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Best order of upgrading

mhunterphotomhunterphoto Posts: 18
edited December 2012 in MTB beginners
Bought a bike last year (regrettably the Apollo Phaze) and want to get into riding alot more so want to slowly upgrade parts over the coming months.

My main query is where to start?!

I've mainly researched into deraileurs and chainsets but have a feeling with such a poor starting point I may have to buy all of the drivechain before being able to install anything compatible.

Posts

  • Usually the contact points like grips, pedals and seat to make life more comfy and give you more time in the saddle. Then its a case of what you want from the bike, and whats working well for you and what isnt.

    However, i am not sure its worth upgrading this bike.

    Why are you interested in a new deraileur? Why not forks or tyres or brakes?
  • Tbh I was just starting research and a deraileur was as far as I got, drawn into the many different options ha! It was also spurred by my hatred of the current grip shifters so began looking at upgrading those first.

    I think i've narrowed my brake choice down to BB7s or Elixar 3s depending on whether I decide to go mech or hydro.

    My aim is to use this as a slow project (easier for me than saving), buying parts that I would be happy with on an upgraded frame eventually.

    I'm looking to start getting into light trails at first, then pushing to as far as my ability can take me.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but don't bother. All of the bits are bottom end, so ideally you need to replace everything, but the frame is a bit of a tank as well. The bits that will make the most difference are the forks and wheels, but then you'd need mech, shifters etc, so already looking at £300+
    I'd just ride it until it dies and save up, or if you don't save very well, buy a decent frame and start buying bits and build it up.
    But you'd do much better just saving up about £300 or more and looking here:
    viewtopic.php?f=20005&t=12875967
    All better than you could buy the bits for anyway.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Brutal honesty is best in most cases ha! Does make sense to maybe just ditch this bike and get a better starting point whilst i get into the sport.

    Thanks!
  • As you have a 3x7 speed drive train you will need 7 speed shifters and so on. If you want more gears you will need to replace the whole drive train.

    To be brutally honest, i wouldnt recommend getting anything with less than 9 speeds. The reason being is that if you want to keep your stuff and future proof it for a couple of years this is the minimum you should look at. Parts are easier to find and usually cheaper. I would start with Shimano Deore components as they are cheap, well made and will last a long time. However, by the time you have changed the chainset you will have spent a fair chunk, even 2nd hand, compared to the value of your bike. Then theres brakes and tyres and all the rest, as there isnt anything worth keeping.

    My advice is ride more, be more adventurous with what you have and look to getting something better 2nd hand after Christmas.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Brutal honesty is best in most cases ha! Does make sense to maybe just ditch this bike and get a better starting point whilst i get into the sport.

    Thanks!
    If you just want to pootle along fireroads or canal paths it will do fine. If you actually want to do anything more serious it's worth getting something better. Doesn't have to be expensive, or even new, but concentrate on getting something with decent damped forks first and foremost.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Just ride it until it dies, if you want to change something that you would want to move to a better bike (So grips and saddle really) then it won't be money thrown away, but don't change anything you wouldn't move.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,258
    Get some new grips from the likes of Superstar and get some decent tyres total cost about £50, thats as far as I would go with the bike. Save up some pennies and get a decent starter bike for about £500 thats the point you start getting good solid frames. If your wanting to stick with Halfords go for a Carrera Fury or Vulcan wait till after the Xmas rush and you can get good deals.

    Carrera Fury £599.99
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Thanks for all the replies guys! Think i'll most likely shot some new tyres on it and maybe buy some cheap shifters to get away from the gripshift. Then get my save on whilst riding it as much as i can.

    Really appreciate everyones input, so good to know there is a decent forum here with people willing to help!
  • Whilst, you would get more for your money buying a new bike outright (and this is the path I would take), if you can only afford to do a few upgrades at a time then you could slowly upgrade and eventually change your frame so by the end of a year have a completely new bike anyway specced how you want it.

    Worse case is the Alloy Frame (I assume this is the Alloy version) weighs 5.5-6.5lbs and some people pay good money to get a frame that heavy, just check out the AM Hardtail threads :)

    I would upgrade in this order,

    1)Wheels with a set like the Tech 2 from Superstar @ £104 or some even cheaper Merlin sale ones.
    2)Deore Drivetrain and Brakes from Merlin or Bike-Discount/Actionsports etc @ £200-£250ish
    3)Finishing kit from Chain Reaction / Superstar i.e. bars, stem, seatpost etc @ £100
    4)Forks from £100-£200 from Merlin.
    5)Frame Merlin or eBay where you get some new frame bargains like GT or Marin going through dead cheap @£100-£150

    It is all doable with time and money and at the end of it you would have a decent bike. Using eBay and shop grabbing bargains as they come up could save you £200 off the above, or you may find a decent second hand and hardly ridden bike on eBay for £300-£500.

    It is a shame you can't buy now as there are some excellent deals like the GT Avalanche 1.0 for £480 on wiggle.
    My Mint As New Marin Rocky Ridge for sale @ £400
    viewtopic.php?f=40089&t=12893399
  • That is pretty much the perfect response that I was looking for! Thank you very much!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    It is honestly not worth doing, apart from tyres and grips as above (maybe pedals). You might decide to change the frame later, but it is odds on half the parts will then not fit.
  • supersonic wrote:
    It is honestly not worth doing, apart from tyres and grips as above (maybe pedals). You might decide to change the frame later, but it is odds on half the parts will then not fit.

    This is true but, it really depends on whether the OP can afford to save for a bike and how long it would take. If it is going to take a long time then some essential upgrades like tyres and maybe bars and stem will go a long way. I would normally recommend just buying a replacement bike but as not everyone has that option, coupled with the tough job market, it may take months if not a year or more to get enough money together.

    If you can get 300-500 together pretty quickly then it would be worth waiting and getting a new bike (even a Carrera Vulcan would be a better starting point), but if we are talking 6-12 months+ then, upgrading may be the realistic option. Some people can only get £20-£50 ish per month aside for this sort of thing, if that.

    Buying nearly new kit on eBay is a very good option for upgrading if you can take your time to get the best bargains, as you can easily halve your upgrade costs, even on things like nearly new tyres.

    I had a look at the Phaze earlier and assuming it’s similar to (or is) the current model then the frame seems ok (cheap but ok). Unless the OP is doing some serious AM riding then it will hold up for a couple of years. Pogo stick forks but hey, I managed on a Raleigh Activator for 4 years as a young-un.

    My wife has a Rockhopper Disk which I replaced the Bars and Stem on a couple of months ago, and I was shocked at the weight of the oem parts. Just chucking a superstar (£10) stem and riser bars on saved 400g and gave a much better feel.
    My Mint As New Marin Rocky Ridge for sale @ £400
    viewtopic.php?f=40089&t=12893399
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Prescient wrote:
    Whilst, you would get more for your money buying a new bike outright (and this is the path I would take), if you can only afford to do a few upgrades at a time then you could slowly upgrade and eventually change your frame so by the end of a year have a completely new bike anyway specced how you want it.

    Worse case is the Alloy Frame (I assume this is the Alloy version) weighs 5.5-6.5lbs and some people pay good money to get a frame that heavy, just check out the AM Hardtail threads :)

    I would upgrade in this order,

    1)Wheels with a set like the Tech 2 from Superstar @ £104 or some even cheaper Merlin sale ones.
    2)Deore Drivetrain and Brakes from Merlin or Bike-Discount/Actionsports etc @ £200-£250ish
    3)Finishing kit from Chain Reaction / Superstar i.e. bars, stem, seatpost etc @ £100
    4)Forks from £100-£200 from Merlin.
    5)Frame Merlin or eBay where you get some new frame bargains like GT or Marin going through dead cheap @£100-£150

    It is all doable with time and money and at the end of it you would have a decent bike. Using eBay and shop grabbing bargains as they come up could save you £200 off the above, or you may find a decent second hand and hardly ridden bike on eBay for £300-£500.

    It is a shame you can't buy now as there are some excellent deals like the GT Avalanche 1.0 for £480 on wiggle.
    But as it has a 7 speed (presumably) freewheel, the new wheels will be useless without a new drivetrain, so say £350 to start. You can get a decent bike for that. And the rest just makes it all a bit silly.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldad wrote:
    But as it has a 7 speed (presumably) freewheel, the new wheels will be useless without a new drivetrain, so say £350 to start. You can get a decent bike for that. And the rest just makes it all a bit silly.

    I thought you could add a spacer set to convert a 7 speed cassette onto a 9/10 speed free hub like these http://www.ukbikestore.co.uk/product/17 ... pacer.html?
    That is pretty much the perfect response that I was looking for! Thank you very much!

    How long will it take you to save up ~£500 or are you only able to put a few quid aside every so often for the bike fund as this makes the biggest difference really?
    My Mint As New Marin Rocky Ridge for sale @ £400
    viewtopic.php?f=40089&t=12893399
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    You could do that, but you can put the best components on and with that fork it will still ride like a pig. Decent fork with mediocre components and at least it will be ok to ride. And IMHO that makes it not worthwhile.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I thought you could add a spacer set to convert a 7 speed cassette onto a 9/10 speed free hub like these

    Unfortunately not with this bike as it has a freewheel system.
  • cooldad wrote:
    You could do that, but you can put the best components on and with that fork it will still ride like a pig. Decent fork with mediocre components and at least it will be ok to ride. And IMHO that makes it not worthwhile.

    I don't disagree; but not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford another option. I may have assumed wrongly but someone who buys an Apollo has done so because of budgetary constraints. Someone getting into mountain biking who could afford to, would at least start with a Carrera Vulcan or Vengeance as these are usually around the £300 mark or cheaper.

    If the OP can, then selling the Apollo (would fetch ~£70 ish if in good condition) and buying either of Carrera Vs' (preferably the Vulcan) or a Decathlon Rockrider 5.3 (£300) http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-53 ... 06682.html would be a good start.

    You wouldn't achieve the Rockrider's level of kit by spending £200 on upgrading the Apollo. You could probably pick up a used/mint 5.3 for £200 on eBay if one comes up. The 8's don't fetch much either second hand.
    supersonic wrote:
    Unfortunately not with this bike as it has a freewheel system.

    It doesn't cost much for a 7 speed freehub cassette ~ £10.

    Everyone (including me) has said the best option is to start with a better bike. Not everyone can afford to bite the bullet and do that though.
    My Mint As New Marin Rocky Ridge for sale @ £400
    viewtopic.php?f=40089&t=12893399
  • Prescient has got it spot on. Spare cash isn't something I have alot of. His input is exactly the kind of thing I was looking into doing to fit my needs. I understand the frame isn't really worth keeping however it will fill the gap until I am ready and able to buy a new one, which can then have the parts I have chosen myself transferred straight across.

    I'm the kind of person who benefits from buying things each month instead of saving money, its just an easier solution for me. A drivetrain for instance could be bought each month at a manageable amount.

    With regards to the freewheel/freehub situation, is it basically just my cassette isn't compatible with the wheels you suggested? A new cassette and those spacers would get me going till I can get a new drivetrain together?
  • as the proud owner of a phaze utill last month i would say dont do it. i was doing that and couldnt really keep up with the thing breaking. i would do half a ride during the week then somthing would go wrong and then spend the weekend trying to fix it but if your mind is set on it i would start with

    wheels. paticulary the hubs, i spent a huge amount of time taking these apart and putting them together replacing bearings ect.

    the drivetrain. but since it would likely need compleatly upgraded it wont be cheap.

    and the breaks. id try to get some hydraulics

    the fork would need upgrading aswell but that wont be cheap but the standard one proberly wont break.

    also dont forget to factor in any special tools you would need to buy to fit your upgrades.

    good luck whatever you do
    sight 3 se
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    is it basically just my cassette isn't compatible with the wheels you suggested

    The problem is you don't have a cassette. You have a freewheel:

    freewheel-vs-k7.jpg

    It really does depend on the order you upgrade things in. You could get the new wheels, then a 7 speed cassette and spacer for them - but you'd need a new chain, then would have to replace them again if you get a new groupset.

    I would save your money, and ride what you have until you can afford something better.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    If you were to upgrade, use the classifieds, most stuff will be much cheaper than new, buy sensibly and you'd have much better and more reliable bits for much less money.

    Example (and not intended as a plug), I have some wheels going spare from a Voodoo, made by Formula and found on bikes costing upto about £700, am selling for £35 and with a used cassette and P&P a buyer would only be paying circa £48.
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