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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I'm pretty much a total noob. Took about 10 years off from biking and now I'm back and I find I know pretty much nuttin'. Upgraded my '95 Rockhopper FS to an '05 XC FSR. I mostly ride the local trials which feature some rocks and lots of roots and I also do some riding in the street - just to get some exercise when I don't have a chance to get on the trail.

I love my XC, but I'd like to lose a little weight (on me and on my rig). In reading the forums, it seems one of the most effective ways to lose some weight on the rig is to get a new wheelset/tires. I plan on doing a UST conversion with new tires so that should help. My current wheelset is stock and consists of a Specialized disc front hub, and a Shimano M-475 disc rear hub with Mavic XM117 rims.

This wheelset was relatively cheap (i.e. - in my price range), but I'm not sure its a true 'upgrade' over my stock set and if it will make any weight/performance improvements:

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/WH707A21-Shimano+Xt+Disc+X317+Wheelset.aspx

Thoughts on this wheelset? Others around the $200 range? Is a $200 range not enough dough to really be an upgrade over my stock wheelset?

Also - my current rear shock (Fox Float R) doesn't have a lockout. How much does having a lock out make to pedal-bob when riding on the flats and/or streets? Is it worth it to upgrade? I'd like to be able to lock it out while riding in the street, but not sure if 'locking out' would result in a ride more similar to a hardtail.

Thanks in advance!
 

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stipey169 said:
Hi all. I'm pretty much a total noob. Took about 10 years off from biking and now I'm back and I find I know pretty much nuttin'. Upgraded my '95 Rockhopper FS to an '05 XC FSR. I mostly ride the local trials which feature some rocks and lots of roots and I also do some riding in the street - just to get some exercise when I don't have a chance to get on the trail.

I love my XC, but I'd like to lose a little weight (on me and on my rig). In reading the forums, it seems one of the most effective ways to lose some weight on the rig is to get a new wheelset/tires. I plan on doing a UST conversion with new tires so that should help. My current wheelset is stock and consists of a Specialized disc front hub, and a Shimano M-475 disc rear hub with Mavic XM117 rims.

This wheelset was relatively cheap (i.e. - in my price range), but I'm not sure its a true 'upgrade' over my stock set and if it will make any weight/performance improvements:

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/WH707A21-Shimano+Xt+Disc+X317+Wheelset.aspx

Thoughts on this wheelset? Others around the $200 range? Is a $200 range not enough dough to really be an upgrade over my stock wheelset?

Also - my current rear shock (Fox Float R) doesn't have a lockout. How much does having a lock out make to pedal-bob when riding on the flats and/or streets? Is it worth it to upgrade? I'd like to be able to lock it out while riding in the street, but not sure if 'locking out' would result in a ride more similar to a hardtail.

Thanks in advance!
I'm not sure what the 117 weighs, but unless you go for a UST wheelset, that X317/XT combo is a very good choice. I've been running X317/Deore disk for over 4 years now (very rocky and rooty trails here too) and they are still perfect. For that price you can't go wrong.

Do some research and find some good, light tires that work for the riding you do, and you'll be set.
 

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I would go with changing wheels not the shock, you can swap them from bike to bike a lot easier if you need/want to in the future. Reducing rotating weight also has a big impact on how a bike rides, it makes it feel easier to pedal!!
 

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If you're "a total noob", UST might not be for you. UST tires are heavier than tube-type. So are the UST rims. There might be some sealing problems, so the tire often leaks a little bit of air. The tires are more expensive. If you haven't had actual problems with flats, I suggest you use some lightweight tubes to get the weight down. The advantages are smaller than the disadvantages to a rider with no tire problems.

Were your stock tires Resolutions? They should be pretty good tires, but they carry some extra weight. The Hutchinson Scorpion Air Light 26x2.0 (66 tpi) @ 590 g would be a nice choice. It's pretty big for a 2.0 tire.

If you do pretty much just XC and nothing bigger, no drops etc, the 717's would be a good choice. It would drop rotational mass a lot.

XM117 (460 g) -> XC717 Disc (395 g)

XT hubs are ok, but mabye not worth the change. Look for something better.
Mabye SunRace JuJu MZ (http://www.sunrace.com/productpage.asp?category=rearhubs&prodLine=MZ and http://www.sunrace.com/productpage.asp?category=fronthubs&prodLine=MZ). They're a little heavier than XT (because centerlock / 6-bolt), but they're better.

The Float R is a good shock with or without ProPedal. If you really feel like you need PP, you might want to consider upgrading it. Most FSR:s don't bob at all when you pedal from the saddle with a smooth cadence (practice that smooth cadence, it's worth it). I've used a Vanilla shock without PP and from the saddle it was almost as firm as any shock. However the plushness (when there's nothing to interfere normal function) was superior and that's what I liked about it.
A locked out rear shock never makes the rear as firm as a hardtail, though it does make it super efficient when you're off the saddle and sprinting.
A new shock costs a lot, so save that money and invest it on the wheelset/tyres.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

I wanted to thank everyone for their responses. I think I'll go with upgrading the wheelset first. With regards to the UST, I was thinking of going with a Stans conversion with regular tires and rims (I've heard there are difficulties with that as well - with getting it initially set up or trying to remove it). Any opinions on that?

Thanks Jeppe on your advice on the rear shock. I think I'll stick with it a while and practice getting better with a nice, smooth cadence (any advice on how to do that?). I have noticed that if I really concentrate I can nearly eliminate pedal-bob on the road. Its when I want to really pound it I notice it the most.
 

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Just read your post. I have an 04 stump fsr comp. I went disc right after I got it and choose between mavic crosslands (ust) or mavic 717's in xt disc hubs. Chose the crosslands because they were cheaper, could use both disc and rim brakes with them and they were in the shop. 2 years later they have been really strong and stayed pretty straight. I went with xt discs as well right after. I did have the free hub ratchets replaced but after two years I can handle that. I recently tried the ust thing and it was interesting. Went back because I was using just stans with my normal non-ust tires. I would reccommend to you either of those wheelsets. If you choose the 717 just throw in the stans rim strips and you will be all set.

As far as the rear shock goes forget it. Not really worth it. Just get out there and ride.
 

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Stan's is definately better than UST, but if you don't have problems with tubes, I suggest you stick with them. UST/Stan's will make things more complicated. If you haven't had flats, the only advantage you'd get from a tubeless-set is minor weight loss. With the UST you might not even lose weight, but infact gain some.

A way to practice smooth cadence is a low gear and high cadence. Adjust the riding position so that you can maintain your upper body still while pedaling. Seat height and front-back -position are the important places to get right.
You didn't mention if you were using clipless/toe clips/flat pedals. Smooth cadence is best done with clipless (or toe clips, but they're not suitable for off road) pedals. You might also try to remove the other foot from the pedal and spin with only your other foot. This will force you to learn to pull the pedal aswell. It will teach you the path of the foot during the revolution, something you can then later imitate simultaniously with both feet. This will teach you to find the most efficient and smooth cadence. When you keep your upper body still, the weight transfer doesn't cause the suspension to compress or extend. Therefore you can pedal without the rear end bobbing.
Since this only helps you to minimize weight transfer, it does not entirely solve the bobbing when sprinting off the saddle. This is where PP might be handy. That's why many coilover shocks for DH-bikes have platform damping; most of the riding will be [sprinting] off the saddle.
 
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