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parts upgrade priority list?

Old 03-04-10, 10:40 AM
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parts upgrade priority list?

I have a 29er single speed with a great frame and mediocre parts. I'm planning on going through the bike and upgrading components one by one but I'm not sure where to start since I can't fund a whole makeover at once.

One thing at a time, where will I get the most bang for my buck for performance? Wheels, BB, crank, brakes (currently disk but low end with poor stopping power) headset, stem, handlebars, seat post? Saddle is already done.
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Old 03-04-10, 10:45 AM
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Only replace stuff when it breaks. Save all of your money. It's cheaper to buy a complete than it is to build a bike piece-by-piece. By the time you have your current bike upgraded...you will have spent enough to buy another complete...thus making two.

So just replace stuff as it breaks, man.


But to feed your hunger...good light wheels, tires, and tubes are a quick way to make a bike feel light and snappy.
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Old 03-04-10, 11:35 AM
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thanks chelboed....makes sense. I think I'll go ahead and shop for some wheels and hold off on the other stuff, for now. But it's so much fun to shop for new parts! I will try and resist.
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Old 03-04-10, 12:45 PM
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If you're gonna upgrade your wheelset...make sure it's a viable upgrade. If snappy acceleration is what you're seeking, research your current rim weight, spoke weight, brass vs. alu nipples, tire and tube weight. Rotating weight feels like an exponential increase in drag when pedaling.

Say your wheels weigh 2300g but you're running XT hubs...you won't notice much of a change in a 1900g wheelset b/c the weight saved will be in your hubs where the fulcrum rests.

Definitely try to score good quality hubs, but try to concentrate the weight loss in the rims, tires, and tubes. Don't get stupid-light though. I've settled into a 2200g wheelset (IIRC) b/c it's tough enough. I could possibly get into something around 1700g for a similar price, but I do belive they'd live a short and battered life.
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Old 03-04-10, 12:50 PM
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I had Universalcycles.com build my wheelset. They did a good job for a fair price. I got Hope Pro II hubs with DT EX5.1d rims and DT Comp spokes with brass nipples. A shade under 5 bills. Saved me $250 over my LBS. I got a good 100mi or so re-tension (as one should for pretty-much all new wheels AFAIK) and they've been excellent. I did accidentally smack a rock with the rear and had to quickie-hit it with a spoke wrench, but when I built my RM Flow, I took it downtown and jumped off some stairs...slant wall ride-hop-to-flat, and some other urban stuff. Still straight as an arrow.

They do good work.

Bicyclewheelwarehouse.com is a pretty popular choice for good deals on wheels.
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Old 03-04-10, 01:43 PM
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I'm also a big rider (6'4" 250+) so the proper wheelset would be that much more important, I assume. I want strength in a wheel but smooth, non-sluggish performance for moderate to minor trails and fire roads ridden 10+ miles at a time 2x per week and a hand full of longer 30-50 mile treks through the season. I'll check out the sites suggested. Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-04-10, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by chelboed
Only replace stuff when it breaks. Save all of your money. It's cheaper to buy a complete than it is to build a bike piece-by-piece. By the time you have your current bike upgraded...you will have spent enough to buy another complete...thus making two.

So just replace stuff as it breaks, man.


But to feed your hunger...good light wheels, tires, and tubes are a quick way to make a bike feel light and snappy.
Would almost agree but on most bikes the wheels need replacing from new. Machine built OM wheels with No-Name hubs and cheap rims do not make for the best ride. I have a stock of good wheels and I keep the original wheels for Foul weather/ winter riding.

It does depend on the grade of the bike- but I aim to run XT components on the drive chain. As parts start to fail- then I replace them but upgrade to XT instead of just getting the original as fitted. Exception to that is the crankset as I reckon that for The money- it is hard to beat an LX crankset.
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Old 03-04-10, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sprocket47
I'm also a big rider (6'4" 250+) so the proper wheelset would be that much more important, I assume. I want strength in a wheel but smooth, non-sluggish performance for moderate to minor trails and fire roads ridden 10+ miles at a time 2x per week and a hand full of longer 30-50 mile treks through the season. I'll check out the sites suggested. Thanks for your help.
I would suggest no lighter duty than what I've listed. XC weenie rims may crumble under your manly frame.

Originally Posted by stapfam
Would almost agree but on most bikes the wheels need replacing from new. Machine built OM wheels with No-Name hubs and cheap rims do not make for the best ride. I have a stock of good wheels and I keep the original wheels for Foul weather/ winter riding.

It does depend on the grade of the bike- but I aim to run XT components on the drive chain. As parts start to fail- then I replace them but upgrade to XT instead of just getting the original as fitted. Exception to that is the crankset as I reckon that for The money- it is hard to beat an LX crankset.
Another exception is XT hubs...though not junk...loose ball boat anchors.
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Old 03-04-10, 03:23 PM
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How much can you spend on wheels, man?

Looks like a decent Stans rim / DT spokes wheel can be built around $300-400 @ UnivCyc


If you're not going all gnarly...a Stans tubeless setup with a standard 29'er Nevegal non-tubeless tire will shed some weight and decrease rolling resistance. As big as you are though...you may fall into the tubeless pitfalls of burping air. I've rolled tubed tires off rims...let alone a tubeless tire at 25psi.

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Old 03-05-10, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by chelboed


Another exception is XT hubs...though not junk...loose ball boat anchors.
Cup and ball bearings are easy to service and replace. Don't have the tools to replace the sealed bearings on my Hope hubs on a saturday afternoon when I am riding Sunday. Thats why I have two sets of wheels for the tandem at $750 a time.

And yet to replace an XT hub through wear in years. Haven't had to replace the Hope hubs either but 4 sealed bearings at about $20 a time is a lot more than $5 for a set of loose balls on the XT.
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Old 03-05-10, 03:55 PM
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Seeing as we have about the same builds, XL, I agree w/chelboed that good strong wheels are your 1st priority.
I have been running ZTR Flows w/36 spokes - 2.5 yrs on the rear & hasn't needed any re-tensioning yet. Built by a very reputable builder, which is key.

'Durability > Lightweight' is my thinking when I build my bikes.


I'd suspect your BB/cranks to be next in line....
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Old 03-05-10, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
Cup and ball bearings are easy to service and replace. Don't have the tools to replace the sealed bearings on my Hope hubs on a saturday afternoon when I am riding Sunday. Thats why I have two sets of wheels for the tandem at $750 a time.

And yet to replace an XT hub through wear in years. Haven't had to replace the Hope hubs either but 4 sealed bearings at about $20 a time is a lot more than $5 for a set of loose balls on the XT.
I guarantee you the sealed Hope bearings will outlast XT bearings more than x4.
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Old 03-05-10, 11:48 PM
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^^ But the false economy of it gives you some pocket coin for some pie - - which seems to be what most of the 50+ers really care about - - god knows why.
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Old 03-07-10, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chelboed
I guarantee you the sealed Hope bearings will outlast XT bearings more than x4.

wrong.. the sealed bearings in any decent hub will outlast shimano bearings by at least 10x.

And btw.. its just as easy to replace sealed bearings as service cup and cone bearings, if not easier.
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