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Thread: Hal5 upgrades?

  1. #1
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    Hal5 upgrades?

    Just wondering if anyone has recommendations for upgrades on the Hal5. I'm pretty happy with the gear set, but have considered going with a 1 by, I do sort of wish the wheels had 15mm axles just for that extra stability, and was wondering what you guys recommend for cranks and seats. Thanks!

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    If you've thought about going 1x10, just do it. Remove the front derailure and shifter. A 32T raceface narrow wide only cost about $35 on amazon. If you ever think you'd still like the small ring for a long billy goat climb up a mountain, just leave the 22T cog on it. Swap chain manually when you start the climb. And if you leave the 22T cog on, no need to remove the crankset. Hardest thing will be removing the grip to take off the shifter and splitting the chain to remove the front derailure.

    I swapped the WTB seat to a cheaper narrow seat off amazon ($10 Vader) and it feels fine. More comfortable on the longer rides, and comes in different colors.

    The QR vs. thru-axle on the fork was a stupid cost cutting measure by BD, but it is what it is. IMO, all higher end forks should use thru-axle, and all full suspension frames should use a thru-axle in back. Hardtail frames are OK with QR in back. If you haven't swapped QR skewers, do it. Get a Shimano type internal cam (best bang for the buck) or a DT Swiss ratcheting skewer. They allow greater tension, which will tighten up the flex a lot. And the higher quality skewer material doesn't hurt.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    If you've thought about going 1x10, just do it. Remove the front derailure and shifter. A 32T raceface narrow wide only cost about $35 on amazon. If you ever think you'd still like the small ring for a long billy goat climb up a mountain, just leave the 22T cog on it. Swap chain manually when you start the climb. And if you leave the 22T cog on, no need to remove the crankset. Hardest thing will be removing the grip to take off the shifter and splitting the chain to remove the front derailure.

    I swapped the WTB seat to a cheaper narrow seat off amazon ($10 Vader) and it feels fine. More comfortable on the longer rides, and comes in different colors.

    The QR vs. thru-axle on the fork was a stupid cost cutting measure by BD, but it is what it is. IMO, all higher end forks should use thru-axle, and all full suspension frames should use a thru-axle in back. Hardtail frames are OK with QR in back. If you haven't swapped QR skewers, do it. Get a Shimano type internal cam (best bang for the buck) or a DT Swiss ratcheting skewer. They allow greater tension, which will tighten up the flex a lot. And the higher quality skewer material doesn't hurt.
    All good info, thanks! And yea, I already had the raceface 32 narrow wide in my cart on Amazon, I'll be getting that today along with a new chain tool. I do have some pretty gnarly hills I may hit here in Phoenix, but I can always switch manually like you mentioned. I'll probably be replacing that derailleur with a dropper seat post lever, too.

    What do you think about the FSA crank set and BB? Have been looking at race face BB's and crank sets, just curious there.

    Also, I'm not too impressed with the front and rear bearings. The rear one, in particular, makes a groaning noise if I just free-spin the wheel, and the cassette kinda wobbles back and forth a little like the hub isn't spinning true.

    And on the QR vs. thru-axle, are you talking about converting the axles to thru-axles instead of QR's? That's something I'd be willing to tackle myself as I have the tools/etc to take everything apart.

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    I doubt you'll be able to do anything to convert those hubs to thru-axles, but these can help. The Shimano internal cams are almost as good and much cheaper. these look good though.
    https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Skewer-.../dp/B007FWLP9Q
    https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Skewer-.../dp/B007FWJCUK

    I'm sure the FSA cranks are OK. Not carbon fiber light, but solid cranks. I doubt the cost of new cranks would be worth it unless you're spending $$$. If the bearings ever go out, you can swap them out for shimano hollowtech bearings or raceface bearings. They work together. SRAM GXP doesn't play well with others.

    If the hubs are making noise, take em apart, regrease, and re-adjust. If you didn't do that when you got the bike in... These bikes are mass produced, and attention to bearing preload is not what's on the assembler's mind.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    I doubt you'll be able to do anything to convert those hubs to thru-axles, but these can help. The Shimano internal cams are almost as good and much cheaper. these look good though.
    https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Skewer-.../dp/B007FWLP9Q
    https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Skewer-.../dp/B007FWJCUK

    I'm sure the FSA cranks are OK. Not carbon fiber light, but solid cranks. I doubt the cost of new cranks would be worth it unless you're spending $$$. If the bearings ever go out, you can swap them out for shimano hollowtech bearings or raceface bearings. They work together. SRAM GXP doesn't play well with others.

    If the hubs are making noise, take em apart, regrease, and re-adjust. If you didn't do that when you got the bike in... These bikes are mass produced, and attention to bearing preload is not what's on the assembler's mind.
    I'll try a set of those QR's, thanks. And yea, I'm going to probably take the hubs apart and see if they're ok and set them up better, hopefully.

    My DNM dropper seat post is on its way, as is the narrow wide front ring.

    I guess I'll hold off on the 15mm thru-axle as I'll have to upgrade the front fork as well as the hubs.

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    It sounds like you're doing a lot of upgrades. Why didn't you get the better level to start with? Not sure which level you got, but the $1,600 one had thru-axles. Seems like that would have been a good place to start.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    It sounds like you're doing a lot of upgrades. Why didn't you get the better level to start with? Not sure which level you got, but the $1,600 one had thru-axles. Seems like that would have been a good place to start.
    Legit question

    At the time, I had a $1100 budget, and I pushed it to $1300. No doubt this is an awesome bike, but I'm just seeing what I can do to step it up a little bit. I realize now that the thru-axle conversion will involve a lot so that's going to get put on the back burner. I'm more interested in lightening it up some and addressing the odd hub issue.

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    I installed some new goodies today - the Race Face narrow wide 32t front ring installed and removed the front derailleur, adjusted the preload on the rear axle and added some more grease (there was barely any in there, bearings were too tight, and the cassette was on WAY too tight). I also installed the DNM dropper seat post which is a really nice piece!

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