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  1. #1
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    1997 Rockadile SX Upgrade advice, or any advice really.

    Hello this is my first post here. I am back into biking again! My bike is still in good condition but I was thinking of upgrading some things maybe or just get a new one. Money is tight though and I LOVE the frame on the Mongoose. I primarily ride on long flat trails or the road, so I like the hardtail and the more upright geometry. Every time I sit on my bike (for the last 10 years) I think about how nice it fits me. Its "My" bike. Every other bike I sit on is set up way too much for downhill, like all the modern bikes I see. The bike as it is right now is GREAT for me, since I dont work at a bike shop But little improvments can be made.

    My 1997 Mongoose Rockadile SX has, (Camera Died sorry, and no pics anywhere on the net.)
    7005 aluminum frame ~26 lbs total bike weight (probably a low ball number, I took it from someone else, but seriously this frame is light and PERFECT geometry) with "Suspension Specific Geometry" (whatever that means)
    Deore LX rear(a tad slower than I would like)
    STX-RC front, derailleur, cranks, and hubs.(still smooth)
    Answer Manitou Pro front shock 80mm travel Im guessing. I bought my wife a bike at Dick's and it was $280 with Aluminum frame and sweet 110mm travel shock that was way better than mine, I almost tried to convince her to trade My shock is elastomer and I keep it lubed, but I can do better than this, problem is $$$.
    Mavic 238 rims (rear rim is almost shot)
    Grip Shift g400 (never bothered me but I want the triggers)
    Avid SD 1.9L (I have always liked the brakes)
    Wellgo Clipless Pedals (work great)
    Cheap, stock Handlebars, Stem, and Seatpost.

    In personal reviews of the bike I found people have put:
    Manitou Palmer 80mm Strokers w/ 1 inch riser (what is a riser?, because I could see having the handlebars a tad closer) on the bike.

    One person said:
    "For slalom I have a riser bar and I take off the inner rings and put on a longer travel fork."

    Another says he upgraded with these components:
    Marzocchi z2 Bombers
    Shimano SPD 747 Clipless Pedals
    Shimano XTR Font and Rear Brakes
    Shimano XT Shifter/Brake Levers
    Shimano LX Font Derailer
    Mavic 217 SUP Sunset Finished Rims
    Shimano XT Front and Rear Hubs

    Problem is these upgrades were years ago and Im not sure if things have changed at all. Basically Im not sure if the new forks will fit on this bike. Not to mention all the forks I see are $300 and I can get a pretty nice bike for $650, with said fork already on it.

    Alright thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member nodnerb's Avatar
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    I would get a new bike if I were you. Just like you said, you could buy a new fork and that would be at least half the cost of a new bike with said fork already installed. It's not worth it at all to upgrade imo. It sounds like you are looking for an xc bike. The new geometry that you are referring to of todays bikes(that looks downhill-ish) is more the freeride style bike that is popular now. Just look at xc bikes if that's what you plan to ride.
    The "riser" they are referrring to is just the handlebars I believe. Riser bars as opposed to flat bars.

  3. #3
    don't misunderestimate me BoSoxYacht's Avatar
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    A guy I worked with years ago had the same bike . He upgraded everything on it , with top shelf parts . The end result was a nice bike(with welds that looked like toothpaste globs). He could have spent a lot less , by buying a better bike from the get go. I know money is tight , but you would be much better off with a new bike . If your rear wheel is shot , try finding a new(or a good used) one on Ebay , untill you can get a new bike . BTW It's not a good idea to try to rob parts off your wife's bike . It'll come back to haunt you .

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht
    A guy I worked with years ago had the same bike . He upgraded everything on it , with top shelf parts . The end result was a nice bike(with welds that looked like toothpaste globs). He could have spent a lot less , by buying a better bike from the get go. I know money is tight , but you would be much better off with a new bike . If your rear wheel is shot , try finding a new(or a good used) one on Ebay , untill you can get a new bike . BTW It's not a good idea to try to rob parts off your wife's bike . It'll come back to haunt you .
    Yes the welds do look like toothpaste! Is that good? Ive always liked this frame. So I guess Ill have to get a new bike. Sigh.

  5. #5
    don't misunderestimate me BoSoxYacht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockadile
    Yes the welds do look like toothpaste! Is that good?
    Not many nice bikes have welds that look globed on . Good welds should look like a stack of dimes(or a slinkey) that got knocked over .

  6. #6
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    I don't agree with these guys. You don't need a new bike. 7075 aluminum is a nice light frame. I've still got my trek 8500 from 1990 and this thing is better than any new low to midgrade bike out there. Old xt is still better than new low end. You can find high end vintage parts on ebay for a good price. As far as the fork goes, your fork sounds fine to me; more travel doesn't necessarily make a fork better. What is your wife's fork, because if it's an Rst or something it's not better than yours. I've got a "96 rockshox judy xc, and my LBS tried to talk me into switching to a threadless headset and stem to buy a newer judy tt. It's got more travel than mine but no preload or rebound adjustment, and it weighs 2 lbs. more. I rebuilt the xc instead and I don't regret it. I upgraded it with type 2 coil springs and new elastomer and it's better than ever. If you really want a newer fork, you need to know if you're headset is threaded or threadless. 1 1/8" threadless is the most common size now. If you have a 1", or threaded, your only option is Marzocchi which is spendy. Forget about RST and Suntour, they're terrible forks. If your already threadless than you could get a rockshox, manitou, or fox. My advice is to leave the fork for now, and upgrade the wheels and crank to at least LX, because that's your weakest link. Better yet, look for some vintage xt. This is your best option if your on a budget. A new bike on a tight budget is not going to get you very far. You'd be looking at upgrading that anyway and you'd wind up spending more than you want. Newer style shifters are nice though, and I don't know if you've got cantilever brakes or V-brakes, but v-brakes really are better too, so upgrading those (if needed) would be good. Bottom line is, you've got a nice 7075 frame to work with, as long as it doesn't have oversized tubes or bad welds or something. If you like it, than why not give it the parts it deserves? I think you'll end up with a better bike for less money than if you bought a new one on a budget. Even newer midrange bikes with deore, or lx, are loaded with cheap plastic parts. You could spend $800-900 on a new bike and still only get lx parts with a cheap fork. Not worth it when you can get vintage xt parts for cheaper. I don't know where these other guys are coming from, but my guess is from the overpriced local bikeshop that's pushing products from companies that don't support their own parts for more than 3 years.

  7. #7
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    Oh, hey I just read the part about the bad welds. Mongoose isn't exactly an awesome company either; but (7005) aluminum is good. If the tubes are also oversized at the stress points, than its not the greatest frame design. It is really lite though. I still think it might be worth it to put vintage LX parts on it, just because you can get them for so cheap. LX F. der. for $10, wheelsets for $30, cranks, ect, ect. You could make your bike a lot better for cheap. Don't give up on it yet, especially if you're on a tight budget like me. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    I don't agree with these guys. You don't need a new bike. 7075 aluminum is a nice light frame. I've still got my trek 8500 from 1990 and this thing is better than any new low to midgrade bike out there. Old xt is still better than new low end. You can find high end vintage parts on ebay for a good price. As far as the fork goes, your fork sounds fine to me; more travel doesn't necessarily make a fork better. What is your wife's fork, because if it's an Rst or something it's not better than yours. I've got a "96 rockshox judy xc, and my LBS tried to talk me into switching to a threadless headset and stem to buy a newer judy tt. It's got more travel than mine but no preload or rebound adjustment, and it weighs 2 lbs. more. I rebuilt the xc instead and I don't regret it. I upgraded it with type 2 coil springs and new elastomer and it's better than ever. If you really want a newer fork, you need to know if you're headset is threaded or threadless. 1 1/8" threadless is the most common size now. If you have a 1", or threaded, your only option is Marzocchi which is spendy. Forget about RST and Suntour, they're terrible forks. If your already threadless than you could get a rockshox, manitou, or fox. My advice is to leave the fork for now, and upgrade the wheels and crank to at least LX, because that's your weakest link. Better yet, look for some vintage xt. This is your best option if your on a budget. A new bike on a tight budget is not going to get you very far. You'd be looking at upgrading that anyway and you'd wind up spending more than you want. Newer style shifters are nice though, and I don't know if you've got cantilever brakes or V-brakes, but v-brakes really are better too, so upgrading those (if needed) would be good. Bottom line is, you've got a nice 7075 frame to work with, as long as it doesn't have oversized tubes or bad welds or something. If you like it, than why not give it the parts it deserves? I think you'll end up with a better bike for less money than if you bought a new one on a budget. Even newer midrange bikes with deore, or lx, are loaded with cheap plastic parts. You could spend $800-900 on a new bike and still only get lx parts with a cheap fork. Not worth it when you can get vintage xt parts for cheaper. I don't know where these other guys are coming from, but my guess is from the overpriced local bikeshop that's pushing products from companies that don't support their own parts for more than 3 years.

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