Is it worth it?
Okay, many years ago, my folks insisted that I needed a new bike while I was in college and my old bike was stolen from their garage. The result: a '98 Schwinn Mesa hardtail that lived at their house for the last 11 years because I haven't had anywhere to ride or store it (dorms are small, you know). So now I'm living in Savannah and I'm thinking that I want to add a mountain bike to my 7.3 fx at some point. Is it worth the effort and money to try to upgrade the Schwinn to something that would be rideable? It's got a steel frame, Acera-X RD, SRAM grip-shift (really early model), junk fork, and generic/no-name rims and tires. I'm talking a complete rebuild over time, basically keeping just the steel frame (which is in great shape). Here are the pros and cons I've worked out:
1. Don't have to spend the whole cost of a bike at one time
2. Good experience at bike repair for when the bishop sends me to a church where there's no decent LBS.
3. Bike frame is in near mint condition (I only rode it a dozen times over the summer)
4. Could be fun? (or frustrating)
1. Could be more expensive than a new bike
2. Would also have to buy a tool assortment and stand (or pray that Santa's generous this year)
3. I've never done anything even remotely like this before
I'm thinking I would want to get it to about the level of SRAM's X-5 group. (Still not sure about what kind of fork.) I'm just looking for something that would be a fun bike to take on trails and would maybe handle the nasty cobblestone squares a bit better than the FX for commuting.
So here's the question: Is it worth it?
what makes the bike 'not rideable' at this point? has it been ridden at all?
From your decription it sounds like it has been sitting unridden for 10 years.
If thats the case, I say clean it up, get new tires and tubes, and go for a ride.
I agree, ride the bike and have fun.
When something breaks, you replace it. This way you can spread out the costs. When the costs get more than you can handle, then work out what it would cost to rebuild vs purchasing a new one.