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  1. #1
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    upgrade questions

    So, I have been discussing my bicycling future in the introductions section with East Hill, and I reached the limit of her expertise. Can anyone help me out here?

    I am looking to set this frame up for road riding, touring, and recreation. I ride motorcycles as my primary hobby, and the bicycle is used to maintain a level of endurance and stamina I need on the racetrack w/ the motorcycle.

    I know for a fact it needs cranks, derailleur, fixed front fork, pedals and shifters. What are some decent, but not outrageous components that I can refit this frame with. I do not want to break the bank, but it should be dependable, and not in the shop all the time. More specifically about the forks and gearing:

    What measurements do I need to replace the front suspension fork with a fixed one, and where do I find them? Should I replace the wheels with 700c? What do you recommend for gearing, as this bike will not see off road ever again? Thanks very much for all your help. I have attached the link to the new introductions section that provides pictures and details about the bike.

    New Guy

  2. #2
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Well, I just found out some interesting facts. Apparently, there is a recall on the Ballistic 105 forks. Maybe they will replace them with a fixed one?
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_1673067168

    The bike is a Mongoose MGX S-20 bought new around 2001.

  3. #3
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    Odds are it will be cheaper to buy a complete bike unless you can get exactly what you need at discount prices. There are a lot of compatibility issues to deal with and it's very easy to wind up with parts that won't work together on your frame. 700c wheels work only on road frames designed for them.

    Al

  4. #4
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    I was checking out components at a site called Nashbar, and they seem reasonable enough for prices, what measurements should I find to see if anything is compatible?

    I plan on replacing everything with Shimano parts for the drive, and unsure as to the front fork.

  5. #5
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    I've added the pics so you get an idea of my current ride.














  6. #6
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    This is an entry level bike. It isn't worth all the money you are looking at throwing at it. Take half of that money, head down to a shop and buy something new. It will work better (because you haven't pieced it together) and it will have a warranty and some kind of after sales service package which it sounds like would be useful to you.

  7. #7
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    This is an entry level bike. It isn't worth all the money you are looking at throwing at it. Take half of that money, head down to a shop and buy something new. It will work better (because you haven't pieced it together) and it will have a warranty and some kind of after sales service package which it sounds like would be useful to you.

    That is dependant on what you consider "half the money". A new GMC Denali road bike is $147.77, but the bike I want is $400.00 (Marin Kentfield).

    If I can spend equal or less than the $150 to upgrade my current bike, it will have been worth it in my mind.

  8. #8
    Your mom
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    +1 on the new bike front. You will work very hard to upgrade that one for the price of a used 10 speed on Craigslist, which would answer your needs well.

  9. #9
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    I think your cross-training idea is very good. But the truth is that particular bike is not worth trying to upgrade.

    Al

  10. #10
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    I've pulled better bikes out of dumpsters....

    +1 on CraigsList. Loads of nice bike deals there.
    Last edited by capwater; 07-24-07 at 12:01 PM. Reason: additional information

  11. #11
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater View Post
    I've pulled better bikes out of dumpsters....

    +1 on CraigsList. Loads of nice bike deals there.
    Thanks for the smartass answer. Unneeded, and inappropriate. I'll continue my research elsewhere.

    I probably will end up with a new or lightly used bike, but I was looking for feedback, not a cheap shot at my ride.

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    Thanks for the smartass answer. Unneeded, and inappropriate. I'll continue my research elsewhere.

    I probably will end up with a new or lightly used bike, but I was looking for feedback, not a cheap shot at my ride.
    Motorcyclist, it wasn't a cheap shot....

    If you already have the Denali, go ahead and ride it's wheels off and instead of upgrading it, put that money aside for a better bike is all, rather than spending a lot more to upgrade. It's a matter of simple economics, you'll spend a huge amount more for the parts to upgrade piece by piece than you will buying the better bike to get the same effect. That's all we are trying to say. Why wind up with a $700.00 Denali, when you can spend that much and get a LOT, and I do mean a !LOT! more bike for your $$?

    The only real money I'd put into the Denali, if I owned it would be to make sure it's safely assembled and replacement tires/tubes and keep the wheels trued up.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  13. #13
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Thanks, but I don't currently have the Denali. I own a Mongoose MGX S-20, and I have had it for 6+ years with the OEM components. They are outdated, and below the level I would consider as appropriate for the style of riding I want to do. A new bike is going to cost anywhere from $300 to $500 for my needs, and the level of standard components built in. I spend all my extra money on motorcycle trackdays, and amateur racing, so dropping more than a couple hundred on a bike I just use for cross training and recreation is not in the cards right now. For those that have said save up, that's all fine and good if you already have a capable bike. The MGX has plastic cranksets, a front fork under recall from the mfr, and is fading quickly after 6 years of use.

  14. #14
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    If I can spend equal or less than the $150 to upgrade my current bike, it will have been worth it in my mind.
    That's a mighty big "if", there. A HUGE "if". So big, in fact, that you can't lift it.

    A fork and pedals will eat most of that $150, and you'll have barely begun the upgrade.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    Thanks, but I don't currently have the Denali. I own a Mongoose MGX S-20, and I have had it for 6+ years with the OEM components. They are outdated, and below the level I would consider as appropriate for the style of riding I want to do. A new bike is going to cost anywhere from $300 to $500 for my needs, and the level of standard components built in. I spend all my extra money on motorcycle trackdays, and amateur racing, so dropping more than a couple hundred on a bike I just use for cross training and recreation is not in the cards right now. For those that have said save up, that's all fine and good if you already have a capable bike. The MGX has plastic cranksets, a front fork under recall from the mfr, and is fading quickly after 6 years of use.
    OK, well, my advice would be to search Craig's List and you can pick up a really decent deal, maybe on an older bike, but for example, I picked up a Garage queen Raleigh Pursuit from '86, for $20.00 and put another $80.00 in it in tires, cables, parts (Repack bearings, brake pads, cables), and got a really nice Lugged alloy steel framed road bike for $100.00. Yes, it's friction shift, but I actually prefer that for it's simplicity and reliability!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  16. #16
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    Thanks for the smartass answer. Unneeded, and inappropriate. I'll continue my research elsewhere.

    I probably will end up with a new or lightly used bike, but I was looking for feedback, not a cheap shot at my ride.
    The answer needed to be phrased a little more tactful I admit. What he said was true though. Let's put it this way: Use the correct tool for the job. Would you race a cruiser on the track? Of course you wouldn't. You would use sport bike or something that was race prepped. Well, if you are doing serious endurance training you don't use a Dime Store bike.

    Go to a real Bike store and explain what you are looking for. Tell them you want a fitness bike or entry level road bike. Good luck

    Tim
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  17. #17
    cab horn
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    Not worth upgrading. Looks like it's in good condition though. Keep it, ride it and learn how to adjust it. I mean the bike already has slick tires, besides making it 100% adjusted. There isn't much you really need to do.

    Ride it. Learn with it.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  18. #18
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcyclist View Post
    Thanks for the smartass answer. Unneeded, and inappropriate. I'll continue my research elsewhere.
    Not smart***, just a fact. Actually it is true, needed and very appropriate. You wanted to know if you should upgrade and the general consensus is to not waste your money on a cheap bike. Don't blame me if you don't like the answers. Go ahead and waste your money on a cheap bike because it is obvious you intended to do that all along, long before you started to get input. This is a great forum, heed the advice given, it's well worth your time.

  19. #19
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater View Post
    Not smart***, just a fact. Actually it is true, needed and very appropriate. You wanted to know if you should upgrade and the general consensus is to not waste your money on a cheap bike. Don't blame me if you don't like the answers. Go ahead and waste your money on a cheap bike because it is obvious you intended to do that all along, long before you started to get input. This is a great forum, heed the advice given, it's well worth your time.
    The others seemed to be genuinely helpful. You were the only one that decided to add the unneeded criticism of my current bike. Being a moderator on a motorcycle forum, we don't tolerate the senior members abusing or making light of the new members. The only thing it usually accomplishes is to deter new members from asking any more questions for fear of being chastised for asking, or told to do a search. You can bet I'll find an ignore option and add your name to the list, as it seems all you want to do is post without proofreading your reply for its effect on others. If no ignore option, I will just find another bicycle forum to research on. Ride safe.

  20. #20
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    It's pretty embarrasing when I send a new person to get assistance, and he gets crap.

    Go to your control panel, over to miscellaneous down in the left lower corner, hit buddy/ignore list. Add name to 'Ignore'.

    Sorry, Motorcyclist. I hope you don't get treated this way again.

    East Hill
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  21. #21
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    The answer needed to be phrased a little more tactful I admit. What he said was true though. Let's put it this way: Use the correct tool for the job. Would you race a cruiser on the track? Of course you wouldn't. You would use sport bike or something that was race prepped. Well, if you are doing serious endurance training you don't use a Dime Store bike.

    Go to a real Bike store and explain what you are looking for. Tell them you want a fitness bike or entry level road bike. Good luck

    Tim
    Good point, I visited the local bike shop yesterday only to find out it was closed for business. I'm running out of options locally w/out visiting a big-box retailer.

  22. #22
    knee down and grinning Motorcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    It's pretty embarrasing when I send a new person to get assistance, and he gets crap.

    Go to your control panel, over to miscellaneous down in the left lower corner, hit buddy/ignore list. Add name to 'Ignore'.

    Sorry, Motorcyclist. I hope you don't get treated this way again.

    East Hill

    Thanks for all your help. It is to be expected on a site this large that there are a few that don't play well with others. For the most part, everyone has had good advice.

  23. #23
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    I agree with above comments on saving your money for a better bike.

    Speaking of riding, you did not say what type of riding you would like to do. You have a MTB/trail bike there, but you have set it up with slicks and you were talking about getting a rigid fork and 700c tires. If you are doing mostly distance road riding then you should start keeping your eye out for road bikes. If trail riding (light offroad) is more your thing then something similar to what you have now will do (better frame and components though). Alot of bicyclist keep a stable of bikes for the type of riding they plan on doing. I know that is typically too expensive to do in motorcycles but think of it as street, cross, enduro, track, etc.

    You still have a working bike that looks in decent shape. That should give you time to look. You might even see a bump in used bikes when the cold weather comes in a few months.

    There probably is not anything worth saving on your bike. If you do get a new bike, you would be better off selling or donating yours.

    Good Luck.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater View Post
    I've pulled better bikes out of dumpsters....

    +1 on CraigsList. Loads of nice bike deals there.

    I agree with Capwater. Motorcyclist, just because he's been lucky with his dumpster finds, and you can't afford a nice bike, it doesn't make what Capwater said insulting. You've received some good advice in this thread. A new bike would make alot more sense, even if it was the cheapest new bike in a quality bike shop, it would be alot better than what you have. The only attitude I'm detecting here is yours. You aren't doing us any favors by asking questions on the site, so if you don't appreciate honest answers, don't ask any questions.

    To put things in perspective, I just thought long and hard about whether or not it was worth it for me to upgrade to all new components on a 4 year old bike that was originally $2000. I bought a new bike and use the old for a spare. New bikes, even the ones in the same price range as older bikes, benefit from new advances in technology.
    Advances you would be in for with a new bike (assuming you get another mtn bike, even though I think a road or hybrid might be better for your desires):
    frame material
    disk brakes
    threadless headset
    wheel design
    number of gears
    shift lever design
    etc.

    Are you sure those cranks are plastic? I've never even heard of that. Is it possible they are aluminum that has oxidized and look like plastic? If that bike has plastic cranks, and you do upgrade it, chuck those cranks first and get the cheapest METAL cranks you can find. Plastic gets brittle with age, sounds like a recipe for disaster.
    Last edited by brianb; 07-25-07 at 10:02 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Calm down people, save the drama for your mama. Motorcyclist, if I offended you with my curt reply, I do sincerely apologize. Hang out here, we're a good bunch, schloads of great information. Get to know me and you'll realize that my replies don't start with "Once upon a time .....". They are short and sometimes not so sweet, but I think I offer up some decent advice every now and again.

    Now that I have dispensed with all the kumbaya BS, the fact remains that you probably are better off not tossing in too much cash to upgrade. I'm still riding my dumpster bike as a commuter, if it gets clipped I'm not out big cash. In criteriums, I race a cheap AL frame, when I crash I don't weep at the loss of one of my CF frames.

    Have a wonderful day!

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