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  1. #1
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    GT Aggressor 1.0 Upgrades?

    Hey guys New to MTBR forums and had a question.
    What upgrades would you recommend for a 2013 GT aggressor 1.0?
    Brakes, Fork, Pedals, Tires?

    I've been looking at new forks and the Rockshox XC30TK were what I found. Any feedback on these forks?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Is there anything you don't like about the bike so far?

    For me, I am more sensitive to tires than suspension or brake performance, so I'd personally start with tires, but I dunno if you are ok with your tires or not.
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  3. #3
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    Skip the XC30. If you're going to upgrade, do it like you mean it. Last time I killed a fork, I did some research and it seemed to me that everything between rigid and the Recon Gold is a wasteland. I ended up getting something from a friend, so no feedback on the Recon Gold, but it does have a nice spec and good parts availability.

    It sounds like you probably haven't done anything with the bike so far? For me, getting my riding position right is the first thing. Sometimes that takes a different stem. Then pedals and tires. IMO, if you're thinking about something big-ticket, you should also be thinking about a whole new bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    I agree that if you're going to upgrade the fork, then just go for a true upgrade and not just a different fork. The XC30 wouldn't be much of a upgrade. When I first started out, I had a bike with a Suntour XCR and wanted to "upgrade". I went with a Rock Shox XC32 then upgraded that to a Recon Gold. As my riding style became more aggressive and I started to develop my skills once again, I decided it was time to upgrade again and ended up with a Fox. Now, all my bike builds have been with a Fox fork of some sort. If you're not looking to spend that much dough, you could look in an X fusion Velvet.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, I will consider the Recon Gold. I have done a small amount of light trails with this bike and for me, a beginner it performs great. I'd like to do more trail riding and get into the more 'aggressive' trails. Would a tire upgrade be a good investment at this early stage? I Have the 2013 Model of that helps? Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Do it in the other order: go riding, and then decide if you need new tires. Figure out "your" pressure. That's going to take some experimentation. Start at the minimum written on your side walls. If you don't pinch flat, try less.

    And, check out what tires other riders in your area like.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Thank you Andrw, you have been very helpful! I will go out on the trails more and experiment different pressures.

  8. #8
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    I rebuilt son's Aggressor, only frame and headset are original.

    I threw the rubbish suspension fork away and installed a rigid aluminum fork. Now the bike rocks! It is light, agile and responsive.

  9. #9
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    What shifters did you upgrade to sasu?

  10. #10
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    GT Aggressor 1.0 2013

    Is this your bike? I wouldn't upgrade anything but grips, seat and pedals. Save up for a 29er or 650b with the components you want.

    I wouldn't spend money on a low end 26er.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  11. #11
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    LX and Deore shifters. Sale items, that is why they are not a matched pair. I rebuilt the bike on a tight budget but with decent quality parts.

  12. #12
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    GT aggressor 1.0 is a budget bike, and I would disagree dumping $$ on it unless you're completely rebuilding it like what I did with my 2013 GT Avalanche

    GT Aggressor 1.0 Upgrades?-20130918_174611_zpsf894b341.jpg

    With respect to all the components on your bike, I would just get just either a recon silver coil or XC32 coil that can be found for under $150(April-May is a better time to find deals online), leave everything stock then change tires and pedals as they wear out.

    I said this because putting a $300+ fork on a $400 bike with stock parts make no sense. Once your level exceed the bike performance, get a better bike instead, usually that works out better money wise.

  13. #13
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    Thank you Gamer, Your bike looks great! What shifter upgrade did you do on it?

  14. #14
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    They are Shimano SLX M670, 10 speed stuff all around.

    Don't upgrade your shifters, there is no market for 8 speed anymore. The most you can get is Shimano Alivio M410, and as I remember your shifters and brakes levers are integrated so why spend another $20 on brakes levers.

    Get your bike a tune if the chain is jumping around/not shifting well. If the cable tension is set dead on, it will shift no problem

  15. #15
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    Don't go upgrading just for the sake of it. Ride your bike a lot, in various conditions and styles of trail, work on your technique. When you're new to the sport there's a lot to learn that will benefit your riding more than equipment upgrades.

    As you get better you will find that your bike suffers in one area or another. For me it was brakes, they were lacking power and modulation and really destoyed my confidence in downhills.

    The most cost-efficient upgrade you can do is tyres. A big front tyre can make crappy suspension bearable and you can choose a design that gives you a desireable ratio of grip/rolling resistance.

    Cockpit configuration is equally important for fit/handling/control and can greatly enhance your riding experience. Most entry level bikes come with a narrow bar/long stem combo, which doesn't help beginners at all. It can also be a pretty low cost upgrade if you're not after the most flashy components.

    Never mind changing anything drivetrain related, (unless something breaks) just make sure everything is getting maintained properly. A clean, well-adjusted cheap drivetrain will be smoother than a dirty, neglected expensive one.

    Only when you're certain that the bike is a keeper consider upgrading major parts (fork, wheels) and even then don't rush it. Wait for good deals to appear.

    A fork upgrade makes a world of difference for proper trail riding but you have to go above a certain level to make it worth. I second the suggestion for the recon gold, I have the coil version and it's reasonably light, rides great and requires minimal maintainance. Don't be tempted to buy "more" suspension, but better. A crappy 120mm fork will still ride worse than a decent 100mm one, plus you won't mess the geo up.

    Slowly upgrading can be fun, as you can gradually tune your steed to suit your needs. In the long term it's not cost efficient but you learn a lot along the way. If you have the money though it's usually best to get a better bike when you feel you need it to progress.

    Either way, have fun!

  16. #16
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    I Rode my bike for the first time on a trail today. I found that the only things I had trouble with were that the tires weren't as grippy as I would have liked them to be. My brakes handled well and Stopped when needed. One thing mechanically that I might look into is a 10 speed shifter set, because I find that i just don't have low enough gears to climb some obstacles.

  17. #17
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    Yes change those tires but do go out ride some more and work your your climbing/over obstacles techniques.

    IDK if you know but when you change your shifters to 10speed, you need to upgrade your entire drivetrain including cassette, chain, front derailleur, rear derailleur and crankset.

    I was going to suggest you to look into just changing your cassette instead, say 11-34t but the gap between gears would be larger...just makes everything even worst
    11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32 (what you currently have)
    11-13-15-17-20-23-26-34 (the gap between 1st and 2nd gear is too much+ 1T less across 3rd-5th)

    Pretty you don't want to spend $200+ on top to switch to 10 speed
    So go out and ride more and you will get good at it

  18. #18
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    Re: GT Aggressor 1.0 Upgrades?

    IIRC, the crank and front derailleur can be left in place when swapping to 10-speed. OP, check the drivetrain forum. There's a master thread with the details.

    What size granny ring and cog do you actually have right now? I don't happen to have GT's catalog memorized. How many cogs?

    Most likely, you can't lower your gearing very much, though. And you say it's obstacles that are hanging you up. Lower gearing helps with extended climbs and I use different gear selections to help me stay at a comfortable cadence and effort level, but if you're shifting for every little roller or expecting low gears to help you with log-overs, ledges, woodwork, etc. then, with all due respect, you're doing it wrong. For a lot of this stuff, it's really about getting out of the saddle, managing weight distribution, and being explosive at the right times.

    For the tires, what pressure are you running? For me, that's far more important than whether they're fancy tires (though I do have a soft spot for those) or cheap ones.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    I wouldn't know what the granny ring and cog is? Its got 3 cogs at the front and 8 at the back. I run my tires at 50psi. I'm new to MTB and I don't know that much so any information on the 10 speed or gears for what is greatly appreciated!

  20. #20
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    Re: GT Aggressor 1.0 Upgrades?

    The gears at the front are called "chain rings." The smallest one is the "granny ring." The ones at the back are called "cogs." The biggest one is the other half of the "granny gear," so named because your grandmother can use that gear ratio to climb a hill. A lot of people have hangups about using their granny gears, but if I paid for 24 speeds, I'm going to use all of 'em, thank you.

    I remember doing a road ride with a friend of mine and her entourage a while ago. One of her friends was whining about the difficulty of a climb. I pointed out that she still had a lower gear ratio available. She wanted to keep it in reserve. WTF is the point? I think if I use the gear I want, I'm more efficient up a climb. If I run out of gears, which never happens, of course, I cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Point being, don't be that acquaintance. Make sure you're using all your low gears.

    I'm still curious about the tooth counts. They're usually stamped right on the chain rings and cogs, but you can also count them if you can't find the marks or they're too dirty to read or whatever.

    50 psi is too much for people under about 300 lb. Try inflating your tires to the minimum pressure listed on the sidewall, then experiment from there. For a point of comparison, I weigh 155 lb right now and use 22.5 psi in front and 25 in the rear for my 26" bike, a little less on the 29er.

    Let us know how it goes on your next ride.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    Hi Andrw it's been a while and I have neglected this post for a while, my tooth count on the cassette is 11-32. Chain rings are 42/32/24. Would changing the rear cassette to a 11-34 make much difference? if any?
    Or is there anyway I can lower my gear just a smidgen?
    Just to make so larger, longer hill climbs easier when I sit down and ride?

    Thanks for all your help and sorry for ignoring your last post.

  22. #22
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    Changing to a 22t granny would make a bigger difference. These are just ratios, so you can do the division and compare the results - 24/32, your current ratio, is .75. 22/32 is .69. 24/34 is .71. 22/34 is .65. People tend to be able to feel changes on the order of 5-10%.

    None of these are going to make a huge difference, but any of them will help.

    Oops, I should add, for some context, that the change when you shift gears on the cassette is probably larger than 10%, maybe more like 15%. So changing the cassette or the chainring (but not both) will lower your low end by less than one shift. Doing both would be about like one full shift.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    So which would you recommend if I was going to change either the cassette or the chainring? And what tooth count?

  24. #24
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    If you were to change just one, change to a 22t granny.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  25. #25
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    Would I have to match the same brand of chain ring to the ones I have now?
    Or can I buy one that is good quality? And may not be the same?

    Or will I have to buy a whole new set of chain rings?

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