Need some replacement parts on the cheap, here are my options!
So my trusty bike has done its time and parts are quickly beginning to fail unfortunately. It's a Specialized S-Works M2 from 1997, and most of the parts are original. Right now, the most urgent parts that need replacing are the fork on front and rear rim/wheel. I suspect that the hub on the rear wheel (and probably front wheel too) is close to being completely shot, so I'm probably better off just replacing the whole wheel. The fork currently is a Marzocchi Z2 Superfly and leaks air badly, and the rims and hubs are the original Mavic 217 SUP and Shimano Deore XT.
I'm on a complete budget here, under maybe $250 for all the parts. I want to keep using an air spring fork, which means I will have to buy it used. Consequentially, I will probably have to stick with a v-brake compatible fork so I don't have to replace the current braking system. I'm also looking to replace both wheels if possible. Currently, the only fork that I can find that will fit my budget is an Answer Manitou MARS C for $100. It will fit both v-brakes and disc brakes, so hopefully I can have the option to upgrade in the future. How does this compare to my current Marzocchi? Is it a decent fork for $100? I'm only 5'6" and 135lbs if that helps with anything.
As for wheels and wheelsets, my rear wheel is an 8-speed cassette, v-brake system. I might be able to afford a new set of wheels, but if I can find a nice set of used wheels that are true and in good condition, that would be great too. Double-walled and presta valve compatible is optimal. Right now, my choices for buying new wheels are these Rhyno lite/M525 wheels ($130), or my LBS offered me a set of Specialized Hardrock 26 rims with Stout hubs ($165+tax). Both are compatible with both disc brakes and v-brakes, which offers a lot of options for future upgrades. Can anybody input on these Specialized wheels and what is probably the better buy?
I also have one option for a used wheelset, Sun-Ringle rims with Specialized hubs. I'm not sure of the model of rim though, they look like this. If someone could help identify them, that would be great. These wheels also have the option of using both disc brakes or v-brakes, and will cost $125 total.
So basically, how do these parts stack up to my current build? Which wheelset is my best option? Am I better off just saving the money and putting it towards a new bike, or can I still get a few thousand miles out of this banger? Any input is greatly appreciated
I'll start with wheels; think about these, as well:
Where did you find the MARS fork? I'd be a little suspicious, since the MARS models have been out of production for a few years. You're liable to end up with something as worn as what you already have.
Here are a couple air forks that might work for you.
Thanks for the reply DX-MAN,
Do you know if those wheels are a wheelset? Looks tempting, although I was wondering – are there any reasons why you suggest them?
The shocks are from local, somebody offered them to me saying that they only have about 100 miles on them and have been in storage since. RockShox SID definitely look tempting though, somehow I forgot about those. However, they too are from around 2000, so are they any more reliable than the MARS? If I need too, can I find replacement parts for either of these forks?
Could someone give me an opinion on the Specialized wheels and Shimano/Sun wheels? I'm pretty torn between these two, have heard mixed reviews about both... Are the Specialized worth the extra $30?