1. FRAME / SHOCK
The most important factor in your bike’s performance is the frame. Suspension system, geo, rear shock, riding vibrance, service longevity, durability, and the list of factors to consider goes on and on. Research is key. Get as much intel before you shell out your money because if you get this wrong you might end up with a project you chase and never get right.
Expense: Typically, the most expensive component on your build. If you miss on this it tends to be a spendy fix...
Pricing Range: While there is a wide range in frame pricing, you’ll see the leaders fall into a similar range.
A poor handling fork will compromise your bike’s performance every single ride.
Expense: not cheap, but less than the frame or wheels.
Pricing Range: modern forks with good performance are available across a wider range of budgets than ever before.
Using the current Fox range as an example you have Performance, Performance Elite and Factory options. There are damper options on the Performance Elite and Factory forks as well. My bike has a Performance Elite fork (vanity - I wanted all black) but with attention to volume spacing I can comfortably ride a Performance fork too. But, fork is second on my list. I’m likely to find somewhere down the food chain to save a few dollars and buy the fork I want.
Tyres are your bikes connection to the ground which makes their performance incredibly important to how your bike handles.
Expense: Relatively inexpensive overall.
Pricing Range: Since they’re not crazy expensive you can look at it a couple of ways. One (my way): they’re all kind of the same. Maybe $25 here or there.Two: Big price range when some might cost 40% more than others.
Tyres really do make this big of a deal to your bike’s performance. I hear the “I’ll ride these till they wear out, then...” I’m not a fan of that. With only so much time to ride why compromise on what actually touches the ground?
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