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  1. #1
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    Upgrade suggestions needed for 1996 Norco Team XC

    I recently bought a 1996 Norco Team XC bike that I plan to use as my every day bike for a bit of XC riding, light commuting, rides with the family ect. I weight about 170 lbs and don't ride very aggressively and I want to keep the bike as light as possible.

    This is how the bike is built now:

    Fork - Marzocchi XC-600 (90's version) - 420 mm axle to crown
    Stem - Axiom (minimal rise, 130mm length)
    Bars - Axiom 6061 T6 170 gram double butted (525 mm?)
    Crank - Specialized Strongarm
    Chain rings - Shimano Hyperdrive C
    Pedals - cage style
    F and R derailleurs - Deore XT
    Shifters - Gripshift
    Brakes - Deore STX cantilever
    Brake levers - Deore STX
    Rims - Araya TM-18
    Hubs - Deore XT Parallax
    Tires - Tioga Psycho 2
    Seat post - Deore XT
    Seat - Fila

    The bike and components are in really good shape, the bike was apparently built as a bike shop demo back in the day and has seen very little real riding.

    -There is a fair bit of chain ring flex when I pedal hard in the highest gear, I can visually see the top of the ring move outwards.
    -The bars are a bit too low and far forward for me.
    -Braking is not stellar, might just need the pads cleaned or maybe new pads, the brake arms (or brake bosses?) do seem to flex more than the v brakes on my other bike.

    The things I want to change for sure are:

    -Swap the old fork for a rigid, either carbon fiber or chromoly, max budget would be around $150. Looking for good suggestions here, and will I be able to keep my front brake? The cable terminates in to a center pivot on the fork.
    -Change the bars to something around 610mm, the ones on there now are scary narrow. Nashbar carbon fiber maybe?
    -Move the bars up a bit and back a bit by either using a riser bar or changing the stem or a combination of both.
    -Swap the tires to something like Kenda Cross Plus
    -Swap the pedals to flat pedals
    -Get a more ergonomic seat

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Jason

  2. #2
    rebmem rbtm
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    will I be able to keep my front brake? The cable terminates in to a center pivot on the fork.
    Yes.
    http://problemsolversbike.com/produc...n_cable_hanger
    http://problemsolversbike.com/products/cross_hangers

    Here's some good selections of forks.
    http://www.bikeman.com/Rigid_Mountain_Forks.html
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...p?category=703

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    For chain flex, make sure your crank and chainrings are torqued down.

    For the bars, do you have a threaded or threadless headset? In either case, you'll want a shorter stem, and you can locate it where you want (probably.) Can you post a pic of the front end?

    For brakes, just buy new pads. They're cheap and don't always age well. I like Kool Stop Salmon.

    For the new bars, it becomes a very straightforward swap if you're doing the stem anyway. (Post that pic.)

    What do you want to spend on pedals? I have some cheap flats I like; ask someone else about pricy ones.

    For the saddle, buy another of whatever your favorite one is.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Cool, thanks for the links.


  5. #5
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    I checked the crank arms and chainring bolts, the crank arms were not as tight as they should be. I'll have to wait until the weekend to get out for a ride while it's still light outside to see if improved the flex.

    The bars should be pretty easy, it is a threadless setup and I think I have another stem around that I can try to start. I'll attach a pic so you can see what I currently have.

    As far as pedals go let me know what the cheap flats are that you like, I'm trying not to spend any more than I need to.

    I'm not 100% sure on the brakes yet, I'll have to buy an adapter to make my current brakes work when I switch forks, maybe I should just put on a set of V brakes but if I've heard right that also means switching brake levers.

    Upgrade suggestions needed for 1996 Norco Team XC-20131029_205830.jpgUpgrade suggestions needed for 1996 Norco Team XC-20131029_205901.jpg

    Jason



    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    For chain flex, make sure your crank and chainrings are torqued down.

    For the bars, do you have a threaded or threadless headset? In either case, you'll want a shorter stem, and you can locate it where you want (probably.) Can you post a pic of the front end?

    For brakes, just buy new pads. They're cheap and don't always age well. I like Kool Stop Salmon.

    For the new bars, it becomes a very straightforward swap if you're doing the stem anyway. (Post that pic.)

    What do you want to spend on pedals? I have some cheap flats I like; ask someone else about pricy ones.

    For the saddle, buy another of whatever your favorite one is.

  6. #6
    rebmem rbtm
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    v-brakes = new levers

  7. #7
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    I've been doing a lot of reading on forks and I think I have it narrowed down to either a Kona Triple Butted P2 chromoly fork or a Carbon Cycles Exotic carbon fiber fork. The Kona comes in either 410mm or 440mm but the 410 seem to be out of stock everywhere. Is 20mm in additional axle to crown length from the original fork on my bike going to make a noticeable difference?

    Jason

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    410 is pretty short. 440 is probably a better match for your existing fork.

    Don't throw money at staying with cantilever brakes. V-brakes are cheap and better. Win.

    Make sure to match the clamp diameters between any new bars and stems.

    My flat pedals are Redline Alloy. They cost around $20 and come in a few versions. Pins vs. not, and I think some are sealed bearing. The concave faces make it easier to locate my feet.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    The existing fork is 420, so technically 410 is closer, but the difference between that and the 440 might not even be worth worrying about.

    If I'm going to switch to V-brakes, I might as well see if I can find a set of Shimano 3x8 shift/brake levers so I can have rapid fire instead of grip shift.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Shift/brake levers suck, IMHO. The shifters end up in a slightly weird place, only low-end models are available, and you can't replace damaged stuff one at a time.

    I have to admit to missing the a-c length in your first post. That's short! A rigid, non-corrected fork is around 390 mm. How much travel does your Marz have?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    It's spec'd as 51mm of travel.

  12. #12
    rebmem rbtm
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    1 1/8" steering & 413mm A/C:

    Rim brake only: http://www.bikeman.com/FK0001.html
    Rim brake + disc brake: http://www.bikeman.com/FK0003.html

  13. #13
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    Been pulled away from the bike project by other things but did take a couple of quick rides since I tightened the crank arms. The chain ring flex is still there but not as bad. How tight can I safely tighten the crank arms?

  14. #14
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    Those cranks are are junk.

    Specialized Strongarm Cranks Older Cranks Reviews - Mtbr.com

    I'd stick with the brakes (set up correctly) and shifters you have, just do stem, bars, crank and fork if you're on a budget.

    And you should be on a budget.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Re: Upgrade suggestions needed for 1996 Norco Team XC

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonbb View Post
    Been pulled away from the bike project by other things but did take a couple of quick rides since I tightened the crank arms. The chain ring flex is still there but not as bad. How tight can I safely tighten the crank arms?
    I don't know, look it up. I don't even know what standard you have. Torque specs should be available somewhere, but are often hard to find for cranks. More general ones by BB standard are also available. I bet you can find them on parktool.com or sheldonbrown.com.

    Very broadly, if you have a splined bottom bracket, your fixing bolts need to pretty tight. If you have square taper, they need to be really f'ing tight.

    If you don't know what standard you've got, take off a crank bolt and have a look, or post a pic.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
    dru
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    from Park:

    Campagnolo®312-324
    FRA® (M8 bolt) 304-347
    FRA® (M14 steel) 434-521
    Race Face® 480
    Syncros®240
    Truvativ® 384-420 ISIS Drive
    Truvativ® 336-372 square
    type
    White Ind® 240-300

    That's inch pounds, so divide by 12.

    The RACE FACE # is for ISIS, not square taper; I have a set of square taper RF Turbines and they are torqued to 25 to 28 ft-lbs.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

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