I believe its time for some upgrades- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I believe its time for some upgrades

    Hey all!

    I have been riding a Cannondale SL 4 for about 8 or 9 years and have put thousands of miles on it. The fork doesn't lockout anymore, the shifters are working alright all things considered, the wheels have been trued 100's of times. I know bikes are always getting better and lighter but I can't bring myself to drop a couple grand at this point in time for something new.

    What do you suggest for order of upgrades and what should I be looking into? I've never really upgraded the 9er because I always dumped money into my DH bike that I recently unloaded.

  2. #2
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    I would concentrate on maintenance. Rebuild the fork (I don't think I've locked out a fork in 10 years!). Tune it up. Probably time to replace the bearings in the wheels. That sort of thing. Save up for a new bike.

    You've gotten your money's worth out of this one. Add in enough upgrades and that will no longer be the case.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    There is no doubt I got my money out of this bike, I couldn't even guess how many miles i've rode it. The maintenance has certainly been done or it would have died by now. This is going to sound like such a noob question.... What is the advantage of a new bike vs upgrading this bike? I custom built my dh bike... it was expensive but a lot of fun. I love building wheels the most. I feel like the frame of my bike is fantastic. It's aluminum with very comfortable geometry. Is there any reason to not continuously upgrade and rock this bike vs upgrade to a new one?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmopar59 View Post
    There is no doubt I got my money out of this bike, I couldn't even guess how many miles i've rode it. The maintenance has certainly been done or it would have died by now. This is going to sound like such a noob question.... What is the advantage of a new bike vs upgrading this bike? I custom built my dh bike... it was expensive but a lot of fun. I love building wheels the most. I feel like the frame of my bike is fantastic. It's aluminum with very comfortable geometry. Is there any reason to not continuously upgrade and rock this bike vs upgrade to a new one?
    I suppose it depends on what your application is. If you don't feel any need to have different geometry or put bigger tires on it (I assume that's a limitation on a bike that old) then there's no reason to upgrade the frame. IDK, is it 1x? 2x? Tubeless? Dropper? Are you using it on really easy trails and roads?

    A new frame/bike comes with better geometry, probably room for bigger tires, a wheelset that is new, tubeless ready and wide enough for bigger tires, a BB with fresh bearings and crankset/derailleur/cassette/shifter that are 1x, a dropper, etc. The upgrades could be expensive enough that a new bike would be more cost effective.

  6. #6
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    With an aluminium bike of that age with what sounds like a bunch of miles on it I'd be concerned about metal fatigue with the frame. Other than that, a bike with thru-axles instead of quick release skewers makes a huge difference in the bike along with everything others have mentioned about geometry and such.
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  7. #7
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    You can use your experience and wheel building capability to build up a newer geo frame.
    It can be better than buying a new bike. Almost every new bike comes with lousy wheels.
    Plus you can pick a better fork almost every time. And avoid upgrade costs.
    Does take thought.

  8. #8
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    You guys are probably right. It's not the right time for me to buy a new one but maybe I'm better off saving the pennies I was going to put into this bike and just start planning my next build. What are the best frames for the buck these days? I want to get back into racing.

  9. #9
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    What kind of racing? XC, Enduro, Marathon.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmopar59 View Post
    What are the best frames for the buck these days? I want to get back into racing.
    The biggest problem is that it is getting expensive to build up a frame nowadays. Forks in particular, while getting better and better, are also getting crazy expensive.

    Since you seem - understandably - to be concerned about cost I'd personally consider looking at used bikes. Find a bike with the frame and fork that you want that is in good shape and buy it. Components can be upgraded later and you can build up the wheels that you want with some of the money you "saved" not buying a new bike. I personally think that suspension forks have hit the cost point where they aren't worth upgrading - my vote is to get whatever you want/need when you buy the bike and be done with it.

    All that said and done, I'd personally take a mid-level bike from the last couple of years over a top-end bike from 10 years ago. That's just my opinion though, and many on this forum would disagree.

  11. #11
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    Dont understand why I would buy a used bike instead of upgrading what I have isnt worth it. I own a used bike lol.

  12. #12
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    Sorry for missing the other response xc racing.

  13. #13
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    If you want to race for fun a Ripley build would be one option. XTrail range.
    More serious a Spark non RC frame can be ordered by the area rep through a Scott shop. Scott says the frame will take a 2.5 tire.
    A Top Fuel would be another choice. Both can be built to be very capable. You'd need recommendations on suspension and wheels.



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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmopar59 View Post
    Dont understand why I would buy a used bike instead of upgrading what I have isnt worth it. I own a used bike lol.
    I suppose it's the difference between a used VW bug or a used Ferrari.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I suppose it's the difference between a used VW bug or a used Ferrari.
    Guess I was taking the original comment about dropping 'a couple grand' from the OP literally. Just depends on what the budget is...

  16. #16
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    I mean at the end of the day this year is completely out of the question. I have 2 months of work left on my addition, my detached garage to do, and I'm starting a family. However im happy to responsibly plan for next year. Get a new bike by next summer, get back into racing the following year. To be honest I have that bug where i prefer to build things from scratch. If a complete bike is a way better deal so be it. Either way I appreciate the genuine input. It's not worth upgrading my bike. I kind of knew it but now it's obvious.

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