Upgrades for 2016 boardman team FS

ps4customgamer
ps4customgamer Posts: 34
edited May 2023 in MTB general

I just picked up a 2016 boardman team fs it’s this one https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/mountain-bikes/boardman-team-fs-27-5-review/

Just wanted to know if anyone can recommend any upgrades?

It’s stock so knowledge of any weird issues or things that always break on these will be appreciated.

The bike seems solid no weird movement on joints and the suspension is working but I want to replace the oil with a partial service.

Brakes are getting ordered this week and I’m keeping an eye out for a cheap set of wider 25mm internal width rims.

Comments

  • If everything works well, why change it?
  • steve_sordy
    steve_sordy Posts: 2,443
    When I get a new to me bike the first thing I change is the grips, because I have problems with my hands. I use Ergon GP1. Pedals that come with new bikes are usually very basic ones, so I fit my preferred ones - DMR Vaults the same ones I've had for years. I keep the original pedals for when I sell the bike. Next up is the saddle. I will not use a saddle, other than for a test ride, that does not fit my sit bone width. I prefer WTB's Rocket. Sit-bone width is grossly undervalued, see here how Rachel Atherton measures it. I prefer to sit on a piece of corrugated carboard and measure it directly. See here for WTB's fit right system, introduced by Rachel:

    Fit Right System
    www.wtb.com

    So that is the contact points sorted (grips, pedals, saddle), what's next? The first thing is to get the bike set up for you, lever angles for brakes and shifters, dropper remote and so forth. Is the saddle in the right place fore/aft, is it at the right angle. There are lots of guides on MTB fit.

    Then it's time to get the suspension set up to suit you. I can set it up very quickly and get it close enough for my first ride, but it takes several rides to get it dialled in. You may have to add or remove some travel spacers from the suspension if it has that level of adjustability. This is useful for beginner and expert alike:

    Bikerumor Suspension Setup Series: Full Series PDF - Free Download!

    Do not forget to experiment with tyre pressures! Buy a digital tyre pressure gauge and you will not waste your money. I first saw the following guide years ago and it was transformative: Tyre pressures can have an enormous impact on grip and ride comfort.

    Tech Tuesday - Find Your Tire Pressure Sweet Spot - Pinkbike

    Only when I believe that I have the got the best out of my existing bike without spending much money (if any at all) will I start looking at spending some hard-earned cash. By "upgrades" I assume that you don't mean cosmetic stuff like coloured grip collars, pedals, brake disc spokes and so forth.

    Start by asking yourself what things are happening that you either don't like or want to improve? Here are a few suggestions that shouldn't cost major amounts of money, not in any particular order.

    Are you running wide on corners, skidding sideways, rear wheel spinning out on loose climbs? Then take a look at tyre pressures and/or different tyres. Don't just go wider or more knobbly, consider a softer compound as well. If the tyres are too draggy for where you ride, then consider a harder compound and a lower profile tread.

    Are you troubled with lots of punctures? Then consider going tubeless with sealant, first with your existing tyres if you are otherwise happy with them. Or maybe using tubes that already have sealant in them. There are other solutions available.

    Is braking a problem? Are the levers spongy, do they improve if you pump them repeatedly? Then they probably need bleeding. If they are loud, then the pads and discs have become contaminated. Look on YouTube for what to do. If the brakes are not spongy but just not stopping you fast enough then consider different pads, larger diameter discs, or ultimately a new braking system. That is an upgrade that really will allow you to go faster! (Because you know you will be able to stop!)

    To get your riding more responsive and more comfortable at the same time, you may want to research the impact of wider bars, more upsweep, shorter or longer stems. I fitted some wider bars and a shorter stem to one bike and I could not believe the extra control it gave to the bike. Not too expensive either.

    Is your shifting troublesome? Is it properly set up, has it been adjusted since new, has the chain, cassette, ring worn out (any, some, or all)? Advice on here and on YouTube is plentiful. You can replace items if they are worn, whether you choose to replace with a more expensive item is down to you, but the sweet spot for cost/value is said to be Shimano SLX and its Sram equivalent (not sure, but may be GX).

    If the terrain is a bit steep and the downhills are looking and feeling scary, then a dropper seatpost is an absolute essential. If I bought an mtb without one, it would the first thing I'd fit after I'd got the contact points sorted out. If your chosen trails are not steep then you don't really need one (they are nice though). Don't be talked into spending hundreds of pounds. The Brand-X droppers sold by CRC are fantastic value and judging by experience theyseem to be just as durable as the expensive ones. Make certain that you buy the correct size, it's easy to get it wrong.

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/search?query=Brand X dropper seat post

    Now you are coming to the real money, the suspension. This is an area where big changes can be expensive and small changes may not be worth the money. Take lots of advice and be clear in your own head what you are looking for. Do you want a stiffer fork, more and better controlled rebound damping, more travel, more and better controlled suspension damping. Any, some or all are available at a cost, maybe be quite a large cost. Almost any air spring fork is better than an entry level coil spring fork. Take advice.

    I almost forgot. One of the most beneficial upgrades, in terms of bang for buck, is an upgrade to the rider! I would urge you to consider going on a skills course or two, or three. I used to go on at least one and sometimes two per year. Eventually I stopped when I realised that I had reached peak skill and no amount of coaching would make me any better. (That was a sad day).