I ride a REAL Schwinn!
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NH, USA
Bikes: Lemond Nevada City (stock), '00 Schwinn Moab 3 (very upgraded)
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What level of components came with the bike? I'm sure the componentry that came on the bike then is not the same level in some places that comes on current Rincons.
Does the bike have clipless pedals? That should be one of the first upgrades that you make - you won't regret it and your skills will improve much faster with them.
What type of tires did the bike come with? Semi-slicks or full-knobbies?Depending on the trail conditions in your area, a new set of tires may help you out. If a new set of tires isn't in order, at least checking the tire pressure will help.
Your bike is fine for now. As for the future, you might want to look into:
1. A new wheelset. A lighter and moire durable wheelset (especially if it is built by a cvompetent wheelbuilder) will make a huge difference in your riding experience. Rotating wieght is the first thing you want to lighten on your bike because it is the most noticeable when it is reduced.
2. Components - You'll have to let us know what type of componentry your bike currently has. Does it have some older STX stuff or something like Altus/Acera/Deore-or SRAM stuff? Upgrading to LX will make a huge difference in shifting smoothness and durability. Even Deore will offer a noticeable improvement when set up correctly.
3. Brakes- What did your bike come with for brakes? V-Brakes or cantilevers? A nice set of V-brakes with some good, adjustable levers would be a worthwhiloe upgrade. You might also need new brake pads if you decide to keep the current brake setup and you haven't changed them in a while.
4. Saddle - Did your bike come with a wide, gel-comfort seat? This might not serve you well off-road-or on-road for that matter if you do any long-distance cycling. You may have gotten used to riding with a certain seat a lot, but getting a skinnier one with a little less padding will actually be a good investment further down the road, especially if you get into racing.
5. Riding clothes - A pair of padded cycling shorts and jersey will increase comfort, especially on longer rides.
The most important thing regarding the componentry and the brakes might be to change the cables and housings. This is a relatively easy job that can be done with almost any bike repair book or with Sheldonbrown.com. This will make a huge difference, especially if the bike has been sitting for a while or if the cables haven't been changed for a few years. If you are going to start riding off-road more, you are going to want to change them at least once a year.