Fettling a new (modern) bike?

MartinYorkshire

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Evening all,

My 2000 Kona has finally been replaced as it needed a new rear derailleur, tyres, chain, cables and front wheel. Without a parts bin like I know some of you have, it was starting to get a little prohibitive to keep it running as it's a workhorse frame rather than something I ever pined after (unlike my wifes '92 RM, which we both love to bits). I guess I'd fallen out of love with it a bit too.

A week or so ago I picked up one of the new Marins. I was hesitant as I hadn't heard a lot from Marin recently, but the bike, on paper at least, seemed to be really rather good value for money and well specced out. It also happens that the medium size fits both myself and my wife. It's our first full suspension bike too, so a new experience.

Back in the day as a kid, the first task was to immediately attempt to upgrade every single bolt to titanium or failing that, purple anodised aluminium, which of course we never managed on paper round money, but still, there was a sense of direction and a strong will to purchase such celebrated products as the near legendary Crud Claw.

I haven't had a brand new mountain bike since 1989 so I wanted to ask, what do you all typically do to fettle your new steeds when you get them?

I thought of going over all the bolts to check torque, re-using my old pedals and grips and I've also replaced the stock saddle, which was far too painful for my old bum. The SDG which has replaced it, is, for reasons unknown, like a Parker Knoll armchair in comparison.

So, I guess I'm asking, what does the first few months of new bike ownership involve for you? Are you looking to upgrade OEM parts, familiarisation, comfort?

All opinions welcome.

Cheers
 

2manyoranges

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Nice question

I usually build all my bikes so the main fettling after a build is getting the suspension sussed and sorting out brake rub niggles and cable stretch on the gear cable.

But amongst the many builds (since my son is growing like crazy) I have bought a few complete bikes in the last few years - first port of call is always tyres. Seldom do they put decent rubber on. Then do the wheels tubeless. Bleed the brakes, and put far better pads in. It's all about performance initially. Then a Hope seat collar. Ping the spokes for tension - I have had some wheels with terribly slack tension in them. Grips...often too thin. Cramps my hands, so usually DMR Sect or ODI finned grips go on. And a front mudguard. Saddle often needs replacing, as you say. Chain device if not on there already, and a decent Hope or Gamut front ring, keeping the original for later emergency work. Sometimes the cassette is stupidly down-rated and heavy, and so on goes an XT or good SRAM, with the heavy job sold on Pinkbike new. Cut the brake cables to a sensible length and sort the routing, which usually means crossing the brake and gear cables as they pass under the downtime, which gets the curves away from rubbing the head tube, and put cable ties on the cables to stop them clicking and rubbing.

then, in the words of Rango
'...And NOW....we ride.....'
 

brocklanders023

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Agree with plenty of the above. For me it falls in to two categories, upgrades and bling:

Upgrade wise it will depend on the model you have bought and how deep your pockets are! Does it have a dropper post? If not, get one. Bars..... replace stock alu jobs with carbon. Forks and shock? Depending what's already fitted this can be a good place to go for performance increases although it'll cost ya! Cassette possibly but I'd probably use the fitted one first. Wheels are usually worth upgrading but spendy again. Agree with tyres depending on what's fitted as they can make a huge difference. Brakes very much depend on what's fitted. If you have Shimano I'd just leave them while they work as they work very well and changes tend to fall in to the bling section. I find shifters are a good area to upgrade too as the XT/XTR level kit is much nicer to use compared to the lower end.

As for bling I usually go down the Hope route for stem, seat collar, bottom bracket, headset, axles, and brakes. Don't bother changing bolts these days.
 

brocklanders023

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As to what I do in the first few months...... Not much really, just ride it to see how it fits and how the kit performs.
 

MartinYorkshire

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Thanks chaps, some great info in there.

One of the worst things having been out of the modern stuff for so long is not knowing whats good and what isn't except for the basics of shimano's range. SRAM is a total mystery and they have one of the most confusing naming schemes I've ever seen. XOXOXO1 GX Eagle or something. Mad.

The bike we bought has STX everywhere except an XT rear mech, so its good to know that old marketing trick is still alive. Cockpit is mostly components by Deity (an unknown to me - marin sub brand?) and then the cranks are FSA gradient, which having looked, seemed to be OK. Shocks are fox performance elite 38 up front so near top of the line and the rear is a DPX2 so again, I can't see someone like me ever needing to upgrade those bits, which was one of the main reasons for selecting this particular bike over competitors.

The main cost cutting seems to have been around the wheels, perhaps predictably, with them being mostly OEM with entry level Shimano hubs, aside from the relatively costly Maxxis tyres but I've no idea if they are considered "good". They have so many post name designations its a total mystery yet again. Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5”, MAXX TERRA, EXO+ and Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5”, MAXX GRIP, DoubleDown?! I could cope better when we only had Panaracer Smokes and Ritchey Megabytes to go at.

I think the casette is STX, so would that be worth swapping out for an XT? Saving grams isn't of interest but performance and reliability of the rear casette on these 1x12's must be I guess. XT used to be utterly bomb proof, is that still the case?

Great point about checking the wheels/spokes. My boys Marin came brand new with a stripped nipple on the rear wheel, not a great start.

I don't know much about dropper posts, only having first heard of them a few weeks ago. I love how it works but not much of an idea about whats fitted. It's a X-Fusion Manic.

I think like you suggest, I'll give it a good few rides, see how it works out and then look at any areas of concern. I suppose long term, swapping the OEM wheelset out would probably be the strongest functional upgrade, followed by some XT shifters. Always liked XT stuff, especially in the sale.

It's nice that Hope are still going. It was really trick kit BITD, but I suppose its far east made now is it?
 

2manyoranges

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Good God - Far East - no way...Barnoldwick’s finest. Anything which can be milled from solid billet is done in-house. I am surprised that you don’t see aluminium swarf wafting down the high street like tumbleweed.

People ask me: what are the most adjustable, clickiest hubs? I say: Hope.
What are the most handy headsets? Hope
What are the most serviceable brakes? Hope
Which are the nicest seat collars? Hope
Which BBs can you swap the bearings in 10 minutes? Hope
Which stems have the best combination of strength and weight? Hope

Which company enables me to put an orange brake on the front and purple on the rear? Hope (that was just because they were discounted last week)

I love ‘em.
Have a look at their website and the investment that they have made in their site. It’s a real British success story.
 

d8mok

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2manyoranges":oye337y2 said:
Good God - Far East - no way...Barnoldwick’s finest. I am surprised that you don’t see aluminium swarf wafting down the high street like tumbleweed.

People ask me: what are the most adjustable, clickiest hubs? I say: Hope.
What are the most handy headsets? Hope
What are the most serviceable brakes? Hope
Which are the nicest seat collars? Hope
Which BBs can you swap the bearings in 10 minutes? Hope
Which stems have the best combination of strength and weight? Hope

Which company enables me to put an orange brake on the front and purple on the rear? Hope (that was just because they were discounted last week)

I love ‘em.
Have a look at their website and the investment that they have made in their site. It’s a real British success story.

This is the truth

I’m just buying bits for a my latest build and so far have ordered Hope brakes , headset , rotors , and about to order hubs.
 

Splatter Paint

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In my opinion:

Check the bearings are adequately greased and properly adjusted

Put anti-seize or similar on the seat post (something carbon specific if required)

Put on a chainstay protector

Put tape or similar where the cables rub

Tweak the riding position to suit

SP
 

MartinYorkshire

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d8mok":3azwilh0 said:
2manyoranges":3azwilh0 said:
Good God - Far East - no way...Barnoldwick’s finest. I am surprised that you don’t see aluminium swarf wafting down the high street like tumbleweed.

People ask me: what are the most adjustable, clickiest hubs? I say: Hope.
What are the most handy headsets? Hope
What are the most serviceable brakes? Hope
Which are the nicest seat collars? Hope
Which BBs can you swap the bearings in 10 minutes? Hope
Which stems have the best combination of strength and weight? Hope

Which company enables me to put an orange brake on the front and purple on the rear? Hope (that was just because they were discounted last week)

I love ‘em.
Have a look at their website and the investment that they have made in their site. It’s a real British success story.

This is the truth

I’m just buying bits for a my latest build and so far have ordered Hope brakes , headset , rotors , and about to order hubs.

This is so good to hear. It really is.

The last time any of my buddies bought hope, they were the first gen titanium hubs, way way back. I had to ask because a competitor of theirs at the time, Nukeproof, at least appears to have gone full on mass market far east mode. I could be wrong on that though.
 

brocklanders023

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To be honest, going on the spec you list for the Marin it’s all good and I doubt anything really needs changing until you bust it or wear it out. Shimano XT is still XT and SLX is DX/LX in old money. Maxxis tyres are ace and will be fine. I personally prefer Schwalbe Magic Mary up front and Hams Dampf out back but again, yours will be fine.

Looks like all you need is some Hope bling and carbon bars!
 
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