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  1. #1
    Chicks dig a big fork
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    New and could use advice

    Hi, new to the forum and am new to riding (havent ridden since I was 16). I just bought an entry level hardtail Brodie Force. I didnt want to spend too much because I didnt want too much bike for my needs. But I am quickly realizing that I am hooked. I ride on the streets daily to commute to work, but I also try to hit the trails as much as I can. Although I love my bike, I think it looks amazing, I realize I am going to need to upgrade certain parts, even though I am a beginner. So basically, I need opinions on what I should look at, for upgrading that is. I dont want to focus on parts for the streets, this bike is for me to have fun and get back some of those "childhood guts" I seem to have lost. I am interested in trails, downhill, simple tricks IE: bunnyhopping, manuals, jumps and basic fun and enjoyment. Any thoughts on the route I should take, what I should buy? I can afford relativley good gear, not highend, but I dont want real cheap. As well, consider my bike to be stock, so anything suggested would be an upgrade. Thanks all, and damn this addiction

  2. #2
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forum and mountainbiking. A year ago my mid-life juices were stirred awake by a mountain bike.

    Anyway, before you start upgrading you have to ask yourself, why? I'm not familiar with your new bike, but not all bikes are upgradable. Or, rather, not worthy of upgrading. Maybe their frame is too heavy, they won't take a 9-speed drivetrain, because the rear dropouts are too narrow, or it would take so many upgrades to get it where you want, it would be better to buy a new bike.

    Clipless pedals and shoes would be a mandatory addition, though. They provide pedaling efficiency and comfort not found with toe clips, or flats. IMO, this would be the first step. If you opt for a new bike in the future, you can always transfer your new pedals to the new bike.

    Besides pedals and shoes, I wouldn't recommend anything else without knowing more about your bike and why you want to upgrade. . . weight savings, durability, cool factor, etc.

  3. #3
    Chicks dig a big fork
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    Brodie is a reputable bike company in Canada. The bike is completly upgradeable. It is about $600 new, and I got it at a good deal. Its not so much upgrading, its basically just getting proper gear that I assume isnt included on an entry level bike. It all Shimano parts, and its not a peice o ****e by any means, in fact alot of people comment on the quality of the bike for its price. So its bascally what can I look to insure I can ride more safley and have more fun out on the trails. I dont need lighter, just whats some good gear to think about. I am especially new to parts.

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I assume you are speaking of a 2002. Well here is what I would say. It has barely entry level drive train. You could spend some money to upgrade this. This will be very noticable in the shifting department. Tires are another upgrade that is usually most noticed.

    Another part to look at would be the fork. It is a low end RST with 3 inches of travel is my math is right. (I think 2.5) You could go to a 4 inch travel fork and see signifigant differences in you ride. This will mess the geomtry up a bit but it would be fine if you aren't a long distance rider. Either that or stick to a 3 and upgrade to a rock shox. These will still be reasonable price wise but will save weight and be a MUCH MUCH better ride.

    Right now you have an 8spd cassette. It will be difficult to find parts but no impossible. You could upgrade to a 9spd hub. (There may be adapters but upgrading the hub will also flow into the next suggestion)

    RIMS!!!...the ones you have blow...if you do decide to upgrade the rear hub to get a 9spd cassette get a new rim. You can save a tonne of weight by doing a small upgrade to a lighter and more durable xc rim which will be built onto your new hub.

    These upgrades will save weight, improve the ride and let you keep the bike you like.

    This is a worthwhile bike to spend a little extra money on. Either way everything you buy can then be moved onto a better frame if you are so inclined later.

    In this order I would

    1 - upgrade rear wheel set which would then require a new rear deraileur and a new shifter. Deore or LX level for lighter weight and better performance (right now you have lowest level for a mtb)
    2 - fork
    3 - tires (cheap upgrade so may move up the list depending on your own financial situation)

    Cheers and have fun riding
    Last edited by Maelstrom; 09-28-02 at 10:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Chicks dig a big fork
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    Hey thanks for the replys. I see where your coming from on the drive train. I had it serviced 2 weeks after I bought it and still, the shifting can be weak. Although with "all" your suggestions I hope I shouldnt have just bought something better. But really, I am super happy with it so far and it'll be a good project for upgrading. And for the most part I still think its a good bike.

    I live on Vancouver Island so what Im going to do is ride it out through the so called winter, then in the spring when I have a nice chunk of money, I'll replace the drive train, and possibly the fork, get it all ready for the season that ill ride the hardest in. One question, do rims make a huge difference other then weight. You say mine blow, and im not sure how. But since im new I'll learn why in time, this is definatly something Ill be doing many years from now. In fact, I got my helmet on now, waiting to go out the door. I cant stay off this damn bike.

    Cheers all, and any other suggestions will help this guy out. I love learning new things, and how to make my bike and my ride better.

    -S-

  6. #6
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Rims make the ride smoother. In the long run anyways. If you notice I live in whistler (fairly close ) The type of riding you could end up doing will require either a stronger rim or a light rim or both. The rims you have are the lowest end you can buy. Fine for now but if you intend to do any aggro xc or even mild xc I would suggest an upgrade. Especially in the rear. I have never really damaged a front rim but I have destroyed MANY rear rims. I now ride with a heavy duty dh rim in the rear. My choice but it sacrifices by weighing quite a bit. By the description you will need the stronger and lighter rim not a pure dh rim.

    This bike won't do dh and don't try it. Not the stuff on the shore or whistler anyways. The frame, let alone the parts, will not take the abuse. If you want to do a little of everything I can give you some suggestions of decent all round bikes. Stick to xc and practicing those urban tricks with this bike. When you get more advanced or if you find you are craving more extremes DEFINATELY upgrade the whole bike.

    Man I wish I could ride year round...jeez.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    You could cut off a lot of rotating weight and improve grip with some nice tires in place of the stock OEM ones. WTB makes some interesting ones, including a 2.4" tire at about 600 grams. Sounds like my kind of tire, big enough so I can run them at 35-40psi for grip without much risk of a pinch flat, but light so they climb and accelerate well.

    The RST forks have got to go. Marzocchi makes a good range of oil-damped forks to choose from, and they'd be my first choice if I had the money to buy what I'd like at this point.

    If you do get some drivetrain upgrades, I think getting an 11-34T casette is a very practical thing because the 34T low gear will mean less need to shift to the inner chainring on climbs. Sachs chains seem to be stronger than Shimano.

    If you get your wheels rebuilt, make sure to get DT or Wheelsmith spokes and not some no-name brand. If disc brakes are in your future, you could pick disc-compatible hubs too. Shimano DeoreLX gets my recommendation due to low price, excellent sealing, excellent QR's and ease of service, and they come in disc or traditional models.

  8. #8
    Chicks dig a big fork
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    Thanks again guys

    Yeah, I guess I should have said Im not too extreme right now so thats another reason for this bike. I can learn and ride it hard till Im ready for something better. Theres a great spot to ride here in Victoria and I cant wait to get out there and try it out. My mistake on saying downhill, I meant that other then streets, I want to ride the trails and work my way up in difficulty, see where it leads me I guess. Definatly XC and as I get better, more aggresive trails.

    Again, huge help, and Ive spent hours reading all these forums, A new member right here <----. In fact, if anyone is from the Victoria area and wants to ride, give me a shout. I suppose there was a better place to put this but oh well. And yeah Maelstrom, its gonna be nice to ride year round. You been to Kamloops? Thats where I moved from.

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Welcome to living hell ...seriously BC has some awesome xc trails. While we are getting a rep for a freeriding and dh we have some seriously sweet and technical xc trails.

    As for riders in victoria I can honestly say most people I know that ride in Vic are serious trials riders. Skills, Skills, Skills!!! I am sure there are trail riders but most of the hype I hear up here from there is the trials stuff.

    Never been to any other resort. I moved here from Guelph Ontario and never looked back. Well I may have to look back in the future but not now.

    If you make it up to Whistler at some point pm me and I will show you some good trails.

    Cheers.

  10. #10
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    Get a 2nd set of compatable wheels. Put slicks on the lower end set for street use, and appropriate knobblies on the new set for offroad. It takes seconds to swap wheels and you get the right set for the job.
    Koolstop brake pads are a cheap way of improving braking power.

  11. #11
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I would agree with the suggestions noted above, but want to clarify one thing and make one comment.

    First of all, 8-speed and 9-speed hubs are compatible. You DO NOT need to get a new hub if switching to 9-speed. Personally, I'd stick with 8-speed since the chain is stronger. If you do go to 9-speed, you'll have to get new shifters, new cassette, new chain, possibly new chainrings, possibly new front derailleur. This can easily add up to $500 plus, not worth it in my mind. Stick to 8-speed.

    Secondly, don't upgrade for the sake of upgrading. As a beginner, you're bound to break stuff. Especially cheap rear wheels, chains, rear derailleurs and brake levers. You're going to learn how to jump and it takes a while before you're smooth enough to not destroy stuff. Upgrade as stuff wears out or breaks. The only exception I make to this is when stuff is on closeout and it's too good a deal to pass up.

    With this said, I'd swap out that fork first. A new fork will definately be a significant change, but use that one for at least a season. You'll then be a better rider, and will appreciate the new one that much more!

    Save some money and buy a good helmet, a Camelback and some tools (and a "how-to" book).

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  12. #12
    Chicks dig a big fork
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    Well, with all the great feedback I have made my decision. The bike stays for at least this season as is for the most part. I get to bang myself around on it and learn. BUT... I got some Simano PD M545 Pedals and some wicked Shimano shoes and boy what a difference. Now I know I'll appreciate the newer parts when I eventually get em.

    The clipless rule, so easy in and out and riding is that much more fun.

    PS... No offence to everyone else, but Maelstrom, when the time comes Im asking you for some direction on some parts since we are in the same neck of the woods and you may know if Im getting ripped. But Ill still be posting to get some opinions on whats the better product. Love fueling a debate . But until then, ride on.

    Cheers

    -S-

  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Best of luck and have some fun. I actually didn't realize that the 8 spds were compatible with the same hub...hmm that gives me some ideas since I never use the last speed and I currently destroyed my rear deraileur.

    Feel free to ask I know of a number of great shops in and around van that I swear by when I need cheap parts.

  14. #14
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    To clarify. Hub spacing is the same. Cog spacing on a cassette is different.

    The 9-speed cassette has the same overall dimension as an 8-speed. However, you are now adding one more cog in there, so they're closer together.

    A nine speed chain is thus thinner overall than an 8-speed.

    So, to further muddy the waters:

    You can run an 8 speed chain/cassette on an 8/9 hub with 9 speed chainrings.

    The rear derailleur will work either way!

    Front derailleurs "usually" work either way as well. I say "usually" because an 8 speed front may not shift as smooth using a 9 speed chain, and a 9 speed front derailleur may rub more using an 8 speed chain. It'll work, just not perfectly.

    You cannot run a 9 speed chain/cassette with 8 speed chainrings. The chain will hang up and not shift well up front.


    NOTE: using any combination other than pure 8 or 9 will result in less precise shifting.

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  15. #15
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    AHHHHH...thanks (Is there any industry where a standard is a standard. Jeez)

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