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Newbie first build....

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    Newbie first build....

    Started researching about a month ago and finally ordered some stuff and got it done. So easy and painless to install...loving it. GT Aggressor Pro From Dick's medium frame.

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    Originally posted by Davebarras View Post
    Started researching about a month ago and finally ordered some stuff and got it done. So easy and painless to install...loving it. GT Aggressor Pro From Dick's medium frame.
    cool I have the same bike ! what battery pack did you get ? Me I got mine on sale and tore it down to the bare frame and rebuilt it with premium components , made it into a 9 speed with shimnano disk brakes and a manitu air fork if You will do some digging You can find all kinds of deals on amazon including wheel sets
    Last edited by brothergc; 08-27-2023, 05:02 AM.


      Nice build. What battery did you use? Thanks, Rick


      • Davebarras
        Davebarras commented
        Editing a comment
        That is the battery that came from Bafang. I purchased a complete kit from them

      Doesn't look like either of those people have been around in over a month so they may not be watching this thread that close. Looks like what is known as a 'Shark" pack.


        I'm helping a friend shop for a cheap bike and ran across these at Dick's. I went to look in person and it looks like a really decent bike for the money. I wish I had know about them before I got my Schwinn Axum from wally world last fall. For the extra $80 you get more on this one. No crazy gains but at least name brand stuff. Looking at their website for 2021 they have done like many and don't specify a lot of real specific stuff because I'm sure they don't know what will be available to them at the time. They maybe had 20 bikes on display at the store I went to and they were all equipped the same. Micro shift derailer and shifters with an 8 speed cassette. KMC chain, didn't notice a model number. SR fork. Tektro brakes all around. Sure Deore would be better but its a $480 bike.


          I saw this at Dicks a while ago.

          There have been a few conversions onYoutube. IDK about Dicks, but Sports Authority (no longer in business) used to have 40% off coupons every now and then on similar level bikes. Iron Horse brand was one of them.
          Sporting goods stores are always a good place to shop if you don't need LBS hand holding. The prices are always good, and the best they offer is probably "good enough". Be sure you get the right frame size, and remember you have no idea the skill level of the guy who assembled the bike. Inspect and tighten EVERYTHING!

          I would never buy a bike from Walmart, they're all bottom feeder bikes. The Sporting store bikes are at least intended to be ridden seriously at some level.
          Last edited by Retrorockit; 03-12-2021, 07:37 AM.


            I didn't see any bikes there that looked like that and I had the website set to only show me things in stock in my area which is 8 stores I think so I could have missed em. The bikes like the Axum appear to be an oddity and experiment for wally world types of places. $400 (or the now $580 dropper post version) are a good jump above where they used to top out at around $350 and $250 looking more like an average. But I do have to agree that at least after a visual inspection $480 at Dicks got you more and a lighter bike and very likely a better chance of a proper set up if you picked it up at the store.

            If my friend gets one I may report back here how it goes since he will likely stop by for me to check it and then we go for the first ride. As soon as he has the money to do the BBSHD I will then give a full report on that too but it looks like it should be a decent bike to convert and it apparently worked well with the BBS02. Too bad there were no details posted about if any spacers were needed on the 02 or a good shot of what the stock chain ring looked like against the chain stay. Luckily he has me with some experience and parts. I have both a Lekkie and Eclipse chain ring I can pull off my bikes to test fit on his which will be nice compared to how I had to do it which was 'I think it will fit and wait for over a week to get one shipped in to find out'.


            • Retrorockit
              Retrorockit commented
              Editing a comment
              GT is a recognized off road bike maker. Like Trek , Jamis, and others of that caliber, there is a level of quality that they won't go below. Schwinn is now just a decal Walmart and others stick on any Chinese piece of crap they can find cheap. I guess they want the grand parents to make a nostalgia/budget based purchase for the grand children.To be fair I suppose a Schwinn decal could be put on a better bike if they wanted to. But it's been about 40 years since it really
              meant anything.It's more bad than good in this era.
              Any bike not assembled and set up by a bike mechanic I would go over with a fine tooth comb. So the sporting goods stores are included in that. The sporting goods stores do like to have something to sell to an actual off road cyclist. Their very best can actually be pretty good, and right at the sweet spot for price vs. strength. Which is what you need for an E bike conversion. I always shop them to get a baseline. But the LBS/ dealers can often have good deals too, and a better selection.
              Last edited by Retrorockit; 03-13-2021, 06:07 AM.

            I was selling Scwhinn's and GT's in the late 80's and at that time the Schwinns were still decent bikes then. The cheap models were pretty close to what you could buy big box component wise but had much better frames especially when it came to the welding and how the dropouts were attached so you were still getting something besides a proper setup. I know mid 90's till maybe recently Schwinn was pretty much the bottom of the barrel. It does seem like they are experimenting with some better stuff but you do kinda wonder why.

            Maybe Pacific is trying to get their foot in the door of the Sporting goods store level bikes? Or back into bike shops? But then 2020 may have changed that whole plan in either direction. Maybe it was good for that level of brand? Or bad? From what I can tell in my area the lower to mid range is what they are hoping will be hot again this year. Last year they sold mid to upper stuff but only because it was all there was and some could afford it as their entry level bike.

            Mid level like a Surly didn't seem to grow other than it was all that was available after cheaper stuff sold out. It seems like the mid to upper and pro stuff has been kinda stagnate over the last several years and the industry should be really trying hard to keep those people that got back or bought their first bikes in 2020 interested in staying but maybe because of production limits they are afraid to try too hard? None of the big names seem to be doing a lot special to go after the new low to mid market people. There are some YouTube people trying to stir things up but it doesn't seem to be working.

            Back to when I was selling and fixing bikes, the Schwinn bottom several models were made in Taiwan but actually came out of the box in pretty good shape, it was rare to find a defect and and it didn't take much tweaking to get them out the door. Middle stuff was USA and the years I was there I could see the quality deteriorate and there were a lot of times we were spending 2x or 3x the time to get the wheels straight and everything up to par. It wasn't uncommon to have to pull out dropout alignment tools and bend frames. Upper end were the Columbus frames and usually pretty decent. That was the stuff that came with 105 or maybe DuraAce and Suntour was still a player so Superbe Pro. The still had the hand built ones at the top that came with Campi stuff.

            Mountain bikes were brand new at the time and we started selling GT's just after I started. I think when we picked up GT they had more models than Schwinn did in the MTB line. I don't think any of the retail GT's were built in USA but their race team stuff was. Quality and out of the box setup was always good on those and they didn't quite go as low as Schwinn did. From memory I think the steel (not alloy) Schwinn MTB had steel bolt on wheels sold for $199. $249 in both GT and Schwinn lines got you up to an alloy frame and front QR.

            GT didn't have as many paint colors, 2 for most models but one of the 2 was something crazy love it or hate it at the time. Schwinn had a couple cool busy paint options on some of their upper road bikes but other than a partially chrome frame on their top MTB were pretty boring. I think both lines topped out in the $800-900 range which back then was Deore XT unless you got into the hand built stuff from either company but even then it was still XT. That was when you could tell Suntour was going out possibly because they didn't jump into MTB harder. I don't remember them having anything over a mid level group. Same with Campi, I think they were late to the game with a MTB group. Suntour may have been first with a trigger shifter, I remember it well except for the name and it came on the GT.

            There were more expensive road bikes back then but you rarely saw them outside of the pro or wannabe pro racing circles. I think I remember maybe 3 shops that handled that sort of thing whereas there was maybe 30 shops that had the range we had. Cannondale was new but I don't think had a MTB yet. MTB's and the concept of MTB racing was pretty new so I don't remember there being much higher end stuff out there than what we were selling. I think the early MTB scene was a cross between BMX with brands like Ritchie and GT and then since many BMX guys got into moto stuff they were bringing in those concepts and where they could the gear.

            I can't remember if my bikes are an 87 and 88 or 88 and 89 both were last years models when I got them. The older is a Schwinn Columbus framed road bike that still has its Suntour Cyclone (like a 105) group on it. Pretty sure I wore out the chain and freewheel so those were Superbe Pro. The newer bike was the GT and it was one down from the top of the line with LX group before LX was part of the Deore line. There was no XTR yet, just XT.


              GT is owned by Dorel Industries, Of which Pacific Cycles is part of.
              As far as the components on the GT Aggressor pro, I don't agree that they are better equipped. They do have Shimano Altus shifters, no name riveted 3x crankset with Tourney derailleur, rear is an 11-34 8sp cassette with Acera derailleur. Tires and wheels are house brand. Fork is an 80mm Sr Suntour XCT coil fork with no lock out. Sure Tektro mechanical discs are name brand. And the chain is KMC.

              Now take a look at the details. The 3x is arcane. Plus points for an actual branded derailleur though. The rear cassette choice is disappointing, they could have gone 11-40. That brings up the failure of the Acera derailleur, they aren't as good as their place in Shimanos lineup would suggest AND they can't handle 40t cassettes AND in a 1x situation they are too weak. The brakes may be Tektro but are the same basic design as the Axum.
              The shifters are OK.
              Wheels, tires, hubs etc are no name.
              How does the Axum compare?
              Axe 8sp rear shifter.
              1x crankset with a 30t narrow wide chainring.
              11-40t rear 8sp cassette.
              Axe rear derailleur for 1x.
              Tire and wheels are no name house brand.
              100mm house brand coil fork with lock out.
              Brakes are no name house brand.
              KMC chain.

              I don't think the name brand parts of the GT that lack modern mtb features trump the house brand parts of the Axum that do have the features desired for a modern MTB.
              As to the over all design, the Axum wins hands down. Better geometry and the ability to use a tapered steerer fork. The tapered steerer may not seem like a big deal until you understand that pre pandemic the good quality 1 1/8" straight steerer air forks were getting harder to find by the day. Now with the pandemic it seems manufacturers are starting to produce them again, so for now there are options but as things return to normal will they disappear again? The GT can't take a tapered fork therefore it's not future proof.
              The GT also fails at geometry.
              And to get any kind of decent gearing for 1x on the GT you'll be replacing the entire drivetrain.
              And there are the other differences like wheel size, rim width, weight, size, comfort, etc that farther differentiates the two.
              And if it now has Microshift components then it's been downgraded.
              For me one isn't head and shoulders above the other. I would say they are fairly even and the main difference between them is which has the best features for the buyer.

              To say GT has been around for years so is better than Schwinn is a real head scratcher. "Schwinn" is older and both suffered the same fate. Just like Redline and Mongoose and.... Schwinns first mtn bike debuted the year before GT was formed, so plenty of offroad history with Schwinn as well.

              But that's the past and the modern GT and Schwinn are not the same companies, ONLY the names remain.

              GT is a big box bike just like Schwinn. They're built to a low price point. And both are sold at Walmart...

              For me it's ALL about the frame. It's the foundation upon which all replaceable parts are mounted. Many people upgrade bikes, whether it's a $2,000 Yeti or Nukeproof or a $4-500 big box or LBS bike. Comfort items are the first upgrades, seat, pedals, grips, bars,etc. Then worn or broken parts get upgraded, the factory transmission components wear out we choose a better component. When the sticky stock fork is nice and worn in and ready for replacement or service we replace it with a better model. When we wear the bearings out in our no name or Formula hubs we upgrade the wheel set.
              I bought a wally world Axum because of the frame. And the components bolted to it are no worse than many LBS bikes in the same price range. For instance there is not 1 single part from a comparably priced Trek Marlin 5 that I think is better than what the Axum came with... The Marlin has only recently started using a cassette, though they're still at 3x7 with Altus shifters and Tourney derailleurs...


                I wasn't trying to compare the past brands to the current ones. I was just using my experience with them back then to point out that just the years I was selling them that I could see Schwinn going down hill and not really doing a good job competing with GT who was up till then only known in BMX circles. There was another shop about 1/2 a mile away that had other brands and if you really were shopping some of those other brands were starting to kick Schwinn's butt too. If someone came into my store without a brand preference it was much easier to sell them at GT. I don't know when Schwinn more or less died but it could not have been too long after I left the industry. Until getting back in last summer I didn't know GT had gone in the toilet too. Since they kept the tripple triangle at a quick glance its hard to tell their age.

                Aren't the Marlin 5's like $600? What else are you getting for that money if they are or were doing a 7 speed freewheel? Usually everything else that comes around a 7 speed isn't very good. Do they have Bontrager wheels / hub / tire at least? Or did the price just jump when they went to a cassette? I have seen quite a few of them around but never looked that close at them. They seem to be good sellers so there has to be some value there.

                I have not heard from my friend yet if he got one or not. If he does I will get a chance to get my hands on it and see how well it was set up and how well it adjusts and actually rides. The MicroShift and Tektro stuff I have messed with has been fine and I can't say the same for with what came on the Axum. The adjustments on its original brakes and shifting just didn't seem to hold for me. The slightly smaller wheels and my friend being about 100 lbs lighter than me should help a lot with the gearing if he does go BBS at some point. I didn't count the teeth but I was thinking the one I was looking at was a 36 and I did look to see if it looked like it could take a bigger and it looked like there was room but that was just grabbing the cage and eyeballing it.

                Interesting you mention Formula hubs... I never heard of them till yesterday when I got a Salsa by Formula hub. Its interesting that Formula only appears on the hub itself, no where on the package or instructions. They must make quite the range of hubs if they do big box and Salsa. I think MSRP on the one I got was $180. I wasn't looking for anything that quality but I have an oddball application with a 135mm which isn't that common for a front so I was pretty excited when I ran across this one on closeout for $80. There is a 2013 date on the box so its been around for a while. Its awful purty and spins nice. We will see what happens to it after I bash it around the trails a bit with my weight on top of it. I bent the axle on the XT hub I replaced. Put a lot more miles on the Surly hubs than I got on the XT with no issues. Oddly the rear is the identical XT as the front I keep wrecking and I have not bent that one yet.


                • Dshue
                  Dshue commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Just about every high end bike company uses Formula hub on the lower tier offerings.

                • Dshue
                  Dshue commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Marlin 5 isn't an awesome gem. But it's decent. Lots of Bontrager parts. Loosley...
                  This year's model is the first to have a cassette.
                  Not garbage by any means.

                Basically everybody makes a $500 bike. That's what beginners can justify spending, and you can get a decent riding bike at that point. Maybe GT has gone the way of Schwinn? Had all the blood sucked out of the brand by Pacific. I don't even look to see what Walmart has. I don't go there actually. If your a bike techie you can spot all kinds of differences. but a newbie can't tell much by looking. I have always been pleasantly surprised at what the sporting good stores offer at their highest level. Limited choice, bulk buying ,and no sales or service department can allow that I guess. Maybe Iron Horse, maybe Nishiki. I wouldn't be surprised if KHS showed up there.
                The 2 things I look at first are the wheels, and the fork. they're both safety items and both very expensive to upgrade. If the other stuff isn't up to par, I just upgrade as I go. But at $500 mid grade is as good as it gets. Sometimes an LBS will give you a deal on last years "better" bike to make room for newer stuff. I got my 2004 Gary Fisher Solstice for the same price as a 2005 Trek Navigator. The Rockshox coil/oil 28mmfork is still going strong. The Trek RST elastomer 25mm fork would probably have gotten tossed before it broke. I say that because I added the RS fork to my wifes Navigator the minute if found one for sale.
                Last edited by Retrorockit; 03-13-2021, 08:41 PM.


                  Dicks and I assume other similar stores look like they have a couple of $250-300 bikes that seem to be the typical mid-upper end wal mart price range models. I suppose those are to hopefully get the people that were considering those at Wallys in the door to compare where hopefully a sales person will get to them and maybe be able to get them into the $400-500 bikes? I wonder what range those types of places sell the most of? I could see it being that $400-500. If you are thinking of that $800-1000 are you really looking at a sporting goods store? I would think if that is your budget you would normally just start out at a bike shop. Maybe those are selling to the people that came in for the $450 and they got talked up? About half of what I saw on the sales floor appeared to be that mid level for them then 1/4 were the $300's and 1/4 the $800's. Not sure if that is a typical spread for them or just all they could get their hands on.

                  Ya last years deal is how I got my original nice bikes. That can work well if you are not quite the average size especially tall. Medium sizes always sell out and sometimes the smalls too because they fit kids who's parents can afford to buy them. Too bad 2020 wasn't the year for overstock sales. I constantly keep an eye on the closeout section of a few online stores and if you are a wanna be pro woman cyclist looking for clothing there have been deals to be had all year. Several times something catches my eye like say $200 gloves for $45.... only in a women's small.

                  My local shop had only 3 last years model bikes on sale and they were all ones you looked at and even the sale prices seemed a bit high so you can see why they didn't sell. 2 of them were E bikes that were originally $5500 range marked down to like $3900 but even there I was seeing maybe a $750 bike with maybe $1000 of E on it. Anyone that does any research at all isn't going to buy those. They also had some of the real little kids bikes that don't have pedals. I think the tag said those were like $200. What kind of tech and quality do you need in a bike like that that maybe would be in use for one season before they grow out of it and likely beat it up. That seems like a good thing to spend $50 on used or from a big box store.


                  • Retrorockit
                    Retrorockit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The thing about Dick's etc. is they actually have a certain number of athletic customers who will take the bikes offroad. So they can actually sell some Deore level bikes. They might be assembled with the fork on backwards etc. But I've seen a Deore/Rockshox eqiupped Iron Horse MTB go for $275 with a 40% Xmas coupon.

                  The car after assembly looks very solid. Does purchasing and installation take a long time?
                  geometry dash bloodbath


                    You need the tools to remove the Bottom bracket (shaft for the cranks). Then install the motor through the frame there. Mid range bikes as discussed above can avoid high end crank configurations that can complicate things.Low end bikes with one piece cranks are a problem also (just one of many). The battery bracket should attach to the water bottle mounting bolts. Again mid range bikes with conventional frame shapes should have room for the battery, and room for the motor in front of the frame. Another option is higher level older MTBs. These may have have higher level brakes, wheels and forks if you know what to look for. In my area with no mountains they tend to be lightly used. Once you get it built you will probably need to spend some time and money getting the gearing right for you, and the chainline corrected so the chain stays on.
                    I would suggest buying from an established US vendor. Tech support from China for an individual user tends to be nonexistent. if you already have a bike you want to convert start a new thread here and post a photo. Pictures of the crank, derailleur, fork and brakes are helpful. A BBSHD kit produces a fast bike and all of those things matter.
                    Last edited by Retrorockit; 10-05-2023, 05:09 AM.