How much would it cost to upgrade my drive chain and brake?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How much would it cost to upgrade my drive chain and brake?

    I have a 2019 Marlin 5, the bike does what I need it to do, but I'm curious on a few questions.

    What would I be looking at for the cheapest 1x setup, maybe a 1x11 or something? I know I would need a new rim w/ cassette, derailleurs, chain, shifters. Would I need a new crank too?

    How much would it cost to upgrade my rear brake to hydraulic?

    I will eventually probably upgrade to a FS bike in the years to come, but I'm just honestly curious to know the cost if I wanted to do something like this. I have Tourney components now, so whatever the next setup up would be. Would I be looking at $1000? $500? I know most of you will say just upgrade the bike and don't bother, and I very well may do that, but I'm just curious to know how much it would cost to make these changes on my existing bicycle.

    I was looking at some "Group Sets" that seem to come with everything besides the rear rim. Is that what I would have to purchase?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    You would need to get a new shifter, derailleur, crank (and probably bb), cassette, chain, and rear wheel (or have a new hub laced to your existing rim, but it's probably not worth the cost for that) since your current car is a free wheel and doesn't use a free hub. One of the biggest draw backs of upgrading your current bike is by the time you got mountain bike rated parts on it your have spent more than a bike with the parts already on it.

    This is a great bike to ride until things fail and when they won't be replaced by warranty anymore replace.

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  3. #3
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    well you can get a sunrace 11 speed group for 200ish. I don't know if you have a standard shimano drive so I don't know if you'd have to replace any part of your wheel.

    You can get an slx groupset in the 300ish range.

    You can get shimano hydraulic brakes as low as 40/wheel but the SLXs are really pretty nice for about 80/wheel plus an additional 20-30/wheel for inexpensive rotors.

    So basically you can get there for the low 300s plus labor or 450+ for a pretty nice set up including brakes. Maybe more if they have to change your cassette driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIcky View Post
    well you can get a sunrace 11 speed group for 200ish. I don't know if you have a standard shimano drive so I don't know if you'd have to replace any part of your wheel.

    You can get an slx groupset in the 300ish range.

    You can get shimano hydraulic brakes as low as 40/wheel but the SLXs are really pretty nice for about 80/wheel plus an additional 20-30/wheel for inexpensive rotors.

    So basically you can get there for the low 300s plus labor or 450+ for a pretty nice set up including brakes. Maybe more if they have to change your cassette driver.
    Apparently my rear is hydraulic as well (Tektro HD-275 hydraulic disc (13.5 & 15.5: Tektro HD-276 short reach lever). I wasn't aware of this.

    So I'm looking at around $200-$300 for a groupset, plus labor. I would need a new rim too, right? Can you point me in the direction of some links for parts I would need?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    Apparently my rear is hydraulic as well (Tektro HD-275 hydraulic disc (13.5 & 15.5: Tektro HD-276 short reach lever). I wasn't aware of this.

    So I'm looking at around $200-$300 for a groupset, plus labor. I would need a new rim too, right? Can you point me in the direction of some links for parts I would need?

    Thanks
    You don't necessarily need a new rim. It depends on what driver your current bike has. If it has a standard shimano driver, then no you don't need a new one.

    As far as sites, jensenusa, chainreaction, worldwide cyclery, colorado cyclist, competitive cyclist, there are more... those are a few off the top of my head. Basic amazon can do it too, but you have to know what you want pretty exactly- no one to answer questions.

    Pretty sure they all sell by groupset. Your LBS may not be too far off either (i've been surprised), especially if they're doing the labor.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIcky View Post
    You don't necessarily need a new rim. It depends on what driver your current bike has. If it has a standard shimano driver, then no you don't need a new one.

    As far as sites, jensenusa, chainreaction, worldwide cyclery, colorado cyclist, competitive cyclist, there are more... those are a few off the top of my head. Basic amazon can do it too, but you have to know what you want pretty exactly- no one to answer questions.

    Pretty sure they all sell by groupset. Your LBS may not be too far off either (i've been surprised), especially if they're doing the labor.
    How do I find out what type of driver my bike has? I was told because it's a freewheel with the cassette mounted to the wheel itself I would have to replace the entire rear wheel if I want to do a new drive chain. I could be wrong though! Thanks for the websites, I found a few different groupset builders.

  7. #7
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    Not sure it's worth it, but I would start here.

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/...oupsets?f=2258


    Or maybe take it back and exchange it for a better one.
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  8. #8
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    Looking at the Marlin 5...you'll need all drivetrain parts including the crankset. It'll be around 300-400 for a complete 1x group. Then you want to get a hydraulic brake for the rear. The Marlin 5 is a ~500 bike. If you don't install the parts yourself...you'll also have to add in labor...which adds even more to the total cost of the conversion.

    You're better off taking it back and putting that money towards one higher up in the food chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Looking at the Marlin 5...you'll need all drivetrain parts including the crankset. It'll be around 300-400 for a complete 1x group. Then you want to get a hydraulic brake for the rear. The Marlin 5 is a ~500 bike. If you don't install the parts yourself...you'll also have to add in labor...which adds even more to the total cost of the conversion.

    You're better off taking it back and putting that money towards one higher up in the food chain.
    Thanks for your reply. I should probably mention I didn't have plans to do this all at once. As far as install goes, I'm very mechanically inclined and used to race motocross my entire life. I could rebuild an entire Yz250 top end in 30 mins, and do my valves within an hour on my 450f. I think I can handle a bicycle, so no labor costs would be needed.

    I discovered my rear brake is hydraulic already so scratch that. My apologizes. You're right though, it could be cheaper long-term to just ride this bike until it's beat to shit and upgrade to a better one, I just wanted to know the cost. So do I need a new rear wheel or no?

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    A rear wheel that has a freewheel hub can't take a cassette. You need a new wheel. The big improvement would come from a good air fork. But your frame doesn't have a tapered head tube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    A rear wheel that has a freewheel hub can't take a cassette. You need a new wheel. The big improvement would come from a good air fork. But your frame doesn't have a tapered head tube.
    I thought my frame did have a tapered head tube, that means none of the Marlin's do?

    Anyways thanks for all the replies. I'll probably just ride the shit out of the bike and if something breaks weigh the costs of replacement vs upgrade bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I should probably mention I didn't have plans to do this all at once. As far as install goes, I'm very mechanically inclined and used to race motocross my entire life. I could rebuild an entire Yz250 top end in 30 mins, and do my valves within an hour on my 450f. I think I can handle a bicycle, so no labor costs would be needed.

    I discovered my rear brake is hydraulic already so scratch that. My apologizes. You're right though, it could be cheaper long-term to just ride this bike until it's beat to shit and upgrade to a better one, I just wanted to know the cost. So do I need a new rear wheel or no?

    Thanks
    You can find an off the books (serial numbers filed off...so no warranty) Eagle NX 12sp group on Aliexpress for $300. You can also find the Shimano 11sp SLX for under $250. If you need a new rear wheel ss EB mentioned...you'll need to add that to the cost also.

    What I will tell you is that a well assembled 1x group will perform much better than the Tourney. That alone can up the riding enjoyment no matter how basic the bike is.

  13. #13
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    Iíve recently learned a straight head tube need not limit fork options...an EC44/40 lower headset converts 44mm head-tube for use with tapered 1.5" 40mm crown race forks.

  14. #14
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    +1 for not wasting money trying to upgrade this bike. Ride it and wear everything out. Maybe some better pedals, saddle or grips that can transfer over but that's about it. Save the rest for the next bike.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  15. #15
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    *time out* before I go too much farther, how and where do you plan to ride this bike? Trek describes this bike "an ideal choice for new trail riders or anyone looking for a comfortable, stable commuter with the ruggedness of a real mountain bike." it's a very entry-level bike that is good at what it's designed to do, but not a whole lot more. Tourney level components and that fork are among the cheapest components you can buy that are not utter junk, and you get what you pay for. I am not taking a dump on this bike, just explaining its limitations.

    are you pushing your skills and fitness to ride trails that challenge you? if so, nothing on that bike is going to last long and replacing parts one at a time is going to get expensive fast. if you replace the fork, you will have limited options for the axle, unless you're willing to replace the front wheel too. I can't tell if the frame has a head tube that will take a tapered fork. every other part of the bike is going to have a similar story that will cost you three to four times the cost of the whole bike in short order. if you like tinkering and you're willing to build a custom bike that could cost quite a bit more than a comparable complete bike but without the hassle and time away from riding while you wait for the right parts to complete the project, then proceed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    I should probably mention I didn't have plans to do this all at once.
    for the drivetrain, you can't replace one part at a time. the new parts won't work with the old parts. all of those parts are designed for 7-speed only.

    you have a 7-speed freewheel, so you would need a new rear wheel (not just the rim) to update it to something with a freehub to use anything with more gears. after that, you need a new cassette, crankset, chainring (if the crankset does not come with one), bottom bracket (if not included with the cranks), chain, shifter, derailleur, and you might as well replace the cable and housing while you're at it. if you replace one of these items, you have to replace the whole shebang.

    this is going to easily cost close to what the whole bike cost. if you're riding it on any sort of real trails, you're likely to break the axle in that freewheel hub as the bearings support it very far inside the hub instead of toward the ends like a freehub-equipped hub, so that might force your hand soon enough anyhow.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    *time out* before I go too much farther, how and where do you plan to ride this bike? Trek describes this bike "an ideal choice for new trail riders or anyone looking for a comfortable, stable commuter with the ruggedness of a real mountain bike." it's a very entry-level bike that is good at what it's designed to do, but not a whole lot more. Tourney level components and that fork are among the cheapest components you can buy that are not utter junk, and you get what you pay for. I am not taking a dump on this bike, just explaining its limitations.

    are you pushing your skills and fitness to ride trails that challenge you? if so, nothing on that bike is going to last long and replacing parts one at a time is going to get expensive fast. if you replace the fork, you will have limited options for the axle, unless you're willing to replace the front wheel too. I can't tell if the frame has a head tube that will take a tapered fork. every other part of the bike is going to have a similar story that will cost you three to four times the cost of the whole bike in short order. if you like tinkering and you're willing to build a custom bike that could cost quite a bit more than a comparable complete bike but without the hassle and time away from riding while you wait for the right parts to complete the project, then proceed.



    for the drivetrain, you can't replace one part at a time. the new parts won't work with the old parts. all of those parts are designed for 7-speed only.

    you have a 7-speed freewheel, so you would need a new rear wheel (not just the rim) to update it to something with a freehub to use anything with more gears. after that, you need a new cassette, crankset, chainring (if the crankset does not come with one), bottom bracket (if not included with the cranks), chain, shifter, derailleur, and you might as well replace the cable and housing while you're at it. if you replace one of these items, you have to replace the whole shebang.

    this is going to easily cost close to what the whole bike cost. if you're riding it on any sort of real trails, you're likely to break the axle in that freewheel hub as the bearings support it very far inside the hub instead of toward the ends like a freehub-equipped hub, so that might force your hand soon enough anyhow.
    I think I may have already broken something. I was out today and my chain got stuck under this piece of metal that looks bent on my chainring. I noticed this the first day I bought my bike and didn't think anything of it, maybe it was supposed to be like that from the factory?

    Anyways, I had to bend that shit down a bit there was no way to get my chain out. I tried to remove the front of the crank but it doesn't just come off that easily...anyways I got my chain out but I noticed my frame is all scratched up where the chainring is and it looks kind of bent when I pedal it. my bike also doesn't shift as smooth and will drop a gear on hard pedaling or will have a very hard time getting to the large front chainring now.

    Does this look normal? Am I ****ed? I was able to ride it back but idk...seems like something is off here.

    See pics. Pic #1 is the one Im talking about. The piece of metal that is close to my crank that my chain is under. What is that and why is it bent down like that? It really ****ed me over today on my ride. I also took a video of me spinning my chainring and showing how it looks bent, I'll have to upload it to YouTube.

    http://imgur.com/gallery/lwaYpj6

  17. #17
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    It's certainly not good. They're steel rings so if you bent it back and it works it's probably ok for now depending how bent that ring is. You'll wanna adjust the front derailleur so it doesn't shift outside the big ring and do it again for sure. Park Tool has some good instructional stuff for adjusting it the front derailleur and a ton of other stuff.

    Post up a link to the youtube vid and we'll get a better idea how screwed up it is.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  18. #18
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    it's possible that those chainrings have that tab to prevent the chain from doing just what happened. I can't find a photo of that crank from that angle though.

    drivetrains are complex, which is why so many bikes come with a 1x drivetrain to simplify things. knowing that, you'll need in-person help to diagnose a drivetrain. there are more than a dozen things that could be going on there.

    big picture, one or more of the following is going on:
    1. the bike has been crashed, damaged, fiddled with, or has just seen a ton of miles that brought it to this point
    2. the bike was not properly tuned up in the first place
    3. you're pushing this bike and its components past what it was designed to handle.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    It's certainly not good. They're steel rings so if you bent it back and it works it's probably ok for now depending on how bent that ring is. You'll wanna adjust the front derailleur so it doesn't shift outside the big ring and do it again for sure. Park Tool has some good instructional stuff for adjusting it the front derailleur and a ton of other stuff.

    Post up a link to the youtube vid and we'll get a better idea how screwed up it is.
    I should be clear, I didn't bend down the chainring itself, but the small metal tab that was like that when I bought the bike, my chain got stuck under it somehow? I think it was put there to prevent that from happening in the first place, but it didn't seem to stop my chain, it made it under lol. I had to bend that tiny metal tab that didn't look like it served any other purpose, and i got my chain out. The bike rides and shifts into all gears, but it does seem to pop chains more often and has trouble shifting properly into the large chainring now.

    Is this covered under warranty? I just bought this bike last week. I thought Trek has lifetime on frames and 2 years on parts...does this count? I'll take it to my shop tomorrow or this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    it's possible that those chainrings have that tab to prevent the chain from doing just what happened. I can't find a photo of that crank from that angle though.

    drivetrains are complex, which is why so many bikes come with a 1x drivetrain to simplify things. knowing that, you'll need in-person help to diagnose a drivetrain. there are more than a dozen things that could be going on there.

    big picture, one or more of the following is going on:
    1. the bike has been crashed, damaged, fiddled with, or has just seen a ton of miles that brought it to this point
    2. the bike was not properly tuned up in the first place
    3. you're pushing this bike and its components past what it was designed to handle.
    I thought that too, I bought the bike last week and noticed that tab hanging out of the chainring which seemed off since there are no others like it on the entire chainring. I figured it was there to save the chain from falling under too deep. Somehow my chain got through lol. I'll take my bike into the shop this weekend and have them check it out. Is this a warranty thing or would I be SOL?

  20. #20
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    Lol...maybe you'll be making those upgrades sooner than you thought.

  21. #21
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    Interesting.

    The marks on the chainring make it look like either the chainring/crank was flexing under load , OR the chainstays are flexing under load. Or maybe a crash or something. But, I'm assuming the chainrings don't touch the chainstays (where the paint is scratched) when the bike is standing still, and you just move the cranks by hand?

    Makes me wonder if the BB isn't tight, or maybe there is a missing spacer/shim/something on the drive side.

    Also, as someone else noticed. The large chainring has a few teeth missing already. Did you hit something? Or maybe shift it under a LOT of load? I've broken teeth like that before, but never on something that new, and almost always from an impact (tall curbs and the like).

    Either way, if you bought the bike a week ago, I'd guess than any shop worth their salt would cover that under warranty.

    Maybe you can get them to take it back and step it up a few models, as its pretty uncommon to have something grenade this quickly after purchase.

    Good luck with whatever you do .

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    I should be clear, I didn't bend down the chainring itself, but the small metal tab that was like that when I bought the bike, my chain got stuck under it somehow? I think it was put there to prevent that from happening in the first place, but it didn't seem to stop my chain, it made it under lol. I had to bend that tiny metal tab that didn't look like it served any other purpose, and i got my chain out. The bike rides and shifts into all gears, but it does seem to pop chains more often and has trouble shifting properly into the large chainring now.

    Is this covered under warranty? I just bought this bike last week. I thought Trek has lifetime on frames and 2 years on parts...does this count? I'll take it to my shop tomorrow or this weekend.

    Is this a warranty thing or would I be SOL?
    I figured it was a chain-catching tab as you described (it probably has a real name lol), but that the ring may have inadvertently gotten bent either by the chain or bending the tab back and forth to get the chain out. Whether the shop takes care of it depends how it happened. If it was some kind of damage (crash, transport, whatev) then I'd say no. If it just shifted past the big ring, then maybe it could be argued they should have set it up better. I really don't know how they'll see it with all the bending, but definitely ask.

    Either way, a new equivalent crankset isn't all that expensive even if it's not covered.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocnLogan View Post
    Interesting.

    The marks on the chainring make it look like either the chainring/crank was flexing under load , OR the chainstays are flexing under load. Or maybe a crash or something. But, I'm assuming the chainrings don't touch the chainstays (where the paint is scratched) when the bike is standing still, and you just move the cranks by hand?

    Makes me wonder if the BB isn't tight, or maybe there is a missing spacer/shim/something on the drive side.

    Also, as someone else noticed. The large chainring has a few teeth missing already. Did you hit something? Or maybe shift it under a LOT of load? I've broken teeth like that before, but never on something that new, and almost always from an impact (tall curbs and the like).

    Either way, if you bought the bike a week ago, I'd guess than any shop worth their salt would cover that under warranty.

    Maybe you can get them to take it back and step it up a few models, as its pretty uncommon to have something grenade this quickly after purchase.

    Good luck with whatever you do .
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    I figured it was a chain-catching tab as you described (it probably has a real name lol), but that the ring may have inadvertently gotten bent either by the chain or bending the tab back and forth to get the chain out. Whether the shop takes care of it depends how it happened. If it was some kind of damage (crash, transport, whatev) then I'd say no. If it just shifted past the big ring, then maybe it could be argued they should have set it up better. I really don't know how they'll see it with all the bending, but definitely ask.


    Either way, a new equivalent crankset isn't all that expensive even if it's not covered.

    Thanks for the link. Not expensive, but not something I want to be doing 2 weeks into owning a new bike. I didn't notice the teeth were broken until you mentioned it.


    Yes, you're right, it doesn't rub at all against the frame when I spin it, it could just be flexing under load or maybe bent a bit and flexing under load causing it to hit in a certain area? I could have shifted under load but I don't remember hearing any loud noises if anything the chain just popped off and I'd go again. I know I haven't crashed at all on this bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    I figured it was a chain-catching tab as you described (it probably has a real name lol), but that the ring may have inadvertently gotten bent either by the chain or bending the tab back and forth to get the chain out. Whether the shop takes care of it depends how it happened. If it was some kind of damage (crash, transport, whatev) then I'd say no. If it just shifted past the big ring, then maybe it could be argued they should have set it up better. I really don't know how they'll see it with all the bending, but definitely ask.

    Either way, a new equivalent crankset isn't all that expensive even if it's not covered.

  24. #24
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    If there wasn't a crash, I'm guessing that the marks are from the frame flexing under load. Ie, when you're standing up and pedaling hard in a tall gear.

    You may be able to reproduce this, by leaning the bike over on the left side (non-deraileur side) by a fair bit (30 degrees or so) and standing on the right pedal like you would if you were cornering. It may help to be next to a wall, or post, or tree or something like that to help you balance. Basically just checking to see how much the frame flexes when you load it from the side. I'm ~200lbs in riding gear, and my old hardtail would flex noticeably when I did that... but not enough to cause contact. Maybe yours does.

    If you notice that the chainring is getting close to touching the chainstay when you do that, I'd guess that's the likely culprit for those marks.

    Also, did the chain pop off under power, even when you weren't shifting? If so, then it could potentially been some of those teeth breaking off that you were noticing. The only time I've ever had a similar feeling, was when my chainring/cassette was super worn.

    Are any of the teeth missing on the rear cassette?

    Honestly, any of those things is kind of strange to have happen. Especially on a 1 week old bike. Since you're having so many issues, I'm wondering if you're just bumping up against the edge of the bikes design constraints/limitations. Ie, you may just be heavier/stronger than Trek was anticipating any buyer of this model would be.

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    A good mechanic will need to see the bike to diagnose it, but it's possible that you just pushed the bike beyond what it was designed for. Tourney level components are found on bikes that sell for less than $200 at Walmart. That bike has such cheap components because Trek wanted to make one of their bikes accessible to customers with a very small budget. That Tourney stuff is good for casually strolling down a smooth bike path with your kids, but as you can see, it flexes and fails under load. You get what you pay for.

    I worked in three different Trek dealers, and only one of them stocked the low-level bikes because selling that bike is a disservice to most customers. If the sub-$500 bike gets ridden with any level of enthusiasm, things start to fail quickly and we have on our hands an unhappy rider who either quits riding, resents the shop for selling them a cheesy bike, or tries to return it after several issues have come up, or all three.

    I would take it back to the shop and at least get it back up and running. If they will let you return it all all, I would go for it. You learned a valuable lesson about the bicycle market either way.

  26. #26
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    Remember that it is not just the drivetrain that is entry-level, it's the frame, fork, and wheels, too. An entry-level bike is not designed for someone with 10 years of motorcross experience. I'd go back to the shop and point this out, and ask if you can exchange it for something more appropriate. Trek makes a lot of very capable bikes in the $1200-$1400 dollar range. Maybe they will give you a discount. Doesn't sound like they really bothered to figure out what you needed.


    And there is such a thing as Layaway. Though I'd be inclined to try a different shop altogether. Maybe they can forgo their profit on a replacement upgrade.

    Did they know you had so much dirt experience? Your body is too strong for a bike that obviously has a lot of flex. You need a stiff framset. Something with a lot of power transfer to match your strength.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-26-2019 at 10:01 AM.

  27. #27
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    I'll second the motion that the shop sold you a bike they should have strongly advised against. In my limited experience selling bikes, I had a few people insist on buying a bike that did not fit right or was under-built for the way they would ride it, but I always gave them fair warning. Some people take this to mean that I was just selling them a more expensive bike to make more money, but most bike shops are staffed by cyclists who just want to see other people enjoy riding as much as they do. Did the shop tell you that a Tourney-equipped bike would be sufficient for your needs?

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    Another point. Your personal riding style is used to a bike with some serious heft. A mountainbike with 3 inch wide tires might suit you. Especially a 29+, bigger, more sturdy.

    Like the Trek Stache. Over budget, but just consider:

    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=black

    They have bikes in the range I mentioned, around $1200. But I've a feeling you might need a bike that many would consider overbuilt. They also make bikes with 27.5", 3 inch wide tires, too. But it's just a hunch that you need more. And it takes more power to turn a 29+ wheel than a 27.5+ wheel. There are others out there for less money. You could also have one built from a frameset (whichever tire size), but that does end up costing more. Experience speaking here. I had a 29+ Krampus built (wrong size. bought a small, needed a medium) had it rebuilt as a 29 Karate Monkey. Also upgraded my Pinarello's drivetrain and wheels a few years back. Good deal. Certainly would have been better to buy new with the correct parts. But that is a high end carbon frameset, and worth upgrading.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-26-2019 at 11:03 AM.
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
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    Thanks for all the replies and advice. I' should mention I'm a bigger rider too (240lbs, 5'11", and I do powerlifting, pull 600 deadlifts and squat over 500lbs, to give you an idea of my body shape lol). That being said...you guys are probably right - the bike just is being overworked for what I'm throwing at it.

    This is my first non-walmart type bike, so I thought maybe I could ride it a bit harder than I should have? I will stop in the shop tonight and ask them if I can return it and swap it for something else, if not, can they at least get me up and running and make sure my chainring is all set. I think I'll be investing in a new bike later this year.

    Would a fatbike be something I'd wanna look at, or should I just get a better quality mountain bike for $2k or so (keep in mind, 2k canadian $$ is like 2.5k american).

    I told the shop that I wanted a bike I could ride around town (on pavement), but a bike that can hit all the local trails and stuff. They suggested this bike. My budget at the time was about $1000 which included all my gear (helmet, lock, extra tubes, saddle bag, etc etc).

  30. #30
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    Hard to say what specific bike you need. A fatbike does not handle the same as a bike with lighter wheels. Iíd suggest you try a range of styles. You could also start reading the Clyde forum, you are at the lower end, there, but your musculature does necessitate a strong bike. Iím not the best to advise on specifics.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-26-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  31. #31
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    I think most people use fat bikes for snow and sand, which might be good for you. It sounds like you need a STRONG bike. You're going to be hard on any bicycle, but you're going to beat the hell out of a Marlin 5 in no time. Unfortunately, that will necessitate expanding your budget.

    Everyone is different but a Trek Stache or Surly Krampus might be good for you. I would not worry about the weight of the bike as you are clearly not going to be held back by that.

  32. #32
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    The idea to check out the Clydesdale forum here is a good one actually. It's specifically for taller, heavier, and stronger riders. They maybe have some feedback on component spec levels that last better, or even frames that are up to the challenge.

    If it were me, idbe looking at a nukeproof scout. They are notoriously burly, and start at $999 (same frame for all models), so its one you could upgrade pretty easily overtime. They are also sold asa frame only,if you wanted to go that route.

  33. #33
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    I posted on the clydesdale forum. thanks for the help

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    Went to my shop today after work. They said the entire chainring was bent and they couldn't bend it back. They replaced it for free, which I'm assuming is because it's under warranty (just got it).

    I'll keep y'all posted

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    You should probably use that bike for pavement only.

    And here is the KRampus, BTW. But you saw there are a lot of choices out there. A good basic one is a 29+ fully rigid steel. But not the only choice.

    https://surlybikes.com/bikes/krampus
    2018 Surly Karate Monkey 'dingle' speed
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  36. #36
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    Good to hear they fixed it for you under warranty. I'm 6'4"/220 and have broken a few bikes in my day. Based on what you describe, this bike is NOT going to last long for what you are putting it through.

    If the bike shop is willing and you have the $$ now, you should consider moving up to something more 'robust'. I just perused Trek's bikes and I would go for either Stash5 or Roscoe8...both under $2K(US). I've never had a '+' tired bike but those two look like they will take a beating from a clyde and be a blast on the trails. I'm riding a 27.5 with 2.5's tubeless and that's as wide as I need in the tight New England single track I ride.

    Do they have other brands or just Trek?
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    Good to hear they fixed it for you under warranty. I'm 6'4"/220 and have broken a few bikes in my day. Based on what you describe, this bike is NOT going to last long for what you are putting it through.

    If the bike shop is willing and you have the $$ now, you should consider moving up to something more 'robust'. I just perused Trek's bikes and I would go for either Stash5 or Roscoe8...both under $2K(US). I've never had a '+' tired bike but those two look like they will take a beating from a clyde and be a blast on the trails. I'm riding a 27.5 with 2.5's tubeless and that's as wide as I need in the tight New England single track I ride.

    Do they have other brands or just Trek?
    Hi,

    I'm probably not going to bother trading this bike in now and upgrade for something else. I like the bike and I'm gonna keep putting miles on it, get used to riding, and probably beat it up and destroy it in the process lol. I figure it'll give me the exercise I need and I'll get better at riding while saving some money. Maybe at that time I'll just upgrade to a FS bike.

    I was talking to someone at the shop today and they said something about + bikes. What are + bikes exactly?
    There's another shop in town that carries Giant and Specialized.

    I did see the Trek Stache. I was also looking at fat bikes (Trek Farley 5, and a lower priced, Rocky Mountain Bizzard 10). After chatting with the store rep, turns out it's not such a great idea to get a fat bike for the trails around here and the repair costs for 1 tire alone are crazy. Plus the idea of not having shocks and it being sorta goofy to ride around town).

    I'm probably going to settle on something in the price range of $3k. I was looking at this bike: https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/pipeline/2019?tid=72 (Pipeline 30 edition) or 27.5" - https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/altitude/2019?tid=73 it's a bit more money though. I also liked Pivot bikes.

    Not sure how different the FS bikes are from each other when it comes to brands. There may be a bike that's cheaper with better components, I'm not sure. I figure if I upgrade to thousands of dollars for a mountain bike I should just do it once and get a FS.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm probably not going to bother trading this bike in now and upgrade for something else. I like the bike and I'm gonna keep putting miles on it, get used to riding, and probably beat it up and destroy it in the process lol. I figure it'll give me the exercise I need and I'll get better at riding while saving some money. Maybe at that time I'll just upgrade to a FS bike.

    I was talking to someone at the shop today and they said something about + bikes. What are + bikes exactly?
    There's another shop in town that carries Giant and Specialized.

    I did see the Trek Stache. I was also looking at fat bikes (Trek Farley 5, and a lower priced, Rocky Mountain Bizzard 10). After chatting with the store rep, turns out it's not such a great idea to get a fat bike for the trails around here and the repair costs for 1 tire alone are crazy. Plus the idea of not having shocks and it being sorta goofy to ride around town).

    I'm probably going to settle on something in the price range of $3k. I was looking at this bike: https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/pipeline/2019?tid=72 (Pipeline 30 edition) or 27.5" - https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/altitude/2019?tid=73 it's a bit more money though. I also liked Pivot bikes.

    Not sure how different the FS bikes are from each other when it comes to brands. There may be a bike that's cheaper with better components, I'm not sure. I figure if I upgrade to thousands of dollars for a mountain bike I should just do it once and get a FS.
    Plus bikes are kind of the halfway point between a fat bike, and a normal tired bike. They usually have tread widths of 2.8 - 3.2in. The most common (by a lot) plus sided tires are 27.5in tires with a 2.8in tread width. The Trek Stache you looked at is a 29in + bike.

    Full suspension bikes differ lots of ways. Besides the different types/genres of bikes, some brands use different rear suspension designs, which affects how it rides. Some pedal better, some feel more like "magic carpets", etc, etc.

    Bigger brands (Giant, Specialized, Trek, GT, Kona, Santa Cruz, etc) that sell in bike shops usually don't have the best value for the money, but they do offer the convenience and support of having a storefront. Direct to consumer brands (YT, Commencal, Fezzari, Diamondback, etc) offer better value (typically), but have the reverse "problem". May not be as easy to get support for a warranty issue (like your replacement chainring).

    The big thing, is really figuring out what type/genre you want, then finding one that fits you well.

    Most brands use the same few sets of components for any given price point, mixed up in different ways. The value brands may sneak in a few components from the "next" price point up. So really, in the end, you're buying the frame with its geometry, fit, and rear suspension design. Most everything else is typically an off the shelf component.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    You can find an off the books (serial numbers filed off...so no warranty) Eagle NX 12sp group on Aliexpress for $300. You can also find the Shimano 11sp SLX for under $250. If you need a new rear wheel ss EB mentioned...you'll need to add that to the cost also.

    What I will tell you is that a well assembled 1x group will perform much better than the Tourney. That alone can up the riding enjoyment no matter how basic the bike is.
    You can get a legit GX group for $330. Why waste money on a grey market item when you can get NIB with warranty for not much more? Don't have XD driver....sell the GX cassette and buy an NX. Or there are sellers selling a GX group with NX cassette for well under $300.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm probably not going to bother trading this bike in now and upgrade for something else. I like the bike and I'm gonna keep putting miles on it, get used to riding, and probably beat it up and destroy it in the process lol. I figure it'll give me the exercise I need and I'll get better at riding while saving some money. Maybe at that time I'll just upgrade to a FS bike.

    I was talking to someone at the shop today and they said something about + bikes. What are + bikes exactly?
    There's another shop in town that carries Giant and Specialized.

    I did see the Trek Stache. I was also looking at fat bikes (Trek Farley 5, and a lower priced, Rocky Mountain Bizzard 10). After chatting with the store rep, turns out it's not such a great idea to get a fat bike for the trails around here and the repair costs for 1 tire alone are crazy. Plus the idea of not having shocks and it being sorta goofy to ride around town).

    I'm probably going to settle on something in the price range of $3k. I was looking at this bike: https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/pipeline/2019?tid=72 (Pipeline 30 edition) or 27.5" - https://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/altitude/2019?tid=73 it's a bit more money though. I also liked Pivot bikes.

    Not sure how different the FS bikes are from each other when it comes to brands. There may be a bike that's cheaper with better components, I'm not sure. I figure if I upgrade to thousands of dollars for a mountain bike I should just do it once and get a FS.
    It will take a few years of riding experience to really understand what exactly is the best bike for you. I suggest spending less and experimenting a little. Hard tails are a lot stronger than FS. And your riding style will change with experience. Iíd keep the price more reasonable.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    It will take a few years of riding experience to really understand what exactly is the best bike for you. I suggest spending less and experimenting a little. Hard tails are a lot stronger than FS. And your riding style will change with experience. Iíd keep the price more reasonable.
    Do you suggest a hardtail for a rider of my size? You said they're stronger...I thought the rear suspension of a FS bike would be less wear and tear on the frame and components but I don't know shit lol

  42. #42
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    A general comment is that a part of bicycling is to learn finesse. Bikes are always built to be relatively light. A lot of drivetrains can be f'd if you try to shift a couple gears at a time while under full pedal-load. You need to ease up on pedaling during the moment you're changing gears. And you need to look ahead to see inclines coming and do your shifting while you're on semi-level ground. Once you're trying to climb, it's too late to do a lot of shifting. I mean sometimes you can get away with it, I get caught doing that sometimes also, but your goal should be to see that coming ahead of time so you can do your shifting at a time when it's easier on the drivetrain.

    I feel like I could get on a $4k mountain bike and kill the drivetrain in one ride if I wanted to. Then I also feel like I could ride your bike quickly for an entire season without any problem with the drivetrain.

    Not bashing you, but it's just a thing to point out to a new rider that no bike is bullet-proof and realize it's delicate in some ways in order to stay light. I used to go through parts when I started mtbg, and now a derailleur or other parts last me their lifetime.

    Cables stretch a little during the first few miles of riding, making it necessary to add a little more tension back via the adjustment screw typically near the shifter. I think that's why you dropped a chain. But also, whenever you shift, be aware that something unplanned could happen and be ready to stop pedaling so the chain doesn't get jammed somewhere.

    I don't think you have to feel like you need to upgrade everything. It's actually a satisfying part of the hobby to feel like you're a smooth rider that has a feel for the various mechanical parts of your bike and how to be "nice" to them.
    Have fun!

  43. #43
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    A fully rigid mountain bike is strongest. Then hardtail. Then full suspension. All else being equal. A really high quality suspension bike would do it, of course. But that is not cheap, and there are a lot on the market. There are many types of mountainbikes (cross country, trail, All mountain, etc) and they are engineered for different terrain types.

    You are just learning the basics of what is what. Spending a fortune is a good way to waste money.

    My bike is a Surly Karate Monkey: it can be built as either 29Ē, or 27.5+Ē. The difference is that the smaller diameter wheel is fitted with wider tires. Making the two sizes basically the same, but the 27.5+ has more rubber. A smaller wheel is actually stronger, less flex. But it takes more power to turn a larger diameter wheel. There is a thread on the Clydesdale forum concerning wheel selection and rider size, and people donít really agree which is best, but that the correct size for the rider is important:

    My bike is available with a suspension fork, or rigid fork (which is much cheaper). It would certainly work for you. Great bike. Handles well. Works well on pavement. Full genuine trail shredder. If I wanted a Karate Monkey with a suspension fork, Iíd buy the cheaper fully rigid version, then buy the exact fork I wanted separately: the KMís are designed to take a suspension fork. Probably the most versatile Surly. IMHO. The Surly Krampus is very similar, but is full 29+. A lot of people do put suspension forks on them, but I believe the design of the KM works better.

    Anyway, the KM could be a real do everything bike.

    If you are determined to buy a high end full suspension now, that is okay, but prepared to make some mistakes with selection. Or to decide you need something different in a couple of years because your riding style changes.

    Someone mentioned the Nukeproof Scout. My first thought was a Trek Stache. Aluminum with good wheels and quality forks. Available the different ranges of wheels, 27-29. Traditional widths and plus.

    You really need to visit a variety of shops and try. Maybe visit the threads here that deal with those specific bikes. There are a lot of them.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    A fully rigid mountain bike is strongest. Then hardtail. Then full suspension. All else being equal. A really high quality suspension bike would do it, of course. But that is not cheap, and there are a lot on the market. There are many types of mountainbikes (cross country, trail, All mountain, etc) and they are engineered for different terrain types.

    You are just learning the basics of what is what. Spending a fortune is a good way to waste money.

    My bike is a Surly Karate Monkey: it can be built as either 29Ē, or 27.5+Ē. The difference is that the smaller diameter wheel is fitted with wider tires. Making the two sizes basically the same, but the 27.5+ has more rubber. A smaller wheel is actually stronger, less flex. But it takes more power to turn a larger diameter wheel. There is a thread on the Clydesdale forum concerning wheel selection and rider size, and people donít really agree which is best, but that the correct size for the rider is important:

    My bike is available with a suspension fork, or rigid fork (which is much cheaper). It would certainly work for you. Great bike. Handles well. Works well on pavement. Full genuine trail shredder. If I wanted a Karate Monkey with a suspension fork, Iíd buy the cheaper fully rigid version, then buy the exact fork I wanted separately: the KMís are designed to take a suspension fork. Probably the most versatile Surly. IMHO. The Surly Krampus is very similar, but is full 29+. A lot of people do put suspension forks on them, but I believe the design of the KM works better.

    Anyway, the KM could be a real do everything bike.

    If you are determined to buy a high end full suspension now, that is okay, but prepared to make some mistakes with selection. Or to decide you need something different in a couple of years because your riding style changes.

    Someone mentioned the Nukeproof Scout. My first thought was a Trek Stache. Aluminum with good wheels and quality forks. Available the different ranges of wheels, 27-29. Traditional widths and plus.

    You really need to visit a variety of shops and try. Maybe visit the threads here that deal with those specific bikes. There are a lot of them.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I like your bike! Are Rigid bikes considered the strongest? For a big rider like me, I was also looking at this Kona Unit, it's pretty cheaply priced, how good of a bike would this be for trail riding? I'm thinking of 27.5+ tires with a steel or alloy frame, steel is stronger though? I'm not too considered about weight.

    https://rideonlineca.konaworld.com/2019-unit.html
    or the Unit X
    https://rideonlineca.konaworld.com/m...18-unit-x.html

  45. #45
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    Strength is relative, Carbon is actually stronger, but it is brittle, and more easily damaged. Carbon (everything, really) is available at many quality levels. I mentioned my Pinarello road bike. It is manufactured with a very high thread count carbon fiber. Stronger. Lighter. More expensive. More brittle. Cheaper carbon is available. Aluminum and steel are very strong, I think aluminum is considered stronger, but your current aluminum bike flexes a lot, and is not particularly strong. See? Manufacturing is important, not just material. Right now, you are being very hard on your bikes. A very strong, good quality reasonably priced bike is what you need to learn on. Check out the Surly sub forum. We tend to be devotees. But the point is, it is a bike that you can keep for a long time, even if you eventually decide to get a much more expensive bike. Itís a very useful machine. Also, if you ever go bikepacking, the rigid fork is designed to strap gear to it. And a separate suspension fork can be had, too. So you have a versatile bike that will last for the duration. But itís, a steel, fully rigid Surly trail bike is considered basically bombproof. They are mentioned frequently on the Clyde forum for recommendation. Surly also makes a lot of touring Bikes that look similar, but they are made for a different purpose, and it does look like you may prefer a trail bike. (Actually, touring bikes are stiffer).

    So. Not straightforward. But not that complicated, either.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Strength is relative, Carbon is actually stronger, but it is brittle, and more easily damaged. Carbon (everything, really) is available at many quality levels. I mentioned my Pinarello road bike. It is manufactured with a very high thread count carbon fiber. Stronger. Lighter. More expensive. More brittle. Cheaper carbon is available. Aluminum and steel are very strong, I think aluminum is considered stronger, but your current aluminum bike flexes a lot, and is not particularly strong. See? Manufacturing is important, not just material. Right now, you are being very hard on your bikes. A very strong, good quality reasonably priced bike is what you need to learn on. Check out the Surly sub forum. We tend to be devotees. But the point is, it is a bike that you can keep for a long time, even if you eventually decide to get a much more expensive bike. Itís a very useful machine. Also, if you ever go bikepacking, the rigid fork is designed to strap gear to it. And a separate suspension fork can be had, too. So you have a versatile bike that will last for the duration. But itís, a steel, fully rigid Surly trail bike is considered basically bombproof. They are mentioned frequently on the Clyde forum for recommendation. Surly also makes a lot of touring Bikes that look similar, but they are made for a different purpose, and it does look like you may prefer a trail bike. (Actually, touring bikes are stiffer).

    So. Not straightforward. But not that complicated, either.
    I actually really like the idea of these bikes for the toughness of them. What about the Kona Unit X? They're a bit cheaper but also look like the same type of bike.

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    Yes. I considered recommending the Kona unit with shifting. Make sure any bike you buy has thru axels (TAís), rather than the older style quick release wheels.

    I just looked at the Kona, it has QR wheels, those are not as strong as thru axels. They do tend to cost less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Yes. I considered recommending the Kona unit with shifting. Make sure any bike you buy has thru axels (TAís), rather than the older style quick release wheels.

    I just looked at the Kona, it has QR wheels, those are not as strong as thru axels. They do tend to cost less.
    Does the Surly come with TA's? If they're really worth the few hundred more I don't mind spending it. It sounds like a tank which is what I want/need

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barch88 View Post
    Does the Surly come with TA's? If they're really worth the few hundred more I don't mind spending it. It sounds like a tank which is what I want/need
    Yes. They do. A lot of the bikes with DIsc brakes do, now.

    Donít limit yourself to Surly, I am partial, after all. I really just wanted a do everything bike. But itís a great trail bike.

  51. #51
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    This thread on the KM goes back to 2009. A lot of changes have happened since then. Like a suspension corrected frameset, dropper post capability. They axels, capability for plus or regular tires, and probably more besides. https://forums.mtbr.com/surly/lets-s...490622-18.html

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