I'm new to this forum and relatively inexperienced with cycling and not at all knowledgeable about bicycles. I have done quite a bit of research but I have gotten conflicting advice and I would like to consult this community and see what y'all have to say.
I have been riding my dads old '77 Fuji S-10-S and I love the bike. I have gone on a week long tour on it through the Blue Ridge Mountains and I had no problems, but that was a year ago and the bike just feels "rough" since then. The gears don't change smoothly (they click sometimes) and the brakes have basically gone to ****. I could use new tires and possibly new wheels. I think I would benefit from getting a crankset with 3 front gears as the bike is currently a 12 speed.
So I took the bike into a shop to talk to them about my biking needs and they said a new bike, even on the low end, would be infinitely better for my purposes. I knew that these guys weren't working on sales commissions and were clearly experienced and knowledgeable, but I had a hard time seeing the logic in what they told me. They told me that my bike was too big for me (It is but I have ridden it enough to know that I don't care- it doesn't hurt my back like they suggested) and then they told me that getting new gears, brakes, etc would really pile up. After test riding a $1700 bike that didn't feel particularly awesome, I don't really see how it could pile up that much.
So do you think I could get a complete overhaul on the Fuji for under $600? New gear system, brakes wheels etc.? Won't that make the bike ride like a new (although yes- steel framed) bike after that? Some of the alternatives I have seriously considered are the Windsor Tourist ($600) and the Trek 520 ($1300). My concerns are that the spokes on the Tourist will pop on me for the whole two months and the Trek 520 will deplete my budget so severely that I will have to ask my parents for money during my voyage.
What really has me questioning the necessity of a new bike is that the ones I test rode just didn't feel that much better, with the exception being the brakes. (They told me that the gears would be adjusted if I decided to buy a bike...) Maybe I am too dense to realize the difference.
In conclusion, I like my dads old bike and I don't care if it would be a little bit easier to do it on a new bike. That being said, I don't want to be grossly stupid and make this trip twice as hard as it might otherwise be.
Thanks for reading!