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Hardtail upgrades


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Hey guys, don't think I've been on here since the 2016 Trials forum track day? Been a while anyway so hope everyone is good!


I've got a 2012 Saracen Mantra Trail, not they best but for what I paid it's been perfect. Now I've done a few trails around Swinley Forrest (30+ miles in the last week) I'm going to be needing to upgrade some bits ASAP.


The trails are over a rough stone floor with loose stones, drops, roots etc as well. The headset, F+R hub cones and even front derailure have vibrated loose, my rear mech is bent and the stancion seals are worn giving the forks a lot of play.


I'm after the cheapest upgrades possible, secondhand is prefered and eBay links even better! I'll stick the spec below and If anyone can lend a hand It'd be great.


Saracen Mantra Trail 2012 frame

Suntour XCR LO 120mm travel 1 1/8th non tapered (Can I spin the stancion seals 90degrees so the play is left to right?)

Acera front mech

Deore rear (hangar bent, cage is twisted)

Shimano M445 brakes 180/160, these are faultless except the odd bit of fade

Formula unsealed hubs, pretty sure both axles are bent and the cones keep coming loose, notchy af

Continental Mountain king 2.2, sidewalls are wearing thin.




Edited by Azarathal
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Fork bushings will be shot, not a lot you can do bar some new forks, lower leg oil changes are a thing you know ;)
Some rockshox reba's would probably fit nicely, the difficulty now is finding decent forks with straight steerer tubes.  I have got some 26" marzocchi 44 micro ti spare but you would need to sort out a 15mm front through hub/wheel and they're post mount so might need an adaptor for the front brake; they would be miles ahead of the suntour ones I would be looking at 100+postage at cost for them.

Sack off the front mech and convert it to a narrow wide single front ring, pick up a new hanger and an slx mech, new cassette and chain and you're good to go drivetrain wise.

Bleed the brakes to stop the fade.

Pick up some new wheels, trawl pinkbike for what you need.

The old mountain kings were a bit shite, the new mk2 version is much better.

Before we can offer links, let us know what you want, wheelsize, axle size (diameter/length/qr/through axle?), number of gears, current gear ratios :)

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Thanks for the reply, amazed to see you're still about here!


Forks will be when I'm back in work (I'm hoping very soon) so when some money is coming in I may take you up on those forks!

Front wheel will more than likely wait until forks (if I can tighten the cones), as you've mentioned the difference between 9mm QR, bolt through etc.

Mountain kings haven't been too bad to me! When run at 20psi anyway...

Frame is for 26" wheels, 9mm QR all round, 3x9 but would go 1x9 as I never really leave the bigger front ring. Not sure on ratios but as it is they're shit due to bent mech.


Would it make sense if I said the bike feels sluggish? Almost like even on flat smooth surfaces I'm peddaling through grass, clay etc and I pretty much have to be constantly on the pedals even during the downhill sections

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I'm always lurking here :D

The forks are sitting here doing nowt, got to reassemble the air spring and pack out the top out spring (it's snapped a coil off the bottom but a nylon spacer will fix it). I've serviced the damper and there will be fresh oil throughout.

It probably feels sluggish because all the bearings are shot and a misaligned rear mech will add a lot of drag. 20psi in tubed tyres won't help either, if you can be bothered to sort out the faff of tubeless then you can run much lower pressures without so much rolling resistance. I just picked up a conti trail king 2.2 pure grip (almost as sticky as the black chilli) which works perfectly set up tubeless; cost a whole 20 quid.

Because most people are 27.5 or 29 now you may well pick up a pair of tubeless wheels for cheap.

I'll have a trawl of pinkbike abs see if anything jumps out :)


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Pretty sure I saw those listed on eBay with dead bearings in the rear hub, still a bargain by all regards even if I did need to do bearings.

Just tried my luck at bending the hangar / mech back, I now only have 2 and 7-9 but at least they index a touch better, I did get it working going from 9 down to 5 but then had too much tension to drop one gear at a time. Thinking about what I'd need to do to get this bike to a decent standard I may just slap some skinny road tyres on and upgrade bikes when I'm earning


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