Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Mountain Biking
Reload this Page >

How good is good enough for you?

Notices
Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

How good is good enough for you?

Old 08-07-15, 11:34 PM
  #1  
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,476

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,125 Times in 1,384 Posts
How good is good enough for you?

I have a 2001 Hardrock. After putting it through a stint as a commuter, I've recently put nice big WTB Wolverines on it and taken it back on the trail... and it's been fun.

My buddy has a 2006 Hardrock Pro, a bit newer and two steps up. Although it's twice the price, it seems heavier, and I could take or leave the disks, and the drivetrain is nothing special either, and he has "all terrain" tires on it that aren't so knobby. Its Marzocchi fork is supposedly not so great either (also coil/MCU), but holy cow is it ever obviously so much better than the crummy Suntour on mine.

This had me looking at bikes. I see that in hardtails, the Hardrocks still have coil/elastomer forks. Fluid damping arrives in the lowest Rockhopper and air spring in the middle Rockhopper, forks with lots of adjustments in the Stumpjumpers.

What level of bike is good enough for you?
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 08-07-15, 11:43 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Kindaslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Seattlish
Posts: 2,751

Bikes: SWorks Stumpy, Haibike Xduro RX, Crave SS

Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
I think this depends on a lot of factors. Is MTBing your passion? Do you have other expensive hobbies? How much discretionary money do you have?

I love MTBing. I have been riding for over 30 years, I have raised all of my kids. So my decision was between Expert WC and Sworks. I chose Expert WC, because it fit all those perimeters for me. If you love MTBing, spend all that you can. If it is a minor hobby, spend enough to be able to fully enjoy it.
Kindaslow is offline  
Old 08-08-15, 03:36 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Posts: 4,131

Bikes: Priority 600, Priority Continuum, Devinci Dexter

Likes: 0
Liked 55 Times in 37 Posts
How good is good enough for you?

A fork from a major brand like Rockshox or Fox with aluminum stanchions and damping that works is usually enough for me. I prefer air.
JonathanGennick is offline  
Old 08-08-15, 07:55 PM
  #4  
Bike Junkie
 
roccobike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Posts: 9,625

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 84 Nishiki Medalist

Likes: 0
Liked 38 Times in 28 Posts
I had a Rockhopper and a FSR XC and moved to a hardtail Stumpjumper with air shock and a dual sus Stumpy with air shocks. Yes, it made a difference.
I still have the Rockhopper, it's my son's bike. Before I gave him my 05 Rockhopper, he had an 01 Hardrock (sound familiar?). His Rockhopper has been upgraded with a used Fox F-100. It made a huge difference in the handling of the bike. The frame on your 01 Hardrock is totally outdated. Even a used Rockhopper from the 26er era would be a big improvement. IMHO, married to a air fork like a used F-100 would be a noticeably better bike. Buying a new bike with an air fork and the wheel size you prefer would probably result in your wondering why you didn't do this before. IMHO it will be eye opening.
__________________
Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator
roccobike is offline  
Old 08-08-15, 10:06 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
dksix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North East Tennessee
Posts: 1,616

Bikes: Basso Luguna, Fuji Nevada

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
I've thought about that a lot lately. My bike is an entry level bike. It was time for a cassette, chain and BB. I thought about upgrading to a 2x10 in the Deore/Deore XT or X7/X9 groupset. But just wasn't able to justify it and ended up just ordering same quality replacement parts. I know the others are better and I feel I would notice and appreciate the smoother and more precise shifting. I held off because I want a road bike and that money spent on this upgrade would delay my road bike and all and all I'm not unhappy with my bike as is, replacing the worn parts will have it working properly and from there it's a better bike than I am a rider. Had I not wanted a road bike and thought I was going to do the amount of trail riding that I will do on the road I wouldn't have hesitated to upgrade with better parts.
dksix is offline  
Old 08-09-15, 09:33 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
DMC707's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,394

Bikes: Too many to list

Liked 1,126 Times in 747 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
What level of bike is good enough for you?
The best i can get

Cycling is an important part of my life and has been for 25 years now. Im 44 and started riding when i was 19 on a then new Bridgestone

I am currently in the category of guys who work their butts off 50-60 hours a week - so i dont have as much time to ride as i used to. When i do get a chance to get on the trails, i want the experience to be as enjoyable as possible because that free time is precious to me and something i work hard for --- No, i dont absolutely need a high end bike, -- but the flip side is, with my riding schedule, and with great components, i keep my bikes a lot longer now

Testament is my 06 Santa Cruz, (i posted a pic of it in the thread of the guy trying to buy a bike with a 2k budget just now) - built with predominately XTR components and Fox suspension --- the bike needed nothing more than the occasional chain/cassette maintenance and i kept it until 2013 -- 7 freakin' years on the same bike , -- but you know what -- i was really second guessing selling it --- i honestly thought - "I upgrade this thing to a 1x drivetrain and i will happily ride it another 7 !"

The bike was still that good -- a tad dated in some respects --- but since i bought quality in the first place, it was still a great bike and i am sure the current owner is still having a blast with it

Regarding air suspension vs coil springs ---- I assume your talking in the front -- a decent coil spring fork can deliver a nicer ride -- as an example, on my aforementioned Santa Cruz I had the shop spec out a coil sprung Fox Vanilla front end because i wanted comfort out front --- I am a Clyde who gained even more weight while i had the bike though, so i started running out of heavier spring options , -- but it was a very nice ride compared to the Fox air fork (Talas 36 CTD) on my current rig .

When the air fork gets hot, the pressure gets higher and it becomes firmer and more rigid, while a coil srung fork stays the same and is not as affected from rough use. There might not be many higher end coil sprung fork choices out there now though unless it is for a bigger travel bike
DMC707 is offline  
Old 08-09-15, 05:03 PM
  #7  
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,476

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,125 Times in 1,384 Posts
Originally Posted by roccobike
The frame on your 01 Hardrock is totally outdated. Even a used Rockhopper from the 26er era would be a big improvement.
I'm curious why you say this. Mine is actually an 02, I think, it's solid blue. The frame is the same or at least very similar to the Rockhopper of the same year. It's "A1" aluminum, has a disk mount, takes English bottom brackets and 1-1/8" threadless headsets like most bikes. Looking at the archive it appears they were all the same through 2004 and it's still not all that different today except the tubes are curved and the spacing is for 29er.

I think it's the components that make the difference. For this thread I concentrated on the fork, but the OEM parts on it were pretty junky. Over the years I've replaced most of the drivetrain except the RD, and the rear wheel has had several spokes replaced. I'm satisfied with mostly Acera-level parts and not too worried about weight but the bikes with the lowest air forks start about Deore level.

Santa Cruz is nice but really not in the cards any time soon... I still need the wife to get over the cost of the tandem! That'll take a year.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 08-10-15 at 10:55 AM.
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 08-10-15, 09:04 AM
  #8  
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Answering thread title question, with a short preamble. I used to ride motocross, and I was into cars for a good while, racing autocross and doing track days. Bicycling is a very cheap hobby compared to those endeavors.

Anyway:
I try to buy everything on sale. I know what I want, or at least what is good and what I would want. I last bought a complete bike in 2012 and I've built 3 bikes since then from frames. In theory I might yet again buy a complete bike.

I buy good frames, but haven't yet decided that carbon is worth it, and I've been able to buy the frames I want in aluminum.

I buy very good forks - I've ridden crap suspension and I'm over that. Usually near the best for the application, with some consideration for cost, reliability and serviceability.

I buy good wheels but have never spent more than $600 on a set. I very seriously doubt that I'd ever feel justified in buying a set of wheels that cost >$1,500. I also have never destroyed a wheel. Hell- it's been well over a decade since I broke a spoke. I'm 175 pounds and I don't ride ultra-low air pressure in my tires. I started riding tubeless in 2012 and things were mostly sorted then. Now, with tubeless ready rims and tires, it's dead easy and extremely reliable.

Summarizing for the OP:
If you're riding singletrack at least once a week, upgrading from your 2001 Hardrock is a no-brainer.
ColinL is offline  
Old 08-10-15, 10:38 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,400

Bikes: Bianchi Infinito (Celeste, of course)

Liked 104 Times in 77 Posts
Anything below Deore/X5 tends to feel pretty poor compared with that.

For forks, I would consider a quality spring/hydraulic fork the bottom of the line for me (RockShox XC28 for example), the key thing is getting the correct spring to match your weight. If it doesn't multiple stiffness springs, don't even consider it unless its perfectly setup out of the box. A properly matched spring fork is very good, the problem is that many spring fork don't have enough spring options, especially if you're a lighter rider. I've ridden an XC28 with a Medium spring, and it was good (still to firm for me), but my last rental bike had a XC28 "firm" and it was miserable. I didn't use half the travel on the fork, and got beat up by it bouncing off everything.

My priorization:
1) Flat trails/light singletrack/general use
Quality spring fork -- XC28 or similar (many Suntour forks don't have multiple spring options). Typically, alternate spring kits are around $25, but installation cost may be more. If you think you want a different spring, negotiate that into the price of a new bike. A shop may agree to swap the spring for no charge with a new bike purchase.
OR
Budget air fork -- Air forks are easy to get properly setup.

In my opinion, if you can't get into the above forks, you're better off with a solid fork. Its lighter, and will work more reliably than a cheap spring fork.

2) Technical singletrack riding
Quality air fork -- Nothing beats the tuning possibilities of an air fork.
gsa103 is offline  
Old 08-10-15, 10:55 AM
  #10  
Below Par
 
Bikernator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 196

Bikes: '13 Trek Stache 8; '08 Giant Rincon

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Interesting post.

MTBing is not my passion, but is a rekindled and very enjoyable hobby. I got a Giant Rincon when I was in college and kind of just held off and made due as my time and money were prioritized elsewhere. And my skill set took a while to develop.

I recently upgraded to a much better lightly used bike (Trek Stache 8), and the difference is huge. A fork that actually reacts to the environment, brakes that... stop you without applying so much pressure on the lever that you're concerned with the cable's tensile strength. Crisp shifting. And the weight.. It's really made the whole experience so much more enjoyable. I don't so much as scoff at the Giant (it served its purpose tremendously well), but i can't help but think "why didn't I do this years ago?"

So to answer your question, I will now go towards the top-ish of the line for all components. It really made a difference for me. Bike type with 3 different models? Probably looking at the top two. Five models? Probably top two again. Can't afford it? Off to craigslist I go.
Bikernator is offline  
Old 08-10-15, 09:26 PM
  #11  
Bike Junkie
 
roccobike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Posts: 9,625

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 84 Nishiki Medalist

Likes: 0
Liked 38 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
I'm curious why you say this. Mine is actually an 02, I think, it's solid blue. The frame is the same or at least very similar to the Rockhopper of the same year. It's "A1" aluminum, has a disk mount, takes English bottom brackets and 1-1/8" threadless headsets like most bikes. Looking at the archive it appears they were all the same through 2004 and it's still not all that different today except the tubes are curved and the spacing is for 29er.

I think it's the components that make the difference. For this thread I concentrated on the fork, but the OEM parts on it were pretty junky. Over the years I've replaced most of the drivetrain except the RD, and the rear wheel has had several spokes replaced. I'm satisfied with mostly Acera-level parts and not too worried about weight but the bikes with the lowest air forks start about Deore level.

Santa Cruz is nice but really not in the cards any time soon... I still need the wife to get over the cost of the tandem! That'll take a year.
I initially thought exactly like you. I upgraded the components on the 01 Hardrock. The only components I didn't upgrade were the crank, bars and seatpost. Yes it improved the 01 Hardrock, but when I transferred the same components to the 06 Hardrock frame, I saw a big difference in handling and climbing. Many of those components came off the 05 Rockhopper and it always handled better than the 01 Hardrock.
I'm sure by now you've noticed that the 05 Rockhopper and the 06 Hardrock have similar frame design ( but not identical). I believe the bent tubes and other design changes in the 05/06 frames were not made just to appeal to buyers, I believe they were made to improve the handling of the bikes and it is effective. That's why I think changing the frame to a newer design will be an improvement, basically because I found it to be an improvement. Hope this helps.
__________________
Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator
roccobike is offline  
Old 08-11-15, 05:35 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Posts: 4,131

Bikes: Priority 600, Priority Continuum, Devinci Dexter

Likes: 0
Liked 55 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
I'm curious why you say this. Mine is actually an 02, I think, it's solid blue. The frame is the same or at least very similar to the Rockhopper of the same year. It's "A1" aluminum, has a disk mount, takes English bottom brackets and 1-1/8" threadless headsets like most bikes. Looking at the archive it appears they were all the same through 2004 and it's still not all that different today except the tubes are curved and the spacing is for 29er.
There is nothing wrong w/your frame. My own go-to bike these days happens to be a 2003 Tassajara. I get laughed at now and then but I have my choice of frames and that's the one that has been rocking my boat for these past few years.

That said, here are some things you might notice if you buy a newer frame:

* Geometry trends have changed over the years. Buy a newer frame and you might find longer top tubes for the same frame size. That means shorter stems. Longer top tubes and shorter stems have been a trend.

* Slacker front geometry is another trend. A newer frame might run with a slacker head tube angle.

* Weight. The A1 is Specialized's heaviest alloy. Specialized's M4 and M5 alloys are much lighter in weight. (Some of that is due to the added butting). So you might lose weight by upgrading to a more expensive model.

Like I say though, nothing wrong with rocking an older frame. I'll be happily riding my 2003 Tassajara on the trails this evening. Have it built with a rigid fork and 26er wheels. It is the anti-trend bike.
JonathanGennick is offline  
Old 08-12-15, 11:15 AM
  #13  
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,476

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,125 Times in 1,384 Posts
Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
That said, here are some things you might notice if you buy a newer frame:

* Geometry trends have changed over the years. Buy a newer frame and you might find longer top tubes for the same frame size. That means shorter stems. Longer top tubes and shorter stems have been a trend.

* Slacker front geometry is another trend. A newer frame might run with a slacker head tube angle.
Looks to me like these both come from 29er wheels. Even though there's 3" more tire diameter to deal with between the axles, the wheelbase on the ones I see is only about an inch longer. About half of that has to go in the chain stays, the other half has to go in the front. Slacker head tube allows a little less stack.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 08-12-15, 11:40 AM
  #14  
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
 
ColinL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
Posts: 4,903

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Looks to me like these both come from 29er wheels. Even though there's 3" more tire diameter to deal with between the axles, the wheelbase on the ones I see is only about an inch longer. About half of that has to go in the chain stays, the other half has to go in the front. Slacker head tube allows a little less stack.
Nope, they come from downhill and all-mountain. They've made their way into everything, even XC race bikes.
ColinL is offline  
Old 08-12-15, 11:51 AM
  #15  
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,476

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,125 Times in 1,384 Posts
Originally Posted by ColinL
Nope, they come from downhill and all-mountain. They've made their way into everything, even XC race bikes.
If that's so, I wonder why. I notice geometry, hand position, etc. not at all when I'm going fast downhill or slow through rocks, it's entirely noticeable when cruising along between them.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 08-14-15, 05:38 PM
  #16  
Old Fart In Training
 
osco53's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,268
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
Mine Is a year end closeout, Had It a year now and am upgrading the drive train cause I wore out the stock stuff. It's the lowest of the Scott Spark line, the 760, Was a 30 pounder and now Its a 1x9.

I rode a bike costing twice what this one retailed for, rented it, It was nice, swapped with a guy for a few hours. His was a $3600 bike.
New retail was $1900, year end closeout was $1500, They took my old HT in on trade so I got out the door at $1280...

I see no need to spend more on a better bike. I added a carbon handle bar today because every one said I would feel a real difference....

I will find out tomorrow
osco53 is offline  
Old 08-17-15, 03:03 PM
  #17  
Below Par
 
Bikernator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 196

Bikes: '13 Trek Stache 8; '08 Giant Rincon

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by osco53
I added a carbon handle bar today because every one said I would feel a real difference....

I will find out tomorrow
Well, did you??
Bikernator is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Badgersfan222
Mountain Biking
3
04-19-17 12:13 PM
IAmNamedMatt
Mountain Biking
2
09-24-14 12:39 AM
ColinL
Mountain Biking
16
10-05-12 09:02 AM
ShimmerFade
Mountain Biking
4
05-28-11 02:29 PM
AJM737
Mountain Biking
0
04-28-10 07:38 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.