Video: Where to Spend & Where to Save on Bike Parts

Sep 28, 2020
by Pinkbike Originals  


If you don't mind parting with your money, there are plenty of pricey products out there that offer a questionable return on investment when you do the price-to-performance math. Of course, sometimes that doesn't matter at all. And if it really matters, you can get a $35 USD dropper post and whatever else from the depths of the internet, just like you could do all your grocery shopping at 7/11 and the local Dollarama. There's also the Buy & Sell, a good way to save some money if you're smart about it.

But today's video is all about getting the most bang for your buck: Where to spend and where to save on new bike parts.


339 Comments

  • 223 2
 Spend what you can on traction and stopping power. So suspension, brakes and tyres. Budget the rest. The end.
  • 31 0
 Agree. I'd say tyres and brakes are the most important. Suspension and wheels that won't fold as soon as they see a bump are good things too. drivetrain who cares as long as it works, same with most other parts
  • 18 19
 @melonhead1145: you say it, wheels are important, plus an easy way to safe money. Get your wheels built at your local dealer (or diy) with decent spokes and rims. Instead of buying overpriced dt swiss or whatever prebuilt wheelsets
  • 12 3
 everyone would be better off spending their carbon hoop money on other components such as the ones you mentioned.
  • 61 3
 @tofhami: Ovepriced DT Swiss.................uhm maybe but are they really overpriced? It doesnt get any better than DT Swiss in terms of price/performance if you buy things separatly. Prebuilt wheelsets are a totaly different story i agree with you
  • 15 1
 I don't know if top end suspension is actually beneficial for the majority of people, especially beginners. I'd rather go for durability with anything that has bearings and often more expensive drivetrain components last significantly longer (chains!)
  • 39 0
 @tofhami: handbuilt ex511 onto some 350hubs for 400euro, DT swiss seems a bit of a bargain if you ask me. And we all know the abuse a 511 rim can handle...
  • 2 0
 @beggers87: agreed, even their enduro rims can take a beating and still be mostly ok
  • 30 0
 @jzPV: I'd say Yari/Revelation/Z2 is the inflection point for suspension. I'd be hesitant to buy a bike with a cheaper fork than one of those, but I think beyond that the benefits of upgrading start to drop off compared to other components.
  • 19 59
flag likeittacky (Sep 28, 2020 at 9:07) (Below Threshold)
 All Parts Matter!
  • 9 1
 I think you have to start off with your priorities as a rider and where you’ll be riding, and then go bargain hunting from there.

Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean worse, or at least not a performance difference someone will notice. Eg. Zee or Guide-RE brakes are probably enough power for most people and they’re not that pricey. Specialized tyres can be had really cheaply and for trail riding are probably 80% of the way there.

I think it makes sense to prioritise the parts you will want to replace least often: So #1: frame, suspension, wheels #2: brakes, pedals, bars, stem, dropper, cranks #3 tyres, grips, drivetrain.
  • 9 2
 + good grips and good pedals.
  • 5 0
 @gibspaulding: Yes my current bike came stock with a revelation but I upgraded it to a secondhand Lyrik. I think I would've been fine with the revelation... I'm no pro I doubt I would notice much difference. And now I have extra dials to futz around with..
  • 7 0
 Exactly why I’m waiting for the cheapest Ripmo AF to come in. DVO, Deore and Maxxis.
  • 11 2
 And dropper. Anyone who's had a crappy dropper knows how bad that can turn out. And wheels. Anyone who's had a freehub fail or rim fail knows how much that sucks. Basically everything matters except for perhaps drivetrain and stem/bars if you don't care about weight.
  • 12 6
 But the new Syncros carbon bars with integrated stem are a must for my New Trek 820.
  • 24 1
 @Altron5000: there's a great second hand market for unused Guide RE's thanks to beginner ebikers with a hole burning their pockets being told that if they don't buy mt7's , they'll die in a horrific accident.
I'm surprised that Mike Levy didn't mention 11 speed. If you get yourself whichever cheap cassette you prefer (we're big Sunrace fanboys and girls in our house) and a GX/XT derailleur + shifter depending which side of the fence you sit.
That's a big save already, without going for home built wheels or Hunts,etc.
  • 5 1
 @gibspaulding: I've ridden Yari after coming of a Pike and the difference in plushness and control was pretty noticeable at my maybe slightly above average speed level. I think Levi is on point suggesting a step or two down from the top of the line forks, but going all the way to Yari/Revelation is a significant drop off. Dunno about the Zocchi, their reviews have been quite good.
  • 2 1
 @DHhack: tried this... dvo stanchion wear was a nightmare, then they lost travel.... honestly they felt great at first but lasted less than a year. UK had my fork 3 times before giving up and replacing it but that took 2 months due to no stock.
  • 1 0
 @beggers87: Where can you get that combo for €400?
  • 2 0
 @roma258: I still run a stock Yari on my bike, I never tried a Lyrik so I could compare. The only difference is in the damper, I feel that the Yari can be quite spikey on harder hits - again I can't compare it's just my observation on trying to eliminate those spikes.
The only + to running a Yari is the simplicity of damper service.
  • 1 8
flag M-100 (Sep 28, 2020 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">font style="vertical-align: inherit;">HollyBoni/font>/font>: amerikában jöjjenek magyarorszagra elni aztan megmutathatjak..Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @MaksVraz: their metal rims are awesome and a great value. there are better value carbon out there.
  • 1 5
flag HollyBoni (Sep 28, 2020 at 11:41) (Below Threshold)
 @M-100: Eurót írt és Skót zászló van a neve mellett, szóval kétlem hogy Amerikáról beszél. Az hogy Magyarországon mi mennyibe kerül hidegen hagy, évek óta nem vettem itthon bringát/bringás dolgot. Azért kérdeztem hol ennyi mert pl. Német boltokban €500-600 körül szoktam látni custom DT kerékszetteket 350 agyakkal.
  • 8 0
 @gibspaulding: Suntour Durolux/ Auron is a expensive as the Yaris/Z2 but work way better
  • 4 0
 @MaksVraz: sorry, I totally agree with you. Just talking about dt swiss wheelsets, not their hubs, spokes or rims separately
  • 12 0
 Even on brakes, no need to get spendy. Code Rs and Shimano SLX with sintered pads stop literally 100% just as well and as reliably as the top of the line stuff. Twiddly knobs on your suspension are totally worth it. On your brakes? Not so much.
  • 1 0
 Just the opposite of bmx
  • 1 0
 @toop182: which fork? Supposedly I’m getting the newer Onyx 36.
  • 1 0
 And spend it only when it brakes or gets used
  • 2 0
 @Maxcommencemal: or a box drivetrain, wide range 9 spd.
  • 1 0
 @gibspaulding: and even so the yari can get upgraded for only $450 aussie $ to a lyrik...
  • 5 0
 @Maxcommencemal: I bought an XT 11sp drivetrain and crankset last year, so cheap for the quality.
  • 4 0
 @tofhami: best of both worlds, handbuilt wheels on DT Swiss components. Comes out a lot cheaper Smile
  • 2 0
 You forgot saddle. I had the wrong saddle once and thought screw It, I'll get used to it. I am not even joking I ended up in the hospital after the ride because I tore the skin off my inner thighs and ball sack. I had a week off work and 3 different medications and several creams because it got infected. I learned my lesson. Spend money on a proper saddle, doesn't matter what it costs.
  • 1 0
 @tonit91: I drilled out the oil ports on my Yari. Made the about 1mm bigger. MC Disc thing still covers the ports so you still get lockout if you want it but definitely helped with spiking. It was either that or a damper upgrade so i went with the cheap / quick option first....
  • 1 0
 @ohio: Zee if you do long descents. Dirt cheap and very powerful.
  • 2 0
 @gibspaulding: I can't imagine how to beat a yari. Mine sags at bike's own weight, can be as progressive as you want by adding tokens and have all the adjustment i need. I'm 100% sure I won't be any faster on a kashima coated 1200€ fork
  • 3 0
 i‘d say ti bolts and ceramic derailler wheels
  • 1 0
 @Zeeroone: mostly damper performance, adjustability and air springs like IRT. But for a lot of people, a Yari is (more than) enough.
  • 1 1
 @Mac1987: IRT and all this is ok as long as air doesn't migrate from chamber to chamber, bushings doesn't develope play (coug, manitou, coug) ...Ams always complaining about lack of adjustability while pros pretty much run their suspension as stiff as possible and don't give a f*ck on adjustability. I get the adjustability thing for some people but doesn't equal speed or confort...For example LSC adjustment is pretty pointless if everyone runs it fully opened and no one stands on an enduro bike going uphill. If we were talking about shocks, that's another thing... So many different frame designs, so much demand on this part comparing to forks: higher leverage ratios, lower air and oil volumes....I can guarantee no one really needs more than a yari in an enduro bike...
Regarding brakes, I can cope with lowest end 4 piston shimanos as I can't afford hopes. I would totally save on brakes also.
For me where to save: everywhere, you just have to know what to buy. For me, the most difficult middle end component to find for really cheap have always been rear shocks.
  • 2 0
 @Zeeroone: let's agree to disagree. I've had very different experiences with Manitou forks and shocks. Also, if LSC works best when fully open, the range chosen by the manufacturer is crap. I always run a little LSC and somewhere in the middle for long climbs.
And needing more than a Yari or appreciating better performance from better forks are two totally different things. Technically, any fork that doesn't break down is 'all you need'. However, I replaced a Fox 34 GRIP with a Mattoc and the difference in confidence when descending is night and day. And the difference between that 34 and the 32 TALAS RL on my other bike is also huge. Forks do make a difference and the stock Yari is a decent but not magical fork. Some benefit from better forks and some don't. You apparently do not. I do.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: so... wil that confidence translate into faster times? if not, sorry to tell you, but you missed the all point!
everyone here is a racer, as for example myself! training hard by day, and doing KOMs by night! Wink
  • 2 0
 Agree but you need to have decent, reliable other stuff, even if it's budget. What's budget to you or I might be fantasy money to someone new to the sport or a kid spending all his paper round money on it.
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: definitely!
...
Although that has more to do with me being a chicken on rough descents and everything that makes those descents feel less rough makes me faster. People without fear are probably only marginally faster.
  • 148 0
 Correct tire pressure. Its pretty affordable.
  • 4 1
 this!
  • 21 0
 And proper suspension setup.

Was caught off-guard yesterday while riding with a friend of a friend (I know this sounds like saying ME, but really isn't!), who does a LOT of riding but only just got into the sport 2-3 years ago...... this is his second season on his current bike, and he only just the day before realized he had 2x the pressure he needed in his front fork! He was raving on the way down about how it no longer felt his front end was getting rocketed into the air when hitting roots at high speed and now felt very confident and composed. When talking about it he said he thought having too much pressure really didn't matter before.

He now realizes how valuable proper suspension set-up is.... and also an eye opener that even folks who seem like they should know..... may not!
  • 1 0
 ha nice
  • 6 1
 No kidding! I bought a digital tire gauge pressure (topeak). Works on both suspension and tires, reads the pressure accurately and consistenly. No more second guessing what I have on my tires. Makes my ride consistent and problem free.
  • 3 0
 @mountguitars: Can't recommend an accurate gauge for tire and suspension enough. Makes your life easier. Can't tell you how many people I ride with that have nice suspension and tires and simple ronco that stuff and never manage their suspension and tire pressure...
  • 63 0
 11 speed can be had for a good price at the moment, too.
  • 54 0
 I feel like that's an underrated way to save money while still getting quality kit. I'd say a good 11-speed is a much better proposition than a mediocre/crappy 12-speed.
  • 33 0
 11sp can be lighter, more affordable and more reliable too.
  • 20 0
 True, for me the 11-46 XT or SLX is the most reliable option right now (more than the 12spd)..
  • 8 0
 just changed my 2020 enduro to xx1 11 speed and not looking back
  • 9 0
 My X01 11-speed was the best drivetrain I’ve had. I regret not keeping it when I sold my bike.
  • 2 1
 @roma258: The Shimano Deore 12 speed seems like it shifts pretty good but seems a little heavy. I haven't owned it yet though but looks like a good budget drivetrain.
  • 3 0
 Yup. Still have XT 11 speed on one bike with e13 9-46 cassette (I hate the 37 to 46T jump on the XT 11 speed cassette and it's heavy). Super light reliable drivetrain for a fraction of the cost of 12 speed...
  • 14 2
 @Hayek: This can’t be overstated.

Sram 11 speed, especially XO1, was the pinnacle of drivetrain components in my opinion. Ridiculously long wear life, super lightweight, took impacts without breaking easily, and unlike 12 speed, wasn’t easily knocked out of adjustment (this is critical).

If it just had the range of Eagle, or at least closer to it, I would’ve been perfect.

Dear Sram, can we please have 10-50 11 speed???
  • 1 1
 @roma258: Or like, any 12 speed, man.
  • 2 1
 @roma258: Actually 12spd came down pretty quickly in price, so the savings are pretty minimal, and stuff like 12spd Deore is really, really good. Throw on an XT shifter and I highly doubt you'd be able to tell the difference compared to a full XT group if you were blindfolded. The price difference between 10spd and 11spd isn't much either nowadays. Also when you're looking at new bikes, pretty much only very low end stuff comes with 11spd drivetrains. If you're building a bike from scratch, the bang to buck ratio is pretty damn bad to begin with... Big Grin
  • 18 4
 @Rodeodave: When indexed shifters came out, people said they're too complicated and unreliable compared to friction shifters. When 9spd came out, people on 8spd said that 9spd is unreliable, the chains are too narrow and weak etc. And then people said the exact same thing at the 9-10, 10-11, 11-12spd switch.
I know i'm probably gonna get downvoted for this, but just because a drivetrain has one less cog at the back, that doesn't make it more reliable. Urban legend. Maybe you had a bad experience with 12spd, but I highly doubt it was because of that extra 1 cog on the cassette.
  • 7 0
 I absolutely love 12 speed and won't go back any time soon, if ever. But if you can get away with an 11, for whatever your reason is, it is a good way to save money.
  • 3 0
 @HollyBoni: Agreed, but I must say I found it harder to dial in the shifting on the 12 speed stuff. Once dialed it was pretty solid for the rest of the season.
  • 7 0
 I don't think 12 speed is as reliable as 11. I would get 11 again if I could be bothered to.
  • 6 0
 @HollyBoni: while I often find that the MTB community can be a little stick-in-the-mud when it comes to new tech, I am inclined to agree with the 11-12 speed jump and the reliability issues. My XO/GX eagle setup I have to play with every so often and can’t for the life of me get it to into the 10 tooth at the back smoothly. Hopped on my old XC rig with a 6 year old 10speed XT that has had literally no maintenance done on it, like, ever, the jockey wheels were so worn that they were more akin to ninja stars than something from a drivetrain and it shifted every gear perfectly. Same thing when I pedal around on my sister’s 5 year old X1 11 speed, broken jockey wheels very limited maintenance and still works just fine.
  • 7 0
 @Louisd2000: It's not just the MTB community. When it comes to drivetrains i've heard the exact same stuff from everyone (roadies, touring guys etc.) every time a manufacturer added an extra cog to the back. Weaker chains, cogs wear quicker, chains wear quicker, stuff goes out of adjustment, harder to set up etc... And this has been going on forever, not just since the 11-12spd switch.
If you can't get an XO/GX Eagle setup to shift smoothly to the 10T, you're doing something wrong or there is an issue you're not seeing. No offense (seriously).
I read about all kinds of issues online, when I worked as a mechanic i've dealt with issues every day on "robust" and "reliable" drivetrains.
Yet the drivetrains on my own bikes seem to work pretty well, doesn't matter if they're 8spd or 12spd. I just think there are a lot of myths floating around about drivetrain reliability, issues etc. and a lot of issues can be traced back to user error.
  • 8 0
 There is actually a 11 speed version of the new deore with a 11-51 ranged cassette. It's not too expensive and it works.
  • 2 0
 10 speed even cheaper, not mentioning single speed Wink
  • 3 1
 @HollyBoni: Call it user error or whatever you want, 12 speed drive trains are more sensitive to precise initial setup and continued alignment (i.e. b-bolt, der hanger, cable, shifter) because of the extremely tight gear spacing. Therefore, the degree of misalignment the derailleur can handle before it starts mis-shifting or ghost shifting is tighter on 12-speed than on drivetrains with fewer gears. This is indisputable.

This was not as much of an issue on any of the earlier drivetrain transitions you mentioned, but 12-speed appears to have crossed some kind of threshold. As long as everything is perfectly aligned it will shift just as well as any past setup, maybe even better, but it takes very little to knock it out if adjustment. People aren’t just imagining this.
  • 2 0
 @likehell: SLX 11sp. with Sunrace 11-50 Cassette, works pretty good, is affordable and takes you up every mountain
  • 1 0
 Little known fact is that 11 and 12 speed SRAM derailluers and shifters will work with Shimano 10, 11 and 12 speed derailleurs. My current set up is a SRAM X1 shifter moving a Shimano 12 speed SLX derailleur, on a Sunrace 11 speed 10-46 cassette. Works great, but will likely change to a wider ratio cassette.
  • 2 3
 Any decent regular ass mechanic knows HollyBoni is right about user error. Either you or your bike mechanic sucks it's not the number of cogs fault. Otherwise everyone would have the same problem which is just not the case.
  • 7 2
 @gunnyhoney: Just about all 12 speed drivetrains shift great when set up correctly... out of the box. The problem is when you take them into the real world where dirt, mud, sticks, and apparently even the wind are involved. The tighter tolerances just make it straight up shittier once anything has happened to make your bike not new.

If you're someone who rides on a bike path and never dumps your bike, that's great and a 12 speed will work very well. On the other hand, if you put your bike down once a ride and ride in less than peachy conditions the tight-ass precision 12 speed needs to work truly well goes right out the window. 11 speed is somehow so much more resilient, and same goes for the speeds below barring the walmart-level tech.

There's just no reason to get 12 speed unless it comes on your bike or you NEED to get AXS. As @melonhead1145 said, as long as the drivetrain works, send it. The problem with 12 speeds is that may more of them just don't work well in real life. The shifting performance WILL be worse than *basically* anything else, and you *will* end up spending more money upfront and on replacement parts.
  • 6 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: it's fine that you think that but when i'm literally living a life where I get to personally see and ride with 12 speed drivetrains hitting bike park consistently and running all sorts of huge trail rides while still working completely fine with normal maintenance and care, you can't change my mind...
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: I am running 12 speed with a 34 tooh in the front, feels amazing.
  • 3 2
 @gunnyhoney: At a certain point people are going to run what they run. It's great that we have wide range, simple drivetrains on bikes. People just don't seem to care much about idk, money? Maybe it's because of the demographics of the sport and the way it's been marketed. Having more gears makes sense for road biking.

Let's consider the figures of merit for a drivetrain:
-the more time it spends working without intervention
-low price
-high durability and longevity
-range
-low weight (does it even matter that much?)
-ease of repair/tune
-chain retention/low noise
-has more than 5 gears
-efficiency?

12 speed unarguably requires paying more money for less reliability than say an 11 speed system. It's different from the 10 to 11 migration because the decline in performance/price is legitimately noticeable. Take all of the innovations that came with 12 speeds and put them on an 11 system and it'll be better than the 12 speed in every way. What does the extra cog actually give you? A system that's worse and more expensive.

It's objective.
  • 1 0
 @Pipester: Sounds like an option, so far I get along very well with the 46 though. and I prefer the 13-15-17-19-21 steps fom Shimano vs the 13-15-18-21-24 from Sunrace..
  • 5 1
 @mrosie: Again, i've heard the EXACT SAME arguments for 11spd, 10spd etc. Just do a bit of research and see how many forum posts you can find from the 10-11spd switch era where people talk about extremely tight gear spacing, derailleurs getting knocked out of adjustment etc. Smile

I'm well aware of the "precision needed" because of the "tight tolerances", yet when I install and set up the drivetrains on my own bikes, somehow I don't have to tinker with 12spd stuff (or 11spd or 10spd) all the time, it just works. I don't think 12spd crossed some magical threshold (although according to forum posts etc. we crossed that treshold a few times already Smile ).
I do think a decent amount of people are imagining the whole unreliability thing (after all some people are convinced that the Earth is flat). How many people had the Eagle sync problem, and then it turned out they just didn't know how to set the B-gap? How many bikes (even "professionally assembled" bikes) do you see where the chain length is wrong? Etc...
There are plenty of happy 12spd users out there that put serious miles on their bike without issues, they just don't go on the internet to spread that. But if something goes wrong, of course everyone goes on the forums to get help, complain, and to spread how unreliable 12spd is. Smile
  • 2 0
 @HollyBoni: I kind of agree that 12sp shifts as good as 10sp after servicing it and getting everything fixed. The point is that a slightly bent hanger didn't have as much impact on a 10sp then on a 12sp.

I guess it depends a lot on what you are (trying) to ride. It's a totaly different story if you ride somewhere where you hardly hit any rocks with your derailleur. Totaly different story if rocks keep stroking every second ride.

I get my 12sp setup correct - no problem here. But I also have to service it far more often then my old 10sp.
Still I think it's worth it.
  • 1 0
 @chri: When in a shop i've dealt with plenty of 9 and 10spd drivetrains where a slightly misaligned hanger and/or slightly bent cage caused pretty big shifting issues.
When I was in a pinch and didn't have access to a hanger alignment gauge, I also bent back hangers on my own and friend's bikes with 11 and 12spd drivetrains by threading an axle in the hanger and eyeballing the alignment, and got the shifting dialed in pretty good.
Just curious, what do you need to service more often exactly? Adjustments like indexing? Aligning the hanger? Parts wear quicker? Etc.
  • 1 0
 Plus I've got an XTR cassette with the three black sprockets. They are worn to f*ck on the sides because of the chain rubbing them when in the next sprocket. Tolerances are so tight - it's pretty obvious that a bit of sand, mud, grass, or whatever is going to make more % difference to that system.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: As you go up in speeds, the gap between the cogs gets smaller, but in some cases the cogs themselves are narrower and the chains are narrower as well (and we are talking about tenths of a mm here). The distance between the outer plates and the next cog is miniscule on something like a 10spd system as well.
However, the chain rubbing on the next cog, especially if it happens in the bigger cogs is not normal on a 12spd system (or a 13spd system, or any system). The hanger or something is probably bent a bit inwards, maybe the freehub and/or the cassette has a wobble in it, or the indexing is off. I've dealt with this issue even on 8-9spd drivetrains when the hanger or the cage was bent inwards.
Larger cogs painted black will show more visible wear on the sides, because every time you shift the chain rubs the next cog a tiny bit (or a lot if something is off).
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: I would be interested to know the specified spacing between the outer cage plates on a 10, 11 and 12 speed XT drivetrain, all of which I have had. I admit I could be wrong, but just in my own experience I think everything is just that bit tighter on 12 speed. The shifting is nicer on 12 compared to 10 when clean and new. 12 speed is definitely more susceptible to going out of adjustment though. 11 speed XT is the best shifting and most reliable groupset I've used.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: For 10 and 11spd systems all the info is out there, you could do the math (although sadly some of the measurements floating around are bogus). I can't find a lot of measurements for 12spd but i'm sure you could find them somewhere. Or do it yourself if you have accurate enough tools. Smile
Keep in mind tho that even on 12spd the chain has a bit of "play" and it can move side to side on the cog. So if the indexing is off, or if the cage/hanger is bent, that can pull the chain to either side on the cog, and of course the chain line is very rarely dead straight, that moves the chain side to side on the cog as well.

I don't know if I have some sort of magic groupset, but personally I haven't experienced the drivetrain going out of adjustment more on 12spd (not counting hitting rocks here...).
10spd Shimano road was probably the worst, since it ran on the old SIS pull ratio, and the early STIs with hidden cable routing were pretty horrible.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: Same as you, I remember people fearing that the system was “too tight” back when we transitioned from 8 to 9, 9 to 10, and 10 to 11. But those fears were unfounded. They all required the same basic setup and reliability didn’t change. The move from 11 to 12 suddenly required precise b-bolt adjustment, tight chain length tolerances, and perfect der hanger alignment, to a degree not necessary on previous iterations.

A slightly bent der hanger could easily be band-aided trail side with a half-turn of the barrel adjuster on 11-speed. Now with 12-speed, an almost imperceptible bend has the damn thing mis shifting, and correcting it on trail is very difficult without tools. All this is fine if you never crash, but that’s not my world.

All I know is that I had less issues with precise adjustment affecting shifting on all other past drivetrains, and if I could go back to that without sacrificing wide range, I would.
  • 1 0
 @mrosie: Even before 12spd, I simply checked the manual, followed the chain sizing guide, then I checked how much b-gap the manual calls for, and measured it with a caliper. I do the same thing with 12spd (but now you have things like the SRAM b-gap gauge, or the guide on the Shimano RDs). You only need to do this once, no big deal. (On 1x11 systems with a single pivot rear derailleur and heavily offset pulley like SRAM or the new M5100, the b-gap and chain length needs to be pretty accurate as well.)
When it comes to hanger alignment, my experience is not the same as yours. I worked in a shop, and I flipped a few bikes. Bent hangers and cages were very very common. I've dealt with bikes with 9, 10, and 11spd drivetrains where to my naked eye everything looked straight, yet I couldn't get the thing to shift perfect unless I used an actual alignment gauge. I also eyeballed a few hanger alignments on 10 and 11spd. Most of the time eyeballing wasn't enough, sometimes I got lucky tho.
In my experience if you hit the RD hard enough that you get shifting issues, the barrel adjuster won't fix those issues a 100%, doesn't matter if it's a 10, 11 or 12spd rear derailleur. I fixed bent 12spd stuff while out on a ride before, and I got it shifting good enough so I could ride home. When you get home, the proper fix is the same for all hangers and all derailleurs, you replace the bent stuff and/or use a hanger alignment gauge.

Shimano makes an 11spd 11-51 cassette, and I think Garbaruk makes an 11spd 10-50. Go back to 11spd, i'm not stopping you. But also keep in mind that there are other variables. Maybe there is an underlying issue you don't know about, and that's what's giving you issues. Two crashes are never the same either.
All I know is that i'm happy with 12spd and I know there are plenty of other people that are happy as well and they ride more and/or harder than me. I know that there are people out there having issues, but plenty of people had issues with older drivetrains as well.
  • 1 0
 Sorry, what I meant to say was I would be interested to know the gap between the sprocket and the outer plates of the chain when it's on the next sprocket down. Every xtr cassette I've seen has had those terrible rub marks on the smallest alloy cassette from when the chain is on the 4th sprocket. True that could be more apparent because it's black and most of the cogs are silver.
  • 2 1
 @ZTom: I agree! Works like a charm and no special free hub needed to get massive range.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: If you know the width of the sprocket, the space between the two sprockets, and the width of the chain, I think you could do the math and figure it out.
But again, since the inside of the chain is wider than the sprocket even on 12spd, the chain can move a bit side to side, I don't think it's ever perfectly centered.
  • 2 0
 @mrosie: gargaruk 11 speed 10-48, 10-50 and 10-52 cassettes with same CNC milling process as X01 and XX1 for $250 or so, and less weight. From Poland
  • 62 22
 If you had $200 to spend on something bike related to improve your riding, you should get a bike lesson (or two or three). No matter your skill level, it is the biggest bang-for-your-buck, especially for a long term investment.
  • 12 1
 If you have a bike that isn't a busted, clapped out clunker...then this is the right answer. Period. Its amazing what a solid coach can do for a rider in just 2hrs.
  • 6 3
 @Svinyard: Absolutely! A decent bike will help out a lot. That being said, there are some guys out there with absolutely clapped bikes for '05 that have good form that crush dudes on Yetis looking at their $2000 front wheel the whole way down.
  • 3 0
 Spend at least half on tires, depending on what you have. Entry level bikes have slowly been getting better tires, but you will still see some "sport" level tires with silly hard compounds that are only about lasting the longest. Hard to take advantage of lessons if you're slipping and sliding all over the trail.
  • 2 0
 @just6979 totally, tires are definitely the #1 thing to upgrade on the bike itself, full stop. But good form can make up for crappy components, while good components can only put a bandaid on crap form.
  • 13 2
 Or save your money and ride your bike as much as possible, watch youtube videos, ride with people better than you and you will progress without a need to spend money on a personal trainer.
  • 4 8
flag friendlyfoe (Sep 28, 2020 at 12:51) (Below Threshold)
 @Svinyard: if your bike isn't at least a little bit busted and clapped out you're not riding hard enough. I easily spend $1500 a year on maintenance/replacement parts.
  • 6 1
 @friendlyfoe: I mean...I know ex-pro freeride guys that build and send stuff that Carson Storch goes big on. And they aren't spending 1500$ a year. How big/hard does someone need to go?
  • 2 0
 I’ve met very few coaches that are actually great riders.
  • 4 0
 @skelldify: @skelldify: Yeah... maybe steer away from the overweight middle aged dudes at the local loop and into the bikepark professionals.
  • 4 1
 @Svinyard: To be fair big jumps are probably less hard on stuff than smashing through chunky rocky sections, which there are plenty of around me. Going to the bike park makes a big difference. I went three times on my Bronson this year and 1 day is practically a month worth of descents.

Prices in CAD
Fork Seals - 50 (100 if getting someone else to install)
Shock service - 150
Brake pads - 120
Tires (1 front, 2 rears) - 300
grips - 30
Cassette - 150
Chain - 50
Wheel truing x2 - 100 (sorry, don't know how to do this one myself)

Every other season
derailleur - 150
pedals - 100

That gets me close to a grand. It hasn't been unusual for me to trash a back rim every season which tacks on about $400, although I've got DT swiss EX rims on now so hopefully I can go a bit longer. Shimano brakes I've had issues with failing after at most 2 seasons so maybe a new master or something. Then start to tack on associated things like gloves and a new helmet every couple years. Yeah having $200 lying around doesn't help me with my general expenses lol YMMV
  • 2 0
 @stumphumper92: more or less correct but by choosing some coaching you come out ahead
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: wow thats a regular casette and chain replacement
  • 2 0
 @nordland071285: To be fair some of that is condition based. The climbs are relatively steep here (and my bike is kind of heavy lol) so even with a 30 tooth front I spend most of my time climbing in my lowest 2 gears. I will wear the largest cog out and the rest of the cassette will be basically mint. Kind of annoying.

It's also super sandy here. I do my best to clean the chain with just soap and water every 3-4 rides and lube every 2-3 but there's so much grit that gets into everything that by the end of a season the chain is usually notchy enough that I'll replace it.
  • 30 6
 Mike Levy is a (inter)national treasure. Also, as someone happy with my gx drivetrain I still have to say that absolutely go shimano for a more entry level drivetrain. It is also important to note that when buying a complete bike the "reliable" stock aluminum rims often are utter garbage. Looking at you e*thirteen and raceface.
  • 12 3
 Maybe it’s not the rims? My RF rims have been bomb proof.
  • 4 0
 @CircusMaximus: My raceface rims were destroyed after a fall of riding them. I was good about tensioning them and everything, they just did not hold up. similarly my friend rins them with cushcore. He hasn't dented them once, but they still managed to detension and need truing every ride. I give their stock alloy rims a bad review.
  • 8 0
 @CircusMaximus: same for my Ethirteen-- and I case everything
  • 3 0
 My stock e13 wheels on my new bike lasted 2 runs. The back cracked and came fully detensioned 3 spokes backed out of the nipples, it was like riding on wet spaghetti to get to the truck.
  • 5 1
 @zanda23: I want necessarily saying it is you, per se. however there are many variables...machine built entry level wheels? Tire pressure off? Unlucky? I guess I’ve had good luck with my ARC offset 30’s.
  • 5 1
 Yeah my e13 have been great as well. No issues thrashing them after 1 year...I think the deal with rim issues on RF, e13, DT, WTB, is that all make budget rims (sleeved and crappier aluminum,) and awesome rims (welded and higher end aluminum). Sometimes the budget rims don't last as long under heavy riders running low pressures or in super rocky terrain...If you're gonna run a budget rim as a heavy rider in rocky trails, just get the DH version and take the weight penalty and you'll be good.

All the companies I listed make good products, but the budget stuff a lot of product managers spec sometimes don't hold up for all riders...
  • 1 0
 @Marky771 I agree however a brand new downhill bike it’s the intended for the local bike path... the wheels that come stock even on lower end builds need to be fairly decent but it’s saves money for them to be low quality. Now you buy a brand new bike and still have to build wheels either way.
  • 10 0
 Some people seem to chew through wheels way more than others though right? Regardless of actual weight and speed, we all know that guy who can pringle a wheel by looking at it, some people just ride a bit heavier and will always need a burlier rim (and tyres).
  • 7 0
 stock wheels piss me off. The price increase to good aluminum rims and butted spokes is negligible in the grand scheme but to upgrade after the fact you pretty much need to buy a new wheelset.
  • 1 0
 @racerfacer: I agree. It seems like companies want to make gx builds cheap and look like good value so they skimp on other parts. The wheels often are the first victim. I think its a bit predatory, especially for people new to the sport who don't know better and are less nuanced on what features are important. My dad has a rocky mountain instinct gx build that seems like a great deal, but it had some really bad sun ringlé wheels and level T brakes. To a beginner that looks like a good deal but in reality they got screwed on some parts that don't hold up for upward progression. I like to see companies be genuine and put good full builds together, and I like to see when they are rewarded by retaining more business.
  • 1 0
 yeah I feel like after Brakes, Fork and Tires,.... wheels will be my next point where to spend. or get cushcore or something.
  • 3 0
 @Mattysville: Totally agree. I'm just saying it's not just one brand that suffers from this. I've had buddies that had your experience with their WTB and DT stock low end wheels as well. Pooched after a couple of rides. Sometimes it's just a bad build or bad luck too. As long as the company in question takes care of you not all is lost!
  • 1 0
 @Mattysville: Mine lasted 3 weeks. If I wanted cheese I would have gone to the grocery store.
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: out of curiosity, what were those rims?
  • 1 0
 @racerfacer: machine built and badly finished by hand. Why dispose of trash when you can sell it
  • 1 1
 My RF Turbine wheel has held up like a champ to heavy Rocky Mountain DH/Enduro riding
  • 1 0
 @Altron5000: This is true. I eat wheels like crazy. Doesn't mean all the rims are all bad, they are just a wear item.
  • 24 0
 Learn to maintain your own stuff. Spend your money on a truing stand and the correct size spoke key. If you've got cup and cone hub bearings, get the proper size cone wrench. At least do your regular lower leg service. You may not need additional tools for that but maybe invest in a torque key, or I think Topeak has add-ons to get a key for one specific torque if you for instance only need 4Nm and 6Nm. And buy components you can maintain. If you can do a full service on the cheaper fork and need to send in the more expensive fork for a paid service, the cheaper fork may save you money quick. Especially if your riding doesn't demand the expensive fork anyway. On the other hand, if a cheaper product doesn't have any spares available hence it is sooner a total-loss, the more expensive product with better after sales may be cheaper in the long run.
  • 28 2
 All depends on how much you value your time. Sure a truing stand and other similar things is a nice investment, but you also have to account for the time you will spend on fixing things.

Sometimes there is more value in dropping your wheels off at a good shop and then spending your time on other things: play with your kids, fix your car, cross-train, lift, sleep, eat, screw, comment on PB, shop for new bike parts, etc etc.

(Says the guy who is currently shopping for a (legit, not poor-man's ziptie-on-seatstay) truing stand to build wheels for a retro mtb build) and also trying to find room in the basement "bike shop" to put it)
  • 19 0
 @just6979: Mostly just comment on pinkbike though
  • 5 1
 @just6979: your LBS must be really quick. Here in the PNW, there is a 2 - 3 week waiting list for bike service so learning to do the basics yourself will get you back on the trail quicker.
  • 6 1
 @MMOF: how often are you dropping your bike off for "basic" maintenance?

sure, get a starter tool kit and learn to do cables and brake pads and rotors and such, but wheel-building is usually not considered "basic" maintenance. maybe poor-man's ziptie-truing in between shop service counts as basic, but that doesn't require the full investment of a truing stand.

if your budget wheels need truing that often, then the same thing applies: instead of spending on a truing stand, or waiting for the shop, spend on better wheels and get more (valuable) time back in your pocket.
  • 4 0
 @just6979: Different ways to look at it. My point is, if you want to save money, do more yourself. A simple truing stand isn't all that expensive and it in the past couple of decades things haven't really changed in this respect. So the truing stand you bought decades ago is still good for use today. I'm not quite buying into the idea that if a wheel is built well you'd rarely have to perform service. Even the best wheels need an occasional touch-up and if you keep an eye on it, they'll actually last longer than if you leave at that once a year service. You'd say world cup mechanics probably build better wheels than your local lbs, yet still they always seem to be building new wheels (at least according to those pictures PB typically publishes leading up to the next WC race).

But yeah, it is a trade off. The question here is, how to save money. That is, do more yourself. If next weeks question is, how to save time then sure, the answer will be to do less yourself.
  • 3 3
 @vinay: And I'm saying you can't just say "this saves money" if it also costs time _and_ takes a decent initial investment. maybe truing your wheels yourself saves a couple shop trips, but how many shop invoices adds up to a truing stand? i guess if you would be dropping wheels off for truing every other month it wouldn't take long, but guess what? most people are _not_ doing that, so it's really a quick route to savings for the average rider.
  • 6 0
 @just6979: Seriously. When I was a single soldier living in the barracks, I had plenty of time to strip my entire bike down and work on it. Now with three kids I'm lucky if I have time to wash the thing! (Not complaining at all mind you, my kids are pretty cool.)
  • 3 0
 @just6979: Yeah, there is a lot of advice given in the article and in the comment section. People read it and pick what works for them. Chances are slim that anyone would read my advice, would go out and buy wheelbuilding equipment to then realize that they're unwilling to actually use it. If I'm wrong here, I apologize up front.
  • 3 0
 @just6979: I value my time on the bike, I can't get a wheelset trued and back on my bike in less than a week. I can however spend one hour in my garage and do it myself and still have time in the day to ride.

Adjusting cup and cones and spokes is a huge money and time saver in the long run. Servicing cup and cones will cost between nothing and 25 cents and only takes like 10 minutes. Just running cup and cone instead of sealed bearings is cost effective.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Yes, WC mechanics build a ton of wheels for the simple reason that WC riders destroy wheels at a prodigious rate (even really really good wheels). I speak from experience.
  • 3 0
 I've built a few wheels now just using Sheldon Brown's webpage and 2 zipties. It's surprisingly precise as long as you're patient and have a quiet space to work in (to hear the scraping). I imagine a truing stand is quicker, but I wouldn't be able to tell the difference in the finished product. The wheels stay true much longer than my previous OEM alloy wheels. Not an efficient use of my time, but satisfying.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: I built my truing stand from some bits of plywood and metal I had kicking around. It works just as well as any other stand and cost me nothing. It has saved me lots of $$ when I need to replace a rim, re-lace a wheel, etc. I do all the work on my bike except damper service. I would far rather spend my own time, save $$, and make sure the job is done properly. It's way faster than taking my bike to a shop and waiting for it too, which means I never have down-time when I can't ride.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, agreed you can probably build a good truing stand from whatever you've got kicking around. On the spectrum of cost saving vs time saving, I went for a cheaper Tacx workstand. It is a local product and it's been going strong for about fifteen years now. Only once when I built a heavy 3kg rear wheel (Nexus 7sp geared hub with roller brake which you need to have installed to have the hub centered, steel Van Schothorst/Ryde rim and 4mm thick spokes) I felt it was flexing so much that it delayed the process. But for your typical mountainbike wheel, it does just fine. I don't see it going obsolete for decades to come so technically it saves you money the longer you just keep it.

As for quality time, just cut up the process in as many pieces until it becomes comfortable. No point doing it in a single go. I compare it to knitting. You can do it whilst chilling with friends and family, it will just take a bit longer. I built my most recent wheel last summer (DT 350 rear hub, Alpine III spokes, brass nipples and Spank Spike rim with a really basic 3 cross pattern) and took it really easy. It might have taken me over three hours spread over a couple of days. Talking and sipping tea when building, taking many breaks swimming, hiking, cycling. I could have been faster, more focused etc. But I don't need to.

The point here being, it is your choice, your time and your process. You can make it whichever way you want it. Time of day, alone or with friends and family, one single go or split in as many pieces as you want, it is all up to you.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: "compare it to knitting" finally something relatable.
  • 2 0
 My rule is that if buying the tool and paying someone to do it cost similar amounts, I buy the tool and learn how to do the work.
  • 2 0
 @DMal: As I compare everything to knitting, I've got to say there is a limit. I've tried knitting for months, it always turned into a huge mess. And you've got to undo a lot of work to correct an earlier mistake. I eventually gave up. Initial investment was low though.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: a truing stand is a luxury item anyway and not really necessary. I've been building wheels since 1996 and I have never owned a truing stand, I just do it in the bike with the tyres off. Instead of a dish stick I use three IKEA beakers on a table spaced out to hold the rim, and I roll sockets from my socket set under the hub locknuts to see if it's dished correctly.
The way I look at it is that with these big tyres at 21 psi, 170mm of suspension and disc brakes it doesn't matter if your wheels are not exactly straight. It's pretty easy to get them within a millimetre, which is straighter than the tyres in most cases. Absolute truth is just not that important on a mountain bike. Strength is a lot more important. When my rims get bent I don't try to true them these days as long as they are witjin a couple of mm. It's better to have them a bit out and have even spoke tension, in my opinion.
  • 17 0
 I may have missed the point of this video but yo... where can I get that stem machined by leprechauns under a full moon?!? I need it
  • 11 0
 chromag web page?
  • 2 0
 Why that would be the Chromag BZA good sir.
  • 2 0
 Chromag
  • 3 0
 Industry Nine
  • 1 0
 Intend. 3
  • 17 3
 Instead of supporting trailforks I bought new pedals.
  • 10 0
 Those are some pretty cheap pedals...
  • 2 0
 Find me these $18 pedals that are so nice
  • 5 0
 @just6979: If he plans to use them for the next 5 years, he got very good pedals Wink
  • 12 0
 can you make the dude that passed me with the rainbow anodized spokes and every color of rainbow swirled anodized parts watch this please?
  • 8 1
 I think you met @reecewallace sir
  • 3 0
 if he passed you it must be working!
  • 12 0
 for gods sake please I hope my wife doesn't see this
  • 6 0
 Would've been cool to get some recs on quality inexpensive wheels and freehubs (the way he did with droppers). I also feel like seats are a good place to splurge a little. The stock seat that came with my Jeffsy is excruciating. Makes me appreciate a nice comfy seat.
  • 4 0
 This is a good point, we all know which cheap droppers work well enough etc but I don't feel like I have any handle on which cheap wheelsets are light enough and perform nicely.
  • 4 0
 I agree. I’ve tried to save on hubs but many of the ones I’ve tried (Stan’s, Novatec, SRAM) have ended up blowing up, sometimes leaving me stranded mid-ride and with not only the cost of a replacement hub but also a wheel build. Often these cheaper hubs cannot be rebuilt; if you blow something like a drive ring, the hub is toast. Something reliable and repairable like Hope or DT 350 or better is money well spent.

Recommendations on cheaper hubs that are less likely to be explode would be awesome.
  • 3 0
 I agree. I've been searching high and low for $400-$500 wheelsets with DT350 hubs.
  • 6 0
 FWIW, as a larger person who puts massive torque through rear wheels/hubs, I will ride nothing but DT Swiss 350s. Absolutely bulletproof. I've destroyed many other - more expensive - hubs.
  • 3 0
 Don't necessarily need to splurge on a seat, just find one that fits. $60-80 is where all the decent ones start, and spending more (up to $200-250 in some cases) just gets you the same shapes with fancier materials to shave grams (and maybe add strength: go with Ti rails instead of cromo if you tend to damage rails before the cover or padding gets destroyed).
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: those are both kinda personal. Light-enough for what kind of riding and where? Perform nicely under what kind of rider? Are you getting into racing and want/need all the lightness, or would rather just grow stronger legs than spend money on lighter (and weaker if they're also cheap. pick 2, right?) wheels that might help you beat a friend up a hill by one second?
  • 5 0
 I ride a lot - 5 times a week or so until the snow hits. I have found that cheap, or even mid level hubs, are a waste of money. If you’re riding a lot and mashing then pedals, spend the money ONCE. Buy a CK, I9 or something. I went through three Hope hubs in two years (and I like hope hubs). I dtswiss 240 lasted me 6 years with no servicing. Now I’ve had two years of hassle few I9 riding. As long as I keeping riding lots, I am going to have a top quality hub.
  • 3 0
 @just6979: I think just something in the middle for the average-bear would be nice to know off hand. Not needed for racing, just general use. I'm not talking about lightweight stuff, but I sure as hell dont want super heavy tank wheels when it's not needed. Just a nice, up the middle Wheelset that's really affordable. Kind of like how the OneUp V2 dropper works about the same as BikeYoke dropper, but about half the cost. I want to know the wheelset, if it exists, that is similar. (OneUp needs to make a wheelset apparently)
  • 1 0
 I've had good luck with affordable Hunts - just be patient with lead times.
  • 1 0
 @Yerts: Those do look great, thanks for the tip!
  • 2 0
 @zamanfu: I’ve had good luck at that price point with bicycle wheel warehouse. Hard to beat those prices (after coupons) for a custom wheelset with DT350s/DT rims. The business models seems to be to give you wholesale pricing on the parts and only
charge for labor.
  • 1 0
 @DMal: Spank.
  • 1 0
 @aharvey: Amen brother!
  • 6 0
 Just a point -I agree with the 350 hubs -but they are 400 to 500 cdn on their own - understood your prices are USD. May want to bump that to 700 to 800. Good rubber should be critical. Dentists, shop employees and myself always run Maxxis but Specialized and others make great tires for way less in North America.
  • 1 0
 i like to buy local whenever it somewhat makes sense, but I order tires from Chain Reaction or Bike Discount. I'm not paying double for Maxxis.
  • 3 0
 @JayUpNorth: TBS often has good prices on maxxis and they're Canadian.
  • 1 0
 If you want a 2.5 or 2.4. Otherwise you have to go across the pond. You are correct. It is hard to pay 135 for a single tire otherwise. @eh-steve:
  • 1 0
 @eh-steve: They usually have Maxxis for $80? I would have no problem paying $15 more a tire if they had both tires I wanted or 2 similar suitable ones. Their selection is very wide tire/enduro biased. LBS didn’t have xr4’s in stock either.
  • 9 0
 Spend on your significant other to the point where bike parts look trivial in your bank account.
  • 9 5
 You need 3 section here;

Spend: Tyres, Pedals, Brakes (Tyres with proper sidewalls and compounds that suit your discipline, a well designed flat pedal vaults etc, and some decent stoppers to suit your discipline)

Semi Spend: Suspension, Drivetrain, Wheels, Frame (Lyric Select, SLX, Alloy not carbon etc...)

Budget: Seatpost, Saddle, Bar, Stem (Budget droppers are good, a saddle with basic rails and materials, Entry RF or Nukeproof cockpits are banging)

Things like grips etc, no category needed, get what feels nice on your paws!
  • 8 3
 Great video. I'm not a fan of bike shops that offer a payment plan on their fancy new bikes. IMO you shouldn't go into debt to have a great time out there. Just ride your damn bike!
  • 6 7
 You have to go into debt to properly build credit. You aren't supposed to finance big ticket items you can't afford.
Usually they have 0%apr if you pay them off in a year. So let's say you just finished paying off your car note and you want a new bike, breaking that down to a monthly "car payment" would get you one hell of a bike. Thats just easier for most people than trying to swallow one big 4000 dollar payment.
  • 8 3
 @RonSauce: Pay with money you have or you are a chump. Debt is bad. Earn money, save it, and spend only when you have some to spend after covering your nut.

I have a mortgage, it is the only debt I carry. When I applied for a loan, I didn't have a credit score. I got a cheap card, used it for groceries each month for 6 months, and got a great loan. I haven't borrowed anything since and now have a nice savings account.

I once had a car loan, it doubled the total price. I was a chump.
  • 4 2
 @iggzilla: congratulations on somehow getting a decent rate on a mortgage with ghost credit.
Your car loan was so ridiculous because...you guessed it, lack of credit.
There is a difference between financing and "going into debt".
  • 1 2
 @RonSauce: Most cards have an annual rate of about 20-25%. Usually they have a 0% apr, if you pay them off in a MONTH, not a year. Sitting on debt for longer than a month is going to cost you close to 2% of your balance every month you have one.

If you want to build credit, yeah, buy things on a card - and pay them off promptly. Instead of using your debit, use credit and transfer the coin before the end of the month, and stay within your means - THAT is a smart way to build your credit. But buying a $4000 bike on a regular credit card and paying off over a year is going to cost you hundreds of dollars. Personally, not what I could call the most favorable way to build your credit.
  • 3 1
 @privateer-wheels: im not talking about cards, im well aware of how credit cards work. Im talking about financing through stores and manufacturers offering 0%. Im not telling anyone to take a 25%loan, thats stupid to even assume thats what I was saying. Almost every manufacturer I've looked into has 12 month 0% if its paid in a year, or other options for longer loans with obviously higher interest.

Paying off promptly doesn't do much for credit, paying on time is more important. To gain credit using a standard card you will have to pay interest.
  • 4 1
 @RonSauce: right, I follow. Financing agreement with 0% apr. Yeah, definitely better than the standard card, as long as you pay it off under that year timeframe.

On the credit cards and credit score, paying promptly and paying on time are the same thing in my mind. - ultimately, paying your balance before it comes due and you accrue interest. This will will help build your credit score just the same. You don't need to pay a dime in interest, believe it or not. It's more about forming a history of good payment habits. I'm sure VISA and MasterCard want you to accrue and pay interest, but they aren't who give you your credit rating. And they still benefit from all the transaction fees they charge vendors, regardless of whether or not you ever pay a cent in interest. Light use and low balances will do you just fine if you can swing it. I've rarely if ever carried a balance and paid interest on any of my cards, ever. From my university days to current day. I did just fine when I went to buy a car, and a house.

I definitely agree with the OP's sentiment though. I would prefer to save, rather than load up on financing and card debt for leisure and luxury purchases. To me that's a sign that I can afford them. If I can't save for it and buy with cash, I simply cannot afford the toy. That's just my mode of operation of course.
  • 3 0
 @privateer-wheels: I dont see how offering payment plans, layaway and interest free financing is detrimental.

I'm not her to argue financial savvy. Maybe some day I will take your guys advice and head down the road of shitty loans and bad credit card rates. Having single digit interest when i need it is pretty good though, so i doubt it.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: They aren't detrimental by nature. But a large share of our generation is straddled by way more debt than they should be, so I generally am not in the habit of promoting these things for luxury and leisure purchases myself. But, that's just me. I think a lot of personal finance experts would likely say the same thing.

My approach seems to work just fine. I have a very healthy credit score, and would have no issue getting a 'single digit interest' rate not far above the prime rate if I needed it for some reason. And as far as credit cards go, I'll go with the one with best perks, usually travel perks - I don't care about the interest rate because I don't carry a balance to accrue any.
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: Moved to North-America 5 years ago, never took on loans and paid everything with credit cards (paid it every month). Was able to get a mortgage just fine.

Personally, I rather ride a shitty bike that is paid for than a fancy bike on a payment plan.
  • 1 3
 @Niek88: why do you idiots keep talking to me about credit cards and your mortgages?

I'm gonna need you to read this really slow, I never told anyone to rack up credit card debt, and getting a mortgage isn't difficult. I promise you having better credit gets better rates. Thats why people with no credit are taking about paying twice over on a car note and 25% on their cards.

But please, tell me again about your mortgage. You clowns seriously don't understand paying rent and phone payments build credit because you are signing yourself into a payment plan... that is debt.

One more time since you all have the comprehension of a bag of potatoes. If a bikeshop or manufacturer offers you a zero percent payment plan that's easy credit, thats all.

Dont tell me about getting a mortgage like
its an accomplishment. Getting a car loan isn't an accomplishment, getting ATT to sell you a $1800 phone isn't some sort of accomplishment, filling out a getting a credit card from target isnt an accomplishment. Its easy as hell you get debt. I have a $600,000 line of credit, whoopty-doo, it doesn't mean im worth half a million cash.
But yeah, i guess ill fire my financial advisor and just go with a group of dumbasses thatcant stay on topic and want to mansplain credit cards.
  • 2 1
 @RonSauce: I would recommend you go ride your bike, sounds like you can use a break. And yes, please fire your financial advisor.
  • 1 1
 @Niek88: agree with you, lol. He is wrong on a number of points. And who the heck uses 'mansplain' on another dude?!

Personally, I just see him spreading misinformation and propigating bad personal finance management advise. But hey, who am I to tell anyone how to spend their money, or spend their credit. Fill your boots Ron my buddy!
  • 1 0
 I have given zero financial advice, I only said a zero pecent loan is a.good easy way to build credit, but you want to go off on some wild tangent and put me on some pro-credit card platform. But you guys keep wowing eachother with mortgages super cool.
  • 1 0
 FYI I financed my last 2 bikes, spent zero dollars over the sticker price (other than tax) and was alerted when they were both paid off that my credit score popped up a couple points.

Its pretty easy to track your credit and see what helps and hinders your score.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: you were the one who started talking about car loans and mortgages, conflating we all must get bunk rates because we generally avoid debt, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Perhaps I have misunderstood, but I don't think so. You have asserted that my advise (and others) would lead to bad lending rates and bad credit scores after all, which is absolutely wrong.

It's your opinion that buying a bike on credit is a good thing, or at least a good way to build credit, when it's a 0% apr and you can pay off within a year. My apologies for not understand this in my first post. My point is that buying luxury items on credit is in my opinion, not a great practice, and there are better ways to build credit while not actually taking on debt for 12 months. You are entitled to your opinion, and expressing it. So am I. I don't care if you agree with me, and I'm not going to call you a clown or tell you that you have the comprehension of a bag of potatoes I'd you don't. But you have thrown out these exact insults. I don't need to insult you or attack you on a personal basis, because I'm confident that I'm right, I'm perfectly okay with being challenged in my understanding of finances, and I don't have thin skin.

I'm also not sure what's wrong with being pro-credit card, by the way. I myself am pro-credit card - on the basis they are used with responsibility. Basically my entire point, responsible and measured use of credit of any sort is fiscally prudent, and will gain you a good credit rating.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: any time you get a 0% apr, someone is paying that interest. Anyone lending money expects a return.

You got the bike for the sticker price, but if you went in with cash I have to wonder if you would have gotten a lower purchase price, by whatever the discount rate was that was embedded in the whole financing deal.

Maybe that's not true, pending where you bought the bike. A direct to consumer brand is not likely to offer this as it would devalue the bikes (by having two prices), but you can be guaranteed I'd you went into a or private shop, or a car dealership who was offering 0% interest terms, you would likely come out with a purchase price lower than the tag if you paid on debit.

Of course that only works if you have a lump sum of cash in your account. But, there is interest in that sticker price.

And I monitor my own credit with the Eqifax credit monitoring app. More for fraud prevention than anything else.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: are you really suggesting more might be inflated? I've bought bikes there for cash,and bought them on debit, all at regular price.

My 2 bike shops, one has free layaway, one has free 12 month financing. Believe it or not, some people would rather spend 500 a month than 6000 all at once. Some places give you the option.

I'm not anti credit card, or pro credit card, I've made no suggestions about them. If you read my first post you will see I dont recommend spending money you don't have or financing things you can't afford. I simply suggest taking advantage of credit in a responsible manner.

Building credit is about showing consistency and reliability handling finances, it isnt about keeping money in your mattresses.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: on your last points, I agree. It's about consistency and reliability. You can show that without carrying a balance, or by carrying a balance and making sensible payments on your principal and paying interest. I prefer the former.

I think we can out the credit card issue to bed. I think we not so out of sync here.

And yes, financed price by the end of a finance term, even with a '0% rate', and the pay up front price, generally speaking, always differ if you get under the hood. Car dealerships are a f
Great example. They advertise 0 apr, you walk in with cash, you will get a lower price or a cash rebate, and the dealer will be ambivalent because it's the same to them either way. There is a coat for financing - lenders charge an interest rate for this. If the dealer is advertising 0% rates, then the present value of the purchase is somewhere lowered than the sticker price, there is interest, and the sum of the two, the future value, is the sticker price you see.

I'm not sure how sophisticated your shop is with finances and accounting. Or how rigid they are with pricing, but I can tell you if they are financing with any sort of financer or lender, the above paragraph is true for them too. If they are just a ma and pa shop who offer 12 month payment plans (credit) on their own dime, the is a whole other kettle if fish business strategy, but it too costs them something, though perhaps the additional sales outweigh that cost.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: its very obviously a tactic to up sales. Paying off an average priced bike, and lets be real the average bike sold at a shop isn't THAT expensive, and breaking it into 12 payments isn't unreasonable, and all of their other options 24, 36 or 48 months have a rate as you would expect.

As for cars I deal specifically with no haggle dealers with cash, either from savings or from my own lender at a rate no dealership can touch. I highly recommend no haggle dealers.
  • 4 0
 I’d have a really hard time suggesting higher end than SLX 12 speed to any newer rider at this point. Even the base level shifters is so nice comparison to the stuff we rode with 10 plus years ago at XTR level that we thought was amazing then. Slight gains in shift quality does nothing but feel better at the thumbs, IMO. But brakes, yes please. I’m happy with my GX drivetrain, but give me Code RSCs with 200mm rotors all day long.
The thing about carbon rims that I don’t get outside of the XC race world, why do you spend another grand to save 100 grams per wheel when your tires weigh 1100 grams when the best carbon wheels now are trying to give you the feel of aluminum. 100 grams at the rims mean a lot when you are running 400-700 gram tires, but who runs those anymore outside of the XC crowd?
  • 10 0
 Upgrading to the XT shifter gives you the ability to upshift twice with a single push. Pretty awesome feature to upgrade for on a (typically) non-wearing part, especially if you live somewhere with rolling terrain.
  • 11 2
 Thing about carbon rims is that they are f*cking strong. Not all of them are lighter, but pretty much all of them that aren't pointed directly at the weight-weenies are insanely durable.

The argument that you can bend alloy rims back is silly, because the carbon ones just won't ever get that kind of damage, and the impacts that do break good carbon rims would also have destroyed an alloy rim beyond the point of bending it back.

I got carbon rims without thinking about weight at all. In fact, I got them to minimize thinking about rims at all. They just take everything and don't care. Tire pressure a little low and worried about dinging the rim? Don't worry, the rims will be fine, worry more about ripping those 700 gram tires.
  • 3 0
 xt shifter is a nice upgrade from slx. I don't like the light feel of the slx shifting and i really missed the multi shifting from xt.
  • 5 0
 Carbon rims aren’t really a weight thing for me. I used to need to true my wheels once a week minimum and build atleast one new wheel every season but with carbon wheels the only thing i do is fix broken spokes and give it a quick true with the new spoke. Carbon wants to be the shape it’s molded into while aluminum is forced into a circle and doesn’t want to retain shape. Plus if you manage to mangle a carbon wheel they usually have solid warranties to get you going again.

I know guys who can wreck an aluminum wheel in a week that can get a full season on carbon wheels you can’t compare them on weight, it’s like comparing an inline shock with rebound adjust to a proper piggyback shock with compression and rebound adjustments and saying the inline is better because it weighs less.
  • 1 0
 Because your wheels are still 100g lighter
  • 1 2
 @dastone: shifters are always the best upgrade vs the lower model, be it xt v slx or XO1 v GX. Affects the feel, shift quality, and less prone to rock strikes than the derailleur itself.
  • 2 0
 @dastone: Yeah bUt WhY aRe YoU sHiFtInG tWo At A tImE sO mUcH?
  • 1 0
 @Daledenton: I’ve had less problems with Al rims since they went wider. I used to true wheels at least once a week. Now, I can go months. And rim dings are mostly in my past after mostly riding 2.5” tires. But I’m kinda old, and maybe I don’t go as hard as you do.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: feel yes, shift quality maybe 50/50, if not more towards the mech. there are a whole bunch of pivots and links down there, and if they're lower quality, there is just more things to potentially be at the edge of a tolerance.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: I wholeheartedly agree, since going to carbon rims, I get to spend more time riding my bike and no time truing wheels or replacing dented aluminum rims.
  • 1 1
 @dastone: Always disliked that feature on my 11 speed XT stuff. I got in the habit of using the awkward pull trigger for upshifts so that I wouldn't accidentally double shift. So I just put a SRAM shifter on my Shimano derailleur and got rid of the problem.
  • 3 0
 Spend your money and time ridding,then replace whatever broke. Most people spend a ton in a bike,but never in ridding like good trips,bike parks,uplift services or far places.
To me,I setup my bike to tank any trail,2ply dh tires and good wheels,cos worst&easy thing is a flat,or waiting for someone flat tire to be repair.
Then,no fancy parts in the wear items,just what you need to forget about it.
If I must choose only 1 upgrade to my bike,a would choose a good (to my taste if needed) front tire,that´s it.
  • 3 0
 Spend not on carbon hoops, spend all on decent components. Carbon is relative. Unless you're racing XC, I don't really see the point, especially for those who throw their bikes around. It's a relief not having to worry if I damaged my carbon frame every time I hear a rock hit it...
  • 1 0
 Buy expensive lightweight carbon Cover it in layers of heavy, dense rubber an heli tape Expensive lightweight carbon no longer lightweight.....
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: I kinda like that, a carbon rim with DH tires.
  • 3 0
 In my experience, hubs/wheelset isn't the place to save money. Anything less durable than a dt350 or hope pro4 laced to a quality ~100 dollar rim just isn't worth it. And then your wheelset price is closer to 6-700 dollars. Also, you can say 20 degrees of engagement on a stock dt350 isn't an issue but I feel it's completely asinine to be honest.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy You guys should put together a cheap trail bike, roughly per the video, then the same frame with a much higher spec of componentry and hot-lap them.

It's extra scientific if you can remove decals etc. / reduce the time the test pilot gets from picking up the bike to riding the hot-lap to make it difficult to tell which is the fancy schmancy componentry.

PS. Don't tell Shimano / SRAM / Fox what we're up to.
  • 4 0
 X-Fusion droppers, Clark disc brakes, Shimano deore, mountain co-op stems, race face and Chromag bars or any product from Giant Bikes.
  • 2 0
 I feel like I've spent more on grips than anything else at this point. Its hard finding a set that's not to thin/not to fat, but just right. Ive tried 4 sets alone this summer and am still not happy. 33ish mm with duel clamp seems ideal as I keep blowing the ends off non clamped ones on trees. Any recommendations?
  • 4 0
 I’m with you. Have just finally found the right ones for me. Check out Deity Supracush if you haven’t already.
  • 1 0
 @CircusMaximus: nice, I’ll check em out!
  • 2 0
 Esi racer's edge for me the only grip I can handle, not resistant though but absorb bumps like no others.
  • 4 0
 @zombiejack33: I'm superhappy with Ergon GE1
  • 1 1
 @CircusMaximus: genuinely curious what is going on (or went on) with their wheels. I dont know if they got a couple bad batches of the wrong alloy, or that had an inconsistent heat treatment, because my arc30s lasted 4 rides on a brand new bike, however my wife has had a set on her bike (which I have borrowed for hard laps a couple of times) for 2 seasons with minimal issues.
  • 4 0
 Hey, have you ever looked at grips from the brand REVERSE?
It is brand which has great products in terms of price and quality.
Those grips are also very durable and super comfy for every type of riding. I also had issues with grips but these are between super cushy ESI ones and harder rubber ones:
reverse-components.com/en/products/seismic-ergo-%C3%B834mm
  • 2 0
 Maybe shorten your bars? If you're hitting trees that much, try taking a few mm off each side, see how that goes.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: I have them at 760, but I’m tall and I don’t want to go any shorter. I ride in pretty tight techy terrain so bar strikes aren't abnormal from time to time
  • 2 0
 This is me. It's to the point of embarrassing. I have a drawer full of grips used for a couple of runs.
  • 1 0
 @zombiejack33: I think I have seen someone making bash guards like dirt bikers use?????

Protect your hands????
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: cool Ill look into it. Mind you its usually just the 2mm of bar end that get sheared off lol
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: whatcha got in that drawer? looking to try something new here
  • 1 0
 @adschreib: Rogues, Fabric Magic, Swayze's, Palmdales, Deathgrips, Ruffians. Now working on Longneck lockons and Knuckledusters.
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: How do you find the knuckledusters, was checkin those out along with the supracrush
  • 2 0
 @zombiejack33: Knuckledusters are one of my favourites. Compliant, not squishy like the swayzes, Supracush look good, but very different widths so I havent tried them
  • 2 0
 From frame to fork (left off cockpit and drivetrain because I wasn't 100% sure what the recommendation was and which parts are included) I summed $2,800 as the recommended minimum amount to spend. You will need $400 - $1,000 more parts get the bike together (head set, cranks, drive train, cock pit, pedals, etc.). I may have gotten lucky and it took a lot of time shopping but I put my bike together for $1,800. Sure it is not boost and it doesn't have the fancy brands parts on it but it just plain works.

Brakes could be improved but I haven't had any issues yet and I am going to get that Acolyte 12-46 cassette to replace my Advent 12-42 8-speed cassette.

Look for new old stock (NOS) or take-offs. They are new parts. The way I looked at it was if I had bought the bike 3 years ago, would I still be riding it. In other words, do I need 20mm more of reach and a 2 degree steeper seat tube? They would be nice but they would be $1,000 more. I can wait until the next build.
  • 2 0
 1. Do your homework BEFORE spending money on bikes. Research, reviews, prices, and any issues beforehand.

2. Don’t buy the most current model, find close-outs that are being discontinued.

2. Do not buy during or before the riding season, but at the end or during the winter time.


My ride is discontinued( 2014 design), 3 years old and a blast to ride. I am just now, finally, getting the suspension tuning “just right.”
  • 3 0
 The amount of times I’ve smashed my cranks off rocks I really don’t understand carbon cranks...I picked up XT cranks (M8000) for £92 a while back, think they are the best value component I’ve ever bought.
  • 1 0
 I've also found it worthwhile to get rubber crank boots to even further protect them
  • 3 0
 Buy the bike you are most comfortable on in your budget after checking out lots at your Local Bike Shops. Ride hard until stuff breaks. Upgrade those parts. Then go break more stuff.
  • 2 0
 I upgraded my fork from a rockshox recon rl to the marzocchi z2. Highly recommended. It took me a ride or 2 to adjust to the extra traction, but my confidence to push a faster pace skyrocketed. I notice some types of terrain that used to give me a little jolt almost disappear and I have less hand pain and fatigue. Just need some deore 4 piston brakes or mt5's and some lessons.
  • 3 1
 Saving on the frame? NO! That's absolutely terrible advice.

The frame is the one component that you should never go cheap on, since even if you buy relatively cheap, it's by far the most expensive item. And thus it would be horribly uneconomical to upgrade later. So if you buy cheap to begin with but can't upgrade later, because it's uneconomical, that means you bought a cheap frame and are now stuck with it. Besides limiting your build, it also dictates the standards for the rear shock, rear wheel, fork travel length, dropper post diameter, etc. So when you would eventually come around to upgrade your cheap frame, you will most likely not even be able to fit all of the old components onto your new frame. Meaning you'll have to get new parts, effectively making the upgrade even more expensive. Never ever buy a cheap frame, if you have upgrading in mind. Just buy a good one to begin with.
  • 5 0
 I think he meant more "go for the aluminum version instead of carbon", not "buy a frame from walmart"
  • 1 0
 The frame is definitely a place to save money. You don't need an expensive frame to be using the same component standards as the expensive frames. Other than weight, there isn't much of a performance difference as long as you stay in the same suspension category such as linkage driven single pivot, VPP, FSR, etc. If on a limited budget, that money is better spent elsewhere such as on brakes, more frequent tire replacement, brake bleeds, etc.
  • 1 1
 Cheap and good are not mutually exclusive terms. The Ibis Ripmo AF comes to mind, full bike, gets great reviews, less than the cost of some carbon frames.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: Ibis did a great job on that bike...Alloy frame, good suspension, downspec the drivetrain a little... Should be a hot seller for them..
  • 5 0
 Pinkbike covering ground where people within the industry are too scared to talk about.
  • 3 1
 Heavily disagree on the part about the hubs, fast engagement makes or breaks how the bike feels on the trail, also all those low-speed high-speed dials really do make a huge difference when upgrading (if you are upgrading to a z2 wtf were you on before,a suntour?) I guess for people with bottom of the barrel full sus bikes these recommendations might do the job but if you really wanna improve your ride quality then you should be going with more than mid level parts for it to really be an upgrade. Also, never buy eagle.
  • 6 0
 SLX, eBay.
  • 3 0
 Saint shifter (spendy) with Zee derailleur (savey) Best of both!
  • 3 0
 Advent X. Two buddies have it and its great. Lighter than XT!
  • 3 0
 Aliexpress groupsets! Got a xt groupset for 340CAD. Have noticed the prices increase slightly recently, though.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Advent X can be tuned by a monkey and still shift well. I can imagine spending more on a drivetrain now.
  • 1 0
 @4thflowkage: The ONLY downside is that it doesn't top out at 50t- on a 29er, if you ride steep stuff this means you'll probably be running a 30t front ring. Many of the major brands now are optimizing their anti-squat for 32t rings. A minor complaint though.
  • 2 1
 Great, candid, and accurate synopsis, Mike! As in most sports endeavors, we can tend to focus on getting the high end equipment to make us better. In reality, I believe improving our skills (coaching, focused practice, etc.) can be way more cost-effective. And produce more enjoyable results.
  • 2 1
 Go to a bike shop, you will spend 1-2K more than if you buy the same bike DTC. You will also, at a good shop, be given fit and service and not be wasting money on stuff you don't need. A guy I know just dropped 2-3K on bikes which don't fit his family and is now trying to sell them. You also are trusting your life to these components.
  • 1 0
 If upgrading to SRAM 12 speed and you don't have a XD driver, use the NX cassette, spend a couple extra bucks on a GX shifter and derailleur and you.still have a few bucks to spend on coffee, beer, or donuts.. Or put towards another bike upgrade.. On dropper posts, companies like Tranz-X are making a super cheap dropper that works well... They maybe a bit heavier and they may not have as much drop, but they are cheap enough to have money left to buy a nice lever like a PNW Loam Lever that will make that post feel nice...
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy - nice video, right up until the end: reputable [ REP-Yuh-Tuh-BuhL ]
Next thing you know, you'll be using "orientate". Save yourself while you can.


P.S. Tire pressure, lessons, tires, brakes, wide aluminum rims. That's my list.
  • 1 0
 What would be interesting is the most cost effective to performance build for an avid rider, sourcing only parts made from manufacturers within your continent (North America, Europe, etc) and purchased at an LBC or through a local/national online shop. The approach provided by Levy is great and completely agreeable. It would just be interesting to see where we'd land finding the best deals while supporting local bike brands, and not the mega-fabricate-everything factories that push out bike stems to kitchen door-pulls and don't contribute to the local industry.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I agree. To be honest. He's right on most accounts. When I was young, and healthy, and had no money, I did everything on an XC bike, then just replaced parts as they broke. It is nice to be able to rely on the parts you buy though, but at what cost? For me a 10,000$ bicycle is a bit like a 100,000$ SUV, you've sucked the utility out of it at that point, in my opinion. You're not going to go mud bogging in your brand new 100,000$ SUV. So at the end of the day, I would say, "spend as much money as you feel you need for reliability (to not be breaking things), and that's it".

i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/566/702/3f2.jpeg
  • 2 0
 This is why I wish that more bike companies offered a-la carte building. It seems like to get the better brakes and suspension, they also start upping all the components as well.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy The video was fantastic and refreshing to see, thanks! Although Im absolutely not going to listen to you.....I love leprechaun machined parts and rainbow suspension internals, lets not get started on the unicorn infused carbon wheels!
  • 1 0
 No one mentioned that with cost saving spend it on something that really matter. Lessons! The best rider can ride almost any bike. Save that 1000 dollars or what ever and go find a bike coach e.g. ridehub in Squamish, and learn the skills you need to ride like you want.
  • 4 0
 This video makes too much sense! I'm not used to that! I agree on every single point Mike makes though.
  • 3 0
 How did he not mention tires? It doesn't matter what sport, MX, ATV, MTB, Autocross, etc... Tires is almost always the #1 upgrade.
  • 1 0
 It's funny that you guys seem to be showing I9 Hydra hubs as some crazy expensive option compared to a DT 350.Both are expensive, and both are reliable. If there's anywhere that you SHOULD NOT be saving money it's your hubs. If your freehub dies you're way more screwed than if a derailleur dies for example. Reliable hubs are not that easy to come by and you should absolutely spend on good hubs.
  • 1 0
 If its about upgrading:

From what I see many could start with upgrading tires + tubeless, right tire pressure and eventually combined with proper wheels (especially rims with the correct width).
The second thing that I see underspecd quite often are breaks. Many brands offer or used to offer cheaper builds with breaks on quite capable frames (in large / x large) that are just not made for the intended use of the bikes. Having cheaper 4 piston breaks available on the market (hopefully) changed that.

What has been totaly overlooked: pedals

If one is about to build his own bike I assume he already knows what to look for. At least I don't know many who build up their bikes from scratch and don't have a clue what to buy.
  • 1 0
 Regardless of whether you go cheap on parts it's still too expensive for a lot of people.

No, cheaper parts doesn't mean the ride can't be fun it just means that for a lot of riders they will always wish they had more hence why they drool and want something with better shit.

Apply this to anything: Cars, clothes, boats, etc etc
  • 3 0
 Great video!!! I'll add tires as a place to spend money, its relatively cheap to get a good set of MAXXIS tires.
  • 3 0
 It doesn’t matter what components you spend on. The key is spending your money on bikes.
  • 3 0
 Should have had Kaz do this video. I just kept picturing Levy siting on his $4000 frame with no parts from the podcast.
  • 2 0
 Wait, people go mountain biking without matching their spoke nipples to their carbon fiber stem and their pedals?!?!?! impossible!
  • 2 0
 As someone who owns one of those stems machined by leprechauns under a full moon (Industry Nine A318 ), I'd say it's more about the bling factor than performance
  • 4 0
 Awesome Levy, congrats!!! Great video!!
  • 4 0
 Outstanding! Pinkbike speaks the truth.
  • 2 0
 I'd like a Norco Optic in alum ... the XL Sight alum is getting a bit too long in wheelbase (~1299mm?) but the Optic is shorter and better suited for trail riding.
  • 1 1
 Good stuff, but I beg to differ on a few points.

Carbon frames can often be fixed, relatively inexpensively. Heck, it's some times possible to do it yourself. Alu frames are, in general, welded with special Smartium(TM) gas by the Stem Leprechauns in the vacuum of outer space. Crack = throw it away.
I've seen plenty of fixed carbon seat stays after the inevitable rock strike from standing still. Never saw one alu fixed. Yes, carbon fixing will add grams, and at least DIY will look fugly, but it's a bike.

Same goes for wheels - I've star-formed 5 or 6 $500-ish alu rims over the last few years, and done my best to try and do this to carbon without luck. I've even DIY fixed a rim after a spoke pulled through the rim - using epoxy glue, and it's still good.

Oh, and dropper posts - the most impressive one I've run, and still do, is the Brand-X ascend 150mm 30.9. It cost me GBP 100, and it just refuses to die. No service for almost three years, all-year-riding, even the coating has worn off so I have to lube the raw aluminium pre-ride. But it still works.

However....next burly bike build will be an aluminium frame, as I'm not badass enough to rob a bank.
  • 1 0
 200mm deore 4 pots front and rear, at least one orange flavour magic mary, 30mm or more rise bar, ideally a brand x dropper with as much travel as you can fit. Game on.
  • 2 0
 No need to watch video, pinkbike comment section probably didn't, and they have all the answers!
  • 2 0
 fully decked out endurbro letting their full-carbon do the job: "what's 'save'?"
  • 1 0
 I just figured out where in childhood the differences between Levy and Kazimer come from. Nothin' to do with bike parts, I know, but I had to say it.
  • 1 0
 Is it better to buy a new bike for $3000 or used bike for $3000 or try to build a bike for $3000? (new bike example Meta 29 base)
  • 1 0
 A used bike for $3000 probably has more expensive components which might be worn out - and replacing those is expensive if you aim to stay with the same component category.
The best IMO is to buy the cheapest bike (not talking about trash brands) and as you ride it upgrade only the things that matter to you.
  • 1 0
 @tonit91: yeah i was leaning towards a new bike...never know what the history on a used bike is..especially since warranty doesn't transfer.
  • 1 0
 @calicartel: Indeed I was in the same boat 2 years ago.
My decision was based on how much I would be riding, if it was a couple of times per month I would buy used. But since I ride almost daily I decided to go with new and I didn't regret it for a second.
  • 1 0
 @tonit91: now the hard part is finding a bike...shops have no inventory for months
  • 1 0
 Buy used from people you know, or have a bike shop check it out first.
  • 2 0
 If you want a good deal, don't build a bike. It's fun, I did it as well, but from a financial standpoint it's a disaster. Doesn't matter if you hunt down the best deals possible, if you have to buy every single part, it will come out more expensive than buying a new complete 99% of the time. Even if you just look at groupset prices, if you go to an online shop that sells groupsets and you add up all the different parts individually, it will come out more expensive than the complete groupset price.
I'm not a fan of upgrading bikes slowly either. If you pay more upfront, it's better in terms of bang to buck ratio. It's very rare that for example one model comes with Deore, and the next model comes with SLX, but that's the only difference. Usually you get more goodies like a better fork, better wheels etc. If you buy those same parts as upgrades after you buy the bike, it comes out more expensive.

Sometimes you can find very very good used deals where someone rides a bike for like a month and then puts it up for sale. But you can get burned as well if you don't know what you're doing. A lot of people treat their bikes like crap.
I wouldn't buy an older used bike personally. You might get "higher level" parts, but newer, but lower end parts might work just as well or better.
IMO buy new from a direct to consumer brand.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: Back to the search for a new bike...at least I figured out to go new instead of the other options.
  • 2 3
 Personally I think a carbon frame is worth the extra. It is the heart of the bike and the bit you will keep for the longest. It also is where you can save significant weight and I don’t agree with this current fad of weight doesn’t matter. Find me a sport where they want to make their kit heavier for a performance advantage. Most sports have a minimum weight your allowed to stop people pushing too far
  • 1 1
 Aluminum and Carbon frames are both parts that will definitely break one day. I find most carbon full suspension bikes feel flexy, in a strange way. I have ridden several Carbon frames and many aluminum frames(Along with steel, but older hardtails). I have never noticed a significant difference other than frames with carbon rear ends always seem to have a lot of flex, they tend to cast an extra $1000 and are about 1 pound lighter than the aluminum version. So for me Aluminum, especially in the rear triangle, all day.
  • 1 0
 An idea for an article.
A number of staff build their own bike from parts. Have two builds. A cheap/satisfactory build and a midrange build.
  • 1 0
 my 1999 Schwinn Homegrown 4Banger with 95% OEM parts weighs just under 1 pound of my 2016 Canfield Balance that I built. 30lbs.
  • 2 0
 I reckon it is less convenient to watch a video for this sort of content than it is to read/skim a sensible length article.
  • 1 0
 Carbon hoops i9 hubs are the best investment period!! I haven't used a spoke wrench in 10 years. These will last until the new 32" wheel standard.
  • 1 0
 Come on guys... there are a ton of youtube videos out there on how to chroma key correctly. Contact me if you need help and I would be happy to walk you through it.
  • 2 0
 Bear with us, we're moving into a fancy new office/studio and everything is currently a bit of a disaster. Smile
  • 1 0
 Please make a video showing the pro and cons of stems machined by leprechauns under different moon phases. Apparently full moon is the top version.
  • 1 0
 I usually just wait for my bike to tell me what needs to be upgraded, when something breaks.
  • 3 2
 leprechauns under a full moon. now thats spending on what counts, a bag of good weed
  • 2 0
 Spend: Contact points, including shoes.

Good video.
  • 1 1
 I would love to see a video of Levy speccing up a new bike using oem pricing with profit margins and seeing how low he could get a work horse bike like this!!!
  • 1 0
 Agree. Come on Levy - build and ride it.
  • 1 0
 Well He is building basically a heavy bike, WE know we want fancy stuff if you are inside the bike world
  • 1 0
 Strange no mention of tires anywhere in the video. Always buy the most tire you can afford. You'll thank yourself.
  • 1 0
 He just described my 2019 Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 that I put Code RSCs and a bumped up 200mm rear on.
  • 1 0
 I think that carbon bars are one of the best upgrades per dollar you can make
  • 1 0
 Save money by not buying an ebike. Spend it on Minions and good beer. Done.
  • 1 0
 SLX all of the things with a bottom of the range pike fork and some good tires. Ride a lot and fix as needed.
  • 2 0
 I want Kashima on everything.
  • 1 0
 12 speed is not at all necessary for "getting up the mountain, down the mountain, and having a good time"
  • 1 0
 Levy, you live in the sea to sky how can you possibly think cheaping out on wheels is a good idea?
  • 2 0
 Preach.
  • 1 0
 This is reasonably reliable information.
  • 2 0
 Sort: $ to $$$$
  • 3 3
 Pinkbike really slumped on their production quality, that green screen work is terrible
  • 1 0
 My favorite part was the Brodie with the Shiver!!
  • 1 0
 Where's the link to the $35 dropper post??

(asking for a friend)
  • 1 0
 Who said anything about a $35 dropper?
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: um, Mike did, up above in the one paragraph of text below the video.

"And if it really matters, you can get a $35 USD dropper post and whatever else from the depths of the internet..."
  • 1 0
 @SeanC1: ahhh facepalm. I didn't read. Just watched the video. Oops.
  • 1 0
 Spend $$ on coaching and ride everything!!!
  • 1 0
 If your spending on your bike , there is no saving, !
  • 2 0
 #1 - Decals
  • 1 0
 S-Works&Co. left the chat Wink
  • 1 0
 this article; it f*cking stinks! oh; its a video
  • 1 0
 I want me some gold stankshun tubes.
  • 1 0
 Where to save.... let CRC sell shimano parts to the US again...
  • 2 3
 Tyre, Grips, pedals, stem and bars. In that order. Ride everything else until it breaks then upgrade.
  • 1 0
 Like it. I might put pedals before grips, but it's really a toss up. Grips are less expensive, but I think it's easier to deal with less than ideal grips than deal with pedals you don't get along with. Unless you just never ride with gloves, then probably move grips up the list.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: yeah whatever works for you. I don’t ride in gloves to grips are more important to me.
  • 1 0
 yes!
  • 1 0
 #rideFinmetal =)
  • 2 2
 He actually suggested a microshift drivetrain. Hokay.
  • 1 0
 Stamp 7s not Stamp 11s
  • 2 3
 Yo try out some AliExpress parts.

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