A couple months ago, I bought a 2006 Kona Lana'i as a commute bike/beater bike. I have zero complaints about it, but while I hoist that bike into my pickup truck, I keep looking at the RD and always ponder what would happen if the little "Acera X" logo was replaced by something more midrange, and the Tourney FD, though shifts well, was replaced by something that might rub a little less if I cross-chain it. The chain is servicable, but I wonder if it would help if it started sporting a Master Link. The brakes work well (they are Tektro M530s), but I keep pondering replacing the levers with Shimanos or Avids so a brake pad replacement is just yanking a small rod, sliding the old pad out, new pad in, replacing the small rod, rather than having to fret about adjusting everything.
For a commute bike, what would bring the best bang for buck for something ridable... FD/RD to Deore or LX level, a new fork from the original SunTour XCC (which is totally non-adjustable.)
I'm not looking to upgrade it to XT/XTR level, mainly because this bike is being parked on a college campus (when its not in my pickup's cab or my courtyard), and even though its sporting a set of Pitlocks and a Sold Secure lock (NY lock ), I don't want it to be a thief magnet.
Most likely my first upgrade will be M324s or Mallets so it can be used as flats or clipless, but not sure yet.
There is so much to upgrade... the issue is finding what gives the best bang for buck for starters.
: I got a good deal on the bike... the combination of a NY lock, set of Pitlocks, the NY chain, and the special-order Mul-T-Lock I have for it cost more than the bike itself.