Question: At a budget of RM4,000, what should I look out for?

Answered by Alan Finlay

Read Part 1/3 here
Read Part 3/3 here


– This is the area where most brands save themselves money and where a lot of weight can be found.  Having nicely distracted you by eye-candy – that pretty rear mech –  you think to yourself that you’ve got a higher-end groupset. Don’t be fooled!

–  Up front is most likely a set of weighty low-end cranks. Attached to that cheap hub is most likely a low-end (and heavy) cassette. But we’re talking wheels here so let’s stay focused!

TOKEN ROCKET Alloy Clincher Wheelset for Disc XC MTB (Retails for RM 1,390)

– The difference between a pair of OEM tyres with a steel bead and an upgrade to folding tyres is roughly RM120 and can save you as much as half a kilo (more than a pound). This is the cheapest weight-saving upgrade you can make to any bike!

– Furthermore, a good set of wheels will make a huge difference to how the bike accelerates, rolls over obstacles and feels. Good quality rims, spokes and hubs are a worthwhile upgrade and can easily save you at least 300g (more if you have the money).

My point here is, don’t even think about spending your money on replacing the bars, stem and post (or anything else for that matter) until you’ve changed your tyres or wheels.


– Good forks work and cost money so you may well see a lower component spec’ as a result of the product engineers’ better folk choice.  Equally, a cheap fork will allow the product engineer to up the specs on the bike. With few exceptions, cheap forks suck and don’t offer much suspension performance.

– Also, they’re likely to have an OEM fork which may have a steel steerer tube instead of the alloy steerer or internals different to those found on the aftermarket model. There’s another 100g at least hiding in there.

So, here’s the big question: Do you need suspension for the type of riding you do?

Be honest.
If the answer is NO then for Options 1 & 2, you can get a higher component spec’ and get a rigid fork which will save you as much as 1kg (on a RM4K bike) at a cost of between RM200-600 (aluminum or carbon, respectively).

To be continued…


Recommendation #2 from Tukang Basikal Fook Sang:

Silverback Phoenix (Retails for RM2,980/-)

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Shock Fork
  • 12 kg