A guy on one of the car forums I frequent has a 1997 Specialized M2 hardtail spec'ed as shown below. When he first asked about upgrading the bike he was only looking into gettin a wheelset. I told him that a wheelset is fine mainly because he will be able to use this on any future bikes. I recommended he get a wheelset built up with disc-compatible hubs and rim-brake rims if he wanted to go down that route.
Afterwards he started talking about getting a new Fox fork. At this point I realized he doesn't want to let go of this bike probably because he paid decent money for it back in the day but I then started telling him that he could probably get a decent current hardtail for $1200-1500, about what he was going to be dropping on the wheelset and fork.
Again, the fork can be moved onto a newer bike but I'm now questioning whether he should be pouring this money into a 10-year old bike. As it stands it weighs 27lbs. I think a new wheelset will save him about 1-2 lbs (his weights include cassette). The new fork won't save him any weight because a Fox fork will weigh about 1600g but he would be improving on the fork.
So what are your thoughts? I don't think he would be losing anything with a new fork and wheelset but I also think a whole new bike may get him what he's after. BTW, his intended use is for XC and he wants to get into racing. I'm unfamiliar with these 10 year old bikes. Are they worth upgrading for what he wants to do or should he go with something current?
Here are his specs. He weighed the components. The first figure is in grams, the second figure is in pounds:
Frame Specialized Stumpjumper M2 ('97) 17'' includes all the rest where it says 0 grams. 4409 9.721845
Fork Manitou Answer Pro X 3.4 lb's 1587 3.499335
Headset Aheadset 49 0.108045
Stem Specialized 217 0.478485
Handlebar Ritchey Forcelite (claimed 170g) 183 0.403515
Grips Specialized 67 0.147735
Support L Handles Gary Fisher 149 0.328545
Brake Levers Avid SD - 1.9L 185 0.407925
Shift Levers 3 Gear select Shimano LX (97) 93 0.205065
Shift Levers Rear Cassette Shimano LX (97) 98 0.21609
Brakes Front Avid SD - 1.9L 182 0.40131
Brakes Back Avid SD - 1.9L 0
Wheelset Front Mavics 238 (559 X 17.606) 1708 3.76614
Wheelset Rear Mavics 238 (559 X 17.606) 2345 5.170725
Tubes Kendal Kwickseal 26 X 1.25 (432g) 0
Tyres Maxxis Ignitor 26 x2.10 (1230g) 0
Pedals Shimano 747's 0
Chain Shimano 0
Casette Shimano 422 0.93051
F. Derailer Shimano LX (97) 0
R. Derailer Shimano XT (97) 0
Seatpost Ritchey 229 0.504945
Seat Clamp Specialized 86 0.18963
Seatpost Clamp Specialized 34 0.07497
Saddle Specialized 282 0.62181
Cables (sh &br) 0
Bottle Cage Generic 70 0.15435
TOTAL 12395 27.33098