First upgrades to GT Avalanche 3.0- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First upgrades to GT Avalanche 3.0

    Hi everyone, I've been mountain biking for a few years, but just recently got more serious about it and bought a better bike (was on a Trek 820 that I got for free a few years ago). My "new" bike is a GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc (2008 I think) and I love it so far. I've been riding the heck out of it 3 or 4 days a week and doing things I never would have attempted on the Trek...Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this bike's components or can offer some general advice to a beginner looking to upgrade his bike.

    On a side note, this question is prompted by an experience I had last week. After riding the bike for 4 weeks, the headset became very loose so I took it into my bike shop and they discovered I had nearly destroyed the star nut in the headset (among other minor derailleur and wheel alignment problems).

    That really got me thinking about what I could upgrade on the bike so I can ride more difficult trails without worrying that my bike is going to fall apart under me and also improve my overall riding experience. Also, is it a good idea to spend money on upgrades for this frame or would it be better to just start saving up for a new bike?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I don't think that you need to worry about it falling apart under you while riding it, as long as it's built correctly..

  3. #3
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    Yeah, if you destroyed the starnut, then you probably ran the headset loose for too long, or didn't have the stem tight. If the bike is in good working order you won't need to upgrade anything per-se.

    I always recommend buying a complete bike that is upgraded instead of upgrading pieces that aren't broken as you go. You get a much better value in a complete. Unless you have a very specific idea in mind of what you are trying to accomplish, then there is no reason to upgrade.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by intoflatlines
    I don't think that you need to worry about it falling apart under you while riding it, as long as it's built correctly..
    \

    Haha yeah I was joking about it falling apart while riding it (mostly). I guess I just like tinkering with things and think it would be cool to upgrade so it's an all-around better bike. But if you guys think it's pointless I guess I won't spend the money!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyLindy
    \

    Haha yeah I was joking about it falling apart while riding it (mostly). I guess I just like tinkering with things and think it would be cool to upgrade so it's an all-around better bike. But if you guys think it's pointless I guess I won't spend the money!
    learning how to tinker isn't pointless, just make sure you're not just upgrading things with no purpose. If you don't like the shifter feel, it's probably ok to change shifters. If you don't like the brakes, well then change the brakes. But it's a dangerous, expensive road to just upgrade things to upgrade things.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  6. #6
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    the only upgrades I would suggest for a bike that has working components are moving to clipless pedals and addressing the other contact points (saddle, grips/handle bar).

    AFAIK, entry level bikes don't come with clipless, so while you aren't upgrading something that broke, you are upgrading with purpose and not just for upgrades sake. same with grips, saddle, blah blah blah.

    if you are riding as much as you say and you feel confidant about your bike skills, converting to clipless can be a worthwhile endeavor for a purpose (control, power, etc., etc.).

    btw, I have an avalanche 2.0 and I, too, enjoy its company.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny dollar
    the only upgrades I would suggest for a bike that has working components are moving to clipless pedals and addressing the other contact points (saddle, grips/handle bar).

    AFAIK, entry level bikes don't come with clipless, so while you aren't upgrading something that broke, you are upgrading with purpose and not just for upgrades sake. same with grips, saddle, blah blah blah.

    if you are riding as much as you say and you feel confidant about your bike skills, converting to clipless can be a worthwhile endeavor for a purpose (control, power, etc., etc.).

    btw, I have an avalanche 2.0 and I, too, enjoy its company.
    Yeah the small pedals that come with the bike is the only thing I can think of that bothers me...I've gotten used to them now but my feet would slip a lot when I first started. I'll definitely look into clipless pedals. I'd imagine going clipless would require some practice on easier trails. Does it take a lot of getting used to?

  8. #8
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    If that was my bike, I would upgrade the fork to something like a RockShox Recon, like the silver one on JensonUSA.com for $219.00, which I have on my bike AND LOVE IT! And upgrade the brakes to Avid Juicy 3's, fromCambriaBike.com where they have a really good price for brakes. Also, I would change the wheelset to something with either Mavic or WTB rims. Check out wheelsets with Mavic rims and Shimano XT hubs, WTB SpeedDisc rims and Shimano hubs, and other wheels like those. The rear derailleur is pretty low quality, so change it to a Shimano Deore (9 speed derailleur, but will work with an 8 speed drivetrain). Those upgrades will run you about $400.00, but the most important would be the fork and the wheels.

    But thats just what I would do.

  9. #9
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    Cool, thanks for all the advice. While we're on the subject, anyone care to share their favorite clipless pedals/shoes? Preferably less than $100?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    getting used to clipless depends on the person and your confidence level. before I went on any trails, I practiced clipping in and out in my hallway leaning against the wall.

    I have been using Shimano m540's which are SPDs and Pearl Izumi shoes. there are SPD knockoffs which can bring the price down a bit. I hear good things about Time ATAC pedals, too.

  11. #11
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    My first upgrades to my complete bike were brakes, I went from mechanical to hydrolic brakes to have a more powerful stop with one finger breaking. Second was clip-in pedals that a friend switched with me for my regular pedals, so I just had to purchase shoes which were SPD Shimanos. I love clip-ins, my foot is always in the right spot on my pedal, no need to readjust footing or anything, just ride. My only other item I want to upgrade on my Cannondale Trail SL 5 is the crank, I bent my bottom bracket or crank, and want to upgrade to something stronger than the fsa dynadrive. I say upgrade as necessary and do your research so if you want to upgrade, that you get your moneys worth and that helps your riding experience

  12. #12
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    I am brand new to the forum, in fact this is my first post! Just making the switch from YEARS of sport motorcycles to cross country/ mountain biking (have a son on the way). Anyway, I just purchased my first mtb in many years and it just so happens to be the Avalanche 3.0 disc. I used to race/ build BMX bikes as a teen so the first thing I thought after riding this bike was what upgrades I can makeÖ.. on a budget? Thankfully, a lot of my questions were answered on this site. Blue Sky Cycling and Jenson USA have some sick deals even though many of the parts are OEM off of factory bikes. I ordered Marzocchi 22 R Forks, ODI grips, saddle and pedals. Eventually plan on upgrading the rear der. to either a Deore or Shadow and ordering a 2009 closeout wheel set. I know, why didnít I just buy the 1.0 or expert? I didnít have the cash all at once and enjoy tinkering in the garage.
    Ok, now Iím ready for the obligatory newbie bashing.

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