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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Hope you are all doing well and a big hi to everyone! This is my first post and I hope I put it in the right section, there is such a big sprawl of sections here it is really confusing! Organised chaos only, of course. :D

My question(s) to all you fine people is the following; I want to upgrade a bike that I have which is a 2009 Merida Mission 1000-D that i use for all-mountain, cross country and also some downhill. I want to refresh it to give me a few years of good service as an all-round MTB.

Full spec and photo here... the rear shock system is placed somewhat unusually next to the rear wheel Mountain biking purchasing guide : Merida Juliet Mission 1000-D:

Model :Juliet Mission 1000-D (MTB)
Material :Alloy | 6061
Fork :Fox F120mm RLC
Rear shock :X-fusion O2 RL 190/51
Shifters :Shimano XT
Front derailleur :Shimano XT
Rear Derailleur :Shimano XT Shadow
Crankset :Shimano SLX - 44/32/22
Brakes :Magura Julie - 180/180 mm
Hubs :Shimano XT centerlock
Rims :DT Swiss X445 disc
Tires :Merida Race 26x2

I want to upgrade to the following components:

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Hydraulic disc brake system (currently a very faulty Magura Julie):

  • XT Disc Brake BR-M8000 Set
  • XT Disc Rotor SM-RT86L 203mm 6-hole (front and rear)
  • Shimano Disc Brake Pads Ice-Tec J04C (Metal)

Tires:

  • 26" Schwalbe Hans Dampf Addix Speedgrip Evo SnakeSkin TLE

Rear Shock:

  • Not sure about this? Any thoughts for a good price/performer?

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The brakes need to be Shimano as servicing in my country is much easier this way.

My questions are:

  1. Do these components look good or would you recommend any alternatives in the same ball park of price range?
  2. Any other components listed (eg: rear shock) that you feel could/should be replaced? I will do this once so want to do it right.

Thanks in advance for your help and advice. :)
 

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What I'd look at is your wheels. Those rims are listed as 559x17. They are very narrow compared with what is more common currently. Possibly they could be reserved for DHing with heavier tires and pressures. I think your fork may be able to fit a wider and possible taller 27.5 tire on a 30mm(dimension inside the rim beads) or more wheel. More choices by far. Fox forks have more clearance than some other brands. You'd have to experiment and measure. I'd also go with a wider rim of 25mm or more for your rear. You'll need to measure.
 

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Your upgrade items seem great. Tough to go wrong with the Shimano XT brakes. It appears your planning to go 203mm for the rear also? In my opinion, that's sort of overkill. 203 is prime up front but 180 is typically more than enough for "most" riders and even 160mm is acceptable since most of your braking forces are done at the front. I don't think you can have too much brake up front but you can in back and skidding beats the hell out of trails but that's coming from someone that spends way more time building and maintaining trails then I do riding, these days.

Tires are really subjective to your preference fir your given terrain. You have an excellent selection in the Hans Dampf, it's one of my favorites for my personal choices and fits my terrain. Nobby Nics do exceptionally well, too. Experience should guide you over time as to what works best for you, though.

As for shock, that's a tough call. Not familiar with your frame but maybe try and narrow down what is actually available in your eye-to-eye size requirements, then go from there with what might fit your riding style, again. I don't know if 190x51 is a common size. It sounds shorter than what I'm used to seeing but that's just my own experience with frames I have had or have worked on.
 

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Being an older bike, there's only so much I'd be willing to do with it.

If your brakes are in rough shape, I'd go ahead and replace them. XT are nice, but you could just as easily use SLX here and save a little money (and lose nearly zero functionality). I certainly wouldn't do 203mm rotors on both ends for this bike, either. 203mm on the rear is going to be some serious overkill and will probably lead to some poor braking (too much brake in the rear will result in lots of skidding/control issues). Both of my mtb's have 203/180 rotor combos and I find good balance there. But double check the fork to make sure the 203mm rotor is compatible. Being a Fox, it probably is. But double check just to be safe.

Replacing the rear shock might prove to be difficult. I'd start by just servicing what you have unless it's totally trashed. Beyond that, I think your replacement options will be determined simply by what fits. On that, you can google as well as anyone else here can.

More suitable tires for your riding are always a good choice. They're a wear item, so if you're riding enough, you'll need to replace them regularly, anyway.

Wheels might make a decent upgrade, but with an older 26er, I'm not sure I'd bother unless I found something decent at a smoking price. On the new market, you're not going to find a lot of good quality pre-built 26er wheelsets. You will find lots of cheap stuff that's probably worse than what you have. If you stayed with new stuff, you'd probably have to build your own wheels, and I definitely wouldn't bother at this point. On the used market, I'm sure you could find something nice at a really good price, though.
 

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Agree with Harold about going with SLX rather than XT to save a few bucks. Doubtful you'd notice the difference. I also skip the Ice Tech myself.

Oh, and if you have centerlock hubs, you're not going to want the 6 hole rotors; you'll need to be centerlock rotors (unless there's an adapter that you already have or plan on getting).
 

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The only thing bad I've heard about the X-Fusion shock is that model isn't the most reliable, but if yours works then I'd leave it alone on a 10 year old bike unless you're looking for some functionality it doesn't have. That and the eye-to-eye mentioned above will narrow your search significantly.

+1 for SLX brakes and getting the correct rotors for your hubs. :)
 

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Oh, and if you have centerlock hubs, you're not going to want the 6 hole rotors; you'll need to be centerlock rotors (unless there's an adapter that you already have or plan on getting).
I have both centerlock and 6 bolt hubs and I prefer the centerlock hubs every time. For ROTORS, however, I don't have much preference. And actually, on 2 of 3 bikes with centerlock hubs, I have 6 bolt rotors (with appropriate adapters). A few companies make nice adapters that have pins instead of bolts and use a lockring to attach the rotor to the hub. Some companies make some crappy adapters that still require you to bolt the rotor to the adapter, and one that even uses a pinch bolt on the adapter IN ADDITION to the lockring to secure it to the hub. Stay away from these.
 

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My top items for that setup would be dropper post and 1x11. Looks like that bike had 9 speed, my last bike had 9 speed and what a nightmare that was, super noisy with constant chain drops during rough downhill.

My 2 favorite upgrades were definitely the dropper and 11 speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guys thanks for the replies they were helpful and I have now decided on Shimano XT's with 2x 180mm front/rear rotors. The SLX are not enough of a saving to bother about.

Final question: will my current brakes be a 6 bolt design or center lock? I am asuming 6 bolt? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Guys thanks for the replies they were helpful and I have now decided on Shimano XT's with 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors. The SLX are not enough of a saving to bother about.

Final question: will my current brakes be a 6 bolt design or center lock? I am asuming 6 bolt? :)
Oh man my apologies that was silly I completely missed that, doh!

So if I may ask another questions... to upgrade my brakes do I need anything else other than the below items?

So far I have:

Shimano XT BR-M8000 Disc Brake Set with J02A Resin Brake Pads https://www.bike-components.de/en/S...ke-Pads-p45509/black-set-front-rear--o200891/

2x Shimano SM-RT81 180mm https://www.bike-components.de/en/S...-Brakes-p28525/black-silver-180-mm-o11400006/

Is there anything else I need to fully replace the Magura Julie brake system such as any tubes etc? :)
 

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Oh man my apologies that was silly I completely missed that, doh!

So if I may ask another questions... to upgrade my brakes do I need anything else other than the below items?

So far I have:

Shimano XT BR-M8000 Disc Brake Set with J02A Resin Brake Pads https://www.bike-components.de/en/S...ke-Pads-p45509/black-set-front-rear--o200891/

2x Shimano SM-RT81 180mm https://www.bike-components.de/en/S...-Brakes-p28525/black-silver-180-mm-o11400006/

Is there anything else I need to fully replace the Magura Julie brake system such as any tubes etc? :)
The link above states they are 'mount ready...filled and bled' which indicates you are getting entire unit with lever, tubing, caliper, pads and mounting hardware. Only thing weird is they say you are also getting a F/R "Shimano SM-BH90-SBM Brake CABLE" but I checked part # and they come up 'Brake HOSE' so that make sense.

As stated above:
- with bigger front disc, verify you can properly mount caliper without an adapter for fork
- Not clear that you confirmed you have 6 bolt rotors or center lock. Easy to tell...just look at them.

Check Shimano website for instructions and youtube vids on how to install...not hard but it's good to review BEFORE doing it to avoid stupid mistakes (don't ask how I know this...). May be worth reviewing BEFORE YOU ORDER to help determine if you have right parts.

Get some small zip-ties to secure hoses after everything is mounted up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just noticed you mentioned "some downhill" in what you'll be doing on the bike. If that's going to include actual DH parks, you might look into some more powerful brakes. While not flashy, these are a bargain when it comes to price/performance.

https://www.bike-components.de/en/Shimano/BR-MT520-BL-MT501-Disc-Brake-Set-p67387/
I think the Shimano XT with 180mm rotors will be fine, considering the Magura Julies were too. I am not doing full-on hardcore downhill. :)
 

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My 2 favorite upgrades were definitely the dropper and 11 speed.
+1 to that.
Another thing to mention (hopefully not your case) is that in some bikes shifters and brakes are mounted on shared platform. In my case I had to cut part of that platform with metal saw to make room to put XT brakes instead. At the end I've got rid of original 2x10 drivetrain and installed brand new 1x11 with independent shifter mount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
+1 to that.
Another thing to mention (hopefully not your case) is that in some bikes shifters and brakes are mounted on shared platform. In my case I had to cut part of that platform with metal saw to make room to put XT brakes instead. At the end I've got rid of original 2x10 drivetrain and installed brand new 1x11 with independent shifter mount.
To upgrade the groupset to 1x11 do I have to literally replace everything I currently have in my current 3x9 groupset? Would I really get huge benefits from doing this... is 11 gears really enough for average use?
 

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+1 to that.
Another thing to mention (hopefully not your case) is that in some bikes shifters and brakes are mounted on shared platform. In my case I had to cut part of that platform with metal saw to make room to put XT brakes instead. At the end I've got rid of original 2x10 drivetrain and installed brand new 1x11 with independent shifter mount.
wtf did you have that you had to chop it with a saw? Sure, the super low end stuff might come that way, but aside from the old dual control levers, nothing high end on the mtb side has ever required that level of modification to separate.

To upgrade the groupset to 1x11 do I have to literally replace everything I currently have in my current 3x9 groupset? Would I really get huge benefits from doing this... is 11 gears really enough for average use?
Pretty much, yes. By that, I mean shifter, chain, cassette, chainring. As long as your crank has replaceable chainrings (not all do, so it's worth figuring that out), then you shouldn't need to replace your crank. There are some "maybe" things in there, too, which depend on some other factors. So like I said, the crank falls into that maybe category (if the rings are riveted). You need to pay attention to the interface between the hub and the cassette. Some cassettes use a unique interface (some SRAM cassettes, for example, e13, and some others) that's different from what you have. To keep things simple, don't use one of those cassettes. Just use one with the same interface you currently have, which is referred to as "Shimano" or "Shimano HG" or "Shimano 8, 9, 10, 11 spd"(since Shimano now has a new one called microspline for 12spd, being specific has become necessary).

The "number of gears" isn't really the issue. Old 3x9 setups had a LOT of gears that overlap. So even though there are more possible combinations, a great many of them are just duplicates. If you run the numbers through a gear calculator, you see what the total range is, and you can figure out the number of UNIQUE combinations and you'll see it's far, far less. THEN, if you actually pay attention to which combinations you actually use on your 3x9 drivetrain, you'll probably see that the number of unique combinations you actually use is even fewer still.

So in short, yes, 11 unique combinations is enough for quite a lot of people, assuming they use a chainring sized for the gear combinations they actually use.
 

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To upgrade the groupset to 1x11 do I have to literally replace everything I currently have in my current 3x9 groupset? Would I really get huge benefits from doing this... is 11 gears really enough for average use?
Yes, if you get a 30t/32t chainring you get the same range as you would in the small and middle chainrings, you just lose the road bike style 30mph top speed you get from the large chainring. Depending on how you ride the benefits are huge, no dropped chains, much better at shifting to easier gears under load, much quieter bike with minimal chain slap, not having to deal with an unreliable front derailleur that only shifts when it feels like it. 1x11 is a true mountain bike drivetrain made for trails, not an adapted road bike drivetrain like the old 3x stuff was.

If your plan is to ride the bike you have for a long time then the upgrade is definitely worth it, full SLX/XT groupsets on ebay can be found for around $300. (I would definitely not pay bike shop prices, might as well get a new bike that comes with 1x11)
 

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wtf did you have that you had to chop it with a saw? Sure, the super low end stuff might come that way, but aside from the old dual control levers, nothing high end on the mtb side has ever required that level of modification to separate.
Well, I crashed my Specialized Epic Comp pretty bad on rocks, getting integrated-mounted Formula1 brake lever and piston (or whatever the name of the cylinder where you apply pressure on oil is) pretty much destroyed beyond repair. Replacement parts should have been ordered from Specialized since no LBS had that stuff and rough estimate was couple of month with no guarantees (backorder bla-bla-bla). With no backup bike and riding season of 7 months in the middle I decided to get XT brakes and upon receiving new brakes set found that I can't install new brakes lever together with the shifter in any acceptable way. I also haven't found any suitable adapters (have to admit I haven't really researched it much). So I just cut stuff out of the shifter platform to make space to install the XT. ;)

So in short, yes, 11 unique combinations is enough for quite a lot of people, assuming they use a chainring sized for the gear combinations they actually use.
Agree 100%. The only place where I'd prefer 2x10 over 1x11 is Slickrock where you often need to go from midgear to the easiest (or in opposite direction) really quickly, for anything else - 1x11 is more then enough.

Some folks use oval shaped chainring, according to couple of friends of mine that makes tough climbs more doable. Haven't tried it myself though.
 
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