Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11

    Drivetrain Upgrade

    I have an 08 hardrock sport that has been great to me. I have decided to begin to learn a little more about the biking world by slowly upgrading the bike. I know that i can buy a better bike for half the cost, but the way i feel is if i upgrade part by part, i will be able to see how each upgrade effects the bike and see what i like or dont like, what "feels" i like or dont like.

    On that note, i have tried to use the search feature as much as possible but i do not like the search feature on this site, i have can receive good replys from it and have to kinda pick and choose what to look at. I have been trying to read up on things i want to do to the bike, i already have new wheels and hydrolic disks on their way from a poster from this site, so im very excited about that.

    What im looking to do is find a good plan to upgrade to, I know there are many options out there and i really dont know enough to know what is the best for what i do. I mainly use the bike for riding long flat ex-rail beds with friends, to riding mountiany rocky trails like allamuchy in NJ and other mountian bike trails in north NJ. I know there are single speed set ups, 2 or 3 gears in the front 7 or 9 gears in the back, i dont know what i should look into or would suit me best. I hear alot of people using shimano xt components which i hear are bullet proof? and where would be the best place to start?

    Sorry for the long post but thanks for any help you can provide!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    422
    Wheels and brakes are the items that will provide the greatest "feel" of an upgrade. And actual measurable performance gain. Everything else (suspension aside) is small increments.

    Basically, after wheels and brakes, upgrade only when it breaks.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,280
    New fork.

    Replacing one working drivetrain with another working drivetrain doesn't make much difference. Redoing your cables, if they're old, can make a pretty shocking difference and it's cheap.

    Do all the contact points, or at least those you're not happy with - handlebars/stem, saddle, pedals, tires.

    Specialized says this bike has integrated shifters and brake levers. If that's true, you need new shifters with this upgrade. I can't say I noticed a big difference going from 8-speed to 9-speed, but the parts are more expensive. So up to you if you want to do that - if you can still find some nice 8-speed shifters, that might actually make more sense.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    451
    Being that I ride the area that you speak of. It really depends on what you want. I ride a Trance X2 with a mix of XT/SLX components and have a great time doing it. As for buying XT if that is what you can afford then go for it. If not SLX works great or even X7 and above on the SRAM side. The biggest change I think you can make for the area that you are riding is the fork, I have a friend who rides a Rockhopper 29er, started out with a Dart3, went to a tora and is up to a Reba. He even mentioned yesterday while we where riding Stephens that he noticed the biggest difference going from the Tora to the Reba. also you might find it easier to get up some of those trails. white red and even the blue with a 9 speed drivetrain running a 11-34 on the back.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11
    thanks for all the replys! I do plan to upgrade the front fork to a reba in the future, but will most likely keep my eyes open for a used one in the classifieds ( are there different models of rebas and which would be best for me)

    I would like to upgrade to the 9 speed slowly if possible, and i wasnt thinking of doing it all at once but, like some of you said, as stuff wears and breaks. I dont know if possible but would like to lets say, get new shifters for 9 speed when i put the new brakes on. Then 2 months later when i break a cassette, replace that with the 9 speed, then 2 months later the rear derailer......something along those lines but i dont know if that would work.

    if you dont mind what exactly does the 11-34 stand for? (i know im a newbie)

    also i have a friend that runs a giant with a bash gaurd in place of the 3rd front gear. Where i ride it is quite rocky and i was wondering if that would benifit me, or would it be better to keep the 3rd gear for cardio on long flat trails?

    As for the contact points, i really dont knwo anything about riding position, so going to stems and different bars and all if something i hope to learn in the near future, but for now i would have absolutly no clue what to look for in bars and stems.

    Thanks for the patience and all the replys guy, im new and still trying to learn but really thank you for the replys.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,280
    To go from an 8-speed to a 9-speed drivetrain, you have to replace your chain, cassette and right-hand shifter all at once. 9-speed drivetrains are a little less tolerant of a sloppy rear derailleur, I think, but if yours is in good shape, it should work fine.

    You have to match the brand of the shifter and the derailleur, in general. SRAM and Shimano cassettes and chains are interchangeable.

    What you're looking for in riding position is for the bike not to hurt you, and to give you a neutral riding position. It's something you need to figure out more-or-less by feel, so I recommend sticking to changing the stem, and buying cheap ones (like $10 from a takeoff bin if your LBS has one) until you get it dialed. Before you even change the stem, though, try moving it up and down in the spacer stack and flipping it. A lot of people will be able to find a good position without buying anything new.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11
    I just noticed that i do have the intergrated brakes and shifters and i also have a shimano Acera rear derailer on the bike.

    I posted a wanted ad for some 8 or 9 speed shifters, so hopefully i can pick up a good set of shifters to throw on while i put the brakes on. would like to stick with the shimano stuff i think.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    451
    well if you have intergrated shifters/brakes. You will have to get a new shifters. You can get these to hold you over until you get the 9 speed stuff

    http://mikesbikes.com/product/shiman...m?Affiliate=31

    Turthfully at this point if you are planning on spending the money go to your local LBS and see if they have any leftover 9 speed hardtail 29ers. you wont reget it.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11
    That's the thing, I would rather upgrade to lets say a used shimano xt 9 speed set up, ride that for a few rides, then throw the new wheels and brakes on, see how they change things, then upgrade whatever other parts, than just go out and buy a whole new bike and never be able to form an opinion on how each part effected the bike. I feel I will slowly learn to feel the difference of individual parts rather than change the entire combo. Yes it will cost more in the long run but I plan to in time upgrade everything, than get a new frame.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,280
    Quote Originally Posted by NHRA1877
    I plan to in time upgrade everything, than get a new frame.
    I'd suggest that it's better to do it in the other order.

    A lot of things are fairly universal. A few things are not. It would suck to buy a kickass new fork, and fine that you had a problem putting it on the new frame. While not as big a deal, it would also be irritating to have trouble moving over a new seat tube, front derailleur, headset, etc.

    If you start with the frame and you own a caliper (cheap one's fine) you can figure out what won't move over when you get it, get those things, and then cannibalize your Hardrock all at once. You most likely won't be buying anything that makes a big difference for your new frame, so you'll basically be starting by finding out how important to ride feel the frame itself is.

    There are some nice frames floating around for $200, and some really nice frames for $400. At retail, maybe more like $700-$800. More if you want carbon, scandium, titanium, custom, etc - those were prices for nice aluminum frames.

    You might also ask yourself if you want to tie yourself to a hardtail for the next few years. I do all my riding on one, but my area has a lot more climbing and a bit smoother trails than how I remember riding in the East.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    451
    I agree with Andrw..and i ride the trails you are talking about. I live in Allamuchy. plus its not the ind part that makes the difference its the sum of all the parts plus the frame. I ride a 2008 trance x2 with slx shifters front dr crank, with an XT rear derailuer 140mm manitou comp coil fork, float R and elixer r brakes, formula hubs laced to xm117. When my bike was in the shop I got to ride the owners 2009 trance x0 XT shifters, front dr crank with an XTR Rd, 135mm Revalation dual air fork, float rp23 and juicy ultimates, Mavic CrossMax SL. did his bike ride better hell yeah but other then the shifter being a little more "crisper" it still pedal the same. It felt a little better uphill but not like OH S^&t I got to get me the exact same setup. As for the hardtail vs FS on the trails we ride..its a toss up I do like the FS while riding waving willies or lumpy bumpy, a HT would be nice for most of stephens, deer park or KVSP

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    501
    consider also just doing the mandatory maintenance ie new chain- $25 and possiblly casette- $50, cables etc and banking the rest of the money and put it into a whole new (or used) bike. That way you get the fork you want as well as perhaps a rear suspension. Just an idea

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: agabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    851
    Hmmm... I think Andrew has been giving some really good advice.

    A few other things to consider:
    You will probably shift the balance of the bike. If you lighten up the wheels and the fork I'm betting you will change the balance location; of which you may or may not like - something to consider.

    Since your going to spend a few bucks on this thing you may want to consider just demoing other bikes at whatever MTB festivals are in Jersey. You will get a better idea of what parts you like and don't like since there is a greater pool to choose from.

    On to parts:
    Wheels: A few main things to look at are weight and application. Good hubs and spokes are key (Shimano makes ok hubs as a comparison point). You also want to reduce the rotational mass as much as possible to increase the acceleration.

    Fork: You're better off going for a better used fork in good shape than an alright one that is new (obviously look for clean stanchions if you go used, more points but for another day). Also, if you go used expect it to require a rebuild and factor it into the cost. A good fork (I don't care if its a good RS or Fox Float or TALAS) is so much better than a cheap to mid level fork that you should wait for the right one.

    Brakes: So, yup there is a difference between the really good ones and the entry level ones. Truthfully this is an area I have cheaped out a bit in, I'm currently running Juicy 3s and while they are no where near high end they work great for me on the trail. They will be orders of magnitude better than the V brakes your currently sporting.

    Drivetrain: The drivetrain on your bike isn't that hot. You should be able to find a deore drivetrain (or SRAM equiv) for fairly short money. Feel free to go for a used crankset - go for a modern hollowtech if you do. Expect the rings and bearings in the BB to be shot if you do.

    How to do it:
    You currently have a $400 bike that you are about to way over invest in. Personally I think you would be better off finding a used frame and building that up. You seem to like Spec they are everywhere - why not find an Rockhopper frame floating around? The tubing is better than the hardrock and will give you time to get it running. Here is why I'm saying that: You need new wheels before you can get started and truthfully V brake rims are fugly. So that also means you need brakes at the same time (looks like your fork could actually support discs). Once you get brakes you need shifters since you have integrated levers. Once you go that far you are better off just doing the entire drivetrain over - because anything else is kind of silly. At this point the only thing you have touched is the stem, bars, seatpost, seat, and fork. The Suntour at this point will be screwing up the ride quality of and hence you'll also want a new fork.

    Yup, if you can I think you're better off just starting with another frame - like a Rockhopper or Stumpy. Either is a better starting platform and you'll have a bike to ride while you figure out how to wrench.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •