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Well the only thing you can ride without is the saddle so everything else is necessary unless you're going to be nit picky and name things like grips and such. So you can't knock it down to just three unless you do like Shiggy and get real generic. Which of course is the easy way out. ;-)
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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rodman said:
in your opinion, what is the 3 most important parts of a bike ?
What do you mean by "most important"?

If you mean which parts make the biggest difference in the ride, I would say

Frame
Fork
Tires
 

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kapusta said:
What do you mean by "most important"?

If you mean which parts make the biggest difference in the ride, I would say

Frame
Fork
Tires
Yes exactly, thank you.
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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Tires, frame, brakes

rodman said:
in your opinion, what is the 3 most important parts of a bike ?
Tires, frame, brakes, in that order. These are the most noticeable differences in handling and performance.

Funky tires ruin everything else.

The frame sets your fit options and designs the ability to put your power down efficiently and the handling characteristics.

Quality brakes conserves much energy not used recovering from mistakes made from not enough brake power or too easy lockup.

Fork quality is next, the rest of the bike and rider ability follows the fork's precision.

Quality pedals are nearly as important as the fork quality, maybe more important for confidence and efficient energy use and power. Ease of use, with easy and consistent panic exits, brings confidence to ride rather than hike difficult sections. Flats are only better if you must dab or hike a lot.

Rear shock quality makes a bigger difference on the more average quality suspension designs. The better suspension designs work better using an average quality shock than the more average designs work with a top quality shock. Rear shock quality is far down the list compared to suspension frame design quality.

For longer distance rides, the seat quality and gear range and shifting ease are big factors too.

- ray
 

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derby said:
Tires, frame, brakes, in that order. These are the most noticeable differences in handling and performance.

Funky tires ruin everything else.

The frame sets your fit options and designs the ability to put your power down efficiently and the handling characteristics.

Quality brakes conserves much energy not used recovering from mistakes made from not enough brake power or too easy lockup.

Fork quality is next, the rest of the bike and rider ability follows the fork's precision.

Quality pedals are nearly as important as the fork quality, maybe more important for confidence and efficient energy use and power. Ease of use, with easy and consistent panic exits, brings confidence to ride rather than hike difficult sections. Flats are only better if you must dab or hike a lot.

Rear shock quality makes a bigger difference on the more average quality suspension designs. The better suspension designs work better using an average quality shock than the more average designs work with a top quality shock. Rear shock quality is far down the list compared to suspension frame design quality.

For longer distance rides, the seat quality and gear range and shifting ease are big factors too.

- ray
yeah that sounds good...I would add maintenance too...very important if you are doing the hard stuff
 

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fred3 said:
Well the only thing you can ride without is the saddle so everything else is necessary unless you're going to be nit picky and name things like grips and such.
Well... I think singlespeeders would disagree with you there. No need for a rear cassette, multiple chain rings, deralliers, shifters, suspension, or even brakes (go the fixie!).
 

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Tyres
Fork
Brakes


When mountain biking you primarily want to grip, track the terrain and stop on command.

Everything else is secondary, even the frame. Give me a run-of-the-mill frame equipped with decent tyres, sus fork and brakes over a decent frame with average T's F and B's any day.

IMO of course :)
 

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rodman said:
in your opinion, what is the 3 most important parts of a bike ?
Brakes
Fork
Handlebars

Why? Because if anything explodes while riding hard, you'll stack it, but if these parts explode while riding hard you'll stack it in a big big way. :p
 

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Following suit with Rainman, but a little more specific;

1) head
2) hands
3) feet

If you aren't well protected, or at least comfortable, your first ride COULD be your last.

Also, even GREAT parts that are set-up like crap are nothing more than that - crap.
 

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Bike to the Bone...
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Like other said, see the surface of the saddle? yep? the most important is what's above it...

Now, if you're building a bike and are deciding on which parts to focus on more or to stretch your budget... Frame, Fork and wheelset. The tires and saddle you can change later, but they're important.
 

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rzozaya1969 said:
Like other said, see the surface of the saddle? yep? the most important is what's above it....
You mean your nuts?
 

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rzozaya1969 said:
Like other said, see the surface of the saddle? yep? the most important is what's above it...

Now, if you're building a bike and are deciding on which parts to focus on more or to stretch your budget... Frame, Fork and wheelset. The tires and saddle you can change later, but they're important.
I'll agree...if building new or looking to upgrade, frame fork, and wheelset are the big 3 (they'll also be the most expensive for top end and vary the most in cost). Brakes, tires, and drivetrain components are next on the list, with h-bars, stem, seatpost, and saddle being towards the end b/c they're cheaper and easier to replace and will have the least amount of impact on your riding (assuming the bike fits from the beginning...if the bike fits poorly, these parts become more important to replace).
 
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