are forks, brakes and wheels. They are all big ticket items.

    Remember this axiom: "Lightweight. Durable. Inexpensive. Pick two".

    Consider if it's worth sinking big dollars on an entry level bike/frame. Alternately save up for a lighter bike.

    Your call.
    Yes , the shop i go to they are AWESOME , they dont just sell me stuff , they explain everything down to the T and give me options and choices . They have fitted me properly , and they have supplied me with all the proper upgrades needed for the exact riding i do . I guess i really should say what are the best bang for the buck and most common upgrades on a bike then? the weight savings i guess are just a bonus for me .. I might of worded my thread wrongly . I dont mind sinking in some money , but i do have my limits as well . I could always take on a project next year or so but for now i want to learn everything on this bike i have now, and i can always upgrade or build the next bike again .

    As far as forks go i will be using a Fox Racing fork and brakes i will run the Shimano XT hydros or maybe pull the trigger on the SAINT version of the Shimanos , im not just there yet . Wheels i will prob look into Mavics or Bontragers ? I want to abuse the ones i have now and replace as needed .

  12. #12
    RideDirt
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Carbon hardtail frames don't cost $1500 if you don't want them too.

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FROOCWH/...-whippet-frame

    I don't know if this frame is really any good, so do your homework. Lots of people on the site are pretty happy with their On-one products, though.

    The Voodoo Sobo frame is around $650, and "should" be pretty light - it's scandium. Which is hotlicious. There used to be some Kona Kula frames floating around the 'net for less, but that inventory seems to be drying up.

    And of course, there's e-hongfu or whatever that site is called.

    I'm actually pretty happy with my Hardrock frame. It does the job I want it to. But I wouldn't use it as the basis for a lightweight project either.

    Unless there's something seriously wrong with your crank, the difference with a more expensive one is going to be weight and the stock chain rings. I could swear I can feel a difference in stiffness with the new one, but I also know it should be stiffer - realistically, if a crank arm is flexing enough to feel, it's a couple hard rides away from failure, or a broken bottom bracket spindle - whichever's moving.

    My wheels are actually pretty modest. They're my plain brown wrapper race wheels. Sun DS1-XC rims on DT 370 hubs with DT double-butted spokes. The rim is claimed to weigh 410g - so not super light, but better than what I had and I expect them to give me several years of service. The engagement may be a little faster than the Shimano M-475 hub, but I can't feel a difference in speed. They do feel more positive, though.

    Being honest with myself, I could really use a complete 'A' bike, not just a set of race day wheels or something. Too bad I'm back in school for a while.
    That frame looks really nice and your right ! that price is pretty nice haha... But maybe ill just hold off on that and take advantage of what i have now . The only reason as to why i bring up the crankset is because i honestly am thinking about maybe going to a 1 x9 setup , right now i only have 2 chain rings as i replaced the 3rd one with the bashguard .
    I find myself being happy with the middle chain ring as i can get enough speed for some downhills and there are enough small gears for some climbs, if the climbs are that bad i can always just walk it up as well .

  13. #13
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    I guess if you want to save a lot of weight at the wheels you would go tubeless. Saves quite a bit of weight from what I hear and still rides quite well.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Take the tubeless weight savings with a grain of salt.

    There are some weight-weenie ways to make it a really big weight savings - like a non-tubeless-ready tire with sealant. People report problems with wear life doing that. Tubeless and tubeless-ready tires weigh more than lightweight tubed tires, sealant weighs a little bit, rim strips, if necessary, weigh a little bit, and my tubes have a claimed weight of 127g and cost only a few dollars more than those that weigh 170+. It's one of the best dollars/gram ratios going. My setup probably still weighs a little

    OP - if I was planning a 1x9 build, I'd probably be looking at new cranks too. It's probably still not going to be a big swing in weight, and the chainline should be the same, but I'm bothered by the idea of having the extra, inner spider riding around and not doing anything. The really weight-conscious way to do it would be with a XC single-ring chain guide. These are made to be used without a derailleur, jump stop, bash guard, etc. etc. etc. - just the guide. Since you already have the bash guard and presumably want the protection it offers, you might do just an inner guide, like a chainwatcher, rather than something like the MRP 1.X.

    Here's an article about a weight conscious single-ring setup...

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/...ainguide_93654

    For me, a drivetrain modification that meant I could no longer ride up things I used to be able to climb would be unacceptable. If I bolt money to my bike, I want it to end up more capable, not less. But a lot of my local rides have thousands of feet of climbing.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Thank you for the link , was a good read on the article . I will wait it out a bit I guess and see how I do on other parks as well .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggo69 View Post
    and buy a full suspension bike. your body will thank you for it.
    lol pansy alert.
    your arms and legs are your NATURAL suspension, no need for FS unless your old or a pansy.
    I take my hardtail over rocky, bumpy, jumps and tight single track, no problems, just don't stay sitting on your seat like a grandma.
    To each his own, modify your bike as much as you want, not eveyone has $2000 to drop on a bike right away, nothing wrong with getting YOUR bike the exact YOU want YOUR bike.
    Get a air fork of some sort it will save a bunch of weight and then maybe a lighter/stronger wheelset which will shed some pounds.

  17. #17
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    Thanks Ricky , yup they got some good deals going on some fox forks and I'm gonna look into maybe some mavics or dt wheels with Chris kings hubs ..

  18. #18
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    Check out bicycle wheel warehouse, they make some quality handbuilt wheels for amazing prices.
    if your going to spend that much on a fork, look at RS Reba's dual air so highly tunable and light weight.

  19. #19
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    Alright , I will look into that .

  20. #20
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    Good thread. Personally I wonder if I would feel a big difference in some new wheels. I'm just riding around on whatever low end wheel they through on my Marin.

    I think it's more like a biking fever. I doubt I'll ever need the full benefits of of a Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 29er Wheelset, but I'll definitely feel a difference and enjoy riding it even more because I installed them myself. And did I mention how cool the Crank Brothers Wheelsets look?

    I doubt I'll splurge on a wheelset till after I have problems with mine but I must admit if I last the next 3 months without the Crank Brothers seat post and stem that matches my handle bars it will be a miracle.

    As for genuinely caring about weight savings, read this article and see if you care about saving weight for any other reason than making your bike sexier. It basically shows you some simple math on the benefits of weight savings.
    http://newhorizonsbikes.com/articles...fied-pg170.htm
    Marin 29er
    "Try not to ride too long you might end up burning muscle!"
    http://www.beeftrain.com/

  21. #21
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    Wheelsets make a big difference with weight I changed from a Alex y2000(LOL!) To a lighter set and it made the biggest difference then anything I've replaced. Now I'm getting an even lighter wheelset (easton havoc am) tomorrow due to my current front needs. Rebuild bad and my rear is due for one soon as well so thought I would just get a new set. I started off with a 03 avalanche low end parts and the only stock parts on my bike are the rear derailluer (averse) but it shifts perfect, my stem, seatpost, and seat (its comfy) everything else has been changed including a newer model frame. I love my bike mostly because I built it and I can do everything to it.

    Sent from my HTC EVO 4G

  22. #22
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    Easton havics huh ? I've read that those wheelsets break a lot of spokes ? I might be wrong tho .

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    No, I heard the bearings on the older ones go out sooner then they should but triple butted spokes aren't weak by any means

    Sent from my HTC EVO 4G

  24. #24
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    Oh ok , I was looking into those as well , good info

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricky916 View Post
    Wheelsets make a big difference with weight I changed from a Alex y2000(LOL!) To a lighter set and it made the biggest difference then anything I've replaced. Now I'm getting an even lighter wheelset (easton havoc am) tomorrow due to my current front needs.
    I've thought about replacing the stock wheels on my EX8, but I haven't heard too many negative things about them so I'm having trouble making the decision.

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