Think of this as a bit of a poll. I'm currently riding a 1990 c-dale 400st, which is fully functional. I've over the last couple of seasons, put on a new 7 speed freewheel, a Thompson seatpost(very nice thank you) a Brooks saddle and a new rear derailleur. However, as I'm doing well on tax returns this year and will probably be going back to work at least part time, I've the urge to drop a few bucks on the bike. My dilemma is in that my current set-up for gearing includes a triple upfront of 50-39-28 and a freewheel of 12-34. I know that this seems a bit extreme but 15 to 20% grades are not uncommon here and my knees are most appreciative.
I would like to buy a new bike but all the gearing involves 52-40-30 and 11-25 and an additional cost for switching out cranksets and rear cassettes and derailleurs. (think road bike) Do I bite the bullet and buy new with the changes desired and keep the old for bad weather riding or do the sensible thing and spend a chunk of change on old faithful-new brakes, new handlebars, and maybe a fancy new crankset? Keep in mind that neither option will affect my ability to afford pie at Irmas.