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Date: 2/25/2021, author: Tomáš Kvasnička

Australian fairy tale magazine FLOW recently published an advisory article on 8 upgrades for your xc wheel . And we have prepared a training for you from him. Like many Australians, this problem can happen to you: You have an older bike and you actually like it quite a bit, but you have started riding trays - maybe even heavier trays - and you feel that your breath is no longer enough. But you don't want to buy a new bike, or there may not be resources for it now. What if you just upgraded the bike a little?

1: Handlebars

One of the simplest solutions that has a significant effect on the handling of the bike on the trail is to replace the handlebars. Why do they often put those straight short sticks on XC wheels? But get some swallows. Wider swallows allow you to grip the bike from a greater width and give you more leverage when cornering.

While on endurocons they are often 800 cm wide, 760s could suffice here. If you find it too much in the end, you can always shorten it, but do not rush, it will take you a while to get used to. Modern MTB handlebars are made in the circumference of the 35 or 31.8 mm. 35s may be too stiff, but don't reach for older standards (25.4). You may still buy a shorter adapter with the handlebars.

2: Telescopic seatpost

For us, the greatest invention of a bicycle since the invention of ... the bicycle. In addition, today, the telescopic seatposts are already transported in the XC World Cup. Why shouldn't you have it too. Lowering the saddle will give you courage and allow you to play with the center of gravity much better in the slopes - you will also carve on the bike. If you have a bike with a higher frame triangle, you may not be able to reach a stroke greater than 12 cm. In addition, older wheels are not ready to guide the control cable inside the seat tube. However, there are still plenty of telescopic seatposts with external guides on the market. Even if you finally attach the cable with ugly zip-tapes - the advantages of the telescope are so great that you will be happy to overlook the damaged aesthetics of your fable.

picture 1: the telescopic seatpost is the best invention of all time source: flowmountainbike.com

3: Wide tires

Replacing tires is not that expensive, you've almost ridden them, haven't you? Definitely don't be afraid of the balloon effect, less than 2.0 is for shame today. You don't have to be ashamed of 2.4. Feel free to choose a smaller sample, but don't forget to drop the pressure (at around 2 PSI, we ride even less), it will give you traction and comfort. However, when buying, make sure that the tire fits in the fork and rear structure.

4: Wider rims

If you want to use modern wide tires, you may also need to buy new rims for which they are designed. From the previous 17mm, the standard moved to 25-30 mm. At the same time, a lower value of this interval is probably more suitable for XC. The wider rim gives the tire more support and it doesn't deform as much to the sidewall. If you are dealing with tires and rims at the same time, it offers to move to a soulless standard. It will allow you to ride even lower pressures and save 100-150 gx 2 per tube. But beware, tubeless needs to be cared for more than souls.

5: Inserts for tubeless jackets

So they smelled their souls to put some inserts in there? That's right, but it makes sense, not for everyone and everywhere, but it does. If you are bigger, heavier, ride more rocky trails, then this could be a solution, especially for the rear wheel of your hardtail. You can reduce the pressure even more and the risk of a defect will be reduced even more.

6: Fork with higher stroke

Many frames are designed so that when you add 2 cm to your existing stroke, the geometry of the wheel will somehow cope. Those two centimeters don't seem like much, but if you take a good look at the product tables of the new bikes, you'll find that it's exactly the 2 cm stroke that separates the XC bikes from the trail bikes. Why not treat yourself to them?

7: Grips

It may have cost you a lot to spend on a new fork, rims or new wheels. And so we are here with an even cheaper upgrade. Get new grips. Our favorites include those with a metal sleeve (lock-on ODI, preferably Oury !!) or silicone grips of various diameters. There are also ergonomic solutions on the market that can be ugly, but help against armor and carpal tunnels. The advantage of the new grips is that you don't risk too much with them, you can always replace them with the old ones (remove them by piercing them with a syringe and injecting isopropyl so that they don't get damaged) or with new ones.

8: And finally the brakes

It can also be useful for an XC fable when it is able to stop. If you need a greater braking effect, you can buy larger discs or some proven biting brake pads from after-market manufacturers.

Notes at the end

But not to upgrade to death by running out of your empty wallet. If you have to deal with everything, it may be better to look for a good new trail bike. Hardtails from the Orange brand, which we represent on the Czech market, are among the best that Earthlings have created on planet Earth. You can try them at the Singltrek pod Smrkem rental shop and easily compare them with your machine. Our colleague Michal Šajner Vetešník was quite surprised by how good Orange hardtails are when he tried them in the middle of a pandemic.