Picked up a rough looking '95 Stumpjumper in early December and finally have time to work on it. Although past its prime cosmetically, the frame is straight and it fits me so I'm rebuilding it on the cheap as a general purpose winter ride. This bike will soon be exposed to lots of sand, slush, and road chemicals. It's completely disassembled and I'm in the process of touching up the battle-scarred finish to help keep the rust at bay.
The original wheels were stolen long ago and replaced with a decent Zak19 rim/Parallax hub wheelset. The 1995-vintage Deore LX group is in reasonably good condition and I could reassemble the bike with those components. However, I also have the option of using an older but serviceable Exage Country 48/38/28t Biopace crankset, Exage derailleurs, MRX300 Grip Shifts, and a cheap v-brake system that I have on hand.
I'm leaning toward the Exage-oriented combo mostly because salt corrosion on the Deore LX parts would bug me. But I don't know if swapping in those cheaper components would alter the characterisitics of the bike to the point of making it a dull ride. What do you all think?