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Following on to a couple of other threads, I figured I'd share a few things that I've bough over the years that perform beyond what the price might suggest...

My hardtail came with Shimano Mt-500 brakes and I have to say that they work far better than the price would suggest. Loads of power and good ergonomics. Maybe not worthy of Whistler Bike Park, but these were quite a nice surprise.

Race Face Aeffect cranks. Cheap and work awesome. I have them on both bikes and have beat them to hell, but they just work.

Mattoc Comp fork. My hardtail came with this fork and it's cheap, but works awesome for the intended purpose.

Trans-X dropper. I have it on my hardtail and expected something crappy, but it's just worked great and been completely reliable. No need to upgrade it at all.

PNW Rainier dropper. I have one on my enduro bike and it performs much better than I expected for the price.

NX drivetrain. Okay, so it's clunky and I don't like it a whole lot, but my hardtail came with it and it works. I've beat it pretty well and it hasn't failed yet. Definitely not too smooth or "nice", but it gets the job done.

The Novatech/WTB i29 wheels on my hardtail haven't failed yet. They work, but I can't say that the performance is altogether good. Pretty heavy and maybe worth upgrading at some point.

What are your cheap gems?
 

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I’m running a NX drive train as well, can’t see what spending the extra money will net me, worth it. I had a new set of wheels built, kept the HG driver to save on having to buy a GX cassette. Smashed my derailleur, bought another NX cause I didn’t want to smash a XO1 (the only other one I could find)
 

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Deore 12, but still kinda **** compared to the old 10s days.
Slx cranks.
brand x /trans x droppers.
Bmx bikes.
27.5 now that they're no longer sexy.
Odi longnecks.
Aluminium bars with 40 rise.
Polygon frames, they're an even cheaper commenceal, kind of.
 

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I’m running a NX drive train as well, can’t see what spending the extra money will net me, worth it. I had a new set of wheels built, kept the HG driver to save on having to buy a GX cassette. Smashed my derailleur, bought another NX cause I didn’t want to smash a XO1 (the only other one I could find)
I keep hearing how horrible an NX drivetrain is, but I have been beating on mine for nearly three years and it keeps going strong. I also kept the HG driver when I got new wheels. The NX cassette is a boat anchor, but so am I. At least IT is durable!
 

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Bmx - cheap and reliable, all other depends on your expectations and budget

Cheap stuff works well 6-12 month, expensive up to 3 years, so depending on amount of riding it is worth going top of the shelf or budget wise;

My wife rides her bike 10 time per year on mellow trails i ride 100x more bike park, so we have different specs and understanding of reliability, both bikes suits rider and satisfying need of reliability
 

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Superstar pedals. I have two pairs of Nano thru-pins from 2013. One pair has just recently failed with one pedal sliding off the spindle. The other is still going strong. Neither has ever had any kind of maintenance at all ever.
 

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Keep things simple
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No matter what I use-not breaking the bank-I up the game on inspecting and maintaining those parts.
 

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Pnw external routed dropper. 3yrs old and never had to service it, works great and when I do get around to servicing it lots of helpful videos from pnw on YouTube. External droppers are great too if you switch between regular seatposts and droppers.

Shimano pedals, ESI grips, and I agree on NX (11spd) shifts great for the price.
 
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