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Any sense in upgrading OLD Yeti ARC 26"?

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Any sense in upgrading OLD Yeti ARC 26"?

Old 03-31-21, 06:25 AM
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pjcampbell
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Any sense in upgrading OLD Yeti ARC 26"?

I am thinking about upgrading my old 1999 Yeti ARC XTR 26" bike. One of the last made in the old Durango factory that I toured when I was 15 or 16 before they were bought by Schwinn. I am struggling with whether it is worth fixing up?

The frame is in great shape and it does have rear disc brackets. The bike has already been modified so I'm not worried about keeping it stock for historical purposes.

The full plan would be low-mid level components:
An OK suspension fork. say $250
OK Disc brakes say $150
OK Disc wheels say $300
OK 1x drivetrain $200
New handlebars $50
New saddle $50
New rear tire $50

I'd expect this to cost at least $1050. In fairness to the old Yeti, let's compare apples to apples as much as possible. It looks like you can get a pretty decent hard tail, such as a Rockhopper Elite for $1050 in either 27.5 or 29.

What do you guys think about upgrading vs replacing? Is there any point? Any particular product line suggestions if I go for it?

Last edited by pjcampbell; 03-31-21 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 03-31-21, 08:04 AM
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In my opinion....Having once rode something like that in the past...The better geometry, 29er tires and disc brakes are worth the upgrade.

Some might disagree based on nostalgia and emotion vs. being pragmatic about it.
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Old 03-31-21, 08:55 AM
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Dont put mediocre parts on a Yeti. Its not a Rockhopper. The Rockhopper 29’er may very well outperform the old Yeti due to wheel size, but it will never be a Yeti.

Recommendations on this from me would be to go ahead and buy the new bike, but do a restoration of the Yeti, rebuilding it with era appropriate parts. Biggest issue would be finding a suspension fork for ir if yours is completely out of sorts. 1x drivetrains are useful but on a 26” bike you can use a narrow-wide ring for your xtr crankset and a 11-36 10 speed rear. The smaller wheels do not need 50 toothcassettes

XTR is spendy - even 20 yo stuff if in good shape. Using XT level parts would stretch the budget a bit


i asked my FRO about youridea and it whispered back

”just dont eff up the Yeti”

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Old 03-31-21, 10:25 AM
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I have a Manitou Markhor fork (225 plus tax delivered) on my 2005 SC Superlight, and so far (Christmas present) it has been flawless, but I'm a fan of 26" bikes. IMO, rebuild if it's going to be your main ride and don't worry about not having the most relevant bike.
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Old 03-31-21, 11:51 AM
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I will take the Yeti if you are going to dump it in the trash. XTR is XTR and I would gladly have that over mediocre parts even if newer unless the parts were non-functional and could not be brought back at all. I would get a new Rockhopper Elite and keep the Yeti because it is a freakin' Yeti with XTR and is awesome.

I would love to have that bike in my collection or even just some of the parts on it. They are awesome legendary bikes designed by FTW, who wouldn't want that.
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Old 03-31-21, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
I am thinking about upgrading my old 1999 Yeti ARC XTR 26" bike. One of the last made in the old Durango factory that I toured when I was 15 or 16 before they were bought by Schwinn. I am struggling with whether it is worth fixing up?

The frame is in great shape and it does have rear disc brackets. The bike has already been modified so I'm not worried about keeping it stock for historical purposes.

The full plan would be low-mid level components:
An OK suspension fork. say $250
OK Disc brakes say $150
OK Disc wheels say $300
OK 1x drivetrain $200
New handlebars $50
New saddle $50
New rear tire $50

I'd expect this to cost at least $1050. In fairness to the old Yeti, let's compare apples to apples as much as possible. It looks like you can get a pretty decent hard tail, such as a Rockhopper Elite for $1050 in either 27.5 or 29.

What do you guys think about upgrading vs replacing? Is there any point? Any particular product line suggestions if I go for it?
I would not drop $1K+ into mediocre parts for a 22 year old hardtail.

If you want to keep riding this, skip the new brakes and wheels and skip the 1x (try a 2x plus bash ring conversion)

What fork is on there now? Can it be rebuilt?
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Old 03-31-21, 01:49 PM
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I agree with most of the above - unless it is special to you for some reason.

Fixing up an older bike is one thing, the key being older parts are usually cheaper so it remains a budget build. Not as good as modern but maybe good enough.

In this case it sounds like you are trying to make an old bike into a modern one. If that's the case you can probably buy a modern equivalent cheaper.
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Old 03-31-21, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I have a Manitou Markhor fork (225 plus tax delivered) on my 2005 SC Superlight, and so far (Christmas present) it has been flawless, but I'm a fan of 26" bikes. IMO, rebuild if it's going to be your main ride and don't worry about not having the most relevant bike.
Thanks, this fork looks interesting although I'd have to convert to disc in the front which is not necessarily a bad thing!
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Old 03-31-21, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I would not drop $1K+ into mediocre parts for a 22 year old hardtail.

If you want to keep riding this, skip the new brakes and wheels and skip the 1x (try a 2x plus bash ring conversion)

What fork is on there now? Can it be rebuilt?
The fork is probably the main problem, it is a Nashbar rigid fork - I swapped out the original RockShox at some point. The modern suspension fork option for 26" + V brake is basically the Rockshox recon silver tk 26 which might be ok.

Other than that the XTR shifters do not always work, but I think this is an issue that can be fixed just by taking it apart and cleaning and re-lubing them.
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Old 03-31-21, 02:15 PM
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If it were me I'd base my decision on what kind of riding I'm doing on this bike. Since you posted in the 'Mountain Biking' sub-forum one could assume you plan on riding mountain trails and not commuting on pavement. And since your bio says 'Green Mountains' one could also assume you're riding in Vermont. I'm not sure what the MTB trails are like there but if they're anything other than greens or blues, I'd choose a modern MTB like the Specialized you mentioned.
Again, if it were me, I'd also consider age as a factor. Both the age of the Yeti (22 years) and the age of the rider (sounds like you're 37/38).
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Old 03-31-21, 02:23 PM
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The Manitou, probably a few others, has a straight steerer tube which is what i needed. Also, AIR, it weighed four pounds which wasn't too punitive. Sometimes shifters accumulate gunk which gums up the internals. I've found that this can be removed by spraying WD-40 into the mechanism and letting it drain out. May need two applications..
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Old 03-31-21, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
I am thinking about upgrading my old 1999 Yeti ARC XTR 26" bike. One of the last made in the old Durango factory that I toured when I was 15 or 16 before they were bought by Schwinn. I am struggling with whether it is worth fixing up?

The frame is in great shape and it does have rear disc brackets. The bike has already been modified so I'm not worried about keeping it stock for historical purposes.

The full plan would be low-mid level components:
An OK suspension fork. say $250
OK Disc brakes say $150
OK Disc wheels say $300
OK 1x drivetrain $200
New handlebars $50
New saddle $50
New rear tire $50

I'd expect this to cost at least $1050. In fairness to the old Yeti, let's compare apples to apples as much as possible. It looks like you can get a pretty decent hard tail, such as a Rockhopper Elite for $1050 in either 27.5 or 29.

What do you guys think about upgrading vs replacing? Is there any point? Any particular product line suggestions if I go for it?
sonnyboy, if ya had a 1967 mustang u keep it and upgrade.
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Old 03-31-21, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
Thanks, this fork looks interesting although I'd have to convert to disc in the front which is not necessarily a bad thing!
Also, keep in mind that the Yeti was probably designed around a 60-80mm fork.
EDIT: just looked it up, and it looks like an 80mm fork was original. I guess 100mm ain't so bad.

Last edited by Kapusta; 03-31-21 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 03-31-21, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
If it were me I'd base my decision on what kind of riding I'm doing on this bike. Since you posted in the 'Mountain Biking' sub-forum one could assume you plan on riding mountain trails and not commuting on pavement. And since your bio says 'Green Mountains' one could also assume you're riding in Vermont. I'm not sure what the MTB trails are like there but if they're anything other than greens or blues, I'd choose a modern MTB like the Specialized you mentioned.
Again, if it were me, I'd also consider age as a factor. Both the age of the Yeti (22 years) and the age of the rider (sounds like you're 37/38).
Yeah you have got all of those pretty close. I am 40 now and ride in central Vermont. Anyway the riding I do is pretty tame, with my 10 year old kid on green and blue trails. I also do a steep loose rock and hardpack dirt hill climb at the ski area access road (17-22% for a couple miles). The downhill is not awful but I no longer want to do it on a rigid bike which is sort of what prompted me to upgrading. It does seem like I can throw $1000 at this bike and it may or may not perform as well as the $1000 equivalent brand new bike...
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Old 03-31-21, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
The Manitou, probably a few others, has a straight steerer tube which is what i needed. Also, AIR, it weighed four pounds which wasn't too punitive. Sometimes shifters accumulate gunk which gums up the internals. I've found that this can be removed by spraying WD-40 into the mechanism and letting it drain out. May need two applications..
It seems like people like this Manitou Markhor fork a lot, but without the brake bosses I'd have to upgrade at least the front brakes and front wheel right away. On the Recon silver TK (https://planetcyclery.com/rockshox-r...RoCP_4QAvD_BwE) I could delay brakes and front wheel a while and see if I really like the upgrade. Seems like the Manitou is a little better and a little cheaper though. Lighter too, by a bit.

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Old 03-31-21, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
It seems like people like this Manitou Markhor fork a lot, but without the brake bosses I'd have to upgrade at least the front brakes and front wheel right away. On the Recon silver TK (https://planetcyclery.com/rockshox-r...RoCP_4QAvD_BwE) I could delay brakes and front wheel a while and see if I really like the upgrade. Seems like the Manitou is a little better and a little cheaper though. Lighter too, by a bit.
Good points; I had the extra parts hanging around in my garage, so a no-brainer for me.
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Old 03-31-21, 10:08 PM
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I've been riding this 92 Marin Pine Mountain lately. Originally rigid, I picked it up at a thrift shop for $50. At the time, all I knew as it was very light and had good components. all it needed then was new shifters.

Since then I've messed with a bunch of configurations while using it as a touring bike. At some point I added a SRAM crank because it had a smaller granny gear for grinding up hills with a load.

Along the way a friend gave me a worn out hybrid e bike for parts that I binned but not before swapping the Suntour fork over to the Marin. Crude but somewhat effective for roots and stuff. The suspension fork on its rigid geometry made for some pretty twitchy going uphill. Added the V brakes from that e bike as well.

Then some time ago I bought a 2000's era Rocky Mountain mtb for parts and swapped its Bomber fork over to the Marin - better than before and not so twitchy. It had disc tabs so I mounted a mechanical disc brake. The other day my friend said he had a hydraulic disc set to donate to the cause.

Still an old 26r with funky geometry but fun to ride and mostly made of inexpensive used/donated parts. At the same time though, I don't think I would intentionally drop 1K into it to try and replicate a modern bike. No matter what you do, the frame is the base platform and that you cannot change from old 26 geometry to new 29r.

From today's ride



Yesterdays ride on a route called Guava Jelly. GoPro makes the bars look narrow



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Old 04-01-21, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
It seems like people like this Manitou Markhor fork a lot, but without the brake bosses I'd have to upgrade at least the front brakes and front wheel right away. On the Recon silver TK (https://planetcyclery.com/rockshox-r...RoCP_4QAvD_BwE) I could delay brakes and front wheel a while and see if I really like the upgrade. Seems like the Manitou is a little better and a little cheaper though. Lighter too, by a bit.
I did not look for the manual but if that solo air is like my Tora 318 you may be able to configure it for shorter travel or shorter length for closer to original fit. But if it is longer youd have easy riding with more relaxed ride with the kid. Id do the fork. Then get the new full suspension bike. If you want better brakes upgrade the wheels and get cable disc brakes. Save the old wheels and brakes for a restoration in 30 years. Hope the shifters and brake levers are separate. May need new brake levers.

When I replaced my last Raleigh/Diamondback broken frame with a Performance Bike frame (Hey Ive not broken it yet) I had to convert the rear to disc. Still have rim front with the antique Ringle hub. Now like you think I need a full suspension 29er. I like full suspension but never have ridden a 29er on tight single track.
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Old 04-01-21, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I would love to have that bike in my collection or even just some of the parts on it. They are awesome legendary bikes designed by FTW, who wouldn't want that.
Out of curiosity...What sets this Yeti apart from other bikes in that era?
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Old 04-01-21, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Out of curiosity...What sets this Yeti apart from other bikes in that era?
Frank Waddleton aka FTW aka Frank the Welder an absolute legend who designed the ARC. Not to mention John Parker who started Yeti and some of their early riders like John Tomac, Juli Furtado, Missy Giove, Myles Rockwell...

Plenty of other really cool bikes in that area but Yeti had a cool logo and really helped a lot of talent get started and made some cool bikes with some cool colors in the process.
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Old 04-01-21, 09:02 AM
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Other than a cool logo and being associated with some professional bike people...what set the bike itself apart?
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Old 04-01-21, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Other than a cool logo and being associated with some professional bike people...what set the bike itself apart?
Were those folks not enough? Those people rode on the ARC and FTW designed it and made an excellent design. They won a ton of NORBA races and a bunch of national and world championship titles. Plus they also helped design their oversized tubeset with Easton.

You see that turquoise and yellow and you can pretty easily recognize it as a Yeti.

Plus XTR is a good groupset it effectively killed the U.S. drivetrain manufacturing like Paul Components and White Industries and Joe's Machining, Precision billet...and worked fantastically. Though sad they did so as I would love to have an old Paul Comp derailleur set.

Do you really not enjoy the bike? If so I am happy to take it off your hands. I think it is a cool piece of history but you seem less impressed by it.
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Old 04-01-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Other than a cool logo and being associated with some professional bike people...what set the bike itself apart?
I am at a little bit of a loss there, myself. I mean some of the color schemes were cool and now recognizable, though I think the one the OP has is black and yellow, not the now-recognizable turquoise. I could see getting hot over one of the turquoise and orange ones... but only as a vintage project. Sticking new components on it would kill whatever appeal it would otherwise have for me. Other than that.... it's just a high end (for the time) 1999 aluminum frame, IMO. I remember riding in the late 90's. There were bikes I lusted for. This was not really one of them.
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Old 04-01-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Were those folks not enough? Those people rode on the ARC and FTW designed it and made an excellent design. They won a ton of NORBA races and a bunch of national and world championship titles. Plus they also helped design their oversized tubeset with Easton.

You see that turquoise and yellow and you can pretty easily recognize it as a Yeti.

Plus XTR is a good groupset it effectively killed the U.S. drivetrain manufacturing like Paul Components and White Industries and Joe's Machining, Precision billet...and worked fantastically. Though sad they did so as I would love to have an old Paul Comp derailleur set.

Do you really not enjoy the bike? If so I am happy to take it off your hands. I think it is a cool piece of history but you seem less impressed by it.
I'm not interested in the folks that designed this bike, rode the bike or won races on the bike or if it was a pink and purple color.

What I'm asking is was there anything that set this bike apart from any other bike in that era? One the outside it just looks like many other mountain bikes of that era...26" tires, Rim Brakes etc.
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Old 04-01-21, 01:16 PM
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^^^^ That wasn't me (the original poster). I like the bike and I don't want to get rid of it. Just need to figure out what to do with it. Part of why I do want to upgrade it is because I don't really want it hanging on a wall collecting dust. No real sense in that to me. Feels like the best course is the RockShox Rekon silver TK with the brake bosses. Then I can ride it and enjoy the upgraded fork and decide what to do next.

Tempted to get the Markhor fork, hydraulic front brakes, but it is a little bit of a can of worms. I'd need a new front wheel and new front shifter since the shifters and brake levers are integrated. Planet actually has a decent $99 old stock 26" front wheel which is disc compatible. https://planetcyclery.com/component/...em-whl1425-146

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