Help with upgrading / replacing components- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help with upgrading / replacing components

    I have a 2009 Jais dakota sport. http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...kotasport.html

    I started to upgrade the bike, only been riding about a year, by putting on a wider bar and better grips, and I had to replace the tires. I am looking to replace or upgrade the crankset/drivetrain/shifters/derailleurs. I haven't had any major issues with the fork yet, although I may not be good enough to realize it but I dont know if I coudl afford the investment to make a significant difference up front. The brakes suit me fine, never had an issue with them as of yet.

    I rarely use the large front sprocket, I mainly ride single track stuff is their a good setup I can use to eliminate that sprocket, I am debating on going to a single front sprocket, I am despite my lack of skills a strong rider. I'm not interested in getting a new bike just yet, but I would like to tune this one up so as I improve I can push the bike a bit further. Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    r29
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    2x9 set up maybe?

    May I ask why upgrade the drivetrain?
    moving to slx or xt will give you a crisper and smoother shifting does not really do much if your set up work fine now.

    Really no point in upgrading any of the component. It is not worth the money to put into the bike. I would ride it out until parts break then switch out what you need or invest in a new bike.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    People like BBG bash guards. It bolts on in place of your big ring - basically a direct replacement.

    1x9 setups, based on all the people asking for help on the drivetrain forum, are a little more finicky. I only ever used a 1x setup on a road bike, and not for all that long, so I'll defer to someone with more relevant experience if they care to post.

    Drivetrain upgrades are expensive, and given where you're starting, they won't do all that much unless you've actually damaged something. But, I could swear I feel a difference in stiffness between my current SLX crankset and my previous one. The SLX is available as a double crank with a bash ring (22-36 chain rings - maybe a little high, maybe not.) So you could do that.

    How much are you thinking of spending on this project?

    Jamis really gave you quite a lot for your money.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    I really just want to be able to concentrate on body position, weight transfer, cornerng speed ect, and not shifting or dropping my chain in awkward spots, I kind of felt like changing to a simpler drive train might help out with that and improve my overall speed.

    A friend suggested upgrading the fork but I just don't know if I have a need for that yet, I'm not hucking off of anything big so far. I was considering a rock shox 302 u-turn with 85-130 travel, but does that actually give me a serious benefit?

    I know the ideal situation is to switch over to a full suspension bike, but I really want another season on the hardtail to get some skills built up before I decide how I want to pursue that.

  5. #5
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    I run 2x9 on almost all my bikes. Putting a bashguard on is cheap and easy, it looks cool, and it'll save your calves from being gashed by the teeth on the big ring. It's a worthy and fun upgrade. IMHO, go for it.

    On the fork, going to a 302 Tora from your current Tora SL is a side-grade. Don't even bother.

    Are you having trouble dropping your chain now? That could be an adjustment issue. I wouldn't rush to replace the entire drivetrain. Also, if you're shifting in awkward spots, that's a technique issue, and changing out the drivetrain won't matter.

    I just looked at the drivetrain specs on your bike. All Deore-level and higher. IMHO, no need to change a thing about any of it unless something breaks or you are encountering a specific problem, or unless you just have a case of the "want to". You would need to spend some serious coin to put on new parts that were actually a noticeable upgrade to what you've got.

  6. #6
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    Just did this...

    on a 2005 Fuel. I went from Alivio shiftersand front derailleur, Deore LX rear derailleur and bontrager sport crankset to SRAM X-9 shifters and derailleurs and XT crankset. Huge difference in performance but also a little costly. For me, the cost to benefit was worth it because all of my parts were over 6 years old and most were about worn out anyway.

  7. #7
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    Just did this...

    on a 2005 Fuel. I went from Alivio shiftersand front derailleur, Deore LX rear derailleur and bontrager sport crankset to SRAM X-9 shifters and derailleurs and XT crankset. Huge difference in performance but also a little costly. For me, the cost to benefit was worth it because all of my parts were over 6 years old and most were about worn out anyway.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    I run 2x9 on almost all my bikes. Putting a bashguard on is cheap and easy, it looks cool, and it'll save your calves from being gashed by the teeth on the big ring. It's a worthy and fun upgrade. IMHO, go for it.

    On the fork, going to a 302 Tora from your current Tora SL is a side-grade. Don't even bother.

    Are you having trouble dropping your chain now? That could be an adjustment issue. I wouldn't rush to replace the entire drivetrain. Also, if you're shifting in awkward spots, that's a technique issue, and changing out the drivetrain won't matter.

    I just looked at the drivetrain specs on your bike. All Deore-level and higher. IMHO, no need to change a thing about any of it unless something breaks or you are encountering a specific problem, or unless you just have a case of the "want to". You would need to spend some serious coin to put on new parts that were actually a noticeable upgrade to what you've got.
    As BSNYC said, "Bikes aren't fast. People are fast. Bikes are overpriced."

    Having the shifters right there on the handlebars does make it easy to use them too much. But nobody is holding a gun to my head and telling me that I have to shift my front derailleur at the same time as I do a pedal-up over a log and onto a short climb. I get better results leaving it alone for those and just getting out of the saddle.

    So, I'll give you a shift pattern to try, and you can see if you get the simplicity you desire in your riding experience...

    If you're on a climb over a couple minutes and plan to do it seated, get in the small ring.

    If you're on a flat or descending road, get in the big ring.

    The rest of the time, stay in your middle ring.

    With the amount of overlap on a MTB drivetrain, I seriously doubt you'll run out of gear ratios following this. Really, the big ring's not that important even on the road - 32:11 is a pretty high gear, and 36:11 is even higher.

    Stay off the right shifter unless the terrain changes significantly and will stay changed for a while, or you want to modify your effort level. Those little rollers don't merit a shift. All the gears that singlespeeders have at their disposal are there for us too (sitting, standing, walking, coasting, gasping for breath, dead.) You're right in suspecting that a simpler drivetrain makes for a simpler ride and allows you to concentrate on your technique, but the drivetrain is only as complicated as the way you use it.

    If you want to upgrade your fork, get the nicer damper for it, or go all the way to a Reba or a SID or something.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by r29
    Really no point in upgrading any of the component. It is not worth the money to put into the bike. I would ride it out until parts break then switch out what you need or invest in a new bike.
    I completely agree and would strongly emphasize this point.

    From what it sounds like, your upgrades would end up costing just as much as the original cost of the bike, if not more (at least if you really will be buying some upgrades that are worth upgrading to). That frame is not a frame worth spending much money on for expensive upgrades. If you were talking about a fancy frame from a boutique builder that you somehow bought secondhand with some old components on it or something, it might have been a different matter. But not for an inexpensive Jamis...

    You might already know this, but buying a (comparatively inexpensive) bike and then buying upgrades for it piecemeal is the least cost-effective way of obtaining a particular bike build. When you buy upgrades individually, you'll pay full retail price for them (or reasonably close to it). But, when manufacturers buy those components, they buy at much lower prices due to the large quantities that they purchase. So, if you were to buy, say, a cheap version of a Specialized Stumpjumper and then upgrade the components on it individually to make it identical to a higher-priced version of the same model, you will have spent way more money than if you had purchased the more expensive one in the first place (even if you do get money back for your discarded components).

    So, saving your money and buying a new bike already outfitted with better components by the manufacturer would be a more cost-effective way of upgrading in the long run.
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  10. #10
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    I concur with most of what has been said here.

    'Break and Upgrade' is the best way to go. Over time your drivetrain will wear out and need replacement. But not for many years, at the least. By all means, replace your big ring with a bash guard. Hopefully you have a crankset with bolted chainrings, and not one of the cheap riveted ones. If you have a bolted crankset, you can just remove the big ring and replace it with a bashguard. If you have a riveted one - well you're out of luck and will have to replace the crankset.

    Replacing the drivetrain is quite a bit more expensive, and usually only worth it if you're going from 7/8 to 9 or 10 speed. Keep in mind though that the chain thickness for 7/8, 9 and 10 speeds are all different. You'll end up having to replace:
    Derailler
    Shifters
    Cassette
    Chain
    Chainrings

    Depending on what level you go to, you'll end up paying well over $500.
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  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    ^^^
    Glad I didn't know this when I went from 8 to 9 speed. I only did the shifters, chain and cassette. Since the chain and cassette were replacing a worn out set, the shifters were the only additional expense associated with upgrading.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    I agree, you have to balance the cost of upgrading piecemeal with what you could get if you save your upgrade $$ now and purchase a better bike in the future.

    But, there are some exceptions -
    Sometimes you can find some great high quality used components on ebay if you're patient. My husband has snagged some great XTR components from racers who change their drive-train every year.

    Also, if you have your eye on upgrading to a boutique frame that doesn't come with components, you could justify upgrading your current bike with components that are worthy of your future frame. But you are taking a risk that the future frame won't change in a manner that makes the components not compatible or that you will change your mind about what you want in the future.

    One advantage of upgrading (although you pay quite a price for it) is that you personally get to experience what makes a difference. I have done some upgrades that didn't make a noticeable difference at all. The biggest differences I've noticed in upgrades were when I replaced something that was worn out and not performing up to par with an upgrade that was better, new, and clean. Only after I did the upgrade did I realize how worn the old stuff was. As an example, I had derailleur trolleys (or wheels) that were worn to little points. The bushings were loose, and they were full of crud. We took some less-worn trolleys out of broken XT and XTR derailleurs, cleaned them up and re-greased them, and put them into my LX derailleur. My drive train never felt so smooth! I was shocked at the difference.

  13. #13
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    I also vote for "save your money"! A Deore/XT combo with the Hollowtech crank is fine, and as long as it shifts well and isn't broken, just ride it until it breaks. Only replace those parts if they are not working, no point otherwise and your money is best spent elsewhere.

    For the cost of an upgraded drive train (XT/X9 cranks,shifters,deraillers), you could buy a tubeless wheelset or a very nice light for night rides, or weight weenie parts. You could also put that in the bank and start saving up for "the next bike", or a road bike, or a project bike from CL, etc.

    You've got a solid bike there, and like they say, "if it aint broke..."
    "Got everything you need?"

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