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  1. #1
    Member cwiginton's Avatar
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    Bike Rehab vs. New Bike

    I have been out of cycling for quite sometime now. I have an old 1994 Giant Iguana mountain bike. It probably needs several things to either be replaced or serviced in order to get it back into good shape due to the years of neglect. I mostly (if not exclusively) ride on bike paths (paved) or city streets with my kids an pulling a bike trailer. Does it make more sense to rehab this bike or get a new one? I had been looking at the Trek 7.3fx and the Specialized Sirrus, but am now wondering if I would be just as well off keeping my existing bike. Of course, I am also afraid that I may end up sinking a bunch of money into the existing bike. Upon a very general inspection and during riding for the last couple of weeks, I have noticed that I have a split place in the rear tire, several broken or bent teeth on the crank, the brakes are squealing like mad and the wheels are at the very least out of true, if not more severely damaged due to the bike sitting up for so long.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Rehabing your old bike doesn't have to be expensive. I just upgraded an old dept store MTB. It got new trigger shifters (instead of the crappy Shimano SIS thumb shifters), new brake levers, new aluminum wheels (instead of the steel) with a 7 speed cassettte (instead of the 6), and new front derailleur all for $20. What I did was buy an older but better quality bike at a thrift shop (a Univega T2.7). The Frame was too small for me so I stripped the components off the frame, cleaned em up and put em on my FS Elite. The components cleaned up real good and are in good working order.

    The bottom bracket is in good condition. I'm going to put that on my main ride, a vintage Puch.

    If you enjoy bicycle mechanics you can save a ton of money over the cost of new components and have a blast tinkering. There are a lot of servicable used bikes out there, if you have a little patience and look for them, especially MTBs.
    In this age of mindless consumerism, of atomized populations living in boxes, working in boxes, and traveling in boxes, almost always alone, with only the electronic voices of their new feudal lords to guide them through life, the bicycle becomes an instrument of gentle revolution. --Richard Risemberg

  3. #3
    tsl
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    Many people consider only some mythical "resale value" when deciding whether or not to rehab a bike. If you're planning to sell it later, that's probably a good set of criteria.

    Another way to look at it is cost of the rehab vs. cost of a new bike. Some rehabs can get expensive and if you're using economics as your guide, price out your parts (including tax and shipping) first before picking up a wrench.

    I bought a bike specifically for the purpose of rehabbing it with the dual goals of learning how to repair or rehab a bike, and for a pleasant diversion through the winter. My rehab failed both economic tests (above). It not only exceeded the typical resale value of that make, model and year (in good condition), but it also exceeded the purchase price of this year's version of that model. (Although the custom, handbuilt wheelset is largely responsible for that.)

    There are those who would view my having done that as stupid--the phrase that comes to mind is "trying to polish a turd". But I also view it as tuition in bike repair school and, as entertainment, it was cheaper than spending all those nights at the movies.

    What I hadn't counted on was that I have a bike that I'm intimately familiar with. I know exactly how everything is supposed to feel and sound. As things wear in and need adjusting, I know about it as it happens and I can fix it before it becomes a problem. When I took a tumble off it, I was able to determine for myself what was damaged and what had to be repaired or replaced, (fortunately, just a few scratches and I had to reposition the left STI levers.)

    Your situation is a little different in that the bike you're thinking about rehabbing is completely different from the bikes you may replace it with. That's a different set of decision-making criteria. As for your rehab, add cables and housings to your list and possibly a rear dérailleur.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  4. #4
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    If the frame fits you perfectly it is probably worth it. Check the usual internet stores for sales, and buy parts as they come up cheap.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  5. #5
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    If you're not interested in doing the work youself, it would probably be best to buy a new rig and try to sell off your old bike to someone willing to fix it up.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    Was that Iguana one of the ones that came set up with suntour parts? If so that stuff was bombprof. Oil the chain, maybe change the cables and housings and ride the snot out of it.

  7. #7
    Member cwiginton's Avatar
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    Just off of the top of my head, mine has Shimano Alivo brake/shift levers, Alivo rear derailleur, Araya rims, Kenda tires and Shimano Hyperdrive C crank. The only thing that has been replaced is the saddle.
    Last edited by cwiginton; 07-16-07 at 09:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Double check that Hyperdrive crank before you decide it has bent teeth. I have that on my Trek hybrid and it looks like it has all kinds of bent teeth. It's actually made that way to make shifting smoother. Make sure it's really bad before you write it off.

    Joe

  9. #9
    jcm
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    Clean it, lube it, ride it. Then decide about a new bike.

    This is a '92 Trek 930 - roadified by installing skinnier road tires, a great saddle and way more comfortable bars. Originally, it had the Altus group. It worked fine. I just liked my Deore stuff from my older '88 better, so I swapped it over. I agree with the earlier post - take another look at those teeth. I doubt if they are broken or damaged.

    Re-doing an old bike is cheap, unless you lose your head and try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. That saddle cost $90, bars $15, tires $18ea. Add fenders for another $36, and I have one of the best bikes I have ever ridden. U.S. hand-made frame, too., equal with my Trek 520 tourer. I have about $280 into it total, including purchase of the bike off C-List.
    http://i16.tinypic.com/52lkqpt.jpg
    http://i8.tinypic.com/4kf9yzm.jpg

  10. #10
    Member cwiginton's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the advice

    Interesting to know about the Hyperdrive. I have not necessarily noticed any problems while riding. Just noticed it when I started looking things over while trying to decide if I wanted to keep the bike.

    If everything checks out, I may just put some road tires on it like the '92 Trek and put some new handlebars on there.

    Again thanks for the help for a new/old bicyclist.

  11. #11
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    The real queation is; Is the rebab bike the right one for the type of riding you do? A mountain bike with big, wide knobby tires takes a lot more effort to push than a cross or road bike. Don't rebuild a bike just to have it be the wrong thing for you. bk

  12. #12
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    The real queation is; Is the rebab bike the right one for the type of riding you do? A mountain bike with big, wide knobby tires takes a lot more effort to push than a cross or road bike. Don't rebuild a bike just to have it be the wrong thing for you. bk
    Right. Tires make a huge difference. If the OP is staying on paved surfaces mostly, I recommend something lie a 1.5" slick or semi-slick. That '92 has 1.5" Armadillos on it right now (in the second pic), but I've run 1.25" Serfas slicks with good results (first pic). 1.5" or, 38mm, is the biggest tire I would run for paved use. They also work ok for packed gravel roads like fire roads. Just deflate them about 50% and they work great

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