Turning my Xc bike into an aggressive trail bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Turning my Xc bike into an aggressive trail bike

    i people. About 3 years ago I decided to grt into mountain biking properly and managed to raise 1k to out towards a new bike, having realised quickly that was not enough to get the kind of bike I wanted (fuel x/stuntjumper etc) I found a really good deal on a 2009 norco faze 3, it looked sweet and although labeled a 4-5 inch full sus xc, bike radar gave it a pretty good review " The Faze was a totally new bike to us, but it immediately became a firm favourite for pushing our limits on more challenging trails" so I went for it and to this day I havent regreted it . Its improved my riding ten fold ! But with improvent hss come the desire to be able ride more aggressive terrain and fster lines (without sacrifising the ability to ride uphill) so instead of buying a new bike im going to rebuild the norco and beef it up, I only weigh 140lb wet through and live in the uk where we dont really have any major terrain at best so I can't see any reaeon the frame isnt up to the task ??? But the stock components need removing !!! Fork drivetrain wheels tyres ,.. pretty much everything eventually. Ill be posting updates as I go so any advice, opinions or if anyones done the same thing id appreciate your comments attached are a couple of pics of the bike pre-re build
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    Last edited by Tonyb835; 04-25-2013 at 09:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyb835 View Post
    I can't see any reaeon the frame isnt up to the task ???
    Head angle is 70.5 degrees, which is pretty steep for aggressive riding. If you're replacing everything else you might as well replace the frame with something more suitable.
    Alternatively, you could swap the parts onto a more trail/AM oriented frame.

    Oh, and you may get more responses if you format your post so that it is a bit easier to read.

  3. #3
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    Why not just change frames and swap parts?

  4. #4
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    To be quite honest I don't know what you're considering "more aggressive", but to me the only thing that "needs" changing might be the fork to say a 140mm travel one and set the rear sus for 120mm travel. If you want to tweak it some to help it be more suited to more agro riding then....Drop the big ring and maybe swap out the middle to a 34 or 36 and add a bash guard. Add a dropper post. Get a shorter stem and wider bar. Maybe a new wheelset like the Hope Pro2 EVOs laced to Stans Flows rims.

    When you're done though, I'm not so sure that the others won't be right and it would be cheaper and better to have just got a new bike or frame with tapered HT and other modern features built to suit that type of riding.
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  5. #5
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    Ok i didnt really think about the head angle all that much to b honest, good point. the problem is moneys really tight and i love the current frame so i guess it wud b unrealistic to ever class it as a light am bike but i have to work with this frame so im just gonna try my best to make it a little more capable when things get rough. i wanna be able to ride to the top and also feel more confident coming down.

  6. #6
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    By more aggressive i mean the difference between a red run and a black run if that makes sense? at my fav trail centre the norco eats up the red route but felt out of place on the black route, thats what i want really to be able to do both well. you have touched on a subject thats eating away at me at the moment and thats the crank and weather i should swap the triple for a double ?? i do use my big ring from time to time but i hate the way it rattles around over the knarly stuff, even considered getting a bionicon v2 chain guide and keeping the triple but i dunno as yet.

    as for the tora ive got a fox 32 f120 rl lined up at a very nice price in black with a 15mm thru axle, and ive also been offered some mavic crossride wheels 15mm front 9mm rear, so if i can haggle a good price these will be the firdt of the upgrades to come. anyone have any experience with any either of these products ?

  7. #7
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    Hey Tony,

    I was in a similar boat a couple of years ago. I just moved out to Colorado and hadn't done much serious mtbing for about 10 years. I had bought a Spec Epic 26" in preparation for my move to CO. 100mm travel / XC race bike.

    When I first got out here, I was really struggling when I started hitting big rock gardens and drops in CO and on trips to UT. I'd never seen the like of it before on a mtb. So I started saving up money for a trail bike with more travel etc. Then I started to be more comfortable on my epic.

    Two years later I'm still rocking the epic and loving it. Now I'm hammering down trails littered with rock gardens that I went very cautiously on or walked before.

    IMHO its more about confidence than the bike. Sure more travel will probably help, but if you can work on your confidence and skill on your current bike you'll become a much better rider.

    Also upgrading parts is the most expensive way to go. Probably not what you are wanting to hear, but I'd ride the current bike into the ground while saving your cash. You'll be able to get a full new bike for what you spend in upgrades over a couple of years.

    Good luck on those blacks

  8. #8
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    I am one for upgrading the parts...fork, cranks, chain ring, shifters, derailleurs everything if you like the frame and feel REALLY comfortable on it. I just did this on my 2000 k2 Evo 4.0 frame and and loving the bike even more.
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
    Giant Glory DH (custom)
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  9. #9
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    you can only change the characteristics of a bike so much. Eventually, you reach a point where your changes start to compromise the bike. You can increase the travel a little bit, but that won't change the bike from an XC bike to an aggressive AM bike. It's still an XC bike, and the frame becomes a weak link.

  10. #10
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    thanks for the comments guys, nice to have other peoples opinion ! liike Nate said i can only mod it so much without hindering it, but i still feel this bike has alot of room for improvement so im gonna re spec it with some stiffer/lighter components, should i get to the point where i really need an AM rig ill simply buy a new frame and build it up.

    So at the moment im just looking into switching from 3x9 - 2x10 i currently have a deore crank on and to be honest its ready for changing, ive read alot of good reviews on the 2x10 setup i also like that it gives the option of a chain guide/bash, i must admit the constant chain rattle over roots n rockgardens drives me mad sometimes ha so its v tempting, the only question is how much flat out speed will i loose on long pedally sections?

    pedally ?? word of the day perhaps ha

  11. #11
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    The 2 x 10 conversion is nice & does quiet the bike down as you mentioned, but pricey.

    Stuff I've done to make my 2007 stumpjumper burlier:

    Dropped big ring, added bash (eventually went 2 x 10)
    Wider bars, Stem length reduced from to 70mm
    Replaced fox f120 with fox float 140 (more travel, slightly slacker front end)
    Increased suspension sag to appx 33%
    Dropper Post (HUGE difference!!)
    Stronger wheels - actually sorta wrecked the stock wheels so replaced with Azonic Outlaws, which are burly and cheap.
    Switched from weight weenie tires to Maxxis DHR II front, High Roller II on the back - the difference when cornering or on sketchy stuff is substantial.

    Also not a bad idea to start learing about your suspension. I've started doing (with the help of a friend) my own fork maintenance, which allows you to choose the viscosity of the suspension fluid and have greater control over how the suspension is set up. There are mods you can do to a fox f120 which increase the size of the air chamber, making the suspension more linear and coil-like. Having a suspension system that functions well and grippy tires makes all the difference in the world when you're trying harder stuff or just going balls-out fast on a downhill.

    If you're replacing suspension components, you might consider coils on the front and rear.

    Sorta agree with the folks above who mentioned that the front of your bike is steep. You might look into replacing the frame at some point. Scan the forums for a used frame or something.

    Just my $.02.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    you can only change the characteristics of a bike so much. Eventually, you reach a point where your changes start to compromise the bike. You can increase the travel a little bit, but that won't change the bike from an XC bike to an aggressive AM bike. It's still an XC bike, and the frame becomes a weak link.
    That's what my impression was also, until I got a Cotic Soul and slapped a 130mm Revelation on it. 60mm stem and 685mm bars. That bike can do anything... 70 degrees head angle. Short stem + wider bars have totally changed the way I ride my bikes now.

  13. #13
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    Turning my Xc bike into an aggressive trail bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnydrz View Post
    That's what my impression was also, until I got a Cotic Soul and slapped a 130mm Revelation on it. 60mm stem and 685mm bars. That bike can do anything... 70 degrees head angle. Short stem + wider bars have totally changed the way I ride my bikes now.
    That frame is designed for up to a 140mm fork. You are not making it do anything it isn't designed to do at this point. Increasing travel by 10% or so generally won't hurt most modern bikes. Some are a little more overbuilt and have a wider range like the Cotic. It is a modest change that will change the way the bike feels but not ruin it. Maybe you will like it. Maybe not.

    I made some changes to my 4" xc FS for it to suit my riding a little better. I also updated the cockpit with wider alt bars and a shorter stem. I installed better wheels and much fatter tires. I left the suspension alone and the changes I did made the bike feel better to me and improved handling. It is still an xc bike, though.

  14. #14
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    Cheers B-mac sounds like a good setup you have. the 2x10 option is looking good at the mo but first i wanna shorten the stem and get some wider bars on, arpox how much did ur conversion set you back? i wanted to go for 140mm up front but ive opted for the 120mm fox 32 f120 rl with the 15mm axle instead as i got it at a real bargin, it was between that and the new reba rl and i wanted to try fox out. it looks the bomb also managed to wrangle a pair of 2012 mavic crossride's all for under 400, ill be posting a few pics shortly.

    i did read in one review that a guy was struggling to get the full 120mm out of his f120 so he sent it away to be push tuned or something like that and after it was alot better?? i like to think i can do most of my own maintenence but im not sure about opening up a new fork ha i hear fox are tricky to self service. ive got the 2009 model in black i think its an open bath system.

    gonna fit it now :-)

  15. #15
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    new parts
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    Turning my Xc bike into an aggressive trail bike-20130426_184625.jpg  


  16. #16
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    got the fork on and the front wheel set up, just gotta pick up my new cassette and centre lock rotors tom

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