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Old 02-24-06, 10:41 PM   #1
leonardotmnt
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At what point is a frame worth keeping to upgrade?

There's a lot of talk about not upgrading a cheaper bike, say one under $500. Most of the talk revolves around upgrades costing more than the original bike. At what point does the frame itself become worth it to upgrade? Basically what I'm trying to get at is that more expensive hardtails are also more expensive in large part because of all the upgraded components (derailleurs, fork, etc). Is there a reason other cheaper bikes aren't worth upgrading other than the fact that they don't start with good components or are the frames really that much worse? A lot of people say something like a Trek 4300 isn't worth upgrading but is that because of the frame quality compared to a more expensive bike or because a nice fork will cost almost as much as the bike? If it's just that components will cost more and the frame is fine then I don't know why it's not good to upgrade since the money could be saved to use on components instead of a whole new bike. Sorry if I'm not explaining this well. If people don't understand I'll try again but basically I'm trying to decide if something like a Rockhopper frame would be worth keeping to upgrade for a few years or if I should look for something cheaper for now to get into the sport and save my money for next year or the year after when I'll want a more expensive bike for sure.
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Old 02-24-06, 10:46 PM   #2
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Upgrading the frame should take place between 1-3 years. There is also no guidelines to this either. If you like the frame, ride it until it breaks.
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Old 02-24-06, 11:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaRider24
There is also no guidelines to this either. If you like the frame, ride it until it breaks.
Yeah, if you like the frame, then it is worth upgrading.
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Old 02-25-06, 03:43 AM   #4
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Good question.

I find it hard to believe that a rockhopper frame would be unworthy of upgrades. It can be an $1100 bike, or a $550 bike. If i bought an $1100 bike, the frame better be good enough to deserve upgrades.
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Old 02-25-06, 04:23 AM   #5
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I think a frame that YOU like is always worth keeping to upgrade, be it a frame from a 500 dollar bike or a 2000 dollar bike.
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Old 02-25-06, 08:17 AM   #6
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Thanks for the answers. That's pretty much what I thought but it seems a lot of people just say they'd rather get a new bike than upgrade the frame they have. Then you have bikes like the Rockhopper which, Flak pointed out can also cost $1,100, it just depends on the components it comes with. That said, I'm off to upgrade my Huffy frame now
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Old 02-25-06, 08:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattP.
Yeah, if you like the frame, then it is worth upgrading.
just keep in mind that to upgrade a $500 bike compnent by component till its componentry is on par with a $1000 bike is going to cost close $1500. So if you can afford to make one big expenditure its alot cheaper to ebay the $500 and buy a new $1000.
here is a chart

upgrade total cost
$1500(for upgrade parts) = $1500
new bike:
$1000(new bike) - 200(ebayed old bike = $800
difference $700

Only upgrade a cheaper bike if you would rather have it with upgraded parts then a newer more expensive bike, you are just going to upgrade parts as they break, or its easier for you to spend $1500 over a couple of seasons then $800 right away.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:45 AM   #8
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I will just agree with the previous posts, if you like the frame okay go to it. I just bought a LOW end Gary Fisher MTB and I will be paying nearly 3/4 of the bikes original price to "upgrade" it to a singlespeed. But the color of the bike makes it allllll riiiiight.
I also stripped an older but seldom used Backwoods GT ( late 90's model around $6-$700 when new I believe) and replaced all parts for around $600, I was able to do this by only purchasing parts from online discount places and performing the work myself. I also re painted the bike. So, if you really have nothing better to do and are not caught up in marketing hype (buy, buy, buy) then have fun build the bike you want, not the model that 3 million other people have.
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Old 02-25-06, 03:33 PM   #9
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dont want to threadjack but this is the same subject.. i recently spent 1000 dollars upgrading a specialized stumpie m2 comp...

i really like the frame and all.. but question is was it worth the upgrade?



and to the op question.. i personally felt that upgrading a frame that fit me and was light/strong ... was worth it..
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Old 02-25-06, 04:57 PM   #10
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I guess one thing I didn't think about was the weight of the actual frame. Is the difference in weight between say the Rockhopper and Stumpjumper mostly in frame or components? Still doesn't matter if you can handle it, but another thing to take into consideration.
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Old 02-25-06, 05:03 PM   #11
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HT frame weight varries very little. Compared to dually frame weight for example. DH frames weight anywhere from 10ish to 15ish pounds. Ht's, even some steel ones, usually come in the 4 to 6 pound range.

Personally, if I had bike A and wanted to upgrade but upgrades would cost 1400$ and bike B was 1700$ for the exact build I wanted but a newer frame with warranty. I would buy new. As long as the fit was similar etc...Aluminum also degrades over time, so I don't mind doing a replacement after a while
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Old 02-25-06, 05:14 PM   #12
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Yeah, I definitely understand the want to buy a new bike. I still need to buy my first one actually (it's been a long wait for spring break to come) so maybe I shouldn't be talking of upgrading already. I was just curious what people thought about this though. I was mostly trying to figure out if I should get something pretty cheap as my first bike (if it wasn't worth upgrading a cheaper bike) or buy something a little more expensive like the Rockhopper or Trek 4500. I guess either way if I get into it I'll probably want something new soon enough so it'll be a moot point.
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Old 02-25-06, 08:01 PM   #13
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I think that unless you have alot of disposable income, sometimes its just not viable to ebay the old and hock up $1k and buy a $1500 bike.

I dont know about you guys, but its a matter of cash flow for me. I can upgrade a bike slowly over the course of a few years ($100 here, $200 there) without breaking the budget. But its hard for me to justify spending $2000 in one go every other year.

Hopefully ill find a HT that fits me well. Im spending between $800 and $1000 on it and intend to upgrade it as i go. Sure over the long run i could save my bike money and buy a newy 2 years later....or i could spend that money on my current ride as i get it and build something unique and exactly how i like it. I think theres something to be said for not being bound by the factory package.
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Old 02-25-06, 10:01 PM   #14
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I believe that part of the fun of mountain biking is upgrading your bike to help your times or just to be able to tell the gang at the trail what new toys you bought. The only time I can recall someone being advised not to upgrade by all the posters on BF was a guy trying to upgrade a Roadmaster.
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Old 02-25-06, 10:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardotmnt
That said, I'm off to upgrade my Huffy frame now

I've got some grips with streamers and a five place american flag set if you want them.
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Old 02-25-06, 10:20 PM   #16
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As others have said, if you like the frame and it posseses some unique qualities that you wouldn't be able to find in a new frame then cost is a non-factour. However, from a pure economics standpoint, my personal rule of thumb is that unless I absolutely must keep the frame, when I'm looking to spend more than 50% of the original cost of the bike on upgrading it, I am probably better off economically buying a whole new bike. The rub there is that I'm usually very particular about what I want and there are very few complete bikes that have things spec'ed out the way I would want it. Doing an upgrade on an existing frame I like or doing a frame-up build is usually how I end up going.
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