UKC

/ pimp my MTB

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 18 Dec 2017
I’ve had my mtb for 2 years now, and I’m thinking about whether it’s time to replace/upgrade parts of it. It’s a trek marlin 7, 2016 model; it seems to be fine overall for what I’m using it for, which is mostly cross country on bridleways/tracks around west/north Yorkshire, and occasional forays onto the red trail at gisburne and the like.

First in line are the gear shifts- I’ve never been that impressed by them (shimano Altus m370, as far as I can tell), and they’ve developed a tendency to ‘stick’, meaning I lose gears. I’ve lubricated the wires connecting to the derailleurs which fixes it, but it seizes up again fairly quickly and I wonder whether upgrading the system would be a better answer. Does this sound like a reasonable move?

And I also wonder about the front suspension; the fork is a SR Suntour XCM, would I notice much of a difference with a better fork? I don’t want to be spending money for the sake of it, but I have found I’m using the bike every week, maybe 2-3 times a week in the summer, so if it would improve the experience then it would be worth it,

cheers
gregor
alx on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

None of these suggestions will pimp your ride.

You need to think more along the lines of this, (https://tinyurl.com/ycehyszd), but with gold, lots of gold. Men and women painted in gold to follow you, leading your white tiger and copious amounts of Hennessy XO Brandy.

If this is too much to start with, deflate your tyres by half to give you that plush ride feel and cycle on the pavements whilst playing Don’t Believe the Hype by Public Enemy on your smart phone. You can buy one of those cheap wall clocks from Argos and wear it around your neck.
gethin_allen on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

You can get drawn into the upgrade bug where you convince yourself that the new parts will transform your ride when in reality there will be very little difference.
Regarding gear cables, many people consider them to be disposable service parts to be swapped out regularly, if you're having issues try swapping them out first.
aldo56 - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Change your gear cables and get a dropper post. Likely the best upgrade!
Matt Schwarz on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Think of the contact points. New grips or pedal? Shorter stem/ wider bar to change your position a bit? Tubeless tires? A Tire upgrade would reduce the weight and possibly increase cornering grip and decrease rolling resistance. I upgraded to some decent schwable ones a while back. The compounds are so much better than original rubber, huge increase in performance!
LastBoyScout on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

As already said, start with new cables, both inners AND outers - that'll make a world of difference. When you install them, I always dribble some chain oil into the outers for extra lube. If you do them yourself, you'll need a good pair of cutters, or you'll make a right mess of the ends.

If you upgrade, you'll be limited on choice for 9-speed, but worth checking on eBay for them, as a lot of riders seem to be swapping out old perfectly good 3x9 groupsets for 1x11. Ditto rear mech - I picked up a barely used XT one for not too much.

Bin those forks - my sister had them on her old bike and they were crap (although hers were a few years older). Good time to look online for an upgrade. I'm afraid I'm a bit out of touch on forks to give you any more advice on specifics.

mangoletse - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

It's also worth (if you decide to replace the forks) giving them a lube and 'service' even when brand new. I was recommended to do this in the past but didn't really think it necessary.

However, I had to take apart my Rockshox to reduce the travel - and although they'd not had a lot of use and were in now way dirty / worn, I was shocked at how little lube was inside them - literally a dab of grease which obviously 'ticked the box' on the production line. Not a lot of oil either IIRC.
Rigid Raider - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

As others have written a replacement gear cable outer at the rear derailleur will transform the shifting; they get rusted up and manky and shifting deteriorates. Ask your bike shop to cut you a metre of gear cable outer into the same lengths as you have at the RD and change that cable outer every 2-3 months. Don't forget to get some cable end caps.
dsh - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to aldo56:

> Change your gear cables and get a dropper post. Likely the best upgrade!

And new tires. If your drive train is completely worn then switching to a 1x gearing system is possibly worth it too. Anything else you might aswell wait until you need a new bike.
gethin_allen on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to dsh:

> And new tires. If your drive train is completely worn then switching to a 1x gearing system is possibly worth it too. Anything else you might aswell wait until you need a new bike.

A 1X system on a 9 speed isn't going have the best range and I'm not sure you can get a can you get 9 speed clutched rear mech?
I'm a bit anti 1X as on both my MTB and road bikes I use pretty much the whole block and chainset.
Also, a normal setup isn't exactly heavy. If I was really concerned about weight I'd be OK binning the 22 (on the MTB triple) and I'd be happy with an old school shifter for the front mech.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to alx:

That is the best answer I’ve had to any question on here...!

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

So, in summary-

1/ new gear cables- definitely

2/ new tires- also

3/ dropper post- will look into

4/ new forks- the jury looks out on this one. If I was to, any suggestions as to where to start..?
Monk - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

As others have said, new gear cable inners and outers will fix the shifting for about a fiver. Those forks aren't great, and even a change to basic Rockshox (e.g. XC30s) will make a noticable difference in my experience. A Dropper post like the exaform speedup is a bargain and makes a difference to riding on changeable terrain. Other stuff like changing to 1x costs more than you'd expect unless your whole drive train is worn and actually needs replacing, but you are still entering the realm where a new bike is better value than loads of upgrades (wasteful as that sounds).
dsh - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> A 1X system on a 9 speed isn't going have the best range and I'm not sure you can get a can you get 9 speed clutched rear mech?

> I'm a bit anti 1X as on both my MTB and road bikes I use pretty much the whole block and chainset.

> Also, a normal setup isn't exactly heavy. If I was really concerned about weight I'd be OK binning the 22 (on the MTB triple) and I'd be happy with an old school shifter for the front mech.

I wasn't suggesting going 1x9, I said if his drive train is shot and he needs a new one, not just removing a chain ring for no reason, that would be daft. It's also not about weight, it's about shifting and practicality over changing terrain. I needed a complete new drive train so went 1x10 from 2x10, and it's nice just having one lever for the dropper and one rear shifter and not having to worry about a third. No chain suck either. It really depends what terrain you ride. I wouldn't bother if the existing drive train is fine though.
charliesdad - on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

General rule is to replace things which are worn or causing obvious problems, (think that's really called maintenance, not pimping!), but avoid upgrades of things which work. You are usually better off putting that money aside for a better bike next time around.
gethin_allen on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to dsh:

My point as much as anything is that he'd need a new rear wheel if he was to go 1x10 and 1x9 isn't practical.
Also, how often do people really wear of rear mechs? I've broken a few but it's taken me 6 years of commuting daily on my road bike to wear out a crap old sora mech and I very rarely clean that bike. Mostly it's been the desire to get shiny new stuff.
And I don't see how going 1x helps that much with chain suck when considering the whole point of narrow wide chain rings and not needing shifting ramps on the chain rings is that the chain fits closer with the chain and therefore if it's all skanky or has bashed and bent teeth you'll get worse chain suck. If it's a real problem you're better getting one of those little whatsits that cable ties to the chainstay and dislodges the chain if it does get stuck on the ring.
gethin_allen on 18 Dec 2017
In reply to charliesdad:

> General rule is to replace things which are worn or causing obvious problems, (think that's really called maintenance, not pimping!), but avoid upgrades of things which work. You are usually better off putting that money aside for a better bike next time around.

I agree with this certainly, as a yoof I had this strange idea that adding say a £300 fork to a £1k bike made a £1.3k bike whereas in reality the bike it just meant that when I wanted a new bike I had £300 less to spend.
garycrocker - on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

He wouldn't need a new rear wheel. A 10 speed cassette fits fine on a 9 hub, I've done it. He would need a narrow wide chain ring and new chain and new shifters and a new rear mech.
gethin_allen on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to garycrocker:

> He wouldn't need a new rear wheel. A 10 speed cassette fits fine on a 9 hub, I've done it. He would need a narrow wide chain ring and new chain and new shifters and a new rear mech.

I though the 10 speed freehub was different, turns out it's the 10-11 speed that are different. ah well, I still wouldn't go 1X.
dsh - on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:
That's with SRAM, Shimano are interchangeable.

Like I said it depends where you mostly ride, for me it works really well, and my shit was worn anyway cos it was 4 years old.
Post edited at 15:40
garycrocker - on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

1 x absolutely rocks.
Graham Booth on 20 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
Just buy everything Hope related

Brakes, Hubs, headset, cock ring et al
Post edited at 09:28
L ThomasSwe - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

My suggestion:
Sell the Trek and buy a new bike. The cost for upgrading your bike will be much more than it ´s worth.
I ´m in the same position as you (i have a 2013 Merida) and it will be cheaper to buy a new bike wich have all the upgrades from the beginning than upgrade my old bike.

I will probably buy some bike from Canyon wich i feel is value for money.
IMHO.

ChrisJD on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Buy a new bike, budget 1200 to 1500.

That'll get you a lot of great bike (hardtail).

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to ChrisJD:

This thread is back from the dead!

 

what am I getting for 1200 quid? What would I notice was different? 

duchessofmalfi - on 01 Feb 2018

Replace the chainset and BB for something with outboard bearings and a hollow crank like shimano hollowtech II.  The improvement is significant.

 

You need to change the cables, grease the shifters and service the derailleurs, assuming you've done that and the shifting is still rubbish check they're not bent or worn and replace if required. If the front one is shifting badly check the chain rings aren't bent and the teeth are good.  

New forks are expensive so the question is is the rest of the bike worth it? if you then better forks are, well, better!

 

ChrisJD on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Something like this:

https://www.alpkit.com/sonder/bikes/sonder-transmitter-nx1-Revelation

Though I wouldn't go for plus tyres

ChrisJD on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> What would I notice was different? 

More smiles per mile

alx on 03 Feb 2018
In reply to ChrisJD:

Perhaps this instead? You and a couple of Bon homies could deliver some mean bass at a moments notice.

https://goo.gl/images/8uQSeu

Ridge - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to charliesdad:

> General rule is to replace things which are worn or causing obvious problems, (think that's really called maintenance, not pimping!), but avoid upgrades of things which work. You are usually better off putting that money aside for a better bike next time around.

I'd agree with this. In the case of the OPs XCM forks, I have these on an old 2011 Cube Analog. They're not great, but are good enough for what the OP is doing. As there's no oil damping it's a very easy job to remove the stanchions, clean and regrease,(and scotchbrite off the rust...), and put back together to get them working as good as new.

Certainly better to put the money ito a higher spec new or second hand bike.

ChrisJD on 13 Feb 2018

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Just out Sondor review here:

http://www.mbr.co.uk/reviews/hardtail/sonder-transmitter

JLS on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to ChrisJD:

Do the chains really stay on with those 1x11 bikes?

In the old days, running a single ring on the road was a bit hit and miss.

When ever I did it, I used a small chain guide which was rather like a very stripped-away front mech....

Ah! A quick google suggests there is a modern equivalent...

https://www.tredz.co.uk/.RSP-Mino-1-Top-Band-On-Chainguide_92067.htm?sku=321590&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsJ6Guamj2QIV6JPtCh1PXwN0EAQYAyABEgJU9_D_BwE

 

ChrisJD on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to JLS:

> Do the chains really stay on with those 1x11 bikes?

Yes, the narrow-wide ring combined with clutched-rear derailleur do an incredible job at keeping the chain on.

That being said, on my full suss I run a passive MRP guide and bash guard (other brands available). My chain might come of once or twice a year, and that's once or twice too many.

The bash guard gets well used. 

Post edited at 16:56
JLS on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to ChrisJD:

>"clutched-rear derailleur"

Ah, right. That technology had passed me by.  Sounds like a good solution to the problem...

Edit: The narrow/wide chainring, I'm less convinced by.

Post edited at 10:59
ChrisJD on 14 Feb 2018

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