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  1. #1
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    Upgrade Trek OCLV hardtail?

    First post! Great site.

    I bought a 9800 ten years ago and while I have loved it (rode it across the country pulling a BOB), I believe it is limiting the fun I can have on Park City xc trails.

    The thing that bothers me most is cruising fast on downhill singletrack. It gives me little confidence on the trail. It feels as though the front tire can lose it's grip in any loose trail condition.

    My question is is the handling limited by the frame geometry, or by the components? The shock is a Judy XC. Is an upgrade needed there or with the wheels and/or the tires? Thanks

  2. #2
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    What tires do you have right now? Tires can easily make a huge difference in performance, possibly more than any other upgrade and especially so for the price.

  3. #3
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    Serfas Gator 2.0

    Front and rear.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sahlensguy
    First post! Great site.

    I bought a 9800 ten years ago and while I have loved it (rode it across the country pulling a BOB), I believe it is limiting the fun I can have on Park City xc trails.

    The thing that bothers me most is cruising fast on downhill singletrack. It gives me little confidence on the trail. It feels as though the front tire can lose it's grip in any loose trail condition.

    My question is is the handling limited by the frame geometry, or by the components? The shock is a Judy XC. Is an upgrade needed there or with the wheels and/or the tires? Thanks
    Technology is very different 10 years ago from today. A nicer fork with the same length as the Judy XC and sticky compound tires should make it more confidence inspiring and enjoyable.

  5. #5
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    Agreed...

    I can't find a 9800, was it an 8900? http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...8900&Type=bike

    If so, any good 80mm fork will vastly improve the handling without affecting the geometry of the bike. Fox and Rock Shox both make great air forks at 80 mm. And as old guy said, try a Kenda Nevegal Stick-e 2.35 Kevlar bead tire up front, and run it softer, with 20-25lbs going downhill.

    Jim

  6. #6
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    As said above, newer, grippier tyres and a new fork would improve it.

    Even a relatively cheap fork like a Rockshox Tora would be a massive improvement on the Judy (they don't do 80mm versions as far as I know so check if your frame could take 100mm without messing the geometry or warranty).

    Start with the tyres though, it'll be cheaper and could solve the problems.

  7. #7
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    I have a '95 Trek 9900 OCLV hardtail that I still use (though I have other bikes too). A modern fork and some better tires can make a big difference. Modern forks are so much better than the old Judys (I recently put an 80mm Rock Shox Sid Race on mine). I recommend either a Sid or a Reba (you can get some deals on Ebay), but keep it at 80mm. You could go with a Tora 318, but it's a shame to put something that heavy on an OCLV hardtail. Then again, it's a shame be hauling a trailer with a bike like that. You can still get new Sids and Toras with brake bosses, otherwise you will need to go to a disc brake up front (you'll need a new front wheel or at least a hub).
    There are some great tires available today. Check to see what others are riding on your trails (especially others that seem to know what they are doing). If you want confidence, try a bigger tire up front, You can get some nice light 2.3 tires these days that work great for XC, but at least go 2.1 or bigger.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips. The lower air pressure one is great! Haha and cheap too. All these years I've been running 35lbs or so. I'll see what a difference 25 lbs makes. The Nevegals seem not suited for pavement.

    Good info on the 80mm shocks but they seem a little pricey for my use right now. Any opinion if the Rock Shox Dart 2 is worthwhile at $80 or so?

    And what wrong with the OCLV as a workhorse? So I converted a thoroughbred into a into a cross continent hauler - zero blisters and a comfy ride. Plus it is now hauling my two year old in a Burly Solo.

    I'll probably ride this bike 'til it or me breaks - hopefully not at the same time.

    And Jim, I looked for a pic for a carbon 9800 and couldn't find one that did it justice. Mine is a naked one from the late 90's. Same frame as the 9900.

  9. #9
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    I think its awesome that you are still using that bike, and even better if you can "refresh" it and keep it going further into the future. The Dart2 is probably on the same level as your 10yr old fork though. As an aftermarket upgrade they are almost never worth the money. A rigid fork in that price range would work great though

    Yeah, Nevegals wouldn't be that great on pavement. Neither will most tires that are designed for loose trail conditions and aggressive grip, in comparison with a smaller tire with less tread. Pumping your tires back up to high pressure when you get back on the road can make them feel a bit less sluggish though. Unfortunately you do have to find a compromise between trail and pavement unless you just keep two sets of tires. I ride on the road to and from my trails every time. I have a WTB Nano on the rear that is still in good condition after a year of this and does well on pavement and most trail conditions, but I would never trust it as a front tire. My favorite tire so far for loose trails has been the Panaracer Rampage 2.35 (kinda similar to a Nevegal), but I can definitely feel the drag on the road, it buzzes, and the pavement wears it down quicker than the Nano. The Maxxis Ardent 2.25 rolls surprisingly fast on pavement and does fairly well on loose trails. Maybe something in between like a Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 would do well for you?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    I think its awesome that you are still using that bike, and even better if you can "refresh" it and keep it going further into the future. The Dart2 is probably on the same level as your 10yr old fork though. As an aftermarket upgrade they are almost never worth the money. A rigid fork in that price range would work great though
    Thanks for the imput. I'm still riding that trusty steed not becuase I think it's the best bike out there, but it is for the money right now. I'd be on a RM Element 50 right now but with a two year old I don't have the time to ride to justify the cost of a new bike ($1650 for an '08!).

    But enouph of putting down the 9800. I like the ride it gives and so does my 43 year old back. A little tweaking and it could more than hold me over for a few years. After reading this site perhaps I should start to take better care of it and wash it once in a while. Maybe a wet sand too. Note taken on the Dart. Thanks. Maybe a rigid fork haha, with a 69"er. Lots of searching on this site to be done while the baby naps!

  11. #11
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    My older brother (age 60!) has a 9800 of about the same year as yours. Great lightweight hardtail. He has replaced the drivetrain and the original Judy shock which died a few years ago. He's racing it at the Fat Tire 40 in Hayward next month and he's worried that the frame is going to fail at some point.

    You have a classic bike, ride it as long as you safely can.

  12. #12
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    Also note that your Judy probably weighs just slightly over 3 pounds, while the Dart 2 weighs over 5 pounds. The Dart probably will perform a little better than the Judy though just because it does make use of more modern technology, and your Judy has probably seen better days (if your elastomers haven't started falling apart, they probably will soon).
    Don't apologize for your 9800, that is still a very nice bike. It would be a shame to put a Dart on it though. Watch for deals on a better fork or even a more modern used fork. In the mean time, get some better tires. I would suggest trying the Mutanoraptor 2.4 for the front because it runs nice on the road and is pretty good as a front tire for dry trails. I've found them on sale before about $20. However, if you keep the Judy, I'm not sure if a 2.4 will fit.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  13. #13
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    I had a 1996 9800 frame that I built up; what a great bike that was, and still would be if I never sold it (stupid stupid stupid)

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