overhaul or buy new?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jkemp9, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. jkemp9

    jkemp9 New Member

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    First of all, I'm new to cycling. I've been riding bicycles since I can remember but I want to get into cycling to get into better shape and to strengthen a knee injury. Last year I bought a used schwinn cyclocross bike for about $150. I really like it but, like I said, I'd like to get a little more serious about riding.

    That being said, I want to know what you all think about overhauling older bicycles. Mine is pretty old, about 10-15 years, but it's reliable and the frame seems to be in pretty good shape. I don't have any problems with it other than old technology (ie. crap brakes, awkward shifters on the neck, very uncomfortable seat, etc.). I wondered if revamping old bikes was a common occurence among beginners. I'd like to get road peddles, new tires, new shifters, brake calipers, and a new saddle. Would it be worth it, keeping in mind that I'm new to all this, to replace everything with lower end, brand name parts? Or would it be better to get a new bike or a newer used bike? Is it even possible to put new parts on such an old bike?

    The only reason I'm asking is because I don't know the advancements made to the frame, gears, and derailleurs in the past 15 years.

    Thanks
     
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  2. ScienceIsCool

    ScienceIsCool New Member

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    The advancements in even the last 5 years have been immense. In terms of value, purchasing another used bike with the features you want is probably the way to go. You could get an excellent secondhand bike for $500-1000 where I live (Vancouver).

    You can buy the parts you need and update your existing bike, but it will cost you a lot of money. New shifters (~$200) means new derailleurs (~$100), chain (~$25), chainrings (~$50) and possibly new cogs (~$50) and a new wheel ($100+). It really starts to add up. You will learn a lot about your bike, though. That can be invaluable.

    John Swanson
    www.bikephysics.com
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    When I read "overhaul" I basically though about disassembly, clean, lube and a replacement of typical consumables like brake pads, tires/tubes and wires. Maybe a new saddle and some handlebar tape. And prettty much any bike that fits you outside the x-mart range is worth that investment. If nothing else it'll give you a rain bike, or a nice commuter.

    Now you're talking upgrade, not overhaul and they're not usually worth it from a purely economic perspective.

    A lot of things can follow new shifters, new rear wheel or rebuild with new hub, etc which quickly adds to the tab.
    Do note that "new saddle" does not necessarily equal "comfortable saddle". If the new one doesn't fit it might very well be as uncomfortable as your old one.
    New pads might be enough to bring new life to your brakes.

    Parts are considerably more expensive sold separately than when they're assembled as a bike, so with so many items on your shopping list it probably makes more sense getting a new (used) bike. The exception to the rule is if:
    a) you're willing to spend time hunting for bargains (ebay, swap meets, garage sales etc etc
    b) there is something special about the bike you have that isn't immediately replaceable, odd size or sentimental value...

    Given enough effort bikes are endlessly upgradeable, and there are more parts that are bolt-on replaceable than those that aren't (if any).

    Frames are functionally identical, but lighter. Gears, particularly switching to a brifter set-up will make a considerable difference.
     
  4. RedHotIron

    RedHotIron New Member

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    I have continued to upgrade my bikes with sale parts from catalogs & the LBS. I can't say if the performance is stupendously worse than that of new bikes of the past 5 years, but they do the job.:)
     
  5. bladegeek

    bladegeek New Member

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    Since your bike is 10-15 years old I say get a new bike.....if it was a few years old I would just go with an up grade if you wanted.
     
  6. MTBRaider

    MTBRaider New Member

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    What is the frame made of that you're wanting to overhaul? If it's steel and your serious about "really" riding, than buy new. If it's steel and you plan to just ride, non racing, commuting, etc. Than you may want to look at upgrading. You're best bet to upgrade is to find a deal on another bike with decent components and transfer the parts to your steel frame. That way you don't have to worry about purchasing an "exact fit" bike (the bike and be three sizes smaller or bigger" and the components will still work.

    I had an old Peugeot I did this with and it worked out fine. I later bought a newer used frame and transferred all of the parts to it, except the bottom bracket was incompatible, but no big deal.

    Good luck.
     
  7. RedHotIron

    RedHotIron New Member

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    I have continuously upgraded, since i can't afford to replace the bikes with new ones. Since i don't know what a new one feels like, nothing is lost.:) My Peugeot seemed like a new bike when i replaced the wheelset with a better one after a wreck a few years back. It's all relative.
     
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