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I agree with DMR

My approach is not to upgrade components until they break or wear out, unless something is just plain garbage, which I don't believe is the case with your bike.

But, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, here's some things to consider:

1. A better fork. A friend of mine has replaced the fork on his Hoo Koo twice, each time a step up from the previous fork. In both cases, he said, "what an improvement...you don't realize how much difference it makes because you get used to it the way it is".

2. A Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost. Consider this only if you'd like to soften up the ride. I tried a couple of different suspension seatposts on my Fisher hardtail and the Thud is the only way to go. For about $100, it's the best upgrade you can make. Again, this is assuming that you'd like a smoother ride.

3. Keep your cables fresh. This isn't an upgrade per se, it's a maintenance issue. Gooey, gritty cables will really screw up your shifting and make your brakes feel worse than they really are. You don't need high-tech goretex stuff, you just need to replace cable and housing now and then. Use lined housing and coated cables.

4. Are the hubs disc-ready? If you ride in the rain and mud a lot, or are a serious downhill bomber, or are a clydesdale, a set of disc brakes would be a good investment. Otherwise, don't worry about it. I been running V's on my GF hardtail for years and they've been great.

5. If you ever trash the stock wheels, be sure to invest in a well-made wheelset. Light and rigid, you'll notice the difference. But again, I wouldn't bother until I wasted the stock wheels first, which depending on how you ride, could take years.

Have fun!
 

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Probably drunk right now
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Basically good advice but....

The amount of money you want to sink in to a Hoo Koo is limited. A fork or wheelset, in my opinion is a poor upgrade choice because you'll spend about as much as what the bike is worth on the upgrade. So at that point, it would make more sense to upgrade the bike.
 

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My gloves stink
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That depends...

Ken in KC said:
The amount of money you want to sink in to a Hoo Koo is limited. A fork or wheelset, in my opinion is a poor upgrade choice because you'll spend about as much as what the bike is worth on the upgrade. So at that point, it would make more sense to upgrade the bike.
The Hoo Koo has the same frame/tubeset as Fisher's high-end hardtails, so it's not like you'd be putting high-end parts on a low-end frame. The Hoo Koo in stock trim is a nice frame with a budget component spec. Seems like a decent candidate for upgrade to me.
 

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OK then...

Appendage said:
The Hoo Koo has the same frame/tubeset as Fisher's high-end hardtails, so it's not like you'd be putting high-end parts on a low-end frame. The Hoo Koo in stock trim is a nice frame with a budget component spec. Seems like a decent candidate for upgrade to me.
That makes sense, then. My advice was wrong. I'm not too familiar with the Trek line. My Hoo Koo is steel from the early 90's and worth about $50.

So is the frame on par with a SuperCal or something similar?

Ken
 

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Time is not a road.
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I agree, it's probably the components that would create the "low" value of the bike. Upgrading them would be a good idea, especially if the frame fits well.

Some upgrades that have made a big difference to me are thus:

New Suspension
, noted above.
X-type/Integrated BB crank set - big step up in stiffness
SRAM derailleur, shifter combo - shifts oh so well without the need for adjustment time and time again.
Tires - Good tires are a must for your conditions.
Hubs - Good hubs spin better
Carbon bars - light, strong and offer good vibration damping
 

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just like a speeder-bike
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Joe Spicoli said:
I have been riding for two years now and have only upgraded the seat and the pedals. Any suggestions for a mainly xc rider? Thanks!
I don't know what yours came with, but the stock Bontrager stem and WTB handlebars on my '02 HKEK were incredibly heavy (had no idea until I took 'em off). I've replaced both, pretty cheaply too I might add (I waited for deals) and shaved quite a bit of weight. [Ok, don't ask how much -- I don't actually know. But they stock stuff was heavy enough I could easily feel the difference.]

That HKEK is now my singlespeed. My last upgrade is going to be the front wheel. I'm going to replace it with a disc-ready wheel and slap a mechanical disc brake on, on the front only.
 

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My gloves stink
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Yep, same as SuperCal

Ken in KC said:
That makes sense, then. My advice was wrong. I'm not too familiar with the Trek line. My Hoo Koo is steel from the early 90's and worth about $50.

So is the frame on par with a SuperCal or something similar?

Ken
Yep, same as SuperCal, ZR9000 "Platinum" zirconium alloy tubing, whatever the heck that is.
 

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My friend has a '04 HKEK. FWIW, he's replaced the bar and stem with Ritchey WCS, the shifters/ brakelevers with XT, and the saddle with something obscure... can't remeber what. Based on my experience with his bike the two things I would upgrade are the fork and wheels. His Pilot feels EXACTLY like a Marz DirtJumper with a blown damper.... In other words, like crap. And he smoked his rear hub in a few months. Hasn't replaced it yet.... I keep telling him to, he needs to dammit! Anyway, those are the two things I'd reccomend replacing.
 

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I had that very bike and would say a new fork. The Pilot sucked even after messing with oil weights and such. Maybe a disk wheelset, although I found the V's very adequate with Kool Stop pads. Lock on grips are awesome and cheap. If you are looking at bars, stems and the like, I bought some Sette products from Price Point for my wifes bike. They are nice, weigh as advertised and are cheap by comparison.
 

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Good choice

Joe Spicoli said:
thanks for all of the input. any reccomendations on a replacement fork. i was kind of looking at the '05 Marzocchi MX Pro ETA.
I think that's as good a choice as any for your bike, especially if you can get a good deal on it. I have over 4000 miles on my Marz MXR and it never leaks and there's no slop in the bushings. I also have an old Z2 Bomber on my older bike, high mileage, and similarly bulletproof. Criminy, I've had other forks that needed a rebuild after a ride around the block. Clean the stanchions and spray them with silicon lube after every ride.
 

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get the 105

Joe Spicoli said:
pricepoint has a 120 mm and a 105 mm. is the 105 betterfor my bike?
The '04 HKEK came with an 80 mm travel fork. 105 mm shouldn't be a huge effect on the geometry, but I would guess that the 120 would.

Bob
 

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My gloves stink
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105

Joe Spicoli said:
pricepoint has a 120 mm and a 105 mm. is the 105 betterfor my bike?
Go with the 105. The 120 would be too long. The 105 will be an inch longer than your current fork, theoretically resulting in increased straight-line stability at the expense of manueverability, but as a practical matter, the effect on handling shouldn't be too noticeable.
 
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