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Next year I intend to partake in a six event XC series, Now because there is only six events I was hoping I could just upgrade the components on the bike I already have, 2010 Rockhopper Comp SL, so I have a couple questions.
Is the bike able to take some 650s?
What's the general consensus on best groupo for XC racing?
Reason I don't really want to just buy a whole new bike is well I like this frame a lot, love it actually and I'd rather upgrade it and keep it. I don't know too much about XC racing I just know I like racing and I like rattle about the trails of Scotland so may as well combine the two on top of the road racing.
Thanks for any help
Frame: Specialized M4 fully manipulated alloy frame, fully butted, ORE Downtube, asymmetrical seat stays, forged dropouts with replaceable derailleur hanger, disc only
Fork: Rock Shox Tora SLite, 80/100mm travel, 1 piece magnesium lower, 32mm Cr-Mo stanchions, alloy steerer, rebound and preload adjust with LO, size-specific spring rates
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore, 34.9mm clamp, top swing, bottom pull
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-M662 SLX Shadow, long cage
Shifters: Shimano SL-M531 Deore trigger
Chainset: Shimano FC-M442, Octalink Spline
Chainrings: 44/32/22 tooth chainrings
Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink spline, cartridge bearing, 68mm x 118mm
Cassette: Shimano HG50, 9-speed, 11-34 tooth range
Chain: KMC X9 with reusable Missing Link
Pedals: Alloy body and cage, 9/16 inch
Front Brake: Avid Juicy 3 SL hydraulic disc, alloy backed pads, 160mm G2 Clean Sweep rotor
Rear Brake: Avid Juicy 3 SL hydraulic disc, alloy backed pads, 160mm G2 Clean Sweep rotor
Brake Levers: Avid Juicy 3 SL
Handlebars: Butted alloy riser bar, 25mm rise, 660mm wide, 8 degree back sweep, 7 degree up sweep
Stem: 3D forged alloy, reverse 4-bolt, 7 degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
Headset: 1-1/8 inch threadless, Campy style semi-cartridge bearings
Grips: Specialized Enduro, dual compound Kraton, no flange, 131mm
Rims: Alex RHD 26 inch, pinned, alloy double wall, eyelets, 28h front and 32h rear
Front Hub: Forged alloy, hi/low flange, sealed cartridge bearing, machined disc mount, 28hole
Rear Hub: Forged alloy, double sealed cartridge bearing, machined disc mount, cassette, QR, 32hole
Spokes: 2mm (14g) stainless
Front Tyre: Specialized Fast Trak LK Control, 26x2.0", 60TPI, tubeless ready aramid bead
Rear Tyre: Specialized Fast Trak LK Control, 26x2.0", 60TPI, tubeless ready aramid bead
Tubes: Schrader valve
Saddle: Specialized Rockhopper XC, Body Geometry, hollow Cr-Mo rails, 143mm width, front and rear bumpers
Seatpost: Alloy two bolt, double butted quill, micro adjust, 30.9mm
Seat Binder: Forged alloy QR, brass washer
Accessories: Chain stay protector, reflectors, clear coat, owners manual
That's the stock run down, only thing that's different is I'm running egg beaters. Budget is about £7-800 over a couple months not wanting the ultimate just upgrades and I don't mind buying second hand.
If you're wanting to upgrade piece by piece, I would start with the fork. Rebas are excellent, and would be a big performance upgrade. Next, a wheelset with some stan's rims would make a huge difference. I have noticed lately seeing crossmax 26 wheelsets being sold for dirt cheap--so that's another option. Tubeless with sealant is crucial for performance and non-flat-ability.
The stem you have is a pig. Seatpost too. Upgrading those is fairly cheap.
The heaviest part of your drivetrain is the crank. I'd look at a decent used crank before the rest of the drivetrain. The older 9speed XT cranks can be had pretty inexpensively. Unless you spend a heap of cash on a 10 speed drivetrain, losses in weight and increases in shifting performance would be pretty minimal. That being said, 9 speed sram stuff is a pretty safe bet to buy used. I'd steer away from buying a used 9 speed shimano drivetrain as they seem to loose performance quicker--i.e. the b adjust and return springs wear out.
further down the list: the juicy 3s are heavy, but pretty reliable and stop well.
To sum up:
fork: 300--beware buying used though
stem, post: 60, maybe bars if you need something that has a different bend
My first upgrade was my fork.
To be honest I wouldnt throw too much money at the bike.
It's a strong reliable everyday build, but it's never going to be a lightweight nimble xc machine without spending the type of money on parts that you could buy a higher spec bike with.
I know because I made that mistake when I was getting into mtb racing.
Deore and SLX is a great start up group.
If you really want to keep the bike- Fork first, then wheels, mainly because the wheels can be easily swapped to a new bike when you decide to upgrade.
Reba, light wheelset, fast rolling xc tires setup tubeless, upgrade cockpit parts to lighter spec, the replace drivetrain with lighter parts as it wears out.
I don't see any problem blowing loads of cash on this bike. At some point, you'll probably realize you want a different frame and then you can build up a new bike using the awesome parts you've amassed.
Any HT2 crankset/BB would be lighter than Octalink, get the frame faced as well for bearing life (and knocking a couple of g's off!), Juicy's are a bit heavy but upgrading will cost, spesh's stem/seatpost and bars tend to be lardy, getting good used stuff will save a lot of weight for not much money, bolted seatpost clamps are always (near enough) a lot lighter than QR and a used one should be pennies.
Trust the reflectors are off by now!
Budget 26" HT build viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110956
This is the inspiration for my build...
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