Upgrades that are worth doing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upgrades that are worth doing

    I have a wahoo with the only upgrades being platform pedals and grips. I really don't want clipless pedals. Are there any upgrades I could do that would make a big difference in how my bike rides or performs?

  2. #2
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    tires/wheels always drastically change the ride performance of any bike. Depending on your budget you could check those out.

  3. #3
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    Tires for sure. Most stock tires are some sort of (very crappy) do-all tires. Get some rubber meant for the stuff you ride.

    I'm a big believer in disc brakes for anything except trials type riding. Even some cheapo mechanicals are nice (I had some from the factory on my Trek that I've since upgraded to hydraulic). They make going down steep hills less butt-clenching and generally just won't be so darn grabby like rim brakes are. They also (to me) seem to be less affected by weather; mud and water will almost instantly scrape off and won't cause a lot of slipping.

    Seat if it's at all uncomfortable, although first play with the front/back and tilt adjustments to make sure you have it set where it should be.

  4. #4
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    You might take a look at your fork. My beginner bike was a Trek 4300, the fork was the first thing I swapped. It was a new bike after that, it still makes no sense to me but it felt like it was easier to pedal the bike. I am unfamiliar with your ride but it is something to look into.

  5. #5
    too cold to ride
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    Saddle
    Now go home and get your ******* shinebox.

  6. #6
    ...idios...
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    Get a set of tyres which are best suited to the trails you ride the most. Then ride more. Your bike will perform better the more you ride. Ride lots.

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
    Diogenes


  7. #7
    Riding free's the mind
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    When I think of the upgrades that made the most diff in my bikes would be:
    - Disc brakes
    - Saddle that fits ( more padding doesn't necessarily equal more comfortable)
    - Definitely clipless pedals
    - Tubeless tires
    - ODI Lock-on grips
    - Full suspension
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  8. #8
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    When I first got my entry level bike, I asked my friend this same question. He said "anything that rotates is worth upgrading". So wheels, brakes and cranks. Also, upgrading your derailleurs will help too.

  9. #9
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    my derailleurs seem fine to me. I guess I just want to make it lighter. What are the best wheels that are lighter, have disc compatible hubs and can still take some three foot to flat drops without breaking?

  10. #10
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    I had the same bike and ended up upgrading a few things.

    1st - Tires - The stock Bontrager Tires didn't do much for me.
    2nd - Fork - The RS Dart is heavy. I works fine, but the new Manitou R7 is very light and plush compared to the stock fork.
    3rd - Saddle, Seatpost and Handlebar - Adjusted the cockpit to suit me as well as shed a bunch of weight. The stock seatpost and bars were very heavy. The new saddle is much lighter as well and fits me way better.

    I've done a bunch of other things as well, but those changes made the most difference.

  11. #11
    Riding free's the mind
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    Stans makes a nice range of wheels, the Flow is all-mountain and possibly robust enough for 3 footers....Mavic, DT, etc are all good. It depends on how heavy you are and your typical riding style. I had my wheels custom built, because I'm more XC than DH. Custom wheels can be lighter because they are specific to your specs, versus trying to cover everyone as pre-built wheels have to be. Anyways, just an option to consider.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  12. #12
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    i'd go with a fork before wheels, your wheels are still pretty decent, but an upgraded fork for around $200-250 will make your bike feel like a whole new one
    RH SL Pro

  13. #13
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    tires will probably provide you with a bigger change per dollar spent. i'd say do the fork after that, but that can get expensive real quick if you want a disc only fork... which is what i did, had to get fork, disc wheels, and brakes, all at once... but i would've upgraded it sooner or later anyway... so why not? stem/saddle aren't too expensive, depending on what you want...
    from there the only thing really left is the drivetrain...??

  14. #14
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    I found wider handlebars and better grips made a nice improvement on my bike.

  15. #15
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    Tubeless conversion. Ghetto that sucka. Cheap, easy and extremely effective at increasing the contact patch of the tire. I ride DH/FR/XC in Arizona desert and all my bikes are tubeless. Ghetto is as strong as Stan's strips, so start with tubes until you buy the Stan's strip/wheel set. Less flats, better traction, faster rolling as well.

    Everything else... ride it until it breaks and then upgrade.

  16. #16
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    Rim brakes work just as well as XC disk brakes, and are a lot less fussy. Cheap disk brakes are a pain in the ass. If you decide you are going to put inexpensive disks on, there's bb7's. Hydros start at a retail price of 240$/set. Juicy 5/stroker trail/slx. Anything cheaper for hydros isn't worth dealing with.

    Everyone loves to talk about wheels, but they don't make much difference unless you bent yours or the hubs are out of adjustment. You could spend a lot of money and maybe knock 400grams off your wheelset and easily put 600 on with tires without noticing. Either way, once they're spinning, they're spinning. Tires can make a pretty perceptible difference, but they might make it worse. Either way, don't go buy tires until you're past the 'i want to ride my mtn bike all over town' phase.

    If it's a dart one, those things are undamped and really suck. The rest of the darts have basic damping and only suck. Either way, a fork that is worth spending money on is 250$, and it doesn't make sense to spend half of the bikes cost on a component. With forks, you care about the damping. A fork with a primitive damper (turnkey, tst2, FFD) is marginally an upgrade.

    Cockpit changes can make a profound difference in how a bike rides and performs, but you have to know what to change and how much. I know what works for me and what i'd change on any new stock bike, but i'm not you. If we rode together all the time i bet i could make a good educated guess on what would work, but not over the internet.

    Buying parts that are lighter because they're lighter is a COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY. This is true at almost any price point. If you have something that is appropriate for the application and $, the weight will be competitive, and it ultimately doesn't make as much difference as it is easy to measure.

    Don't upgrade drivetrain parts. If it's low end it will wear pretty quickly, or you'll break it by crashing or misshifting. When that happens on the wahoo, replace with deore. Deore is reliable and works well




    The best upgrade is to ride a lot, a ton! Get connected with fast people and follow them. Experiment on the trail. Figure out how to keep everything tuned up, and how to adjust your cockpit, controls, suspension, and tire pressure to best suit you.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  17. #17
    Just Ride.
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    Wheels and tires make the biggest difference by far.

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