MTB - New Fork or New Bike?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Doki, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. Doki

    Doki Guest

    I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the front
    fork's shot. It's a fairly basic hardtail MTB - came with Alivio shifters,
    Alivio rear mech, boggo front mech, no name v-brakes, and an RST Capa TL
    front fork.

    It seems to me like a decent fork's going to cost well over £150, whereas a
    new bike with decent fork and higher spec components isn't going to cost me
    an absolute shedload if I wait for next year's models to come out and get
    one of this year's on sale. I wonder if more expensive bikes would have
    lighter frames, but on the other hand, my bike does seem fairly light
    (lighter than a mate's Ridgeback town bike) despite having basic components.

    Is the cheapest solution to upgrade this bike, or will I get the best value
    buying a new one? Do Giant and the other bike makers have a different frame
    for every different range of bike or do they fit different level components
    to the same frame? I suppose a third option would be to upgrade all the
    components I break on this bike and get a new frame if I decide the bike's
    being let down by the frame. Is the LBS likely to be worth asking.
     
    Tags:


  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Doki wrote:
    > I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the front
    > fork's shot.


    Can you define "shot"? Will it not respond to servicing at all?

    If you're looking for an excuse to buy a new bike then buy a new bike.
    You don't need an excuse. But I know I've written off stuff in the past
    (though not bikes) that was perfectly all right with a bit of suitable
    TLC just because I wanted something new rather than to do (or spend
    money on someone else doing) the TLC.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  3. Doki

    Doki Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > Doki wrote:
    >> I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the
    >> front fork's shot.

    >
    > Can you define "shot"? Will it not respond to servicing at all?
    >
    > If you're looking for an excuse to buy a new bike then buy a new bike.
    > You don't need an excuse. But I know I've written off stuff in the
    > past (though not bikes) that was perfectly all right with a bit of
    > suitable TLC just because I wanted something new rather than to do
    > (or spend money on someone else doing) the TLC.


    It's an RST Capa TL elastomer fork. It's worth all of ooh, £30, and AFAIK
    service parts aren't available. By shot I mean one of the preload adjusting
    knobs is broken, it moves back and forth under braking (bushes presumably).
    I don't really want to buy a new bike, but I'm wondering if decent forks /
    components would be a waste on the frame I've got. It's just had a new chain
    and cassette, a fairly recent BB, and it's got XT shifters as I mashed the
    Alivios. It's in need of a decent saddle, a couple of chainrings, new
    pedals, a shorter stem (I think) and me sticking the LX v-brakes I've got
    sat on my desk onto it, as well as the forks.
     
  4. "Doki" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the front
    > fork's shot. It's a fairly basic hardtail MTB - came with Alivio shifters,
    > Alivio rear mech, boggo front mech, no name v-brakes, and an RST Capa TL
    > front fork.
    >
    > It seems to me like a decent fork's going to cost well over £150, whereas

    a
    > new bike with decent fork and higher spec components isn't going to cost

    me
    > an absolute shedload if I wait for next year's models to come out and get
    > one of this year's on sale. I wonder if more expensive bikes would have
    > lighter frames, but on the other hand, my bike does seem fairly light
    > (lighter than a mate's Ridgeback town bike) despite having basic

    components.
    >
    > Is the cheapest solution to upgrade this bike, or will I get the best

    value
    > buying a new one? Do Giant and the other bike makers have a different

    frame
    > for every different range of bike or do they fit different level

    components
    > to the same frame? I suppose a third option would be to upgrade all the
    > components I break on this bike and get a new frame if I decide the bike's
    > being let down by the frame. Is the LBS likely to be worth asking.
    >


    If the bike is in otherwise good condition then if it were me I would look
    at picking up a second hand fork to keep it going a few more years. Your
    bike is almost certainly suited to short travel sus forks which a lot of
    people are swapping out for longer travel versions. You can pick up a plain
    but decent fork for about £50 - £80. Obviously you want to make sure you ask
    questions etc before you buy and there is a risk but IMHO it would be worth
    it. If you're in the UK try looking on http://www.singletrackworld.com/ or
    bikemagic http://www.bikemagic.com/classifieds/classifieds.asp?v=2

    Alternatively pickup a pair of rigids.

    Steve.
     
  5. Doki

    Doki Guest

    spademan o---[) * wrote:
    > "Doki" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the
    >> front fork's shot. It's a fairly basic hardtail MTB - came with
    >> Alivio shifters, Alivio rear mech, boggo front mech, no name
    >> v-brakes, and an RST Capa TL front fork.
    >>
    >> It seems to me like a decent fork's going to cost well over £150,
    >> whereas a new bike with decent fork and higher spec components isn't
    >> going to cost me an absolute shedload if I wait for next year's
    >> models to come out and get one of this year's on sale. I wonder if
    >> more expensive bikes would have lighter frames, but on the other
    >> hand, my bike does seem fairly light (lighter than a mate's
    >> Ridgeback town bike) despite having basic components.
    >>
    >> Is the cheapest solution to upgrade this bike, or will I get the
    >> best value buying a new one?
    >><snippage>

    >
    > If the bike is in otherwise good condition then if it were me I would
    > look at picking up a second hand fork to keep it going a few more
    > years. Your bike is almost certainly suited to short travel sus forks
    > which a lot of people are swapping out for longer travel versions.


    The current fork has about 50mm of travel - would I get away with an 80mm
    travel fork or would this cock things up? The LBS bloke reckons I could just
    alter the preload to drop the front if things seemed a bit high at the
    front.

    > You can pick up a plain but decent fork for about £50 - £80.
    > Obviously you want to make sure you ask questions etc before you buy
    > and there is a risk but IMHO it would be worth it. If you're in the
    > UK try looking on http://www.singletrackworld.com/ or bikemagic
    > http://www.bikemagic.com/classifieds/classifieds.asp?v=2


    I'll keep an eye out for second hand bits. If I buy say, a second hand
    Marzocchi fork and it needs servicing, is it DIYable for someone with a bit
    of mechnical aptitude or is it a take it to the shop job?

    > Alternatively pickup a pair of rigids.


    Certainly the cheapest and lightest option, but I'd like to be vaguely
    comfy.
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Doki wrote:

    > Certainly the cheapest and lightest option, but I'd like to be vaguely
    > comfy.


    Depends on the trails you're doing. All day hammering down big descents
    and/or boulder fields rigid can get a bit of a hack, but for typical
    forest riding they're not as bad as you might think. If they were
    /that/ bad, MTB would never have got nearly as popular as it is. Get
    used to going over minor roughstuff with a very light grip and it's
    generally okay IME, though I'll not pretend "tolerable" == "great".

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. "Doki" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > spademan o---[) * wrote:


    > > If the bike is in otherwise good condition then if it were me I would
    > > look at picking up a second hand fork to keep it going a few more
    > > years. Your bike is almost certainly suited to short travel sus forks
    > > which a lot of people are swapping out for longer travel versions.

    >
    > The current fork has about 50mm of travel - would I get away with an 80mm
    > travel fork or would this cock things up? The LBS bloke reckons I could

    just
    > alter the preload to drop the front if things seemed a bit high at the
    > front.


    Hmm makes things a little more tricky, an 80mm fork will relax your head
    angle by about a degree which you may or may not notice depending how picky
    you are... As for altering the preload, I don't really see how this would
    help, lowering the spring rate would be a better solution. This is obviously
    much easier to do on an air-sprung fork otherwise you would have to buy a
    new spring. Shorter forks do come along, depends how long you want to wait.


    > > Alternatively pickup a pair of rigids.

    >
    > Certainly the cheapest and lightest option, but I'd like to be vaguely
    > comfy.


    Its surprising how comfy a rigid fork and nice fat tyre can be.

    Steve.
     
  8. Doki

    Doki Guest

    spademan o---[) * wrote:
    > "Doki" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >>
    >>
    >> spademan o---[) * wrote:

    >
    >>> If the bike is in otherwise good condition then if it were me I
    >>> would look at picking up a second hand fork to keep it going a few
    >>> more years. Your bike is almost certainly suited to short travel
    >>> sus forks which a lot of people are swapping out for longer travel
    >>> versions.

    >>
    >> The current fork has about 50mm of travel - would I get away with an
    >> 80mm travel fork or would this cock things up? The LBS bloke reckons
    >> I could just alter the preload to drop the front if things seemed a
    >> bit high at the front.

    >
    > Hmm makes things a little more tricky, an 80mm fork will relax your
    > head angle by about a degree which you may or may not notice
    > depending how picky you are...


    I think I'd be better off with the bars a bit higher, so perhaps it'd all
    end up even.

    > As for altering the preload, I don't
    > really see how this would help, lowering the spring rate would be a
    > better solution. This is obviously much easier to do on an air-sprung
    > fork otherwise you would have to buy a new spring. Shorter forks do
    > come along, depends how long you want to wait.
    >
    >>> Alternatively pickup a pair of rigids.

    >>
    >> Certainly the cheapest and lightest option, but I'd like to be
    >> vaguely comfy.

    >
    > Its surprising how comfy a rigid fork and nice fat tyre can be.


    Ideally I'd like something comfier than my 1.95" tyres and broken fork.
    Though I suspect a fair few of my downhills are limited more by my terror
    rather than the bike's capabilities :D.
     
  9. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the front
    > fork's shot. It's a fairly basic hardtail MTB - came with Alivio
    > shifters, Alivio rear mech, boggo front mech, no name v-brakes, and an
    > RST Capa TL front fork.
    >
    > It seems to me like a decent fork's going to cost well over £150,
    > whereas a new bike with decent fork and higher spec components isn't
    > going to cost me an absolute shedload if I wait for next year's models
    > to come out and get one of this year's on sale. I wonder if more
    > expensive bikes would have lighter frames, but on the other hand, my
    > bike does seem fairly light (lighter than a mate's Ridgeback town
    > bike) despite having basic components.


    Wiggle are doing a great offer on Manitou Black Supers, which are a
    *really* good fork <URL:http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013095>

    If you think your frame is light enough and you're happy with your
    current basic setup, I'd go for the fork and fit a front disk at the
    same time. That will give you a substantially better bike.

    > I suppose a third option
    > would be to upgrade all the components I break on this bike and get a
    > new frame if I decide the bike's being let down by the frame.


    That would be my advice. Unless there's a new bike you really want, of
    course.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    A message from our sponsor: This site is now in free fall
     
  10. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > I'll keep an eye out for second hand bits. If I buy say, a second hand
    > Marzocchi fork and it needs servicing, is it DIYable for someone with
    > a bit of mechnical aptitude or is it a take it to the shop job?


    *Most* forks are DIY serviceable. If it's a RockShox I know you can
    download the service manuals as PDFs. Probably can with most other
    makers too.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; All in all you're just another hick in the mall
    -- Drink C'lloid
     
  11. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Simon
    Brooke ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    > ('[email protected]') wrote:
    >
    >> I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the
    >> front fork's shot. It's a fairly basic hardtail MTB - came with
    >> Alivio shifters, Alivio rear mech, boggo front mech, no name
    >> v-brakes, and an RST Capa TL front fork.

    >
    > Wiggle are doing a great offer on Manitou Black Supers, which are a
    > *really* good fork <URL:http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013095>


    Scratch that. If your old fork was 50mm travel it won't suit the
    geometry of your frame.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; All in all you're just another nick in the ball
    -- Think Droid
     
  12. Tim Izod

    Tim Izod Guest

    In alt.mountain-bike Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:
    > in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    > ('[email protected]') wrote:


    [snip]

    > Wiggle are doing a great offer on Manitou Black Supers, which are a
    > *really* good fork <URL:http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013095>


    > If you think your frame is light enough and you're happy with your
    > current basic setup, I'd go for the fork and fit a front disk at the
    > same time. That will give you a substantially better bike.


    > > I suppose a third option
    > > would be to upgrade all the components I break on this bike and get a
    > > new frame if I decide the bike's being let down by the frame.


    > That would be my advice. Unless there's a new bike you really want, of
    > course.


    Along similar lines Pace are doing a clearance on slightly shop
    soiled forks (https://www.pacecycles.com/newsstory.asp?id=181).

    The RC36 Type Rs I've recently replaced my worn out RS with are
    (with only a hundred or so miles on them so far) very very nice. They're
    really giving the bike new life.

    Front disk may well be needed anyway since the Manitous linked
    to and a number of other forks are disk only.

    Tim.
     
  13. Joe Roach

    Joe Roach Guest

    "Simon Brooke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    > ('[email protected]') wrote:
    >
    > > I'll keep an eye out for second hand bits. If I buy say, a second hand
    > > Marzocchi fork and it needs servicing, is it DIYable for someone with
    > > a bit of mechnical aptitude or is it a take it to the shop job?

    >
    > *Most* forks are DIY serviceable. If it's a RockShox I know you can
    > download the service manuals as PDFs. Probably can with most other
    > makers too.
    >
    > --
    > [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
    >
    > ;; All in all you're just another hick in the mall
    > -- Drink C'lloid
    >

    I asked this group about servicing Marzocchis a few weeks ago after I became
    really pissed-off because Marzocchi won't release servicing instructions to
    the hoi polloi aka "customers" (it is apparently not company policy.). I
    received many useful replies including a link to this site -
    http://inbred.gimpcupboard.com/manuals/. If you find a fork listed here
    then fine; otherwise I would avoid Marzocchis.

    Joe
     
  14. "Doki" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > spademan o---[) * wrote:


    > > Hmm makes things a little more tricky, an 80mm fork will relax your
    > > head angle by about a degree which you may or may not notice
    > > depending how picky you are...

    >
    > I think I'd be better off with the bars a bit higher, so perhaps it'd all
    > end up even.


    ?? It would give a more 'relaxed' ride position if thats what you're after.

    Steve.
     
  15. "Joe Roach" <[email protected]> writes:
    > "Simon Brooke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    > > ('[email protected]') wrote:
    > >
    > > > I'll keep an eye out for second hand bits. If I buy say, a second hand
    > > > Marzocchi fork and it needs servicing, is it DIYable for someone with
    > > > a bit of mechnical aptitude or is it a take it to the shop job?

    > >
    > > *Most* forks are DIY serviceable. If it's a RockShox I know you can
    > > download the service manuals as PDFs. Probably can with most other
    > > makers too.
    > >

    > I asked this group about servicing Marzocchis a few weeks ago after I became
    > really pissed-off because Marzocchi won't release servicing instructions to
    > the hoi polloi aka "customers" (it is apparently not company policy.). I
    > received many useful replies including a link to this site -
    > http://inbred.gimpcupboard.com/manuals/. If you find a fork listed here
    > then fine; otherwise I would avoid Marzocchis.
    >

    I'm quite surprised at this. AFAIR my bike with Marzocchi shocks came
    with a service manual. Had I bothered servicing them, I'd know whether
    it was up to scratch, but it definitely had pictures of how to take
    them apart and suchlike. They were 2001 Bomber M3s

    A
     
  16. Tim Izod

    Tim Izod Guest

    Simon Brooke <[email protected]> wrote:
    > in message <[email protected]>, Simon
    > Brooke ('[email protected]') wrote:


    > > in message <[email protected]>, Doki
    > > ('[email protected]') wrote:
    > >
    > >> I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the
    > >> front fork's shot. It's a fairly basic hardtail MTB - came with
    > >> Alivio shifters, Alivio rear mech, boggo front mech, no name
    > >> v-brakes, and an RST Capa TL front fork.

    > >
    > > Wiggle are doing a great offer on Manitou Black Supers, which are a
    > > *really* good fork <URL:http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013095>


    > Scratch that. If your old fork was 50mm travel it won't suit the
    > geometry of your frame.


    My now retired RS forks were 455mm from bottom headset race to
    axle & Marzocci list the MX Comps at 458mm and 478mm for the 85mm and
    105mm travel forks respectively.

    Although 120mm travel forks are probably too long it may be
    worth checkign lengths of some other forks.

    Tim.
     
  17. Chris Davies

    Chris Davies Guest

    On Thu, 5 Aug 2004 11:06:41 +0100, Doki <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >
    > Peter Clinch wrote:
    >> Doki wrote:
    >>> I've got a Giant Boulder MTB from a couple of years ago, and the
    >>> front fork's shot.

    >>
    >> Can you define "shot"? Will it not respond to servicing at all?
    >>
    >> If you're looking for an excuse to buy a new bike then buy a new bike.
    >> You don't need an excuse. But I know I've written off stuff in the
    >> past (though not bikes) that was perfectly all right with a bit of
    >> suitable TLC just because I wanted something new rather than to do
    >> (or spend money on someone else doing) the TLC.

    >
    > It's an RST Capa TL elastomer fork. It's worth all of ooh, £30, and AFAIK
    > service parts aren't available. By shot I mean one of the preload
    > adjusting
    > knobs is broken, it moves back and forth under braking (bushes
    > presumably).
    > I don't really want to buy a new bike, but I'm wondering if decent forks
    > /
    > components would be a waste on the frame I've got. It's just had a new
    > chain
    > and cassette, a fairly recent BB, and it's got XT shifters as I mashed
    > the
    > Alivios. It's in need of a decent saddle, a couple of chainrings, new
    > pedals, a shorter stem (I think) and me sticking the LX v-brakes I've got
    > sat on my desk onto it, as well as the forks.
    >
    >


    By a really bizarre coincidence I have a Giant Boulder with OK fork, but
    knackered frame - snapped at the seat tube!
    I would be willing to part with the fork (and indeed the saddle) for a
    beer or something - get in touch...

    Chris

    --
    |C|H|R|I|S|@|F|A|S|T|M|A|I|L|.|F|M|
     
  18. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    > Is the cheapest solution to upgrade this bike, or will I get the best
    > value buying a new one? Do Giant and the other bike makers have a
    > different frame for every different range of bike or do they fit
    > different level components to the same frame? I suppose a third
    > option would be to upgrade all the components I break on this bike
    > and get a new frame if I decide the bike's being let down by the
    > frame. Is the LBS likely to be worth asking.


    Definitely upgrade to a new bike. The Boulder is the bottom-of-the-line out
    of Giant's offerings. We sell them as back-to-school bikes that whose
    primary purpose is to get left out in the rain.

    Having said that, if you're tight on cash, then a rigid fork is definitely
    the answer! The reason is, if you're breaking forks on these bikes (often
    the first thing to go on these low-cost bikes) then that means you're
    exceeding the intended use, which is, in all honesty, city riding and very
    light trail riding. A rigid fork has virtually nothing to go wrong with it,
    and any new low-cost suspension fork is probably going to break just like
    your current fork. Upgrading the whole bike is a sound decision at this
    point.

    If you want to stay in the Giant line (which I recommend), you may want to
    look into the Iguana. It has a non-shit fork that will last longer than
    what you ad on the Boulder, plus disc brakes if that's your thing, and
    decent-quality components.
    --
    Phil, Squid-in-Training
     
  19. Joe Roach

    Joe Roach Guest

    "Ambrose Nankivell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Joe Roach" <[email protected]> writes:

    < > snip >> > >
    > > I asked this group about servicing Marzocchis a few weeks ago after I

    became
    > > really pissed-off because Marzocchi won't release servicing instructions

    to
    > > the hoi polloi aka "customers" (it is apparently not company policy.).

    I
    > > received many useful replies including a link to this site -
    > > http://inbred.gimpcupboard.com/manuals/. If you find a fork listed here
    > > then fine; otherwise I would avoid Marzocchis.
    > >

    > I'm quite surprised at this. AFAIR my bike with Marzocchi shocks came
    > with a service manual. Had I bothered servicing them, I'd know whether
    > it was up to scratch, but it definitely had pictures of how to take
    > them apart and suchlike. They were 2001 Bomber M3s
    >
    > A


    This is part of the earlier reply I received:

    "Since Marzocchi got sued by a bunch of idiots who can't follow directions
    they took their service information away from the rest of us who can.
    There's a couple of servers out there with some older manuals,"

    So it is probably yet another one of these corporate policies recently
    introduced in the name of "improving the customer experience", "enhancing
    the brand", etc etc. Maybe they have had a bad dose Management Consultancy.

    Have fun searching the Marzocchi site for those .pdf s.

    Joe
     
  20. Gwood

    Gwood Guest

    Doki, the answer depends on the type of riding you (want to) do. The Boulder
    is a recreational version of a mountain bike, with gentler geometry than
    something made for singletrack riding. Being a recreational bike, the frame
    build is probably not as durable as a dedicated off-road bike, although I
    have no first-hand knowledge of the frame except that it is steel-tubed. If
    this is a town ride, it may do just fine. If you intend to take into any
    rough stuff other than gravel pathways, something a bit more substantial
    might be in order.

    The components you describe are all pretty low-end. They will work OK until
    you challenge them or let them get dirty. Good gear works when challenged.

    You might want to consider the used-bike market. Since bikes depreciate so
    quickly, you can get some screaming deals on 2-3 year old bikes that would
    have better components than you currently have, for less than a replacement
    (at retail prices).

    To your other question (do bike makers re-use one frame for several bike
    models), the answer is normally Yes. For instance, I purchased a mid-range
    Kona hardtail in 2000. The frame (geometry and construction) was shared by
    several models, with mine being the lowest. Other models basically had
    different paint jobs and component groups. I bought the bike because the
    frame fit so well, and over the next year upgraded the fork, brakes and
    shifters as good deals came along. Not sure if this frame-sharing
    philosophy applies to Giant in their recreational line, tho.

    Bottom line, if you want to cruise, your current bike is probably fine. A
    new (old stock) fork can be had via the net for little £, and installed by
    your LBS for a few shekels. Otherwise, grab a used bike with a frame that
    fits, and consider upgrades from there.

    Just my $.02
     
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