Parts are breaking down – upgrade or replace bike?

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    • #82175

      I bought an Iron Horse Warrior 3.5 hardtail 1 year ago and had only ~25 rides, mild XC, max 25mph down fire/dirtroads, etc… and it started to break down. I did not do jumps until today, and today’s 2′ was a great fun (+scratched leg : ). I’m 6’2” and 215 pounds, with some hopes to get lighter : ) The bike’s frame is 19.5”. It was $600 (discounted from $850) at performance bike.

      And now I wonder – should I start fixing, upgrading, or just saving for a new bike? The chain started to get stuck sometimes while switching from middle to small chainring (a stuck chain goes up with the chainring and blocks pedaling). Replacing chain / lubing / etc did not help. I found that middle chainring had metal spikes (clearly defects) in two places on the sides and I filed them off. That made it better, but did not fix completely. The crank spindle developed wobble and will spin only 5 times when I swing it without the chain (there is no dirt on the spindle, compare to 28 rotations on an old Giant). Shifter’s lever (the one increasing tension for the front derailleur) started to get stuck… every time – I have to pull it back manually. Cleaning/greasing did not help. Then fork lockout stopped working altogether – it does not lock anymore. And then I figured that the sag was ~35% – probably not good for me.

      The problem parts are: Marzocchi MZ Race fork 100mm (their lowest-end fork), SRAM X-5 shifter, FSA Gamma MegaExo crankset (42/32/22T Alloy, 175mm arm, 19mm spindle). I was told by a bike mechanic that none of these parts are worth fixing.

      Unless I decide to save for a new bike here is what I though to upgrade to:
      1. Shimano Deore M532 crankset
      2. Marzocchi 44 TST2 Fork ’09, 120mm

      To be give it some due credit, I should list good parts: the rear SRAM X-7 derailleur is quite good, and BB5 disk brakes had no problems. Front SRAM X-7 is OK, but goes out of adjustment quite easily. Wheels seem to be totally adequate so far. Frame is comfortable, but I did not have anything to compare it to on the real rides.

      Am I trying to waste money by upgrading the bike (e.g. $370 in new parts)? I lost some trust in IH as I got so many problems after mild use. Should I just save and get a new bike? Is it supposed to break like that under a 215lb newbie? The bike gave a lot of noise on the jump, will I need a full suspension anyway?

    • #82176

      Welcome igorc,man,the only problem I see in YUOR situation is that you were riding this bike into the ground,hahahahaah.On your behalf though,you ARE on an entry level bike and those bikes tend to fall out of adjustment,wear out faster,and generally just dont hold up like a more expensive bike with better components.So,I think it comes down to you knowing wether or not you need to learn to maintenance your bike better or you know you can buy into a more expensive bike and keep an eye on things as you ride.It aint easy,I dont mean to make you feel like a lazy bum,but you gotta keep an eye on stuff and when it does start to come out of adjustment or start to wear you need to deal with it as it happens or you get a whole bunch of stuff all at once that needs tenden too.If your comfy on that frame and it feels good for you,then it wouldnt be such a bad thing to spend some money on it get it back in order,although if you are jonesen for a new bike and a full suspension,then I would start saving for that bike.But you also want to have somthing to ride while you save for a new bike,so it’s up to you wether you fix this bike you already have and save later for the FS or just go for the FS right now.I think you need to make a decision sounds like.Either way,I wish you the best of riding experiences.

    • #82177

      Wow, I thought I was doing the very basic riding and it turns out I’m just driving the bike into the ground : )))) Could you help me understand where is that line where I started doing it?

      I spent about 7 full days over last couple of months learning/doing maintenance, talking to mechanics, etc, and it doesn’t look like I could have saved fork (very cheap one, nothing to maintain there?, no oil leaks, manufacturer says I cannot/should not take it apart), or shifters (which broke half a year ago, before any abuse at all), or crankset (which was fairly clean but had 1.9 review score on MTBR.com). The whole issue of maintenance is trickier than I thought, though. Even mechanic at the local perf bike did not adjust front derailleur correctly (how difficult THAT can be? I did it much better by myself) and he did not tell me about any problems two months ago. That’s why I’m learning how to do most of the maintenance myself (books, online, and just getting my hands dirty).

      Assuming that I do all the maintenance now, is it an entry level bike by design, or upgrading a few parts will make it considerably better for more 25-30mph riding down fireroads and more 2 feet jumps? If I upgrade fork and crankset, what in the bike sounds not suitable to what I’m doing with it – frame, HT, or something else?

      Besides of "having" a bike, I want to make sure I do not drive _myself_ into the ground with it : )))

    • #82178

      yo man. you sound like me over the past 5 or 6 months. I have an IH Warrior 4.0. Its a FS bike with now 6 inches of travel. I had a problem with my crankset to. It was a FSA crankset (ISIS type). I had problems with my MZ Comp fork to. My drivtrain components aren’t the same as yours though so defunct there on me. I had a big bad bad deal with my hubs (especially the rear) and the wheelset.

      I weigh in at 275 and i am 6’3". My crankarm was alum. (BAD). I stripped all the threads out on a landing and the crankarms were done for. I replaced the entire crankset with a RaceFace x-type evolve DH crankset. Its an external bearing BB and works and feels solid, not to mention looking [email protected]$$. My forl problem with resolved when i learned that i blew the seals in it so i had it rebuilt and had a different oil put in it. The oil i had put in it was a alot more denser if that makes any sense. It helps out alot since i don’t the mula for a new fork (but mine is 120mm not 100mm like you said). I had to replace my rear hub since the freewheel inside locked up. I decided to go with some Azonic Outlaws wheelset. They are by far the best wheels i have ever used. They came laced up ready to go from jensonusa. they make use of azonic recoil hubs – front and rear. they are really sturdy.

      The cranks that i used improves the shifting greatly since the second and third chainring have ramps on the inside of each. One other thing could cuase your problem is if you have the wrong chain size for the chainrings you use. i got a bike for 635. once parts started breaking i replaced them with or fix them with something that i know will over compensate for whatever i throw at it. i also increased the value of my bike, but i would never get rid of it.

    • #82179

      Now that you have been riding your bike for a while and you have a better idea of what style of riding you’ll be doing. I would say time to look for a new bike. (Something more appropriate to the style of riding you’ll be doing.) But if thats not in the budget and you want to keep riding. The only choice is to get some parts on there that will get you by until it is in the budget. Entry level bikes like that are not made to withstand jumping and or anything other than road and or beginner type trials.(especially for a bigger guy) A lot of times you’ll end up spending more upgrading your old bike than its worth. Just my opinion

    • #82180
      Wow, I thought I was doing the very basic riding and it turns out I’m just driving the bike into the ground : )))) Could you help me understand where is that line where I started doing it?
      Now that you have been riding your bike for a while and you have a better idea of what style of riding you’ll be doing. I would say time to look for a new bike. (Something more appropriate to the style of riding you’ll be doing.)

      I hope you dont think that I think you are’nt willing to take care of your bike,quite the opposite dude.The cranks and fork are both trashed,more to point that you are a clydesdale rider and weigh 215 plbs. and riding down a dirt road at 25 to 30 mph is not basic riding,hahahaha,that’s rad stuff man…I think down deep,I would tell you to buy a new bike that is more geared toward your body type and riding style but it’s hard to say whithout knowing what your financial boundries for buying a new bike are,I mean,how long would it take to save for a new bike AND buy new parts for the old one so you can ride while you save for the new one?If I didnt have a bike to ride,I would be beside myself,hahahahaha,and I only have one bike to ride right now and if somthing breaks and I have to wait till I get parts I start to get nervous,hahaahah.I am in the process of building a second bike and hope it’ll be done before the summer is over but I cant say for sure let alone wait till it’s done………
      So it’s either the excitement of a new bike or the quest to keep the current bike going by buying new and better parts that will hold up for your body type and riding style.

    • #82181

      Thanks a lot guys, this is really useful! One of the unexpected things – now I know how to search for more and more answers – "clydesdale"!!! Just searching for the right word and can see lots of useful discussions – bikes, parts, techniques, everything. And I like those images on Google : ) … will spend a few more days (nights?) reading the info. Will look into the parts you’ve suggested here.

      For now, I’m planning to keep using my current bike for a while to improve a) balance, b) mechanical skills : ))) Will take the fork apart and put it back together – if a bike shop can do it in 1 hour, I hope to do it in 6 (the cheapest MZ fork cannot be too complicated?). Also need to fix the chain that I broke on my last ride. In fact, I learned that not having a chain when going downhill (slower of course : ) tends to teach balance.

      The biggest worry is that if the fork goes belly up, I may get some serious 215lb-over-the-handle type of experience, and a good helmet may not be enough then…

      And yes, it looks like a new bike is in order… Financially, I guess I could warm up to the idea of parting with ~$1,500 in 4 or 6 months. It’s just hard to think that a $600 bike was only good for 1 year.

    • #82182
      clydesdale"!!!

      Yes,at your weight you are considered a clydesdale.I dont know if you noticed my signature at the bottom of my post box,but I state that I am a clydesdale at 300 plbs. and to me hearing that your crank set has basically wore out the flanges and fell off the bike makes me worry that you really need the stronger components or bike to hold your weight.I would never consider buying a bike under $2000 for myself for resons of this nature.It’s kind of a rat race in a way because there’s no end to getting a better bike.The stronger,lighter,better functioning,and better designed bike you can get,the better we would all be,but not everyone has the money to spend on bikes like that.
      Anyway,keep us up to speed on how your doing dude.

    • #82183

      Hmmm, sounds like a "Specialized" may be the way to go… for a clearly well-designed bike, and I will keep your $2,000 threshold in mind. For example, FSR xc Pro sounds like a decent bike, and it’s $1,900 MSRP. This may be a silly question, but do you mean MSRP or discounted price? Those are sometimes very different…

      And yet another newbie question – what is "plbs"? I was searching on Google and cannot find. I know lbs, and pounds, of course.

    • #82184
      Hmmm, sounds like a "Specialized" may be the way to go… for a clearly well-designed bike, and I will keep your $2,000 threshold in mind. For example, FSR xc Pro sounds like a decent bike, and it’s $1,900 MSRP. This may be a silly question, but do you mean MSRP or discounted price? Those are sometimes very different…

      And yet another newbie question – what is "plbs"? I was searching on Google and cannot find. I know lbs, and pounds, of course

      Yeah,you want to look at the msrp,the $2000 bikes on sale will obviously be under $2000,just be sure to check either the price tag for it or ask the LBS your at.And dont forget to haggle,when I bought my stumpjumper I got about $300 nocked off which helped because I was really looking at the stumpjumper "comp" but looked at the "elite" model which is $500 more and couldnt resist the component package and went ahead and bought the elite model.

      Plbs. stands for pounds,with a "p" on the front of it obviously.hahahahahaaha.

      Let us know what bikes your looking at dude,the XC is a cool bike and is a good one although it is really just a XC bike.I dont know if you want somthing more geared for trail riding and all mountain so you can bomb those fire roads or what,but let us know dude.

    • #82185

      Sure, I will let you know. For now, I guess I will need a few months to read more forums/books, ride more, try some bikes, break my current bike even better, warmup to spending more $$$ and do more maintenance : ) Lots of stuff to do.

      Thinking about it… knowing that 25mph on dirtroad is "rad" stuff feels good (now need to learn to sustain the speed and balance better), and the first jump felt awesome (even though I hardly remember any details, other than horrible metal sound of my bike, and left leg hitting the pedal and burning from big scratches, but I didn’t fall!). My wife said that road biking is probably safer, but a) I think it’s boring without bumps, b) I don’t want to ride hundreds of miles at a time, c) my coworker said they ride 50-60mph, which I think is plain scary. Mountain-biking between the trees is also very scary, imo.

      Thanks for sharing experience and advice. I just can’t imagine how people lived before. Where would they find so much help, good info, and on top of that do it at 00:30AM – you guys Rock : )))

    • #82186
      "igorc" wrote

      My wife said that road biking is probably safer

      There are no cars out on the trails… cars with people on cellphones and applying makeup and eating and… Well, you get the point. 😀

    • #82187
      "Xerien" wrote

      [quote="igorc":1shv1g6n]My wife said that road biking is probably safer

      There are no cars out on the trails… cars with people on cellphones and applying makeup and eating and… Well, you get the point. 😀[/quote:1shv1g6n]

      there ya go. use safety as a reason and it always works.l of course trees don’t feel all that good either.

    • #82188

      True. But the trees are always trees, doing tree things. Drivers on the other hand… Could you guess that I’m not a big fan of road riding? 😼

    • #82189

      oh don’t me wrong. you will never find me wearing a skin suit basically and on a road bike. if i wanna go down the road i’ll get in my truck or get my bike and use the "soft" shoulder and make good use of the ditch for fun. other than that, its 100% trail.

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