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Thread: Upgrade dilemma

  1. #1
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    Upgrade dilemma

    I'm currently facing a dilemma with my bike. I own a 2008 Giant Anthem and I'm not sure if I should keep putting upgrades on it or wait a bit and buy a brand new bike. I really like my Anthem but after trying a Tallboy LT for 2 days a few weeks ago I feel like my 3.5" rear / 80mm front travel isn't really enough anymore. Also, I'm stuck to a maximum of 2.2" tires on the rear and would like something bigger sometimes. It's down to 24.4 lbs right now with the few upgrades I've done.

    Anthem 1 2008 Medium
    3x9 Shimano XT gearset / derailleur (11-34 cassette)
    KMC X10 SL chain
    Shimano XT brakes M775
    Shimano Stainless steel 160mm rotors RT75 6 bolts F/R
    Fox 32 Float RL 80MM
    Fox Float RP2
    Race Face Evolve XC seatpost and Stem (100mm)
    Ritchey Superlogic 660mm riser handlebar
    Ritchey foam grips
    WTB Silverado saddle
    Continental X-King Racesport 2.2 Front / Rear
    Maxxis Flyweight tubes (may retry Tubeless with Stan someday...)
    Tacx Tao Ultralight Bottle Cage
    CatEye Enduro 8 (real old but still do the job perfectly!)

    Wheelset = 1370g
    Light Bicycle XC rims
    Sapim Laser spokes (28 F/28 R)
    Sapim poly-Ax Alloy nipples
    WTB Laserdisc Lite hubs


    Switching the Fox fork to something like a SID with 100mm of travel would remove around 400g off the bike.

    Switching the seat post and the stem could also remove a few more grams.

    Getting another crank like an XTR or a Race Face Next SL would also remove a lot of weight.

    But is it really worth it? Or should a just wait and buy a brand new bike in a year or two and build it the way I want it right from the start?

    What would you do?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    But is it really worth it?
    That's the hardest question. I just did tubeless, now I wish I'd done it long ago, when I first started considering it....

    My criteria for upgrading:

    -Is it cheap/free?

    -Does it NEED to be replaced? (ie, is it broken/worn out/ not working right anymore...)

    -Is it holding me back? This is the hard one sometimes. My current brakes work as designed, but they suck, very on/off, made worse by going tubeless (less momentum in the wheel?) so I feel I'm going slower than I could downhill, so better brakes are next, weight is one criteria, flawless operation is #1. Also, going tubeless has significantly improved my climbing, (again, less momentum in the wheel?) from one day to the next, so it's not my fitness that changed. The bike actually out-rode me today.

    -is it good bang for the buck? If it's something I want, it better be a good value it. I want an XT/XTR shadow rear derailleur, but my current XT works just fine, so unless I find one at a deep discount, I'll wait till this one moves up to the "needs to be replaced" column.



    SOOOOOO, how does this apply to you? Is your current bike holding you back in your riding? Do you feel you could go faster if the bike performed better? Since you like your bike I'd wager no. You just WANT a new bike. If you find a great deal, jump on it

    On your current bike, try 1x9, just leave it in the middle ring for a few rides, if you don't NEEEED the big/small ring, yank them. I lost over a pound, same cranks (xtr). Your original middle ring will work while you're deciding if you like it. Then get a narrow-wide 1x9/10 specific ring to eliminate dropping the chain and pull the front mechanisms. Sell them on ebay. I climbed sections in 1x9 today that I had a hard time with in the granny gear 5 days ago (faster=more momentum=smoother??)

    My float RL is 100mm, you may be able to adjust the travel, check it out. For the cost of a spacer or 2 vs a new fork, may be worth it.

    Basically, which criteria are most important to you? Put them in order and see where each upgrade falls on the list. If it works out to be more beneficial to buy a whole new bike, do it.

  3. #3
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    Tubeless, seatpost, stem, saddle are all inexpensive and you can drop a good amount of weight.
    I just went to 1x9 from 3x9 and dropped over a lb as well on my bike.

  4. #4
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    3x9 is there to stay or be converted to 3x10. I would be ready to try a 2x10 setup but I don't see any big benefit except the weight. 1x9 or 1x10 isn't an option here. To slow on the road to get to the trail and it takes me alreay 30min at 30Km/h.

    I tried tubeless and was always burping so I don't really feel confident about doing a second try even if I'm not using the same tires / wheels anymore.

    I won't change my saddle for sure. It's a bit on the heavy side but I can ride may hours on it (3+) and still be ok. I put a Selle Italia SLR XC Flow on my road bike and after 2h I really feel it.

    So the big driver right now is getting more travel (at least on the front) and keep going down on the weight side. Being able to use bigger tires on the rear would be a bonus but not mandatory. But so far, no one seems to think the frame is outdated which leads me to a new fork with more travel. I still want more input!

  5. #5
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    try the middle ring+ smallest cog. I don't spin-out on any but the steepest hills with it. Doesn't cost anything to experiment. Plus, no front derailleur rub!

    I was reluctant for a long time, till worn rings forced me into 1x9 to finish a ride because of chain-suck. I've done about 100 miles on the road and don't miss the big ring at all.

    Update: Rode yesterday on my usual loop, didn't miss the granny ring at all. With the reduced weight (and going tubeless) I think I was actually faster.
    Last edited by shupack; 09-14-2013 at 09:52 AM. Reason: update

  6. #6
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    Upgrade dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by lRaphl View Post
    3x9 is there to stay or be converted to 3x10. I would be ready to try a 2x10 setup but I don't see any big benefit except the weight. 1x9 or 1x10 isn't an option here. To slow on the road to get to the trail and it takes me alreay 30min at 30Km/h.
    The main benefit of 2x10 is it shifts way smoother better and faster in the front than 3x10 or 2x9.

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    I tried staying on the middle ring on a 3h ride this weekend and on the trail it definitely would work out perfectly. The only exception is on long flat sections and on the road where I would need something a bit faster like a 34 chain ring but doing that would require a 11-36 cassette instead of a 11-34.

    It didn't take long to go off topic but since the option seems interesting, I would like to know what you guys woulds recommend to get in order to switch to 1x9 or 1x10?

    Is Wolf Touth the best option on the front?

    I don't know any 11-36 9 speed cassette so would I have to switch to a 10 speed gear set on the rear?

    I've read that a Shadow+ or Type 2 rear derailleur work best but does normal derailleur also work fine?

    What works the best? SRAM X9 or Shimano XT derailleurs for 1x? I don't want to pay more than that if I switch to 1x10.

    I know it's not mandatory but I would like a chain guide as a protection for chain drop so what is the cheapest/lightest option?

    Any blog or video somewhere that shows a M770 crank converted to 1x ? I would like to see the end result.

    I still keep in mind that a longer travel fork would also benefit me even if the weight stays the same...any suggestions? RS SID or a longer travel Fox Float?

  8. #8
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    The ONLY thing I swapped out was the spider and ring. I had to swap the spider because of the 112mm 4bolt spider on the m952 cranks, on your m770's it should be 104mm, so any ring will work, Single Speed specific will work better, but you can use your current ring unless it's worn.

    Took off the front mechanical bits and it's 1x9. I shortened my chain by 2 links and re-clocked the rear der spring while servicing per this:

    Park Tool Co. Rear Derailleur Overhaul,

    I do want to work up a chain-guide, I've dropped it twice so far, but no big deal to put back on. Hasn't dropped while pedaling.

  9. #9
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    I was thinking about this before lunch and was wondering if a tire like a X-King Racesport 2.4 on the front would make me forget about getting a longer travel? Any input?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lRaphl View Post
    I tried staying on the middle ring on a 3h ride this weekend and on the trail it definitely would work out perfectly. The only exception is on long flat sections and on the road where I would need something a bit faster like a 34 chain ring but doing that would require a 11-36 cassette instead of a 11-34.

    It didn't take long to go off topic but since the option seems interesting, I would like to know what you guys woulds recommend to get in order to switch to 1x9 or 1x10?

    Is Wolf Touth the best option on the front?

    I don't know any 11-36 9 speed cassette so would I have to switch to a 10 speed gear set on the rear?

    I've read that a Shadow+ or Type 2 rear derailleur work best but does normal derailleur also work fine?

    What works the best? SRAM X9 or Shimano XT derailleurs for 1x? I don't want to pay more than that if I switch to 1x10.

    I know it's not mandatory but I would like a chain guide as a protection for chain drop so what is the cheapest/lightest option?

    Any blog or video somewhere that shows a M770 crank converted to 1x ? I would like to see the end result.

    I still keep in mind that a longer travel fork would also benefit me even if the weight stays the same...any suggestions? RS SID or a longer travel Fox Float?
    Glad to see you considering a 1X setup. Not only are you losing the weight, it's just simpler to deal with a single shifter.

    I was running a 32T Widgit (chainring with ALU sides to hold the chain), and while you don't need a chain guide, I found the Widgit was hard to clean. (Can't really get at the chainring sandwiched between the sides.)

    I moved to a Wolftooth ring last month, and really like it. However, they recommend a RD with a clutch, so I bought an XTR. I don't believe your existing RD is clutched, so that's a cost to consider.

    Re the cadence on the road to the trail, I have the same issue. I do get spun out if I'm on a slightly downhill road section, but the 32T is about perfect for me on the trails. That said, you mentioned you can maintain 30km/h for 30 mins to get to your trails. If you really can maintain that pace (and it's not mostly downhill speed) then you can likely handle a 34T Wolftooth. You'll get more top end, and with those uber legs you should still be fine in the bush.

  11. #11
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    Is the Race Face Narrow-Wide single chainring a good option? Would get it for cheaper than the Wolftooth!

    Weight seems to be nice also:
    http://r2-bike.com/bilder/produkte/g...fach-rot_1.jpg

  12. #12
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    Just ordered a few parts to convert to 1x10.

    M786 XT rear derailleur GS (medium cage)
    XT 11-36 cassette
    M780 XT 10 speed right hand shifter
    Raceface narrow wide 34T

    Total 254.96$ CAD

    I already have a new KMC X10SL chain at home waiting to be installed. So with this, all my gear set will be brand new.

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    Sweet. I'm considering the same. My cassette/chain are getting close to needing a refresh, I want a clutch derailleur and my shifter sticks between 7,8&9, sometimes.

    May as well go 10spd at the same time

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lRaphl View Post
    Just ordered a few parts to convert to 1x10.

    M786 XT rear derailleur GS (medium cage)
    XT 11-36 cassette
    M780 XT 10 speed right hand shifter
    Raceface narrow wide 34T

    Total 254.96$ CAD

    I already have a new KMC X10SL chain at home waiting to be installed. So with this, all my gear set will be brand new.
    Nice! Let us know how the 34T goes. Post some pics!

  15. #15
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    Today I received all my parts. I will just need to find the time to do the work on the bike.

    So here is a picture of everything!

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2964.jpg

    Sorry for the bad quality, it's night here and I don't have good light sources in the house.


    Now the question, how long must be my chain? Is it still bigest gears F/R +2 links? I've read on Wolftooth FAQ bigest gears F/R +4.

    Just want to make sure I cut the chain the right lenght.

    Thank!

  16. #16
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    I'll check my chain once I have a chance.

  17. #17
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    I have 55 links in my chain (including quick link), and that's on a 32T, 11-56, 1X10 setup. I'd start slightly longer, and work back from there to test.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lRaphl View Post

    Now the question, how long must be my chain? Is it still bigest gears F/R +2 links? I've read on Wolftooth FAQ bigest gears F/R +4.

    Just want to make sure I cut the chain the right lenght.

    Thank!
    I don't see why it would be different, if RF didn't specify, go with the instructions that came with the rear mech, which I assume would be big/big +2, as it has been for a long time. 2 more links will just decrease tension on the chain, leading to a better chance of dropping it.

  19. #19
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    Now upgraded to 1x10

    I finaly found the time to change the parts on my bike and make it 1x10. I did a 30Km ride tonight to find out if everything was fine and also to start testing it a bit on rough terrain. So far I really like it. The bike seems easier to pedal for the same speed as before and the noise is kept really low. It also shift better than my old 9 speed drivetrain. I went to a small section of trail where I was earing a lot of chain slap before and I was a bit amazed to find out that there was no chain slap anymore!! The Race Face narrow wide chainring is also looking nice and did its job for a first ride. Here are a few pictures of before and after the modification:

    Before:
    Upgrade dilemma-img_2965.jpg

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2966.jpg

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2967.jpg

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2968.jpg




    After:
    Upgrade dilemma-img_2969.jpg

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2970.jpg

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2971.jpg

    Upgrade dilemma-img_2972.jpg



    Note that I've put the rear derailleur switch to ON after taking the pictures. I also changed my grips for new ones while doing the job since the old ones were in need of replacement. I also cut my rear tire sidewall on a rock and put back a Race King SS 2.0 I had. Now the bike is at 23.8 lbs so I dropped a bit more than 1/2 lbs with this

  20. #20
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    I forgot to say last night that I went with big gears F/R +4 links since SRAM is also recommending that with their 1x11 setup.

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    Nice - feels good to drop the front derailleur, doesn't it?

  22. #22
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    For now I would say it's interesting. After tonight's ride I will be able to say if it feels nice or not since I will go in our local regional XC race trail!

  23. #23
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    It definitely looks much cleaner!

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    Well, after the real test...

    On the trail:
    No chain dropped. Didn't need the 36T on the rear but used the 32T. Would need the 36T if I was doing the track backward at one place so I definitely made the right choice with 34T front and 11-36 rear. I still need to get used to it in some areas where I was just moving the front derailleur. Now I need to change 3 gears on the rear instead but I still managed to do a time on par with what I'm doing on normal times.

    On the road:
    With a little back wind I was cruising at 38-40Km/h last night when going back home. I was spinning just fast enough to not bounce on my saddle. A bigger front ring would have given me more room but it was still pretty fast like that. I almost catched up a guy on his road bike but he turned on another road just before getting in his wheel!

    The end result is that I like it!

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