nsmb-2014-sc-bronson-20.jpg?w=1600
EDITORIAL

Buy The Bike You Already Own - A Spring Service Story

Words Andrew Major
Photos As Noted
Date Feb 12, 2020

The Basic Concept

The math is simple: The cash you can get for your old bike (X) versus the cost of the new rig you're lusting for (Y) equals a pallet of cash ($$$$). The concept is basic: Can a percentage of that cash make your haggard old bike as great, or even greater than the fresh new rig you've been flirting with?

I'm going to present the argument, for your consideration, that it absolutely can. The examples I've put together below are bikes that friends have owned or currently own, and that I've ridden, but this piece could have easily been twenty bikes long without a single dud.

*Cover shot: Morgan Taylor

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All my examples are older model full suspension bikes, but if it's your frame that's roached and the parts have some life then transferring everything over to a hardtail frame is another option to use what you already own. Photo: Dave Smith

My premise assumes the frames in question have plenty of life in them. The hardest part was picking the trim to compare, so to make it easy I went with bikes that NSMB has tested.

I've gone deep on my examples right down to the spec choices I'd make to get these older bikes running better than their modern counterparts for less money and I fully appreciate that these may not be the choices you would make. Please don't overlook the concept just because you'd choose a Super Deluxe over a Cane Creek Inline or Guide R brakes over Magura MT Trail Sports. Just sub in your performance-per-dollar favourites.

Pre-Ramble

Our Beaver-Bucks are worth around 3/4 of a Green Back, skilled wages in Taiwan have increased, marketing costs are rising as mountain bike geometry has matured and the tech has plateaued to the point that throwing batteries at bike components seems to be all that's left. I hear riders complaining about bike prices all the time.

You may say that's nothing new, but it's no longer just folks complaining that they can't afford a limited production Ferrari. There is an increasing number of 8k and 9k bicycles featuring mid-level drivetrains, so-so suspension products, and under-gunned brake systems and, to be specific for a moment, I'm shocked by the idea that some folks are paying over 6k for a bike with SRAM's budget NX Eagle drivetrain, throw-away wheels, and Fox's lackluster Rhythm suspension. It's a lot of money for a bike that's not ready to shred out of the box.

Another side of the argument is that mountain bikes are better than ever and the price is the price and folks are going to pay what the market will bear. As we tell my five-year-old, "you get what you get, and you don't get upset." Mountain bikers are used to having to spring extra down the line for key upgrades like rear hubs that don't implode, tires with real sidewall support, and big brakes for steep janky trails.

With all that out of the way, let's talk about the bike you already own.

Andrew Honzo NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

Suntour's Durolux RC2 clears big rubber, is easy to work on, and I haven't managed to get the CSU to creak. It's a great replacement fork on a budget. Photo: Andrew Major

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Big brakes; big smiles. Powerful budget options, like the Magura MT Trail Sport, can completely change the capabilities of a bike. Photo: AM

There are plenty of reasons to buck up for a new rig. Maybe you'd like a different wheel size. Or the current bike doesn't fit you properly. Or, it's totally roached in which case please consider karma before flipping it to some trusting new rider who doesn't know better and/or thinks your chainring tattoo is sweet. It could be that it doesn't suit the type of riding you're doing anymore, or it was a starter rig you've progressed beyond, or you hate the colour. Perhaps it's boring and you're switching to a hardtail, or it's harsh so you're switching to a full suspension bike. God forbid it has some proprietary part that's no longer supported and can't be replaced.

For argument's sake, let's say that none of those caveats apply but the new bike bug is going around and your old rig is running a bit dumpy these days. Hopefully, it's paid for itself a hundred times over in terms of memorable experiences, but either way when you post it on the buy-and-sell there's a good chance it's worth more to you than it is to someone else. The used market is a buyer's market.

Drilling Down

Some of the bike examples I've listed below have an exit hole for a Stealth dropper post cable and some do not. On a frame that doesn't, drilling a hole will void any warranty left to the original owner, even if the failure is nowhere near the hole. There are some decent, fixed routing, non-Stealth dropper posts these days; however, if it's me the Dremel or drill is coming out every time. Especially on a carbon frame where I know repair is an option if it breaks elsewhere.

Just don't be 'that guy' who finds a crack on the head tube of their bike while in the middle of drilling a hole in the seat tube and is then pissed off at that guy from NSMB.com for giving them the idea. Sympathy forthcoming will be zero.

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I've done a couple frames now but for my own titanium beauty I went to a professional. Jordan who was previously the head mechanic at Cove Bikes did the Stealth routing on my Explosif for me. Photo: AM

2014 Trek Remedy 29

Being six model years old now, the Remedy 29 predates Boost, Knockblock, and Trek's move to internal headsets which means that a -2° Works Components Angleset was absolutely meant for this bike. Let the record show that it will kick the head tube angle from a reasonable 67° out to a fully modern 65° and as long as the owner stays around the axle-to-crown height (AC) of the stock 140mm fork that will actually steepen up the seat tube angle a touch and lengthen the Reach a bit at the same time.

There is a legion of possible replacements for the Trek's DRCV trunnion mount system and best of all, the swap to a regular high volume air shock makes these machines come alive. Stick with an inline option though or measure VERY, VERY, VERY carefully because shock reservoir to downtube clearance has been paper-thin on some customs I've seen.

Like most bikes built around a 2x drivetrain, the Remedy is fairly active pedaling once the double is swapped out for a 28-32t narrow-wide ring up front. I'm putting myself way out here for a minute, but in a couple of years when there's a massive industry-wide blowback against bikes with tonnes of anti-squat because, and I'm pre-quoting, "what's the big deal about having to engage my climb switch, I want my bike to feel awesome on the way down," the rider with their slacked-out 2014 Remedy 29'er is going to look a full decade ahead of the curve.

Trek Remedy 29 NSMB Kaz.jpg

Now that Trunnion mount is everywhere replacement options for the DRCV are legion. Photo : Kaz Yamamura

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Ditch the tall saddle and add 2cm of dropper post no problem. Frame protection and room for a water bottle inside the front triangle.

Trek Remedy 29 NSMB Kaz 3.jpg

I wish every bike had a press-in headset (Angleset here we come!). I LOVE the brushed finish of this particular Trek.

A fresh DVO Topaz 3 Trunnion mount rear shock and the Angleset are going to cost around 600 USD together. Add a 10-spd SunRace 11-42t cassette that will work with what's left of the XT drivetrain after replacing the front ring with a 28t Narrow-Wide ring. Some fresh rubber is also required, a 150mm or 170mm X-Fusion Manic dropper post, and a set of four-piston brakes, a wider bar, and most likely a bearing kit for the frame. That's a fair amount of money but even paying someone else's labour to install the brakes and bearing kit it's under 1500 USD.

Assuming the bike's in rideable condition, without putting a dime into it, let's say it's worth 1500 USD on the used market. The closest bike in Trek's lineup is the 66.5° HTA 140/130 Fuel EX 8 29 Aluminum which will set you back 3500 USD with a GX Eagle build, Deore brakes, and a totally blah Fox Rhythm fork.

With 500 USD left in the bank (Y-X=$$$), I'm awarding a strong win to the rebuilt 2014 with better brakes and suspension and arguably better geometry to boot.

2013 Specialized Enduro

A 2011 or 2012 Enduro in good condition makes this math even easier, but I specifically chose the 2013 Enduro because it's one of the best examples of the breed. It's the last of their 26" wheeled bikes in a year when 650b started to flood the market and it blew away the 2014 model except for its untrendy wheel size.

With new bearings and a fresh shock rebuild, the pre-anti-squat-obsession Enduro is still one of the nicest feeling 160mm bikes you can ride down a hill on. This bike ushered in the SRAM 1x drivetrain era a full seven model years ago and it's still ready to party.

Speaking of drivetrains... The 11-42t XX1 cassettes seem to last forever except for the aluminum big cog but you'll spin a bit easier with a 44t replacement from Wolf Tooth. It's still not Eagle, but along with a 28t BlackSpire 76mm BCD N/W ring in the front you won't need to skip any climbs.

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No Angleset compatibility of Stealth routing but I'm not worried. The 75° seat tube angle gives me a little wiggle room for a longer fork up front. Photo: Stuart Kernaghan

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I'm going all out with a BikeYoke linkage and having the CCDB Air rebuilt as a coil for 1/2 the price of a new shock. Photo: SK

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It's not Eagle, but with a 26t or 28t 76-BCD ring up front and a 10-44t rear setup I'm not shirking any climbs. Photo: SK

Finding enough data to come up with a price was tricky but these sold for 9000 USD in 2013 so even with the 26" wheels let's say that one in good condition could fetch 3000 USD. That's probably too generous? I had a heck of a time choosing a comparable as the Enduro has gone full 29" wheels and SRAM's top-end drivetrain now has batteries but for the sake of putting something out there I have the 150mm travel (vs. 165mm Enduro) Stumpjumper Pemberton Edition 27", with SRAM GX and Fox Performance suspension, Magura MT7 brakes, and DT 350 rear hub guts for 7520 USD. The difference (Y-X=$$$$) is, conservatively, 4520 USD.

The air can, body, and seal head of my Cane Creek CCDB Air shock are probably cooked but the actual guts will still be good so for half the price of a new shock you can convert it to a CCDB Coil. Grab a BikeYoke yoke so you can use a regular eyelet and all told we're at around 500 USD. Some careful measurements will yield the best choice in a 150-170mm dropper post in terms of insertion depth and overall length, and some gold Cura4 brakes are going to be great for around 500 USD including rotors.

My big expense with the Enduro, in terms of giving it a fighting chance with the new Stumpy, is a fresh 27" fork and a 27" rim laced to the front hub so I have access to the newest and best rubber up front. Let's say I grab a Cane Creek Helm Coil at 900 USD to match things up and replace both tires. I'll do a bearing kit all around, service the hubs, and buy a fresh handlebar and grips because mine have been around awhile, and spring for a new chain to go with the ring and cog. Depending on the trim there will still be a couple of grand in the bank, better suspension products, and on XX1 shifting rather than GX.

Santa Cruz Bronson V.1

Introduced in 2013, the Bronson I was Santa Cruz's first 27" wheeled bike. I wish there was a dropper post with forward-offset, or better yet reversible offset, that I could recommend for this build but at least it's pre-drop-in headset so the Works -2° headset has the HTA sitting at 65° and is pumping up that wheelbase at the same time.

Most folks I know who bought the gen-1, 2013-2015, Bronson chose to upsize so the Reach isn't terrible. The one thing that's going to hold things back a bit here is that the suspension works best with a 34-36t chainring which has me looking at Garbaruk XD cassette options if the 11-spd XO1 drivetrain is still running, and any other number of options including an HG freehub and SunRace cassette if more work is needed.

What to do with the rear shock will depend on what's currently mounted on the Bronson. If it's a FOX CTD shock in good shape then a re-tune and an EVOL air can upgrade is the way to go. If it's a the CCDB Air that came on a lot of the Bronsons at the time, the coil conversion is again a possibility.

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I know, I know. If I mention that Works Angleset one more time, but I wouldn't buy a bike with drop-in headset bearing. Headset cups mean choice. Photo: Morgan Taylor

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If the XO1 drivetrain is still shifting sweetly then how about a wider range cassette? If the derailleur is on its last legs there are still lots of options for SRAM 11-spd around. Photo: MT

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If it's a FOX CTD shock then I'm in for a custom tune and an EVOL air can upgrade. Many of these rigs came with the Cane Creek CCDB Air in which case my temptation would be to swich the shock over to coil.

It's probably also due for a fork and rubber. Personally I'd be very tempted towards a fork that can clear 2.8" rubber along with a wider rim and a 27x2.8" Vigilante on the front of the bike. And some brakes.

Street price on a carbon Bronson I in good shape is maybe 2200 USD, and that's based off of various used models I tracked down and offers that friends have had for theirs. Compare that to the freshest 27" carbon Bronson 3 with an XO1 drivetrain that will run north of 7000 USD. Basically, I have 5800 USD to play with between the two machines and so far I've bought a shock service and upgrade, an Angleset, fresh rubber, and a fork and front rim and any way I slice it, I've got plenty of cash on hand.

Bonus Round: Knolly Podium

You don't care about racing your friends up the hills but you still want to be able to hit all the climbs on the North Shore? You're down for some shuttle runs, various bike park trips, and you're wondering what the best bike is for the money? We've all seen the question in various forms & forums and I'm going to close out this adventure with perhaps an example you've never considered; the Knolly Podium.

With its full-length seat tube, it's a single hole away from being able to run a Stealth dropper post, and the bike climbs surprisingly well with a little help from the climb switch. It's another example of a bike where a lot of them came equipped with the CCDB Air. As with the others, I'd look at having it converted to coil if the guts are worn out, but unlike a lot of used shocks, I'm not worried about having to toss this one away and buy a new one.

Knolly Podium 2010 James.jpg

The Podium has a full-length seat tube and friendly-enough pedaling characteristics that it's really only one small hole and a big cassette away from being a big-travel Enduro bike. Photo: James

It has a Super Boost, 157mm rear end, and a 63.5° HTA. You may choose to make it a little more trail-friendly with a 180mm 650b fork and a rim and tire up front to keep in current rubber for the front wheel. Basically, it's where a lot of long-travel Enduro bikes are going but it doesn't have a water bottle mount in the front triangle.

The used market has positively collapsed for 26" DH bikes and it's possible to find any Podium in really good condition for around 1500-to-2000 USD.


Is Resistance Futile?

I understand the pain. The church of rotating mass has long demanded that we riders crusade to find the Best Bike In The World and short of taking a vow of poverty or answering to a higher power on the home front, it can be nigh impossible to resist the quest for shiny, new, and better.

Please share your up-cycling ideas or experiences below.

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Comments

cooperquinn
+11 nick bitar fartymarty Andrew Major DMVancouver Todd Hellinga khai Andy Eunson AJ Barlas pdxkid Mammal Cr4w Jitensha Kun Carlos Matutes
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 11, 2020, 11:40 p.m.

I have a 2010 Santa Cruz Heckler...  what's your suggested route to make my bike compete with the new Heckler? Is the integrated motor/battery going to be difficult to add, or is there a kit?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+8 taprider Andy Eunson Merwinn Mammal Cr4w Todd Hellinga Carlos Matutes brente
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:34 a.m.

Oh, there’s plenty of do it yourself kits. I know your time to ride is very limited and you don’t have magic natural conditioning so you probably want to skip any middle-ground and go all-in with a plug-in option.

You’ll have to strip down your old Heckler - good opportunity to clean it up - and then when that’s done hang the frame on your wall next to your TV.

Now hit the internet and order a Laz-Y-Boy leather recliner with the biggest motor you can find. Plug that beauty in - endless charges for you and no worries of trail side mechanicals or starting a fire with some of those other sh*t DIY kits.

Now fire up YouTube and load up as many Shore-based GoPro mountain bike videos as you have time for... tape your recliner remote and TV remote to your handlebar and you basically have the AXS experience.

You’re welcome!

[/Hahahahahaha]

Reply

taprider
+2 Andrew Major brente
taprider  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:06 a.m.

I join your laughter  

best ebike rebuttal ever

Reply

cooperquinn
+2 Andrew Major twk
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 12, 2020, 10:12 a.m.

Second question: 

I have a an older (read: worthless on the used market) hardtail sitting around. Geo is reasonable, brakes & fork are totally decent. But the drivetrain is roached, and I don't really have the money to replace it. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO!?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+4 Cr4w Todd Hellinga Carlos Matutes twk
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

Well, Cooper, I would obviously hit the buy-and-sell and pick up the freshest clutch-less 3x10 drivetrain I could find. 

Or... you know... I guess... maybe single speed it...  if you’re into that sort of thing...

Gah. ARE YOU HAPPY?! I hope you’re happy.

Reply

cooperquinn
+3 Andrew Major Timer Bavaria 2.0
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:36 p.m.

Your restraint to not make this whole article into SS evangelism is impressive.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Cooper Quinn
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:49 p.m.

To be completely fair, I’m not an evangelist. It says so right here.

kryten
0
kryten  - Feb. 21, 2020, 1:49 p.m.

This seems like quite a decent deal at $119 for a fresh whole drive train minus cranks.

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=664&products_id=5603

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Feb. 12, 2020, 10:29 a.m.

Tee'd up perfectly by Cooper, and Andrew SMASHES IT out of the park.

Reply

Brocklanders
0
yahs  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:05 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 13, 2020, 10:18 a.m.

You jest, but I picked up a pretty ridiculous bike for a song because the previous owner had gone to the e-version.

Reply

yoonior
+6 twk Merwinn Mammal Cr4w Cam McRae Skyler
yoonior  - Feb. 12, 2020, 4:18 a.m.

It's worth checking possibilities of putting 27,5" front wheel (along with appropriate fork) and making mullet bike for some older 26" with not-so-outdated geometry. 

I currently own Knolly Chilcotin (bought size Large purposely despite being 5'9") and putting 27,5" front wheel along Pike 160 mm fork made ride even better. Geometry is mode modern and bike capabilities improved. HA is 64 deg, reach 450 mm, WB 1195 mm.

Knolly Chilcotin mullet 27,5/26

Reply

Brocklanders
0
yahs  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:10 a.m.

Nice one!

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Feb. 12, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

I did the same with a brand new 2014 Aurum frame I found at NSBS (full warranty), when looking to build up a park bike last winter. 

$600 new frame that could still use most of my parts from the 2007 DH bike reaching retirement. I already needed a new fork (Dorado - thanks Zac), so went 27.5 up front. The 2014 was the last 26" Aurum they made, and the geo is actually super current. The bike runs so nice in the park with the old-school mullet setup.

Reply

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:08 a.m.

Party in the front, MORE party in the back.  I love it.

Reply

mobilenemo
0
christopher tran  - Feb. 21, 2020, 5:28 p.m.

Just curious what's the seat angle like and what length dropper are you running. I'm 5-7 on a medium chili right now and was thinking of finding a large frame and swapping parts over.

Reply

Timer
+1 Mark
Timer  - Feb. 12, 2020, 4:30 a.m.

Do you even need to do all the fork and front wheel replacing just for the sake of tyres? While Maxxis has pretty much abandoned 26", the entire Schwalbe and Conti lineups, including new models released last year, are available in 26". All with the newest rubber and casing tech. Between Magic Marys, Hans Dampfs, Dirty Dans, Barons and Kaiser tyres i see no reason to spend huge amounts of cash on a functionally identical wheel and fork combo.

Unless of course the new fork provides vastly superior suspension performance.

Reply

yoonior
+3 Kelownakona twk Andrew Major
yoonior  - Feb. 12, 2020, 4:48 a.m.

I bought this Knolly with 27,5" Pike already installed but with both 26" wheels. This bike just rides better with 27,5" in front comparing to original 26". HA is slacker and bike picks up momentum more easily in rough stuff. And yes, I have no problem buying Schwalbe Evo tires in 26".

Making 27,5"/26" mullet can bring a new life to an old sled when you cannot buy new one. That's all.

Reply

Kelownakona
+1 Andrew Major
Kelownakona  - Feb. 12, 2020, 5:57 a.m.

Great point. 

Same as getting an old 29er xc bike with dated geo and sticking a 27.5 back wheel in. Pretty cheap change and slackens it up , speeds it up and makes it real fun to ride

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 twk
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:40 a.m.

Only caveat is you have to watch the seat tube angle getting too slack. But certainly mullets are a valid way to pump up an old bike!

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:12 a.m.

Don’t need to at all, but for the sake of my argument  getting a fork that clears bigger rubber on a 27” rim - and the rim and tire to go with - makes the older bike more capable and it’s all about pushing up the capability to more closely match (and in some cases exceed?) that new rig.

Reply

Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - Feb. 12, 2020, 9:50 a.m.

Fair point. In the article it sounded like in order to run good tires one would need 27.5 rims. My point is that there is no need to upgrade fork + wheel just for cutting edge rubber.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:07 a.m.

Certainly more options with 27”. Especially if you want to go with bigger 2.6”+ rubber. But there are still great 26” tires (and rims) being manufactured.

Reply

ChazzMichaelMichaels
0
ChazzMichaelMichaels  - Feb. 12, 2020, 12:36 p.m.

Pretty sure Maxxis still do plenty of 26? I just replaced my Minions a month ago.

Reply

Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:28 p.m.

They continue selling the older stuff, but you won't find any of the new designs like Assegai or new casings like EXO+ in 26".

It's even more apparent with XC tyres. There are hardly any 26" tyres with the newish 3C Maxx speed compound.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Andrew Major
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 12, 2020, 3:14 p.m.

Maxxis still offers a staggering array of 26" tire SKUs - High Roller II, DHF, DHR II are all available in most combinations of casing and tread options - including DD but, true, not EXO+.

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Andrew Major Mammal
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 12, 2020, 6:41 a.m.

love this. i've gone through a similar process with the the last couple (used) bikes i've owned - contemporizing & extracting maximum bang for the buck. i upsized a v1 (alu) bronson, added a -2 headset & vorsprung air can to (help) overcome a shitty leverage curve. my xprezo benefits from offset shock bushings and a coil shock (to help plushify an aggressive end stroke ramp). with an occasional sprinkling of fresh bits when things wear out, it's really quite impressive how effective carefully curated not-new bikes can be.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:08 a.m.

I thought about your bike for this piece because I loved the Xprezo (any Balfa continuation really) but decided it was too rare. Every once in a while I check the buy-sell for one - such a great & quirky machine.

Reply

Vikb
+4 Andrew Major Niels Velocipedestrian Mike McArthur
Vik Banerjee  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:05 a.m.

I buy bikes planning to keep them a while. 4 years on the low side and 10 years on the top end. I buy mid to upper level parts and maintain them well. I've usually got 2 FS bikes on the go. One I ride in summer and one for winter. That means I can strip the one not being ridden down and do all the maintenance without any panic about missing out on trail time.

The only issue that's really caused me to want to sell a bike is when the geo gets out dated and I start riding something that's different enough I can't transition back to the old geo and enjoy it. I'm thinking that's not going to happen as much going forward as it did in the past simply because I am pretty much maxed out on the Reach and STA I can ride with my current go to bike [GG Smash]. So I think it will be a 10 year bike, but only time will tell.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:25 p.m.

The geo is a free upgrade on a new bike, but an expensive one on the old machine.

I'm generally happy with my min-maxed 2013 26" banshee spitfire...

(160mm coil MiCo lyrik, CCDBA or DHX 5.0 coil, 11-42 sunrace cassette on 10spd slx derailleur / xtr shifter, saint brakes, xtr m980 104bcd crankset with bash, 29mm internal spank rims on hope hubs, cheap 150mm giant wintek dropper with modded xt shifter lever) 

...But, I rode a buddies stumpy evo 27 last weekend. Significantly longer reach and steeper sta is hard to find as an update to the old steed. 

That thing went round a corner like no bike I've ever ridden. Delicious, and the first thing to get the upgrade eyes wandering for ages.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:57 p.m.

Long dropout option and Angleset to crank up that wheelbase?

Sounds like an awesome rig but at some point, no doubt, front center becomes an issue for old v. new bikes. 

I could have written a counter argument called ‘Roaches You Should Recycle’ as my pet peeve is old stuff proprietary stuff that’s not supported.

Reply

cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:38 p.m.

...you mean I can't replace this Specialized Brain with a CC Coil?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:52 p.m.

Some Brains in some years of Stumpjumper in some sizes maybe... Micro Brain no.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Feb. 13, 2020, 6:53 p.m.

Have you been peeking in my head?

I have the long dropouts, and a works headset in my Hardtail... I've already been considering exactly what you suggest.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 13, 2020, 8:23 p.m.

The Russian's sold me the information... that's what you get for sleeping next to a smartphone. 

If you do it let me know if it's an appreciable difference or if you still find yourself lusting for a new bike!

Reply

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:12 a.m.

Front triangle pythagorean reach-stack is pretty immutable, and something that ultimately limits what I can do.
Seat tube lengths and chainstays are also pretty much stuck most cases - even limits to long dropout options.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 14, 2020, 12:47 p.m.

For sure, it isn’t going to work for every rider on every bike - though a lot of folks have been ‘sizing up’ for years now.

Not intended as the gospel just food for thought. 

Anyone who owns one of the bikes I listed and likes it will like it more with upgrades?! Maybe enough not to spring thousands on a new rig?

Reply

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 6:56 p.m.

Yeah - those are basically the only reasons it wouldn't work... and even then, they're somewhat frangible.

I've also found that my old cast-off frame (and capable but not as lardy oaf ready parts) worked out perfect as a bike for my wife.  The confidence level for an inexperienced rider to roll out on a 160/150mm 29er with solid suspension and wheels is glorious.

ackshunW
0
ackshunW  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:57 p.m.

Wow interesting I’m going to be pairing a Mico coil with a CCBD air as well. You find it to be balanced ok?

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Feb. 13, 2020, 7:20 p.m.

Tough to balance the coil in front with air in the back, I'm having more luck with a DHX 5 coil.

I suspect air front, coil rear would be nicer, but I'm sticking with 26" until my stockpile of lyrik parts are done.

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tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:11 a.m.

This has actually been my biggest justification for adjustable geometry and other stuff - as much as the Ride9 stuff on older Rocky setups created new possibilities for creaky points, and only came on stuff with tall seat tubes, I can't see a reason why I'd need to phase out my 2014 bikes for the next couple of years, and that was never intended to be a decade-long shred machine, it's just happened because I keep tossing upgrades at it.

Geo is the real limiter, because most everything else can be fixed aftermarket - angle headsets can do great things, but reach is reach (more precisely, pythagorean size of a front triangle is pretty immutable), and there weren't many options to get to what we consider the new normal

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agleck7
+1 Andrew Major
Agleck7  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:43 a.m.

This is awesome. One thought is that a One Up dropper could be the move for these older bikes with long seat tubes since my understanding is that it has the lowest overall stack. Which means might be able to sneak a 170m+ on the older rigs. 

I just got a gen 1 Patrol and my 170 Brand X barely fits but thinking i could get a 190/200mm One Up in there. 

Speaking of which, it’s not quite as cheap or old as your examples, but a gen 1 Patrol/Suppressor and older Kona Processii are good candidates too

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AndrewMajor
+1 DanL
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 7:54 a.m.

Anything Transition or Kona have done since 2013-ish is a good candidate.

The 2013 Process (26” / pre-new style) is a total sleeper that can be picked up for a song when you can find one - even takes a bottle!

Process 134 (V1) with an Angleset and a 27+ front wheel would be massive fun.

Look for more dropper post options coming that will rival OneUp for travel v. length.

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agleck7
+2 Andrew Major Mammal
Agleck7  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:05 a.m.

Can confirm :). I’ve been on an old 134 angleset, 150 fork, Topaz. It’s rad

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 9:10 a.m.

Sounds RAD! I loved the stock bike I tested so can only imagine how good it is now.

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DanL
+1 Andrew Major
DanL  - Feb. 12, 2020, 10:13 a.m.

2015 process with a 180 One Up here...can't get the post as far down as I'd like due to where the standard stealth exit hole is so cutting a new exit hole would definitely fix this if you want to be able to go past the 150mm it was specced with originally.

Great article, one other upside is that I now have so many solid bits hanging off an old frame, when I update the frame the solid bits come with me. Especially important is knowing about the boost cap upgrade (and re-dish) to move up to new standards.

And rebuild a CCDB air into a Coil? That's an amazing bit of black arts. I'm all ears about methods for extending the length of the CCDB coil as well as that's the only thing that wouldn't translate into a new frame for me.

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AndrewMajor
+1 DanL
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:12 a.m.

Yeah, lots of Kona bikes (smaller hardtails too) that have benefited from lower stealth exit holes being drilled.

As to the shock, yes the bridge/eyelet assembly is the same air v. coil on the CCDB shocks and because they use poppets instead of shims for valving you’re not worried that someone road the shock into the ground and had the internals explode and eat themselves.

If you have a roached CCDB Air (needs inner & outer air can and body) those parts cost a similar amount of money to what’s needed to convert to coil including a spring. Labour is the same and any Cane Creek service center in the world can easily hook it up - no voodoo going on at all.

ackshunW
+1 Andrew Major
ackshunW  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:19 p.m.

Hold on, the Megatrail I just got has a CCDB air——— you’re saying it’s common knowledge that it could be rebuilt into a coil?

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:28 p.m.

This switch to coil is a nugget I'll treasure when the time comes

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:45 p.m.

I’d never use the term ‘common’ but it’s certainly knowledge and anyone working on these shocks knows the dampers & controls/ bridges/ upper eyelet assemblies or whatever you want to call them are both the most expensive parts of the shock and interchangeable.

It’s not necessarily an economical change for change sake but if you already have a shock (sunk cost) and you need to replace the major air system parts (service those air cans folks!) then going coil is a great option.

craw
+5 Cooper Quinn taprider Jitensha Kun Velocipedestrian twk
Cr4w  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:17 a.m.

Or If you have a newish bike and are still yearning for a new bike maybe settle for rebuilding fork, shock and dropper. Get both brakes bled, new tires, maybe some Inserts and do a really thorough service. Reviving a bike that you're already comfortable on just feels right. It's like saying your wedding vows again or so I'm told.

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xy9ine
+3 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian Timer
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:40 a.m.

for sure. it's amazing what a proper service & some fresh sticky rubber can do.

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craw
+3 Velocipedestrian Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman
Cr4w  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:16 a.m.

It's shocking how rarely people service their stuff, and also how Incredibly poorly some peoples' suspension Is set up. If you can't figure It out go see Arthur or some other setup guru and get It done. All the fancy gear In the world means nothing If It's set up wrong. 

Does anyone know why my leading I's keep getting capitalized?

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Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - Feb. 13, 2020, 12:29 a.m.

Don't forget a fresh set of grips. Doesn't do much for performance but it gives back some of that  "new bike" feel every time I grab the handlebars.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:43 a.m.

This! Towards the end of a service interval most suspension products feel awful. Brakes. Ugh. Pads. Rotors wear out too!

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jt
+1 Andrew Major
JT  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:33 a.m.

Love all of this. I had been on a 16 27.5 Remedy when a friend who works for a non profit bike shop in a local high school contacted me about an AL Yeti SB66 frame they were donated. Total bait & switch on his end, asking me what they could expect to sell it for then selling it to me for $150. He knows me well. Frame was in excellent shape. I couldn't say no because, well, because. It was a bigger frame than what I normally run, and with no thoughts to resale or possible warranty situations, I knocked off 25mm from the seat tube to be able to run a 150mm dropper and poked a hole in the BB forging to run a stealth post. After a few rides I flipped my Remedy. No regrets. As long as Maxxis keeps making quality 26" knobbies the only issue will be the hunt for quality 26" rims at some point. Fork wise, I'll probably stick with Manitou since the 27.5 Mattoc can be converted to a 26" fork easily enough, and I'll doubt I'll pick up on the couple mm's difference in offset.

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powderturns
+2 Andrew Major twk
Mike  - Feb. 12, 2020, 8:55 a.m.

Find a bike with a decent leverage curve (ie. one you like), get the pivots done, maybe install an angleset (better yet, works components), send the suspension away for a refresh and it’s a new bike! Early gen alloy yt capras are hard to beat for value. There are others but they mostly have actual seat angles from 2008 and suck for climbing.

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mammal
+1 Cam McRae
Mammal  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:04 a.m.

This type of thing has been my M.O. for at least the past decade or so, while I slogged through eons of post-secondary torture. I've been running 2014 Trances for the last 4 years. First I swapped my medium frame for a large for better fit and sold the medium ($0). Upgrade the dropper to Manic 150, slam the seat forward and over-fork with a IRT Mattoc. I built a wide rim wheel set and added 2.5 WT Minions. Wolf Tooth Goat Link to run 30T x 11-46 Sunrace cassette, on the 10spd SLX setup. 

That Trance is a good bike, and it still will be for someone. I FINALLY bought my first new complete bike in 13 years (16 if only counting trail bikes). Geo/fit have changed so much in the past few years, and I wanted to give 29 a try, so got myself a Ibis Ripmo AF (NX version). For the price, it's a great bike, and I'll bet I'm riding that at least 5 years down the road.

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Jotegir
+1 Andrew Major
Lu Kz  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:39 a.m.

Just a comment about your prediction re: anti-squat... I agree (although keep in mind I loved my Remedy 29 9.8 for a long time, and Treks have always relied on the ol' "cheater swtich").  A really good example: Look when Malamed and Gauvin raced the Altitude. They ran that thing over shocked both front and rear so it ended up being slighly more travel than the slayer. Why do this? Because the slayer had too much anti-squat  for them.  Lots of people quoted the new slayer as better than the 2017-2019 because iT hAs LeSs AntI sQuAT than the old one, but now they same folks are praising Norcos that don't even come with climb switches? What's going on here?

I think Rocky Mountain is the champion of the versatile, future-prepared platform. Not only can all of them take anglesets, they have a crazy versatile ride-9 (or ride-4 in some cases I guess) settings AND you can even swap shock strokes and eye to eyes on many of the models. I know the BC edition Instinct is what most people think, but look around and you can find examples of people swapping shocks on the previous gen instinct, altitudes, and elements too. Crazy versatile.

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AndrewMajor
+1 mr_fungle
Andrew Major  - Feb. 13, 2020, 12:13 a.m.

I included the Remedy 29” for exactly that reason. As soon as you ditch whatever proprietary shock tech they’re pushing this year, Trek’s FS bikes are very neutral/tuneable. If you’re going to buy a big-money shock buy a frame that takes advantage of it?!

The latest Instinct chassis is awesome-versatile; great shout out.

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morgan-heater
+1 Andrew Major
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 13, 2020, 10:22 a.m.

I tried the newer (2018) Process bikes and didn't like the rear suspension feel at all compared to my 2014 134. I remarked on that to the shop, and they claimed it was a shock tuning issue, but I didn't believe them.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:14 a.m.

Can confirm precisely this - the older Ride9 stuff has been outright fabulous - I'm out ripping on a 2014 bike that has (+/- 2mm) the exact geometry of the latest SB130C for way less cost, and I'm on a lighter build as a result of progressive annual upgrades.

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morgan-heater
+1 Andrew Major
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:48 a.m.

If too many people start doing this, super cheap used bikes will become more difficult to find.

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AndrewMajor
+1 twk
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 12:50 p.m.

I think we’re safe. I don’t have the power/influence to create new categories of bikes by a stroke of my pen or to force designers to up their anti-squat numbers because I don’t want to engage my climb switch (or in my case the opposite).

Hopefully folks were entertained but I’d be very surprised if a piece like this actually influenced buying habits. 

Imagine if I did have that power/influence though?!? Single Speeds For Everyone!

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DanL
+1 Andrew Major
DanL  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:21 p.m.

I think searches on pinkbike classifieds for 'cane creek' must have spiked

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AndrewMajor
+1 DanL
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:41 p.m.

Not light or the absolute best performing (if you need that extra few % of magic that a Push 11/6 or EXT Storia delivers) but they’re solid shocks and I think it’s cool how a shock from over a decade ago is still fully supported. 

CCDB Coil / Coil CS is a great buy!

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DanL
0
DanL  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:52 p.m.

Does the IL model allow the same degree of customization? And how much percentagewise can the stroke and shock length be changed for a different frame?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 4:05 p.m.

Never looked into swapping the Inline from air to coil. My guess would be it’s same/same since they share eyelet assemblies and dampers. I prefer the twin tube design of the CCDB over the bladder design of the Inline but the Inlines are lighter and cheaper.

Resizing depends on what you have and what you’re going to. Sometimes it’s just a combination of internal and external spacers and others it’s tone for new body/shaft. 

(Your Cane Creek service shop will be able to tell you what you need to turn that 10.5x3.5 Wilson shock you saw on the internet into the size you need :-P)

craw
0
Cr4w  - Feb. 12, 2020, 3:34 p.m.

I've had some good luck over the years buying a nearly new frame from some dentist In SoCal who realized It's just too much bike for him.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 7:10 p.m.

I'm jealous.  In XL/XXL sizing, it's a pretty mixed bag.  The only saving grace is that I know I'm going to be the worst owner that frame has had, but that margin is widely variable.

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ackshunW
+2 Cam McRae Andrew Major
ackshunW  - Feb. 12, 2020, 11:55 a.m.

Once again, this article is so timely for me— just took delivery of a 2014 Megatrail (26”) frame that I picked up for a GREAT deal—- It’ll accept all my old lying around parts (12x135 hub converted to 12x142, 9-speed Zee, etc.).

Super stoked to get it built up, lots of great inspiration here!

Eric

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ChazzMichaelMichaels
+1 Andrew Major
ChazzMichaelMichaels  - Feb. 12, 2020, 12:41 p.m.

This is really interesting. I have a 2014 Enduro (last of the 26s), and have replaced everything. I look at the price of the new Enduro, and the Canadian dollar isn't too far from the New Zealand dollar ($1 vs $1.17). The new Enduro base model went from $4500NZD to $7500NZD (I know, alloy to carbon). And I would look to change the fork (Mezzer) shock (TTX), wheels, brakes and drivetrain.

Which is a lot easier to swallow on a base model that costs half as much.

That said, I probably spend close to $1000 a year on servicing, so the bike still runs well.

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LWK
+3 Andrew Major Cr4w twk
LWK  - Feb. 12, 2020, 12:48 p.m.

interesting read!  the 2nd paragraph in your pre-ramble was quite interesting.  I'm not one to complain about prices and I dont know anything about the economics of bike industry sales but the notion of $7K bikes with at best a mediocre spec and ebikes now costing twice that amount, I wonder if/when the whole business may have a major correction.

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AndrewMajor
+2 twk Cr4w
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 12:58 p.m.

Thank you!

When I’m thinking about it seriously, I can go to anywhere with this from nothing will change to a breakdown of which big bike companies will fold and why they’ll go first. 

Usually I just joke with my friends that at some point - maybe a decade out - they’ll be forced to choose between a skinny tubed steel single speed and a full on mountain moped with a gearbox built into the motor. Very interestingly, to me, most say if it came down to A v. B as the only options they’d pick the full suspension, multi-speed e-assist option every day. Which actually isn’t funny at all.

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taprider
0
taprider  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:17 p.m.

A is way cooler, but I would have to dingle it

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mr_fungle
+5 Cooper Quinn Andrew Major Mark WasatchEnduro Tremeer023
mr_fungle  - Feb. 12, 2020, 1:55 p.m.

Holy shit, this could not be more timely! I broke my neck in Feb last year, and had to take the summer off. Have been battling a bit of a mental block since, but decided that I need to get back into things again. Riding bikes makes me a better person.

I have a bone stock 2014 Remedy 9 29"er and was just looking at it last week, thinking I need to upgrade some speccs, or sell it for something new. Nothing like some new gear to get you excited again. Having two young boys, there is not a ton of room left in the budget, so this article is perfect! Thank you!

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AndrewMajor
+1 WasatchEnduro
Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2020, 2:47 p.m.

WOW. First off, welcome back! I’m a better person when I’m in the forest a lot too - mountain biking IS mental health.

Start with some tires and consider bleeding the brakes and having the suspension serviced. Good rubber is amazing! Don’t go too wide as the stock rims were narrow. It’s a really great chassis so if you want to upgrade it as needed then 2014-You did current-you a great favour.

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wasatchenduro
+1 Andrew Major
WasatchEnduro  - Feb. 14, 2020, 2:46 p.m.

great article Andrew and timely for most of us as spring is knocking on the door.  a good problem to have is that there are a handful of woke geo bikes with decent spec in the $3k range like the Ripmo AF and Jeffsy (and with a carbon frame). 

it's a great principle to run what you brung and love it whilst occasionally upgrading for performance gains. my '17 stumpy is running well (topaz, lyrik, zees, plastic rims) but the newer stuff is tempting.... and i'm keeping my zee brakes and wheelset, no doubt.

i think the latest anti-squat kings from the boutique crowd are trying to offer the best of all worlds but they come with a hefty price tag (except the AF, not sure about Banshees latest but looking forward to reviews on the new Prime, etc.)

anyway, great read and comments!

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syncro
+1 Andrew Major
Mark  - Feb. 12, 2020, 6:59 p.m.

Great article which explores the same ideas as a post I put up on the forum a few days ago. I think what would be really cool/interesting  is to do an A/B test with a bunch of people on older and updated rigs vs brand new sleds simply to compare the ride enjoyment and see if people really notice whether that extra $2000-$4000 USD on the new bike really made that much of a difference to the fun they had. The bike companies might hate you for it tho if they don't already.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:14 p.m.

Thanks Mark,

It's really just intended as food for thought and if I make some contribution to eroding the idea that mountain biking is more prohibitively expensive then it already is that's awesome too. 

It's also why I ride $1000 bikes down Ned's and Lower Crippler when I have access to fancy sh*t. 

I'll leave the A/B testing to someone else though. Just thinking about organizing a suitable sample size of various sized riders and various bikes, and setting them up, and managing whatever level of disrepair on the used bikes, and trying to baseline tires, and then trying to say anything meaningful makes me feel ill. That's why this is editorial not science, and it sounds like some riders have gotten something out of it vis-a-vis their own rigs and that's really cool. 

Cheers,

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earleb
-1 Andrew Major ChazzMichaelMichaels WasatchEnduro
earle.b  - Feb. 12, 2020, 10:09 p.m.

Stop putting bandages on outdated crap. Time is too precious to ride old crap. Buy a well designed modern bike.

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syncro
+2 twk WasatchEnduro
Mark  - Feb. 12, 2020, 10:45 p.m.

So what is someone supposed to do if they can’t buy a new bike? Not ride at all?

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earleb
0
earle.b  - Feb. 13, 2020, 9:39 a.m.

Service the bike you have and keep riding it. Save the money and hunt for a great deal on something that's modern.

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AndrewMajor
+2 twk WasatchEnduro
Andrew Major  - Feb. 13, 2020, 12:16 a.m.

Brian you old troll; you’re one of two (if not very few) folks still mountain biking with thumb shifters (me being the other). Don’t be telling folks they can’t angleset or overfork their way to awesome!

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earleb
+2 Andrew Major WasatchEnduro
earle.b  - Feb. 13, 2020, 9:38 a.m.

The angleset and overforking is just a bandaid on something outdated. Continue to save up and hunt for a deal on a used bike that was ahead of the curve. 

Brands like Whyte and Bird in the UK are direct to consumer and have had modern geo for a few years now. Rocky has had steep seat angles forever go up a frame size. Altitude Alloy 30 then take a hacksaw to the top of the seattube to lower the collar. Ride the larger frame size to get better seat position and live with not being able to slam the saddle way down, you'll be better for it. 

Personally I don't think the bandaids are worth the cost and effort. They aren't going to make the outdated bike substantially better and in some cases they're just going to take the weakest feature on an old bike (seat position) and make it worse. 

Thumbshifters are just awesome don't go dragging them into this :)

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 13, 2020, 9:57 a.m.

Angleset & +20mm longer fork isn’t making the seat angle slacker and with the same length fork it’s getting steeper. I don’t see any negative here and it’s not an expensive thing to try regardless, that can potentially be a great improvement. Many of these bikes also had longer (17.5+) stays so even though the top tube isn’t growing the Angleset also improves wheelbase.

Your point is totally valid for anyone chasing the steep(er) seat angle trend. Older Rocky’s (2011+ Slayer is another good example) and some older Specialized bikes (originally spec’d with rear-offset posts)  fit this bill well. Personally, I’m totally happy with an ‘outdated’ seat position and don’t think a 76+ STA is a go/no-go metric. Taller riders can argue that point sure, but again longer stays play a big role in body position relative the wheels as well.

Different strokes; different folks though absolutely.

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xy9ine
+4 twk Mark Andrew Major Mammal
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 13, 2020, 1:57 p.m.

for sure the trick is finding a used bike with numbers worthy of nurturing, but it doesn't invalidate the process of updating a not-new bike. the band-aids i've employed have been dirt cheap, and have enabled me to ride something that's not far off current chichi at a fraction of the price. granted, i've fully embraced the rat bike aesthetic to be contrarian; other's motivations may differ.

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GladePlayboy
0
Rob Gretchen  - Feb. 13, 2020, 7:30 a.m.

Not saying this is a bad idea to refresh a ride on a budget.... BUT... you are only putting lipstick on a pig at the end of the day.   If you need to  rejuvenate your ride and can't part with that 2012 full suspension frame then so be it.    Riding outdated geo is still outdated, but riding a bike is better than not.    At the end of the day if it makes you smile it can't be that bad.

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morgan-heater
+2 Andrew Major Mammal
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 13, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

I've got 2 bikes, one is a 2013 Stanton Switchback with outdated geo. It's super fun. I can ride it at dirt jumps, I commute on it, I ride it on almost all of the local trails, not skipping many features. Some days I feel like it's my spirit animal.

I also have a 2018 Nicolai G16. It's also super fun. It goes really fast on steep, rough terrain. It pedals up hills super comfortably. I can only bunnyhop about 12" on it. I have yet to be able to manual it for more than about 6". Getting the front wheel off the ground is hard. It's different, not better. 

Horses for courses. "Modern" geo is all just based on what people like at the moment on the trail they're riding. It's not actually superior.

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morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Feb. 13, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

MikeMc
+2 twk Andrew Major
Mike McArthur  - Feb. 13, 2020, 11:09 a.m.

Great article again Andrew. Am not surprised you're getting a big response as I think it speaks to a lot of riders. This content sets nsmb apart. After owning a dozen+ bikes, I've learned you can't upgrade from the wrong geo in a lot of situations, but once you find your fit...the nuances are many for bike swap vs upgrade. Fist bump to the the guy who thought about getting carbon enve 26" rims in the early days of larger wheels, but never pulled the trigger. Can't say same goes for the guy who spent $600 on new shock for frame that won't clear a 2.4 + mud.. 

That said, I smile every time I see that rider on a 6 yr old frame. Bikes that stand the test of time and are worth upgrading are where my mind goes every time I read a product review. As our resale values tank (try selling a 3 yr old Sight, Pivot or Thunderbolt) and $6K for Eagle NX spec is the new norm, this article is more relevant that ever. Thanks again.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 13, 2020, 8:20 p.m.

Thank you Mike!

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mammal
+2 Andrew Major WasatchEnduro
Mammal  - Feb. 14, 2020, 10:41 a.m.

Not "cheap" by any means but 4K CAD for the Ripmo AF, NX build with top shelf DVO squishy bits. Brakes may need to be swapped, but otherwise, it's the cat's ass so far.

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AndrewMajor
+1 WasatchEnduro
Andrew Major  - Feb. 14, 2020, 10:53 a.m.

Yeah, I’d take NX with great suspension any day. 

NX upgrade lvl.1 is to spring for a GX shifter. Makes a notable difference (I ran this setup a decent length of time on a commuter long bike).

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 7:12 p.m.

Totally resaonable - especially since you can use those budget wheels and NX cassette as the basis of a heavy winter wheelset, and move forward an older lighter wheelset ast the summer wheelset (and have most of a 2+2 configuration sorted out) - just find a solid hardtail frame and party on.

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RAHrider
+2 Mammal Andrew Major
Reed Holden  - Feb. 13, 2020, 11:15 p.m.

Great article. Agree completely with your approach!

I threw a 27.5 wheel in the back of this a year ago and turned this

into this and wondered why I hadn't done it from the beginning. Best upgrade this bike ever got.

Then when the frame cracked, it became this one

Which then somehow through a mitotic process became these two.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Feb. 14, 2020, 10:54 a.m.

Ti Honzo cracked at the seat tube gusset/top tube weld?

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RAHrider
0
Reed Holden  - Feb. 14, 2020, 1:42 p.m.

Nope. Two broke on me. One at the seatpost strut and the other at the seatstay seat tube weld.

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tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:20 a.m.

If you keep doing this, you can wind up with some really hilarious sleeper bikes.
So, I've been following this path to its seemingly logical conclusion for the last 5 years - on a Diamondback Hardtail.

At this point, I now have a DB Overdrive that looks every bit the $900 bike I got it as, but is actually carbon (wheels, frame, bars, seat, soon to be cranks) everywhere, on Maxxis Aspen/RekonRace tires that let me keep up with roadies on pavement, has inherited a 130mm Fox vanilla stanchioned fork that now has a tuned FIT damper lurking inside, a Lev post, and DH (Atlas) flat pedals.  For a long XL bike with 2.25" tires, its 24# weight is remarkably good. 

Yet for all this, it's primarily a bike trailer hauler... such is life.

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RAHrider
0
Reed Holden  - Feb. 14, 2020, 7:23 p.m.

Picture?

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RAHrider
0
Reed Holden  - Feb. 14, 2020, 11:16 p.m.

In a similar vein, I happened on this classic today. Was going to fit it up as a commuter for my wife. It actually uses a really nice seeming chromoly tubeset. This being said, it is a lot harder to find good old parts than i thought it would be. Anyone got any ideas about places to get old high end obsolete parts for cheap? Seriously, who is using their old 1" headsets?

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jt
0
JT  - Feb. 17, 2020, 10:31 a.m.

Options abound! IRD, Velo Orange, and Origin 8 all make 1" threaded cartridge bearing headsets for not a lot of coin. I've also had good luck finding Shimano STX and LX headsets at local shops for dirt cheap.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Feb. 17, 2020, 10:35 a.m.

I didn’t remember there being an STX version, but from my experience those old threaded Shimano headsets were brilliant quality. Surprised you can still find them.

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