Having a hard time picking the new bike component options which allow me to upgrade- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Having a hard time picking the new bike component options which allow me to upgrade

    So I'm looking at buying my first new bike in over 15 years. I'm looking at an IBIS ripley. Here are my two options:

    Here are my two builds I'm debating between. Option 1 is +$900 over Option 2 but I really like the fact Shimano shifts better under load and also can shift two gears with one thumb press.

    Option 1
    SLX build
    XT shifter upgrade (I like the double shift)
    Carbon bars
    Factory suspensions upgrade
    Bike Yoke dropper (these are on backorder 8 weeks) we can substitute a PNW with a loam lever or possibly a Fox
    S35 wheels
    SLX brakes

    Option 2
    NX build with
    Dropper upgrade
    Carbon bars
    Suspension upgrade
    GX Eagle cassette
    GX Eagle crank

    Carbon wheels with I9 hydra hub add roughly 1150 which I'm not sure is good enough deal considering I can probably do lighter wheels for cheaper no and I'm not a huge fan of that noisy hub.

    I'm kind of annoyed with how much more the SLX is compared to NX. It almost feels like I should buy the NX and then buy a XT groupset from another vendor and ship it to him and throw it on the bike for the same cost, right?


    Thoughts? on what you'd do?

    Also what do I do about the dropper post? Who makes a good dropper besides One up?

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    If youíre looking for an upgrade path and you like Shimano get the Shimano build and donít complain about it. Bike Yoke is a fine dropper, but if they canít get them they canít get them. I have a PNW dropper that Iíve never had an issue with. I hear lots of crap about a lot of droppers but the only two I have experience with are the cheap cartridge type that Giant uses (which work fine, by the way, never had an issue with it either) and the PNW I bought because itís one of the only externally routed droppers available that fits the frame I put it on. Again, zero issues, and I though very reasonably priced as well.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jank View Post
    Carbon wheels with I9 hydra hub add roughly 1150 which I'm not sure is good enough deal considering I can probably do lighter wheels for cheaper no and I'm not a huge fan of that noisy hub.

    I'm kind of annoyed with how much more the SLX is compared to NX. It almost feels like I should buy the NX and then buy a XT groupset from another vendor and ship it to him and throw it on the bike for the same cost, right?


    Thoughts? on what you'd do?

    Also what do I do about the dropper post? Who makes a good dropper besides One up?
    A few thoughts:

    Shimano vs SRAM is completely up to your own preferences. I like the ergonomics of my SRAM GX Shifter and am overall happy enough with it that I don't think I'd swap out the drivetrain to Shimano when it is time to start replacing things. As I am sure you are aware, Shimano and SRAM use different drivers on the rear hub for the cassette, so switching between the two at a later time does have some cost involved. One other thing about NX: since it has the 11-50 cassette, it does not use the SRAM XD driver. So you cannot upgrade this to GX or higher without an additional investment either.

    What you didn't say anything about are brakes, and for my money I would go with Shimano brakes regardless of which drivetrain you go with. Again, that is entirely a matter of personal opinion. I have a set of 2018 SRAM Guides, and while the modulation on them is nice, they do not have the one finger stopping power of my Shimano XT M8020s.

    Dropper Post: I've been running a PNW Components Bachelor post for a year and a half. I love that it uses an air cartridge and the only maintenance I've done on it so far is adding air every 5-6 months. I have a Wolftooth lever (Loam lever wasn't out when I bought this) - I wouldn't hesitate to get the Loam lever if I were purchasing now. I think PNW Components is a great company - I have no hesitation recommending their products, and they would be at the top of my list if I were in the market now. Interestingly, I used the Bikeyoke Revive seatpost on a rental bike last fall, and I will say it was nice. The revive feature works really well; the only disappointing part was that I actually had to use it.

    Wheels: For $1150 upgrade, I would seriously consider going with something offered by BTLOS, or an equivalent Chinese company. I got my entire wheelset for $1100 (including shipping and Paypal fees) from them, which included DT Swiss 240s hubs with the 54T upgrade. If you go this route, you get to choose the rim and hub that you want, and you have a backup wheelset. If you aren't comfortable going direct to China, maybe look at offerings from We Are One or Nox. I love the DT Swiss star ratchet hubs - they are mechanically simple and super easy to service. They don't have the high POE that I9 or King offer, but I've come to realize that even for my east coast rock grinding, it just doesn't matter that much. 54T and even 36T has been sufficient for the riding that I do.

    Good luck - all this stuff works really well so it is really just a matter of figuring out what best serves your needs and wants.

  4. #4
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    Shifting for an RD is independent of load. All the load (chain tension) is in the top run of chain. The tension in the lower run, where the shifting occurs, is only due to the RD cage spring and doesn't change no matter how hard you're standing on the crank.

    The lower run of chain is moved and crossed between the previous cog to a different cog by the RD , then the cassette rotates ~ 180 degrees and the crossed chain has to release from the cog it was on to the new cog. This occurs on the upper run of the chain under tension depending on how hard you're pedaling. It's kinda brutal on the chain and the cassette so should be minimized.

    SRAM, Shimano, Box, Rotor, etc, are no different in this regard.
    What, me worry?

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jank View Post
    Thoughts? on what you'd do?
    I'd buy the Shimano build because I prefer Shimano. As to the dropper post, I'm less picky, as long as the post works. It also seems like I have dropper fit concerns, so my primary consideration anytime a dropper post is part of the decision for me is whether it fits (for me) or not. I don't buy Santa Cruz bikes because they fit me weird. I need to size up to get a frame that fits, but then the dropper is too long. Most shops, IME, don't do enough to help out in fit problems like this without making me pay more to resolve it. I have a Oneup V1 on my most recent bike. Sure, it's a little less refined than some others, but with fit a primary consideration for me, it was the post that made the most sense.

    Further, there's a lot of little things that go along with the Shimano v. SRAM changes between those two builds. And those little things add up.

    There's quite a difference between SLX brakes and Level T brakes.
    The dropper posts are different. You're throwing some upgrades on, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Shifting for an RD is independent of load. All the load (chain tension) is in the top run of chain. The tension in the lower run, where the shifting occurs, is only due to the RD cage spring and doesn't change no matter how hard you're standing on the crank.

    The lower run of chain is moved and crossed between the previous cog to a different cog by the RD , then the cassette rotates ~ 180 degrees and the crossed chain has to release from the cog it was on to the new cog. This occurs on the upper run of the chain under tension depending on how hard you're pedaling. It's kinda brutal on the chain and the cassette so should be minimized.

    SRAM, Shimano, Box, Rotor, etc, are no different in this regard.
    After spending the past yr+ on Shimano 12spd, I'll say that the shifting under load aspect of HG+ chains/cassettes appears to mostly be on the UPshift. It's only marginally smoother under load on the downshift, and you can still mess things up if you're dumb about your shifting. But when you're putting power down and you want to upshift to keep the power on, it works much more smoothly than other drivetrains. The overall effect under most riding situations is that shifts feel like they execute more smoothly. When easing up on power while shifting (the way you're supposed to), I honestly feel like the shift is so smooth and precise that it feels very near electronic level.

    Yes, you still need to take care when shifting, but the larger effect is that shifts just feel nicer.

  6. #6
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    I really struggle buying complete bikes as it always seems you can do better assembling yourself. IMHO Shimano 12sp > SRAM 12sp, Fox Factory not worth the $$$ upgrade over Performance and Fox 34 with Fit dampers suck royally. The Pike Ultimate is in another league.

    Ripley frame: $2,800
    FULL XT build kit from Merlin: $600 (brakes included)
    Chinese carbon wheels with DT 240 hubs ~$1k
    Dropper - your call
    Pike Ultimate for the win!

    Going this route gives you a lot of extra latitude to pick the saddle, bar, grips, tires, stem, etc you want while still saving a bundle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    I really struggle buying complete bikes as it always seems you can do better assembling yourself. IMHO Shimano 12sp > SRAM 12sp, Fox Factory not worth the $$$ upgrade over Performance and Fox 34 with Fit dampers suck royally. The Pike Ultimate is in another league.

    Ripley frame: $2,800
    FULL XT build kit from Merlin: $600 (brakes included)
    Chinese carbon wheels with DT 240 hubs ~$1k
    Dropper - your call
    Pike Ultimate for the win!

    Going this route gives you a lot of extra latitude to pick the saddle, bar, grips, tires, stem, etc you want while still saving a bundle.
    This is true once you hit a certain price point. Given that the fork is almost $800, the dropper is probably $250+, grips/handlebar/stem/saddle are probably $300+ and then tires for the Ripley you used as an example above you are already close to $6k. When I was pricing out a bike, at $5k it just made more sense to buy the full bike rather than building it up yourself. If your budget is $6k+ or if you have access to a good discount, then building it up yourself starts making more sense.

    I swear though that the top end builds that companies are offering are priced just to see if you are crazy enough to pay them for it. The $10K builds seem way over-priced compared to buying the parts and building the frame up yourself.

  8. #8
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    Need to compare apples to apples though. An XT build with carbon wheels from Ibis is $7k+. With skilled shopping you can do a carbon wheeled XT Ripley for $6k easy. Not being stuck with the crap Fox Fit damper fork makes it worth the hassle.


    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    This is true once you hit a certain price point. Given that the fork is almost $800, the dropper is probably $250+, grips/handlebar/stem/saddle are probably $300+ and then tires for the Ripley you used as an example above you are already close to $6k. When I was pricing out a bike, at $5k it just made more sense to buy the full bike rather than building it up yourself. If your budget is $6k+ or if you have access to a good discount, then building it up yourself starts making more sense.

    I swear though that the top end builds that companies are offering are priced just to see if you are crazy enough to pay them for it. The $10K builds seem way over-priced compared to buying the parts and building the frame up yourself.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    Need to compare apples to apples though. An XT build with carbon wheels from Ibis is $7k+. With skilled shopping you can do a carbon wheeled XT Ripley for $6k easy. Not being stuck with the crap Fox Fit damper fork makes it worth the hassle.
    The new Ripleys builds with the Factory fork upgrade are shipping out with the Factory 34 grip 2 damper. Iíve been really pleased with the fork.

  10. #10
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    Thats good news. That is an upgrade that is worth the $$. I have time on the Grip 2 on a 36 and thought it was nice.



    Quote Originally Posted by thenry View Post
    The new Ripleys builds with the Factory fork upgrade are shipping out with the Factory 34 grip 2 damper. Iíve been really pleased with the fork.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jank View Post
    So I'm looking at buying my first new bike in over 15 years. I'm looking at an IBIS ripley. Here are my two options:

    Here are my two builds I'm debating between. Option 1 is +$900 over Option 2 but I really like the fact Shimano shifts better under load and also can shift two gears with one thumb press.

    Option 1
    SLX build
    XT shifter upgrade (I like the double shift)
    Carbon bars
    Factory suspensions upgrade
    Bike Yoke dropper (these are on backorder 8 weeks) we can substitute a PNW with a loam lever or possibly a Fox
    S35 wheels
    SLX brakes

    Option 2
    NX build with
    Dropper upgrade
    Carbon bars
    Suspension upgrade
    GX Eagle cassette
    GX Eagle crank

    Carbon wheels with I9 hydra hub add roughly 1150 which I'm not sure is good enough deal considering I can probably do lighter wheels for cheaper no and I'm not a huge fan of that noisy hub.

    I'm kind of annoyed with how much more the SLX is compared to NX. It almost feels like I should buy the NX and then buy a XT groupset from another vendor and ship it to him and throw it on the bike for the same cost, right?


    Thoughts? on what you'd do?

    Also what do I do about the dropper post? Who makes a good dropper besides One up?
    I have option 1 minus the carbon wheels and am very happy. The SLX has worked flawless.

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