Just got used Giant XtC 2, got some questions...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Just got used Giant XtC 2, got some questions...

    I've been doing some research online for entry level mountain bikes and I narrowed it down to a couple bikes from BikesDirect and a few used bikes that pop up on Craigslist (Specialized, Giant, Trek, ect...).
    I finally settled for a 2009 Giant XtC 2. I did my research on this bike before I went to look at it, I found it on Craigslist. Well, when I looked at it it had different components than what was spec'd on various websites that I've seen. Specifically, the derailleurs have been switched out. The websites all have SRAM X.5 on it, but it had a $20 Shimano Altus actually on it. I couldn't find a name on the front derailleur. And the cassette is black, not silver like in the pics I've seen. I think there are 7 speeds x 3 = 21? Also the crank set doesn't have a name on it, that I've seen yet. The front shock (broken lockout) and disk brakes are the same as spec'd. Everything else looked fine, the frame is in excellent condition, brakes work good, and it shifts easy.
    I rode it for a few miles last night (not on a trail) and it rode great, even going over curbs. I figured I could upgrade the derailleurs when needed.
    I talked the guy down from $350 to $250 because of the switched out parts.

    So my questions are....
    1. In your opinion, is this a good price for a Giant with those components?
    2. If I ever was to upgrade the derailleurs, is that even possible on this bike?
    3. Do I have to upgrade both at once, or can I do each separately? Do I have to change out the whole system (derailleurs, cassette, and shifter)?
    4. What is a good derailleur for an entry level person? Should I go back with a SRAM X5 or X7, or something different like a Shimano Deore XT or SLX?

    Sorry for the noob questions!

  2. #2
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    thats not a bad price. yes you can replace your DR's.

    you dont have to change the front and rear DR at the same time.

    you do have to change the crankset, chain, and cassette at the same time so you know how much milage they are all at. plus old parts dont mesh with new ones on the drivetrain side.

    if you change to a 9 speed you will have to get new shifters and i would get SLX Rear DR and deore front DR and a SLX cassette.

    have fun with your new ride!

  3. #3
    Rod
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    It sounds like the owner decided to keep the drivetrain that came on the bike and put on a different one. There's a few steps and I'll list them below. First of all that's a great price on the bike.

    1. See how many speeds it has - you mentioned 7. Most bikes now have 9
    2. It sounds like it has a shimano derailleur. That means they must be shimano shifters. SRAM and shimano rear derailleurs are not compatible.
    3. What year is the bike? Is the wheelset compatible with 9 speed?
    4. If it is 7 speed I recommend upgrading to 9 speed so you can find parts.
    5. If you convert to 9 speed you will need to change everything at once, unless you want to do some research. Is your chain a 9 speed? Is it stretched? If it is stretched then the old chain will wear out the new components that you put on your bike. You can measure chain stretch with a ruler or a very cheap park tool chain checker. If you don't want to deal with that pick up a 20 dollar chain. I have this tool. It's simple and easy to use. Park Tools CC-3 Chain Wear Indicator - BikeRadar
    6. You do not have to change out all the derailleurs at once, but I would. If it's not 9 speed, and you decide to convert, you will probably need 9 speed shifters and rear derailleur. Make sure they're the same brand. You can still use the front derailleur, but you can probably pick up a new one on ebay for 20 -30 bucks.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the good advice (to both)!
    That gives me some good ideas on how to proceed with upgrades.

  5. #5
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    Just wondering... my fork's lockout is broken. It's a Rockshock Dart 3. Can that be easily fixed by myself? Or a bike shop?

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Did you end up buying the bike? If not, don't.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I did get it. Why would you say not to?

  8. #8
    gran jefe
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    subscribing to see what andrw says abt the bike...

  9. #9
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    At that price, upgrading to a certain level usually comes out being more expensive than buying a bike that has all that stuff in the first place.

    Now that you have it, though, pics. Pull the rear wheel off and take one of the cogs.

    For the fork, it's probably fixable, I'd probably be just as inclined to stick a Surly 1x1 fork on the front instead. I don't know the Dart specifically, but if I can't have the fancy dampers to which I'm accustomed, I'd rather have a rigid fork.

    EDIT: In answer to one of your questions, I think the Shimano Deore derailleur (not XT or SLX or anything - just plain Deore) is the best value going unless you tend to break them a lot. In which case an Acera or Alivio will still be a lot better than an Altus.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info. I've attached a few pics.
    Now I've done some research as to what is on the bike and figured out that the whole drivetrain has been switched out to cheaper components. So I will most likely have to upgrade. But I can probably do it and still be under my original $450 budget. I hope.

    What do you guys think of these parts as my first upgrade package to 9 speed ($140 total)...
    Shimano Deore M592 Shadow RD
    Shimano Deore M590 Shifters
    Shimano SLX HG61 Cassette
    Shimano XT HG93 Chain

    Then later on I could upgrade the crankset and front DR.
    Or do I need to upgrade the crankset now too? Shimano FC-M191 is on there now.
    Any advice?





  11. #11
    better than I deserve
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    If you feel you have to go 9 speed I`d just replace the cassette,shifters and chain.Those derailleurs may work fine.For a bike in that price just ride the heck out of it.It has susp. forks and disc already.I wouldn`t dump too much money into it.It`s a nice looking bike!

  12. #12
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    Nice bike

  13. #13
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    you could just check www.bikepedia.com to find out what all of the original components were.

  14. #14
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    Id be willing to bet the wheelset was changed out when the drivetrain was changed as well. And ive only seen really low end bikes with the "megarange" type granny gears. Also im not positive, but that stem looks really long for that bike. Id consider upgrading the fork as well if its in your budget. I think with all the parts that need to be swapped out id consider a build kit or something of the like. I still think you got a deal on the bike and its a good platform to start from.
    2010 Giant Yukon FX
    Pure XCR Wheelset/Geax Saguaro Tires/Tubeless
    Bike Weight Lost: 2.48lbs (1124g)

  15. #15
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    Just an update to my bike...
    Decided to keep the bike and do the upgrades... I purchased pretty much everything from blueskycycling, cheap prices although not in box stuff.

    I know a lot more about bikes now since I first posted this, back then I knew it was a frame with two wheels.

    I've put 100+ road miles on it, as I used it pretty much every other day riding to go eat somewhere or just to ride around. I've also taken it off trail multiple times and am very pleased by the bike. I've went through deep mud puddles, launched from 3' drop offs, to jumping plenty of roots, and winding through many trails.

    My girlfriend has a Trek 3500 and that thing is a tank. She crashes all the time, but that thing takes a licking and keeps on ticking (I'm talking about the bike). Comparing the weight of her bike to mine, her's feels 10lbs heavier. Not really 10, but it is much heavier, I can tell just by lifting the back seat.

    The frame is pretty much original on the bike. I like it, no complaints.
    I've left the seatpost, seat, stem, bars, tires, and front wheel as is... As in whatever has been switched (or not switched out) by the previous owner has been fine with me.
    I've upgraded:
    Shimano SLX HG61 Cassette 9-Speed
    Shimano Deore M592 Shadow Rear Derailleur
    Shimano Deore M590 Shifter Pods
    Shimano Deore LX M571 Brake Levers
    Race Face Ride XC X Type Crankset
    Shimano Deore Disc Rear Wheel W/Sun Rhyno Lite Rim
    I tried to install all of these myself, but had to take it to my LBS to finish up the job. They added a SRAM chain after I messed up the new Shimano one I bought.
    Parts and install cost me... $350

    Total - $250 for the bike +$350 in parts = $600.

    I need to put on still:
    Shimano Deore XT M772 Front Derailleur for another $40 installed.

    At $650 with these components, I feel like I have a pretty strong bike. Especially when I compare everything to another bike at this price range at a LBS.

    Any opinions? Either on the upgrades or anything else?

    What should I do next? Besides replace the front fork... Guess that's a good chunk of change in itself. (the lockout in my fork is busted, but I hardly ever bottom out)

    I'll try to get some pics posted soon.
    Last edited by nmilsaps; 11-12-2012 at 02:59 PM.

  16. #16
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    Hmm, well this is slightly confusing. I think for future reference you should probably keep only one thread instead of two.

    I have posted my reply in your other 'almost identical' thread.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/giant/new-me-...-a-761457.html

  17. #17
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    Thanks for your reply in the other thread.
    I know I have two threads, but they are in different sections (a Giant section and a Newbie section). They also have different replies from different people.

    Just trying to suck in as much info from all angles!

  18. #18
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    just for reference a non functioning lockout on a 2009 dart 3 is the standard symptom of a leaky damper that leaked all the oil out. The 08 and 09 darts had a known seal problem with a lot of warranty issues.

    If you have one of the leaky forks you might get a lot out of a fork upgrade (way out of warranty) to something with some damping.

  19. #19
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    I have same bike only 08'. The 09' sold for $900 and mine was $750 being the 08' price.
    It came with:
    Sram X5 DR and shifters.
    Shimano HG-50 9 spd cassette
    Truvativ iso-flo cranks...
    Hayes mx4 mech disc front/rear
    Wtb duel duty rims w/formula hubs
    I upgraded everything but the seatpost clamp and it's a totally awsome mach now compared to the stock componants. I got it stock and rode till the drive train wore out
    and it road good. It's a ton better now with a GXP crankset, Reba RL dual air forks
    ect...You'll like that bike even at a stock lvl...and you got a good price on it too

  20. #20
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    Oh yea, my 08' Dart 3 leaked oil bad out the bottom and after 2 times to the shop (under warranty),
    they ended up giving me a new 09' set with the remote lock-out on it and I never had a prob with the new one's. I beat the crap out of them for 3 years and there's still nothing wrong with them. The bad thing is that they're heavy with the steel steerer and coil.
    All your upgrades are good. Next look to get rid of the bars and stem since they are
    cheap as hell on sale to upgrade them (If you want that is).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by faceplant72 View Post
    just for reference a non functioning lockout on a 2009 dart 3 is the standard symptom of a leaky damper that leaked all the oil out. The 08 and 09 darts had a known seal problem with a lot of warranty issues.

    If you have one of the leaky forks you might get a lot out of a fork upgrade (way out of warranty) to something with some damping.
    Thanks! I have noticed some oil on the bottom, so maybe it has leaked out. I've talked with various shops and they say it's not worth repairing. Even though they don't even look at the fork.
    But it's worth checking out again.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bataivah View Post
    All your upgrades are good. Next look to get rid of the bars and stem since they are
    cheap as hell on sale to upgrade them (If you want that is).
    Thanks. I'll look into that. Any recommendations?

  23. #23
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    Got my last set at Bluesky. Felt 6 series stem $15.00 and Felt 6061 bar $20.00. I like the 7050 Alum
    and 6061 Alum the most for me. All my sets are one type or the other. My Stylo Team and Worldcup
    sets are 7050 and are scary light (not much heavier than carbon).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmilsaps View Post
    Thanks! I have noticed some oil on the bottom, so maybe it has leaked out. I've talked with various shops and they say it's not worth repairing. Even though they don't even look at the fork.
    But it's worth checking out again.
    The RS Dart is one of the low-end shocks from RS. I don't expect any shop will tell you that it's worth fixing. In your current state, it sounds like the oil has leaked out enough so that the lockout doesn't have enough oil to lock out the fork.

    My recommendations are to shop for a replacement shock. Strongly recommend an air-sprung shock like the RS Recon Silver (single air, goes for about $200 new - Amazon). If you want to attempt a rebuild on your DART shock, look for the service manual on the Rock Shox website. It isn't too hard to service/refill the oil and you'll have saved yourself some money.

    Look here for the service manual:
    Service Resources - RockShox | SRAM

    The other suggestion is to shop for better (i.e. more expensive) shocks, but used. Look for them on Ebay etc, but buyer beware... probably a good idea to ask for advice if you're unsure about the items on ebay.

    -S

    P.S. too bad I didn't see this thread earlier.. I would have steered you to SRAM derailleur sets - they feel and work much better than their Shimano counterparts (and I'm a recent convert)

  25. #25
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    yea, a solo air silver would be a great replacement for the money.
    Also some good deals on comparable Marzocci's too.
    Check out Bluesky cycling

  26. #26
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    Well, I think you got a heck of a deal- first, $250 don't buy much and you got a whole bike. Besides, as you are finding out, your gonna change most of it anyway. At least you got something to work with.
    As Shibi said, get a good fork. It took me a cple weeks but I finally nabbed a Fox Talas fork...just short of what you paid for your whole bike, but they are hard to snag if they are nice and clean.

  27. #27
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    No big deal, but thats the same year as mine...08'. The rims were swapped also, but tires look the same. You'll see that the 09' model has white seat stays and white highlight on the headtube.
    Same frame but just slightly diff paint scheme, small bloc 8 tires, and mavic rims really.

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