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I have one bike, which is pretty cheap. It's a Mid-Level Mountain Bike of Motache (I tried to find a picture but, no luck). But, now I want to upgrade this bike progressively and change it into High Level Bike (or somewhere near) pduring course of time.

For doing this, my policy is if something breaks down, replace it with high level parts. I am not sure if this is how I am suppose to do it. Like for my recent upgrade when my rear derailleur broke, I replaced with Shimano XTR which is pretty neat. But, it is going to take a long time to upgrade i think. So I want to upgrade something now.

Now my bike contains V Brake, has lowest grade of fork suspension ( I think, its terrible ). 7*3 Speed Gears, normal shimano crank set and etc. (you can guess the remaining.)

Now, from the passionate and experts cyclist, I would like to know what should be first my upgrade and so on. One of mechanics and also my buddy told me upgrade my suspension first. I use my bike for daily road riding, and occasional off roads trips in holidays.

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For daily road riding I don't have 'suspension' at all: heavier (than not having suspension), inefficient (the rider's energy goes into flexing the suspension), and unnecessary. –  ChrisW Jun 3 '11 at 6:42
    
It's difficult to make recommendations without knowing more about the bike and your riding style. Can you tell us what kind of components are aon the bike now and what problems you're currently having? I have a hunch that Mac's answer is the correct one, and that you're better off saving the money for a new bike. Are you using this MTB for off-road riding, or on-road with some trails? Where did you by it and how old is it? What is the frame made out of? –  Neil Fein Jun 3 '11 at 16:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I tried the same approach that you're outlining with a bike I bought (a Shogun), but I had heaps of trouble trying to upgrade components. Every time I upgraded one component it wouldn't work well with the other existing components. I tried to change the cassette but it wouldn't work with my derailleur (even my mechanic couldn't figure out why).

The other problem with upgrading is that each component bought individually will be vastly more expensive than buying a bike with better components in the first place.

So my advice is to live with your bike unchanged as long as you can, saving the money you would be spending on components and then buy a new/second hand better quality bike.

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I agree w/Mac the only minor comment I would add is if you have money burning a whole in your pocket or ants in pants, only buy upgrades that will likely not be standard items on a new bike purchase. This way when you do decide to get a new rig, you can make it own by moving said parts over...BLING, BLING :) –  GuyZee Jun 3 '11 at 13:51
    
@GuyZee - You mean stuff like a nice saddle and nice pedals? (Both of which can be moved to almost any bike.) –  Neil Fein Jun 3 '11 at 16:20
    
@Mac (or anyone else), would you suggest that if you need to replace a part that you use the same kind of part that you need to replace? –  MrBoJangles Aug 12 '13 at 18:34
    
@MrBoJangles that can be tricky. If the current part is definitely substandard (like cheap brake calipers) I'll upgrade. Otherwise it can be safer to stick to originals to make sure they're compatible. –  Mac Aug 12 '13 at 23:15

Before undertaking such a program, the thing to consider is this... Is the frame worth it?
Sometimes, manufacturers will produce a line of bikes that use an identical frame, and bolt on progressively-better components for each upgraded model. In such cases, with a good frame to begin with, replacing cheaper components as they wear or fail might be a decent way to go, especially if you do your own work.

However, if the frame is just a generic item of no special quality.... You'd do better to save your money and buy an upgraded bike to begin with.

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Yes, the frame is of no special quality. But, what do you think about the @GuyZee's commment on @Mac's answer. Might that be a better way to go with? –  Starx Jun 5 '11 at 7:35

If you're going to buy components, buy things that can be easily transferred to a new bike. When you eventually upgrade. Eventually, you're going to want a really good frame. Now a frame usually comes with forks, and handlebars, so you'll probably want to hold off on replacing those.

The easiest thing you can probably replace is pedals. As they can be easily transferred to a new bike, and many high end bikes don't even come with pedals.

Also, seats, wheels and tires can easily be transferred to other bikes. I have a hybrid I bought about 5 years back. I've added clipless pedals, slick tires, bullhorn handlebars, a new seat and a seatpost, and a rear pannier rack.

I'm a commuter so my needs may be a bit different than yours but I think you get the picture. Switching to clipless pedals has made a world of difference. Also, the tires add quite a bit of performance too. You can get a lot out of a bike without actually changing anything in the frame/drivetrain.

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What do you think, about the fork suspension and disk brakes with Hubs, can these also be considered as easily transferrable to another bike. –  Starx Jun 13 '11 at 6:25
    
Can't say, As I ride on the road, and don't have much of a need for these parts. Although at a guess, I would have to say that the fork should be interchangeable, but that you'd probably end up getting one on a new frame anyway. No idea about the breaks. –  Kibbee Jun 13 '11 at 18:47

Lighter wheels are THE best upgrade you can do. Saving 500g on the wheels will make a much greater difference (due to reduced rotational inertia) to the amount of energy you save whilst cycling, than the same amount off a non-rotating part of the bike. And, of course, the wheels are very easy to transfer to a new bike, should you ever wish to do so.

I bought a pair of second hand Campagnolo Eurus rims (with record hubs) for my bottom-of-the-range road bike. I couldn't believe what a difference they made.. I could accelerate at a much higher rate, climb hills easier and was expending less energy on the flats.

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I suppose lighter rims will not be as durable as others, for offride use specially. –  Starx Jun 13 '11 at 6:27
    
@Starx: lighter wheelset will be at least as durable as a cheap one. The difference is cost of materials, and as the user the cost of replacing them if something catastrophic happens. But if you have the original wheels, you can go back to using those. –  Мסž Jun 27 '11 at 4:59

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