saddles are very much a personal preference item... in TW Velo are excellent bang for your buck saddles, and they come in a zillion versions, just find one MTB specific that you like the look and feel of... Also I noticed that Giant shops are now stocking products from Ergon a German company that does excellent ergonomic designs in grips, saddles and now backpacks (EU design, made in TW)... The Ergon saddles have some kind air bladder support system that's supposed to be good for blood flow and pressure points etc. maybe that's what you mean... I'm fairly out of touch with retail prices in TW, but NT$2k sounds 'okay to pricey' for a good saddle...
TBH though I'd wait and make sure the stock saddle is unbearable before throwing too much money at an upgrade saddle... also on the topic of saddles and comfort, while I don't do skintight lycra bike shorts myself, I do use cycle specific gel padded lycra inner shorts under the baggies which make a big comfort difference... FWIW...
I sell these bikes frequently and plasmatron's right , but I have to say that personally I don't even prefer disks and often end up recommending the V brakes instead. From questioning many people it seems a lot of people aren't often needing disk brakes at all and some people often fancy the idea of touring, in which case the V brake is the way to go. V brakes fitted with the Kool stop brake kit bring stopping power to a much higher level than the crap standard Shimano bricks which will also scour the rims. Disks can be a pain in the arse at times when that squeaky squeaky noise comes on after time and then the leaver travel becomes too much and heavens forbid you have a spill miles away from a shop and you cause a leak in the system, then you'll have no more brake and you won't be able to fix it on the road side. I still run V brakes on and off road and I have no issues with them, only that my thumping off road tyre on the front gets stuck when trying to pull the wheel off and out through my narrow front fork and brake combination. The Iguana frame is almost identical to the Yukon's but for the head tube which is wider to accommodate greater front stresses, but I'm running a Yukon frame and it's still in one piece after some very serious punishment off road, so don't worry too much about that little piece of information. If I were you, I would ask myself what I wanted to use the bike for. If it's for light tracks and on road use, then a Yukon would suffice, but if you want to experiment with a little off road and steep hills then get the Iguana with 27 speed as it is simply more practical. The great thing about these two bikes is that they come with the rear lugs needed for better rear pannier fitment which the higher race/carbon fibre/full suspension models don't and are often limited to a lighter load capacity. Also once you have figured out which surface you'll be most likely travelling on then see if you want to switch the tyres on purchase. Remember that any nice shops like ours will refund the difference in price between any standard components and the ones you wish to fit so it is best to switch anything before leaving the store.
My recommendations for upgrades and additions3) on these models are:
1) The standard tyres are for general use on the Yukon and Iguana and are hard wearing and stiff. If you can, get a more specific tyre either for road or off-road, or best yet get two sets and switch them around when you need to. But this recommendation is not the most important at the beginning. Continental Travel Contact is the best road/touring combination with puncture resistant inner, excellent grippy compound, hard wearing and light weight. For hard off road go for a Kenda Nevegal for most of Taiwan's tracks with super sticky compound and great mud clearance, but be warned these Kendas will scrub straight off on the road due to a super soft compound.
2) A MUST** Brake pads on V-brake models. The Shimano pads are the worst ironically, make sure you spend a few hundred and upgrade to the Koolstop pads unless you want to try the really shit brakes before you make the most dramatic upgrade possible.
3) An under saddle bag. You will need a place to keep your phone, spare tube, puncture kit, multi tool, keys,money,snack etc and the under seat bag is the perfect place to store these frequently used items. If it isn't a waterproof variety, then simply take a small plastic bag with you and wrap it up once the rain starts, or else you may get a soggy phone like I did.
4) A MUST** A helmet. Statistics I recently gathered from an American study suggested that you are 97% more likely to die without one in an accident.
5) A MUST FOR NIGHT TIME** Front and rear lights. The Cateye brand is quite nice and mostly assembled in Japan (all but the cheapest model). They are energy saving and reasonably bright for most styles of riding. You won't need a huge bright one for travelling around the city, but you will need more light once far from the street lights and in the dark.
6) A Multi tool. This saves space and a good Topeak one for example has most of the tools you will ever need. These are great especially when just starting out as you will need to manage some fine adjustments to the saddle and perhaps the bars once you begin figuring out where you need to be sitting.
7) A pump. You don't really need one with a pressure meter as you can guestimate the pressure with your thumb, but a basic rule is to be understood. The larger the pump the easier the inflation. The smaller the pump, the greater convenience of carrying and often the lighter weight. Go for a mid size and try to get one that has a tube to the valve and which butts against the ground with a small footstand flap. These make for easier effort and allow you to use just one arm instead of two.
8) Pedal upgrades are not a must , and Giant will cover the replacement within a year if the standard ones start making noises, which they almost certainly will. The standard pedals are plastic on some models, such as the Yukon and these are the worst in terms of wear and tear. If unsure of what you need then play safe and get a nice quality set of platform pedals such as the reasonable Welgo magnesiums for example. These offer good grip with screws that grip into the soles of your shoes and good bearings and seals which will last for a long time. Many of our group use similar pedals for all styles of riding, not including myself however as I am recently experimenting with SPDs, not to say they are better.
Bare in mind both bikes are modified with rigid forks This is the Iguana's head tube:
thanks! to be honest, the bike has so few kilometers that its basically new...except that 13 years of neglect has resulted in spots of rust growing on the chrome. i would like to have it sandblasted and repainted or replated professionally.
replacement parts...well, i've retired the original XTR hubs/wheelsets and put on some quick-fix hubs with alex ace18 rims...modern bearings have so much less resistance than what used to be top of the line XTR bushings ....if the bike proves to be as fun as i think it will be, i'll upgrade the wheelset to something nicer and pass these wheels off to my brother's bike.
as for gearing, the marin and my giant roadbike share the same number of gears, 3 front, 8 back, just 13 years difference in age
Do you run a bike shop??....dang I bought my bike about the same time you posted your reply on Sat otherwise I'd go to yours.....but thanks for your comments and if you do run a bike shop, let me know where coz I sure will buy some "must have" equipments as you mentioned......anyhow I took Plasma advise and bought an iguana disc.....but tks to the damn rain, I haven't got a chance to ride it far (rode only about 10 min from bike shop to home) so it's now a 1:1 diecast bicycle model, collecting dust ....but so far, I like it.....my first bike since junior high back in the 80's
StreetSpec, I work at Alan's bike shop in my spare time, so feel free to drop by whenever you want. If you give me a shout first I can make sure I'm there. I work there Mon,Thurs 2:45-4:30 Tuesday:1:00-4:30 and Wed, Fri: 7:00-9:00 usually, unless I go to the gym.
I guess it would be bad form of me to tell you this late that we would have given you 10 percent discount with cash now wouldn't it?
Not to hijack the thread but I just wanted to add a shout out for Alans Bike Shop too. Without going into too many details, an idiot on a scooter did a blind overtake on a narrow lane only to find me on my new Iguana Disc coming the other way 2 months ago. Alan and his wife were awesome on the original purchase, dealing with this ahole and sorting me out with a replacement bike. Biking has quite noticeably become popular in Taiwan the last few years and these guys look to be one of the few down to earth and knowledgable places in town, not to mention they bike, are bi lingual and best of all - as well represented by Sulavaca, are very sincere, they aren't bike snobs!
This is my ride, three years of severe pounding and it has served me flawlessly.
Previous to this one I had a Kona Stinky DEE-lux, but the rear swing arm kept snapping: three times in one year! It is not that I ride unreasonably hard it is just that I ride a lot; two maybe three times a week. I live up in the mountains so I can freeride many times a week. Each time the Kona broke it was a 6 week wait to get the parts from Washington state. I know that the factory that makes the parts in in Taiwan, but the local bike shops told me it was impossible to buy a replacement swing arm I would have to buy a whole new frame . So I got tired of that and went looking for a tank.
This is 22 kilos of pure fun, marzocchi Qr20, MRP system 2, ringle hubs, etc...
p.s. total agreement on Alan's bike shop, they are an Oasis of coolness in a sea of wankers.
So which trail is this that allows you to ride offroad so often? Is it the legendary "backyard" that only a few know about? Please PM me if you don't want to publicize the location. I've got one or two hidden gems around Taipei that may interest you
I'll add my name to the list of fans of Alan and his wife (and kid). I discovered them by chance when I first arrived 5 years ago. They've always been very helpful, not to mention sympathetic when my bike was nicked just over a year ago. I haven't been in for a while, because I haven't needed anything, so, Sulavaca, say hi from Toby - I haven't disappeared or forgotten them, I'll be around.
Never mind that the "near miss" at the end is nothing spectacular, and never mind the silly Shimano cables that show up onscreen...if you're a cyclist then this is your temple, your Mecca, and if nothing else the very thought of being there (someday!) has got to get your heart racing!
Ok, ok, you can stop laughing, I'm serious. And if you think that's funny, until recently the bike had a baby seat in front that I had to straddle as I rode. My girl sat there, while my wife sat on the back. I'm dead serious. We rode all over town like that for years, to the veggie market, to breakfast, to dinner, etc.
Unfortunately, all that combined weight would gradually start breaking the spokes on the back wheel, one at a time, till finally there'd be about 7 or 8 broken spokes, it would be in serious danger of collapse, so I'd bring it in to get all the spokes replaced and start over. I gave the bike to my wife for her birthday about 5 years ago. Finally, this past birthday, I gave her a new version of the same bike, this time with a baby seat on the back for our now much bigger girl. But. . . I liked that old bike. I rode many miles on it. So I ended up bringing it back in to get the whole rear wheel replaced, and now we only ride it one at a time.
Don't get me wrong, I've owned a US$2000+ mtn bike and some decent racing bikes and used to ride a lot (centuries, etc). But lately I can't afford to ride several hours per day, so this bike's perfect. It's locked up out on the street and is always there for a quick hour ride out along the river and back, in shorts and sandals, and, if one does that regularly, it's actually damn good excercise. In fact, since my bike's so heavy, it's a better workout than on a fancy road bike, right? Btw, it's got a 5 speed twist-grip shift, which is all I need.
AND, if that's not strange enough, get this. I also own this sweeeet racing bike, right here in Taipei, which I've barely ridden.
The problem is, not only do I lack time for serious riding, but I live on the 4th floor without elevator, so I have to carry the good bike up and down each time, whereas the trusty old orange bike sits down below, halfway out in the rain. No room downstairs inside for the good bike. So, the good bike sits in a spare bedroom gathering dust. I paid NT$27k for it a couple years ago and it has just 429 km on it (I bought the odometer with the bike). I'd like to send it to a good home. If anyone wants to buy it, send me a pm.
It's got a Giant SL ALUX 6000 compact road bike M size frame, 18 speeds with Shimano Tiagra Flight Deck brake level shifters, carbon fiber handlebar stem and other nice features. Runs great, I'm just feeling guilty about never riding it.