What kind of upgrading are you thinking about? From what I see, you won't be able to do much; you have a 1"-steerer fork, diagonal dropouts and cantilever brakes (also known as center-pulls). Nothing WRONG with that stuff, it's just obsolete. Retro riders revel in these bikes, and several I've encountered over the past few years are indeed ride-worthy. It's just a matter of what you want to do that decides if it is or isn't financially smart.
Upgrade to V-brakes from the cantilevers... easy and cheap. Less than $50. Saddle (the bike seat)-- get an LBS take-off for $20-25 that feels good if you don't like the stock one. If the grips bother your hands, a new set is $8-10. New (and different tread pattern) tires if you ride a lot of asphalt.
Beyond that, you're talking some serious cash and work, maybe more than the bike is worth.
Hi-Ten frame, MSRP $229, probably sold for $199. I'd say the best upgrade option is to buy a better bike at a yard sale for $80.
Nothing wrong with keeping that one running by buying replacement parts when stuff breaks or wears out, even low end bikes are fun to ride, but don't invest a lot.
If that was my daily driver the first thing I'd do is measure the chain to see if it needs a new one, actually would probably just go ahead and buy a Sram PC-850 without checking. Then I'd get some metal pedals. Like DX said, cheap saddle if that one doesn't suit you. Slicks or semi slicks if you're on the road and mellow trails most of the time.
Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 02-12-11 at 05:05 PM.
As others said not worth upgrading just to upgrade. Nothing wrong with the bike, great for basic trail riding and getting around town. If that's what you are using it for, then just keep riding as is and replace things if they break. Most replacement parts are easy to find and cheap for that type of bike. If you are thinking of doing some more serious riding, then a bike upgrade would be the best bet.
Actually, it's more of a blue than a green, but you were very close. I'm 99% sure it's a 1995 like this one but without the modified handlebars:
Well, it's definitely older than the guy said, but it still works just fine so for $50, I'm happy with it. In terms of upgrades, I mostly just want to fix or replace the gear changer things (I don't really know much terminology right now... ) because they occasionally move on their own and the bike shifts when I don't want it to, and then maybe get stronger brakes. I also sort of want some red BMX pedals just because I think they would look cool and they're meant for gripping flat shoes, so I can ride with my Converse easier, and maybe some of those inner tubes with the foam in them that never get flat so I can ride it as rough as I want without worrying about that. Yes, the bike isn't worth much, but it's the best one I've owned, even if that is just out of three. And besides, I've got a little bit of hipster in me, so the fact that it's obsolete just makes it better.
For the brakes, you have cantilevers and they can be difficult to setup correctly. New pads and proper setup may be all you need. Search google and youtube for help on those items. The alternative is to switch to v-brakes. Tektro brand brakes are cheap and work great.
Awesome, thanks. And you're probably right about the brakes... I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they were never replaced in the sixteen years they've existed. As soon as I'm able to, I'm going to oil stuff down and look at the brakes more closely.