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  1. #1
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    newbie upgrading

    Hey all, I've been trail riding for the last couple of years on my trek 4500. The bike's completely stock with alivio components everywhere and judy 2's. I'm looking not for the coolest upgrades, but the most useful. I'm also on somewhat of a budget, so I'll probably be making the upgrades slowly. You'll also have to be pretty specific in what you're talking about because I'll be the first to admit that I'm not too knowledgable on technical terms (although I know most/all the basic parts). Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Colonel
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    What kind of riding do you do?

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    And how much are you wishing to spend first off.....?

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    All of the local trails near me start at the base of really tall hills, so a lot of my riding is.. uphill. I guess the rest is bombing hills. I also enjoy riding over technical/rocky areas, and my bike almost never sees the pavement. For the first upgrade I can probably spend ~$100, though I'll be able to spend more at a later time.

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    Well the 4500 isn't a bad bike in its price range, and its good to see it comes with a J2 fork, so i dont think that will be a priority upgrade (you could send it to the lbs for a service to improve performence if you wanted)..

    If there is anything wrong with your bike at the moment compontent wise (broken or damaged)? i suggest replace them first. Upgrade wise I would recommend upgrading the brakes if needed (i'm assuming it has v-brakes?), if you dont think the brakes need upgrading then you could at least get new pads if the bikes a couple of years old, also the rear deraillure might be worth an upgrade if your doing a lot of climbing and changed terrain, precision shifting is always a plus (do you have a 9speed rear gears?).

    To make your bike perform better you could also try a new chain and cassette, replace the deraillure and brakes cables to make the ride feel a bit smoother.

    It depends though on what on your bike actually needs upgrading, and then it comes down to what parts are hasseling you and you would like to repair/replace them.

  6. #6
    Colonel
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    If there is anything wrong with your bike at the moment compontent wise (broken or damaged)? i suggest replace them first.
    I agree with this. If nothing needs to be replaced than I also would suggest getting new tires. I'm guessing your 4500 has Bontrager Jones tires? You should uprgrade them and I'm sure you will notice a huge improvement in your ride especially if you get the PSI just right. You can't go wrong with the Panaracer Fire XC Pros (genuine Japanese versions). If you you are convinced that there is no need to upgrade your tires, then use the money on some accessories or just save it up and spend it on some compenents when they break.

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    I'd do things like comfort and control items, pedals, saddle, stem and bars if'n they don't fit well and then just upgrade whatever breaks.

    Are you on clipless pedals yet? They'll really make a diff getting you up hills.

    Ron

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    Well right now, the shifting is really squirely sometimes. I have to adjust the derailleur frequently, and it gets annoying when I'm climbing a hill and can't downshift (sometimes i have to stop, get off the bike, and throw the pedal with my hand and shift with the wheel off the ground). If I were to go with a new derailleur, what would you suggest? I have an 8 speed gear in the back, by the way... but if you get new shifters, can't you go with more gears? I really don't know all the possibilities and limitations for bike upgrades and maintenance, but I'll learn. Thanks again, for all the replies.

    I do have the bontrager jones tires, and they've held up pretty well over the years, though I do think it might be time for some new tires.

    And if clipless pedals really do help as much as stated, I might give them a try.


    Once again, I'll need suggestions as to specific parts; though I know what I need, I don't know what to look for.

  9. #9
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    If your derailleurs have been properly adjusted and still don't shift well, that'd be my first recommendation for an upgrade. Otherwise, I'd have to agree with upgrading to clipless pedals first, tires second. As for tires, you really need to match your tires to the type of riding you do and types of conditions you ride in (firmness of the ground, abundance of roots or rocks, etc.). Ask your bike shop what the local gurus are using.
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    All right, if I wanted to upgrade the derailleur, what would I be looking for specifically? I'll hopefully be upgrading everything eventually so the bike is more capable - I'm ready to get into some more intense biking, so I don't want to upgrade to something that will be limiting my future options. I am also open to upgrading more than the deraillure at this time, if necessary.

    I stopped by the lbs today to check out shoes and clipless's too, so I have some idea of what I'll be getting myself into. Still haven't tried a bike with clipless yet, though, and I don't plan on buying any until I do. Thanks for all the help so far, keep it coming!

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    Or if you dont have enough money for SRAM (take in mind you need to buy new shifters aswell), a good Shimano rear deraillure will be cheaper and will perform quite well. LX or XT 8-speed would be worth and upgrade with new cables and housing.

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    I'm confused about cage length and what size derailleur I'll need as far as chain width goes. Sorry for being such a burden, but I'm learning as I go..

    And would I be better off buying higher-end products now so when I buy a new frame (at some point in the future) I'll have top-quality components to build it with? I'm just wondering if I should do it "right" the first time (and save money in the long run)

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    good point. A new frame probably won't be in the budget for the next year or two, so any suggestions on what components will carry me through till then? SRAM seems high up on the list, but it is a on the expensive side, and as previously pointed out, if I get a new derailleur, I'll need new shifters as well, which seems a bit pricey. The shimano xt seems to hold up against some of the SRAM stuff, but I havn't been able to find 8 speed derailleurs..

  14. #14
    Senior Member Tag1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboyd
    I'm confused about cage length and what size derailleur I'll need as far as chain width goes. Sorry for being such a burden, but I'm learning as I go..

    And would I be better off buying higher-end products now so when I buy a new frame (at some point in the future) I'll have top-quality components to build it with? I'm just wondering if I should do it "right" the first time (and save money in the long run)
    You're always best off going with the highest quality components you can afford. An LX or XT for your rear derailleur would be a nice upgrade to alivio, and you will probably notice a substantial difference in shifting...

    As far as cage length and what size derailleur, just leave that to your LBS. (Unless you are planning on putting the parts on yourself, in which case you could check the Archive on the Trek site and probably find the specs for your bike.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tag1
    As far as cage length and what size derailleur, just leave that to your LBS. (Unless you are planning on putting the parts on yourself, in which case you could check the Archive on the Trek site and probably find the specs for your bike.)
    My bike's a little old for their site And I've always been one to work on my own stuff, so I was planning on installing everything myself - it's the best way to learn how things work. At this point, I am really thinking about saving my money for now and upgrading a lot later: derailleur, shifters, cassette, brakes, pedals (possibly), cranks, saddle, and maybe some other stuff. But that has yet to be determined, I might just go with some simple things for now and see what I want to do in the future. Thanks for all the help guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboyd
    My bike's a little old for their site
    Maybe these will help...

    http://www.bikesdetails.info/Trek_4500_2002.html
    http://www.bikesdetails.info/Trek_4500_2000.html

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