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  1. #1
    Use the Schwartz!
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    Old bike worth new parts?

    Hello all. Trying to get back into riding my bike and I wanted some advice on upgrading some parts.
    This is an old bike, Schwinn High Sierra. I got it new around 94 I believe. I upgraded it with a suspension fork when the aheadset came out (still have the old, threaded fork and stem).

    My pup chewed up the stock seat so I threw on a 70's Peugeot seat thats just a hunk of plastic over some old foam.

    The components are Shimano Exage 500 I believe.
    I also recently added a suspension seatpost.

    I do have a couple of questions I hope someone can help with:

    1. I'm getting some elbow pain. It seems that my arms are straight, locked when riding. I'd like to shorten the stem. What do I need to measure to make sure I get one that is about an inch shorter.

    2. I'm considering a carbon bar and wondered what everyone thought about them (I'd like to be a bit more upright).

    3. The Kalloy suspension post (from eBay) works, but it rotates side to side a bit. I'm getting used to it, but is it supposed to do this? I'm considering just buying a better saddle, and going back to my aluminum post, or getting a carbon post (I hear they are more comfortable?)

    4. Lastly, I traded my old Paramount road bike in on this bike when I moved "up in the mountains". I'm a little closer to civilation now and ride quite a bit on pavement. What would be some good tires for say 80% road and 20% gravel/dirt. Could I run a slicker tire up front with no ill effects?

    Lots of rust and dust on it, but it still rides fine and I hate to just buy a new bike if I can make this one a little better on the old bones.
    Sorry for all the question and I appreciate any replies!

  2. #2
    Dismember harov3's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Western Australia
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    Kona Kikapu/hoss deluxe mix, 1950's Malvern Star gent 28" turned into a stealth commuter with drums and a three speed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newberry
    This is an old bike, Schwinn High Sierra. I got it new around 94 I believe. .
    Quote Originally Posted by Newberry
    I do have a couple of questions I hope someone can help with:


    1. I'm getting some elbow pain. It seems that my arms are straight, locked when riding. I'd like to shorten the stem. What do I need to measure to make sure I get one that is about an inch shorter.
    Easy way is to take the old one off and compare them in the shop, or the stem is specified by the measurement from handlebar centreline (cL) to headset cL and the amount of rise from horizontal, ie 120mm & 10deg.


    Quote Originally Posted by Newberry
    2. I'm considering a carbon bar and wondered what everyone thought about them (I'd like to be a bit more upright).

    Its a bit OTT on a bike that old, an alloy riser bar would be much cheaper and not much heavier or stiffer. Carbon parts have a very limited lifetime by comparison to steel or aluminium, and to be honest it makes your old bike a target for someone who wants a set of carbon bars without the expense.


    Quote Originally Posted by Newberry
    3. The Kalloy suspension post (from eBay) works, but it rotates side to side a bit. I'm getting used to it, but is it supposed to do this? I'm considering just buying a better saddle, and going back to my aluminum post, or getting a carbon post (I hear they are more comfortable?).

    Dunno! I never noticed my wife's doing that. Better saddle and an alloy post makes sense, all the above Re: carbon bars applies to a carbon seat post.


    Quote Originally Posted by Newberry
    4. Lastly, I traded my old Paramount road bike in on this bike when I moved "up in the mountains". I'm a little closer to civilation now and ride quite a bit on pavement. What would be some good tires for say 80% road and 20% gravel/dirt. Could I run a slicker tire up front with no ill effects?).

    I'd recommend continental "town & countries" but their worth more than your bike, just pump what youve got up to 65psi. Slicks on dirt = bandaids


    Quote Originally Posted by Newberry
    5.Lots of rust and dust on it, but it still rides fine and I hate to just buy a new bike if I can make this one a little better on the old bones.
    Sorry for all the question and I appreciate any replies!

    Understood, but you would be amazed at how much easier on the old bones even an entry level quality bike can be, and how much better they are in every way. By the time you spend money making this bike of yours what it could be (?) you'll be near the price of something like this....

  3. #3
    Use the Schwartz!
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    Thanks for the reply harov3. I think I'll try a few spacers under my stem and see if that helps my elbow soreness. After looking at the price of parts I can see where I would sink enough into my old bike to have bought a new one.

    I'd recommend continental "town & countries" but their worth more than your bike, just pump what youve got up to 65psi. Slicks on dirt = bandaids
    Dang! These bikes depreciate more than my Chevy. I would have thought it would be worth more than $40! The fork was almost $300 "back in the day"

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