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Video: $1100 vs. $6500 In Upgrades On A Used Mountain Bike - Budget vs. Baller Episode 5

Jan 11, 2022
by Pinkbike Originals  


At this point, Henry and Jason are up to their eyeballs in new bits for their 2017 Giant Reigns. With new wheels, tires, contact points, and suspension the boys head out for another round of timed testing. Will Henry once again take the crown or has Jason spent enough coin to cover up his incapabilities as a rider?


WATCH ALL EPISODES OF BUDGET VS. BALLER HERE


Presented by


Jenson USA





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187 Comments

  • 227 8
 I love the concept. But it could of been done a lot better. Always next year PB.
  • 45 3
 Two weeks ago this was next year's first episode. Just sayin'
  • 30 76
flag deagle8747 (Jan 11, 2022 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 Upvoting this even though I haven't see the whole video, cause its PB and this was the comment with the more likes and I seemed to agree by the few seconds I saw and I didn't like the bike's colour and I didn't want to miss on jumping on the wagon of the comment with the more likes
  • 63 12
 *could have
  • 146 1
 They need to replace budget with well considered upgrades that make an improvement for a reasonable price. Vs just buying the most and least expensive parts available.
  • 82 1
 I'm enjoying the series, but I agree that it's not really practical information.

Who would take a mid-tier used bike and put junk components on it just for the sake of replacing them? Also, who would take a dated frame (admittedly not that bad... I have one) and put all the most expensive parts on it when better performance could probably be achieved for the same cost on a newer frame with mid level components?

I'd like to see the same series redone with any 2 bikes aiming for maximum cost vs performance ratio then comparing them to some of the latest super bikes to highlight the true performance difference vs the best available.

I'm partial to enduro bikes again, but that's just me.
  • 13 1
 @matttie: ya they could just have 2 different budgets and be able to buy used to score better parts
  • 8 13
flag Capable (Jan 11, 2022 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 I love your comment, but it could of been done a lof better... Next comment might actually include some comment, eh Steve? :-p
  • 25 1
 Now do it again and spend your money on the budget bike like it was actually your money and had to last and it actually mattered if you could get service or support for that fork in 6 months.
  • 7 1
 @matttie: agree to this like upgrading your yari fork by replacing its damper, changing brake levers to a higher end version
  • 20 28
flag CSdirt (Jan 11, 2022 at 11:33) (Below Threshold)
 everyone is missing the point....its about absolute cheapest crap build vs. absolute most expensive build. Neither is practical or what someone would likely do. But it was a good idea for a series. Could definitely do without the lame 10 minutes of build/banter and just get on with results.
  • 28 0
 Next run - Henry and Jason switch bikes.
  • 4 1
 @trillot: Wanted to say same thing- that would make a lot of sense!
  • 4 3
 @Capable: .....could have*
  • 32 3
 @CSdirt: I've already had this argument and again if it was just cheap crap vs expensive they shouldn't be on the same frame. No one I have ever met is downgrading a Reign to be a piece of shit bike. Those parts are upgrades only when used on a bike with shittier parts. Tell me who in their right mind would buy that Chinese fork before rebuilding the Yari? Nobody that's who.
  • 17 1
 @CSdirt: It's called, "budget VS baller" NOT "absolute cheap crap for laughs VS baller" I think they missed their own point? Smile
  • 12 0
 Perhaps the issue is that series wasn't set up properly. What question was it trying to answer? If the series was about whether the cheapest available parts are really that bad it might have been better received. Simple answer... In most cases, yes! I also think the only people don't know the answer to that question are not in this audience, so maybe it's not relevant.

That brings us back to the question that does matter to this audience. Since we're all constantly complaining about the cost of bikes, is there a cheaper way to achieve most of the versatile performance of a premium bike?
  • 3 1
 Its "like early 2000's tweener reality show"'ERA' for PB right now
  • 4 0
 @zacjob: I totally agree...but I bet that the differences wouldn't be as big as the marketing folks want us to believe.
  • 7 0
 @trillot: so Jason spent 6500 upgrading a bike. Could have bought a new bike for that much. That would have been baller.
  • 10 0
 @matttie: See how Donut Media did it with their Toyotas, that was a success
  • 5 0
 @weebleswobbles:
Could have bought a Stumpy Evo alloy that Kazimer liked the best in the trail bike field test.
  • 3 0
 @Garantson: he paid all that money to be faster than Henry on the second lap
  • 2 0
 @Y12Sentinel: next thing that might come up is "PB Big Brother" with the editors...
  • 13 2
 Well I'm enjoying this for some mindless silly fun. Not all pb material needs to be educational like most whingers here seem to want. Just relax and have a bit of fun
I also suspect that it's Henry's influence, the style is a bit more British (a la top gear) and may not be as appreciated by our North American friends.
  • 2 0
 @CSdirt: If everyone is missing the point, and your (pinkbike/outside) entire existence is to communicate effectively with it's consumers, I would argue that perhaps pinkbike has failed.

I agree with your last point. this entire series could have been an 8 minute video. We bought identical bikes and put the following crappy parts on one and expensive parts on the other. Look at the time differences and now we'll talk for 1 minute each about how we think they ride differently. GMBN does a decent job of this.
  • 1 1
 @CSdirt: I 100% agree. I feel like this was a light hearted way of saying "if you don't have the talent, your budget doesn't matter". A fast guy on junk is still going to be faster than someone with less ability, even on the best parts. It wasn't a "here, these are your only two options" kind of thing, nor was it meant to be practical. Where is the entertainment in practicality? I think they probably had a blast making the series. And THAT was the point.
  • 2 1
 @inside-plus: 100%
I don't mind how PB did this show, but it would be more informative and less frivolous if they took Donut's approach to next season.
  • 2 0
 @Caligula1620: I appreciate the grammar check there @Caligula1620, but I was just trying to mimic or even outdo the OP. I imagined it in some British slang.
  • 1 0
 @Garantson: Do you know if you can set the stumpy Evo alloy as a dual 27.5 or if you have to run 29 mullet?
  • 117 1
 Along with the common feedback of actually getting decent upgrade parts for the budget bike, I have another suggestion. For the viewers who aren't component savvy on the high or low end (who would actually benefit from this series - general entertainment aside), explain the exact parts sourced, why you chose them, their benefits/features/drawbacks, individual weight gains/losses, etc so people can draw meaningful info for their own use. Sponsorship of the series aside, be intentional and detailed regarding the parts chosen and we'll see where the series goes!
  • 29 2
 that's not gonna happen dogg we're here to sell bikes!
  • 42 0
 That's the part I don't understand. As the title sponsor Jenson has tons of budget parts that they could have easily used and gotten double the exposure while making this a much more worthwhile challenge... $200 stem vs a $40 stem, $2K wheels vs $400 wheels, AXS vs NX or Deore. Oh well, always next season.
  • 8 0
 I think this could have been really good if it was done with 3 versions of the bike (could be only 2 bikes) High end, ridiculously low end and what you should pick for quality budget parts. Have a quick talk about the downfalls of going too cheap aka tires that aren't really all worthwhile. It would keep it informative and entertaining for everyone.
  • 4 0
 @mtbman1980: or the 3rd bike could have the same budget as low end and pick used parts from the pinkbike buy and sell
  • 2 0
 @OCSunDevil: But are they actually going to do that? The ultimate conclusion is that most of us are just fine on Deore and OEM/Mid level parts. It's all diminishing returns after that. No one is buying Absolute Black stuff after that series, unless they're a dentist.
  • 3 0
 @OCSunDevil: Jenson actually joined the comments on one of the earlier episodes to suggest that for season 2
  • 3 0
 Agreed. Let’s be honest, most Pinkbike readers / viewers are huge geeks when it comes to technical details. Hopefully the next time they do this series, they spend more time analyzing the differences between the two levels of components, and just what you are (and aren’t) getting for your extra money.

In fact, maybe for the end of THIS series, they can do a whole episode on this. It would be a great educational tool for serious bikers to show their non-biker friends and family exactly why that Amazon or Department store budget parts aren’t really the same as quality components from a real bike company. I mean, have you ever had to have that conversation with someone before? I know I have.

An episode like that would redeem this whole series, and be something we could all refer our skinflint spouses, co-workers, parents, and friends to whenever they say something dumb like, “I saw an identical bike at Walmart for only $400!”
  • 3 0
 @MB3: I believe there are a chunk of PB readers that are up on some/most of the specs for new stuff, but I can't help but think that Pinkbike hopes that things like this grow past their normal viewership and reach/draw in a wider audience, especially with a video series like this. That wider range of viewers on platforms like Youtube may need more spoon-feeding of specific details and differences, like Worldwide Cyclery does in there videos where they break down every detail between each Shimano vs. SRAM groupset, etc.
  • 62 0
 Love the concept, poor execution
  • 59 2
 PB needs a series called "Is it the Bike?" where they put a pro/ex-pro/super fast guy on a clapped out/older model/cheaper component bike and time them against an average rider on a high-end bike to find out....Is it the Bike?
  • 14 7
 That‘s most likely too revealing - and would run counter to PB‘s source of income, the bike industry.
Consider: with 100% certainty a pro-level rider on a 5-year-old entry-level CC bike would just crush any average Joe on a 2022 top-of-the-line enduro anywhere. Realizing that, a few people would not buy the latest and greatest…
  • 3 0
 It'd probably be counterintuitive to the nature of their marketing as well as probably be very rider dependant. Some pros are very particular others can shred anything. Along with other things riders can be sensitive too, you'd need multiple top level riders to get a good feel for it. Also depends on clapped out in what way, and how much older of a model. And then even could be more brand specific.
  • 1 0
 Not really feasible. Maybe have two equally matched riders do timed trials. Going fast is a skill and even many very good riders don’t have it.
  • 2 0
 They won't do that. PB's sponsors, and bike companys want the viewer to buy the new bike. You go upset the business model and bad things will happen Wink
  • 8 0
 Steve Peat put out a vid not long ago riding back to back laps on an old V10 and the latest and greatest iteration (if my memory serves…). Bottom line, was only marginally slower on the old, outdated, “unrideable” bike.
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk: Yes I saw it, that's sort of the Vibe I'm talking about. Steve Peat races his 2006 V10 and I race his 2022 V10. Hilarity ensues, then myself and PB make millions!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk:

That was a great video.

To be fair though, DH bikes have had better geometry than trail bikes for ages. Given DH bikes have grown in reach some as well, but their HTA hasn't changed all that much. On the flip side I'd say the average trail/all mountain bike 10 years ago had what... 3-6 degree steeper HTA than they have now? Plus the reach has grown... 50-100mm? Thats a pretty large change.

Its definitely still the rider for the majority. Just saying that I think trail bikes have changed more than DH bikes, so maybe there would be "some" more difference between a 15 year old average trail bike and ... something like the Transition Sentinel/Norco Sight/Ibis Ripmo (trail/all mountainish bike).
  • 4 0
 It is not the bike. End of the series, thx for watching see you next year it'll be even faster.
  • 2 0
 @VtVolk: iirc many years ago when Peaty was riding Orange, MBR (?) got him to do timed laps on a reader's bike vs the reader on his bike. However, the reader didn't own an Orange, so he had to ride the cheapest shiny new Orange hard tail instead. Pretty sure he destroyed the reader anyway. How on earth does my memory hold this utterly useless information???
  • 1 0
 @Heidesandnorth: While it is true that rider skill plays the biggest role, pros are still working constantly to get all the speed they can out of their bikes. Things like changing the shock linkage for different tracks, wiring the spokes to make the wheels stiffer, filling the open spaces with foam to hold less mud etc make enough difference to be worth it.
  • 2 0
 @Patrick9-32: given how much of top level riding is in the head, having something that the rider perceives to be an advantage IS an advantage, regardless of whether the bike is fundamentally any quicker or not
  • 1 0
 Or just run it similar to top gear. They all run the exact same model of budget bike, and have a star on a reasonably priced bike. I would be okay with having multiple sizes available so they all get thr proper fit to eliminate that variable.
  • 46 1
 still feel this is a great concept for a series but the execution left a bit to be desired.

the upgrades for henry's bike should have been more methodical and actual upgrades (or budget replacements with similar features) instead of parts for the sake of putting parts on.

starting with entry level bikes off the shelf (or just a frame?) (deore or NX drivetrain) will users see more benefit from:
GX/SLX upgrade or an XTR/X01 upgrade
upgraded fork internals vs full factory forks
cock pit upgrades (grips, bar shape/size, stem size) vs all carbon
decent $30 nylon pedals vs baller pedals (oneup nylon vs alloy for example)
pads and rotors vs 4 pot top of the line system
lightweight alloy vs carbon wheels or simply just a tubeless conversion for the budget bike

this is where viewers will spend their money.
  • 1 0
 I would find it interesting to see what budget parts these bike reviewers would actually choose for themselves. I would like to see them start with a frame, but I'm guessing it's a fairly large majority of riders who buy complete bikes.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewHornor: completely agree. you see a lot of presenters/reviewers mention things like XT shifters on an SLX derailleur instead of an XT derailleur with SLX shifter. the former being much more cost effective for the performance. the reviewers are seasoned riders compared to most so their methodology and thought process on picking "budget parts" would be of much more value than comparing top end vs bottom of the barrel. both categories that a good amount of riders will not spend money on.
  • 3 0
 @blamalamadingdong: they choose the xt shifter because it does double down shifts, that's only a feature on xt and xtr.
  • 2 0
 @blamalamadingdong: that's my exact shifter and derailleur combo, and a classic min/maxing example! I don't remember where I got the idea but I didn't come up with it by myself. That kind of content is of real world value.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: yup. first thing i upgraded on my enduro since it came with an SLX shifter. i had the double tap on my 11speed hardtail and cant be without it anymore! this is an incredibly cheap "upgrade" with a lot of potential. there are other small things to save cost as well like using an SLX or deore cassette/cranks (at the expense of some grams, but noticeable cost) without sacrificing big performance.

this series almost convinced me to do my own budget vs baller series, i just dont have the cash to do it lol
  • 1 0
 @blamalamadingdong: going to the bank like hey, I need $15k to buy bike parts, and don't worry, half of them will be value oriented...
I actually have an instagram account documenting how I try to keep my mountain biking affordable. Coming up with content is challenging. You'd need to buy a lot of stuff to make it interesting.
  • 39 3
 Next Pinkbike contest (in 6 episodes): square wheels Vs round wheels. Who's gonna be the winner? Suspense....
  • 8 0
 Outside+ already invested in square wheels' Kickstarter - they see some potential sales there.
  • 23 0
 We had a customer come in a few months ago with an older Intense Tracer. It had been ridden hard and put away wet. We ended up servicing the fork / shock / frame bearings, new drivetrain (chainring, cassette and chain), new tires, along with a few other things. It cost about a $1000, and while I had some anxiety at first about getting him to put that much money into an older bike, he called back about a month later to say he loves it again, as it feels and rides like a new bike. That seems like $1000 well spent, not this throwing junk parts on a decent frame nonsense.
  • 1 0
 New bearings is a must on a used frame, preferably, high quality German product.
  • 60 35
 If you decide to do this again, don't.
  • 3 1
 bwah!
  • 19 1
 m.pinkbike.com/u/coeand/album/reign

As I've done a lot of this myself, I think budget could have been done much better
  • 2 0
 Nicely done
  • 3 0
 Did the same thing too on a 2017 Trance. My build came to about $1500. www.pinkbike.com/photo/21580653
  • 2 0
 what I would have upgraded on the budget bike:

www.m-suspensiontech.com/mst-yari-kartusche-v2

new Front tire if the rubber of the old one wasn't good (magic mary or dirty dan for that weather)

some used/cheap shock maybe tuned by mst like dpx2, topaz/suntour

reach extender headset

XT shifter

brakebleed

that would set me back around 700€ and it would be a way better bike compared to the turd they built up
  • 11 0
 Looking at the final price, anyone would think that 1000 dollars in fresh parts is a lot of money. The crap parts make more sense with that in mind, but it probably would have been better to just get a good service done on some of the parts instead of replacing them, specifically the suspension. That frees up money for better things like a decent seat post, some bomb-proof DT Swiss or Stan's Wheels, and better tires, that would actually improve the bike.
  • 1 0
 It sounded like the budget wheels were actually a pretty decent set… it was the tires that they chose to put on them that were crap.

Also, they could have cut that $1,000 figure down a bit by opting to service the existing fork instead of buying a no name new one.
  • 11 4
 do one where you try to get started in the sport without spending over $2k. I keep hearing about how mountain bike companies are "pushing for inclusivity" but I think based on their pricing they are only interested in your financial demographic, not age/gender/sexuality/race.
  • 1 0
 Walmart sells mountainbikes.
  • 4 2
 A brand new Specialized Rockhopper is like $5-600 depending on where you buy it. You can go and ride that in normal athletic clothes and a pair of trainers and a $50 helmet and have fun on the trails for years without spending anything more than wearing parts like chains, cassettes and brake pads. The idea that you need to have high end kit to have fun on a mountain bike is ridiculous. If you want to be a competitive racer you need to spend a lot more money, if you want to have the latest kit you need to spend a lot more money.

If you are doing back to back comparisons of ride quality with much more expensive stuff and you expect it to perform the same you are being ridiculous.

You don't need to spend $2000 on a mountain bike for it to be fun. You certainly don't need to spend $10,000. These arguments are like people saying that Ferraris cost $500,000 so the car industry is catering only to rich people.
  • 3 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: yep, and yet we never see any content that covers the realities of getting started in the sport and sticking with it. if you get into the sport seriously, that walmart bike isn't going to hold up unless you dump cash into it regularly to keep it from falling apart. realistically if you buy a $500 bike and ride it regularly, you'll probably dump another $500 into it before the year is out.
I love the argument too that "there are cheap bikes out there". like ya there are slow ugly cars out there too but if you're getting into the sport of racing, they're probably not going to do you much good.
  • 3 0
 @Patrick9-32: well ya every argument becomes ridiculous when you bastardize it lol. I'm not saying you have to have a top tier bike to have fun, but this idea that a $500 bike is going to hold up to years of serious riding and not run you 2x-3x the original cost in upkeep is laughable. It shows how few people have worked in a shop or actually tried this method. Those $50 tune ups pile up quick when your whole drive train is shimano Acera lol.

"These arguments are like people saying that Ferraris cost $500,000 so the car industry is catering only to rich people." Again, not my argument but since you're using the analogy let me correct it for you. What you're essentially saying is "you don't need a race car to race, you just have to have a car and the desire" while you're not wrong, you are being incredibly disingenuous about the experience one would have with one over the other. Average cost of quality MTB tires is probably somewhere around $50-$60, average helmet around $80-$100, pedals usually around $40-$50 average since they're not always included, not to mention the bike being around 5-$600 as you mentioned, as well as tubes/lube/pumps and everything else you need to keep the bike running, $50-$100. Now that's not even including gloves, hydration, changing any components, and the upkeep I mentioned.


Bottom line, you're right you can get into the sport for under $2k, but you're being ignorant of the implied costs that come up from high usage on low quality parts.
  • 2 2
 @Caligula1620: You absolutely do not need to spend that kind of money to have fun on a bike. The idea that you need $50 tyres and an $80 helmet to even go on your first mountain bike ride is completely false.

MTB helmets are $25 for a reasonable one without features that passes safety standards that will keep you safe enough for entry level mtb trail riding
MTB tyres are $10 for ones with tread and a hard compound that will allow you to have fun once you skid all the tread off of the ones which came on the bike.
Plastic MTB pedals are under $20.
Learning to work on your own bike is life affirming and costs only a few bucks in simple tools and some time watching youtube videos.
That Shimano Acera Derailleur is $20 so when you do smash it you can replace it yourself in half an hour for the cost of a meal out.
Gloves? - Gardening gloves cost a couple of bucks
Hydration? - My kitchen cupboards are half filled with water bottles I have been given as promotional items for free and tap water costs almost nothing.

You are building barriers that simply don't exist. Even if you destroy the fork on your entry level bike you can replace it for like $150.

Comparing riding a mountain bike in the woods with your friends to going track racing in a car is ridiculous. Beginner mountain biking is closer to being able to drive to somewhere nice with your friends in the car when you first get your license, to do that you need a running, driving safe car and you can have fun.

If you are comparing going to an enduro or downhill race and being competitive then it is probably a better comparison but I have been riding bikes for over 20 years and only ever done one race and didn't really enjoy it. That's not the MTB experience for many riders. Even if that is where you want to go, the cheap bike and the skills you build at first will put you in a better place when you do save for the expensive, discipline specific bike.
  • 2 1
 @Patrick9-32: dude, please do not encourage people to go riding with a $25 helmet. unless they're making helmets with MIPs for that cheap nowadays, you're essentially riding with an egg carton on your head.
$10 tires, ok ya be prepared to replace those within the first month of regular use.
"only cost a few bucks in simple tools" LMMFAO, ok tell me you have never worked on bikes without telling me. unless you're talking about just buying an allen wrench set, you are insanely mistaken that bike tools are "only a few bucks".
duckduckgo.com/?q=shimano+acera+derailleru&atb=v246-1&ia=web (notsure where you're seeing derailleurs for $20, cheapest I'm seeing is around $40 and that's pretax and shipping, not including installation.
omfg dude if you didn't want to compare it to cars why did you bring up the analogy? lol.



bottom line, I'm agreeing with you that you can absolutely get started for cheap in the sport. But acting like someone can ride technical/rough trails on a Walmart bike for any prolonged period of time without spending money constantly on upkeep just exposes your ignorance on the subject. And ya we can all go riding in hard hats and gardeing gloves with our work boots on and our bikepacking packs as hydration packs, but is that what most people do? no. that's my point. you're essentially pointing out that it's possible to do, what almost nobody does, and all I'm saying is that ya it's possible but not popular or practical.

I'm done with this discussion tho, you lost me at "bike tools are cheap" rofl.
  • 12 2
 If you’re going to spend $6500 in upgrading a used bike, why not just spend that on a brand new bike?!?
  • 44 2
 because I can spread that $6500 out over 2 years and maybe my wife won't notice.
  • 3 3
 @deez-nucks: finance my friend. Finance.
  • 8 1
 @deez-nucks: Sorry you have to do that. That sucks
  • 6 1
 Yep, this isn't budget vs baller, they've unintentionally made a series called WHAT NOT TO DO. And in both cases it's put a bunch of crap amazon parts on the bike AND hang a bunch of overpriced parts for full MSRP off an old frame that you don't even know how much damage it has from previous owner.

We're entering Yeti/Pivot/Transition/etc numbers and i lol'd when they said we're only half way through. So they're gonna ball out on brakes and drivetrain and it's probably going to finish around 10k... You can get a mid-high spec Specialized Enduro for that money. Or a damn e-bike, and not a shit one either.

They definitely went for entertainment and advertising over education on this series :/
  • 2 0
 @deez-nucks: telling for a friend : she notices the same way you notice her massages she gets and thinks you don't notice
  • 1 0
 @lepigpen: It does seem like the target audience (average rider) has been intentionally botched with this series. Nobody is dropping the cost of a bike in upgrades and nobody is considering generic suspension. They have to know this, I mean c’mon. It’s just easier and more fun to do it this way than actually making sense, that’s all I can think.
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: If their goal was to gain a lot of negative attention to put the series in people's minds... In order to have a more successful season 2 with possibly an improved methodology...

Well, that would be incredibly smart. But that's conspiracy think Smile
  • 8 1
 Love the overall concept. It's been said but I think the utility of it and appeal would be greatly improved if you compared relevant parts. Nobody into biking at the level that they are geeking out over this show is looking to buy a Mike Bear tire or unknown bars. Rather- comparing things like a bike built with Deore, stock Bontrager Alu bars, Flow wheels etc with a bike with boutique parts like AXS, ENVE etc seems more in line with the decisions users of this site actually are making and wondering if will impact their experience. Next year!
  • 7 0
 I think once you accept that this series is just a Henry torture test, it's a lot more fun. Stack one dude with crapola parts and taunt him with someone else getting the bling. If Henry had more envy and credible disappointment, it'd track a bit better. Needs an intrinsically jealous person with a mean competitive edge to hammer in the freakouts and excuse making.
  • 6 0
 Yes. The name should not have been 'budget VS baller', but: 'Watch rider suffer as we load his bike with crap components while his friend gets the high end' And Levy would have played that part better. Henry is just too laid back.
  • 8 1
 These comments seem familiar! Is it different pinkers commenting, or do we have the SAME people railing against every episode of this series with the same comments. Like, they watched episode 1, hated it, and proceeded to watch (and hate) every subsequent episode even though they know the format wasn't going to change? I just don't get it.
  • 8 1
 I understand everyone wanting to see reasonable budget upgrades but I absolutely love the concept of buying things solely to make the bike worse. Saw so many people do stuff like this non-ironically when I worked at a shop
  • 10 0
 * $6500 in upgrades vs $1100 in downgrades.

Now PB, do it right.
  • 6 0
 It's been said over and over again, and it seems like no one is reading or replying to these comments on purpose, but you completely missed the concept of hi low. Stop now and re-start the series before you just dig an even deeper hole. I'd be surprised if Jenson haven't mentioned anything about this yet. Surely you should buy parts for both bikes from Jenson, just using a different budget.
  • 6 0
 I guess the jenson sponsorship is in part the reason why they didn't do the smart upgrade and they went for crappy chinese stuff, if they upgraded in a smart way maybe the outcome would've upset sponsors a bit showing that the difference between the say "grip and grip 2" is marginal and definitely not worth the added 500 dolarunos
  • 18 9
 Here comes the negative comment storm
  • 3 8
flag office (Jan 11, 2022 at 12:30) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah I thought it was super fun. Who cares about mid-range parts. Everyone knows they're "Fine"

I guess people watch reviews of Honda CRV's though
  • 11 2
 Because the presentation of "budget" is disingenuous at best.
  • 5 0
 I'd happily be proven wrong, but I don't think any PB readers/watchers would ever buy an Amazon special fork. As many other's have said, make it a realistic comparison next time. A "low end" Fox vs a high end Fox, for example. My guess would be: for the mortal rider there is no difference and thus, the mountain bike industry would explode.
  • 3 0
 So far, this episode might be of more relevance to a novice rider who doesn’t know why the Fox fork costs so much more than the Amazon one… as far as that person can tell, the only appreciable difference is the name and sticker price.

In that respect, this series is a good learning tool for why serious bikers spend serious coin.
  • 7 0
 They really couldn't have used cameras with some stability? Are they using original gopros or somtheing?
  • 8 0
 If only they'd splurged for a gimbal. My teeth are loose just watching.
  • 4 0
 First seasons of hi-low are always tricky. Perhaps the next round, you:
1) Start with a single bike (and additional, identical frame). The starting bike gets baseline times from both riders.
2) The baseline bike gets basic servicing and small upgrades along the way (perhaps PB marketplace parts, or MegNeg/C1/damper upgrades, tire inserts, brake pads, etc.), while the frame gets built up with brand new, reasonably high-end parts.
3) Have the riders take both bikes down, so we can see who can actually extract the most out of the bikes.
4) Get reamed by PB comment section regardless Big Grin

You could effectively do this with the bikes and parts you have now, maybe in spring when weather is more favourable?
  • 1 0
 To be fair, they did opt to service the rear shock on the budget bike, instead of getting an Amazon knock-off there.
  • 4 0
 On my local trails, I’ve seen alot of unnecessary ‘upgardes’. An example is most bikes nowadays come with short stem and wide bars (some with inhouse brands or lwr to mid aftermarket models), and changing these for another with identical dimensions just to get out of Dullsville doesn’t cut it.
I’m still on a ‘vintage’ 2018 (gasp!) Meta V4.2 and I find the original boring all black AM riser bar perfect, I’ve only made tweaks by swapping a 10mm shorter stem, down from 50mm and it fits fine.
And with everybody whining about climate changes, its about time we minimize unnecessary wastage.
  • 3 0
 A few years ago about 3200 got you the top spec capra without carbon wheels but kashima everything else...now 50% of that cost is considered 'cheap upgrades'...

Fk me...1600 on sale got me the 2nd to top model Scott Scale with full XT in 2010.

Price of these bikes has gone from stupid money to absolute piss take over a matter of a few years. I mean 14 grand for an effin bicycle in some cases...again you could have bought a Golf Gti new with good spec for 18 grand 15 years ago...

Yet our pay has gone up what in that time...30%?
  • 5 0
 For next season keep the concept but with 100% less dumbness. Might've well just called this walmart vs bike shop.
  • 2 0
 Here is some constructive criticism. Get better POV cameras and chest mounts. The footage sucks. I love the content, but the footage could be exponentially better. I am sure PB knows a few guys that could provide some pointers.
  • 2 0
 I stopped using my old hero 3 because everyone nowadays uses hypersmooth cams and my footage always just looks to shaky. But holy smokes maybe not even as shaky as the footage in this video. Whats up with that?
  • 2 0
 They even said in the first episode that it was about where to spend your money so that it makes a difference. It was fun but I'd much rather find out, should I get a tuned Yari or a Lyrik ultimate, 4 pot deore barkes v XT/XTR/Saint, have 1 set of tyres all year or multiple sets for different conditions .
  • 6 0
 $6500 in UPgrades vs $1100 in DOWNgrades...
  • 4 0
 a more interesting concept would be to give each person a $1500 budget to upgrade their bikes. 5 people, same bikes. up to them how they want to upgrade it.
  • 1 0
 Almost any other concept would be more interesting.
  • 1 0
 @panaphonic: i'm willing to bet they can find another useless concept lol
  • 2 0
 there is budget, but then there is just plain rubbish? id of like to have seen a comparison between the bike as they got it vs genuine budget upgrades, service the fork, buy some second hand wheels and all the dents that come with them (gives henry with his mechanic background a way of lending his advice of what to look out for on components too), some cheaper reputable compenents from say PNW (make lovely bars and grips and the seat posts are nice too), second hand tyres (i usually buy myself a shorty after everyones done with their one winter ride with a muddy bum), microshift make a solid groupset and lower end shimano brakes are reasonably reliably powerful. comparing some mike bears to an assegai, while its entertaining, is not very realistic
  • 5 2
 Jason and Henry! You have broken the rules of the pinkbike! Everything uploaded must be educational, practical and full of good financial advice. No videos just for fun thanks.
  • 2 0
 The problem here is that nobody would ever execute either of these plans on a 2017 bike. You would have be brain dead to drop $6500 USD on that bike when you obviously would just buy a new bike for $6500 USD. On the other end of the spectrum while $1100 is much more reasonable to give your 2017 ride a nice facelift you again would not be spending it on things like $20 tires or a no name "36" knock off fork. You would target what is in need the most and get a few reasonably priced things vs a lot of junk that's just cheap. This is verging on GCN level content, just pumping out media to get people to click on it.
  • 2 0
 Do a teardown and service article for that budget fork. Would love to see what's actually inside the thing. I bet greasing up the seals and air piston would make it run a little smoother. Plus if the damper uses a shim stack you may be able to tune it to be less harsh on hsc. It would be interesting to see how much performance you could squeeze out of it with a little work.
  • 1 0
 From memory that fork uses a cartridge that can’t be opened, so you’d need to kill it just to have a look inside
  • 3 1
 I love the concept- what do you actually get out of spending those thousands when hundreds might do.
My problem with it is they’re not swapping bikes!
Keep it the same, make it four sets of lap times instead of two.
But that might put Pinkbike in the position of essentially saying don’t waste your money on high dollar components.
We can’t have that now..
  • 3 0
 TIL Henry is a fast rider even if you put a ton of junk parts on his bike. Let’s see what downgrades they can do to his bike next…
  • 2 0
 I hope they add an extra lap for the final test, but swap bikes. We need to know who's faster.
  • 2 1
 Jenson wouldn't sponsor the series if they chose reasonable parts for the budget build. If Henry & Jason gave honest reviews that the middle tier upgrades, sales of the high end baller parts would drop quite a bit.

That's why the "budget" parts are straight up Amazon garbage
  • 1 0
 But seriously, service your suspension people. Just got a 50 hour service for my shock and new SKF seals and the suspension honestly feels better than new (better seals?) I used to poo poo the service intervals recommendations for suspension, but yeah, do it.
  • 3 0
 Who in the world has ever exclaimed "Jesus wept" on a ride? No one except Henry Quinney. He really brings a new level of class to this video. Hilarious.
  • 1 0
 One interesting angle on this series is noticing what doesn't get mentioned by Henry. Didn't seem to have any problems with the pedals, stem, handlebars in today's episode (can't remember if he changed the grips, but they weren't mentioned either). Once the tyres were changed, Henry didn't seem too bothered about the fork either. I get that there's a spectrum from cheap crap to the high end luxuries, but it's helpful to uncover cases where you really don't need to go much beyond the cheapest end and you'll be fine.

There's another angle to it, if the cheapest stuff is a straight ripoff of well-designed stuff; personally I'd rather support the designers of good stuff even if there's a bit of a premium to pay. Still stealing IP is a bit off topic ...
  • 1 0
 Apologies if been covered... I'd like to see a comparison between 'budget suspension freshly serviced, new brake pads and rotor service and new good tyres VS clapped out brakes and tyres and unserviced top of the line suspension.
  • 4 1
 So, putting junk on a functional bike, basically making it worse to call it budget. Alright.
  • 6 3
 Money on the budget bike is so poorly spent. No one would buy those forks, tyres, dropper or stem/bar.
  • 2 0
 10000% agreed. no one would waste their money on those horrible tires etc. instead they should fix up the parts they already have on the bike. it's not helping people who are actually trying to budget upgrade.
  • 4 0
 Does Henry have a floor pump strapped to his bike at 8:45??
  • 4 0
 I suffered through all the comments to find this one.
  • 4 1
 This was the dumbest upgrade series I have ever seen, to the point where it should have been satirical. But, it wasn't.
  • 2 2
 I hope someone has bookmarked this comment section so they can immediately be cut and pasted into the next Hi-Lo-Budget-Off-the-Chain-Not-Enough-Laps-Bike-Swap-College-Done Right-Done Wrong production by PB.

Do I think this was perfect? No. But I also think that it's not as easy as one thinks to be in a room brainstorming ideas, allocating $/resources and getting a project done. Since I'm not making the cut for any production team anytime soon I'm watching without too much judgement since I'm not making anything I'd want to watch.
  • 3 0
 This would be more realistic if Henry simple serviced his fork and got some cheap specialized butchers.
  • 2 0
 My proposal for a series?
Try and build a bike from scratch only with parts in stock.
2 teams. First to get a complete bike is the winner.
  • 4 0
 Is this the new Decline website, because that is the state it's in.
  • 3 1
 This series sucks, do it again but in real life like the donut media one you copied, where they actually did upgrades not downgrades
  • 3 0
 I wonder what all the comments are going to say about this...again.
  • 3 0
 is henry's bike better off with original suspension?
  • 5 0
 yes, i dont understand why they downgraded the bike lol
  • 2 0
 drivetrain upgrade that was teased earlier in the series with the XX1 cassette? or has jensonusa run out of money?
  • 4 0
 XO1 vs Microshift would be legitimately interesting.
  • 1 0
 I think these budget vs baller comparisons are getting too slopestyle. I liked it better when they were more raw, unscripted.
  • 1 0
 All I know is that if I spend 6500 at Jenson Ill be 20seconds faster every 2 minutes. Gonna max my paypal and spend 12000 - Fak U bois! Im off to win world cups!
  • 3 0
 As others have said. Look at Donut Media HiLow series.
  • 1 0
 Cool concept, would be cool to give them each $6000 to build their one bike for a year, and what they don’t spend, they get to keep.
  • 2 0
 I'm waiting for Sam Pilgrim to appear on the last episode, with a Wal-Mart "special", and crush them both.
  • 1 0
 So in a basic interpretation, 5500 gets you 3 seconds. Doesnt seem worth it. The should put E13 on the expensive bike and watch it all melt and fall off within 2 runs...
  • 2 0
 I actually like my Mike bears tires . They have tons of grip , roll fast and most of all , chicks really dig em !
  • 1 0
 They made a fool of the "budget" bike. they should make an intermediate level bike that has middle of the road, "performance grade" components like gx, rhythm, etc.
  • 1 0
 The one useful thing that came out of this series is that tires are the first and most important upgrade you can make on a bike.
  • 2 0
 when the light is dim that gopro footage looks terrible,
  • 1 0
 Or go buy the most expensive brand new Stumpjumper Evo alloy 5,600 and have a better bike than this.
  • 2 0
 Henry saved $5,400 to be 3 seconds slower!
  • 8 5
 this is so fucking dumb
  • 3 0
 Too right, I’m embarrassed for those pair of goons.
Expensive over stock is useful but expensive over the worst parts possible is just for retards.
  • 3 4
 I absolutely love this series. F the haters! I agree testing low grade name brand call high end name brand is more relevant but hell this is entertaining. Definitely buying my brother in law some Mike Bears!
  • 1 0
 The real reason Henry saved so much money...
www.pinkbike.com/buysell/3112648
  • 3 1
 Yeah! Nonsense Vs baller last episode!
  • 1 0
 Bike plus $2500 USD for budget.

Bike plus $7500 USD for baller.
  • 4 0
 It would be nice to see if you could acctually make an old bike ride well. This is my hobbie, i like to take old bikes and upgrade them to see if i can make them ride well. Currently im riding an 05 santa cruz nomad and a 2003 dekerf implant. Ive ridden new bikes and can honestly say i enjoy riding these older bikes just as much. Its cool to me to see old bijes get new life! Would be a cool series to see some of this happen to show new riders you dont need to buy the latest and greatest to have a blast in the sport!
  • 1 0
 Make it a singlespeed. Budget and Baller at the same time.
  • 1 0
 I think they should start with frames and use cheap and expensive parts.
  • 4 3
 the blue handlebar is just Douchey to me.
  • 1 0
 Those rotors are made by IIIPro, and rebranded by many brands.
  • 3 2
 Your content team has great ideas. Your production team needs to improve.
  • 2 0
 Nice Maxxis add here Smile
  • 1 2
 It's not hard to drill out a few rivets... Mechanics are so limited these days. "if there isn't a YouTube video on it I can't do it"
  • 1 0
 Should have swaped bikes and see new times!!
  • 1 0
 Merckx had it backwards...buy upgrades, don't ride up grades
  • 1 0
 Your truly living when your bike actually feels like your biking.
  • 1 0
 Do you mean the rider counts more than most money spent on the bike?
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