Bought my first mtb- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bought my first mtb

    Hi

    SO.

    I bought my first mountain bike.
    Its a used Norco Fluid Four from 2007. I got it for 400$.

    Condition isn't all that great, the front crankset (?) seems to have been replaced with a cheaper part, one half of the frame is badly scratched.

    Its in ride-able condition (and from a person who hasn't been on a bike for the last 8 years, since I was 14), I think it rides amazingly. The frame feels great, the weight is substantial enough to feel sturdy and to give a bit of a workout without being a chore.

    I've primarily purchased the bike as a workout tool, secondarily as a commuting tool, and the child in me said "what the heck, screw a road bike, have some fun". Hence the mountain bike. I don't think I'll be doing any real mountain biking for a while (I've got horrible stamina at the moment), but I'm in BC Canada. I wanna go on the trails.

    Anyways

    Getting to the point.


    While everything in my bike is functional, its not in good shape. Brakes feel loose, chain is jumpy. I've gotta replace them with some good entry level parts.

    SO. I'm not replacing anything at the moment. I'm gonna go by the whole "Upgrade a component when you break your current component" thing. I guess it makes sense, plus it encourages me to actually ride the thing rather than obsess over trivial stuff.

    Anyways. For when I replace the components, what should I go for? Whats a good entry level groupset? I don't want to spent too much.

    Also, should I go for 1x10 or 2x10? I don't want to spend too much or add too much weight to the bike, but I'll be doing some uphill travel too, so I kinda want a bike optimized for that.


    Sorry if I've used any of the terminology wrongly in the post, I'm very very new to the world of bikes/mtbs.

  2. #2
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    Welcome, congrats and enjoy your bike. Personally, it sounds like you have a good approach...ride it and fix stuff as it breaks.

    I would go for a 2 x 10 because I am an old fart and like the lower gears when I struggle uphill. YMMV

    Seems like you can get some good value on eBay if you buy groupsets directly out of Hong Kong or Taiwan. I have bought a number of things from Asia directly and never had a problem. You do, however, have to plan ahead because you are not getting two day shipping. This is the route I would probably go...I am assuming you will be doing your own work.

    Not sure what you mean by "loose" brakes. Are they hydraulic...maybe they just need to be bled or replace the pads. That is what I would do first.

    Just go over t once really well and tighten down anything that may be loose.

    Good luck...

  3. #3
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    Quick question.

    The fork says marzocchi bomber. It has two 'tuner' knobs (with a plus and a minus). What exactly do they do?

    About the 1x10 and 2x10 thing - what is the price difference and weight difference? What are each better at? What about 1x9 and 2x9?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semitone View Post
    Welcome, congrats and enjoy your bike. Personally, it sounds like you have a good approach...ride it and fix stuff as it breaks.

    I would go for a 2 x 10 because I am an old fart and like the lower gears when I struggle uphill. YMMV

    Seems like you can get some good value on eBay if you buy groupsets directly out of Hong Kong or Taiwan. I have bought a number of things from Asia directly and never had a problem. You do, however, have to plan ahead because you are not getting two day shipping. This is the route I would probably go...I am assuming you will be doing your own work.

    Not sure what you mean by "loose" brakes. Are they hydraulic...maybe they just need to be bled or replace the pads. That is what I would do first.

    Just go over t once really well and tighten down anything that may be loose.

    Good luck...
    "loose" brakes, I just mean that they're not too grippy. They don't brake instantly, I feel that the braking distance is more than it should be. Especially while braking downhill. I'll just get it checked up at a bike shop nearby though.

    Nah, I'm just concerned about what drivetrain I should buy. I have a 1x10 right now, all the component near the back tire are high quality shimano, but the components near the pedals don't seem good quality, its what I feel like replacing.

    Whats this whole thing about importing from HK or Taiwan? Is there any reputed dealer? Can you give me an example (not too expensive, definitely below 200$, preferably around/below 100$) of a decent groupset that'll be compatible with my bike?

  5. #5
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    Actually, rather.

    Can someone just quickly go over what to look for when you buy a drive train? (Brands/materials/setups/compatibility)

    Thx.

  6. #6
    Trail Ninja
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    Make sure the crankset fits your frame and bottom bracket.

    If you buy cheap stuff, make sure you keep it well oiled as they lack full anti-corrosive finishes (ex. nickel plating).

    You can go cheap on Shimano and KMC chains. I have a nice stock of reliable Shimano HG75 chains I picked up for under $25 each.

    You can go cheap on Shimano cassettes. I've had luck with Deore 10spd cassettes that I picked up for under $35 each, though they weight about 100g more than the higher end stuff you find for over $60. They seemingly perform the same. SRAM has a "PG" level and "XG" level, with the XG level being much better, but much more expensive at around $200-400.

    I personally think that higher level Shimano crankarms and chainrings are amazing.

  7. #7
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    When you say "groupset" to me, you mean the whole shebang. It's not going to be cheap. It's a lot of parts. I'm pretty sure you are getting nothing in the $100 range..well, maybe used but certainly not new.

    For around $300, here is a lower end Shimano group set:

    New Shimano Alivio M430 MTB Bike Group Groupset Hydraulic Brake Set M446 9 Speed | eBay

    I didn't search for the rock bottom price, so maybe you could find it cheaper. They go up from there. You could also find them in the states at a dealer but I think you are going to pay 25% higher or more. There are some places online that seem to have some good deals on closeouts and such. Pricepoint.com is one place, but if you Google the specific component you'll find some deals. You can also go to your local bike shop but some are stupid pricey, others are reasonable. Depends on where you live. If you have them do the work,as many places, they frown upon using parts you bring to them. My local shop charges a 25% premium on work if you buy the parts elsewhere.

    Of course, you could just replace each component as it breaks, i.e. cranks, detailers, brakes...

    I'll leave the ins and out of what works on your particular bike to somebody else. Just remember there are different types of bottom brackets and crank arm lengths among other variables like gear ratios. There are some good videos to familiarize yourself on types and compatibility on Youtube. A couple of my favorite repair video series are from PinkBike and Art's Cyclery but there is a lot of stuff out there.

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