Upgrade or not?

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Upgrade or not?

Postby davidf140270 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:31 pm

I have a Norco Pinnacle 22 inch MTB which was fine for tooling around here in some small hills and trails in North Canberra. But now I've been persuaded/cajoled into being part of an 24 MTB team here around next easter. As well as getting my extremely unfit body into shape :oops: I probably need to get my bike in some sort of shape as well.

I have purchased a Merida Cyclocross bike earlier this year, which I put some slicks on, so another bike purchase is definitely off the cards. I'll have about $500.00 to spend on upgrading over the next four months to which I'm open to suggestions.

My thoughts initially are wheel upgrades and a decent set of suspension forks as well as some maxis tyres but am willing to steered in another direction.
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by BNA » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:13 pm

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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby mitzikatzi » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:13 pm

Is this your bike Norco Pinnacle 2010?
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby davidf140270 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:40 pm

mitzikatzi wrote:Is this your bike Norco Pinnacle 2010?


May be a 2009 model but very similar.
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby petie » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:40 am

If you only have $500 its really upgrade or nothing. A $500 bike might be marginally better, but not by much. Since you're in Canberra maybe check out what Smith cycles are trying to get rid of? (they close on the 18th Nov I think) I also noticed Mals is having another final sale on the 10th Nov, maybe they would have something in that price range?

Normally I would say upgrade is a good idea (I like recycling), but there is a fair bit on that bike I would be changing for a 24hour race... Can you work on your own bike? That will make your $500 go a bit further and make it worthwhile.

I think the best things is to just ride that bike on a few of the training rides and figure out what annoys you the most and use that to guide upgrades. If you feel your suspension isn't up to scratch then buy a fork, if you need more brakes get brakes,if it's too heavy get lighter bits, if your wheels are giving up the ghost get wheels. I don't think $500 will cover all of those areas though...
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby davidf140270 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:12 pm

petie wrote:If you only have $500 its really upgrade or nothing. A $500 bike might be marginally better, but not by much. Since you're in Canberra maybe check out what Smith cycles are trying to get rid of? (they close on the 18th Nov I think) I also noticed Mals is having another final sale on the 10th Nov, maybe they would have something in that price range?

Normally I would say upgrade is a good idea (I like recycling), but there is a fair bit on that bike I would be changing for a 24hour race... Can you work on your own bike? That will make your $500 go a bit further and make it worthwhile.

I think the best things is to just ride that bike on a few of the training rides and figure out what annoys you the most and use that to guide upgrades. If you feel your suspension isn't up to scratch then buy a fork, if you need more brakes get brakes,if it's too heavy get lighter bits, if your wheels are giving up the ghost get wheels. I don't think $500 will cover all of those areas though...



Are Smith's and Maladjusted closing?
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby drubie » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:52 pm

I'm not much of a mountain biker but I am a cheapskate when it comes to mountain bikes. FWIW here is what generally annoyed me about the cheaper parts of my various attempts at mountain bike building:

1. Forks. There is a massive difference between the entry level forks and the OK forks. I would class something like an SR XCT fork (which I think you have something similar, $58 from cyclingdeal) with the SR XCR-RL (approximately $120 on ebay). It's partly in the damping and partly in the rigidity. The cheaper forks "wind up" when you're turning and the wheel gets caught against something, which means if you hit a rock half way through a turn, when the rotational force on the fork is allowed to release the wheel will slide. Plus, the cheaper forks will bottom out (inevitably when you just made a mistake). They are fine if you pick your line and never make a mistake, but when you're tired and missing your lines, the cheap fork just adds to the misery. otherwise, it's serviceable for about 80% of what you want to do. I recently swapped back to the XCR-RL and won't be going back to the XCT no matter how cheap it is.

2. Tyres. Cheap mountain bike tyres are rubbish. Maxxis Crossmarks or equivalent level of tyre is what you want depending on the trails of course. They're lighter, grippier, more forgiving of mistakes and not so eager to slip sideways on tree roots and the like.

3. Wheels. Cheap wheels == broken spokes. You can tame them eventually but it's a waste of money. For a while Wiggle was shipping Fulcrum Red Metal 10 for $120 a set which was the screaming bargain of the century. They are not light, but they're strong and disk compatible.

Brakes...You have V-brakes but you might have mounts for a disk (at least on the front). No extra stopping power UNLESS ITS WET. I wouldn't ride a mountain bike in the wet without at least a front disk. It's possible to buy a set of hydraulic disk brakes for $100 or so but they may not offer any more stopping power than the v-brakes. A cable caliper, front disk wheel and 160mm disk for the front would be a worthwhile upgrade.

I think you could keep that under $500 and have a good enough bike. I rode my frankenbike in the Walcha Mountain Bike Challenge again this year (70km) with no equipment incidents, the XCR fork took some punishment when I got tired but it never bottomed or wound up.

The important consideration for me is not what's going to make me faster, but what quality of gear allows for mistakes not to upset your whole day (or week in the event of a serious stack).
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby davidf140270 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:53 pm

drubie wrote:I'm not much of a mountain biker but I am a cheapskate when it comes to mountain bikes. FWIW here is what generally annoyed me about the cheaper parts of my various attempts at mountain bike building:

1. Forks. There is a massive difference between the entry level forks and the OK forks. I would class something like an SR XCT fork (which I think you have something similar, $58 from cyclingdeal) with the SR XCR-RL (approximately $120 on ebay). It's partly in the damping and partly in the rigidity. The cheaper forks "wind up" when you're turning and the wheel gets caught against something, which means if you hit a rock half way through a turn, when the rotational force on the fork is allowed to release the wheel will slide. Plus, the cheaper forks will bottom out (inevitably when you just made a mistake). They are fine if you pick your line and never make a mistake, but when you're tired and missing your lines, the cheap fork just adds to the misery. otherwise, it's serviceable for about 80% of what you want to do. I recently swapped back to the XCR-RL and won't be going back to the XCT no matter how cheap it is.

2. Tyres. Cheap mountain bike tyres are rubbish. Maxxis Crossmarks or equivalent level of tyre is what you want depending on the trails of course. They're lighter, grippier, more forgiving of mistakes and not so eager to slip sideways on tree roots and the like.

3. Wheels. Cheap wheels == broken spokes. You can tame them eventually but it's a waste of money. For a while Wiggle was shipping Fulcrum Red Metal 10 for $120 a set which was the screaming bargain of the century. They are not light, but they're strong and disk compatible.

Brakes...You have V-brakes but you might have mounts for a disk (at least on the front). No extra stopping power UNLESS ITS WET. I wouldn't ride a mountain bike in the wet without at least a front disk. It's possible to buy a set of hydraulic disk brakes for $100 or so but they may not offer any more stopping power than the v-brakes. A cable caliper, front disk wheel and 160mm disk for the front would be a worthwhile upgrade.

I think you could keep that under $500 and have a good enough bike. I rode my frankenbike in the Walcha Mountain Bike Challenge again this year (70km) with no equipment incidents, the XCR fork took some punishment when I got tired but it never bottomed or wound up.

The important consideration for me is not what's going to make me faster, but what quality of gear allows for mistakes not to upset your whole day (or week in the event of a serious stack).


Thanks for all that advice, especially the forks which aren't as expensive as I thought they would be.

The bike already has a cable front disc, is it ok or should I upgrade to an hydraulic disc?
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby drubie » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:19 pm

Cable disk is fine - it matters more that it's a disk in the wet - rim brakes can be nasty in the rain if you forget to ride the pads to clear the water, where a disk doesn't have that issue anywhere near as much.

Good forks are $500+, I'm talking entry level stuff that won't kill you. Mountain bikers (especially the ones who build tracks) love a "challenge", which will have you questioning your sanity through some of the obstacles :D
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby ozdavo » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:57 pm

Check out Rotorburn & mtbdirt forums for good priced second hand MTB parts.
Always looking for new rides & ride partners in SE QLD area
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby mitzikatzi » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:58 pm

Manitou Minute Expert Forks 2012 The 80mm travel fork (if thats what you need) is a bargain at $200. Many on MTBR rave about those forks. Need to ask if they are disc compatible forks.

Avid Elixir 1 Disc Brake - Silver these brakes will work. $50 is super cheap the rotors sell for that on there own and the pads are $25 a set. Some people really dislike Avid brakes and many have problems with them. I would buy these. The cable brakes you have probably don't work very well.

Shimano LX disc hubs to fit centrelock rotors (not 6-bolt) at $130 fair buying IMHO but centre lock rotors (no biggie)

Shimano Deore hubs on Mach 1 MX rims

Lots of ways for me to spend $500 of somebody else's money. :shock:
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trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby davidf140270 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:18 am

mitzikatzi wrote:Manitou Minute Expert Forks 2012 The 80mm travel fork (if thats what you need) is a bargain at $200. Many on MTBR rave about those forks. Need to ask if they are disc compatible forks.

Avid Elixir 1 Disc Brake - Silver these brakes will work. $50 is super cheap the rotors sell for that on there own and the pads are $25 a set. Some people really dislike Avid brakes and many have problems with them. I would buy these. The cable brakes you have probably don't work very well.

Shimano LX disc hubs to fit centrelock rotors (not 6-bolt) at $130 fair buying IMHO but centre lock rotors (no biggie)

Shimano Deore hubs on Mach 1 MX rims

Lots of ways for me to spend $500 of somebody else's money. :shock:


Thanks.
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby alchemist » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:42 am

davidf140270 wrote:Are Smith's and Maladjusted closing?


Mal's is closed, but will be reopened on Saturday only to get rid of what's left.
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Re: Upgrade or not?

Postby ozdavo » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:52 am

Always looking for new rides & ride partners in SE QLD area
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