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hardcore on the bunnyhill
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Happy New Year Folks!

Well I was fortunate enough to get a gift certificate to my lbs from Santa this Christmas. $300! Actually I happened to get $150 from both my wife and my parents, both to the same shop. Anyways, besides giving the money to one of you, i was hoping you could suggest an upgrade for me. I'm a poor college student right now, so this will probably be the only money to spend on my bike all year. I just got the bike tuned up and i think I have all the clothes, hydration, and other stuff like that that i need.

2003 Giant NRS 3
Marz MX pro 105
LX drivetrain
Thomson 30.8 seatpost
panaracer fire xc 2.1
titec stem and handlebar
avid sd3 v-brakes
race face ride xc crank
wtb rocket v saddle
the cheaper low end shimano spd pedals (can't remember the number on them)

ps, while i would love to get some disc brakes, my hubs are not disc compatable (though the frame and fork are).

any suggestions would be great. thanks!
 

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Freshly Fujified
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8,199 Posts
Buy spare parts

Don't do any upgrades. As you say, you're a poor college student. I say it's time to stuff the parts bin with drivetrain components, brake pads, tubes, and other things that bite you in the ass when you don't have money.

Talk to the LBS, and see if they can cut you a deal on a large component purchase. XT front and rear derailleurs can be found online for about $60 for the combo. LX cranks and BB should be maybe $100. PG 970 cassette $40. Couple of decent 9 speed chains $70. 2 complete sets of brake pads $35. You probably won't get these prices at the LBS, but if you ask them up front to give you their best price, I would hope they would put together a nice package deal.

The bike appears to have a nice build as it is, so I say ride it until something either brakes or wears out, and you'll already have the replacement part(s) in your parts bin.

Just my thoughts as always. Have fun spending the money, regardless of what you buy.

Bob
 

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24,083 Posts
I'd have to agree with Clyde, the build looks nice enough as is - once the pedals aren't the 505's you're alright (they're like anchors) the 520's & 540's are only a few grams difference and the 520's work really well.

If you're going to be riding a lot that you might need to replace your drive train components throughout the year see what deal you can get on a couple chains, cassette, rings and derailers. Also get another set of tires maybe if you feel you'll wear those out within the year and definitely some tubes, patches. Do you have a good repair kit/ multi tool? that is always a useful thing. Maybe some spare cables, brake and gear.

You didn't mention your wheelset, so I don't know what you have and if it's light, but that's also another option you could look at.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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14,909 Posts
emvath said:
Happy New Year Folks!

Well I was fortunate enough to get a gift certificate to my lbs from Santa this Christmas. $300! Actually I happened to get $150 from both my wife and my parents, both to the same shop. Anyways, besides giving the money to one of you, i was hoping you could suggest an upgrade for me. I'm a poor college student right now, so this will probably be the only money to spend on my bike all year. I just got the bike tuned up and i think I have all the clothes, hydration, and other stuff like that that i need.

2003 Giant NRS 3
Marz MX pro 105
LX drivetrain
Thomson 30.8 seatpost
panaracer fire xc 2.1
titec stem and handlebar
avid sd3 v-brakes
race face ride xc crank
wtb rocket v saddle
the cheaper low end shimano spd pedals (can't remember the number on them)

ps, while i would love to get some disc brakes, my hubs are not disc compatable (though the frame and fork are).

any suggestions would be great. thanks!
How long is the certificate good for? I'm thinking that you should replace or upgrade things as they wear out. I agree that there is not much I can see on your build that a $300 upgrade would make a huge difference in. The problem is that I can think of lots of things you could do with $300 on line if you look around for good deals, but $300 at the LBS is like $200 bargain hunting. For example, you could get a set of Avid Mechanical disc brakes and a set of no-frills-but-reliable disc wheels for just over $300 on line, but I can't see that being less than $450 at most LBS's.

If you want to treat yourself now, here are some thoughts:

One think to consider may be tires. If you like the smaller size, then the Fire XC 2.1's are hard to beat (they are VERY small for 2.1's). For straight xc applications they are about my favorite rear tire, but I'm not crazy about them in the front. If your fire xc's are getting worn, consider something a little bigger, like the Kenda Nevegal 2.1 (great front and back a lot bigger than the fire 2.1) or the conti vert pro 2.3 (I like it in the back). Go over to the Wheels and Tires board and you will get lots of suggestions on tires from people who have tried way more than I have. If just one of your tires is worn, keep the good Fire xc in the back and replace the front. Good tires (or the right tire for the terain) make a HUGE difference, especially in the front. Heck, even if both tires are still good, treat yourself to a new front tire and keep the fire xc as a replacement for when the other one wears out.

If you have any dissatisfaction with your seat or pedals, those can be a great treat, and will carry over to any bike you own. I had some reservations about dropping $130 on Speedplay Frogs, but they are now on my 3rd bike 5 years later.

Do you do your own mantenance (or would you like to start)? If so, tools can pay for themselves. A repair stand is a wonderful thing to have when you need it.

Have fun spending the $
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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43,006 Posts
Call_me_Clyde said:
Don't do any upgrades. As you say, you're a poor college student. I say it's time to stuff the parts bin with drivetrain components, brake pads, tubes, and other things that bite you in the ass when you don't have money.

Talk to the LBS, and see if they can cut you a deal on a large component purchase. XT front and rear derailleurs can be found online for about $60 for the combo. LX cranks and BB should be maybe $100. PG 970 cassette $40. Couple of decent 9 speed chains $70. 2 complete sets of brake pads $35. You probably won't get these prices at the LBS, but if you ask them up front to give you their best price, I would hope they would put together a nice package deal.

The bike appears to have a nice build as it is, so I say ride it until something either brakes or wears out, and you'll already have the replacement part(s) in your parts bin.

Just my thoughts as always. Have fun spending the money, regardless of what you buy.

Bob
hold onto the money for a rainy day....ride with what you have
 

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If you don't already have one, pick up a repair stand and some tools. Its the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do the tools pay for themselves, you will have them forever.
 

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hardcore on the bunnyhill
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the suggestions! I think that i'll take most of your advice and hang on to it for a while until something breaks. In a March my lbs has its annual "birthday" sale, i may see what deals are going on then. Thanks again!
 
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