Back in 2001, my wife and I bought GT Timberline Hybrid bikes to ride around recreationally. I used mine intermittently, but my wife did not use her bike much at all. A couple of years later, we moved, the bikes got stored and fell into disuse. This past spring 2012, we took it back to the original LBS (chains were still embarrassingly new!) and had them tuned up, and away we went.
I recently purchased a Brompton folding bike and I've been using that more for work and a lot for travel. However, there are still times that I want a more off-road capable bike: there are about 80 km of hard packed gravel trail close by, and while the Brompton can handle it, I think the GT would obviously be better suited to it.
However, if I have to be honest, while it's a decent bike, I've never really liked the GT a lot. It seemed fine when we originally purchased it but the fit always seems just a little a bit off to me: I can never get the seat and the handle just right to be comfortable enough to not notice the off fit for an extended period of time. And now, I find I actually prefer the fit of the Brompton a lot more, despite not being a small person. I like the responsiveness of a smaller wheeled bike.
So, for not-so-urban environments, I'm contemplating either:
1. Trying to buy some new components/fixing up the GT; or
2. Just getting a second, preferably less expensive bike for trail, snow, etc. riding.
For the GT, I figure I would have to at least: a) get a new saddle, or at least a better saddle; b) upgrade the handles or at least the grips; c) change the pedals (the left side seems slightly warped); d) get some fenders to avoid splash; e) get some new panniers (the old ones do not work on the new rack, and I can't figure out a way to modify the mounts).
All in all, option 1 seems to be adding up cost wise for a 10-year old bike that I like but don't quite love. I'm thinking option 2 makes more sense. Does this make sense, or would the suggested upgrades make that much difference for the GT's ride?