Should You Upgrade Your MTB? | The Pros & Cons Of Bike Upgrades


– We often talk about upgrading your bikes here at GMBN, and you
guys quite often ask us what are the best things to upgrade and to put onto your bike. But does it add any
performance to your bike? And is it actually worth it? – Of course it is Doddy. – Really? Well let’s find out shall we. (gravel crunching) – Okay how about this Doddy? If I upgrade all the parts of my bike, if I put a new wheel set, new carbon bars, new grips, change from three bite to one bite, it’s definitely going to
increase the value of my bike. – Not necessarily. It means you’re spending
money on that stuff and you’re putting it on to your bike but all of these things are
going to depreciate and stuff. So you’re not necessarily making your bike worth more money. It might be a better
bike as far as upgrade but you’ve got to factor in, you are still spending money. It’s costing you money. – Well of course afterwards it’s definitely going to
increase the value of my bike because just add that price that I’ve paid for these carbon bars
and put it on the price and get my money back. – It’s not that simple Blake. Think about buying a car or buying a bike outright
in the first place. The minute you wheel it out that showroom, it’s losing money. You see, an item is going to be used. It’s going to depreciate. You’re going to lose money on that stuff. It’s not a bad thing
because you want your bike to work nice and look nice, but don’t think by adding stuff to it that it’s going to add value. – Maybe a little bit? – Potentially but I don’t know. (trap beat) – All right Doddy, what about performance upgrading that’s definitely going
to make you ride harder, faster, be more aggressive, definitely upgrading those parts. It’s going to make you better. – To be honest, the only thing that’s going to make you harder and better as a rider is practice. No amount of things are
going to make you better. Don’t fall into a trap of thinking that you’re going to spend
loads of money on your bike and you’ll be faster or jump higher. That doesn’t happen. You’ve got to watch Blake’s videos and Neil’s videos to do that stuff. But you can technically
make your bike a bit faster or ride a bit lighter. So you could say that’s
a performance upgrade. Lighter tires or tires that roll faster or that are more suitable for your terrain will help you find traction
and roll a bit better and lighter wheels are
definitely an upgrade that can make your bike
feel like it’s going faster and you’ll put less effort
in to get that speed. I would say that light-set wheels can transform a bike. If you’ve got a fairly entry level bike, say anything from 400 quid
maybe up to a thousand pounds, some people might not
deem that as entry level if we just say that bracket. If you put some decent
lightweight wheels on that, that bike will feel like it’s like a two thousand
pound bike straight out. – And I’ve had some people say, I just need a brand new fork. Well potentially, you can
just upgrade that fork that you have on your bike by getting it serviced or changing the internals into that fork. Makes it perform a lot better. – A hundred percent, I completely agree with you Blake. I would advise anyone, instead of just spending money outright, to get your bike serviced. Get it in good condition. That is an upgrade straight-out. – I think that’s the bottom line. – You’re obviously
supporting your bike shop by doing that anyway. Or if you’re able to do it
yourself following our videos that’s great. But don’t fall into a trap of thinking you’re going to need to buy stuff. You don’t necessarily need
that new suspense fork. Like Blake said, if you get it tuned, and you get it serviced, it’s all greased properly
and working correctly, it’s going to feel amazing. – Correct. – Basically yeah. And you could, for example, you could upgrade to a coil. Well it’s not even an upgrade, you could change to a coil
internal or an air internal if it’s the other way around. You can do that on some forks. – Exactly. – And shocks too. (upbeat music) – So you get a new bike and
you want to upgrade this, but over time. So you’re going to be
riding your brand new bike, and then over time you want to think about upgrading parts on your bike. Now, where do you start? – I guess you could probably start, I would say with the consumable parts, things that naturally
wear out as you use them. It could be quite easy to see an XTR derailleur on your mate’s bike and be like, oh I really
want that on my bike. – Yeah. – Don’t just do that. Wait until your existing
derailleur is worn out and then when you replace it, you upgrade that at the same time. Same goes for your chain, your cassette, all those things that wear out. Tires, you don’t necessarily
need to replace them now, although you can get better performance by replacing them. You may as well wait
’til they’re worn out. Get some good use out of them. – Exactly and also talk about tires you could actually get a
little bit of weight out because that bike you’ve bought probably come with any tubes. So maybe convert to being tubeless. – A hundred percent I agree with that. Inner tubes to me is backwards technology. I say to everyone, convert your bike to a tubeless. It’s great ‘cuz you lose
some rotation weight which is great, which means your bike is going
to feel lighter and roll faster and it seals up little
punctures on the go. And that’s a win-win. – You could potentially
do that straight away as soon as you get your bike. But cockpit wise, if you’re not too keen
on the width of the bars, changing the bars actually
is not an upgrade as such but an upgrade to body
position on the bike, feel of the bike. – Yeah. – Can definitely upgrade your bike. – Yeah like Blake said, that
is definitely not an upgrade as such unless you, for example, going to a carbon bar from an aloe bar, it would be an upgrade for example if your aim is to try to
lose weight off the bike, so a carbon bar may be lighter. But it’s not again a performance thing, it’s going to be a preference thing. So don’t confuse those. It will definitely make
your bike feel nicer if that’s what you’re looking for. But it won’t make it better as such. – Over time, the best upgrade ever, what is it Donny? Because I agree with you on this one. Okay well we’ve already covered wheels at the beginning of the video. I think the most significant
thing you can change on any mountain bike, if it hasn’t already got
one to add performance is a dropper post. – Exactly. – I reckon, and I still think we need to make a video on this, you can ride faster on a rigid
bike with the dropper post than you could on a four suspension bike with the saddle fully up. I reckon there’s a video there. – There’s a video there for sure. – I mean you’re a bit out
of control on the rigid bike but getting the saddle out the
way could compensate I think. – Exactly. (trap beat) Color coding, now I’ve seen this a lot out there in bike parks and trail centers. Color coding everything to the, to your valve stems. – Oh yeah. – All of those things like
orange, blue, green, everything. Now I’m a sucker for
this because I love green for obvious reasons, my nuke proof mega is green. I’ve got these grips on there. My vehicle’s green, my clothing’s green, everything. My watch strap. – Blake is bonkers about green to be fair. – That is an upgrade but
it’s a personal upgrade so when it comes to actually
selling that bike at the end someone would probably hate it and you probably won’t sell it. And it won’t add any value. – That’s a good shout actually. Doing sort of the color coding thing is great but it is your personal taste. So maybe be cautious with that if you do want to resell
the bike at some point. Don’t go too crazy. – Yeah maybe keep those old parts and then put them back on if– – I quite like a bit
of color coding though. – Yeah – I don’t like to go too over
the top but, here and there. – Talk about color coding, now you’ve done a significant
change to your bike. – Yeah, there’s one or two
little changes on there. – So the biggest change
is now, is an upgrade and it’s going from air to coil. – But is that an upgrade? – We don’t know. – Right. So I’ve basically on my new it came with a new shock
on there which I love. I’m a big fan, in fact, I’m probably a bigger fan of air shocks than I am of coil shocks. However, a lot of GMBN tech viewers have been asking about
what are the differences. So I’m making a video at the moment and I’ve just changed
the shock on my bike. You could say it’s an upgrade but I don’t think it is. It’s a level, it’s a preference thing. – Yeah. – But now it’s got an orange
spring that looks really cool. And it does match with the colors some of that orange valves. – But it’s a very
expensive route to go down if you were to do that and you end up it’s not the best thing
for that bike depending. – There’s something that
you won’t have seen though. So that’s not an upgrade, but it’s a really interesting thing. I think we’ll make a cool
video and figure it out if it rides better, but there’s an upgrade you didn’t see that is an upgrade. I volted the fork travel, so there’s an internal shaft on the fork you can change basically. It’s a fairly cheap component. I did it myself and I’ve added ten mil to
the travel of that bike. – What? – So it comes with different options it’s compatible for the bikes, some of the models have a 150 fork, some have a 140, and I really like the 150 rode. So I’ve upgraded mine to a 150. – That’s an exciting point there because a lot of viewers do ask, can I put a bigger fork on my bike? Now that could potentially not be an upgrade in itself maybe. – Yeah you could ruin your bike. – You could ruin your bike. – If you’re doing ten or 20 mil, on most bikes you could
probably get away with it but you change some of your angles. So you’ve got to be careful with that because you can actually make things worse rather than better. – Downgrading it. – Oh yeah downgrading, don’t downgrade. – A hundred percent the
coil’s definitely better. – I’m not sure about that. – Definitely better. – Honestly, (sped up voices arguing) Hold on, you still there? Oh guys. Yeah you should probably subscribe if you haven’t done that already. See you later. – Coil’s better. – It’s not.

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100 thoughts on “Should You Upgrade Your MTB? | The Pros & Cons Of Bike Upgrades

  1. Only worth upgrading if u have a descent frame to upgrade on… best to buy great frame with low spec and upgrade, rather than spending ur budget high spec on a not so great frame. Dont get sold on bling!

  2. I generally upgrade to make the bike fit better or be more comfortable. Over time I upgrade based on what I like and don't like about the bikes performance. I don't usually make major upgrades because I try to buy as much bike as I can afford to start with.

  3. I have had my entry-level hardtail for over a year now and I've upgraded/replaced the fork the stem the tiers twice the rear derailer and the pedals to clipless I did get a dropper post but I mostly ride xc trails and honestly never used it so I took it off. its been a good bike and the upgrades did make it feel a little better but never really made me faster. its a good bike but its time for something a little better I'm getting a new Cannondale here soon and supper excited for that

  4. I’m desperate for new tyres, I go to bike park wales every week so what affordable tyres to you recommend for that sort of terrain?? #gmbntech #gmbn

  5. Intense spider 2 26"was 3×9 now is 1×11 it didn't have a droper now it has went from aluminium 680mm bar to carbon 780mm New wheels New bigger tyres and went Tubeless new brakes same brand Just newer and stronger new fork and shock from revelation rl dual air and a float r in the rear to a talas 36 rc2 and cane creek db il air.

  6. My first upgrade was a seatpost with more set back and then marathon plus tyres then a better cassette and chain though those last two I could probably do without so would just go back to the cheaper options. Upgraded my front disc to 180 for better braking. The best upgrade I made was Jagwire Pro slick polished inner gear cable. Shifting is soo much better with it. Well worth the 6 quid.

  7. Made the mistake of upgrading my trek marlin 5, don’t do it ;(, just bought a Scott scale 960 for less than the marlin 5 price + upgrades cost and it’s better in every way

  8. hopefully one day someone will be able to upgrade my body from a 47 year old to a 20 year old so I can be able to wake the next day after a ride without lots of aches and pains.

  9. small changes maybe upgrade, but if you are looking for big differences from cheap bike, the frame probably needs to change and easiest to just get a new bike

  10. I always upgrade stuff. Our lass puts up with it but I can tell she hates it! I don’t know why I do it I think I need rehab.

  11. Well a lot of mtb rider in my town is riding on the street and acting like a roadie, and used to having problem riding with roadie, they want to riding together but nobody shouldn’t pas them, well they’re more selfish than any rider

  12. The best upgrade I did for my 2017 Giant Reign is a new Fortus 30 wheelset from hope. Man the climbing got easier. Second is my suspension. Lyrik Ultimate and Debonair RC3. That let me really floats when the Trail gets bumpy.

  13. ??? >>> Regarding modern geometry numbers on mountain bikes – I am interested in what size bikes the pro riders(enduro/DH/XC/Freestyle/DC Trail) are riding referencing their height/weight ….and the logic behind their choice.

  14. 🗣️yyyaaa is my favorite trail #moutainbike guy's Doddy and Blake of #gmbn not of the e 🚲🚴 tranches of the #Moutainbiking 🤘

  15. Upgraded from cheap pedals to some Chester pedals (which one of them has already broken a seal on the bearing, it was bought last summer), dropper post installed, speedo/odometer, removable light for night riding, switch from 2x to a 1x and went to a 10-42 tooth cassette, water bottle cage, grips, switched to tubeless, and just bought some new Maxxis Minion DHR II 29X2.3 tires. I want to switch out my front fork next. I started these upgrades last summer.

  16. As far as coils go, the investigation I've done it depends on the geo of bike the weight of rider ect. Is the bike progressive or linear. I have a 2019 stumpy and was going to put a coil but im going to put an x2 on because I'm heavy and they dont make a progressive 650 pound springs.

  17. Coil is heaps better and with the new progressive springs heaps better for gnarl and jumps. Cane creek coils front and back 4 me. yeeeew

  18. My bike came with some cheap parts they didn’t quite sync with the quality parts so mine needed them from the get go. Something you didn’t mention was you can always sell your old usable parts and re coup some cash, there’s quite a market out there for good second hand components.

  19. Switching to coil is not an upgrade, is definitely a change in performance and bike feel. The weight penalty feels less than the benefit of the small bump sensitivity and added grip to me. I swapped to a Push ACS3 and DB Coil IL and not looking to go back.

  20. I dont have the best mtb but I appreciate it as I got it as a gift cannondale catalyst 3 I just changed out the stock stem for a raceface and would love to change some other parts on it

  21. The cons of upgrading your bike is that you spend a lot of money and in time when the bike becomes obsolete, it will be worth not even a fourth of what the bike coast and wht you spent on it.

  22. I think the best mtb upgrade is definitely offset bushings, there dirt cheap and completely transform the way your bike rides

  23. I usually have a pretty good opinion of you guys but I'm starting to realize you guys are just frowning upon everything you don't like. Upgrades? No no no let's not do that much. Riding style? Here do it our way your way is wrong. Component colors/brand/setup? No, it's all wrong do it this way or this way. You guys are great people but you have to realize that there is more than just your way.

  24. a good topic to cover, can you build a better custom bike cheaper than an off the shelf bike? I've just build my daughter a nukeproof mega from a mix of 2nd hand and new parts and to what i think I have built a way better spec bike for far cheaper.

  25. I just received the last part of my downhill bike i build by myself…i hope its the last one…it was very very expensive,but i guess i dont need upgrade ! 😂

  26. Once a friend of mine asked me, what should I upgrade on my bike?
    I told him, upgrade your bars, drivetrain, wheelset, pedals, tires, go tubeless, stem, fork, shock, brakes.. those grips.. foam grips? really.. upgrade those too.. your frame too!
    And he looked at me dead serious, "okay, i'll buy all those things".
    He was for real going to buy all those parts while I'm just trying to say, your bike is never going to be good cause good parts can't even be installed on it.

  27. Hi guys I have a question…. I have a 2019 Trek fuel ex 5, it has 140 front, 130 rear, now can I get away with a 160 fork up front, or would that be too much?

  28. I want to change my wife's and my Specialized 06 Stumpy FSR;s to 1x. Is it worth it? They are 26ers and have Shimano XT 3×9.

  29. on the higher end, upgrades means nothing.
    on the lower end, certain upgrades do improve a bike "performance". on the lowest end, the difference between bikes is the parts on the frame

    i'm a casual rider, so my bike dont exceed 300 dollars.. well had an accident. mangled the rear axle, derailleur and the frame creaks when cycling (probably the welds have cracks)

    didnt have much money. so i bought the cheapest bike.. 100 dollars. took the shimano trigger shifters from my mangled bike since the cheap one are single levers with no actual indicators on where the gears changes. shifting is less of a mindful

    next item to swap is the Disc brakes, gotta clean them thoroughly first. the one on the dirt cheap bike is real horrid. small pads, poor grip…

  30. How does increasing the fork travel on a bike make it "worse"? What actual features of riding the bike become less capable?

  31. If I upgrade to a dropper post where should the height of my seat sit? I've heard conflicting comments on this subject and was wondering if I should have my seat at my hip level or lower?!?!?

  32. I like to upgrade my entry-level hardtail and go tubeless. The bike came with cheap non-foldable tires (metall string inside). Is it possible to go tubeless with these tires or do i have to buy a new set of foldable (tubelessready) tires? Asking because they got plenty of life left into them and i feel like it would be money thrown out of the windows to not use them anymore…

  33. Just recently got a Banshee Darkside with DVO Onyx SC 180mm fork, Rockshox Vivid R2C 8.75×2.75, 27.5 Spank Race 33 wheels. Already looking at how much it will cost me to get a DVO Diamond to reduce front travel to 160mm, getting a 8.5 inch shock to reduce rear travel down to 164mm and getting a set of 26" wheels and tires so I can essentially have a multitude of bikes all on one frame. It will all have to wait though, just the fork, shock(depending on brand) and wheels(will go with same wheels but 26) will cost more than the complete bike cost me built by JensonUSA.

    BTW Blake, both of my bikes are bright green

  34. Upgrades that make you feel more confident! Wider Bars, better traction tires, convert to tubeless, higher traction peddles, dropper post and better grips!

  35. Hey guys, love the show. I have a 2011 Specialized Pitch Pro and I want to know if you would recommend I start with upgrades or just consider buying a new bike all together? I'm thinking converting to a 1x, adding a dropper post and changing out my wheelset. Should I? Is it worth it with this particular bike? Thanks guys!

  36. Hi I've upgraded mine .I bought a voodoo minuster second hand for £390 .I've swapped out suntour forks and rear suspension to fox 34 factory and fox float dps factory . I've put a fox transfer factory dropper on her .changed rear derailleur to shimano deore. the difference in the forks weight wise is staggering . She stands me at £1300 total and I love it .I will send you pics of her soon .

  37. #askGMBNTech I have a set of wheels that are currently running Shimano QR axles and I need to swap them to Thru axle for a new frame. I have purchased the same hubs currently fitted but with thru axle. Same number of spokes and same diameter spoke mounting so that I can use the same spikes as before. Is there a recommended/easy way to do this swap to ensure all spokes end up in the same order and how best to get started?

  38. Carbon handlebar is the only thing I always do to my bikes. I don't include contact points like tires, grips, saddle because that's personal, not an "upgrade" per se.

  39. Just get the bike that suits you. Then ride it for at least 6 months, then you will know what you want to change. Most of us don't need carbon, Ally is fine and in most cases for most "pleasure riders" as opposed to "pro/racers", rides better. Carbon can be disappointing, too light – doesn't sit down on the trail. Ask what do I ride, does this upgrade suit my size and weight. Nothing works in isolation, if I change this how does it affect the rest of the bike? – do I have to compliment elsewhere to get the full benefit? I'd like XT but really SLX is so good and will last longer so that's my choice. My bikes are not expensive – a voodoo bizango hardtail (2016 vintage) and a GT sensor alloy comp (2019) bought in the clearence sale. They go as well as £5000 + bike the bloke turned up with at the trail park. Put a grin on my face, but hey he was just doing his thing same as me – but my point is don't get drawn into the big spend game for the sake of if it. A decent saddle and dropper is always 1st, next is a good wheel set with a matched internal rim size to suit the tyres you need. I favour Stan's wheel sets with 29mm width, because I run 2.3s to 2.4s, but you might need to go narrower eg xc so your choises will be different. Get to know what you ride and base your decisions on that not on what the fashion gurus will have you believe.

  40. First few seconds, it's your bike, same as anything and it's your money. Drugs or bike bits? Which should you choose? Bike bits for me bro. But saying that, family first? Doddy you come a cross as heavy, it's a choice thing and what is better? More fun is what I'm after, not to win a race. And messing with my bike is part of it.

  41. Got a 98 kona cindercone upgraded bars to wider and brakes and wheels to fit set of hope brakes still going strong 20 years later just got to replace blown mazocci bomber forks #askgmbn is it worth uprading?

  42. Only what I've had to. Seat that fits me. Handlebars for rise and width. Stem to suit sizing of me and bike. Higher volume tyres. Seat droppers.

  43. How do you add a dropper post if you don’t have a place for cables. I have a moots ybb 29er it has a 3×9. I was thinking of upgrading to 1×12 and then using that space to put dropper post lever. I’m not at all sure if that’s beneficial

  44. Put some Chris King wheel set and head set, a Kent Ericksen seat post, a jewelling stem custom made and some more cool stuff and not only will be better, it will be your baby. Or make it light wit some Darimo stuff, some AX lighness … it will add value? Yes each part will fly if you whant to sell it and the price is good. You will never sell the complete bicycle because selling the parts will recover more money you have spent.

  45. I make changes based on my preference for use, or because something is broken. I change the bars and grips to my preference, I converted my bike to a 1x, and changed the seat to something comfortable for me. Only "performance" change I've made is the tyres and a dropper, which most good bikes come with now anyway.

  46. 2:25 And still does Nino keep winning race after race on his f-s Scott with a rigid seatpost…
    I would call a dropper post a personal preference, not an upgrade.

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