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Discussion Starter #1
Just ordered a closeout 2011 GT avalanche X for a STEAL and am more excited than I can possibly note. The stock specs are awesome, especially for the price. I do a lot of heavy trail riding, and previously had a Mongoose Otero "squishy", so this is definitely quite an upgrade :D. Now I was wondering any thoughts about small upgrades anyone recommends? I'm thinking of going clipless, because flats do not really give me much confidence. Also, the bars seem quite long and definitely will not need that much leverage.

And for all you snobby "its not an all mountain bike because it doesn't cost $3000 and has an aluminum frame". Save it. I could care less about your "little-man" syndrome. :nono:
 

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Wēk Sôs
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I always wonder why these type of threads show up in the All Mountain forum instead of the Bike and Frame discussion forum. :)

What are you looking to achieve with upgrades?
 

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Why wouldn't it be in all mountain? I'm going to be riding trail and light DH, thus what the bike is designed for... not XC.

Pedals, bars, grips, adjustable seatpost, etc. I don't need to upgrade any components just yet (only if or when they fail or break).
 

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Wēk Sôs
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Why wouldn't it be in all mountain? I'm going to be riding trail and light DH, thus what the bike is designed for... not XC.
Because it's about bike and frame discussions. :thumbsup:

Pedals, bars, grips, adjustable seatpost, etc. I don't need to upgrade any components just yet (only if or when they fail or break).
So, you're looking to have brand names called out? I'm confused, as I asked what you're trying to achieve. But if you already know what you want, then I guess I don't understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm looking for suggestions. You know, from experience. Such a suggestion could entail the following:

Hey man you know, I made a switch from flats to THESE pedals and absolutely loved them. Or yea, you know if you're not going to be doing some major descents, this dropper post is reliable and not an arm and a leg...

Or, you know, you could be an *******. Either one.
 

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Just someone looking for suggestions from fellow bikers. Not looking for condescending "forum advice". I don't get why you people get on your high horses. You seem to have a lot of posts and "reps". You must know everything there is to know about biking. Can you teach me how to do a wheelie?!
 

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@Velvet: I am not too sure about the specs of your bike but I can share my experience. I had a GT Avelanche 2 once and I rode it pretty much on the same trails as I imagine you are referring to. The first thing I did was change the pedals to Shimano SPD's, I was unfortunate to have the GT handlebars break off right next to the GT stem so that was replaced by a beefier 7050 aluminum bar, do try out some bars before you buy as too wide or too narrow will effect your overall experience, ask one of the guys at your LBS for some tips. The next to go was the crankset, replaced with an entry level Shimano Deore crankset which worked wonders on those long climbs en rough descents. The fork that the bike had was of the poorer performance range and was replaced first by a 150mm Marzocchi AM3 (which I happened to brake after ride number 5, lesson learnt) and was replaced by a Rock Shox Tora 130mm Coil version which was most probable one of the best performing, cost-effective parts I've ever bought, thinking back. As the riding progresses and the rider level increases I had to replace the wheelset as the original set was no longer up for the task. The changes were made oveer a period of time to accomodate the wallet. If you search the web you will be able to find some good prices to get your new parts. Do make a turn in the Bike and Frame forum as you will get more positive results with your current search in that one. Happy riding!!
 

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rebmem rbtm
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I always wonder why these type of threads show up in the All Mountain forum instead of the Bike and Frame discussion forum. :)

What are you looking to achieve with upgrades?
Because it´s a 140mm hardtail, not an XC entry level bike like previous Avalanche models.
 

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rebmem rbtm
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I have a 2011 Avalanche 2.0 set up fot AM use, like an avalanche X but w/ a Pike U turn instead of a Sektor.






If you go w/clipless but want to keep it steady and stable on descents i recommend Crank Brother Mallet pedals. I got them on my ride and they work great:



Next i´m getting a Joplin for it.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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Just someone looking for suggestions from fellow bikers. Not looking for condescending "forum advice". I don't get why you people get on your high horses. You seem to have a lot of posts and "reps". You must know everything there is to know about biking. Can you teach me how to do a wheelie?!
Heh, chip on your shoulder?

I'm looking for suggestions. You know, from experience. Such a suggestion could entail the following:

Hey man you know, I made a switch from flats to THESE pedals and absolutely loved them. Or yea, you know if you're not going to be doing some major descents, this dropper post is reliable and not an arm and a leg...

Or, you know, you could be an *******. Either one.
Yeah, I'm asking you what you want to achieve with upgrades. In other words, weight? Bling? Or just plain stuff to change for whatever reason? check the fit first before you muck with the stem and handlebar. it's an area of constant tweaking for some.

FWIW, I know someone with a GT Avalanche, rides it as a trail bike and the stock parts haven't broken yet. Anything more aggro would be a problem with the stock parts.

parts i've used and not had problems with

Stem - truvativ hussefelt, chromag ranger, sunline v1 am/fr.
Handlebar - Truvativ boobar, chromag os/os x
seatpost - gravity dropper, ugly but functional. either way you may want to look into a 0 offset seatpost if you intend to climb. it helps a bit to be more forward, although your bike doesn't look to be too slack. going down you're off the saddle anyway, so it doesn't matter.
pedals - hard to say, I know guys that use all different types and they each like them. I use flats, which isn't what you're looking for, so it don't matter.

maybe look into an external lower cup, to slacken things up a bit. i couldn't find much about your geometry, but it looked to be the same as the regular avalanches? it's XC geometry, but people do OK with it. You should be able to go up to 40mm without negative effects (seat post angle) if the frame can handle it, but RWC's headset cup (15mm) should feel good.

I'd probably look at wheels for the first major. I'm not too familiar with the ones on the stocker, but a tubeless set would probably be lighter and faster with better hubs. if you're going to ride it till it folds or breaks a spoke, then it can wait.

the other stuff looks pretty good, maybe better brakes later and upgrade the fork to 150mm.
 

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I upgraded my Avalanche 1.0D 2010 to RST Titan140 fork. Took awhile to get used to the higher BB. Certainly was worth it, the bike rides better this way, due to both slacker HT angle and more of ground clearance.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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2011 Avalanches have slack trailbike/AM geo, 68.5 HA/73.5 SA w/140mm fork, which is the same geometry as the GT Force.
interesting. their 2011 catalog lists 69.5/73.5, the same as all their other avalanches.

the rwc lower cup would slacken it out to a bit over 67/72 if starting from 68.5/73.5, but 68/72 is not bad either if starting from 69.5/73.5. if you've got an angle gauge measure it first. after the fork is sagged (while riding) the active geometry will be a bit under 2 degrees steeper (69/74 or 70/74).
 

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rebmem rbtm
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According to the page it was 68.5 for the Avalanche X, and 69,5 for the 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, the 1.0 having a 120mm Tora and the others having a 100mm fork. Mine came with a 120mm Suntour XCR w/100mm effective travel but the A2C height being the same as a 120mm fork. Happens the same for XCM's used in 3.0 Ava's.

Change was freakin' amazing. Besides the PIKE absolutely outperforms the XCR by far. I've recently fixed the U-turn (actually bought a new knob) which turns it into an incredible XC-ish climber at 95mm and into an amazing descender when at 140mm. I use it mostly at 130-ish.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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According to the page it was 68.5 for the Avalanche X, and 69,5 for the 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, the 1.0 having a 120mm Tora and the others having a 100mm fork. Mine came with a 120mm Suntour XCR w/100mm effective travel but the A2C height being the same as a 120mm fork. Happens the same for XCM's used in 3.0 Ava's.

Change was freakin' amazing. Besides the PIKE absolutely outperforms the XCR by far. I've recently fixed the U-turn (actually bought a new knob) which turns it into an incredible XC-ish climber at 95mm and into an amazing descender when at 140mm. I use it mostly at 130-ish.
Which page? I was looking at http://www.gtbicycles.com/media/pdf/g_11_Catalog.pdf towards the back in the geometry section.

If it was 68.5, it sounds like it's the same frame with a bigger fork and upgraded parts. That is good news, since it's a "supported" configuration, so when Nashbar blows out frames for $50 at the end of the year, it could make for a good backup frame or a new build.

I knew the frames were pretty stout (my friend didn't break his Avalanche 3.0 yet), but didn't think it would be that stout.
 

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rebmem rbtm
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Which page? I was looking at https://www.gtbicycles.com/media/pdf/g_11_Catalog.pdf towards the back in the geometry section.

If it was 68.5, it sounds like it's the same frame with a bigger fork and upgraded parts. That is good news, since it's a "supported" configuration, so when Nashbar blows out frames for $50 at the end of the year, it could make for a good backup frame or a new build.

I knew the frames were pretty stout (my friend didn't break his Avalanche 3.0 yet), but didn't think it would be that stout.
There ya go:

 

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I have the 2011 Avalanche 3.0 which is the same frame only with cheap parts everywhere else. So for what its worth here are the only things that I have complaints about. The stock wheels sucked and wouldn't stay true even on mild terrain, I bent the front wheel in a minor wreck, the bearings in the hubs kept loosening up so I had to readjust the axle often so I after all of that I upgraded the wheel sets, and the bottom bracket is started to get pretty noisy for some reason (its like a strained creaking kind of sound) after 140 miles of use on my bike. I'm not sure what the bottom bracket sound is yet but I'm going to take it apart to find out soon. The brakes squeal a lot if they aren't cleaned regularly which is annoying but not to big of a deal.

Those are my major complaints. The cables could be better, they seem to have more friction than they should especially for the brakes and I think its starting to be a culprit of some more sloppy shifting I've been having lately. You have hydro brakes but I'm not sure about your shifting cables. The frame is excellent and the stock brakes have had plenty of power after the pads seated in well.

I did put crank bros candy 2 pedals on my bike. The pedals performed great but I wouldn't buy them again personally. The body of it is very strong but whatever they call the piece that actually clips your shoe in is made of a very soft metal. I misjudged the pedal height and hit the bottom of the pedal on a root. It bent the soft metal so I couldn't clip my shoe in on 2 of the 4 sections to clip into and the other 2 fit very loose. I bent it back but the metal is stretched now so it still fits loose and I can feel it when I pull up on the pedal. I also managed to pull my foot out of it once (on the good pedal) but my cleat may have had some mud in it. There are better options out there than these things.
 
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