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  1. #1
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    Upgrades vs. a new bike?

    My son has a '13 Breezer Lighting 29er. He's wanting a new bike, but at this point I really don't want to buy him a new bike, this year anyway. He is currently riding a medium at about 5'7"-5'8", and will be ready for a large in the next year or so. I don't want to buy him two bikes in a year, I'm not made of money, I just bought myself a new bike a few months ago, and I just don't think my marriage would survive. What I want to do is make some upgrades to his current bike that might be a little more trail friendly, we are going to be riding a good bit in Pisgah and Dupont this summer. The three main things are a new (used) 120mm fork from 100mm, a dropper post (limited options because 27.2 seat tube?), and wider wheels, he currently has 19mm, would like to bump that to 23mm. Right now the only change from stock is 760mm bars and a 60mm stem that were on there when we got the bike.

    TL;DR
    Is it possible to upgrade parts on an older bike without killing the handling?
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  2. #2
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    What's your approximate budget? In theory he's good on a medium to 5'10 or 5'11 or so.

    That's a serviceable bike but definitely has a slightly steep headtube angle compared to more AM'ish geometry.

    Personally, I'd jump on ebay for the wheels and the fork. They're still not going to be dirt cheap but you should easily be able to find some ~30mm external width wheels. It's clearly XC geometry, so unless he is hucking it all over the place, I'd personally find a SID or Reba to replace whatever you have. Fork is totally preferential but these are easy to find, easy to service, and work well.

    KS and a few others make 27.2 droppers, they are typically somewhat limited in travel compared to wider ones but still completely functional. This is one I'd be skeptical purchasing if you plan on replacing the bike in the somewhat near future. Almost no new bikes have 27.2 seat tubes. They do retain value fairly well if they still properly function, but it's an expensive upgrade for sure.
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  3. #3
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    My question would be, is that what he wants, if he wanted a down hill bike ,then you would wasting your money. What would those upgrades be getting him,i.e. would they really be that much of an improvement. Yes it's possible , but you could guess by looking at how the angles would change. If you build new wheels with the wider rims ,I would build some nice ones with the idea of being able to move them to the new bike when ever it comes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    My question would be, is that what he wants, if he wanted a down hill bike ,then you would wasting your money. What would those upgrades be getting him,i.e. would they really be that much of an improvement.
    That's a good point. If he wants a AM or DH bike, just make him tough it out and replace anything that breaks until he stops growing or is close enough to justify a new one.
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  5. #5
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    I'd say yes to the dropper and the wider rims for sure, I'd check if the fork can't be extended out to 120mm - you didn't say what it was, so speculating it can do this. Check CRC for some good deals on rims, they have quite a few in the 30mm area around $50 US per, so if you're lucky and they have the same or slightly less ERD, you could even re-use the spokes with new nipples. Dropper selection will be limited in that size, but still a few out there.

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  6. #6
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    Budget is around $6-700 for everything. Current fork is a Reba, but it can't be extended to 120mm, I checked. I plan on buying the fork used on Pink Bike or eBay, with a 15mm TA if possible since I want to get him new wheels anyway. Wheels I'm not going to break the bank on, just because the frame is QR, and all modern bikes are going to Boost spacing. This is just a temporary solution, and I realize I won't get nearly back what I put into it when it comes time to sell it and I'm okay with that. Probably my biggest concern is the fork, will it change the geometry too much and make it unrideable? I'm unsure of how adding travel affects geometry, I just know it slackens out the HA.
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  7. #7
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    Nah, a 20mm increase in fork travel will raise the BB probably 10-15mm depending on what fork you get as the Reba's are notorious for having tall A2C for a specific travel compared to other brands. The other thing it will do is shorten the Reach a tad and slacken the STA, so you will need to either flip the stem to a neg rise or drop it 10mm or so if there's enough spacers underneath it.Also depending on your son's growth and if you've already moved his saddle to accommodate leg growth, might need to slide it forward on the rails a tad.

    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    Budget is around $6-700 for everything. Current fork is a Reba, but it can't be extended to 120mm, I checked. I plan on buying the fork used on Pink Bike or eBay, with a 15mm TA if possible since I want to get him new wheels anyway. Wheels I'm not going to break the bank on, just because the frame is QR, and all modern bikes are going to Boost spacing. This is just a temporary solution, and I realize I won't get nearly back what I put into it when it comes time to sell it and I'm okay with that. Probably my biggest concern is the fork, will it change the geometry too much and make it unrideable? I'm unsure of how adding travel affects geometry, I just know it slackens out the HA.
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  8. #8
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    You could say no to him?

    Does he need a new bike or just want one? I'm all for getting kids the kit they need to encourage them, especially in healthy activities, but if he's getting a new bike next year, do you really want to drop hundreds into the old one? That cash could go towards a better bike next year.

  9. #9
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    i just upgraded my 29er to 275+ and its like a whole new bike. that could be one option you could look in to

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameden View Post
    i just upgraded my 29er to 275+ and its like a whole new bike.
    Just wait until you upgrade to 26''!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameden View Post
    i just upgraded my 29er to 275+ and its like a whole new bike. that could be one option you could look in to
    It's just about the coolest thing I can think of, besides going 27.5 to 26+

    The one problem I have with the latter idea is that my back frame is 2.75 inches wide where the 26+ tire would fit, so I may have to settle for 26+ front 27.5 standard rear.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    My son has a '13 Breezer Lighting 29er. He's wanting a new bike, but at this point I really don't want to buy him a new bike, this year anyway. He is currently riding a medium at about 5'7"-5'8", and will be ready for a large in the next year or so. I don't want to buy him two bikes in a year, I'm not made of money, I just bought myself a new bike a few months ago, and I just don't think my marriage would survive. What I want to do is make some upgrades to his current bike that might be a little more trail friendly, we are going to be riding a good bit in Pisgah and Dupont this summer. The three main things are a new (used) 120mm fork from 100mm, a dropper post (limited options because 27.2 seat tube?), and wider wheels, he currently has 19mm, would like to bump that to 23mm. Right now the only change from stock is 760mm bars and a 60mm stem that were on there when we got the bike.

    TL;DR
    Is it possible to upgrade parts on an older bike without killing the handling?

    This is a really interesting group of questions.

    When you say handling, do you mean on a relatively level surface on a twisty trail or downhill handling? Trail handling could mean XC stuff or going downhill, two different things.

    I upgraded from 100mm to 120mm and downhill it's much nicer, but on a more XC course I didn't get any better times, so what kind of riding does your son like? Downhill or more casual fun twisty stuff? If it's the latter, no need to spend money going 20mm more, I just don't see that being worth it.

    What is the problem with 19mm rims? What size tires does he currently have? 19mm to 23mm is fine but again, just like the fork it's kind of baby steps, it's not a real upgrade is it? Ironically I just got 24mm rims too so I'm not criticizing the upgrade but that was to specifically try wider tires on, not just to have better cornering or anything. So it really depends on your son's riding style if any of the above plans are worth it. What is he complaining about for riding, if anything?
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  13. #13
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    Upgrades vs. a new bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    This is a really interesting group of questions.

    When you say handling, do you mean on a relatively level surface on a twisty trail or downhill handling? Trail handling could mean XC stuff or going downhill, two different things.

    I upgraded from 100mm to 120mm and downhill it's much nicer, but on a more XC course I didn't get any better times, so what kind of riding does your son like? Downhill or more casual fun twisty stuff? If it's the latter, no need to spend money going 20mm more, I just don't see that being worth it.

    What is the problem with 19mm rims? What size tires does he currently have? 19mm to 23mm is fine but again, just like the fork it's kind of baby steps, it's not a real upgrade is it? Ironically I just got 24mm rims too so I'm not criticizing the upgrade but that was to specifically try wider tires on, not just to have better cornering or anything. So it really depends on your son's riding style if any of the above plans are worth it. What is he complaining about for riding, if anything?
    The biggest reason for the upgrades is to enhance handling downhill. He does okay on our local central NC trails, but we are going to be spending a bit of time in Pisgah and Dupont this summer, with more sustained rougher descents. I was looking for a little more travel in the fork, and a little bit wider tire (2.2 F/R to 2.3 R 2.5F) so he can run a little lower pressure to smooth things out a little and corner a little better. The dropper obviously isnít a need, but I thought of giving it to him as a reward for working his butt off this NICA season.


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  14. #14
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    That bike has a 71* head tube angle. That's what's bugging him on downhills. You have to be concentrating on the front tracking all the time to get down fast bumpy runs. It'll get worse at Pisgah. Unless you rent for that riding.

    If the fork is a 13 dual air Reba start messing with more negative air pressure to tune it. That's a quality fork.
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    19mm inner rim width is very fold over prone if you try to get traction by lowering front tire pressure. One of the rims Lynk listed at 29 or 30mm inner would make a dramatic change when paired with a rounded profile high volume tire at lower pressure. I recommend a lot a 2.35 Bontrager XR2 Team with a 35mm rim. 30 would also work. That combo at 14psi will not fold over. It'll slowly slide out in curves. But the tread patch is big for good traction climbing and in curves.
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...-tire/p/11866/

  15. #15
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    If I were him, I'd just wait and get something that much better.

    Industry is making upgrades simultaneously expensive and worthless.

  16. #16
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    As you know I have that same frame. I have a X-Fusion Slide on mine with the travel set at 120 mm. It is a good fork, kind of a set and forget type fork. You are limited to what ever straight 1 1/8 steer tube fork because of the frame. The X-Fusion Slide has been a really good fork for me and I used to weigh 275# . As far as handling goes the 51mm offset on the fork made up the difference in handling from using a 120 vs. 100 mm fork.

    I have a WTB Breakout 29x2.3 tire on the back and it will rub the seat and chain stays during hard cornering. There is just not enough clearance for a tire larger than 2.25 back there. So converting to a 27.5+ is out of the question. Your current wheelset is fine for the tires that you are able to use considering the limitations with the frame. There is no reason to get another set.

    After saying all of that it would be my recommendation to not do anything with the bike if you are trying to get it usable for Pisgah. From what I've seen on videos the trails can be pretty rough. The bike will probably be over matched on those trails. I recently got a Trek Stache and the difference between the two bikes is almost night and day. If you are planning on getting him a new bike next year any way just save your money. Instead I would suggest renting him a more capable bike while you are there.

    Another option would be to buy an all mountain hardtail like this. https://www.commencalusa.com/meta-ht...18-c2x23712343
    It is just a little bit more than your budget but it would be a better value than upgrading the Breezer.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    Budget is around $6-700 for everything. Current fork is a Reba, but it can't be extended to 120mm, I checked. I plan on buying the fork used on Pink Bike or eBay, with a 15mm TA if possible since I want to get him new wheels anyway. Wheels I'm not going to break the bank on, just because the frame is QR, and all modern bikes are going to Boost spacing. This is just a temporary solution, and I realize I won't get nearly back what I put into it when it comes time to sell it and I'm okay with that. Probably my biggest concern is the fork, will it change the geometry too much and make it unrideable? I'm unsure of how adding travel affects geometry, I just know it slackens out the HA.
    I'm going to disagree with most other folks here. Put the money into the fork & dropper post and forget the wheels. A good suspension fork and dropper post will make far more significant improvements to the capabilities of the bike and the ride experience than an increase in rim width. 19mm rims are just fine as long as they're strong enough that he's not bashing them to pieces, let me put it this way, I spent years riding world cup DH courses with 19mm rims and it was just fine, the tires didn't fold and nothing exploded.

    As for forks, there's usually a bunch of Manitou Marvel Pro or Marvel Expert forks floating around on ebay. Get one. Beats the snot out of anything made by Fox or RS and you can get it at a bargain price. The damper in the Marvel is on par with what Fox and RS stuff in their top of the line forks, it'll give way better comfort & control compared to what you're currently running. Then grab a KS E-10-R dropper post along with suitable tires and call it done.

  18. #18
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    Unless there's something that he needs on his current bike. Save your money and get him a new bike in a year or two no point upgrading otherwise. Got pics of his current setup?
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  19. #19
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    No wrong solutions here, just different approaches to more fun on 2 wheels.
    Looking longterm it is save money time and no upgrades this year.
    Thinking strategicly 500 to 1000 bucks and he has a faster/safer summer on those Pisgah trails.
    For me I'd not spend money on that bike unless I've plans for it in the coming years.
    1 exception is a beefy knoby on the front. Max 2.3" size because a 2" knobby is going to hook up real good, and 2.6" is wasted on 19mm rims. What width can you even find in 26"?
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    What width can you even find in 26"?
    It's a 29er.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    What width can you even find in 26"?
    What width you looking for?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    The biggest reason for the upgrades is to enhance handling downhill. He does okay on our local central NC trails, but we are going to be spending a bit of time in Pisgah and Dupont this summer, with more sustained rougher descents. I was looking for a little more travel in the fork, and a little bit wider tire (2.2 F/R to 2.3 R 2.5F) so he can run a little lower pressure to smooth things out a little and corner a little better. The dropper obviously isnít a need, but I thought of giving it to him as a reward for working his butt off this NICA season.


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    Yes, if you are doing 2.5 front and did you say the rims are 19mm?, then 23 or 24mm would be better for sure. You'd be under 3x tire to rim; I'm doing 2.5 with a 24mm rim in front and it's been great but after 1000 miles it's starting to slip a little I've noticed lately. Kinda scary. Tread is still there but it's not gripping the way it did before. Will try 26 x 2.8 and see how that goes as a comparison. You could do a 27.5 x 2.8 on a narrow rim if you want, I don't think it's dangerous or anything, it's just not to most people's taste on here for tire to rim width.
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  23. #23
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    That looks to be a pretty big medium. I'm 6'2 and I would not want anything bigger. I say get all the upgrades! Then just nab a new frame later if the geo needs to change.

    Most of my friends do the craigslist 'rental' when they go out of town to ride something outside their bike's comfort zone. Buy something that will work, ride it, then sell it when you get back.

  24. #24
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    OP, check yer PMs.
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  25. #25
    MidnightBroomstickCowboy
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    There are tons of discounted components and wheelsets on popular online retailers ever since boost and metric shocks have taken over. You're son's bike is a perfect candidate for clearance deals.


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