Upgrade or make do till later?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Canrat, May 31, 2004.

  1. Canrat

    Canrat New Member

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    Hello – I have recently returned to cycling after a few years away. My old mount, a Sekine GS (mid 80’s vintage) was always a great bike. (Bike is in great condition) My new partner and I have just purchased a Trek 520 for her and we are hoping to do a lot of long distance touring this summer. If I had the money I too would have purchased a nice new Tourer by Trek, Cannondale, Fuji or even one of the custom made jobies…..however…..that will have to wait until next year at least. (Maybe longer)

    My question is: What can I do to upgrade the Sekine…….if anything? Is it worth it? Should I just save the $$ and make do until I can afford a new tourer? The crankset , front and rear derailer, (now has Sun Tour equipment) seat, bars etc. etc. could all be updated. I love the Sekine and it has a lot of miles on it. Any opinions? Sorry fro the cross post on Touring but I think the post better suits this forum.
     
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  2. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    If you're older bike is still in great condition as you say I wouldn't recommend upgrading it. The reason's are that all of the newer 9 & 10 speed compatible equipment is going to require a major overhaul and can get rather expensive.

    Just think of all the things you'd have to get in order to upgrade:

    rear hub
    cassette
    chain
    chainrings & cranks
    bottom bracket
    derailures (F & B)
    shifters
    ...

    ... seriously, it's going to be a rather expensive venture to upgrade an older ride.

    Now if you're talking about finding a deal on some New Old Stock equipment and just replacing worn parts (chain, cassette, brake pads, tires) that would be a refurbishment as opposed to an upgrade and it may be worth pursuing (provided you can still find the parts) especially if you plan on riding it for a year or more. Nothing wrong with an older steed. Many people prefer them.
     
  3. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    The frame, fork, brake, gear range, and wheels are the most important parts.
    When you say long distance touring do you mean loaded touring?
    What weight in load and rider will you be carrying?
    Did you keep the factory gearing range on the Trek 520?
    Do you intend to do any mountain riding?
     
  4. Canrat

    Canrat New Member

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    Hi
    1) No not heavily loaded touring at least not until GF gets conditioned and we work up to it. Possibly in the future though.
    2) Toatal weight incl rider will be approx. 190 lbs.
    3) Gearing range on the Trek is factory at the moment however I am reading that this should be lower.
    4) Big hills perhaps but no mountains
    Thanx
     
  5. Canrat

    Canrat New Member

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    Good point. I guess when you start adding all that up it is a little prohibitive. I was hoping to at least lower the gearing to give me a little more power on the hills and deal with some extra weight.
     
  6. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    No one can make a recommendation there till they know what ya got already.My crystal ball is in the pawn shop.
     
  7. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Actually,upgrades can be done without necessarily increasing number of speeds. And even additional speeds or new equipment does not require crank and BB
     
  8. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    If you don't already have 700c clincher rims on the wheels, you might make that upgrade. Lot better tires available in that range these days.

    BTW: my wife wanted to start doing some distance cycling with me, but she wasn't in the best of shape. After some looking, we got a used Cannondale tandem, and she just loves it. Something to think about if you want to tour together but one rider isn't as strong as the other. Kinda hard to fall behind on a tandem.
     
  9. davidbaston

    davidbaston New Member

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    hi every body

    i'm in the same boat as CANRAT but my bike as laid to rest for about 15 years now and my doctor has told me to put some miles in so to speak.So been in my garage where the beast is hung up
    unfortunatley my garage is a damp one so parts of my machine has got rusty you know what i mean the little bolts nuts thing like that gone and got my wheels redone new rims openpro from mavic i like mavic cleaned up my campag record hubs they are shinning like new now my friend who just happens to build wheels very lucky there.
    Now my frame is the old 531 dble butted type with the old stlye campag fittments on eg chainwheel, brakes gears rear mech and the like i'm happy with my old machine but my friend says move on get a better frame at a decent price now which he says is better my question is CAN YOU GET A BETTER FRAME AT A REASONABLE PRICE which my gear will fit onto please if so what make.
    question two for those who live in united kingdom does anybody out there know if WES MASON still is making bikes if so can you give me details please of where he is as my old bike was one of his
    question 3 tires how good are SCHWALBE stelvio are they worth buying as the ones i use to use were michlean elans and you cannot get them now

    CAN ANYBODY HELP ME WITH THESE QUESTION PLEASE CHEERS

    DAVID BASTON
     
  10. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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  11. leconkie

    leconkie New Member

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    Hi there,
    This is the first time I've logged on and the first forum also. I suppose this thread is really old too. but I would say the only reason to upgrade is if you really need to and the only way to find out if you realloy need to is to go out for about 8 hours straight and see just how uncomfortable you get. As you no doubt know, everything can be fine for 1 or 2 hours and then you spend a lot of time on the bike and bang your in real discomfort from that wierd bump in the saddle you never noticed before or something

    Steve
    glasgow
     
  12. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Your friend probably smokes too much crack.Clean up the old beastie and ride it. You likely aren't a Tour De France canidate anyway.
     
  13. dennis dee

    dennis dee New Member

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    Fool!
     
  14. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Some information on Wes Mason:

    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/British/MKM/MKM_main.htm

    In the 1970's, the custom British frame makers dominated the art of frame building. Even the Italian makers were no better, and perhaps not quite as good. That bike should be restored and put back on the road.

    Besides, I doubt you could improve on a premium British built 531 frame a great deal, without spending a minor fortune.
     
  15. Mity Mouse

    Mity Mouse New Member

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    (I skipped to the end after reading the first few responses)

    Here's the way I see it (another of my "frugal" answers): As several have said, some folks prefer older steeds for many reasons.

    The hills and the roads don't really change much - What worked in the 80's will work just as well now.

    I also know what it's like to have a certain bike with sentimental value, or just a really nice ride quality that you're used to.

    I'd suggest just giving the old girl a good tune-up & freshening.
    I recently just did this with a favorite old bike of mine that had become a bit neglected. I'm so glad I did!

    Strip it down to bare frame (except headset races).
    Remove and discard all old cable and housing.
    Wash everything with soap & water (I used car-washing detergent).
    Remove and clean the derailleur pulleys; Rebuild the brakes, etc.

    Reassemble & lube everything, using new cables & housing, new brake pads/shoes, and new chain - Check your cogs & sprockets for excessive wear and replace if necessary.

    I think this approach would be economical, especially since you'll be pacing yourself a bit as your partner gets fitter.
    It'll also give you a chance to consider all of the improvements in technology, and what (if anything) that you truly find lacking in your current bike.

    I realized that my older bike works just fine, and also brings back countless memories.
    The hills and roads haven't really changed much...;)

    Next year, your partner will be fitter and you'll have picked up your pace a bit, and you can re-consider a new bike then, with a much clearer idea of what bike you want with the features that you need.
     
  16. Canrat

    Canrat New Member

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    Thanks Mighty Mouse!
    You have managed to understand my feelings exactly. I believe I will do what you have suggested. If I have the $$ for a shiney new one next year great....if I don't, well, I'm sure I can keep up with my partner for a couple of years on the old girl anyway. It's so easy to get carried away thinking you need a new bike NOW instead of thinking it through logicaly. Like you say. the roads haven't changed much and I wasn't too shabby on them 10 years ago....lets have another session with old Bessie on them and see what happens :)

    Thanks everyone for your input.....much appreciated.
     
  17. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Thats if he can find the parts. Vintage parts usually cost a premium due to their rarity.

    I'd like to see a 9 or 10 speed chain work on a 20 year old sprocket. I wasn't aware they had octalink bottom brackets back then.
     
  18. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Who said vintage and collectable.There is plenty of older cheap usaable cheap stuff around. All derailer chains are 3/32 in inside width, and will absolutely work on a 20 year old sprocket. What's octalink BBs have to do with anything. You simply know not what you speak. Besides, he said he's looking primarily for lower gearing. That's an inexpensive triple crank,BB and FD. Maybe even cheaper with some bigger cogs and mtb RD to shift it. He still hasn't said what he's got,so I'm not gonna write the book on allthe possibilities.
     
  19. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Originally posted by boudreaux
    Who said vintage and collectable.There is plenty of older cheap useable cheap stuff around.

    Perhaps, but he has to be able to find them. From his original question it didn't sound like he was sure about whether to keep his bike as is or upgrade. Reading into it I wouldn't think he's a mechanic, otherwise he wouldn't have asked. Ergo he'd probably have to take it to an LBS for this work to be done. They just don't stock older parts like that anymore.

    I took a 10 year old MTB to a reputable shop last fall to see about getting it refurbished. It was going to cost plenty ... right around $180 for a cassette, chain, 2 chainrings and labor. That didn't include the rear wheel, which needed replaced because the spokes were fatigued, and repacking any bearings or replacing any cables. Definitely not worth it.

    All derailer chains are 3/32 in inside width, and will absolutely work on a 20 year old sprocket.

    The newer chains are narrower. You're saying that a 9 or 10 speed chain would work on something like a Shimano STX front end? I know that's an MTB sprocket/crank, but it's touted to be designed for 8/24 speeds.

    What's octalink BBs have to do with anything.

    If he goes with the newer mid-grade or higher Shimano stuff there's a good chance it's going to be Octalink.

    Besides, he said he's looking primarily for lower gearing. That's an inexpensive triple crank,BB and FD. Maybe even cheaper with some bigger cogs and mtb RD to shift it.

    True, provided the rest of the drivetrain isn't worn out and slipping.

    He still hasn't said what he's got,so I'm not gonna write the book on all the possibilities.

    Fair enough. I'm making assumptions about what he has and his mechanical level. But if he knew what you do about this he wouldn't be asking it on a forum. I still think he should stick with what he already has (tune-up included) and start saving for a newer rig with some updated technology. Older bikes can become a money pit.
     
  20. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    These 2 statements ice it. You deal with a bike shop for your info,but yet think you know alot. The shop hosed you on the price, of something you could easily have done yourself. Derailer chains have variable ouside width to fit narrower cog spacing.The inner width between the plates where the chain contacts the teeth is the same 3/32" for all. So,yes a 10 speed chain will work just fine on an 8 speed crank as per your example. Done it.
     
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