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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all--
This is my first post, so to those who don't know me I'm a 19 year older XC rider. I used to dirt jump for about 4 years, I rode a standard motocross frame, answer forks, s&m slam bars, and some shitty one piece cranks. However, I'm now looking to sell that bike and as of last summer I purchased the Raleigh M80. I figured it would be a reasonable bike to get started with. Well, so far I realized that I desperately need to replace the pedals, and eventually the forks. I was wondering what else you guys and girls thought I should upgrade on the bike, whether it be to decrease weight, increase performance, or just in general. Also if you could give me some examples of some good light grippy pedals it would be much appreciated, I've been looking at the Azonic A-Frames, but they're a little pricey. Lastly, if you could suggest some good sites to purchase these upgrades from, that would also be a great help. Thanks, Vincent.
Stock Raleigh M80:
Frame Material: aluminum, butted
Fork: Rock Shox Judy TT, 80mm travel
Brake Levers: Shimano Deore
Handlebar: aluminum MTB
Stem: aluminum threadless
Headset: 1 1/8" Zero Stack Threadless WTB
Front Der: Shimano Deore
Crankset: Shimano FC-M440, 22/32/44 teeth
Rear Der: Shimano Deore LX
Pedals: resin MTB
Tires: 26 x 2.10" WTB VelociRaptor
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
gonzostrike said:
the M80 is so bargain-basement that "upgrades" are almost hypocritical.

is anything broken?
Ouch, no nothing is broken. Perhaps it is bargain basement, but I figured I would start with a beginner or intermediate bike as a beginner or intermediate XC rider rather than be the jackass with the 3000 dollar bike that can barely ride it. Anyhow, perhaps some constructive criticism? Such as, rather than upgrading maybe you would be better off buying another bike? Or at least informing me of what is horribly bargain basement about the bike. Keep in mind, I'm a college student and I can barely afford anything.
 

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It is not a bad bike. Especially since yo have limited funds I would not replace much until it breaks of wears out.
Get some pedals you like (most XC riders prefer clipless. Need shoes to match).
Tires are an easy swap.

Just get out and ride. Welcome to the trails!
 

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BlueLemming said:
Howdy all--
Stock Raleigh M80:
Frame Material: aluminum, butted
Fork: Rock Shox Judy TT, 80mm travel
Brake Levers: Shimano Deore
Handlebar: aluminum MTB
Stem: aluminum threadless
Headset: 1 1/8" Zero Stack Threadless WTB
Front Der: Shimano Deore
Crankset: Shimano FC-M440, 22/32/44 teeth
Rear Der: Shimano Deore LX
Pedals: resin MTB
Tires: 26 x 2.10" WTB VelociRaptor
The M80 was my first real MTB, I think it was a great bike for the dough. First get new pedals, mine busted after a week of easy riding. Depending on what you want to do with the bike, either good platforms or a decent set of clipless.

Besides pedals, I would just ride it and wait for things to break before upgrading. Depending on what part it is and what you are comfortable spending, try and move up a level with replacement parts. (ie. lx to xt) After my pedals, I replaced the saddle and seatpost (both bent after a few months of abuse). I eventually destroyed my rear wheel so that went next, then my rear derailluer (upgraded to XT). I think I still have my originial front tire after lots of road riding, the rear tire lasted a year or so.
 

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BlueLemming said:
Ouch, no nothing is broken. Perhaps it is bargain basement, but I figured I would start with a beginner or intermediate bike as a beginner or intermediate XC rider rather than be the jackass with the 3000 dollar bike that can barely ride it. Anyhow, perhaps some constructive criticism? Such as, rather than upgrading maybe you would be better off buying another bike? Or at least informing me of what is horribly bargain basement about the bike. Keep in mind, I'm a college student and I can barely afford anything.
I'm just being blunt about what the point of "upgrades" really is.

when you start with an inexpensive bike, you don't have a lot there that can be improved on the road to building a better bike. "upgrade" is a term that is overused and ill-used.

the only time "upgrade" makes sense is when you buy a good frame with cheap parts expecting to eventually replace the cheap parts with better ones as time passes.

when you start with a $450 mtn bike, you'll never be able to make it perform like a $1500 mtn bike no matter what money you throw at it.

so if nothing's busted, keep riding it, get used to being on trails, and save for a nicer bike!

I think if you talk to an experienced rider who's owned several bikes, you'll find that "upgrade" is almost code language for "wasting money" ;)
 

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I bought a 2001 M80 as my first bike and it lasted me all the way until October when it was stolen. While I had it, I was torn about whether to add disc brakes, clipless pedals, and better drivetrain parts, but ultimately decided to save my money and buy a quality bike when I could. I'm a poor college student too...keep your eyes open for a good deal and be patient. I got lucky and just found an '04 Enduro Pro at a great price. Can't wait to get back on the trails and make up for not having a bike for so long.
 

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BlueLemming said:
Ouch, no nothing is broken. Perhaps it is bargain basement, but I figured I would start with a beginner or intermediate bike as a beginner or intermediate XC rider rather than be the jackass with the 3000 dollar bike that can barely ride it. Anyhow, perhaps some constructive criticism? Such as, rather than upgrading maybe you would be better off buying another bike? Or at least informing me of what is horribly bargain basement about the bike. Keep in mind, I'm a college student and I can barely afford anything.
Well, I would have said it more nicely, but Gonzo has a point that many of us have learned the hard way. While I don't agree that the M80 is "bargain basement", I do agree that it may not make much sense to be dropping money into it. For the most part you are just going to be spending a lot of money to loose a little bit of weight, and it will take loads of money in order to make any real difference in weight. If you are really serious about wanting a better (and lighter) bike, sell this one and buy a higher end one. Otherwise, this one will do you just fine for now.

Two improvements definitley worth investing in are clipless pedals (and shoes) and a good saddle, as you will use these on your next bike.

New tires may be worth looking into. Veliciraptors are decent all around tires, but there are definitley better options out there, some perhaps more well suited to your riding style and terrain. Having the right tire, or one that you like makes a huge difference in the ride. Superlight tubes are a relatively cheap way to drop a considerable amout of rotating weight. Saving 40g on you wheels can feel like 120g on the bike when it comes to accelleration. Keep you old tubes as spares, and keep one in you pack. New tires and tubes will range from $50 - $80. Go over to the Wheels and Tires board for tire suggestions. Then again, if you like the V-raptors, don't waist your money. Tires are personal preference.

The other area where you would see a huge difference in your ride is the fork. Whereas everything else on your bike fuctions essentially the same as higher end stuff (just heavier) or at least as good as you'll need it to , the Judy TT is pretty bad by any standard. The dampening is terrible and if I remember correctly, not too ajustable. The fork is the one part of this bike that is clearly "bargain basement" in terms of function. You can get a "real" fork for $200 - $250 if you look around. Maybe look around for used. I saw a old atom 80 in great shape go for $50 on ebay. Believe me, it will feel like a new bike.

Good luck.
 

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Definitely don't replace stuff like derailers just because xt is 'better' (more expensive) than lt. That sort of stuff either works or not, wait till it wears out before replacing it because a new more expensive component isn't really going to work better, though it will prolly last longer or be lighter. The things to upgrade for real gain is stuff like the fork and frame. Other than things like seat, stem and handle bars which are up to preference and fit, thats all that matters as long as the rest is working properly. Tires more suited to your terrain may also be a big help if the stock tires are way off.
 

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I love my 16 years old bargain basement M80 View attachment 1951457
Pretty bike!

I agree with others. Swap "contact point" parts, grips, pedals, tires, saddle. But only if you're uncomfortable or having a hard time with gripping said parts...or said parts gripping :)
I also added a dropper and went 1x11, which both make riding more enjoyable, but the bike doesn't necessarily perform much better as a result. The dropper is something you might be able to take to your next bike, depending on seat tube diameter (not familiar with the M80...sounds like fireworks we used to get in trouble with ;) ) Save money for a new bike! Even the aforementioned upgrades will cost you in the several hundreds. That's a downpayment (some shops still do layaway) on a new bike!
 
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