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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice and recommendations.

Last summer I was able to get a 2010 Altitude that was in great condition for a great price.

I’m wanting to do a few upgrades here and there to bring it up to speed a bit. I’m looking at doing mid-level components and parts. Not going to go the cheap route, but not looking for a high end build here either (I am afterall upgrading an 11 year old bike)

I changed the headset, grips, saddle and pedals right away, but besides those, everything else is original.

Im leaning towards a 1x10 or 1x11 setup. What have others gone with that they’ve liked on these older Altitudes? I had a friend recommend possibly a Race Face Narrow Wide.

What else is a worthwhile upgrade/update?

I‘m all ears on this, part of the fun is the process itself with some of these changes and upgrades.

Lets hear some ideas or thoughts.
 

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Assuming it’s a HG free hub, take a look at the the Advent X 10 speed drive train. Shifter, derailleur, and cassette can be had for about $180. Add a 30 or 32 tooth narrow wide chainring.
Not knowing the bike you have, the other upgrade to make it more modern would be wider bars and a shorter stem.
 

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The Deore 11x cassette has some manufacturing issues as sometimes the rivets come loose. It offers a wide gear range, so you should look at it anyway.

I would go 11-46 with a 11x or invest in a good 12x, but those are sold out at the moment.

Also consider servicing shock and fork (big service) and inspect the bearings.
 

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Was it the 29" or 26" Altitude, they had both in 2010. If the rear shock is a Fox RP23 and doesn't have the Boost Valve feature, that one feature made a huge difference in the ride quality, with a shock without the Boost Valve, the Altitude tended to have a harsh and jittery rear end over rough terrain, that was the single biggest ride improvement I found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do research now but I'd logically ride it like it is until something needs to be replaced.
Everything could be upgraded. And that will cost alot and only get you so far.
Save the upgrade money for something used that's newer. Less costly way to upgrade.
I understand that's the route a lot would go.
I guess my view is that I upgraded from a 98'FSR that I had for YEARS. So this is pretty modern to me, and I got it for $500.

I'm a pretty casual rider, hoping to get out more and more, but I'm not a 5x a week rider, so I'd have a hard time dropping $2000+ on a newer bike, especially if I go the used route again, alot of those nicer used bikes at $1500 or less can be pretty beat up. The bike I picked up is in great shape, it wasn't ridden hard by the previous owner.

I'm in it maybe $650 or so right now with the few things I've done.
I plan on having both shocks fully serviced, going with some kind of drive train upgrade (1x11 or whatever else some others recommend), probably new tires and then maybe a few other things here and there. If I drop another $500 on this over the next year or so, I'm still in it for a pretty reasonable amount and should be good to go for a solid 5 years for what I do.

If I continue to get more into it and ride more and more, then I'd definitely consider and likely pull the trigger on a legit upgrade and spend the $2k or more that it would take for a more modern bike.

But for the foreseeable future, I have zero issue spending a few hundred dollars on a few upgrades and enjoying this bike for the next few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Was it the 29" or 26" Altitude, they had both in 2010. If the rear shock is a Fox RP23 and doesn't have the Boost Valve feature, that one feature made a huge difference in the ride quality, with a shock without the Boost Valve, the Altitude tended to have a harsh and jittery rear end over rough terrain, that was the single biggest ride improvement I found.
It is the 29".
To be honest I'm not sure if the rear shock has the boost valve feature. I know it is a Fox shock, but that's the extent of what I know, I'll have to look. Thanks for the info!

*Edit- I do have the boost valve on the rear shock. Good to know I have the nicer one. It'll still get a full service this winter.
 

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I think many people in your shoes have found the game changing upgrades to be adding a dropper post and switching to tubeless (or of you've already done those, ignore this next part). By game changing, I mean for instance there are some trails I can ride with my dropper that I wouldn't feel safe ride without it, so the dropper unlocks new experiences and thrills for me. I didn't go tubeless, but I've read that for many people, the low tire pressure that tubeless let them achieve changed the way they are able to ride--more grip and more cushioning over bumps means they can ride harder and faster than before, or at least just more comfortably and with fewer flats.

With regards to the drive train, what specifically are you hoping to gain from switching to a 1x?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think many people in your shoes have found the game changing upgrades to be adding a dropper post and switching to tubeless (or of you've already done those, ignore this next part). By game changing, I mean for instance there are some trails I can ride with my dropper that I wouldn't feel safe ride without it, so the dropper unlocks new experiences and thrills for me. I didn't go tubeless, but I've read that for many people, the low tire pressure that tubeless let them achieve changed the way they are able to ride--more grip and more cushioning over bumps means they can ride harder and faster than before, or at least just more comfortably and with fewer flats.

With regards to the drive train, what specifically are you hoping to gain from switching to a 1x?
I think I will look into the drop post, I've had a few people say similar things and how much they've loved theirs.

So with the drivetrain, I guess just simplicity and a little weight savings. I have a couple buddies that have the 1x setup on their bikes and they love it.
I never shift the front when I ride, I have the chain on the middle chain ring at pretty much all times. So really, functionally speaking, I'd have more adjustability with 10 or 11 options on the back instead of 9, since I never mess with the front anyway.
So if I can clean up some cables and simplify the setup a little, that's the goal.
 

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I think I will look into the drop post, I've had a few people say similar things and how much they've loved theirs.

So with the drivetrain, I guess just simplicity and a little weight savings. I have a couple buddies that have the 1x setup on their bikes and they love it.
I never shift the front when I ride, I have the chain on the middle chain ring at pretty much all times. So really, functionally speaking, I'd have more adjustability with 10 or 11 options on the back instead of 9, since I never mess with the front anyway.
So if I can clean up some cables and simplify the setup a little, that's the goal.
Ok, that's helpful to understand. To clarify, do you need/want more gearing range than your current 9 speed cassette provides when using it with only your middle chainring?

If not, then you are sort of already getting the 1x experience. You could leave it alone, and your body doesn't really know the difference when you're riding. If you still want to streamline you could remove your left shifter and smallest chainring, replace your large chainring with a bash ring, and either remove your front derailleur or use the limit screws to fix it in place and repurpose it as a chain retention device. I suppose you could add a narrow wide chainring into the mix too, and have your 1x done for $60 or so, maybe $70 if you need to play around with chainring spacers to adjust you chain line. Maybe $125 if you are going to pay a mechanic to make the changes for you. Spend what's left (after that and the dropper post) on good tires or a good helmet, if you haven't already.

If you do need the extra range (or if you just feel like buying new parts because new parts are fun) I have heard good things about the Advent X 1x10 groupset that an earlier poster recommended for under $200.

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Ok, that's helpful to understand. To clarify, do you need/want more gearing range than your current 9 speed cassette provides when using it with only your middle chainring?

If not, then you are sort of already getting the 1x experience. You could leave it alone, and your body doesn't really know the difference when you're riding. If you still want to streamline you could remove your left shifter and smallest chainring, replace your large chainring with a bash ring, and either remove your front derailleur or use the limit screws to fix it in place and repurpose it as a chain retention device. I suppose you could add a narrow wide chainring into the mix too, and have your 1x done for $60 or so, maybe $70 if you need to play around with chainring spacers to adjust you chain line. Maybe $125 if you are going to pay a mechanic to make the changes for you. Spend what's left (after that and the dropper post) on good tires or a good helmet, if you haven't already.

If you do need the extra range (or if you just feel like buying new parts because new parts are fun) I have heard good things about the Advent X 1x10 groupset that an earlier poster recommended for under $200.

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
I haven't really NEEDED the extra gear on the back, I just figured it'd be nice to have when going to a single gear on the front.

That's a good idea with the taking the smallest chainring off and trying it that way.

I'd also be lying if I said this wasn't at least in part because, as you said, new parts are fun.

I do appreciate all of the feedback and ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
This is a little unrelated, but along the same lines here. I’m here to learn and there is a lot of knowledge on this board.

I’ve read not only in this thread but through other searches that it’s not worthwhile to upgrade some of these older bikes, to just save up and get a newer bike.

One of my buddies bought a new 2020 Giant Stance 1 last spring for about $1,800.

I bought my bike last spring for $500, but it was a $4,000 bike 10 years prior to that.

The general geometry and setup seems to very similar on these two bikes.

Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if I were to spend $1,000 on upgrades (fork, rear shock, drivetrain, etc) that I would have at least an equivalent, if not a superior bike to the 2020 Stance at the same price?

I know it’s not quite that simple, there is a lot to it and I know I’m missing something, but what makes it not worthwhile in some people’s minds to not upgrade a pretty high end bike that’s a decade old?

I get there is absolutely a difference between a 2010 Altitude vs a 2021 Altitude, they changed the overall design and its more of a modern setup.
But at least at first glance, the frame and geometry sure looks very similar on the 2010 Altitude vs 2020 Stance.
 

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The other huge advantage of a 1X, is a quieter drivetrain. Getting a clutch derailleur helps a bunch with chain slap. Plus if you do decide to add a dropper post, having the left side of your bars cleared up helps. There are dropper remotes for front derailleur bikes, but again it’s just cleaner.

Most guys don’t want to spend money on an old bike cause you don’t get out, what you put in monetarily. A $500 bike with $1000 in parts is only worth $750-$1000 resale. (Just a random number thrown out there) However if you like to tinker and customize stuff anyways, half the enjoyment is building a bike. Like you said if you can get a close to modern ride for less money, great. But if you start replacing everything on the bike, you’ll end up spending more than a complete new bike with all the modern standards.
 

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The 2010 29er Altitude had a geometry that went with the steep seat tube, long TT and steep head angle, a 70.5deg head angle made the steering quite fast (headed toward twitchy), that's the biggest difference between the older Altitude and the 2020/21 geo. The new Altitudes have a 65-ish degree head angle. While the long TT on the 2010 helps stretch the front centre out which reduces the endo potential, that steep head angle makes the steering input exceptional speedy on a steep descent. If you aren't bombing steep descents it likely won't be an issue, but you are likely going to want to slow down the steering input with the stem/bar combo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The other huge advantage of a 1X, is a quieter drivetrain. Getting a clutch derailleur helps a bunch with chain slap. Plus if you do decide to add a dropper post, having the left side of your bars cleared up helps. There are dropper remotes for front derailleur bikes, but again it's just cleaner.

Most guys don't want to spend money on an old bike cause you don't get out, what you put in monetarily. A $500 bike with $1000 in parts is only worth $750-$1000 resale. (Just a random number thrown out there) However if you like to tinker and customize stuff anyways, half the enjoyment is building a bike. Like you said if you can get a close to modern ride for less money, great. But if you start replacing everything on the bike, you'll end up spending more than a complete new bike with all the modern standards.
Thanks, that makes sense for sure. I definitely don't plan on replacing TOO much, just a few things here and there. So the $1000 wasn't really realistic for what I'll actually do. I was just kind of using that as an example. Not to pick on my buddies bike at all, it just seems like in theory I could be in the same amount of money as him with his new bike, or less, and have an equal or better bike.

I totally understand the resale argument, I guess I just never really factor that into this kind of stuff. Depreciation and lack of return on investment kind of comes with the territory I think.
I equate it to vehicles, I like to mess around with my vehicle too, so when I put $1500 of suspension and $1000 of skid plates on my 4Runner, I don't expect my resale value to be $2500 more, those are things I just like to do, are functional to me for the time I own the vehicle and I see as a sunk cost. If at the time I sell (I keep my vehicles for a long time) I can get a few hundred more for those things, then great, but I'm not expecting it at the time I made the initial purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The bike is at a local shop getting some things done right now. I used Christmas as a good excuse to ask for a few things to help pay for some of the upgrades.

I ended up going with the SRAM NX 1x12 groupset. It’s what my local shop had in stock and recommended for what I wanted.

Ended up with a few PNW components from their sale too.
The Range handlebar
The Range stem- 50mm
Loam grips

The other things I’m doing are more what I’d consider maintenance/things that needed to be done no matter what, not necessarily “upgrades”.

Im getting new Maxxis tires front and back, the tires on there were the original Continental Mountain King’s.
Getting a full service on the rear shock, which was much needed. As well as a basic service on the fork.

All in, I’m getting probably $1,100 worth of “stuff” done. But between some of it being parts I received as gifts and getting a couple gift cards to the shop itself, I’ll be in it myself roughly $700 or so.

I feel like after all of this I’ll feel like I have a new bike in the spring. The only other thing I’ll really consider for it at some point is still a dropper post, which I can put on to a next bike if needed.
This bike will be good to go for at least a few more years and if I continue to ride more and more and feel the need for a new bike, then I’ll do it.
I’ll update with some pictures once I have it back.
 
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