Questions/advice from the mtb guys:
I think my timing is perfect. Now that it's getting colder I'm really getting back into mountain biking. I have a 2000 Gary Fisher Kaitai (hardtail) with ok components. It's getting to the point where I need to replace components and/or buy a new bike. The frame on this thing is great, I ride it very well, and I don't think I could get much for it if I were to try and sell it, so I think I'll keep it and do some stuff here and there on it.
First off, I have I think an older LX bottom bracket with I think the old square taper on it. From what I understand, most everybody has gone to octalink design. What is a good (but fairly cheap) BB? I was looking on mountainbikereview.com and there's a bunch of idiots on there that are using things in ways they weren't intended, and then calling them crap when they break (well duh!). I was thinking of going to a new LX BB, but what else is out there? I saw RaceFace was getting good reviews.
Second, forks. I'm afraid that if I upgrade my forks I will have to do discs, not sure if my bike is set up for discs on the rear (I'm going to check today). My friend upgraded his old fork back in college to a Marzocchi and seemed pretty happy with it, but most of the higher end bikes I see these days are running Fox or higher end RockShox forks. My current fork does not have that much travel (3-3.5" I would guess), so I don't want to change the geometry really all that much, it's just that it's a RockShox Judy XC that has never been serviced
and I'm afraid to pull it apart and find bad part that can't be replaced because RockShox I heard doesn't continue with the rebuild kits for more than 3 or 4 years after a model has been produced (maybe that's a lie?).
Third, brakes and shifters. I would like to stick with v-brakes on this bike, still not sure how much I'm going to like discs on my (potentially) new full suspension. But maybe I should go discs so that when I go back and forth with my bikes I don't have to remember how to use the brakes differently. I was thinking LX brakes and shifters (or LX shifters with Avid or equal hydraulic discs) because I have the Mega9 shifters and who knows what brake levers and they have lasted all this time, albeit they are loose, worn, rattling, and unprecise these days.
I will probably go to a LX front derailleur to upgrade my Deore that's currently on there.
Of course, all of this is contingent on price, I would like to get some good/upgraded componentry if possible, but don't want to go all out because we're still talking about an older bike that gets trashed on the trail.
OTOH, I'm also looking at a full suspension just because that's the way everybody is going and there are some longer rides that I plan on doing where it would be pretty nice (Sections of the Colorado Trail, long rides in Buffalo Creek area, Monarch Crest, etc.). I don't want a bike that everybody and his brother has, but I'm not really a boutiquey guy either. My perception is that the Santa Cruz Blur and the Specialized StumpJumper FSR are bikes that are pretty popular. I will probably throw a leg over them to check them out, but I don't think I need the travel of the Stumpy; not sure about the Blur. I've never been a big fan of Trek, and the Fuel doesn't really seem like the bike for me. I've been looking pretty hard at the Specialized Epic, just because it has the suspension in the rear but it has a cross country/climber feel and stance and suspension travel setup.
I don't plan to really spend any time at Keystone or going off huge drops; that's not my style. I'm a climber and like technical uphills (like the wall at Deer Creek, the steps on Dakota Ridge, Morrison Slide, Chimney Gulch and Apex.). I'm an average Front Range mountain biker, and my personal opinion is that shops are selling people something they really don't need or ever really use to their full potential, and I don't really want to sacrifice the uphill performance for a perceived upgrade at downhill performance that I will never really use.
It just seems to me that Specialized has been doing this for a long time and they are leading the way with innovation in the mass-produced market. I still have a lot to learn, though, so let's start a schooling session
BTW, I'm not really an Iron Horse, Trek, YETI, Ellsworth, or Cannondale fan, though unless someone can really convince me it's the way to go I might consider one of them. Don't know much about Santa Cruz, have ridden a couple Intense bikes but seemed more of a downhill bike to me, not really sure what Fisher has to offer these days.