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I want to ask a somewhat general question in the context of actual events: I picked up an Evo Swift Ridge 7 for about 200 from a discount retailer, thinking it might be a good platform for upgrade-as-I-go. Second wheelset for dedicated XC, wider bars, lose the triple crankset, etc. Of particular concern regards upgrading the fork.

OOTB it comes with an Evo branded Zoom fork with 60mm of travel. I'd feel more comfortable with higher quality fork.

Will adding a 100 - 120mm travel fork throw off the ridability of a dual sport setup? With the intent of making this both more trail worthy as well as usable for family bike rides?

TIA!

  • Just ride your bike for a year, and learn what works for you and what doesn't. Then buy the bike you want, and use the current one as a spare. Upgrades over time get silly-expensive, more so than a second bike. – Criggie Jan 20 '20 at 21:58
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    @Criggie. While I agree that many ideas of upgrading a bike are expensive and also seem a bit like putting lipstick on a pig, I feel that the marketplace is rife with excellent components, gently used or new take-off that really add improvement in looks and performance. There's also the pleasure one derives from performing the install oneself, and being able to get the component package desired as opposed to going with what came with the bike. I'm currently shopping for a new mountain bike but have become frustrated by the right suspension package combined with components I do NOT want. – Jeff Jan 20 '20 at 23:19
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    In short, I agree on advising one of the economical risk of upgrades. However, perhaps more emphasis can be placed on whether the upgrade will be compatible or beneficial in regards to various aspects of performance. Economy can certainly be a caveat, but a compatible upgrade shouldn't be so discouraged, especially by advising finding a bike with such and such, which may not yet exist. – Jeff Jan 20 '20 at 23:31
  • @Jeff I'd def pick this answer for the non-geometry related part of my query. Almost all of my bikes have been platforms for upgrades and I've been pretty happy with the experience... – mcwagner Jan 28 '20 at 17:12
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That bike is what it is, a great urban and light trail machine built to a price point. You got what you paid for. Get out and braap.

Most worthy upgrades like wheels, drive train, brakes and suspension will cost the same or more than you paid for the whole thing originally. So don’t spend any more than you need to cover breakages/maintenance.

The limiting factor in that bike is geometry aligned to a 60mm fork and a bargain bucket grade aluminium frame that will be relatively heavy. A fork with 100mm travel will likely throw the geometry out too far.

Treat that bike well and save your $ to buy at least a “comp” level bike from a well known brand if you decide you want to ride more off-road.

The lowest end of most name brands trail ready model lines include quality SRAM Eagle or Shimano Deore components with a decent air suspension fork. The frames on those bikes are often the same as the high-end version and are worthy upgrade projects. Clearance previous year models will be available at a great price.

Even though all working bike maintenance is a money pit, to upgrade that bike will be “putting lipstick on a pig”.

  • Thanks. I was hoping to find more 80mm travel forks that might work but, no dice. I've got a parts bin with older xt shifters and derailleurs and mid range goodies enticing me further with the idea of getting a geared bike back in the stable. Just felling really sluggish on the SS these days... – mcwagner Jan 19 '20 at 14:59
  • As a follow-up: is there really a notable difference between a generic 6061 aluminum frame on the Evo and say a trek branded 6000 series aluminum? Both made in China, same alloy, etc... – mcwagner Jan 19 '20 at 15:08
  • No reason why there wouldn't be. Not all designs, 6001 tubes or Chinese factories are the same. No-brand can certainly be fine and name brands do have budget models and bad models, but in general it can be expected that brand name would be better. – ojs Jan 19 '20 at 17:02
  • Wide 750mm plus handlebars and pinned flat pedals are two things that will increase your enjoyment off-road. Also figure out if your rims support tubeless tyres. – Warren Burton Jan 19 '20 at 17:32
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    @mcwagner just because the alloy is 6061 on both inexpensive and expensive frames does not mean the material used is the same. 6061 just refers to the alloying ingredients. Higher quality material will be more consistent, have a better heat treatment etc. Cheaper frames have to use thicker tubes to give the required margin of error for strength and hence weigh more. – Argenti Apparatus Jan 19 '20 at 18:39

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