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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-29-08, 01:56 PM   #1
Crabster
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My old bike worth upgrading?

Here are some pictures of my old bicycle. It is a GT Timberline which used to be my dads. After he passed away from cancer it became mine. I think it is a mid to late 80's bike but am not sure. She needs some work, but is ridable(sp) now. In fact I just got back from a spin after blowing the dust and cobwebs off of it. She looks rough but rides, eh-ok. Brakes work. I notice there is some flex in the bottom bracket and the head has some play even though the locking collar and allen head are tight. I measured from BB to top of the bar and it is 21". The components are shimano exage.

My question is: Is this bike worth upgrading to more modern components? What would you recommend? It's needs a new handle bar and I would've replaced it any way as it's not too comfortable. Would it be worth it to throw 200-300 into it? If not it has sentimental value so I won't get rid if it-I'd just put it back in the corner of the garage.Thanks for the advice!







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Old 07-29-08, 02:00 PM   #2
Tom Stormcrowe
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You answered your own question.....it has sentimental value. I bet your dad would be proud to have you riding the bike, and to keep it ridable, you will need to work on it anyway, so why not. You aren't doing it as a commercial restoration, so the price is only relative to what you're willing to spend, and the reasoning for doing it is emotional. I'd say restore it, and do what upgrades that are necessary, simply because it's a little piece of your dad, symbolically.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:21 PM   #3
dscheidt
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Assuming it fits properly, I'd replace the handle bar, replace the hub and bottom bracket bearings, replace the brake pads, adjust the cable tensions, and ride it.

There's very little wrong with the components it's got, other than they're not shiny, nor the newest. They'll still work fine.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:31 PM   #4
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That is a good solid bike that will be fine for puttin' around on but you should do some work on it before you ride it too much. A loose headset, hubs or bottom bracket (that bike probably has a servicable non-sealed bottom bracket) will wear very quickly. The immediate things I would do would be to repack the grease in the hubs, headset and bottom bracket followed by replacing all the cables and brake pads. After that I think I would just ride it as is.

You could put more modern components on it but you will have some challenges as that bike looks to be right around the era where mountain bikes were being built with a mish mash of parts so there will be some compatibility issues. For example: the front brake looks like a cantilever, modern V-brakes use the same mounting so you could update the front brake but would need a new lever as V-brakes and Cantilever have different cable pull amounts. However, the back brake is a U-brake, the posts are further up so you can not use a V-brake there as it will not line up with the rim, you could get a newer U-brake, they are common on BMX bikes but it is unlikely to buy you much in performance. The rear cluster is likely to be a freewheel rather than a cassette so replacements are harder to come by, but they are still available. The headset looks to be a 1 inch, which is a road bike rather than mountain bike size ..... etc.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:38 PM   #5
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restore for sure, you could get some steel wool and some degreaser to clean up the seat post, brakes, cranks, derailleurs, wheels, etc. Use the degreaser on a cloth to clean up the frame. Maybe a new chain and you could replace the cables and brake pads. This is about $30 worth of stuff and a little effort to make the bike much more functional and attractive. Replacing the bottom bracket and having your lbs fix the front end should be around $50 and you could get a new set of tires for around $50. That's less than $150 for a like new bike. Add the sentimental value and the pride you will have after cleaning it up real nice and I don't see why you wouldn't fix it up.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:06 PM   #6
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Went for a 4 mile ride tonight with my 11yr old son (he on his redline bmx). It was daring because I did zero maintenance to it other than clean it a little, but man what a fun ride! Definitely want to change out the handle bars to something a little more comfy-any recommendations?
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Old 07-29-08, 06:15 PM   #7
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Keep it keep it keep it!! That's a late '80s/early '90s vintage, I remember because I lusted after that paint job back in junior high . Dad wouldn't spring for a GT, though, they were pretty spendy back in the day.

Anyway, keep it. I'd suggest keeping all the components, aside from probably a new cassette and a chain. Swap out the brake pads with something good (I *highly* endorse Kool Stops), and get a different handlebar - you'll be set.

If you really wanna be cool, go with a moustache bar . Otherwise, a trekking bar is a great choice for a MTB that's mostly used on road, and Nashbar has great deals on them. Pick up some cheap slicks while there, and ride the wheels off it!
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Old 07-29-08, 06:51 PM   #8
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+1 on puttin some time, effort, and a few bucks into it.

That Exage group is actually pretty nice, all in all, and should perform well with some cleaning and new cables if need be. After some cleaning on the frame, throw a couple coats of wax on there to protect it and you will be looking sharp.

A few bucks at the LBS for repacking bearing, or replacing if need be, and some slicks and your good to go.

Probably my most closely held to heart possession is my Dad's old pocket watch. The main spring gave up the ghost a while back. I happened to see a watch and clock repair place and stopped in to ask what it might cost to have it repaired, only to hear the guy say that most of those old things cost more to repair than they are worth. I just smiled and told him I doubted he was correct on that point.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:10 PM   #9
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No doubt about it, keep it!!! I agree with the previous posts that this is a fine bike that just needs some relatively cheap maintanence.
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