Mountain Biking - I need advice on upgrading my mountain bike. Compatibility?
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02-25-12, 07:10 PM
I need some advice on how to upgrade the parts for my 2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara. I recently got this bike second hand, and can't seem to afford a new bike, so upgrading over time is my only choice for now.
I just want to know if the parts I buy are going to be compatible with bike? If not, how do I find out what part will be compatible?
So far I'm looking to buy:
A pair of Avid BB7 Disk Brakes
Avid Speed Dial 7 Brake Levers
Shimano Deore Crankset (I would rather just replace the worn out gears, is this possible?)
Front and Rear Deraileurs (Shimano XT/XTR?)
I'm still a noob with mountain biking, but it's going to be a part of the rest of my life! I love it, any help with answering these compatibility questions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
02-26-12, 12:41 AM
Yes, all the parts you're looking at are compatible. Avid gives you IS adaptors with the brakes so if you frame/fork are IS you should be good.
Yes, you can replace the worn chainrings rather than buying a new crankset if you want to save $. Would probably make sense and gain insurance to replace the bottom bracket with something lighter.
Derailleurs: no issues there, just get the right size for the frame/setup. Handlebars: again get the right size for the stem you intend to use.
Have fun riding.
02-26-12, 12:42 AM
Well it can take disc brakes, so you are good there. If you are going to be running the same size rotors you need no adapter. If you are going to be running a larger rotor in the front you would need to appropriate adapter for the size. Make sure you get the mountain version of everything. BB7 also come in a road version which would not work.
Replacing the crankset often comes with replacing the BB too. You can also replace the chain rings individually. If the chain rings need replacing, the cassette and chain more than likely needs replacing as well.
I run SLX front/XT back and Deore shifters with good success. I had a deore front, but it broke pretty quickly. The SLX seems way more robust. If you keep with a 9 speed cassette you will have to run a 9 speed rear der. If you keep everything Shimano you shouldn't have any problems.
The diameter of the handlebars are important. It doesn't show on your link what size they are. Common diameters are 25.4 and 31.8. If you don't have one of these I would upgrade your stem to one which accepts 31.8, which is the more common of the 2.
02-26-12, 02:30 PM
Ride much more and see what part of your bike needs improvement...after you begin improving.
02-26-12, 02:42 PM
A couple additional notes:
1. Make sure the rear derailleur you buy is not a 10-speed-compatible DynaSys version, because those won't jive with your 9-speed shifters. The cable actuation is different with DynaSys than with previous generations.
2. Replacing your whole crankset with a new one of the closest equivalent model would be as cheap or cheaper than buying the three chainrings alone. Weird how that works. The FC-M430 square-taper: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Alivio-FC-M430-Crankset-44-32-22T/dp/B003ZMH5JY
02-26-12, 04:09 PM
If it were me, I'd wait on the brakes until I had money for hydros. BB7s are as nice as you can get for mechs...but you're still swapping one mech for another. Hydros are a step above.
02-27-12, 12:31 AM
Awesome, thanks for the feedback you guys.
I've gotten a lot of experience with this bike and have amazing stamina as opposed to when I just started. My brakes need constant tuning and m shifting sucks, so I figured I'd start there and eventually move on to replacing the whole drivetrain over time.
After reading reviews for the BB7, a lot of users said that they're comparable with hyrdros, is this true? I figured it would be a good bang for my buck, and I don't do much heavy riding; mostly fire road uphills and single track down hills.
Anyway, I'm hoping I can upgrade to a top notch bike in about year and keep this GF as my project bike.
BB7s have awesome modulation, but higher lever effort than a hydraulic brake. (Not surprising, is it? :))
If you shop around, you can find a pretty good hydraulic for about the same money, maybe $20 more. Setting up hydraulic is a pita. Then again, you could get Shimano pre-bled if you aren't overly picky about tubing length.
A hydraulic brake that's only slightly more expensive than BB7s will not be an upgrade at all. BB7s have all the stopping power and modulation you need, and lever effort is minimal with the Avid levers you're looking at. They also won't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere after you nick a hose (replacing cables, making adjustments, and so on is very easy with small hand tools).
EDIT: I've used the Hayes HMX-1 brakes that came on your bike. They're very hard to adjust, and the internals tend to corrode and become un-adjustable quite easily. They are very, very bad. The Avids are unbelievably better.
Remember that you need old pre-Dyna-Sys derailleurs. I have a non-Dyna-Sys XT derailleur from the pre-Shadow era, but there may have been XT Shadows that fit the bill as well. If not, a new (non-Dyna-Sys) Deore or SLX will still be a huge improvement from the old Deore.
Shimano doesn't make a Deore (or nicer) square taper crankset anymore, so you'll need to replace the BB, get something lower end, or go to a different manufacturer (most of whom have also moved away from square taper). You could quite easily buy the Alivio crankset someone suggested above, take the rings off, and put them on your Deore crankset; this is the cheapest way to buy rings.
A hydraulic brake that's only slightly more expensive than BB7s will not be an upgrade at all.
I hear that a lot, but I've been quite happy with the cheap Shimano M486 that came on my Cannondale. The pre-bled version is $69 each. BB7s typically are $59 each.
03-01-12, 12:42 AM
For derailleurs, you could probably pick something lower end, like SLX. I've been running SLX shifters/derailleurs on my bike for over two years, never had a problem with them, no/very little adjustment necessary after installing them. Plus, it might save you some $$$ over XT/XTR, especially if you intend on upgrading to a new bike in the next year or so.
03-01-12, 08:19 PM
Front and Rear Deraileurs (Shimano XT/XTR?) You will like them. They will make a good upgrade but can cost some $ also. Just depends on what your wanting to spend. Look around and you can find some good deals or last year models that are on sale.
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