This is cross posted on MTBR.com, hope that is allowed!
Hello all. I have recently gotten into XC riding. I have a Raleigh Mojave 5.0, mostly stock except for a set of SPD pedals and shoes. I was looking to shave some weight and my local bike shop offered to sell me an $800 wheelset. My budget is not that high. I was able to locate an Easton XC One wheelset (1590 grams) which can be fitted with a cassette and two rotors for a grand total of $500. I was going to keep my stock wheelset loaded up with a pair of slicks for when I want to take it out with the family on a concrete path. The caveat to this is the wheels are an '07 model and I don't know how much longer until this particular shop sells out and has only the $700 (without cassette and rotors) '09 model.
The stock fork is a Suntour XCT with 75mm travel and preload as the only adjustment. I plan on upgrading this to a Recon Race Solo Air with 100mm travel.
I can do one upgrade now and one upgrade in January because of the money issue. Is there a concrete order in which you should upgrade your bike? If so, what is it?
Also, the cassette only comes as an 11-32 and 11-28 teeth. My stock is an 11-30. If I go with one of these will the stock chain be okay or will it need to be lengthened/shortened. Again, I'd like to retain use of my stock wheels with slicks on them.
Hope my question is clear, and thanks in advance for your response!