> Hiya, I've just got hold of a decent 7000 series aluminium hard tail frame, which is blessed by
> having some decidedly average components attached. I will be using it mainly light off road XC.
> Where would you start & which component would you do 1st. It rides quite nice & most
> importantly fits me well, frame wise. It currently has a poor Zoom front sus fork & 18 speed
> bottom of the range Shimano front & rear deralleur set up bottom of the line Sram shifters.
> Don't know what to do 1st ho humm.
Well, there's not much to go on there, but here's how I might think about it:
If you think it rides "quite nice", and everything else is in full working order, then the first
thing to replace will be the first thing which breaks, or the first thing you become so dissatisfied
with that you just have to replace it anyway. I'm assuming you've got a triple crankset and six cogs
on the rear, so the first thing to break (or more likely bend) may well be the rear axle. If this
goes, then you have about the right starting point to begin a serious transmission upgrade. To get
to "current" technology in rear MTB wheels, you need an 8/9 speed cassette type rear wheel. The
problem then is the knockon effects. You won't be able to use your 6 speed transmission unless you
have a 6 speed cassette made up with custom spacers. This could be expensive, but not necessarily
disastrous if you can re-use the sprockets later in the upgrade path. Alternatively, you could go to
8 or 9 speed, and suddenly you have to upgrade shifters, and most probably derailleurs and other
stuff, all in one go. In the worst case, buying all that in one go at list price and paying for a
bike shop to do the work for you will cost a significant percentage of a whole new bike! On the plus
side, wheel upgrades from heavy to light make the biggest difference on most bikes.
The other most likely thing to require attention will be the forks. In that area, they will
eventually either break, or just need a service. IMHO, it is not worth paying to have cheap forks
serviced, so think long and hard about whether you really want/need suspension on the front. If you
are going to service your existing forks yourself, you have a "buy nothing" option while they don't
need spare parts. If this isn't the way you want to go, either get good quality non-suspension forks
(eliminate the servicing), or get whatever you fancy in the way of a suspension fork. Something with
adjustable damping will almost certainly be an upgrade from the Zoom forks, but research the options
bearing in mind your preferences for servicing. Oh, and make sure that the headset and stem needed
by the new forks are compatible - a few different sizes and types are out there.
I hope that's not too vague to be useful.