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Old 04-06-09, 10:52 AM   #1
McBubbin
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Best upgrades to make

Hello. I have a pretty inexpensive mountain bike that I would like to upgrade a bit.

My question is: What should be first? The wheels, tires, crank? I don't have the extra cash to buy a new bike right now and thought this would be a good option. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated.

Also, if I want to put on hybrid tires, do I need new wheels first?

Thank you.
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Old 04-06-09, 11:01 AM   #2
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What brand and model is the bike? Slick tires will be your easiest, cheapest and most noticed change you can make. A few possiblities:

http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/st...00_10000_21504

http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=13849
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Old 04-06-09, 02:36 PM   #3
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If you had to upgrade one thing, tires would be the cheapest and something that you might need to buy any way. The suggestion for slicks assumes that you want to ride faster on paved roads. I'd refine that recommendation to getting good tires appropriate for what kind of riding you want to do. If you want ride faster on streets and paved trails, get narrower, smoother tread, higher pressure tires. If you want to be able to do single track better, get more aggressive knobbies. The other upgrade items are nice to have but not needed assuming the bike is not broken. The only other upgrades I'd consider is maybe a saddle and clipless pedals/shoes if you think you might want to go that route.

I'd recommend saving your money for a new bike rather than chasing upgrades to an inexpensive bike. You'll be much farther ahead in the end.
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Old 04-06-09, 03:19 PM   #4
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I'll have to get the brand info later. Thank you both for the advice.

The bike is fine. I just went riding with a buddy this weekend and his was way better. I only paid about $150 for the bike not knowing this is something I would like to really get in to. Guess I will just save and grab a new one. Or convince my wife that I really need a new bike

Are new wheels along with new tires appropriate or just new tires? And, regarding tires, the ride to the path is going to be street, then the path is a combo of paved and crushed limestone. Better to get tires with more or less knobbies for this kind of riding? Maybe semi-slick?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-06-09, 03:53 PM   #5
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Manufacturers rate their rims for certain tire widths but they are not generally easy to find. For instance, this Mavic Open Pro rim:

ETRTO compatible size: 571 x 15c
ETRTO compatible size: 622 x 15c
Recommended nipple length: 12 mm
Recommended rim tape: 571 x 18 x 0.6
Recommended rim tape: 622 x 16 x 0.6
Recommended tire widths: 19 to 28 mm
Valve hole diameter: 6.5 mm
You can often go outside the recommendations but it is not highly recommended especially concerning wheels and aggressive riding. I'll guess that your current setup is a 26" rim with a >2" wide tire and knobbies. You could go down to your local LBS and get a "Commuter" or "City" type tire and see big improvements in your speed and handling. The tire would be in the 1.5" - 2" width range, smooth or nearly smooth and in the 60-100psi range. You will be able to ride this type of tire on a crushed limestone path with no worries. This type of tire would be fairly cheap >$20.

Stay away from getting a new wheelset. That's alot of money to put on a beater bike when you could save the money for the bike that you want.

Clipless pedals and shoes would be another great improvment.
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Old 04-07-09, 05:01 AM   #6
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a new entry level mountain bike at my LBS (specialized hardrock) starts at $350. thats barebones, doesnt even have a bottle rack. if you buy one in a department store, they generally run $100-250. call your LBS and ask them their going rate for a entry level mountain bike and use that number as a comparison for the upgrades on your bike. in the end, you MAY be happier with a new bike, depending if your current is steel or aluminum frame, brand and number of gears of the shifting componets.
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Old 04-07-09, 05:45 AM   #7
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I stopped by a local place last night and grabbed a new set of tires a new seat and some spray lube for the chain etc. Man, what a difference already. That should keep me happy until I get a new one. The frame is aluminum and it has 21 gears. I looked and the bike is a Vertical PK7. You were dead on, Masiman, about the size of the rim and original tires.

I haven't been into bikes since I was under 16, riding Dyno, Mongoose and GT. Tried to ride again last night, but after that 1.5 hour ride on Sunday, it wasn't very comfortable to sit on the bike again! Hopefully the pain goes away by tonight.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 04-07-09, 07:05 AM   #8
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If you choose to continue with a flatbar, Ergon grips are totally requisite.

About $30 or so.

Do it.

Now.






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Old 04-07-09, 08:02 PM   #9
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I took a bike maintenance class a few months back. One of the instructors said that the best cheapest thing you can do to your bike is change your brake pads.

I would take a look at the pads. If they are hard, cracked, and/or brittle, I would change the
brake pads. I did on several of my bikes and it does make quite a difference.
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