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Trek 4500 Upgrade Uncertainty

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Trek 4500 Upgrade Uncertainty

Old 04-23-12, 01:34 AM
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mroll
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Trek 4500 Upgrade Uncertainty

I have one of these, but without disc brakes. I bought it used (but mint) for a very good price, and it has served me well over the past few years as my first 'good' bike. I use it on the trails every now and then, but it is also a primary mode of transportation (even in the Canadian Winter!)

Two things happened recently, causing me to contemplate how to proceed with this bike. First, some wonderful individual decided to take ownership of my seat and seat post. Second, some hapless fool (me) stripped a crank while trying to get at the bb. It happens. So, time to spend some money.

Here's what I'm thinking about:

Needs (because stolen)
CAD$35.00 - (56% off CAD$79.95) - Easton Havoc Seatpost '09 350mm X 31.6mm
CAD$49.95 - (17% off CAD$60.00) - WTB Rocket V Race Saddle

Need (because I broke it)
CAD$89.00 - (53% off CAD$189.99) - Shimano LX FC-M582 Crankset 170mm, 22-32-44 (my current crankset only goes up to 42, so this will let me go faster!)

Wants
CAD$29.99 - (14% off CAD$35.00) - Jagwire Ripcord Diy Brake Kit Black/Carbon
CAD$51.00 - (26% off CAD$69.00) - Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brake '10
CAD$25.00 - (Not on sale ) - Sram PG 850 8 Speed Cassette 11-32T

Sales Tax: CAD$36.39
Shipping: CAD$26.76

Total: CAD $343.09

I'm also going to buy a new chain from my LBS, but that feels like regular 'service' rather than an upgrade. Might also buy Cassette there. I am resisting the urge to think about changing derailleurs and shifters. I know the wheelset and fork (perhaps the most important parts on the bike besides the frame) aren't great, but I can wait.

I'm looking for opinions on these upgrades. How good or bad is the Trek frame? I'm basically looking to see if any of the components here far outclass (or underclass) the rest of the bike; are these sensible upgrades? Considering I got the bike for $300 (in MINT condition, I swear), it's hopefully easy to see why I'm second guessing spending $350 on the bike. I wonder if I'd be better off buying a new (or new used) bike. I could probably wait a bit and go up a pricing bracket, who knows?

Another possible factor: as much as I love this bike, it's actually too big for me. There's nearly no standover clearance. It hasn't been a problem yet - I consider myself to be a pretty talented wipeout artist (!). But seriously, the geometry probably isn't optimal. It works great on the road and for what I do with it on the trails, but maybe I say that because I don't have much recent experience on any other bike.

Thanks in advance for any insights! I realize these 'should I/shouldn't I upgrade' threads are a dime a dozen, so thanks for taking a look at this one.
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Old 04-23-12, 03:26 AM
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jimc101
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You havn't mentioned the wheels, as the bike is non-disc as you noted, then it probably doesn't have disc wheels, if new wheels are needed, just get a new bike, as the wheels will make it a cost ineffective upgrade.

For the crank, what do you mean by putting a 44t chainring on the 'will let me go faster'? this will only be the case when you can push a 44/11, and you won't be doing that off road much. If using on road, then it will be a benefit.

For your frame, as you have noted it's too big, this should be the decider that the whole project should be canceled before you start, and it would be better to get a bike with a frame that actually fits. This will mean that you will be able to ride it as designed, and will be able to get more out of the bike.
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Old 04-23-12, 08:01 AM
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Too big a frame on an MTB means it's time to thing about a new bike. I would fix up the old bike, but on an ebay budget. Buy a used seatpost and saddle for cheap off of the 'bay. If you can do the crank work your self, look for a used, inexpensive crank. Shimano Hollowtech 1, non-XT cranks usually sell for cheap, many with the BB included. I paid $25 locally, years ago for an "LX" hollowtech with BB. They may be cheaper now. I'm thinking you may be able to budget fix that bike for around $60CAD. If you have to have the old crank removed by an LBS, then add that to the cost.
Then I'd start saving for a new or newer bike. I would not settle for another bike with a frame that I thought was too large.
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Old 04-23-12, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
You havn't mentioned the wheels, as the bike is non-disc as you noted, then it probably doesn't have disc wheels, if new wheels are needed, just get a new bike, as the wheels will make it a cost ineffective upgrade.
Thanks for mentioning that - I should have mentioned that I've got disc hubs and disc ready frame.

Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
For the crank, what do you mean by putting a 44t chainring on the 'will let me go faster'? this will only be the case when you can push a 44/11, and you won't be doing that off road much. If using on road, then it will be a benefit.
Yes - I did mean for road use. The bike gets quite a lot of road miles (I swap in slick tires), and I find the gears aren't fast enough for me sometimes. Trails on the weekends!

Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
I would fix up the old bike, but on an ebay budget. Buy a used seatpost and saddle for cheap off of the 'bay. If you can do the crank work your self, look for a used, inexpensive crank. Shimano Hollowtech 1, non-XT cranks usually sell for cheap, many with the BB included. I paid $25 locally, years ago for an "LX" hollowtech with BB. They may be cheaper now. I'm thinking you may be able to budget fix that bike for around $60CAD. If you have to have the old crank removed by an LBS, then add that to the cost.
This is good advice. I looked half-heartedly for used parts before, but somehow figured it wouldn't be wise to get a pre-worn crankset and bottom bracket. I'll take a look again! At the end of the day, the bike is too big, and it wouldn't be wise to spend too much on it...

Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
For your frame, as you have noted it's too big, this should be the decider that the whole project should be canceled before you start, and it would be better to get a bike with a frame that actually fits. This will mean that you will be able to ride it as designed, and will be able to get more out of the bike.
Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
Too big a frame on an MTB means it's time to thing about a new bike. [...]
Then I'd start saving for a new or newer bike. I would not settle for another bike with a frame that I thought was too large.
Thanks jimc101 and roccobike - guess I just needed to hear someone else say this to me decisively. The little voice in my head wasn't loud enough...
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