Getting the Most Out of Your Mountain Bike

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The bike industry is ever changing. It seems like every year a new wheel size comes out making your beloved bike less valuable by the minute! For many it is unfeasible to upgrade to a new bike every other year and at a certain point it’ll probably make more sense to replace components to make the bike perform more to your liking. At Start Haus we’ve had the pleasure of upgrading many bikes installing more modern components on and making them more fun to ride!

One of the common upgrades we’re doing is converting drivetrains to 1×11. By converting your bike from a two by drivetrain to a one by achieves several significant benefits:

  • Weight loss. Obviously by taking the front derailleur off the bike eliminates weight, but don’t forget that the front shifter and cables also get eighty-sixed. Depending on what the component spec is the bike is usually losing ¾ of a pound!
  • The cockpit gets significantly cleaned up. With the advent of dropper posts we find one shifter on the handlebars is all we can tolerate. All our shop employees are running 1×11 or 1×12 drivetrains with the rear shifter on the right and dropper on the left and we have a clean cockpit that makes for easy shifting and fun riding.
  • If I’m being totally honest front derailleurs are a pain in the neck. They operate under far greater loads than the rear derailleur and are more difficult to adjust properly. Less moving parts means less mechanical failures on the trail and this equals more riding time!
Running 1x11 makes for a trouble free ride.

Running 1×11 makes for a trouble free ride.

Less levers means more fun!

Less levers means more fun!

With Shimano in the game converting your drivetrain to 1x is more affordable depending on your hub type. If you’re not looking to get the top level components we’ve found the Sram GX derailleurs and shifters do a great job at a great price!

Within the last couple of years suspension forks and shocks have become mind-bendingly sweet. Several of our customer’s have opted to upgrade both fork and shock, which will have a dramatic effect on the handling of your mountain bike. Since Rock Shox released the Charger Damper in their Pike fork and then followed by the Lyric, several wise riders have opted for this choice, along with the vast majority of our shop employees. Although with Fox upgrading dampers and releasing new forks and shocks this year, we expect many of the fastest riders to choose Fox again. While a suspension upgrade is not usually cheap it has a tremendous impact on the trail. In a place with trails like Lake Tahoe it just makes sense to have the best suspension that you can afford.

The new 36 Performance Elite

The new 36 Performance Elite from Fox.

The third and final upgrade we’ll talk about is going tubeless. Most mid to high end bikes these days are coming with tubeless ready rims. Eliminating inner tubes also trims weight, but also allows the rider to run at lower tire pressures. The upside is the rider will experience less pinch flats and by running lower tire pressure the rider will experience better traction on the trail. Wheels are certainly a part of the bike that gets pretty hammered, so some will find it necessary to upgrade wheels throughout the season.

Stop by Start Haus to talk bikes, components, upgrades, or just stop in to say hi! We love upgrading bikes and remember our goal is to give you the best riding experience you can have; we love sharing our passion for outdoor sports!

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