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Old 05-16-05, 09:20 AM   #1
bealer
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Older Ti bike or newer Alu bike

Hi, I've decided to get back into Mountain Biking (after my last one was pinched my gypo's 5 years ago!!!) and have been looking around for a hardtail.

One thing that did catch my eye was a 1998 GT Lightning Ti bike that was for sale. Now upon seeing this I was a little put off by the age, but the weight (only 21lbs) kind of turned me around. I'm very much into XC biking so less weight is beneficial.

However, my younger brother disagrees and thinks I should go for a newer bike as technology has changed. I'm not disagreeing with him, but I could always upgrade the GT bike if I were to buy it, and I'm sure I'd ride just as well on a 21lbs bike even if it is 7 years old.

I've always wanted a titanium bike, and don't have the money to buy one new. Was just wondering what people thought. Would you go for something older, but that was better in it's time, or something less impressive but newer?

Thanks, Rob.
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Old 05-16-05, 09:57 AM   #2
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If the price is good, and the bike's not thrashed, go for the older one. Who cares about modern bike technology anyway; it's the motor that counts.
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Old 05-16-05, 10:19 AM   #3
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If the price is good, and the bike's not thrashed, go for the older one. Who cares about modern bike technology anyway; it's the motor that counts.
you could face prolems doing simple upgrades like a new fork .i wouldn't do it .
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Old 05-16-05, 10:28 AM   #4
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Forks wouldn't be a problem would they??? I'm sure most modern day forks will fit the bike, I can't see standards having changed that much. The extra cost will occur when I want to switch to disc brakes, as I'd need new forks, wheels and brakes. Also it won't be able to mount a rear disc brake. Apart from that everything else should be upgradeable without any problems.
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Old 05-16-05, 10:39 AM   #5
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well yes ,forks could be a problem .first of all most forks today have 1 1/8 inch steerers and frames in 98 are usually built for low travel forks compared to today standards .back than 3 inches of travel was a lot .then you allready point out that it doesn't have disc mounts .i don't even know why you are still considering it ?
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Old 05-16-05, 10:43 AM   #6
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then you allready point out that it doesn't have disc mounts .i don't even know why you are still considering it ?
He did say that weight was an issue, discs are heavier than V brakes.
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Old 05-16-05, 10:49 AM   #7
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If the components(except the fork which you will have to upgrade) are in good order I might go with the titanium. However, you will never be able to run anything greater than 80mm front fork on it. Which is fine for XC. And, it will probably cost a considerable amount to have a disc tab properly mounted on the rear. It will probably cost you more in the long run trying to modernize the bike.

If you want to upgrade to discs, I would look elsewhere. But of course, despite what you might have heard and read, you can ride xc, and more, without disc brakes.
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Old 05-16-05, 10:53 AM   #8
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It's a 1 1/8 headset so that wouldn't be a problem. How does the amount of travel make much difference? Does the bottom bracket ride lower on older bikes? It's a cross bike too, so I don't want a huge amount of travel, no more than 100mm.

Disc brakes don't bother me hugely at the moment. Vbrakes are fine for now as I won't be hitting a huge amount of dirt. The idea would be to upgrade the forks, and put a disc brake on the front. I'm quite happy having a vbrake at the back as it's used less, and will save me some weight and cost.

Edit - I agree with the above post too. Like I said I haven't been biking for 5 years, and when I was vbrakes did the job perfectly at the time.
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Old 05-16-05, 12:19 PM   #9
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How does the amount of travel make much difference? Does the bottom bracket ride lower on older bikes? It's a cross bike too, so I don't want a huge amount of travel, no more than 100mm.
.
the frames geometry is just not made for todays travel forks .80mm is probably your limit .
i really wouldn't buy that bike ,if it is not like super cheap.also the rubbber parts on the bike should probabaly renewed.
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Old 05-16-05, 12:43 PM   #10
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i really wouldn't buy that bike ,if it is not like super cheap.also the rubbber parts on the bike should probabaly renewed.
Agreed, it would have to be a steal.
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Old 05-16-05, 02:18 PM   #11
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I think if you like the bike *and it fits*, go for it. I ride a 13 year old ti hardtail that fits me very well. I think it is still competative for XC, IMHO. The only thing lacking is the outdated fork, which for this particular frame is maxed out at 65mm. I lose some on the downhills compared to the newer rigs, but I think I can make it up on the climbs. I would think a 98 would be built for 80mm forks-so you still have up to date fork options. Discs? Some are nice, but I am more than happy with my V's. Really, a front disc would be all you need, should you want to upgrade in the future.

Depends what floats your boat. There are some sweet aluminum bikes out there too. Not to mention that you would be starting with everything new.
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Old 05-17-05, 11:12 AM   #12
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I love titanium bikes and lament the day i sold my GT xizang (couldnt have that bike at college, too nice looking). it the frame has a 1 1/8 headtube, I would worry too much. You can get some pretty amazing 85mm forks these days and for trail riding i find 85 just fine. you may even appreciate the feeling of a 100mm fork on the frame. I have a 1996 GT tequesta (steel) that came with a indy xc (63mm of travel) that i run a 105mm fork (marzocchi mx pro) now and I love the feeling, true it isnt as "snappy" in the corners, but i appreciate the extra travel and havent noticed the change that much. I say go with the titanium, build it up any way you want, and as for the brakes, if you really need discs, go with a front disc and rear v, since most braking is done using the front brake, you should be fine.
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Old 05-17-05, 05:56 PM   #13
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Well after doing some research, I've read you could buy this version of the bike with forks that have 85mm travel anyway, and I've been speaking to other owners that have that 100mm travel and it doesn't cause any problems. I've also looked into the geometry of the frame and it doesn't differ hugely from modern day cross bikes.

The bike weighs 20lbs, I can't complain at that. And I do xc so 85-100mm travel is more than enough for me. The only downside is no disc mounts. I'd have to buy new wheels, and forks, and the brakes...quite an expense. I'm happy with v-brakes for now though anyway, would just be nice if it were disc brake ready.

I've very tempted to buy it, I've been quoted 450, and it's never been used, just stored. Just wondering if that's a reasonable price. I can't even being what it'll be like to ride a 20lb ti frame.
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