Which Components Need Upgrade For Clydesdales?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which Components Need Upgrade For Clydesdales?

    I'm riding an Ibis Ripley LS V3. 61 years old and around 260 pounds with all my gear and a full Camelback.

    I was chatting with the shock guru at my LBS and he told me the vast majority of mountain bike companies design their bikes and select components based on a rider weight around 180 pounds. Well I'm obviously WAY above that!

    So, what does everyone think should be upgraded on a bike to make it withstand the extra abuse that a Clydesdale rider puts on it? I'm thinking, in no particular order:

    1. Handlebars
    2. Spokes
    3. Shock/fork
    4. Hubs
    5. Wheels
    6. Brakes
    7. Chain

    I already switched to a Fox DPX2 shock and bumped my fork travel out to 140mm.

    I also looked at my list and realized 2, 4, and 5 are pretty much in the same area of the bike so can be considered together. But then again, maybe not. Maybe one is much more critical than the other two.

  2. #2
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    Good choice on the shock. Once dialed youll love it.

    Id recommend a quality wheelset with beefy hubs. Dt Swiss 350 hubs are bomb proof.

    After that Id ride till something breaks then upgrade. Expect accelerated wear on the suspension, drive train and dropper post. Not sure if more expensive parts would help that. Maintenance is your friend.

    Hope this helps. Cheers.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by distortion10 View Post
    Good choice on the shock. Once dialed youll love it.

    Id recommend a quality wheelset with beefy hubs. Dt Swiss 350 hubs are bomb proof.

    After that Id ride till something breaks then upgrade. Expect accelerated wear on the suspension, drive train and dropper post. Not sure if more expensive parts would help that. Maintenance is your friend.

    Hope this helps. Cheers.
    Absolutely helps. Makes sense, too!

  4. #4
    turtles make me hot
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    I weigh about 265 and I used to break stuff like crazy. Mostly spokes and nipples and chains.
    I taught myself to build wheels and now I never break wheel stuff... EVER.
    Last part I hurt was on my fat bike. Hope hub with the aluminum freehub, I actually wrinkled the aluminum ahead of all the pawl pockets. The mechanics at the bike shop were dumbfounded. Never saw that before. We all agreed it was from my weight and strength and the unlimited traction climbing. We switched me to the stainless freehub and I have no more problems.
    I build all my own wheels with double butted spokes and good, sturdy rims. I ride a fat bike and a Plus bike and I feel the extra volume in the tires also helps immensely.
    I only use Thomson stems and seatposts.
    Probably the biggest thing I did was develop smoothness. I haven't broken a chain in nine or ten years. Best part of becoming a smooth rider is it's free.
    I like turtles

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post

    1. Handlebars
    2. Spokes
    3. Shock/fork
    4. Hubs
    5. Wheels
    6. Brakes
    7. Chain
    Heavier matters, but 210lbs of 'in shape' vs 270lbs of former couch potato will stress a bike differently.

    1- don't buy weight weenie bars. Easy.
    2- should be viewed as part of the wheel system.
    3- ABSOLUTELY. Production shocks tend to be tuned for everyone and nobody simultaneously. Same for forks, with the addition that the chassis is under-gunned. A different production shock might fix the problem, a custom tuned cheap shock might be better. It's interesting. Forks combine multiple elements and it gets hard to know what's best.
    4- some heavy riders will shred hubs, some won't.
    5- the system
    6- not sure why 4 pot front calipers aren't standard for general purpose mtbs. 8/7" rotors in the mean time.
    7- sure but whaddaya gonna do? Steel chainrings seem to make the wear reasonable.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I taught myself to build wheels and now I never break wheel stuff... EVER.
    I build all my own wheels with double butted spokes and good, sturdy rims.
    Would you care to share what brands you prefer?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post
    Would you care to share what brands you prefer?
    I usually run Hope hubs on the rear with the stainless freehub and almost immediately install better bearings. The ones that come in the hubs don't last long.
    I like Bike Hub Store hubs up front.
    DT Swiss or Sapim double butted spokes.
    I will use aluminum nipples on wheels that are going to have a fat or plus tire. I haven't hurt those but on a tire that doesn't afford the extra protection, I like black brass nipples.
    I use DT Swiss or LK Nipples I get from a guy on Ebay, Childhooddreams. Excellent spoke guy.
    If you want the best aluminum nipples, get Lily Precision. They're expensive but excellent quality.
    On my fat bike I have Surly My Other Brother Darryls. I run them with 5" tires and have zero dents in my rims.
    On My Krampus I have 40mm Raceface Arcs. Lots of people say these are not Clyde worthy rims but I have 3" tires on them. They stand up to me just fine.
    Remember that smoothness thing I mentioned earlier? Helps a lot.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
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    Oh! That was another thing...

    I always run 203 rotors on the front and 180 in the rear. Once, shopping on Ebay, I came across a guy selling a Shimano Zee front brake cheap. I nabbed it because it has four pistons. Never had four piston brakes before. Only SLX.
    Love em.
    I recently got to try a set of Hayes Dominions. You want braking power? These have it in spades.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
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    I would replace things as you break them. No need to fix what isn't broken (with suspension being the exception due to your mass). I also take enjoyment with breaking and replacing, feels more satisfying to me then just throwing money at something.

    Get your fork and shock tuned, and upgrade rotor size to 203/180. After that get cheap wide bars and play with width until you get it right.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Oh! That was another thing...

    I always run 203 rotors on the front and 180 in the rear. Once, shopping on Ebay, I came across a guy selling a Shimano Zee front brake cheap. I nabbed it because it has four pistons. Never had four piston brakes before. Only SLX.
    Love em.
    I recently got to try a set of Hayes Dominions. You want braking power? These have it in spades.
    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Get your fork and shock tuned, and upgrade rotor size to 203/180. After that get cheap wide bars and play with width until you get it right.
    I initially thought about upgrading to four piston brakes, but I honestly cannot think of a single time I've been out riding and thought, "man I wish I'd had better brakes back there!"

    I also have a Shockwiz that I'll be using to dial in my new DPX2 once my back issue clears up and I can ride again.

  11. #11
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    Don't upgrade anything. You might be someone who doesn't trash their kit. I'm 250, have been riding mountain bikes since the early 90s and haven't broken half of what some guys seem to get through.

    1. Handlebars - nope - most bars are overengineered anyway. Buy a more Enduro / DH bar over lightweight XC
    2. Spokes - I've had luck and trouble with all, so ride what you got and always go for more spokes per wheel - that makes more of a difference
    3. Shock/fork - read a LOT on line and make up your own mind. Different shocks and forks work for different bike geometry.
    4. Hubs - I've had years with Shimano, DT Swiss and King - lots out there.
    5. Wheels - wider rims, good build, look after them
    6. Brakes - 203 disc on the front, never ran out of braking with Shimano, Avid or Hope 2 pot brakes
    7. Chain - they are damned strong. Learning to spin not mash, how to change gears when pedaling and not cross-chaining will do more than searching for a megachain.

  12. #12
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    I'm a 255 pound rider myself. Definitely get custom wheels! I run DT Swiss 350 hubs with DT Swiss spokes and Pro Lock nipples. I also have Stan's Sentry rims to finish off the build. So far no problems!

    Depending on the total weight of your bike, you may or may not need 4 piston brakes. My Transition Sentinel weighed about 37 pounds and my stock 2 piston brakes were not stopping the bike and myself. I swapped out to 4 piston SRAM Code Rs and have had zero issues. At the same time, I had a 28 pound hardtail and used 2 piston Shimano XT brakes and had zero stopping issues. I did try the XT brakes on my Sentinel and it didn't help much.

    I've never had any issues with any pedal brands even when I used to weigh 285 pounds.

    For everything else, replace as they break!
    Trek monda | Transition Scout | Transition PBJ | Framed Attack Pro

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I usually run Hope hubs on the rear with the stainless freehub and almost immediately install better bearings. The ones that come in the hubs don't last long.
    'Buy hope hubs, replace everything that moves' doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement. I'll grant you that my hope hubs with aftermarket bearings and steel freehub have been very reliable.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    'Buy hope hubs, replace everything that moves' doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement. I'll grant you that my hope hubs with aftermarket bearings and steel freehub have been very reliable.
    Hey yeah....seems like a conspriacy on NYrr's part to sell bearings to people with brand new hope hubs. I wonder if you would notice the makers mark "NYrr496" on the bearing seals?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Hey yeah....seems like a conspriacy on NYrr's part to sell bearings to people with brand new hope hubs. I wonder if you would notice the makers mark "NYrr496" on the bearing seals?
    I like turtles

  16. #16
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    Idk what the cost difference is but if hope + upgraded bearings + steel freehub is more expensive than hadley you should just go hadley in the first place.

  17. #17
    turtles make me hot
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    I order the Hubs with the steel freehub now. Doesn't cost any extra. Enduro bearings are 17.00.
    I like turtles

  18. #18
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    Hope's bearing size and quality suck and they know it, but they don't do anything about it. Maybe they should as Chris King to make some bearings for them?

  19. #19
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    I agree with all of whats been posted so far.

    I'm about 265 loaded up, and I ride a 2019 Kona Honzo.

    A lot of the factory parts were of good quality, but I did change a few things with the understanding that I'd tear them up.

    I replaced the factory wheels with a set of WTB Asym i35 hoops laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs.

    Replaced the stock Rockshox Recon fork with a 2018 PIKE, I'm still working on the settings, but the 35mm stanchion (compared to 32) REALLY stiffened up the front end.

    I dumped the factory brakes for a set of Shimano XT brakes with 180/180 Icetech rotors.

    And finally I swapped to my preferred tires, Maxxis Minion DHF WT2.5 in the front and an Aggressor 2.3 with DD casing in the rear, the stiffer sidewalls seem to hold up better for me.

    Some of these things "may" never have been issues for me, but I could feel the improvement each piece made...your mileage may vary.
    2019 Kona Honzo
    2018 Trek Marlin 5 (Paved Path Pounder)
    1996 Specialized Rockhopper (When I'm feeling...rigid)

  20. #20
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    White industries have steel axles and titanium freehubs. The bearings are good quality too.

    I beat my hope hubs quickly, like a lot of people have. Wish I spent the marginal extra and just bought white industries.

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