¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 7:27 a.m.

After consulting with GRM last year, I bought a 2008(ish) Santa Cruz Blur LT which has been awesome and gotten me back into mountain biking, but it appears that its' age is now catching up with it.  Pic of bike:  

Here are the issues it presently has:

Rear hub:
I have pretty well destroyed the Deore XT rear hub- the cones are pitted, bearing cages turned to dust, and I'm sure some of the balls are missing.  I limped it along for a while by repacking and adjusting it every couple weeks, but it seized and snapped the QR skewer last ride.  I should probably swap the whole rear wheel, right?  What about converting to a different shifting arrangement?  I like my brakes (Juicy 3 discs) and the fact that it's tubeless, but otherwise am open to anything.  It's a standard vertical dropout.

Fork:
The RockShox Revelation front fork is pretty well suited to the rest of the bike but has seen better days.  The coating is rubbing off of one of the tubes and the far end of the droop travel has gotten clunky.  Should I get a new fork or try to hunt down the fork tube and just rebuild it?  If I get a new fork, I can also go to a 15mm axle and a new front wheel because of...

Front hub:
The bearings are surviving so far, but the splines of the brake disc are beginning to get loose, which doesn't feel great.  If I upgrade the fork I'm not opposed to a new wheel up front as well.

So WWGRMD?  I like this bike, it's quick enough and up until the last month or so has been pretty bulletproof.  Ideally I would like it to be tougher without turning completely into a tank, but I'm also open to suggestions ranging from "get a different bike" to "throw some generic ball bearings in the rear hub and ride it until the frame snaps."  If I were to replace it I'd probably get something even more freeride-ey so that hopefully I can't break it.

bluej
bluej UberDork
9/10/18 7:36 a.m.

"Hi, my name is Chris, and I'm the human durability test"

Ever built a wheel before? If not, new rear wheel as opposed to replacing the hub sounds like time and money ahead to me.

Can't speak to the suspension.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 7:42 a.m.

In reply to bluej :

Never built a wheel, and it seems like the sort of thing best suited to people way more patient than I am, so yeah I'm looking for complete wheel suggestions I guess- preferably something very tough for the aforementioned durability issue, and to make matters worse I tend to ride pretty "ass heavy", fork settings are always soft for my weight and rear suspension settings stiffer.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/10/18 9:07 a.m.

Finding decent QR rear hubs in easy anymore. Also are the Juicy 3s cable disc?

 

IMO I'd save for a newer bike cause 1x drivetrains, dropper posts and non quick release wheels are great. None of which I have on my current bike and it sucks.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 9:15 a.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Hydraulic disc.

A newer bike like what those guys I keep passing are riding?  cheeky  Is the newer stuff more durable?

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/10/18 9:30 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Hydraulic disc.

A newer bike like what those guys I keep passing are riding?  cheeky  Is the newer stuff more durable?

Honestly I haven't really been at it long enough to say anything about durablilty but the taper steer tubes are supposed to be a lot stronger and going to a 1x drivetrain just means one less component to mess up. Just from a riding stand point I love 1x drivetrains and droppers. It is great just quickly get the seat out of the way without having to mess with a quick release seat post. And messing with qr wheels is always a pain IMO. Try to find some demos to try out some newer stuff.

If you really want to stick with the current frame, I'd get some DT Swiss or Hope hubs (I think they both have QR hubs) assuming your rims are still good and build a 1x drivetrain (SLX crank set, XT 11 spd cassette, SLX shifter and derauiller and XT chain, should run you about $230).

Is the bike a 26" and is the steerer a taper or straight one? If it is a straight 26" or a 26" period it isn't going to be easy to find parts. Manitou has the Markhor fork which is a straight steerer 26" fork. Jenson has them for $225.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
9/10/18 10:05 a.m.

Still riding my 2003 Cannondale Gemini every week, did some upgrades a while back to make more of an all-mountain rig than downhill.

Watch eBay for bike shops clearing out old stock or buy clearout stuff from Jensen. Bikes are worse than celphones when it comes to being outdated fast.

I put a brand new, old stock Manitou Minute Pro on my Cannondale to swap out the Marzocchi 66VF that was on there. Seems like a backwards move but the Manitou has been bombproof because I don't do stupid things anymore. Took about three pounds off the front of the bike.

I replaced the Swinger coil shock with an X-fusion air shock a couple years ago to save some weight and it has been great.

Supposedly X-fusion is making good forks as well now.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/10/18 10:24 a.m.

Newer stuff is generally more durable, which has been nice.  

Ringle pre-built wheels come with conversion parts to run them with either 12x142 thru axle or a 9x135 quick release. Wheel building isn't hard, but IMHO it is something that takes practice. I've built a few over the years and while I can build a useable wheel, I can't get anywhere close to the guys who build them for a living, so that is one task I am happy to pay them to do.  If you replace the hub with a different brand, it is almost a guarantee you'll need new spokes as the length will likely be different due to slightly different hub flange dimensions.

I have found the current line of Manitou forks to work well for the price.  What travel is the current fork? One issue is it is getting harder to find new straight 1 1/8" steerer tube forks as most (all?) current frames use tapered head tubes. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 10:26 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

I believe it's 150mm travel, would have to double check.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
9/10/18 10:49 a.m.

The Revelation is a great fork. I ran an '07 into the ground having it rebuilt multiple times. there may still be high-end rebuild options out there - Push in Colorado if you're on the west coast or ...I think it was Suspension Experts in Asheville that redid mine.  You might get out for under $200 and have a like-new fork if you are happy with how it rides. 

I'd just buy a set of built up wheels. There are good deals out there for 26". 

I'm not sold on 1x gears - I'm a big guy and don't ride as much as I should, so having more effective gears ina  2x10 setup verses a wide-spread 1x10 is better. You may get the same overall big-little on the 1x, but the gear-gear jumps are larger. That messes with me. It seems I can't ever find the right gear, my options are either too easy or too hard. It's worth the extra components and weight for the closer cadence steps.

 

EDIT: looks like suspension experts closed. Shame, they were good peeps.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/10/18 10:54 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

I was among the last of my friends to convert to a 1x set-up, but I find it works well.  I ran 8 spd XTR triple set-ups for ages. Pretty much skipped over 9 spd and went to 1x10 and now 1x11. I'm still not convinced about a 1x on a road bike... 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
9/10/18 10:56 a.m.

Is this a 26" wheel bike?  I assume so.

 

Get a new set of wheels.  Buy a NOS decent fork.  done.

 

Now, if the BB creaks, shifting is getting sloppy, there is play in the bushings.....  Time for a new bike.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 11:01 a.m.

26", yep.  Other parts are showing their age a bit, shifting isn't perfect... but I was hoping to not spend a whole lot every year to keep riding.  If this becomes a $1k/yr+ hobby then I'm dropping it and buying a KDX200 or something for hare scrambles instead cheeky

If we pretend I want a new bike, what would I get?  Priorities, in order, are: indestructible, similar travel to what I have now, and light downhill capable.  I am happy to sacrifice speed for durability, as long as it doesn't stop being fun to ride.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
9/10/18 11:22 a.m.

Just last year I upgraded from a similar type of bike to your Blur to a Trek Fuel EX8 and couldn't be happier. It goes down hill with SO much more aplomb than my 26er it's insane, but it climbs well and handles beautifully. I specifically moved up to the EX8 because it moved me from a 32mm to a 34mm stanchion front fork and it got me the top notch rear shock. I spent about $1000 more than I was planning, but I got a good bonus at work, so.... It was their top all-aluminum Fuel model at the time (durability.)

There are a lot of good options out there in the all mountain 5" travel arena around $2500. I almost bought a Giant model that was awesome and a LOT cheaper than my Trek, but they were out of L frames and didn't have a restock date.

 

One note - the modern trend bike geometry has moved toward longer front centers matched to shorter stems from where they were in 07-08. The bikes feel less nimble initially, but you jst have to adjust your riding style. They generally like to be ridden with your weight more rearward and using more hips/body english in the turns. You kind of ski them around. It's fun.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 11:59 a.m.

Someone tell me about these wheels- I know some will need adapters/tubeless kit/etc.  I like the Crank Brothers wheels a lot but have to admit it's based on how weird they look.

Mavic

Crank Bros

Croft

Ringle

Stans

And while I'm throwing parts out there, this fork?  

X-Fusion

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
9/10/18 12:06 p.m.

Mavic - sort of the industry average. Crossride's are one of their lower end offereings, probably not super durable but also not a bad wheel

Crank Bros - Look the business, for sure. I've always wanted a set but I hear a lot of VERY mixed reviews and failures. Uses proprietary spoke, I think. OTOH, I love their pedals and a lot of peop;le hate them.

Croft - I git nuthin'

Ringle - I ran Ringle Rhyno lights that were in-freaking-destructable. Also not lite at all. The Charger is less beefy and lighter than the Rhynos but still larger / tougher/ heavier than average, I think. As a hot take - of the four, these would be choice 

 

EDIT - damn your ninja edits!  

Stan's - they make a decent wheel, I'm running a set of their 27.5" OEM take-offs on my camp bike. Seem good so far but I don't have many miles on them. The axle adapter caps like to fall off when you're putting the wheel in the front fork.

X-fusion. I don't know anything other than they are starting to be spec'd on entry level big brand bikes, so at least their not purely an internet brand?

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 Dork
9/10/18 1:32 p.m.

Do you need FS? I am new to MTB and bought a hardtail 27.5+ and love it. You save a lot by not having the rear shock.

Also, I went used. I bought a really good condition 2 year old bike for 1/2 MSRP off of craigslist. 

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
9/10/18 2:04 p.m.

You can run lighter stuff if you're not out there "Sending it" as my apprentice likes to say.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/10/18 8:26 p.m.

I just thought of a different way to put it- where's the breakover point for just putting the money towards a newer, different bike?  I like this one, enjoy riding it, and have no need to get something faster (I plan to get faster, but am enjoying working towards it on this one).  Where would you place it before the money is better spent on a newer or tougher bike- $300?  $600?

On whether I need FS- I don't need it necessarily, but definitely prefer riding it rather than a hardtail.  I would happily have a second bike without rear suspension to ride when it's crappy out or I just want to play around, but when I feel like pushing myself I prefer to do it on something with a bit of travel.

On "sending it" and components- I'm not sure where I stand on this, honestly.  I used to break a lot of stuff before I took a few years off from riding, and I feel like I'm getting back into the territory where it's going to be happening again.  I'm probably not going to get much lighter but I intend to get faster and hit stuff harder.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
9/10/18 11:34 p.m.

Funny, I bought my dream bike from when I was highschool and much thinner and faster, a 1990s era Brodie Expresso steel hardtail, no suspension at all.

Holy hell it's fast and climbs like crazy, it also make me a much better rider as I have to pick better lines and ride cleaner.

Riding my hardtail on technical singletrack regularly makes me a hell of a lot faster on my big, F/S Cannondale. I don't just bash my way over and around things anymore.

F/S was making me a much lazier rider.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/11/18 6:56 a.m.

In reply to Trans_Maro :

Yeah, I get it, full suspension is unnecessary- I like it though, and I want it.  I have a decent amount of arthritis in just about every joint (and I'm not even 30 yet), as well as previous wrist, hip, and knee injuries, and I usually ride for a couple hours first thing in the morning then follow it up by spending 10 more hours standing/kneeling on concrete working on cars/motos.  I think that the full suspension is helping the rest of me hold together better and increases my chances of being able to keep this up for a couple of decades, although I could be wrong and it could be that without suspension I would smooth out my riding to suit everything else like you say- if I wanted to try, what would you recommend?  Just get any light, rigid bike and go see if I feel like E36 M3 after a weekend?

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
9/11/18 7:05 a.m.

I've had light, rigid MTBs (sub 20lbs, singlespeed), Hard tails with front suspension, and full suspension rigs. They each have their plusses and minuses. If I could only have one mountain bike though, it's full suspension every time. I like going fast downhill, and although a good hardtail with a good rider is faster downhill than most people credit, a dual sus with plush travel, good geometry and bigger tires is a thing on another level.  I'll never be a fast climber so giving up 1% on the climbs for the weight and (small) added inefficiency of a dual is no big deal.  Add in the comfort for my aging back and it's a done deal.  The argument these days is that fat tires can make up for suspension. I own both, and it's false. the big tires help on the rigid bike but they are no substitute.

Granted, I think everyone should spend some time on a hardtail, a full rigid, and a single speed too. They will teach you how to be a much better rider. Line choice, momentum, managing trail features using your body as suspension - all these things make you better.

But if you can only have one bike, get the dual.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/11/18 7:30 a.m.

I have a 27.5" Charger wheels and they've been good for me, although I'll admit anytime I thought I'd be riding more DH, I would mount a set of Ringle ADD wheels on the bike (heavier & beefier with beefier tires).  Now I have a set of Industry 9 wheels which have been bomb-proof, but are priced to match. 

On the HT vs. FS debate, I generally agree with the above: one bike = full squish.  But since I can never have one bike, I also have a hardtail. Soon to be two: one 27.5+ and one 29er.   

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/11/18 7:31 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

I just thought of a different way to put it- where's the breakover point for just putting the money towards a newer, different bike?  I like this one, enjoy riding it, and have no need to get something faster (I plan to get faster, but am enjoying working towards it on this one).  Where would you place it before the money is better spent on a newer or tougher bike- $300?  $600?

On whether I need FS- I don't need it necessarily, but definitely prefer riding it rather than a hardtail.  I would happily have a second bike without rear suspension to ride when it's crappy out or I just want to play around, but when I feel like pushing myself I prefer to do it on something with a bit of travel.

On "sending it" and components- I'm not sure where I stand on this, honestly.  I used to break a lot of stuff before I took a few years off from riding, and I feel like I'm getting back into the territory where it's going to be happening again.  I'm probably not going to get much lighter but I intend to get faster and hit stuff harder.

From what I have seen, $2000-$2500 is where you can start getting a decent full sus new. Shopping the used market is a bit of a crap shoot from what I have seen. Sometimes you find good deals but it seems like a lot of people are asking like $2200 for a bike that was new $2500.

I am pretty sure I am going hardtail for my next bike but if I decide to go full sus, I would be looking at the Nukeproof Mega, YT Jeffsy or Capra or Commencal Meta.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
9/11/18 9:24 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

No, I'd stick with what you already have, I was just trying to put things in perspective. 

I love my FS bike, it's great. I also love my hardtail but I'm a lot more worn out at the end of the day.

If you have a frame you like, it's worth working with it. You don't need the latest and greatest to go out there, get healthier and enjoy yourself.

Four years ago I decided to get my lazy ass back on my bike and start riding again, mostly to hold off the eventual heart-attack that I was probably going to have. Last year I started going to the gym a couple times a week. Now I hurt less, I can do more, I feel great and everything just plain works better. 

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