Title says it all. I currently ride https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/value-guide/product/3072774 the bike isn’t old by any means only 1 year old but when I ride fast downhill trails especially with rocks and big bumps, the suspension doesn’t feel incredible. I wanted to see what you all thought would be some great affordable upgrades. Not looking to shell out crazy money but want my bike to feel more enduro/trail since that is mostly what I ride. I would like to be able to take it to a bike park but I know I would need a different frame and bike entirely to really entertain that seriously.
Im currently looking at the Rockshox Monarch RL and also the Rockshox Monarch RT3 for rear shocks and the Rockshox Yari RC 160mm travel for the fork. Open to all suggestions!
You don’t want to put a 160mm fork on a frame designed for 120mm, 140 probably at the outside. It will jack up the geometry and likely overstress the head tube.
It may be that you want a longer-travel bike. It might be something that suspension parts can fix. Ride someone else’s short travel and medium or long travel bikes on the same trail and see what works.
Also, if I am not mistaken, the Stance frame has the seat and chainstays that bend instead of or in addition to conventional pivots on the rear triangle. I’m not sure you should be banging that bike around as hard as you may be.
Putting a 160mm fork on a 120mm frame will change the geometry, but will not over stress the head tube unless it was a crappy frame to start with. I’ve had this discussion many times, and I will not do the math to prove it again. But the bottom line is for every 10mm you extend the fork, you increase the fulcrum torsion to the head tube about 2%. Not enough to really worry about.
Stance chain stay tubes do flex, but since an upgrade by Giant in 2014, they have not been a problem. The big disadvantage of that system is it makes the rear suspension stiff at the beginning and then linear, where most higher level bikes are soft at the beginning then progressive. I have a 2015 Stance as my trail bike (it was my only bike for a couple of years) I ride some fairly hard technical stuff, and I weight 200lbs, never had a problem.
That being said the Stance has very limited options for upgrading, and I would recommend doing as I did, keep the Stance as a backup bike, and a easy trail bike, and get something a bit better. I like the feel of the Stance but it just wasn’t enough for what I wanted to do. I test rode a lot of bikes and ended up with a Evil Insurgent, great bike but carbon fiber and not cheap. The three aluminum bikes I liked almost as much as the Evil, but were less expensive, were Giant Trance 2, Santa Cruz Bronson, and Salsa Redpoint. If you don’t do much climbing, a Giant Reign is also great.
There are so many well-equipped full-sus 29er Mountainbikes now available in the $2-3k price range, it doesn’t make sense to spend a $1000+ to upgrade your current bike. Check out the 29er Trek Fuel EX7, the Santa Cruz Hightower D, and the 29er Kona Process 134 and 153. Sell the old rig and add it to the money you’d be spending for upgrades and then buy one of these 29er bikes. These three bikes are just a few examples from major bike shop brands. Sounds like you want an Enduro bike. So the Process 153 or the Hightower might be good. Right now you can find some great deals at many bike shops. They are clearing out the 2019 models. A friend recently bought a 2019 Fuel EX7 for $2500 and I was amazed at how good the bike was for that price. In most ways, the bike was just as good as more expensive Fuel EX’s except that it weighed a couple pounds more.
It almost never makes sense to do major upgrades on any bike. If you want to make your current bike more capable put some 2.6 Enduro tires and a shorter stem on it.