I'm continuing to update this thread as I do new stuff to this bike. This weekend (February 2010) I rebuilt it as a monster crosser. See post 51 for details and the 5.0 picture in this post for a quick glimpse.
oiringal post (more or less) below
I just finished the latest round of upgrades to my Marin Muirwoods 29er and thought I'd post a series of pics showing the progression.
The original state:
Version 2.0 (May 2008):
Version 3.0 (November 2008):
Version 4.0 (February 2009):
Version 5.0 (February 2010):
The biggest 3.0 upgrade was from this:
to this (front and rear):
Better lighting? No, Avid BB5 to Avid BB7. I also upgraded the brake levers from "3 finger alloy" (i.e. something so cheap no one was even willing to put their name on it) to Avid Speed Dial SLs. The silver brake levers kind of spoil the Muirwoods' stealth color scheme, but I already had a few patches of silver, and I got the SLs for $6 cheaper than I was able to find the blackish Speed Dial 7's. So, while I'm not a weight weenie, if I can save $6 while also shaving 25 grams or so, I'll take it.
I probably should have changed the brake levers before also changing the brakes. That way I'd be able to say for sure how much each one accounted for the difference in feel. The difference in feel is amazing.
Other 3.0 upgrades included a move to the Specialized Avatar saddle:
and Profile Designs Boxer bar ends with Lizard Skins bar end grips.
The web descriptions I found of the Lizard Skins grips say "cut to fit", but they fit the Boxers with no trimming required. When I put the bar ends on, I had to find a new position for my Mountain Mirrycle mirror, but that's working out pretty well.
Details on more recent updates below (because Bike Forums didn't like more than 10 pics in a post).