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Does upgrading parts noticeably change the way your ride feels?

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Does upgrading parts noticeably change the way your ride feels?

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Old 10-06-14, 08:10 AM
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closdubois
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Does upgrading parts noticeably change the way your ride feels?

I have a 2006 Redline Monocog with mostly stock parts. In a stroke of good timing, I got a birthday gift card as well as some ebay coupons, and ended up buying a new thomson stem (50mm), a new truvativ carbon flat bar (700mm), and a used thomson seatpost. All in all, I ended up spending only around $40 of my own money Everything is currently in transit....

Should I expect some huge change in the way the bike feels during rides? Or is this stuff usually just noticeable to the super keen rider with a discerning tailbone? The thomson parts I got because of the strength durability I've read so much about. I did shorten the stem to about half the size of the stock one and increased the handlebar length by 60mm, so I'm thinking the change I'll notice will be more in the handling. Ohh wait I also bought some Ergo GS1's, so adding those will be awesome. Crap, now I can't even justify my own post, as I know at least the handlebars will feel awesome....

but what if I can't notice much of a difference elsewhere? Have you ever upgraded parts only to think, "eh, not that big of a difference,"?

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Old 10-06-14, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by closdubois View Post
I did shorten the stem to about half the size of the stock one
What was your rationale to shorten the stem by half? That will drastically change the way the bike feels - both how it handles and how you feel riding it.

As far as parts where you don't tell much of a difference, as you said seatpost, stem, and handlebars are the biggest where you don't notice much unless you are making changes that also impact the bike fit (i.e., different length stem, bars, etc.).
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Old 10-06-14, 09:25 AM
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I'd read in a couple of different places that widening your handlebars is a big help as far as handling and steering, but that it usually helps to shorten the stem as well. I figured since I was getting new bars and had extra $ I'd get a shorter stem at the same time.
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Old 10-06-14, 09:28 AM
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I would agree widening your handlebars helps some with bike control. From a fit standpoint, wider bars will bring you closer to the bars (your hands are spread out more) so if you want to keep the same fit you can go with a shorter stem. Cutting the length of the stem in half just seemed extreme to me. Give it a shot and see how you like it but don't be afraid to swap that stem for a little longer one if it doesn't feel right.
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Old 10-06-14, 10:36 AM
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Cockpit changes like you've done will definitely make a noticeable difference - - likely for the better. Your choice of "wide" bar is a bit conservative but the fact that its carbon will give you an improved feel; and the shorter stem is in line with the way things are trending these days. Both upgrades in concert should make your handling feel more nimble and give you a better sense of control.
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Old 10-06-14, 11:42 AM
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You are upgrading a 2006 bike. Ask yourself if you are really that attached to the bike that you want to spend money on changes. That being said, I had a 1994 Hardtail that I loved and kept it upgraded until 2011. The frame fit me perfectly. The best change that I made was wheels and shock. The difference were really appreciated. But when I got a newer bike (I always buy used from a trusted source) I really like the difference.
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Old 10-06-14, 07:52 PM
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I went from a 110 mm stem to a 90 mm stem and from 620 mm bars to 690 mm bars. Noticeable difference all around. I like the way it feels/handles now better than before. The only reason i upgraded the stem was to get a stiffer 4 bolt clamp vs my cheap 2 bolt clamp that came with my bike. I also upgraded from square taper BB to race face cranks and external BB. I don't think I can feel the difference but It's nice to know I got better quality stuff plus Race Face looks a lot cooler. But I also went to SS so it was nice to get a crankset where I could swap chainrings. My OE crankset was suntour and had riveted chainrings so to me it was a no brainer.
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Old 10-07-14, 03:27 PM
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OP,, you like and ride the bike stock ?
You said the stem and bar change was good so,,,
Now you know that a better fitting bike rides better, what's next ?

IMO things that make a mountain bike that old better, assuming It's In good working order and needs nothing rebuilt,
and not break the bank are in this order:

1: Better Tires.............


ok I'm done.
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Old 10-09-14, 12:37 PM
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Actually I don't know why I said mostly stock. I meant I hadn't changed any parts myself, but the original owner had added Avid disc brakes, front suspension fork, and fsa headset. I've only had the bike for a year and a half, but I really like how it rides. I just wanted to upgrade some parts and stuff before I go on a camping/riding trip to Colorado Bend park.

I'm actually looking at some Sun Ringle MTX33 rims with Panaracer Ramapge 2.35 tires that some guy is selling. Anyone have any experience with those?

Here's the bike before I changed the handlebar and stem.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
OP,, you like and ride the bike stock ?
You said the stem and bar change was good so,,,
Now you know that a better fitting bike rides better, what's next ?

IMO things that make a mountain bike that old better, assuming It's In good working order and needs nothing rebuilt,
and not break the bank are in this order:

1: Better Tires.............


ok I'm done.
Thats a nice looking bike you got there. I got to admit it all depends on who you talk to I guess. In general there is a point with any bike that you can have more in it than what it is worth but I like to believe that if you really enjoy it and if the frame is/was a decent frame then upgrade and satisfy yourself. My Jamis was an entry level 600 dollar XC bike. As you go up in price you get better components on "basically" the same frame (sort of) with the exception of a tapered HT. You go from a standard 6061 frame to a 6061 frame of the same geometry except they are "super plastic" formed frames. So as far as I am concerned (and I am not a hardcore rider FYI) upgrading to better parts on this frame is still going to be a nice ride. Take recommendations but don't be afraid to "enjoy the ride" as my LBS likes to say when you shop there. Good luck.

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Old 10-09-14, 07:01 PM
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Tires, wheels, and suspension? Absolutely, especially tires.

Going from an XT to an XTR derailleur? Probably not.
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Old 10-11-14, 01:31 AM
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Handlebar and stem for a better fit, The baseline, how I fit a bike to me:

If I am in ride position when I look down and see the front axle BEHIND the handle bars I need a shorter stem
If the axle is INFRONT of the bars I need a longer stem..
Shorter stems speed up steering, too short means too twitchy, longer slows steering and stretches the rider out a little making a cramped bike
a bit more open.

Wider bars lower the rider some and open the lungs a bit more. Most In the know shorten the stem when going to wider bars.
My Hard tail 29er came stock with 680 mm bars and a 90mm stem with a 6 degree rise.
I moved to 730mm bars and a 70mm stem with 17 degree rise,,,,,
That fit me.
My new full squish, stock was 710mm bars and a 90mm stem 6 degree rise.
MY sweet spot is the same bars and a 90 stem with 17 degree rise.
pulling the stem UP also brings the bars a little closer to me, say 1/2 the bar diameter like maybe a 70 mm stem would
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Old 11-12-14, 10:33 AM
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So I've been riding my bike with the new parts and it feels awesome. It doesn't look as sexy as I thought, but the grips and the seatpost really make the ride more comfortable. Steering with the shorter stem /longer bars took me a little while to get used to, but I like the way it feels now. Heading to Colorado Bend state park in a couple of weeks to do some riding there. Can't wait!

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Old 11-13-14, 01:50 AM
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A lighter wheel set and tires will make the biggest performance difference on any bike. Of course, it's one of the most expensive upgrades.
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Old 12-06-14, 06:43 PM
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^fyi your seatpost is backwards.

Well it can be used like that, but it puts your center of gravity closer to the front of the bike, I.E. triathlete position, But they usually have long stems and handlebars. Not what you want when you are on rough terrain.
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Old 12-07-14, 05:54 AM
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Op pay attention on climbs.

A shorter stem means you need to get your chest lower up front to climb, My testing of a 60mm stem from a 90mm both 6 degree rise killed my climbing.
I was kissing the bars and still the front end wanted to pop up. I got a dropper post on now, all problems solved, and yeah turn the seat post around and try it.
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Old 12-08-14, 09:03 AM
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Oh yeah, setback

I'll have to adjust that, although I remember it was rather difficult putting it together. Maybe it's because I may or may not have been puffing on some greens at the time.
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Old 12-10-14, 08:25 PM
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The biggest upgrade bang for me was the fork, low end Manitou to a Fox F100 with Terralogic. But that's expensive. Biggest bang for the buck, upgrade to tubeless. Happened by accident for me, but once I tried it, I'm sold. After that tires can help, wheels not so much, especially considering how much they cost. Upgrading the drivetrain from Alivio/Deore mix to XT (Yawn), looks cool, shifting a little crisper, not that much bang for the buck. Upgraded crank from Hollowtech I, Deore level to 780 XT, hardly noticed, but it looks way cool!
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Old 12-11-14, 08:26 AM
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I have a hardtail and changed to all carbon bars stem and seatpost. The only thing that really changed was the feel of the ride because of the seatpost but even that was pretty minor. ( frame is carbon also)
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Old 12-11-14, 05:16 PM
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The unbeatable best way to change the ride is to work out more,

Drop some belly fat, do crunches, make it to the Thousand a week club,, that will change your ride...
Never stretch cold, ride the bike a few miles while ramping up the power, then get off and stretch warm muscles.
If your arms and hands get tired or numb, work on your upper chest, push-em-ups till you cry

Feed the machine the right stuff,, you figure this one out.

Or keep stuffing your face while your sitting there surfing the net and getting soft looking for bike jewelry,,err upgrade parts XD
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