new bike or upgrade

paulwood Posts: 231
edited December 2013 in MTB buying advice
I'm a roadie who used to ride an MTB occasionally but since moving house to the country it seems a shame to waste all the great trails nearby.

So the decision is whether to look at a new bike or upgrade the one I have. I own an old (20 years?) Marin Pine Mountain. Steel frame is in good condition, most of the bits have been downgraded as they wore out or broke. Got a very heavy old fork.

I guess I will mainly ride trails for fun. Won't race or do downhill specific stuff. Might possibly do some lightweight touring, Coast to Coast, that kind of thing.

I'm sure things will have moved on loads since I bought the Marin, though it was a great bike for it's time. I've read what I can about wheel size and am no closer to deciding if a 29 is a good idea or not.

Any suggestions pointing me in the right direction would be great. Budget would be £1000 for a new bike, perhaps half that if I go the upgrade route. LBS stocks Trek and Cannondale



  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    I was in the same position myself earlier this year with an 1990's Orange C16r which needed a fair few upgrades and in the end I bought a new mountain bike as I knew I would get good use out of it. I ended up with a Specialized Carve after test riding which is a great XC bike for trails etc. and for me it handles really well at speed. The biggest change for me from my old bike was the disc brakes which are much better, the 10 speed gearing which is much smoother, easy to adjust air suspension fork and the bigger wheels really ride the trails well for me.

    When choosing a mountain bike it is best to go by the spec, price, looks and most importantly how it feels when you test ride it. The wheel size does not matter as much as some people suggest and is down to personal preference. My bike is a 29er and my wife recently bought a 26er in the sales , both chose the bike we felt rode the best and liked the look of while keeping an eye on price and spec. I have always preferred XC Hard tail mountain bikes but give a FS bike a test ride as you may prefer it. Check out the 2013 sales and make some cheeky offers there are some real bargains about.
  • paulwood
    paulwood Posts: 231
    Yes, disc brakes is one of the things making me lean towards a new bike. will probably stick with hardtail though, less to break, and spend the money on other bits

    Will try and borrow a 29er to try, I like the idea of rolling over bumps but not so much the compromise in agility.
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    That's the other change I noticed getting used to a 29er and then going back to my 26er it felt like a BMX in comparison and a lot more twitchy, not a bad thing just different.