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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy guys. I've finally moved and got my bike back with me, and just looking at it I'm gonna need to overhaul the geartrain. the few thousand miles i've put on it has hurt it pretty bad. My cassette has bent teeth, the derailleur doesnt shift properly, the shifters are wearing out... so its time for a rebuild.

I've got one of those generic wal-mart hard tails, and its been a great bike despite it having a solid front fork. It has no real issues to worry about and think its deserving of a mild mannered build up.

So I've been looking at replacing my cassette with a Shimano 7 Speed, and changing my shifters and cables to the rapid fire Shimano's for sure shifting.

My only issue is the derailleur.. I want a derailleur that's gonna work for what I need it to out off road in severe conditions. Water mud, all that good stuff. I was looking at a Shimano Saint SGS Long Cage but I figure you guys who have a bit more experience out there could help me out.

Thanks
 

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I usually stick w/ shimano LX components. They are on par (IMHO) w/ the XT line and priced very well. You can usually find the stuff on ebay cheap too.
 

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[quote author=biggee72 link=topic=178449.msg3773881#msg3773881 date=1282653621]
I usually stick w/ shimano LX components. They are on par (IMHO) w/ the XT line and priced very well. You can usually find the stuff on ebay cheap too.
[/quote]

I agree. I think Shimano replaced LX with SLX a few years ago btw.

Modding a bike is the same as modding a car in a lot of ways. You can do a ton of mods to a bike, but if the parts are nicer than the frame, then the bike will never get to where you want it. The same thing goes the other way, if you cheap out on the drivetrain of an insanely nice frame, then your ride quality will suffer. The smart thing to do is spec all your parts to jive with the frame you have.

In your case, a wal-mart hard tail with no suspension, Shimano components are the way to go since they're common, cheapish, and easy to tweak. I wouldn't go for anything in the Saint group though. I've been using Deore components for a few years, and they've been absolutely amazing. For normal mountain biking, the Shimano groups are (arranged by price) Deore, SLX, XT, XTR. Saint is for freeriding (very very large jumps). Most of the time, moving up a level doesn't necessarily increase the reliability, it just reduces the weight. You have to be on a reeeeaaally nice frame before shaving grams like that really helps. Plus you should consider replacement cost too. You can buy the best rear derailleur in the world, but if a stick gets caught in it, it's still going to get mangled and you have to buy another one.

I'd first consider the amount of money that you're willing to spend on the bike, because you're going to be pretty mad at yourself if you invest several hundred dollars only to find out that you wish you'd just bought another frame with suspension. For the bike you have, I'm not sure I'd go beyond the SLX group at the highest.

-Dan
 

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I've been out of riding so long, I'd have never known. I just picked up a used mountain bike last night which is why this sparked my interest. I'm actually looking into a stronger bottom bracket right now.
 

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i run shimano xt on all of my stuff right now i have a 07 Haro V3......just picked up a used Jamis full suspension over the weekend for my wife and it has shimano lx compenents on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, I cant seem to find another Shimano for a 7 speed mountain bike. Anyone know where to point me? I found the Saint for 60 bucks on amazon.. so.

Thanks for the suggestions guys
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks!

One more thing, I have a 3 gear front cassette, and this changes the "total gearing"

Am I safe to assume, since I'm replacing my rear cassette with a 7 speed one, that I need a 7 speed derailleur, and has nothing to do with the total amount of gearing on the bike?

Just wanting to make sure I'm correct in assuming so.


Thanks again guys!
 

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I'm not sure if total gearing is a term that I'm unfamiliar with, but I think what you're asking is if the rear derailleur cares about the front gears/derailleur. The answer is no, it does not care.

The only way it matters is chain length. You need to select a chain that will fit around the biggest gear in the front and the biggest gear in the rear at the same time (even though you should never ride like that) without bending the rear derailleur from being too tight. You should also make sure that the cage on the rear derailleur is long enough to take up all the slack from when you're using gear ratios that use less of the chain length.

Btw, if you're replacing your rear cassette, make sure you are buying one compatible with the hubs of your rear wheel. There are a billion different mating setups, and a billion retention methods too.
 

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I'm a road cyclist, but a good place to look for components is www.nashbar.com - also you were referring to your crankset in the other post. I'd assume most mountain bikes come with triple cranksets like yours.
 

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Is the saint derailer even compatible with a 7 speed?

It was said before. Putting a higher end component set on a walmart frame is like putting 5000 rims on a 100 beater.

if you got it for 60bucks great! but make sure all your components are compatible
 

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[quote author=Mediarocker link=topic=178449.msg3776331#msg3776331 date=1282803215]
OK, I cant seem to find another Shimano for a 7 speed mountain bike. Anyone know where to point me? I found the Saint for 60 bucks on amazon.. so.

Thanks for the suggestions guys
[/quote]

Go here for 7 speed cassettes- http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/k7.html#7

Before you spend $60 for a derailleur, $30 for a cassette, $15-20 for a new chain(always replace the chain when replacing a cassette), $10 for new cables, and up to $90 for some SLX shifters, why not just put that money towards a new or even new-to-you bike? I routinely see ~$500 mountain bikes selling for $150-200 with very few miles on them on Craigslist. These bikes would have better brakes, wheels, crankset, frame/fork, front derailleur, handling/performance, etc than you would have after dumping $100-200 on a Wal-mart bike, and you'd be out about the same amount of cash.
 

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My Stumpjumper came with a SRAM drivetrain and I'll never go back. My wife's bike has XT and I think the SRAM shifts better and has a much crisper feel, just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I appreciate all the suggestions guys. I am looking into getting a new bike, but I also like to keep my hands busy, so if anything upgrading this bike would be a good learning process. :)

I've decided I'm gonna stick with a 6 speed cassette. I heard a 7/8 speed derailleur will work on a 6 speed cassette. Can anyone verify this?

If anything, this little guy will become a project out of boredom. I ride avidly so this puppy gets a regular bit of action. Took a jump yesterday and completely popped my chain off the rear sprocket into the frame :lol: Either I got a stiff link or my chain and cassette are worn out (which its probably both.) :lol:
 

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Yes, a 7/8 speed derailleur will work with a 6 speed cassette, but I'll keep saying it until I'm dead- don't put much money into the bike. The fact that it has a 6 speed cassette should be a red flag. One of my road bikes has a 7 speed freehweel, but it's also 25 years old. That's the era of bike techology you're dealing with.
 

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[quote author=dehoff link=topic=178449.msg3777995#msg3777995 date=1282933267]
Yes, a 7/8 speed derailleur will work with a 6 speed cassette, but I'll keep saying it until I'm dead- don't put much money into the bike. The fact that it has a 6 speed cassette should be a red flag. One of my road bikes has a 7 speed freehweel, but it's also 25 years old. That's the era of bike techology you're dealing with.
[/quote]

hahaha thats awesome! I am pretty sure you cannot even get new parts for that kind of setup anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
[quote author=Ash_xela link=topic=178449.msg3779700#msg3779700 date=1283174345]
[quote author=dehoff link=topic=178449.msg3777995#msg3777995 date=1282933267]
Yes, a 7/8 speed derailleur will work with a 6 speed cassette, but I'll keep saying it until I'm dead- don't put much money into the bike. The fact that it has a 6 speed cassette should be a red flag. One of my road bikes has a 7 speed freehweel, but it's also 25 years old. That's the era of bike techology you're dealing with.
[/quote]

hahaha thats awesome! I am pretty sure you cannot even get new parts for that kind of setup anymore.
[/quote]

Its only gonna cost me 117 bucks to rebuild my bike with a Shimano Alivio Derailleur, Shimano Alivio Crankset, Shimano 6 speed freewheel, Shimano chain, And some good pedals.

Whereas a new bike will be in the 1,990-4,000 range. Which I can't really afford right now.

Sure it wont have disc brakes, suspension, or quick releases, but at 100 bucks that's nothing in comparison to a good Trek or Mongoose.

And yes, I'm finding the parts quite readily so I don't really know what you're talking about...


If I add another 40 bucks I can get some fancy shimano rapid fire shifters too.

I am keeping my eye out for local bikes, but most of the ones i've been finding are really outdated for high prices NN.

I'm also considering buying a Wal-mart mongoose...


There's a local bike shop i'm gonna drop by and see their wares.. and get me another helmet for freeride and downhill.
 

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http://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Response-Mountain-26-Inch-X-Large/dp/B002LFNMSY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=cycling&qid=1283182013&sr=1-1

For under $500, this would be a great entry-level mountain bike for anyone. I'm not sure what bikes you are looking at that's over $2k for the type of riding you're doing. If you look around at your local shops and such, you can certainly find a better deal than this. Not to beat a dead horse, but if you intend to ever be serious about riding, you should really consider spending a bit more to get out of a rigid frame. You won't regret it. You mentioned downhill and freeriding in your last post, and if you're serious about that, you won't want to be on a rigid fork once you put in some trail time.

But, just like with our cars, do what you want and ignore the haters man. "Built not bought" can apply to bikes too.
 

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[quote author=Mediarocker link=topic=178449.msg3779761#msg3779761 date=1283177310]
[quote author=Ash_xela link=topic=178449.msg3779700#msg3779700 date=1283174345]
[quote author=dehoff link=topic=178449.msg3777995#msg3777995 date=1282933267]
Yes, a 7/8 speed derailleur will work with a 6 speed cassette, but I'll keep saying it until I'm dead- don't put much money into the bike. The fact that it has a 6 speed cassette should be a red flag. One of my road bikes has a 7 speed freehweel, but it's also 25 years old. That's the era of bike techology you're dealing with.
[/quote]

hahaha thats awesome! I am pretty sure you cannot even get new parts for that kind of setup anymore.
[/quote]

Its only gonna cost me 117 bucks to rebuild my bike with a Shimano Alivio Derailleur, Shimano Alivio Crankset, Shimano 6 speed freewheel, Shimano chain, And some good pedals.

Whereas a new bike will be in the 1,990-4,000 range. Which I can't really afford right now.

Sure it wont have disc brakes, suspension, or quick releases, but at 100 bucks that's nothing in comparison to a good Trek or Mongoose.

And yes, I'm finding the parts quite readily so I don't really know what you're talking about...


If I add another 40 bucks I can get some fancy shimano rapid fire shifters too.

I am keeping my eye out for local bikes, but most of the ones i've been finding are really outdated for high prices NN.

I'm also considering buying a Wal-mart mongoose...


There's a local bike shop i'm gonna drop by and see their wares.. and get me another helmet for freeride and downhill.
[/quote]

The Wal-mart Mongoose bikes have nothing more in common with the ones available at a reputable bike shop than the name on the downtube. Same goes for Schwinn, GT, etc. It's rather unfortunate how trademarks can be purchased and what ends up happening to the resulting products.

If you're seriously considering adding the shifters (and spending the now nearly $160), I'd give a good look here- http://bikesdirect.com/products/mountain_bikes.htm
Chinese frames, but better than the Wal-mart/big box store offerings (they even have different frame sizes!) and much, much better components than anything Wal-mart sells. Heck, you'd even get the satisfaction of having to do some wrenching to finish off the assembly, and re-do most of the assembly that was done improperly in a Chinese factory.

If it were my money, I'd try to keep my current bike going as cheap as possible, maybe even looking for a cheap parts-donor bike at a thrift store or garage sale for $25 or so. Then, save up $500 or so and get a new(er) bike, whether it's from bikesdirect, local bike shop(last year's holdovers and employee's bikes can be great deals), craigslist, etc. This advice is worth nothing more than the paper it's written on- So ride your own ride, as long as you keep on riding :)
 
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