Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so im starting with a bone stock 09 giant trance x3. ill post a link at the bottom. what are your recommendations for beginning mods? looking at all the components, what would you all replace first? Im new to biking, but like my motorcycle, its an addicting sport. I want to make it a little more unique and want to know where to begin. this is the beginners forum right?

I know the first things to go on most peoples bikes are the grips and seat. ive already put on some thicker grips for my huge hands and neoprene wrap for chain slap. Ideally Id like to know which components are worth keeping on till it breaks, and which ones are worth changing out now. also, what seats are worth looking at?

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
It looks like it's already a nice bike. Unless something is uncomfortable or doesn't match your riding style, why not treat everything on an upgrade when it breaks basis?

The only upgrade I've done that has made a significant change in the handling of the bike was getting a nicer fork. But it looks like you have as nice a fork as they come. Everything else I've upgraded as a result of it breaking (pedals, brakes, crankset)
 

·
AKA Dr.Nob
Joined
·
887 Posts
The only real reason to upgrade components is because they are either not good enough to do what you want (they're going to break) or they are holding your riding back.

You seem to just want to upgrade because you can.

I can't really suggest anything because we don't even know what the riding you want to do is.

Do I suggest you change the wheels to an ultralight racing set to make the bike faster (you will have to ride "light"or risk damaging them) OR do you put on a beefier set of wheels because you are either a "heavier" rider or just like to bang into every sharp rock on the trail?

Oh and I have no problem with upgrading "just because you can" but there is a bit more involved than just buying the shiniest thing at the bike shop.

Oh and Smarty pedals suck, get something else (can't suggest anything yet without knowing more about your riding)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yea i should have posted some more info. at the moment im just doing xc riding in san diego. mostly singletrack. its mostly dry and rocky trails. ive put on platform pedals (havent ridden a bike since i was 14, i will switch to clipless once i feel comfortable on all terrain with the platforms). Im 6'1 and close to 200 pounds, so an ultralight wheelset might not be the best idea for me. will these stock wheels hold up to a decent amount of abuse? ive done nothing more then 2ft drops so far.

ive only put about 60 miles on the bike right now, but havent turned away from any obstacle that has been in front of me. that being said, ive only taken it to a few local spots. 10-15 mile rides, alot of climbing and decending. i like to ride on the more aggressive side but nothing too extreme by any means.

im not really trying to upgrade just because i can, i was more interested in the quality of all the stock parts, because everyone talks about there xtr components, i thought maybe it would be a good idea to start doing it now...

by the sound of it, it makes more sense to wait till something goes wrong, or if i dont feel comfortable with something, before changing out components. thanks for the response jc99 and gumbymark.
 

·
AKA Dr.Nob
Joined
·
887 Posts
jc99 said:
Smartys don't suck if they're just what comes with the bike. Ride them until they break and then upgrade to something better. There's nothing wrong with them unless the bearings are shot.
I sold a pair of smarties that came on a $4000 bike to a friend for a 6 pack (which is all that I think they're worth). He put them onto a roadie and they lasted less than 300km before they collapsed. I've seen half a dozen dead smarties.
 

·
local trails rider
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
jc99 said:
Unless something is uncomfortable or doesn't match your riding style, why not treat everything on an upgrade when it breaks basis?
Agreed.

My examples:
- I went clipless (Time ATAC pedals) after the flats bent their soft axles. There was a bit of a delay in the warranty process: the ship burned at sea....
- replaced the bar because I felt I need a wider one
- replaced the bar on another bike because it was too wide and tall
- replaced the seat because it was too soft
- replaced the seat on another bike because it was broken
- installed a shorter stem for a better balanced riding position
- replaced tyres: worn, heavy, not gripping well on roots.
- cut down the bar on a third bike: now it is close to the same as the other two bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
Knowing that Giant stocks their bikes with stems that are a little too short and bars that are a little too narrow than what a few owners here on MTBR prefer (myself included), maybe looking into a shorter stem and wider bar combo might be worthwhile. It will add to the downhill stability, and will make it easier to pop the front. What is your current stem length and bar width?

Besides the above, I agree with what everyone here. You have a good, solid build. Like gumbymark wrote, If you decide that you want to pick up racing, maybe you can look into a lighter race wheel set and light tires. If you want to ride some rougher terrain faster, and with more air time, a more solid wheelset and bigger rubber may be in order.

IMO, the Trance X is a very adaptable frame that can be built up almost racer-light or built beefy and rugged for more AM type riding, and still excel either way.

Ant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
I would would get rid of the Deore Shifters and Deore front derailleur and replace with Shimano XT. You will notice a huge difference between the two. I would also replace the rear derailleur, just because I like everything to match.:) Everything else on your bike seems pretty decent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
being a ex moto guy i understand your wanting to upgrade,but you have a nice bike there.

if your not planning to race i'd stick to stock unless change for better fit like perttime mentioned. sounds to me your on the trail/am side of things,if i were to upgrade with that bike and your style of riding id go the wheelset route. after it broke :)

welcome to the sport ride hard and often :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for all the responses. i appreciate everyones input. i guess i have a solid build. I wasnt sure because its still pretty much an entry level full suspension. im gonna look into the stem and bars. i have noticed that since i bought the bke but ive just been trying to get used to it.
 

·
local trails rider
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
As said, there's nothing particularly wrong with your bike. Ride it and see if you feel you need to adjust your position, or something.

If you can, try some other bikes to see if they have something that you like better than what you have now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
here is the stem and handlebars according to the website....


HANDLEBAR Race Face Ride XC low rise, 31.8
STEM Race Face Ride XC

it doesnt give you the exact size.

It also comes with a wtb devo team seat. i was trying to find the exact model online but they only have the titanium stays, mine has the chromoly.

So people tend to think the bars arent wide enough the the stem isnt tall enough? Im 6'1 200 pounds and woudl like to try another handlebar or stem if it would help my control. i do notice the bars being very twitchy. especialy on downhill sections, though ive never thought i was gonna lose control.

what are some good replacement bars and what size should i be looking for? Im not sure is there is something lighter, but it seems that most peoples goal is to save weight to help improve climbing.

the bikes in the shop right now because of some pedaling issues. at first i thought the bike was ghost shifting or my cables have been stretching...but after bringing it back to the LBS and adjusting, it still does the same thing. The best way to describe the problem is that after about 6 or 7 miles i feel like the chain is skipping a tooth. Ill be pedaling uphill and i start losing pedaling efficiency. It will be fine for about 3 rotations but after that it starts moving a full half rotation without and power being transfered to the rear wheel, it just makes a click sound and lose any sort of power from pedaling. maybe someone has had a similiar issue?
 

·
local trails rider
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
drz400sm said:
So people tend to think the bars arent wide enough the the stem isnt tall enough?
Maybe, but it does not matter.
What matters, is how it works for you.

I like my bar (or hands actually) a little below seat level. A wider bar tends to give better control and more opportunities to get stuck between trees. It is also the fashionable thing. You can take a tape measure to your bar and see the length tip to tip. I just went to a LBS and held some bars, trying to imagine how it would feel on a bike.

I got myself the shorter stem (90mm) because I realised I had too much weight over the front, and getting my backside behind the seat for some steep spots was a little awkward.

Seats? They should fit your backside.
 

·
mbtr member
Joined
·
6,503 Posts
That's a great bike. The parts on it are not top of the line, but they might as well be on a new bike in the hands of a beginner. Deore and above drivetrain parts are almost as good as xtr until they get sloppy, and that takes thousands of miles. The front derailleur is gonna shift poorly be it alivio or XTR. Other components, the brakes, fork, shock won't ever really wear out, but there are more expensive versions that include a few more adjustments to really fine tune the ride. As a beginner, the extra adjustments mostly add confusion, the stock stuff works good and doesn't distract you from riding.

The first 'upgrades' for a new rider should be figuring out how to get everything dialed in so it works for you. Make an adjustment, run it for a few weeks, and go back and see what feels right. Move your brake levers in so you grab just the tips of the levers, play with bar height, stem length, and bar length, play with saddle height and tilt, and suspension settings. Play with tire pressures and get a 2nd set of tires, run those on the back, and backwards, and mixed in with the stock set. I wouldn't replace a single component on that bike for probably a year, unless you break something. Run the clipless, then switch to flats. It's a good bike with good parts that will adapt itself to any beginner's riding style.

If you want to spend money, get a nice set of allen wrenches, a cassette tool, a bb remover, a tub of bike grease, a shock pump, and a stand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
drz400sm said:
here is the stem and handlebars according to the website....
So people tend to think the bars arent wide enough the the stem isnt tall enough? Im 6'1 200 pounds and woudl like to try another handlebar or stem if it would help my control. i do notice the bars being very twitchy. especialy on downhill sections, though ive never thought i was gonna lose control.
I'm about the same 6'1 200lbs on an 08 X2 and the bars and stem have felt great to me. I ride a lot of tighter trails and people with wide bars have ended up in some pain on. I actually ended up trimming a little off my bars as i realized with the way I had my controls set up I wasn't using all the bar anyway.

Personally I would spend some more time on the bike rather than just changing things because what you read on here. If you have different bars and stems laying around thats one thing but it would suck to go out and spend money on good components only to find the bike less comfortable than when you started.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
perttime said:
Maybe, but it does not matter.
What matters, is how it works for you.

I like my bar (or hands actually) a little below seat level. A wider bar tends to give better control and more opportunities to get stuck between trees. It is also the fashionable thing. . .
While I think it's smart to read other's opinions, as Perttime wrote, in the end you have to decide what works best for you. But then, how will you know what configuration works best for you unless you experiment. Nothing wrong with experimenting, especially if you already think you may like a little more downhill stability/less twitch.

A wider bar and shorter length stem certainly do feel better on the trail when compared to a slightly too short stem and a slightly too narrow bar, IMO (it's all relative). For me and my trails, a 90mm stem and 27" wide bars are ideal. A few millimeters here and there, while they may not seem like a lot on paper, can make pretty big differences out on a ride. See if your friends or the LBS can loan you stem/bars before you commit, or buy something cheap on ebay that you can easily resell should you decide your current set-up is fine..

I also saw a pic of your ride on the "Post your Trance X" thread - while dialing in your ride, you can also try lowering the stem a bit. Nice bike, btw :thumbsup: .

Whatever changes you make as you dial in your ride, change one thing at a time and be sure you get a few rides in with those changes to determine if they've actually improved the fit/handling.

Ant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Thor821 said:
I would would get rid of the Deore Shifters and Deore front derailleur and replace with Shimano XT. You will notice a huge difference between the two. I would also replace the rear derailleur, just because I like everything to match.:) Everything else on your bike seems pretty decent.
I've heard the SLX rear derailleur is supposed to be quite nice, but it's too new to know for sure.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top