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  1. #1
    Ain't gonna nuke me Zeggelaar's Avatar
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    Thinking of some upgrades

    So my racing bike has taken a lot of hard use over the past couple of summers and I haven't changed much. The Vertex frame and Crossmax wheels are holding up fine but the rest of the components are starting to give up the ghost. I would like some opinions on alternatives to simply replacing these parts with the same bits. My experience with a range of components is limited therefore I have to ask. Forgive my ignorance and thank you.

    The XTR chainrings, XT cassette and chain are getting pretty worn. Is the XTR cassette worth the extra dough? How about more durable chainrings? I'm very satisfied with the XTR crank but how about Race Face , Truvativ or FSA. Can they match or better the XTR crank?

    I've been using 959's over the past couple of years. Are the Titanium Egg beaters or the Candy Ti much better or are they just lighter. How about Xpedo Ti?


    Exchange the somewhat heavy older Ea70 seatpost for what?

    What fork might suitably replace an '04 Marzocchi Marathon SL??

    The XT disc brakes work very well but are becoming maintenace intensive. Replacement?

    Finally, get rid of the flippies and go with SRAM X0 triggers (and therefore derailleur) which also means getting new brakes or at least new levers. Good Idea?

    or

    Start from scratch and build a new rig.
    Well so much for proliferation.

  2. #2
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    1 - The cassette, is it completely shot or can you just replace a couple of the cogs? I've just recently switched back to an xtr cassette but I am using it for race only, xt cassettes the rest of the time. However I am a weight weenie.

    2 - Even though I'm not a shimano fan it is extremely hard to beat the xtr crankset. However to save a good chunk of change check out the xt crankset. I don't think it is too much heavier.

    3 - Eggbeaters rule, especially if you race in the mud at all. However in my opinion the candies suck! I wouldn't go with the ti eggbeaters though. Buy the stainless eggbeaters and add a titanium spindle. It will get you the same weight as the double ti's but much cheaper.

    4 - The 04 marathon SL is one of the only Marzocchi forks I like. The 05's sucked! The reason I like the 04 is because of the way the lockout worked, dropping the front end for climbs. However, if you have the money I highly recommend the Fox F100x if you are wanting to stay close to the 105 mm travel of the marathon sl.

    5 - I am all for SRAM, however after using the grip shifts for about a month I swear by them. They are awesome. I love being able to drop so many gears at once.

    6 - For the seatpost what length do you need? If 330 mm or shorter I highly recommend the Thomson Masterpiece. Very light yet still bulletproof. If you need longer check out Extralite. They are expensive but extremely light.

    7 - The brakes are your call. If they are still working well I would keep them. I hate spending $400 or more on brakes. Now if you decide to change them anyway check out the Magura Marta's. Great brakes and very light. Don't waste your money on the SL's though. Only a few grams lighter and cost about $100 or $200 more.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wheelhot's Avatar
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    GO LOWCEL!!!! haha, what he said, I wonder how about the 07 Marzocchi, Corsa line, hmm and thanks for the eggbeater tip. Haha

  4. #4
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelhot
    GO LOWCEL!!!!

  5. #5
    Ain't gonna nuke me Zeggelaar's Avatar
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    Thanks alot for the comprehensive answer. I good advice seems to be very hard to come by.

    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    1 - The cassette, is it completely shot or can you just replace a couple of the cogs? I've just recently switched back to an xtr cassette but I am using it for race only, xt cassettes the rest of the time. However I am a weight weenie.
    A couple of the cogs are slightly bent and the whole system is quite worn. I need a new chain anyway so I figured I should replace the cassette as they tend to wear together. I was going to use 3 chains on the same drivetrain and rotate them every month. That way I have two spare chains that fit well and I have a much longer usage out of the same drivetrain. Isn't it a pain in the butt to change your cassette for every race? or is it a labor of love?

    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    2 - Even though I'm not a shimano fan it is extremely hard to beat the xtr crankset. However to save a good chunk of change check out the xt crankset. I don't think it is too much heavier.
    I'm actually using the XTR crank now. It works well but the rings are pricey to replace.

    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    4 - The 04 marathon SL is one of the only Marzocchi forks I like. The 05's sucked! The reason I like the 04 is because of the way the lockout worked, dropping the front end for climbs. However, if you have the money I highly recommend the Fox F100x if you are wanting to stay close to the 105 mm travel of the marathon sl.
    Any opinions on the SID Race carbon fork. It's very light. Also a friend of mine put on the Reba Race fork and even though it's heavier he said the fat stanchions on the fork just eat up anything and he is way faster over rough stuff now.

    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    5 - I am all for SRAM, however after using the grip shifts for about a month I swear by them. They are awesome. I love being able to drop so many gears at once.
    Never considered them. You think they're better than those sexy looking triggers?


    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    7 - The brakes are your call. If they are still working well I would keep them. I hate spending $400 or more on brakes. Now if you decide to change them anyway check out the Magura Marta's. Great brakes and very light. Don't waste your money on the SL's though. Only a few grams lighter and cost about $100 or $200 more.
    How is the pad life? One thing about the XT's, in my opinion, is that the pads last reasonably well and are easy and fairly cheap to replace. But, the system, like some other Shimano components, works best if is not caked with mud or sand or exposed to dripping sweat or water.
    Well so much for proliferation.

  6. #6
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeggelaar
    Thanks alot for the comprehensive answer. I good advice seems to be very hard to come by.
    No problem, keep in mind these are just my opinions.

    A couple of the cogs are slightly bent and the whole system is quite worn. I need a new chain anyway so I figured I should replace the cassette as they tend to wear together. I was going to use 3 chains on the same drivetrain and rotate them every month. That way I have two spare chains that fit well and I have a much longer usage out of the same drivetrain. Isn't it a pain in the butt to change your cassette for every race? or is it a labor of love?
    It only takes about two minutes to change a cassette, really not a big deal. Most of the time I don't have to mess with it though since during race season I'm generally only on my mountain bike to pre-ride courses and to race. The rest of my training is done on the road.

    I'm actually using the XTR crank now. It works well but the rings are pricey to replace.
    Well rings are cheaper than a whole crankset. You may want to look into Boone rings, a lot of people love them. I just didn't have much luck with mine, I think it was because I went with semi custom sizing. Anyway, they have a lifetime warranty, hard to beat.

    Any opinions on the SID Race carbon fork. It's very light. Also a friend of mine put on the Reba Race fork and even though it's heavier he said the fat stanchions on the fork just eat up anything and he is way faster over rough stuff now.
    Yes, I have an opinion on it. I just got rid of my SID. I used to really like my SID then I put some time in riding a Fox with 32 mm stanchions. When I got back on the sid it felt like a noodle. I could actually watch it flex and twist. I would rather pay the weight penalty and have a nice stiff fork. Another thing I don't like about the SID is the stanchions are long enough for a 100 mm fork. To me this makes no sense. If I'm going to have the front end high enough for 100 mm then I want a 100 mm. The stanchions on my Fox F80x are one inch shorter than the SID letting my front end stay down another inch giving me quicker steering and a better climbing position.

    Never considered them. You think they're better than those sexy looking triggers?
    I've never used the X.0 triggers, just the X.9. I don't think anything is going to be as sexy as the X.0 triggers but I do like being able to drop all those gears at once. I also like having the front shifter being friction which makes it much easier to fine adjust the front derailleur to avoid rubbing when using the biggest and smallest rear cogs.

    How is the pad life? One thing about the XT's, in my opinion, is that the pads last reasonably well and are easy and fairly cheap to replace. But, the system, like some other Shimano components, works best if is not caked with mud or sand or exposed to dripping sweat or water.
    I generally get a season out of a set of pads. Can't ask for too much more than that. Extremely wet / muddy seasons I will go through an extra set of pads.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wheelhot's Avatar
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    hey lowcel care to tell me how to change your cassette?

  8. #8
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Yeah, get a cassette tool and a chain whip.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  9. #9
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    N I just got rid of my SID. I used to really like my SID then I put some time in riding a Fox with 32 mm stanchions. When I got back on the sid it felt like a noodle. I could actually watch it flex and twist. I would rather pay the weight penalty and have a nice stiff fork.
    X2.
    It's the reason I'm never going to ride a QR front fork again, even for XC.


    Sell the bike and start fresh. Tis the season for bargains and project builds.


    Also, park has a good turorial for most of their tools:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=48
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

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