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  1. #1
    Rabbit Herder
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    Am I a class "A" ****** for wanting this?

    I got my GF Marlin last year as a 2002 model and I feel its a good fit for me, both price out the door and for what I do as it was about $400 out the door with a crappy Shim Altus/Alivo 8speed drivetrain on it. I got it with the aspirations of a cheapish bike which can be upgraded down the road. That time is now, as Ive been doing some research into upgrading to an XT 9 speed set. Doing some research here and there, I can probaby get everything; shifter/brake levers, crank, cassette, etc for about $250 online. I decided to call my LBS to get a quote on parts locally and was basically told to buy a new bike because mine is too much of a POS for these parts.
    Ive had good experiences with this shop in the past, as they have hooked me up with this and that as well as drop prices on a few things for me. So Im hoping they are just trying to get me to dump more coin on a bike than the parts I want.
    Am I a fool for wanting to put this amount into a drivetrain on my "inferior" frame? For comparison, the bike in Fisher's line that comes with XT components is the $1000 Big Sur. Why spend this much on a bike when I can upgrade my bike for much less than that?

  2. #2
    bike/raft DrGonzo's Avatar
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    Hi, I just asked that question a few days ago...

    Want to move up to 9spd...

    Read that, personally I'm just gunna buy a new bike or frame w/ 9spd, and the advantages for me right now are pretty much nil other than newer components, i have mostly 8spd XT right now on my bike so to spend the money to upgrade it to 9 would be better spent towards a new bike. Unfortunately you don't have the greatest frame, but there's no reason not to upgrade it, it just seems that buying a bike of a little better quality would be a better idea.
    practice, practice, practice...
    Last trail to kick my ass: Eagle's tail

  3. #3
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Are you going to do all the labor yourself? If not, fiqure paying some "labor" charges to that. In the LBS where I worked, we frowned upon installing someone's parts they bought on-line and not through us.

    Selling parts a shops bread and butter. Kinda like going to the grocery store, buying a nice T-Bone and taking it to Outback and asking them to cook it for you!

    The other thing to note, is that your bike is a $400 to $500 bike, and the frame, fork, wheels, components are all spec'd accordingly. You are now going to spend $250 on your bike to upgrade it, but it'll still only be worth $300 used! Harsh reality, but a used bike in that range will only be worth so much. If you're not going to ever sell it, then don't worry about this issue! I sell my bikes on a regular basis, so it's always a concern of mine.

    I think your shop is just watching out for you! If you are willing to pay $$ for XT, will you be happy with your current fork??? If not, figure another $350-$400, what about your wheels? Figure another $300 for XT hubs and Mavic X317 wheels....etc. For the same $$$, you can buy a completely new bike.

    However, if you are only going to swap out the drivetrain components, then go for. $250 sounds like a good deal.

    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

  4. #4
    Rabbit Herder
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    Im only thinking of drivetrain components right now. The differene between my project and Gonzo's is my bike is only a year and ~500 miles old, so I wanted to upgrade rather than go new again.

    I only called the LBS to get pricing on the parts and not for labor, as I plan on doing the install myself

    The drivetrain is on the table now because a) I can deal with the fork down the road and b) the BB is trash and already making ungodly noises after only a few muddy rides
    Who knows, I may just get a new BB, and leave it at that

    Im not one to buy a bike and turn around and sell it 15 months down the road for the next version. I had a mid 90s Rockhopper up until last summer when I bought this thing. The way I see it, is that this is comprable to buying a 20 year old CJ that was stock then putting in sorts of upgrades: tires, lift, trans, etc. Sure, its still a 20 year old truck but its got new crap on it which is better than what it started with

  5. #5
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Since your bike is relatively new, and you plan to do the work yourself, I say, "go for it".

    If you need help reassembling it, let me know and I'll help if I can.

    The tools you're gonna want to buy when you order your parts to do the swap over, (nice to have as well for future work):

    Crank Puller (umm to remove the cranks! Obviously)
    Bottom brackett tool (splined tool to remove the existing bb)
    Cassette tool (also splined, and necessary for removing the lock ring on your rear cassette)
    Chain Whip (this tool holds the cassette fixed so you can loosen the lock ring)
    A chain tool (to break the chain in order to run through the derailleur and the chainstay on your frame)
    I'm assuming you already have allen wrenches. If not, you'll need as a minium a 3,4,5,6, & 8 mm. If you're getting Sram gripshift, add a 2.5mm as well.

    Total cost of tools will be $75-100, and is about what labor would cost to have this done! That's how I justify anyways.

    I recommend using a Sram power link with your new drivetrain. It'll make future cleaning much easier, and they're only about $6.00 mail-order.

    Another recommendation is this would be a good time to replace your shifter cables and housing. You're going to have both derailleurs apart, so why not replace these items as well. If you decide to do this as well, add a quality cable cutter to your list of needed tools.

    That's all I can think of for now!

    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

  6. #6
    Rabbit Herder
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    cool. my means are now validated Now I just need to convince my CFO. Considering she spends $80 on shoes at the drop of a hat, I shouldnt have any problems

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Depends on the frame. If it's a heavy aluminum frame there might not be much point of putting XT caliber parts on it but it's your ride - I've heard of people putting full XT on Pacific Mountain bikes (department store garbage basically). So go for it.

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