If you had $200 to spend on your hardtail...

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If you had $200 to spend on your hardtail...
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Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 1:32 Quote
Hey would love some recommendations on upgrades/additions to my Marin San Quentin 2.

So the title pretty much explains itself, if you had $200 to give your aggressive hardtail some love what would you do?

I already have a dropper and am running tubeless so any other recommendations are welcome!

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 1:57 Quote
a pic or breakdown of the gear on it right now might help.
also the type of riding and trails you do, plus anything you don't like with the ride

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 3:11 Quote
Here are the specs for the bike I have. Everything is stock minus the dropper post.

Bike: Marin San Quentin 2

Frame: Series 3 6061 Aluminum, Double Butted Frame, Internal Shifter & Dropper Post Routing, External Brake, 73mm Threaded BB

Fork RockShox Recon RL, Satin Nickel Stanchions 130mm Travel

Headset FSA No 57E, 11/8"–11/2”

Axles Front: 15 x 110mm
Rear: 12 x 148mm

Rims/Wheels Marin Aluminum Double Wall, Disc Specific, 29mm Inner, Pinned Joint, 32H, Tubeless Compatible

Hubs Forged Alloy, Sealed Cartridge Bearing, 6-Bolt Disc

Spokes 14g Black Stainless Steel

Tires Schwalbe Hans Damf 27.5 x 2.35”

Crankset FSA Comet, Direct Mount

Chainrings 32T

Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Square Taper

Chain KMC X-11 EL

Rear Derailleur SRAM NX, 11-Speed

Cassette/Rear Cogs SunRace, 11-Speed, 11-46T

Shifters SRAM NX, 11-Speed

Handlebars Marin Mini-Riser, 6061 Double Butted, 28mm Rise, 780mm width, 4-deg rise, 9-deg sweep

Tape/Grips Marin Single Clamp Locking

Stem Marin 3D Forged Alloy, 35mm

Brakes Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc,
180F/160R

Pedals Alloy Body Flat

Saddle Marin MTB

Seat Post. -UPGRADED- Fox Transfer Dropper Post


As far as riding style I like to ride more aggressive but that being said my skill level is primarily blue trails as of right now but I am hoping to progress a lot this summer.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:30 Quote
Ride it till stuff starts breaking. Then spend $. Wheels will prolly be the 1st thing. Maybe do contact points (grips, seat, pedals) if you really have to spend the $.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:33 Quote
You could probably pick up a used Pike or Yari for $200 plus resale on your Recon. That's where I'd spend it.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 11:39 Quote
Start savings for a new fork

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 13:52 Quote
Continue saving money. Ride bike as is, eventually buy better bike.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 15:29 Quote
I would upgrade the contact points, seat, grips and maybe pedals. A more comfortable you will ride better too.

Posted: Mar 17, 2019 at 12:01 Quote
That's a pretty sweet, modern hardtail IMO. Do you need to do anything to it?

If so, I second (or third) the motion for a new fork. That's the obvious weak link, though I'm sure it's perfectly fine depending on your current ride style. If it's fairly new still, try selling the Recon for a few bucks to add to your pot and then look for a sale on an older PIKE or MATTOC. I see the Mattoc on sale all the time for around $450 US and that's a sweet fork. Ride changing for sure vs the Recon. It looks like the higher spec San Quentin is still running 130mm but I'd think you could do 140mm no problem.

If not a fork, then krattAtak's suggestion is the ticket. But I bet between your current saddle, grips and pedals, that you are not totally unhappy. If you haven't thought about it too much, that's probably a good thing. An uncomfortable saddle will force you think about it obviously but mediocre grips and pedals can be gotten used to. I like minimal stock grips just fine but get a real boost when i swap out for the Odi Elite pro lock grips with a padded riser section for better cushion and grip.
That's probably the cheapest upgrade I can think of with the most impact.

Last, I haven't ridden those schwalbes but you could consider a slightly gnarlier front tire if you sense you could use more grip. A specialized butcher grid 2.6 has been a great versatile tire for me with burly side lugs and good rolling still. Your rims can definitely handle that jump in tire width.

Posted: Mar 17, 2019 at 12:43 Quote
Like what's been said already, fork. But I'd probably go for brakes and cranks/bb to get rid of the square taper crap.

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 at 1:56 Quote
Brakes, I’m of a similar skill level to what you describe and my 160mm rear rotor just doesn’t cut it, so I’d say either some new calipers, or a pair of good 180mm rotors

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 at 3:31 Quote
i agree with contact points and/or possibly brakes if you want an immediate change in feel and you have to spend the $$

otherwise wait till tires and drive chain are due for a refresh and splash out on something fancy then. in the mean time keep an eye out for good deal on fork, and get an understanding of how various tweaks may effect the bike characher or your riding style

also $200 could be well spent of accessories - shoes, shorts, backpack, or that sexy fanny pack Wink
https://www.pinkbike.com/news/mission-workshop-releases-upgraded-axis-vx-waist-pack.html

Posted: Mar 27, 2019 at 5:55 Quote
My mate has just bought one of those, it seems like a great bike. The only thing I would upgrade is the dropper post, but you have already done that.

In your situation I would sit on the $200 and wait until something breaks/wears out, then replace that. If you don't know what to upgrade, you probably don't need an upgrade.

Posted: Mar 27, 2019 at 13:31 Quote
Another possibility that seems to have not been mentioned yet is tires. A fresh set of tires could make a world of difference! Contact points & tires would be where my $$$ went to 1st.

Posted: Mar 27, 2019 at 16:10 Quote
Cranks seem like a weak link to me with square taper, I broke a few BB's back in the day doing some drops to flat. You could spend around 100 on cranks(zee). And the rest could be tires or contact points if needed, whichever seems not quite right to you. Otherwise ride till it breaks, then upgrade.

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