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I plead the fizif
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Admittedly, I am a born-again noob. I just bought myself a 2007 Gary Fisher Wahoo this year for Christmas and am really enjoying riding again. I believe this is the first time I have been on a bike in about 16 years, since I used to have to peddle to drivers training every day. I am trying to understand why so many people seem to be upgrading many of the components on their bikes. They buy a bike, and then immediately change the crank, cassette, derailleurs, grips, etc. Are all of the stock components on my bike (or any bike) really that bad? What is the difference between the stock derailleur and an SRAM $225 model? Every time I hit the shift lever, it shifts. What more do I need? Do people really spend this kind of dough just to save a few ounces? I need to drop about 80 pounds off of myself before I would even think that saving a few ounces on my bike would be worth anything at all.

Tron
 

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I think you need to try out the upgrades before you can really understand why people do it. Some do it for the weight will others go for better performance, ie multiple gears shifting at once. The reason for this is so that you can shift to a certain gear closer to the hill then having to keep clicking. Another big upgrade is the shocks. A top of the line shock that allows you to tune the rebound will really make your ride smooth and hold up to more abuse. Upgrading cranks give you a stiffer BB area so that a huge chunk of your pedalling goes right to the tire not in the crank moving around and flexing. upgraded wheels are lighter with less rolling resistance and tend to be stronger also. if you are just mountain biking for fun and exercise you don't need crazy upgrades, it mostly for the die hard I want to go faster types (like me and many others). But please don't be on of those guys that think better components will make you a cycling god.

Bottom line: until you experience what upgrades can do, you will not understand. It also depends on how serious of a rider you are.
 

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Brant-C.
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I upgrade 'cause it makes me go faster! :D

Seriously, the higher end components will perform better. You won't be able to tell much of a difference until you begin riding more.

It's like a car. We all know they all function the same and can get you from point a to point b. But there are high performance parts that you can put on a stock car like wheels and tires, exhaust, shocks and struts to make it a better handling car on the street so you can take corners faster, accelerate faster than the stock...

Do you need to do this...Nope!

But it gets addicting! So BE CAREFUL! :madman:
 

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I plead the fizif
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, at this point I am happy with what I have, but I can see how easy it would be to get sucked into upgrades.

I would like to check into what the other shifters on the market are all about. Mine work just fine, but it seems that when I have to downshift, I have to contort my thumb back to reach the lever, and then it leaves my thumb awkwardly above the shifter/handlebar after "clicking". Do they all have the same geometry? I thought about rotating the whole thing down a bit, but that would move the up-shift lever to an awkward position.

I also have to shake my head when I see 8-year old kids riding bikes that I can't even afford. It takes me back to when I was a kid and had to walk a paper route for I don't know how long so I could save up the $60 for a sweet Huffy with banana seat and sissy bar. Wow, don't I sound old?
 

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To answer your major question, most bikers are gearheads. We love new tech things, lighter things, stronger things. Thats how the upgrade bug begins. And to a lesser extent, its to try to be the "Coolest guy on an internet message board".

To answer your technical question, have you rotated the shifter? You mentioned that if you did, the upshift trigger would be awkward. Try it first, maybe you even have it upside down? Trigger shifters should ride below the handlebar, although i know that Shimano Acera "E-Z Fire" shifters have the thumb part on top of the bar. Which ones do you have?
 

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Good reasons to upgrade:
1. something doesn't work well
2. something breaks
3. you need a motivation boost.
4. drop weight
5. adjust fit of your bike

Other better things to spend your money on:
1. gas to drive to cool places to ride
2. good food
3. good riding clothes
4. a pro bike fit
5. good places to ride
 

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check your six
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TronCarter-
I was a super noob at one time. My first fullsuspension bike was awesome, then I started riding with guys way better than me. These guys were always upgrading and changing parts. The parts they had worked just fine, they wanted to either shave 1 ounce off the bike weight or they justy liked the fancy new parts. So what I did was I began to accept all the second-hand parts they gave up and stored them. I did upgrade, but not until something broke. I am not a pro nor am I made of money.

Be careful, the parts upgrade game is overly addicting. It can also add up to way more than a new bike would be. Good luck and ride hard bro!
 

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I spent a year upgrading all the stuff that broke or was wearing out too fast.

Then I spent a year upgrading the stuff that didn't break with lighter stuff.

Then I spent a year replacing the stuff that wore out again.....

The suspension element and front triangle, bottle cage bolts, and the seat stays are original still.

Is it a better bike oh yah, suits my riding to a tee and endures the rough stuff great.
 

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local trails rider
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jeffscott said:
I spent a year upgrading all the stuff that broke or was wearing out too fast.

Then I spent a year upgrading the stuff that didn't break with lighter stuff.

Then I spent a year replacing the stuff that wore out again.....

The suspension element and front triangle, bottle cage bolts, and the seat stays are original still.

Is it a better bike oh yah, suits my riding to a tee and endures the rough stuff great.
Any idea how much you spent?
Economically, upgrading is usually much worse than buying a complete bike that already has everything.
 

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Yes, I am about $10,000 on an original $1600 bike. That is all in specialty clothes, shoes repairs maintance.

I have ridden it about 14,000 km summer and winter for 2.0 years.

I started with about LX level and now run XTR.

I agree that it is more expensive to upgrade than buy new, but that assumes that you can sell the older bike at a good value as well.

The biggest chunk of my expenses is replacing worn out components, they wear out on new bikes too.

I have found that the XTR, Mavic, Fox high end equipment lasts better than the lower end stuff, if maintain well.
 

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jeffscott said:
Yes, I am about $10,000 on an original $1600 bike. That is all in specialty clothes, shoes repairs maintance.

I have ridden it about 14,000 km summer and winter for 2.0 years.

I started with about LX level and now run XTR.

I agree that it is more expensive to upgrade than buy new, but that assumes that you can sell the older bike at a good value as well.

The biggest chunk of my expenses is replacing worn out components, they wear out on new bikes too.

I have found that the XTR, Mavic, Fox high end equipment lasts better than the lower end stuff, if maintain well.
I couldn't agree with you more. Although I started with a Deore/LX hardtail and now I have an LX/XT full suspension with high end shocks. I don't have the money to go to XTR yet but hopefully one day I will with a new bike. I for one do not like to sell my used bikes because I like to work on them and keep them running. I also have lots of friends who are interested in mtbing. These people will never know what it feels like to ride a +$1000 bike so I let them borrow it once or twice but thats it. Just spreading the love
 

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I think it depends on your riding level, current gear, and what you're upgrading. With drivetrain I only replace when I have to. Sometimes the upgrade makes a big difference, sometimes it does not. That being said, I won't put anything lower than LX/105 on my bikes. It seems like the higher up the chain you go, the less performance difference there is while the price difference grows.
Some times an upgrade just for the hell of it can make you appreciate your bike again if you've had it for a while, kind of a second honeymoon with your ride.
 

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I plead the fizif
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
papercutninja said:
To answer your technical question, have you rotated the shifter? You mentioned that if you did, the upshift trigger would be awkward. Try it first, maybe you even have it upside down? Trigger shifters should ride below the handlebar, although i know that Shimano Acera "E-Z Fire" shifters have the thumb part on top of the bar. Which ones do you have?
They are the stock Shimano EF50 shifters. They are integrated with the brake levers and are on right-side-up. I think where I place my hands on the grips makes some difference. If I grip a little more towards the ends of the bars, my thumb doesn't get "stuck" to quite the same degree. Maybe I should try moving the shifters in a bit.

Overall, I'm just curious as to what the different styles are. A friend of mine says he has twist shifters, although I have never seen his bike.

I'm not so much drooling over all of the possible upgrades for my Wahoo, as I am drooling over all of the higher end bikes and am dreaming of a full-suspension ride. I don't really need it, but it would feel sweet to roll into work on it.
 

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Baton Rouge, LA
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TronCarter said:
Admittedly, I am a born-again noob. I just bought myself a 2007 Gary Fisher Wahoo this year for Christmas and am really enjoying riding again. I believe this is the first time I have been on a bike in about 16 years, since I used to have to peddle to drivers training every day. I am trying to understand why so many people seem to be upgrading many of the components on their bikes. They buy a bike, and then immediately change the crank, cassette, derailleurs, grips, etc. Are all of the stock components on my bike (or any bike) really that bad? What is the difference between the stock derailleur and an SRAM $225 model? Every time I hit the shift lever, it shifts. What more do I need? Do people really spend this kind of dough just to save a few ounces? I need to drop about 80 pounds off of myself before I would even think that saving a few ounces on my bike would be worth anything at all.

Tron
I felt like you when I bought my bike. It rode good, but didn't see the need to spend more. Mainly it depends on your style. If you are just wanting to ride around the block, then upgrades are a waste.

In general, manufacturers, of anything, are going to make it "good enough" to appeal to the masses. They do this while keeping their price points reasonable, and minimizing costs. The easiest way to shave some costs on a bike is through component selection. They put on "good enough" parts for the casual rider. If you want anything more, feel free to upgrade

But then I started taking my bike to the dirt and my fat ass broke my weak factory square tapered crank. So I upgraded to a lighter, stronger, splined model. And I can tell the difference.

After putting more power to the ground with the new crank, I felt I could use better traction. So I bought new tires. Once again, I can tell the difference.

The bug has bit me. But I have decided to take the route of upgrade it when I break it. If something goes, I will never replace with OE quality parts. I will always go better.
 
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