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900 on parts or 900 on bike

Old 03-11-19, 06:10 PM
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matt121
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900 on parts or 900 on bike

Hi,

im in the process of upgrading my 2010 GT Avalanche 3.0. So far I have replaced everything besides the frame, which i very much like. It is an M sized, 26' wheel frame.
The parts alltogether costed around 900, mostly Shimano slx's and xt's, a hydraulic rock shox recon fork and a new wheelset (XT hubs with DT Swiss rims).

Today i saw a huge discount (20 percent) on a 2017 Zaskar 27.5 sport, so now it costs the exact same amount which i intended to spend on parts. I ordered them already, but i could return them if i decide on buying a new bike.
However it has some drawbacks regarding its groupset, has cheap hydraulic blades (alivio) opposing my sram BB7's, a definitely weaker wheelset, BB and crank. The other components are basically the same on both.

I didnt think about buying a new bike because i really love my old frame, and this whole process began as replacing a simple hub bearing, but this one just catched my eye and now im unsure about the whole thing. Zaskar has a brand new frame which is not a real advantage to me, however im a bit worried about the lifespan of the old one (al. 6061), as people of the internet told me the average lifespan for dural bike frames was 10 years. I used my bike regularly in the past 10 years, mainly trail-xc-commuting but absoluetly no jumps or abuse - so the frame is in relatively good condition. The new Zaskar would be an L size, which i should've got ten years ago too (according to internet charts) but the M felt good too and they were sold out of L's. (im 180cm)
The other advantage of the Zaskar is the 27.5 wheelset. I live in a plain area, so that would probably pay off, but mainly i prefer trail/freeride. 27.5 might be a good upgrade for me, but i just dont know if it is worth the extra money/ cheaper counterparts. I like the idea of 27.5 very much, though. Or just the idea of being faster.

I know it is a matter of personal preference, but i just cant decide.
TLDR; 10 year old frame and 26' wheels with no compromises, or full new 27.5' bike with some?
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Old 03-11-19, 07:31 PM
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GrainBrain
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Knee jerk answer - buy the 27.5" bike no question.

Also it's all about the tires, fancy drivetrains are unnecessary.

...

I did the same with my 29er, slowly upgrading/replacing parts. I bought it used for $500 about 7 years ago. After a year I grabbed a dropper post for $200, then the next year I upgraded the fork to an air shock for another $200. Those were both used. Bought nice tires for $160, pedals for $45. Broke the levers on the original hydro brakes so got some deore hydros from a friend and went to 180mm in front, $100. Last year I went to full slx drivetrain with xt shifter, with install that was like $350. Got a better saddle, $75.

The frame,bars and wheelset are original, lucky for me it came with a 15mm thru axle for the front. I snagged a shorter stem on a trade.

So like $1,000 over seven years. I'm not spending any more on it, it's setup as my xc/winter bike so I'll be spending any more money on a trail bike with different geometry after learning alot of lessons over those years. For me it was a good investment and it wasn't any more then what an entry level machine would be. It's perfect at what it's intended to do - go quickly over cruddy terrain. But the frame is a little to big for comfortably ripping up the more technical single track, the wheelbase a little to short. It's heavy at around 35lbs. I've thought the 27.5 would be more fun on a hardtail, the 29er is kind of a horse sometimes.

Also after I went from 3x9 SRAM x5 to slx it's nice, real slick in execution. Buuut I think I would've been just fine getting a tighter spaced cassette and a smaller big chain ring. Woulda saved $250.
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Old 03-11-19, 08:13 PM
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As the owner of many, many bikes. Almost all of which have been completely overhauled with all new components at one time or another, I'd say that unless the 27.5 bike would fulfill some actual need the current bike does not, then there really isn't a need to have 2 cheap bikes of less than stellar quality.

The RockShox Recon is a pretty decent fork for the money, in my opinion. The lock out is a useful feature & easy to reach. Tire size 26/27.5/29 doesn't really make you faster. At least, not in real life. True, full suspension is smoother across knotty roots & does bigger jumps & what-not, but for cross country single track a hard tail is just as well. Probably better in the pedaling efficiency department, actually.

If you have a case of upgraditis, then XTR shifters, then in a few months, a crankset, then a few months later, something else. A steady incremental approach as parts/deals come along spreads out the pain. Kevlar reinforced compressionless housing housings & a few cables here & there can go a long ways in shift/brake feel. That's how it was with my 1997 Trek 6500zx. All bonded aluminum, 22 years old and still does all the jumps & twisties I have the nerve for (3-4 feet drops + downhill transition) I don't do anything mondo huge or brave, but it keeps up with the full suspension guys elsewhere just fine. If I were to decide to do long or high jumps, then that would be a valid reason to go full suspension/new bike. For now, I'm happy running them down on the single track.

I'm always pro-new-bike, but if the new & the old fulfill the same role in the same way, then you just have duplicates & spent your money twice with nothing of really high quality to be proud of...Besides, you already bought parts. Why the cold feet on a frame you already know you love?

I'd vote no on the Zaskar because of the spring forks alone. The Recon you already have is 100% better.

Last edited by base2; 03-11-19 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 03-12-19, 03:57 AM
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Thanks for the fast and helpful answers. Bikes around 700-800 had the same exact 6061 frame, a deore-ish groupset with some alivios with no-name BB and hubs. From this perspective, upgrading my old hardtail seemed logical, and still seems to me. Some CTM's and Kelly's bikes in this price range felt inferior to me when riding em, besides the obvious effect of the somewhat bigger wheel, which is kind of a standard nowadays. I rarely see a 26' in my local shop, unless its some downhill/enduro monster.

I dont mind upgrading my old frame, I think that for that 900 euros i did better parts than the bike which costs the same.
They both have the same Rock Shox Recon Solo Air, and (to my eye) a very similar geometry.

Since i already made my choice upgrading, i’ll stick to the 26’. Both of your answers seem highly related to the geometry of the frame, which may be perfect for me as it is right now. A 2,20+ tire would even give me the 27.5’s advantages, wouldn’t it?

Besides, this was built by me. Pimping it with XT’s just feels good and i think it will deliver a highly upgraded feel of my „old” setup. Im even considering a dropper seatpost, and I only hope that the frame wont wear out or break for another 10 years. My next bike will be a full sus anyway.



cheers
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