Pinkbike Poll: What Would You Upgrade On Your Current Mountain Bike?

May 17, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  

It's easy start daydreaming about getting a shiny new mountain bike, even when there's a perfectly rideable one already sitting in the garage. All it takes is a clever promo video, a gallery of alluring studio shots, or a geometry chart with all the right numbers and suddenly you're doing some creative math in an effort to figure out exactly how much overtime and how many bowls of instant ramen will be required to afford that dream machine.

But while new bikes are nice, sometimes a few simple steps are all that's required to get that trustworthy workhorse ready for another season. A basic tuneup, combined with some fresh grips and a set of tires has the potential to transform a bike, making it possible to put those daydreams to rest for a little while longer. More extensive measures like upgrading a drivetrain, installing a new fork, or even installing an angle adjusting headset are additional ways to breathe new life into a bike that seemed ready to be put out to pasture.

Of course, it's important to know when to pull the plug - if your bike has a Girvin Flexstem, anodized purple cantilever brakes, and Panaracer Smoke tires, well, it's probably time for an upgrade, at least if you're planning on doing more than riding to the grocery store.

That brings us to this week's poll question: If you could upgrade one area of your bike, what would it be?


If you could upgrade one area of your bike, what would it be?




284 Comments

  • + 251
 The rider, duh!
  • + 4
 beat me to it...
  • + 20
 having the time to ride more as well...(why is it always raining in Vermont?)
  • + 5
 Yup, I was looking for a box labeled "skills" or "fitness", but let's face it, most of us would rather try to buy speed!
  • + 4
 I just wish the bike industry would try to change hub standards at almost a yearly basis, maybe a different wheel size or two, steeper head tube angles, drivetrain speeds etc. Then at least I would feel like I'm being left in the dust and be forced to keep up with the current trend while spending less time riding my bike.
  • + 7
 The problem is not the chassis, it's the motor! (and what's between his ears).
  • + 1
 Exactly!
  • + 5
 It takes time for god to wash all the hippies lol @vtracer:
  • + 1
 Fresh rider. Preferably one with less miles on his body than my truck.
  • + 1
 A new bike will cost me 2500€. A used fork only costs 250€. the rest I'll save for gas,pads and tyres
  • + 1
 @dcaf: na ,I'd try to buy Kerr/Kendall-Weed manny/stoppie skillz first and foremost....
  • + 1
 Not really if your carbon wheel's are done ..
  • + 1
 @coyotecycleworks: I mean it’s pretty easy these days. Everything is boost, and we get choices in wheelsize.

I mean satire is funny, when it’s funny. But this is just boring. If we didn’t have choice, we would be riding judy’s and canti’s.
  • + 1
 Also beat me to it.
  • + 7
 Exactly. My bike is looking for an upgrade for it's rider's Pussy Gland and maybe a new leg set, to replace the Chicken sticks that currently come stock with it's MAC ( middle aged caucasian ) build. Honestly, it has a lot of upgrades planned, due to the obsolete 1971 model rider it currently has, as grinding noises are prevalent, replacement parts are impossible to find, and frankly, it just doesn't look cool on the trail.
  • + 1
 @bonfire: I agree and we should appreciate the changes when they result in direct improvement on the dirt. It's just a shame there has been so much proprietary sizing that either a brand of bike or part manufacturer tries to force on the consumer.
  • + 2
 @benhg: Haha I'm running a 1983 MAC and it seems to be running too rich on beer. There's definitely some carbon deposits on my pistons!
  • + 2
 @vtracer: remember dany at champery
  • + 1
 @donpinpon29: for me that is still the greatest run we have seen at the World Cup or World Championships. Salute
  • + 1
 @donpinpon29: As fun as it can be to rail greasy berms, my local trail organization isn’t too fond of it.
  • + 75
 Reading reviews makes me wanting change my whole bike, but to be perfectly honest, i would trade my left nut just for possibility to ride more.
  • + 39
 The older I get, the more this is relevant. To be able to ride whenever is the most valuable 'upgrade' one can ask for!
  • + 2
 @bman33: So true..!!!!
  • + 3
 Yes, please, I'd give a lot to ride every weekend...
  • + 5
 Just curious - what keeps people from riding? I am 40, married, 2 kids, and a 40 hour a week job. I can ride every single day.
  • + 12
 @steelpolish: Access to close by trails, so that I can ride everyday. Even if it's the same "steak" with different sauce.
  • + 15
 @steelpolish: well, I'm 40, married, two kids, and between my wife's schedule and mine, plus all the extracurriculars encumbant upon 8 and 10 year old girls, I'm lucky if my tires see dirt more than once a week. Since my wife works 80+ hours a week, there's no leaving the kids with her to go ride during the week. That's what the indoor trainer is for.
  • + 3
 @steelpolish: I can ride to work and do a minor to major detour home every night I guess, weekends I can ride as much or little as I want I guess - wanting to spend time with my wife and our dog are choices that limit my riding.
  • + 4
 @bman33: This. I've saved up over the years (the clue's in the vintage bike and worthless car) to be able to work less and squeeze out what's left of myself before age hits for real).
  • + 14
 @steelpolish: I can get a short ride in any day that I'm willing to ride at 5:30am! For some reason that doesn't happen every day. Riding in the evening with others is an awesome luxury

Most of us will say "busyness". Sometimes that's the fruit of not thinking enough about our priorities, sometimes that's an excuse, and sometimes that's a reality that is hard to escape.

School-age kids signed up lots of sports and lessons is a common problem for American parents... which category that falls in is up to you Wink

For me personally it's: 3 kids, supporting my wife when she needs to work in the evenings, and a lot of things I can't afford to pay people to help with (yard work, house repairs, bike repairs, car repairs, taxes, dishes, etc)
  • + 5
 @steelpolish: Over complicated lives.
  • + 1
 I ride well over 20 hours a week. If I could change that, I would make it even more. Riding more is definitely great. Though I ride road and dirt.
  • + 11
 @steelpolish: I'm 43, 3 kids (4, 2 and a baby) and I live in a country where you have to pay a baby sitter 30-35 $/hour or put them in daycare for 2500 $/month. Price is for one kid.

So, how much would you ride?
  • + 16
 I feel like the more time I spend on Pinkbike, the less happy I am with mountain biking.
  • + 26
 At 42 with 2 young children I'm lucky to get out for 2 - 4 hrs a week. It's funny how when I was younger I didn't worry about upgrades too much but could ride whenever, but now obsess over having a fancy bike that I rarely get to ride.
  • + 5
 @tremeer023: This hits home...
  • + 29
 @steelpolish: I can answer your question. Priorities. I prioritize my family over my riding. So when I am not at work, it is family first...and with 2 active young kids, it is VERY time consuming. Sure, I could say "f-it" and go riding after work everyday, but I would soon be divorced and the kids and I would grow farther apart.
This may change when they are old enough to ride too, but until then, it's family first and I dont regret that.
  • + 6
 I read a book some time ago - "The life changing magic of not giving a f*ck". It shows you how to prioritize the things and values that are important and politely bow out of everything else in life that not important to you. It really does change your life. My top priorities are family, work, riding my bike. I don't do anything else.
  • + 2
 @steelpolish: Simple answer for me with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. We take them riding with us! I use a tow device to get my 5 year old up to the down hill portion of the ride and my 2 year old sits on the @Mac-ride. (best kid bike seat ever. Wife gets an e-bike and does her part to have fun too. Kids go to bed the lads go and shred.
Oh living at the base of the North Shore mountains helps a little too. It's a long weekend here in Canada. Get out and enjoy whatever riding you can!!! Park is open too!!!
  • + 7
 @oregonryder: I'm with ya on that. "I'm 40 married and have kids, and I ride every day. I don't see why you can't ride every day?"....ok douche. Step up so I can punch you back to reality. lol
  • + 2
 @jason475: this is just like the people that say they don't have time to work on their fitness/health because they are too busy. Why are they so busy? Don't they have choices in life? I have the same problems in life as the average person, but I have no problems in scheduling time everyday to ride because I enjoy it, it relieves stress, and it is healthy for me to do so. Not being douche.. just curious what the hang up is.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: Exactly !!!!!!
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: Night rides if that's all you get....
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: FAMILY! Trail access. 41, 2 young kids. I choose to be a part of as much of their lives as possible because they grow so fast! Before kids I rode a lot more... Honestly my rides are better now that they only happen once or twice a week. I enjoy every second of them as opposed to it being part of my daily grind.
  • + 2
 @mtbyoda: I get the young kids thing - I was once there. Here's some hope for all you parents with young kids - it gets way better as they get older. My kids are 16 and 11 years old. We all ride together now and its great fun and good for them as well. I love watching my kids grow up with their own distinct personalities and interests.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: What is your work schedule and when do you usually ride during the day?
  • + 4
 @showmethemountains: My hours are 8am - 4:30pm. We ride 1-2 hours after work on weekdays, Saturday's afternoons are town rides, then most Sunday's are all day trail riding. My kids aren't into school sports - they just like to bike instead. I also grew up this way - my Dad got into mountain biking in the early 80's and he took as riding everyday. My parents are turning 76 this year, and they still ride with us often
  • + 2
 @steelpolish: Lucky you!
  • + 2
 @tremeer023: So, so true!!!
  • + 0
 @steelpolish: no friends, no travelling, no social life?
  • + 1
 @oregonryder: It is a big help as the kids get older for sure. Once they can wake up and not need to be fed then they can deal with one of the parents being out riding early morning. My wife and I share that during the week and then either rode together on weekends (thanks oldies for babysitting) or swapped morning and arvo opportunity.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: Sounds like you’ve really got it dialed. Me? I skied 120+ days and mtn biked 120+ days every year for 22 years before I had my first child at age 41. Now I have 2 small children. I skied only 37 days this year and had a blast every single time I was out there. No more lower back pain and it made no difference to me if it was dumping with 30” of new snow, or hadn’t snowed in 10 days. I still love to ride my bike also, but now I’m lucky if I get out twice a week for a grand total of about 5 hrs. My question to you is, am I blowing it?
  • + 1
 @lccomz: Nah, man. You sound similar to me. Skiing in Colorado is plentiful, but also a drive on weekends if you live in the Front Range. So I've cut my skiing in half since I've had kids. Hardly miss it. I ride at lunch two, three times a week, and one longer ride on the weekend. I do stuff with my kids. It's great. If I've had to cut back, so be it. I'm still fit, and I get enough exercise in to not go crazy. I don't feel like I'm missing out because I don't devote as much time to my hobbies as I used to. There's more to life.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: one of your problems in life is coming off as self-righteous and arrogant.
  • + 2
 @steelpolish: wife working? 2 small kids and wife that works 60-100 hours a week means riding every day is just a distant dream for now. The best I can do is 3 to 4 times a week and that takes a bit of luck and planning. Getting a nanny to watch the kids during rides would be one option if I could just find one.
  • + 1
 @steelpolish:
Same here. married, 3 kids, 2 jobs, 40-60 hour work weeks. I ride at least 4 days a week...Although 1 of my kids rides with me...actually I chase him around. I make time, even if it is a quick 45 minute ride!!
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: work a 7 day system on call, close trail is 45minutes drive away, other 2hrs plus. Making the priority is probably the biggest issue, bored of the same old trails for the last 5 years.
  • + 1
 @pakleni: what's your income. Switsy
  • + 2
 @Edeid: One premium top spec mtb with enve wheels /month.
But our outcome is also a premium top spec mtb. We're lucky when we can keep the whole wheelset Big Grin
  • + 2
 @steelpolish: access during the weekdays here as well..That and a crying 10 week old.. What have I done!
  • + 1
 @BenPea: Get on trt, pull a Stallone and add another 10plus years of riding to that ,for real age! That'll buy you some time.
  • + 1
 @showmethemountains: Sounds busy indeed...We've gone the one kid route after witnessing all of our tired struggling friends with more,and zero time. They said the big family thing would bring true happiness...Maybe, I struggle to see it, but to each their own.

We've made our choice...Now, just hoping the little tyke takes to the mtb so we can ride tons!
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: maybe I can learn something from you. But if I want quality time with the fam, there isn’t much time to ride (I less I commute but then it’s just paved road...)
  • + 1
 @oregonryder: hats off to you sir! Same here. I may go 2 times a month. If I’m lucky 4. But my middle child just learned to ride a bike. Now I just need to get the money together to get him a bike I can take him on the trails with. My youngest (almost 2) is too small for the push bike, but I can’t get him off of it. And my daughter (almost 5)... she is a very careful one. So she may take her time with learning to ride the pedal bike (she could do it, I’m sure. She’s a pro on the push bike lol)
  • + 2
 This thread make me want to not have kids. Ha.
  • + 1
 @pakleni: well that would depend on what your income is.

It's all relative.
  • + 2
 @scatterbrained: 80+ a week? Who did you marry? Kunta kinte?
  • + 1
 @pakleni: you forgot to mention a normal salary where you live.
  • + 1
 @byfan: We have one and he still takes up a ton of time and resources...Choose carefully.
  • + 1
 @lccomz: You are only blowing if you think you are. I don’t think you are. Who cares what other people think you should or shouldn’t do?
  • + 1
 @whisper06: Nicely done. Got er licked!
  • + 1
 @donpinpon29: normal salary is huge compared to the rest of the EU but still can't cover 3 full time daycares. 2 maybe and when you pay your taxes you don't have enough even for health insurance
  • + 1
 @donpinpon29: She's a doctor in a busy hospital. Life could be worse. . Either way, once the evenings get sufficiently long I'll be able to start riding several nights a week, or take my girls to the pump track in the evenings. Smile
  • + 1
 Hot damn, you people need to work silly hours to make a living somehow. I don't get how people on Pinkbike can be discussing the latest suspension, drivetrain and carbon frames and then need to work over 60hrs a week to make a living. I live in The Netherlands. We have two kids, I work four days, my girlfriend does three. That means that on two days the kids need somewhere else to hang after school. One day my girlfriend's parents pick them up (so that's a luxury indeed) the other day they stay at school until I pick them up at 6PM (so that costs a bit of money). And then the other three workdays either I or my girlfriend doesn't work so we can have fun with the kids after school. But we still have enough money to have our own home, car and have a good lot of fun. I ride bikes every day (simply to go to work etc) but I usually don't ride my mountainbike more than three or four times a week. That's fine though. At almost 40 years old, I still need those other days for stretching, strength training, running etc. I don't really need to ride my mountainbike every day and I probably shouldn't. As mentioned in this discussion, it does imply you need to be flexible with your time. On the weekday I don't work, I ride when the kids are at school (and yes I also use other parts of that time block to do laundry, prepare dinner, fix some stuff, buy groceries etc), the other days I go out before 6:30am for a short blast. In winter this implies riding with lights. But you can still get a good ride in, nothing wrong with that.

Either way, the progression of bike stuff hasn't been too exciting recently anyway. Some new dimensions and standards, a bit stiffer, a bit more compliant (preferably both at the same time), a bit lighter maybe. There is little that first didn't work properly and there is now a fix that we really need. Tire inserts maybe, for those who prefer tubeless but have trouble with burping and pinch flats. But other than that, your suspension, gearing and brakes probably still work just fine. Also, only buy something if it really does what you want, not just a step in the right direction. It will get there sometime, don't bother with tiny steps. If you currently have a 170mm dropper post and you really want a 250mm travel one, don't buy the 200mm version.

Buy what you really want and need so that you can work less and ride more.
  • + 2
 @scatterbrained: pumptacks are amazing child and dadcare facilities
  • + 1
 @steelpolish: When my son was young I threw him in a tow behind buggy and we rode rail trails, then he graduated to a trail a bike on some easy single track. Now he is 11 and we ride several times a week and he is almost as fast as I am. People have to be creative if they want to ride!
  • + 1
 @oregonryder: I can respect that... I'm lucky enough to have a teenage son that wants to go riding with me. I'm curious where in the PDX area you like to ride? I'm trying to figure out something more than Sandy Ridge (usually ride the Corvallis area).
  • + 1
 @matttauszik: Its funny how you ascertain that from 3 sentences on an online forum.
  • + 25
 MUST. CONSUME. MORE.
When will it end?
  • + 28
 Don't buy another part for your bike unless you break it or wear it out. There you go.
  • + 2
 If you would only buy what you really, really need you wouldn‘t buy a lot. It wouldnt kill consume but it would at least reduce the MUST CONSUME
  • + 4
 At coke and hookers.
  • + 2
 Rigid singlespeed and toughen up!
  • + 1
 When we've mined the planet to a nub. Of course if we can we'll travel to another habitable planet and plunder it next. Wink
  • + 1
 @bman33: Yup!That my move, I'm a cheap ass bastard when it comes to crazy priced bike parts... Always surfin the evil bay, sales and PB...
  • + 1
 Will I magically become an amazing rider, and content with my life if my reach is increased by 25mm???
  • + 1
 @bman33: who the fuc can live like that! Parts parts parts...I need to tinker!
  • + 13
 I've had bad luck with Eagle drivetrain bits. It's great when it's dialed, but I've bent 3 hangers (my fault) and can't for the life of me bend them back even with the appropriate Park Tool. 12sp seems to be too sensitive. I've also had 3 derailleur pulleys eject while pedaling for unknown reasons, despite my adding Loctite after the first issue. If only Shimano had a wide range 12sp drivetrain...
  • + 40
 maybe I am doing it wrong, but 11 speed Shimano is all I could ever ask for. the range is there. the reliability is there. and its a fraction of the price.
  • + 4
 @adrennan: XT shifter and cassette. Steel front ring (lasts forever). Cheap 11sp chain. Sunrace 11-46 cassette off ebay. Why change anything? (well, now you can get sunrace in 11sp 11-50...). Anyone on here experimented with the sunrace/microshift rear mechs? I am keen to give one of those a shot, especially because I won't have to change from my beloved XT shifter.
  • + 3
 TRS Plus 9-46, eagle beating 511% range in 11 speeds. Using the same xx1 11 spd derailleur and shifter that came on the bike 4 years ago.
  • + 1
 @shrockie: with the same cage?
  • + 4
 @dglass: +1 on shimano XT + sunrace 11-46. Even aluminum oval chain ring lasts forever
  • + 3
 Hear this all the time about eagle but I have had good luck with mine.. I put X01 eagle cassette and derailleur with 32 tooth front ring on my Hightower and have about 4000km on it in 2.5 seasons and it still runs flawless, I have replaced the chain twice after they have broke, each at around 1500km of use... I also will admittedly jump off on a climb than risk a shitty shift just to make it. Just my two cents
  • - 2
 Eagle sucks in performance and sucks out your money. All that bullshit with long cages, pizza sized cassettes, unnecessary chain length, crazy sensitivity and the fact that it's not under chainstay but besides it like a kickstand simply sucks. Fuck off with 12sp and all that nonsense around
  • + 23
 @bok-CZ: you seem upset
  • + 2
 @shrockie:
On my wish list when it is time to replace drivetrain
  • + 3
 Was a die hard Shim fan and stayed on a 1x10 for a long time before hitting 1x11. Ran the 1x11 for many miles then finally gave Sramy 12 a go - ooohhh... First few rides out and I'm really digging it. So much so, I'm likley upgrading my second trail bike to the eagle.
  • + 1
 @shrockie: Id take 10-50 over 9-46 even if they claim its 511% over the 500% for eagle
  • + 3
 Just get the Deore 11-42t 10 spd- the drivetrain costs way less than an eagle cassette...
  • + 3
 @nismo325, it's that 9-tooth cog that changes things. 50/10=500% range, 46/9=511% range.
  • + 1
 @pakleni: Yeah, haven't smacked it on anything. On my Nomad which is my pedal bike. Luckily, haven't whacked rocks with the DH bike either. Guess I'm lucky.
  • + 1
 @nismo325: The 9 doesn't get used a lot, but it's nice to have in my back pocket.
@Damo It's been great for me since I don't have $$ for a whole new bike with eagle.. But hearing some eagle issues, i'm cool with what I'm running. cant' beat that!
  • + 2
 @scary1: A bit annoyed about that "revolution" words about years old technology. For the cost, the difference to 11sp shimano is drastic in a question of reliability and lifetime, every part of that system is way too expensive for what it really is and what benefit it brings over a way cheaper options with some pros I see more important than to be able to climb up a mountain goat's path high up in alpine
  • + 1
 @shrockie: I also have the TRS+ cassette. I can definitely vouch for it. You can even get the 12 speed upgrade kit from E13 that includes the cassette, new chain and shifter internals for most SRAM 11 speed shifters.

I found setting up my SRAM XO1 11 speed derailleur to be finicky but I feel it's like that because it has a max cog of 42 teeth. I'm also using a 30T oval chainring, so that might be throwing it off a bit. I got it to work and its performed great but I just ordered a new XTR derailleur and shifter because the 46T is within it's range.
  • + 0
 @adrennan: some of us have steeper have trails to get to the top or the simple thing like a better bike for climbing . I destroyed in 15 months now 7 eagle derailleurs and one trigger .
  • + 2
 @Serpentras: I have some pretty steep climbs in the Denver area. Unless you are riding your bike up class 4 routes, I don't get it. I also see monsters single speeding these climbs.
  • + 2
 I've switched to a pinion gearbox and have to say it's the best thing I've ever done. Every ride it's just perfect and I never have to touch it. It was a solid outlay originally but it's been pure bliss every ride.
  • + 1
 @bok-CZ: Agreed. That's exactly I just bought the whole Sram AXS groupo.
We're on the same page,you and me
  • + 1
 @slickwilly1: How much do you spend on chain lubrication? Does anyone on hear make their own?
  • + 2
 @scotty1212: strange. I “upgraded gx eagle cassette shifter and der to an xo1 11 speed 42tooth cassette. Like a half lb with chain weight loss cassette loss and its not as finicky. Best is i have the eagle set up to put back on the bike with like 225 miles on it when i go to sell
  • + 3
 I hate 1x12 so much after being on it for two years on two different bikes. I just ordered a new bike and it comes with 1x12 Eagle. I've asked the shop to swap it out for 1x11 SRAM.
  • + 1
 @scary1: I prefer to spend my money on riding instead of buying what's not needed in my eyes. 11sp xt is fine for me and I still don't have to starve for a month once it needs to be replaced just after first day of a holiday bike trip
  • + 1
 @bok-CZ: yeah, I hate holidays or whatever. I dont spend money on riding,I just drive 20 minutes, I spend it on the bike, it's fun, you should try it.
  • + 2
 @scary1: I am getting close to that level lately as Iam watching onto a few years old dream bike which sits in a corner waiting for shock service, noodles month.
  • + 1
 @bok-CZ: complete and utter Bs !
  • + 2
 @scary1: as with many! Hatred due to lack of disposable income due to poor career choice has him vexed...
  • + 1
 @bohns1: weird how that works that way
  • + 2
 @bohns1: I would not say its about income, I am not saying I can't afford axs od di2, I just don't want to. I am more than happy how the sb6 works with a simple and cheap 11sp
  • + 1
 @bohns1: also I've never said don't buy it it will not work for you, just my opinion on that, that's what's usually in the bow with my nick in the left upper corner, not a world's ultimate true
  • + 2
 @adrennan: my old Enduro climbed better with 1x11 42t max. My current rig climbs worse with the eagle.

I never would spend 2k on a damn old school drivetrain. Pinion over this axs and di2 anyday.
  • + 2
 @Serpentras: I've never heard that before..My eagle on the sb130 has me besting all my old pr's... Nice to have that bail out pie plate here in the cad Rockies.....Especially on 3 hr plus grind climbs.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: You never heard that geometry lets bikes climb better?
That is how some Bikes don't need a fragile Eagle and can go on with the 1x11
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: but u are claiming 1x11 climbs better on ur old enduro rig..Than new eagle on new bike..How is that so?

Never had an issue with eagle yet since it first came out..A little maintenance once in a blue moon goes a long way..Internet folklore is strong here on pb I tell ya.
  • + 3
 @bohns1: well like I said I destroyed so many eagles because of the short gap between the cogs.
a little smack to the derailleur and it is done. The 1x11 SRAM did last 12 month before I needed to replace it.
Same trails and stuff.
I don't hit the cage, I hit the trapez on my Eagles and not really hard, only scratches but then they are done.
maybe the x01 and xx1 can hold more but the GX is really fast dead.
But I also have many rocks here and I need to change pedal positions to left and right foot down because of high rocks.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: that 11% difference is worth the lost watts riding on a 9t?
  • + 10
 Pretty sure we all should be upgrading the nut that connects the seat to the handlebars
  • - 1
 I get the reference. Thinking most don't.
  • + 5
 Sometimes a fresh set of bearings is all you need to bring new life to an old steed. Due to their slow degradation and your ability to compensate for it, you don't appreciate it till you change them. BB's to pivots. a rebuild or a replace will improve the ride.
  • + 2
 CushCores. I like my Huck Norris to keep the tires from farting, but I have to keep my suspension firm because I'm huge. So CushCores could let the tires work for chatter suspension and the shocks can deal with the bigger hits.
  • + 4
 Worth the work to install.
They really do feel like a bottom out bumper for the suspension on bigger drops, and can act like a run-flat to get off the trail if you do toast a wheel every once n a while. (Huck to sharp pointy edge of a ledge) #LoveCush
  • + 5
 I have a Reverb. It’s a haphazard gathering of air, oil, metal and plastic bits in a telescopic fight.
  • + 3
 An afternoon with a shockwiz, and the brains of a good suspension shop. My bike is good enough, the engine is dirty but too expensive to replace. Having a wizard dial in my shim stacks, based on actual data would be awesome
  • + 2
 The engine that sits on the seat that hurts my ass and pulls the brakes too much when the suspension starts to move up and down when the tires roll over the roots and rocks and shake the rider that he can’t hold on to the grips anymore.
  • + 2
 I have an angleset that I've yet to have installed, so I guess I'll go with that. I have a first gen Bronson with the 67 degree head tube angle. I'm going to add a 1 degree angleset to bring it down to 66 degrees (in line with the second gen). People seem to really like the change. I'm fine with the current HTA for everyday trail riding, but I would like slacker for my park days.
  • + 4
 I would like to upgrade my legs to Captain America's legs, and maybe also add on Captain America's butt if the price is right.
  • + 7
 That's America's ass
  • + 2
 For those who checked the last option: just wait until bike industry convince you you're wrong, and you NEED bigger wheels, more speeds for your sprocket, or just a few more milimeters here, and a few less there, until you decide your bike is crap, and you need a nee one!
  • + 5
 A bell. Spokey dokeys. Bar tassels. In that order.
  • + 4
 I have spokey dokeys, will swap for working dropper. 30.9.
  • + 1
 If you would have asked me a week ago I would have said wheels, but I just got a new wheel set. Some XM421 rims with DT 350 hubs. They were take-offs from a Yeti SB5 Turq. They are a huge upgrade to my stock wheelset on my Diamondback house wheels. I can honestly say I am completely happy with my current build on my Diamondback Release.
  • + 1
 I selected suspension, but I am not sure I would call it an upgrade as it's a pretty recent Fox 36. The current fork is just worked and the Kashima is missing in a bunch of places from rock rash... Poor fork, it deserved a better life then i gave it. Would be perfectly happy with a new version of what I have.
  • + 5
 Ummm.... Where's the option of just replacing the bike lol
  • + 4
 I am going to mount an idler pulley to the upper pivot just to confuse people
  • + 15
 I put an idler pulley on my hardtail and it really helped!
  • + 1
 Try to ride 5 days a week but that will also include doing tech practice close to home and just bumming around on the bike. My only real grip aside from loosing the compression adjuster screw yesterday to my fork (clutsy idiot I am), are my Bontranger Grips which work my palms hard and give me nice callouses to show for it.

As for the screw - well I'll have to trot off to the bike shop and grab another one, I assume it is a M3 16 hex but not easy to gauge from Fox's site.
  • + 1
 Totally happy with my year-old Ripmo. Just tires, pads and fork/shock maintenance. I did just buy a set of Macaskill grips to replace the stock ones. I like not having the metal clamp on the outboard edge.

Might rebuild the wheels with DT Swiss or King hubs at some point. Would like faster engagement than the Ibis hubs have (I9's are beautiful but too buzzy IMO).
  • + 1
 New Hydras are toned down a bit. Got a set two weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. They still have that I9 buzz but it’s quieter, closer to a King hub
  • + 4
 First I would change my frame to carbon, then I would upgrade all the parts, other than that it doesn't need anything!
  • + 1
 I blinged out a new race build years ago that ended up being slower than my previous non blinged out race bike. After swallowing that bitter pill I now don't bling out my bikes and easily afford keeping my mid tier collection running sweet.
  • + 1
 Hard lesson to learn lol
  • + 1
 When I was young and free I rode about everyday after work, and on Saturday and Sunday I rode about all day. No kidding sometimes I rode on morning with a friend and afternoon with others. I didn't care at all about upgrading my bike but only about the biggest jump or the high climb and descent I could reach. Now I have a kid and less less time and we wate time reading all those sites and mag we go crazy about upgrade bikes, while really we are losing good ride time!
  • + 1
 My bikes actually pretty dialed. I just said wheels because on one they are heavy and flexy and the back rim is on it's way out.. A longer dropper would also be good and some Codes to replace the guides would help...
  • + 3
 New frame. I'd like to go to the next larger size. All my parts are great; dependable ride after ride.
  • + 1
 This. I got a super deal on the next size up of same bike. Looking forward to that part swap and build!
  • + 2
 why do manufacturers spec fucking guides they are so bad. i have 203 rotors front and back with metallic pads and they just dont cut it, i weigh 71kg
  • + 2
 Still happy with the spec of my 4 year old build, but dam geometry has changed so much, all i want is a new modern geo frame (slack, long & steep seat-tube)
  • + 1
 Only have about 3 weeks on my new-to-me Sentinel. Overall I’m pretty stoked about it. Only thing I’d change is really more of a preference than upgrade, adding Cushcore in the rear tire.
  • + 3
 I'm still on my Coiler from 2006 so it's probably about time to replace the whole thing...
  • + 0
 IMHO, this is all driven by mountain bike media, new wheels “Carbon is way better...alloy is way better”, “these brakes are powerless they need to be upgraded”, “longer lower slacker”, all these things make us THINK we need or sometimes THINK we want some of these “upgrades”.
Whatever happened to personal opinion? What ever happened to just plain disagreeing with people. What if you didn’t like a longer lower slacker bike and actually prefered older geometry? Could that even happen?!?!?!
  • + 1
 I'm riding Banshee Rune 2009 and now very regularly Nukeproof Snap as commuter 13km to work. I doubt any new bit would make better rider out of me. I would rather spend that money on BMX, 4x and cyclotrial trainings.
  • + 1
 I'd like a slacker front end, currently running a 150mm fork with a 67° HTA. Either I could go for the angleset with offset bushings, or just upgrade to a 160mm fork. I'd prefer a new fork, but the angleset would be cheaper
  • + 3
 And be better for the rest of your geometry. Longer fork reduces reach AND raises bottom bracket height AND slackens seat angle.
  • + 2
 BOTH! I did this with my previous bike. A 10mm bump in travel + 1.5 degree Sworks anglset preserves almost all your geometry except you end up with a 2 degree slacker HA and longer wheelbase. Cheap (if you can just swap the air shaft) and awesome upgrade.

Use this = bikegeo.muha.cc
  • + 1
 Are you riding a 29er? Get a 27 for back end. Benefits of Anglesey with lower BB and awesome cornering / steep riding
  • + 1
 @chainspotting: I'm on a 27.5 so that won't work for me
  • + 2
 @islandforlife: I did the same for my new bike! For my bike it worked out that 10mm longer fork + 2° Works Components headset preserved the original STA , reach, bottom bracket height, etc while giving me a ~2.5° slacker front end. Bikegeo is a great tool for stuff like this
  • + 2
 @showmethemountains: Yes! So good... really works well for a bike that's a couple years old and bit behind the new geometry curve.

Did a similar thing to my wife's nice used bike that I picked up... gives her way more confidence as a beginner on the steeper stuff.
  • + 6
 @matt-15: if only there was a smaller wheelsize out there....
  • + 1
 I would upgrade something that would make my lower back not hurt on my Kona Process. All my other bikes my back is fine, but that bike it just kills me. So maybe I need a professional fit.
  • + 3
 @oregonryder - don't know which Process you run. I've got a 111, and run it with a 140mm fork. Between the relatively low stack, the long toptube (which I like once I'm standing up), and the relatively slack seat tube (even more so with the 140), the one thing I don't like about my bike is that it's hard to climb in a way that's not hard on my low back (had a bulging lumbar disk a couple years ago as a result of decades of abuse - mostly rehabbed, but still in need of decent posture to avoid recurrence).

As much as I'd love to try a new bike with a steeper seat tube to avoid that rounded lumbar spine while seated climbing - just pushing the seat all the way forward on its rails, finding a seat with a longer nose to perch up on, and running bars with 50mm rise and setting them at the very tippy top of the steerer tube has made a big difference for seated climbing. But even then - it's hard to put power down and maneuver the bike on technical climbs while seated - so I've gotten into the habit of getting out of my seat on technical climbs that in the past I would have ridden seated. Yep, more effort - but so much easier on the back.
  • + 1
 probably the longer reach? if you like the reach while descending, try high rise bars - easier on your back while climbing, and shouldn't affect the distance to the bars in the attack position while descending
  • + 1
 @g-42: It took me like 6 months to get my 111 to feel good. I hated the bike at first and almost sold it right away. I went with sqlab 12 deg backsweep bars, a 30mm stem and ALL the spacers. Now I can climb without my back killing me but I definitely have my seat all the way forward and nose down as much as I can. I went back from 140mm and to 130mm and that helped the climbing a lot as well.
  • + 2
 My tires are fine, but there is nothing as satisfying as the first ride on new rubber. I am always willing to upgrade to new tires. My wallet isn't as keen on the notion.
  • + 2
 Probably tapered steer tube. I've had straight steer tubes bend on me before, but I built my bike out of old parts as kind of a hobbyist project.
  • + 1
 I need someone in Europe to send me a chikadeehill AWK for my fox 40, since they won't ship to the USA. Diaz or Vorsprung could also start making a runt/luftkappe for the 40. Either way, I need that plush supportive stroke
  • + 5
 don't we all.
  • + 1
 rear hubs. everyone one of my bikes has an OEM hub with generic engagement. I want 48 or better, 72 would be nice. But damn, all that money can be spent on downhill days... gas, food, beer, etc.
  • + 1
 I had i9 torches on my last bike. Dt 350 on my current ride, with 18t ratchet. Don't notice the difference.
  • + 1
 @spaceofades: If one doesn't ride trials, engagement points are only bling... but if you do in fact pedal kick, it is all the difference in the world.
  • + 1
 @ridintrials: I suppose if your name is ridintrials...
  • + 1
 Deore brakes were the weak link on my bike, but halfway through fitting some XTs. Leaving wheels as the main thing I would upgrade.
  • + 1
 #1 response is my bike is perfect!
Who are these people? My bike is a 2019 and I'm always looking at upgrades. That's the fun part besides riding.
  • + 1
 One thing I love about my Guerrilla Gravity bike was that I got to choose all the upgrades that were important to me when I bought it, so I wasn’t wanting to replace new parts right away. I went cheaper on my drivetrain so that I could get nicer wheels and top of the line suspension.
  • + 2
 We already upgraded everything.
  • + 3
 I used to pine for upgrades but after getting smoked at my local enduro series by guys on objectively worse bikes I have been forced to realise the limiting factor isn't the bike.
  • + 2
 I voted for color. Didn’t like the color of my last one, so I got the same bike in a different color #thatdentistlife
  • + 1
 Why do people have to say something, than say " with that being said"? Why can't they just continue on with what they are saying, without telling us that they said it.?
  • + 5
 it's usually to denote a departure from the preceding point. it makes the sudden change less jarring, so you know the writer didn't make a mistake juxtaposing two conflicting viewpoints
  • + 1
 @xeren: haha, I was just being sarcastic. With that being said though, thanks!
  • + 3
 Nothing, I built it how I wanted
  • + 6
 Same here. I was broke much of my life and rode 80% or so of what I wanted. I am fortunate enough now to be able to build what I want AND to have friends managing shops for the occasional strategic discounts. That said, one can have fun on a $1000 bike and a $10000 bike.
  • + 2
 Super dialed and have been for a several years. Kill tires...replace with new rubber....repeat...
  • + 1
 This poll is more like your whole bike has been riding into a pile of shit....what would you buy if you could only buy one part.
  • + 1
 My manitou circus is bleeding oil like a stuck pig. Right after being serviced too. Guess it's gonezo. Dreaming of a pike DJ or an 831.
  • + 2
 Had same prob with marzocchi forks, someone told me I put the seals in upside down. Thought it was BS at first but, put new ones in correctly and all good.
  • + 2
 @bikeetc: ...how do you install seals upside down? I am assuming you are talking about fork seals you hit into the lowers with a tool (or proper sized socket if your cheap).
  • + 1
 I got a Specialized Brain that's got air in it.

$400 rebuild on a 10 year old bike? Get f***ed. Guess I'll keep riding with the squishy noise.
  • + 1
 @dglass: yeah, didn’t pay attention when I took them out and put them back the way I thought. Guy at Marzocchi said common mistake. Anyway, just my 2 cents before you condem your fork.
  • + 1
 Drivetrain. Right now I have the stock NX setup which works ok but it would be nice to have something a little more precise and cleaner sounding like XO.
  • + 1
 I won't upgrade my bike any more than the basics (grips/saddle/pedals/tires/mudguard). If I "need" to upgrade it's gonna be a whole new bike.
  • + 3
 The pinkbike coment section
  • + 2
 My bike is perfect but...let me read a couples of reviews so i can think otherwise...
  • + 3
 No cockpit upgrades? I need new handlebars
  • + 1
 Thankful for and happy with my bike. But I am considering a Sunrace wide-range 10spd cassette to help me go after some new riding areas and big climbing days
  • + 1
 have put about 2 years on my Sunrace 40t, its holding up fine.
  • + 1
 @twozerosix: Thanks, that's encouraging! I currently have a Deore cassette so the weight penalty for the 11-42t is minimal. My only concern was how it will hold up
  • + 1
 @showmethemountains: 11sp SLX is pretty darn affordable these days. Yes, you could go with the Sunrace 11-42 10 speed (or the new Deore 11-42), but if you need a new cassette anyway, and if your derailleur is perhaps getting a bit on in age (so the clutch starts to wear and can't be tightened anymore...) - well, $80 or so buys you a brand new SLX derailleur and shifter, the SLX 11sp cassette is only about $10 more than the wide range 10sp one, and you end up with tighter steps on your gearing. Not a bad upgrade for the money.
  • + 2
 @g-42: My older X7 RD doesn't even have a clutch to wear out, haha!

Shimano 11spd is my ideal, but that SLX setup is way more than just getting a $50 cassette. And I need to factor in a new chain with either option. My current drivetrain works well enough, so I'm saving the bigger upgrade $$ toward an FS bike at some point
  • + 1
 @g-42: The Sunrace comes in black. Yes the black wears off of the teeth over time. Fashion victim.
  • + 2
 @showmethemountains: the sunrace CSMS (unlike the CSMX) has all steel gears with an aluminum spider. not the lightest, but a steel drive train lasts and lasts. I am very impressed with mine so far.
  • + 1
 Going to go with wheels, I hate straight pull spokes. Looking at you, Roval. The specialized dropper post is a real close second.
  • + 2
 I picked better brakes cuz I currently have guides LOL!
  • + 2
 I have guides on both my bikes and they are a bit shit. Not that powerful but also with little feel or modulation.
  • + 1
 How much longer is the manscaping add going to run?? I keep thinking i'm on a porn site instead of pink bike
  • + 1
 No cockpit or pedals? Why tires? Those get purchased once or twice a season because they wear out FAST.
  • + 1
 I got box components 9 speed, it has 11-50t cassette, so far so good. Next upgrade is mid drive motor conversion kit...yup.
  • + 2
 Mute that s**t!!! I would have it totally quiet.
  • + 1
 Wheels. Be able to afford Carbon would be great. But I have a tendency to destroy my rear rims so I’ll pass.
  • + 2
 The bike is so old it's new bike time. So all of the above.
  • + 2
 Rider, my bike deserves it!
  • + 1
 29'er 160mm fork with short axle to crown so i can build a 79'er without screwing up the geometry
  • + 1
 Lower the fork travel, add the 29" front, and you'll be cutting edge. You know you want it.
  • + 1
 I'm confused.....i was recently brainwashed into buying a 29er and they say I need a 27.5 in tire on the back.
  • + 1
 Wouldn't mind sliding a smashpot coil into my 36. It's already pretty dialed though
  • + 2
 My frame go from hardtail to full susser
  • + 1
 Everything. I should just buy a new bike with better geo, wider rims & tyres and a dropper post.
  • + 2
 All bikes need a Luftkappe.
  • + 3
 Sounds like a German beer, I’ll go for that.
  • + 2
 Need SWAT box optimized for Nutella jar.
  • + 2
 I just wish it wasn't snowing
  • + 1
 Just did the angle set , and new saddle , awaiting the new OneUp post/lever. and tires later in the summer.
  • + 1
 Currently trying to upgrade my weight to what it was ten years ago.
  • + 1
 Last answer mean less advertising and less $ for pb?
  • + 1
 E-bikes to make motorcycle revving sounds when it’s ridden!
  • + 1
 New fame. Old school Trailstar is just too small.
  • + 1
 Bike is perfect; rider sucks.
  • + 1
 so many things are wrong with my bike i don't know where to start.
  • + 1
 30 lbs lighter would be nice and a anti-aging h20 pack!
  • + 2
 A new clavicle
  • + 1
 Pilot skill. The most important factor gets left off the list.
  • + 2
 Needs a motor.
  • + 1
 Where is the f**k all option?
  • - 1
 Unless they've all made no-budget dream builds, I don't get how three hundred something people said their bike is perfect and couldn't use any upgrades.
  • + 10
 maybe they are all happy with what they have
  • + 1
 The question was what would you upgrade on your current bike - and there was no premise here that it was free of cost. So how hard is it to believe that a lot of people look at their current bike and think there's really nothing that would be worth the cost to upgrade?

I've had my bike for over 3 years; all the stuff that needed upgrading (and was worth doing so, considering the cost) or replacing (because it was shitty spec and not up to its intended use and eventually broke) has been done. It's a pretty pedestrian spec (SLX drivetrain, for example), but beefed up where it counts (such as Hope rear hub and Spank rim - pretty much a must for a heavy guy - the OEM spec didn't last long...). It's all about the tradeoffs.

Had a short conversation with a guy riding a brand new bike yesterday; he's had it for two weeks, and he's got a big goofy new-bike grin on his face. Yep, I get that. But then I have a big goofy grin every time I ride my 3 year old bike, and will probably continue to for at least a couple more years.
  • + 1
 In the title, "if you could," implies that there is something preventing you from doing this upgrade right now - be it cost, time, hassle, availability, whatever - so yeah I'd say the premise is that it's free of cost. Half the blurb is about daydreaming about bike upgrades.
  • + 3
 @g-42: I get a goofy grin on my 10 year old bike. I can only imagine the joy a 3 year old bike would bring.
  • + 1
 Wheels. Carbon, baby ????
  • + 4
 Nah, then you have to tell everyone how they were totally worth $1300 even though deep down you miss the smooth feel of your old Flow EXs.
  • + 2
 My hubs are so f-ed
  • + 1
 That Push ElevenSix is looking mighty tasty.
  • + 1
 "New Frame" More longer lower slacker please.
  • + 1
 Fork, wheels, brakes, tires, drive train.. lol
  • + 1
 Drop about 15lbs from my belly area would be the best upgrade.
  • + 1
 I said grips because I can't afford a new bike.
  • + 1
 Swap this Super Deluxe for an X2 or something more supportive.
  • + 1
 My dialed bike needs a new rider.
  • + 2
 My dialed bike needs a rider that has the time to ride the dialed bike.
  • + 1
 the meat bag operating the damn thing
  • + 1
 Custom tuning by Avalanche for my Super Deluxe Coil
  • + 1
 Where is "build up the damn frame that is sitting in the garage" option?
  • + 1
 Wheels and helmets/ bodyarmor
  • + 1
 I could use a new frame or some cushcores
  • + 1
 My aurum’s tires are super bald
  • + 1
 Wheels for me.
  • + 1
 Waiting on 36ers!
  • + 1
 29.99" wheels!
  • + 1
 A pair of stronger legs
  • + 1
 Quite the riddle.
  • + 1
 Everyfuckingthing.
  • + 1
 Stickers
  • + 1
 Just a new frame.....
  • + 1
 New bike please!
  • + 1
 upgrade myself skill
  • - 1
 LOL. Majority of people are either FOS or don't ride enough. How does fully dialed have that big of a lead. LOL
  • + 2
 Easy enough, I've been on the same bike for 7(!!) years now and I've got it just how I like it. It keeps seeing off the competition at demo days, a new bike won't make me any less crap. Not buying a new bike also freed up a shed load of money for lift days and trips, which is nice.
  • + 1
 My Sram guide R's

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