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upgrade or new bike?

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Old 09-22-08, 03:11 PM
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billrosenblatt
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upgrade or new bike?

I have a Nashbar Toure MT bike that I built from a kit back in the mid-80s - touring bike with triple crank, 5 speed freewheel, CrMo frame, downtube shifters, drop handlebars, cantilever brakes, toeclip pedals. The rear derailleur was replaced about 12 years ago, otherwise it's pretty much as it was originally except chain, tires, toeclip straps, etc.

I recently resurrected this bike and had it cleaned & tuned up. I go for rides in the 20-40 mile range over moderately hilly New England terrain. I am mainly dissatisfied with the 5-gear freewheel but also don't love how the derailleurs sometimes cause the chain to go off. Otherwise I think the bike is great.

Question: is it possible to upgrade the freewheel to an 8 or 9 speed freewheel or cassette? Is it even worth it? Or should I spring for a new bike, and what would I get (for my type of riding) that's better than what I have now?

Any thoughts most welcome!

Thanks,

- bill.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:45 PM
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CACycling
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What type of riding do you do? You say hills but is it road riding or something else. If you are road riding I would suggest getting a road bike and keeping your current bike as a backup/rain day bike. You should be able to get the RD adjusted to keep your chain on.
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Old 09-22-08, 05:42 PM
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HillRider 
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Originally Posted by billrosenblatt View Post
Question: is it possible to upgrade the freewheel to an 8 or 9 speed freewheel or cassette? Is it even worth it? Or should I spring for a new bike, and what would I get (for my type of riding) that's better than what I have now?

Any thoughts most welcome!

Thanks,

- bill.
The most cogs on a decent freewheel are 7 combined with 126 mm rear dropout spacing. There are 8-speed freewheels that are used with 130 mm spacing but that is an almost sure recipe for broken axles and not recommended.

To go to 8 or 9-speeds properly you would need a new rear cassette hub and have to cold set your frame from 120 or 126 mm to the current 130 mm standard. Then you will need a new cassette, chain and shifters at a minimum. Finally, your old crank would be usable but newer cranks with enhanced chainrings shift so much better the difference is amazing.

So, yes you can upgrade your old Nashbar but the cost will probably exceed the value and a newer bike is probably the better way to go.

BTW, I've done pretty much what you are asking about. I updated a 1983 Trek 400 to 700c wheels, 7-speed index shifting, a 105 triple crank, etc. etc. BUT most of the "upgrades" were sourced from my parts box and the out-of-pocket cost was pretty small. Statring from scratch, I never would have done it.
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Old 09-22-08, 06:57 PM
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bkaapcke
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Leave the 'kit' bike completely out of the picture and start thinking about what kind of bike you really want. This a perfect time to think about investing in your long term health. Hopefully, you are in better financial condition and can afford to get your self something nice. If you are currently doing 40's, you're ready. Step up to the plate. After you have a new ride, keep the old one for a rain bike. bk

I have yet to hear someone complain who went and got what they wanted.
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Old 09-22-08, 07:43 PM
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BikingGrad80
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+1 new bike would be the most cost efficient and would blow your old bike out of the water.
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Old 09-22-08, 08:10 PM
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billrosenblatt
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mostly road riding

Thanks for the reply, I mostly ride on paved roads, some country roads not in great shape, very occasional dirt roads.
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