upgrades, upgrades.... that is the question?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    upgrades, upgrades.... that is the question?

    So wondering what would be some of the first upgrades you guys would do to your stock bikes?
    what are the parts that "need" to go?

  2. #2
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    What bike do you have?
    I did wheels first

    judging by your last post you should go test ride a epic 29er, I think you will change your mind about upgrading parts and just upgrade the bike.

  3. #3
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    I have a stumpjumer Elite.
    Decided to keep bike and not go 29er....
    Open to all and any suggestions.

  4. #4
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    depends on what your budget is and what your goal is.
    i'd like to get my bike lighter so if money wasn't an issue, i'd go wheels and crankset.

  5. #5
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    lighter for sure!

  6. #6
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    I'd go for rotational mass, rims, cassette, tires, disc rotors. I upgraded these 3 items on my camber and lost a touch over 3 pounds. Your def. going to feel that weight difference. If you did cranks, carbon bar, and carbon post you'd still lose weight but you probably would't tell the difference until you put it on the scale.

    A set of arches on ztr hubs, xtr/xx cassette, and a set of maxxis icon, would free up at around 2 pounds on your 26er, maybe more!

  7. #7
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    For me,

    Get rid of the boat anchor cassette
    Upgrade shifters to XO
    Carbon bar

    This is on the Epic Expert though, so not much needing upgraded.

    For the Flash, I'll upgrade...

    Cassette, shifters, derailleur... Possibly a carbon bar. And maybe new wheels after a year.
    2011 Specialized EPIC Expert Carbon
    2012 Cannondale Flash 29er 1 (on order)

  8. #8
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    IMHO the only realy throw-away items on Spesh bikes are the DT 420SL wheelset. They aren't bad but the DT Swiss Champion straight gauge spokes just don't hold up well over the course of actual singletrack riding. Slap them on a commuter or light bike path/dirt greenway bike and they would be great.

    Keep the 9mm DT thru axle front skewer and pick yourself up a nice set of wheels built in either I9, Chris King, Hope or Hadley hubs and make sure you get the 9mm thru axle adapters for the hubs. The 9mm thru is great and I can't really tell a difference b/w it and a 15mm thru.

    Usually the cassette is heavy as well and if you get a nicer set of wheels you will want a more upscale cassette for two reasons:
    1.) weight...obviously
    2.) it will have more cogs attatched to an alloy carrier which will do much less damage to your new wheelset's freehub than the lower end cassette.

    From there my next move is to usually upgrade the frt. derailleur. It is and always has/will be a bike's weakest link and most companies skimp a little in this area. For example my Camber Pro came with a SRAM x7 FD. I went ahead and jumped to the X0 and its a huge difference. When you are trying to clear that hill with all the step ups that really kicks your a** and you have to drop to the granny in a hurry you will appreciate that upgrade.
    Good luck
    TJM

  9. #9
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    1- wheels/tires/cassette no question....light and IMO tubeless
    2 - make sure the seat fits you properly

    from there I would wait till winter and get components on sale, like FD, stem, bars, seatpost...etc. Some great deals are to be had at the 1st of the year on last year models. I have sold some really nice stuff online for a fraction of original cost cause I don't like having stuff laying around. There are great deals on used stuff if you know what to look for
    www.quinnphoto.smugmug.com
    07 S-Works Enduro SL - Sold
    08 Epic Marathon - Sold
    2012 Stumpy EVO 29er frame up build

  10. #10
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    What Wheels do you recommend?
    I was thinking Maxxis Ikon... I already run tubeless.

  11. #11
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    You already have good advice here, if there isn't anything bothering you about the bike but you really want to spend money on it then lighten it.
    I sold the stock DT swiss 420 rims off my Camber expert and put on some Mavic Crosstrails, couple hundred grams lighter and they are stiffer with better hubs.

    When upgrading look for stuff to improve in this order for a better rounded riding experience.
    -Comfort items, new saddle if you get sore from the stock one, maybe different grips or pedals or stem length to fine tune your cockpit aruond you to be more comfortable.
    -Drivetrain items, if you don't like how it shifts, would like to run a 1x9 or 1x10 set-up, etc.
    -Weight reduction, if the first 2 category's are fine then just take weight off, just like on a race car it makes everything else work better.

    If you find that you are only using the center ring (32t) on your 3 ring crank set-up then look into removing the front der and shifter as well as the 22/44t rings off the crank and install a $50 MRP or Ethirteen chain guide. It will simplify the bike, you can run a shorter chain for a little snappier throttle response and shifting, and it will take weight off the bike. Thats what me and allot of other riders do now.

    But most importantly, RIDE THE BIKE!
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  12. #12
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    wheels are tough. first off, what's your price point?
    2nd, how wide of tires are you planning on running?
    3rd, do you want full UST or are you ok with kits like Stan's?
    4th, your weight and type of trails you ride (also if you plan on doing more with the bike...ie: could stand to have slighty beefier wheelset)

    choices are abundent in today's marketplace. You might want to first browse through all the wheel choice threads that flood this website (wheels & tire forum)

    lastly, with wheels you will get a lot of mixed opinions, but ultimately about ~5 choices will stand out. remember that most people are going to recommend what they ride (as long as they are happy with them) and few actually have rode many different wheelsets. IMO if you have a LBS that you like and there is a good wheelbuilder there, you might want to have them build a set for you. That could be more pricey than buying off the shelf though, and with wheels like Stan's for ~$500 it's hard to shy away from them. Easton has some great deals here and there too, it's a tough choice for sure.

    Here's some advice, the more you ponder over your choice, the more you will 2nd guess your final decision and possibly regret it later!
    www.quinnphoto.smugmug.com
    07 S-Works Enduro SL - Sold
    08 Epic Marathon - Sold
    2012 Stumpy EVO 29er frame up build

  13. #13
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    tires: so many choices out there you should never settle on a specific tire. Every time I see a tire that "looks" good I buy one and try it out. If I don't like it I'll sell it for a loss, oh well, I now know I don't like it.

    This year I'm on some new tires for me, Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 up front, Racing Ralph 2.1 in the rear. They have been great on my Epic so far. The Ron has amazing grip up front. I first tried a 2.1 up front and didn't feel it gave me the traction I needed to really push it in the corners. The 2.25 is a different beast and just plain sticks to the ground. The Ralph blows my mind with it's small tread blocks!

    On my Enduro I'm trying out a Nobby Nic 2.25 and now a Conti X-King 2.25 in the rear. So far the Nic is awesome, sticks to everything around here. Only rode once on the X-King so not enough time to tell.

    Maxxis Advantage on the rear of my Enduro for ~1,000 miles and really liked that tire. Great traction and wears amazingly well. Never tried the Icon yet.

    If you have a group of riding buddies get into a system with them to swap tires. It would be good for everyone and might help you find that perfect tire
    www.quinnphoto.smugmug.com
    07 S-Works Enduro SL - Sold
    08 Epic Marathon - Sold
    2012 Stumpy EVO 29er frame up build

  14. #14
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    Everything on a brand new bike should work perfectly, harmoniously.

    The only thing you'd want to do to the bike right away is to remove the dork disc and all the reflectors...
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  15. #15
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    I'm a novice, but Bike Radar has a "Best Mountain Bike Upgrades Bar None" article today. I would post the link, but I'm even too newb to do that.

  16. #16
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    I've also got a stumpy Elite ('10).

    1. Swap the cast iron cassette for an XT cassette. While you're at it, get rid of the dork disk.
    2. Convert to tubeless. It's easy with the stock rims (if your bike didn't come with the valves, ask the LBS. They should be free.) All you need is stans sealant--the DT 420 rims already have tubeless rim strips. And the stock purgatory/captain convert easily and are good tires.
    3. Add a bear bell so you're not sneaking up on hikers and pissing people off.
    4. Ride. Save your money for parts that you'll inevitably break.
    4b. If you really feel the need to spend money, buy tools so you can do your own wrenching.

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