2006 MTB, vfm refresh, and making it more of a gravelish bike

daniel_b Posts: 11,570
edited July 2020 in Workshop
Afternoon all,

I appreciate this is the road forum, BUT this isn't a straight out MTB query, although I could post it there.

I have a 2006 Marin Palisades hardtail mountain bike.
I replaced the forks an age ago for some lighter ones, and have recently fitted some 1.75" schwalbe landcruisers to assist with general speed, and keeping up on the gravel rides that our club is now doing.

Luckily it's a Deore triple, so I am afforded a pretty decent top gear, and road speed is reasonable.

It's currently running the stock groupset, so Deore throughout, triple at the front, and 11-32 at the rear.

I haven't ridden it properly for nearly a decade, and I've changed a lot in the interim, so I have already changed the saddle, and will lengthen and lower the stem - those I have in stock.

The groupset is a bit on the tired side, but still seems to work mostly, but I was thinking of getting a new cassette and chain, but then I noticed 9spd bits are a little on the scarce side, which made me wonder if switching to 10spd cassette, chain, derailleurs and shifters might make sense - but then I see a lot of FD's are now bolt on, and of course my frame is not set up for that, so maybe a can of worms.
Plus I noticed rear derailleurs seem to have changed a lot, so there could be compatibility issues there as well :-(

The one part of it that is pretty fresh is the brakes (Hayes ryde stroker), that I bought new agood few years ago, but the bike has seen VERY little use since I fitted them.

If I stick with the current shifters, derailleurs and crankset, I am thinking to go to more of a road orientated cassette, probably a 11-25 or 11-28, as at the weekend, I must have spent 80% of my time in the big cog.

So a bit of a ramble, but what would people suggest?

My current thinking is a full strip down, degrease, thorough clean, re-assemble with new cables and outers, new cassette and chain - that seems to be the most bang for my buck, as I can likely do all that for £50ish.

P.S I have been considering a gravel bike, but if I can make this work, and still keep up with the faster riders, perhaps just through working harder, I would have no issue doing so.
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18


  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561
    You can sign up for one of Boris's £50 vouchers and it won't cost you anything. Just don't tell them about the 4 other bikes you have squirreled away :D