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Is it worth upgrading an old bike?

scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
Good morning Bike Radar, it’s been a while.

So I have an ‘06 Whyte 46 that I love, it’s the only ‘decent’ mtb I have owned. After the first couple of years of loving riding it, with multiple trips to bike parks and constant local trails, the kids came along and priorities changed, so it sat in the loft for a couple of years.

About 6 months before lockdown, in a bid to lose some weight and try to rekindle the love, I pulled it out of the loft dusted it off, gave it the once over and started using it to commute to work, only a 2 mile around trip so couldn’t justify using the car. This ultimately led to me going back on local trails and the love was back for my old flame.

Some new rubber, some new flat pedals, a good service and I’ve got the bug again; with plans to go to Delamere and Llandegla soon.

With the bug being well and truly under my skin, I’m now watching more and more videos on maintenance and enjoying GMBN in particular. I’m reading as much as I used to back when I started out and a lot has changed since I was riding regularly.
Lots of recognisable brands still making great bikes, with loads of ones I’ve not heard of that seem to have made big impressions on the scene. Geometry being the main big change, along with the seemingly never ending suspension battles of the big brands of yester year sorted once and for all with not really any bad full sus designs from what I’ve read.

Of course with ‘researching’ I’ve been looking at new bikes, but with a house move on the cards and the price of bikes in the many thousands, a new bike, or even preloved option is out the equation at the moment.

So, the bike is fine, it works, the brakes need new seals and the brake mounts need re facing, (the reason I always had problems with them way back when, but was too mechanically ignorant to notice).
The reason for this post is, do I bother upgrading it as parts wear out, drivetrain most notably (9spd with triple chainrings) and throw a dropper post on, or could I end up riding something that will end up being a pain to get parts for because most standards have changed? I have considered selling to fund a new bike, but I have seen them go in worse condition than mine with the same maverick fork, for around £400, so selling wouldn’t get me much more towards something more recent.

I enjoy riding it and as my first ‘proper’ bike, that honeymoon period is still lingering 😂, but should I bite the bullet and save then get rid? Or would you keep an old friend and stick it back together as best you can until you have to say goodbye?

Thanks in advance for reading my biking life story 😅

Scott
"If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!

Posts

  • parmosparmos Posts: 78
    i still have a 99 Cannondale Jeykll & 04 Cannondale Gemini that i still use weekly can't beat them
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 564
    edited 9 July
    Not in any way giving a suggestion on what you should do next. Old loved bikes are worth the same as a new one. Your bike is by no means a vintage or relic and can be upgraded to whatever you desire.

    I am in the new bike camp when it comes to bikes, cars, anything etc. The bike industry is fast moving and 90% of the time the improvements made to a simple machine are so worth while, add to riding enjoyment and take advantage of new technology.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,222
    Ride it till it's worn out or your ability is being held back by the bikes capability. Then buy a new one and turn the old one into a pub bike.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,994
    If you love the bike, then keep it. You will never get your money back on it and you will regret selling it for ever.

    Fix the things that need fixing, maybe upgrading as you go, if that floats your boat. If you are thinking of adding a dropper, then also think of going 1x as that will make room for the dropper remote. If you go dropper first, fit the remote on the left, which is where you will end up putting it when you do go 1x. You might as well get it right first time, unlike me!
  • ToneCToneC Posts: 18

    If you love the bike, then keep it. You will never get your money back on it and you will regret selling it for ever.



    I had a Specialized Rockhopper from 1998 for my first proper MTB. Then when my best friend and riding partner died from cancer I bought a new bike and got rid of the original one as I couldn't bear to look at it. Years go by and I found myself on eBay . A few years ago I became the proud owner of a Specialized Rock hopper from 1998....like Steve said....he may even remember the photos and how happy I was to get another again.

  • anthwilson81anthwilson81 Posts: 2
    I sold my 2010 fuji tahoe pro to a friend about 7 years ago. Regretted ever since. Recently bought it back from him, as he had it in bits in his shed and never used it. I've had it rebuilt, and it's back to being like brand new. Best money I've spent during lockdown. It won't be my main bike (that's my whyte 605) hoping my partner will come ride with me and she can use it.
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 337
    I have plenty of old bikes and they are lovely to ride. Some have old kit some have modern kit.

    For my MTBs though my two high spec old ones are lumbering dinosaurs compared to my three newer MTBs. All my newers ones are 29ers and rocket ships compared to my my old 90s mtbs.

    Its not even a contest in capabilities. That said 26" disc brake equipped mtb with tubeless tyres and inserts will still a fun ride. I just dont see the point unless your preferred 29er is so slack it doesn't go round tight corners.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
    Firstly, thank you to all who took the time to read, I nearly fell asleep reading it back myself just now 😂

    I guess my main concern with upgrading, especially the drive train is it may end up costing more than the bike is worth, but then the enjoyment of owning the bike for more years to come with an up to date group set should outweigh that worry, thanks for making me realise that 😘
    Maybe I can put some money aside after the house move, maybe. Or, I could blag my boss some time in the future to opt into the ride to work, and get a yeti? 😂

    So the current spec is all original, other than some changes I did not long after picking the bike up as it was second hand at the time.
    The 9spd XT rear mech was goosed after I got my hands on it and I much preferred the SRAM shifters 1:1 ratio and went with ‘06 X9 for the rear mech and shifters respectively.
    The wheels are Mavic En321’s on Hope pro2 hubs and have recently been made tubeless, with a Conti Der Baron on the front and a Conti trail king on the back (recommendations I found on various tyre reviews online). Tubeless really is a revelation, who knew?! 😉

    A dropper could be first on the list, as I think it would make riding so much more enjoyable. I nearly picked one up way back when the Maverick speedball was bought out by Crankbrothers, but like with all new tech, at the time the Joplin never seemed as robust and reliable as I would of wanted so waited, so long in fact I had some kids and stopped riding 😂
    I’ve got not internal routing, but going 1x may leave the routing from the front mech usable for a dropper, now I need to prioritise one over the other unless I got wireless? The Magura Vyron seems ok for the price, but then then the Reverb axs is even nicer, just the price seems to reflect that 🥺

    Does anyone know what my limits are for the rear transmission wise? Can I go 12spd? If so at what price? I’ve read about Shimanos new micro spline, but that doesn’t sort the rear freehub body as Hope are only doing them for the Pro2 Evo hubs iirc and I’ve not even looked at SRAM options for the hub. This will also mean a new rear mech and shifter?

    Front 1x is going to mean changing from the 3x XT crankset up front to something newer unless it’s adaptable to 1x? (I need to check the measurements for the BB too, which could do with replacing).

    Well, I think I’m committed to upgrading over time, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be cheap, but it may be worth it..........maybe😐😅

    Thanks again,

    Scott

    "If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

    Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,644
    I've sold bikes to "upgrade them" to something "better" only to realise that I had an emotional attachment to my old one that I don't have to the new one.

    If you love it - keep it.
    But don't expect it to be as whizz-bang as the latest stuff - technology is improving.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,994
    I converted my YT Capra from Sram 2x10 to 1x12. I made a note of what I bought and how much it cost me. It was back in Nov'17, but it will give you a list of things to look at and where to go. I had a good look around and compared prices and weights for various classes of 12-speed. I opted to go GX Eagle and I did not regret it. When riding I could not tell the difference vs the XO1 on my other bike. I'm not sure, but I don't think Shimano 12-speed was available at the time. In any case, I wanted the shifter to be Sram to link best with the brakes and dropper already on the bike. Those Matchmaker mounts are brilliant.

    Actual purchases on 24/11/17: All prices are delivered.

    Cassette 10-50 SRAM XG1275 12sp MTB Fawkes-Cycles.co.uk £145.15

    Chain ring SRAM X-Sync 2 Eagle 32T Direct Mount 6mm offset, or bcd? If bcd, then no crankset required. CHAIN RING NOT REQUIRED

    Crankset SRAM X-Sync Eagle 32T 170mm BB30 Chain Reaction Cycles £106.99 Direct Mount 6mm offset.

    Rear Mech SRAM GX Eagle 12sp TREDZ £78.49 (Inc £5 off )

    Trigger Shifter SRAM GX Eagle 12 sp trigger TREDZ £22.90 Order with chain and get £5 off May not come with an inner cable

    Chain SRAM GX Eagle TREDZ £19.99 Comes with a powerlink.

    Gear Cable Various, inner and outer LBS Inner reqd, use existing outer

    Bottom Bracket RaceFace BB-PF30 bottom bracket CRC £29.99 Ordered along with with crankset (above).

    Total Cost £403.51


    I fitted it myself, but I had problems with the bottom bracket and took the bike to my LBS. They made it fit, but they had to saw 15mm from the plastic tube spacer that keeps the bearings apart. I suppose it's no worse than shortening your bars one size fits all type of thing, but there was no mention of this possible requirement in the BB instructions. So that was another £30, what with the faffing around they had to do.

    Overall verdict: Brilliant! I no longer had to make an adjustment when stepping from one bike to the other. And I now had the dropper remotes on the same side on each bike. As I said earlier, the GX Eagle was flawless and I just could not tell the difference between it and the XO1 Eagle.
  • scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
    Steve_sordy many thanks for the recommendations, really appreciated.

    Looking into what you’ve suggested, I’m not sure it can be done on my current rear hub. It’s a hope pro2, non evo model, and I’m struggling to find a free hub that will fit for the conversion. From what I’ve read the pro2 can be converted into an pro2 evo, which allows it to be fitted with an 11spd compatible freehub for Shimano or SRAM, but the width isn’t there to allow a 12spd cassette, and it’s at a cost.

    11spd will be fine I‘m thinking. My middle chainring is a 32, so an added two sprockets on the cassette may give me enough for climbing, but I’ll have to check the ratios I’m working with currently, or get some stronger legs 😂

    I’ve also looked at the routing for a dropper which I was thinking could be done utilising the current route for my front mech, but the linkage is in the way to get it up the seat tube 🥺 So I may have to go wireless, as I don’t want cables zip tied to cables as it will always look messy. I’m going to have a bit more of a look into it but the Magura Vyron seems as affordable as a decent cable operated dropper and is a damn sight cheaper than the Reverb AXS.

    Up front should be a bit more straight forward, but I will have to check what size Hollow tech II BB I have currently to match a new one for the cranks. I need to have a bit more understanding of bottom brackets too before I proceed, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the numbers, but I’m sure a little research will see me right.

    Thanks again.

    Scott
    "If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

    Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!
  • danxdanx Posts: 12
    If it helps here's my order history from converting Shimano 3x9 to 1x11 early last year. Think there was a sale on at the time. Didn't need to mess with my hub - 9 and 11spd cassettes are the same width.


    BLACK by Absoluteblack Narrow Wide Oval MTB Single 32 tooth Chainring
    Order Total: £26.99

    SRAM PC1130 11 Speed Chain
    Silver, 120 Links
    sku571019
    £15.78

    Shimano XT M8000 11 Speed Trigger Shifter
    Black, Rear - Bar Mount
    sku493078
    £34.99

    SunRace MX8 11 Speed Shimano - SRAM MTB Cassette
    Metallic Silver, 11-46t
    sku573599
    £49.99

    Shimano XT M8000 11sp Rear Derailleur
    Black, Medium Cage,
    sku493074
    £50.99

    Total: £178.74 (Plus cables which in my case I already had lying around)


    I also ordered, but didn't need (as the chainring had it's own spacers built in)

    Race Face Chainring Tab Shims
    Black,
    sku422860
    £9.99
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    The logic for your bike (to me) is to convert it to 1x11, that would just mean
    Cassette (Shimano fit onto your existing wheel)
    Narrow wide chainring (middle location on current cranks)
    Chain
    Derailleur and shifter.

    I just went from 1x10 to 1x11 for less than £80 using used parts (New chain) from ebay/pinkbike and facebook market place. The narrow wide ring you'd need on top would bring it to still sub £100.
    In my case that was an SLX shifter, XT mech and cassette and a mid level KMC chain.

    You could go 1x12 using a lower level SRAM cassette (Shimano HG freehub fitment) but it will cost you a fair bit more for not a huge benefit.

    As an indication I was running a 2006 frame with the 1x10 (sub 10kg full suspension), I then built up a 2014 frame with most parts from that bike, now done that 1x11 conversion.
  • scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
    danx said:

    If it helps here's my order history from converting Shimano 3x9 to 1x11 early last year. Think there was a sale on at the time. Didn't need to mess with my hub - 9 and 11spd cassettes are the same width.


    BLACK by Absoluteblack Narrow Wide Oval MTB Single 32 tooth Chainring
    Order Total: £26.99

    SRAM PC1130 11 Speed Chain
    Silver, 120 Links
    sku571019
    £15.78

    Shimano XT M8000 11 Speed Trigger Shifter
    Black, Rear - Bar Mount
    sku493078
    £34.99

    SunRace MX8 11 Speed Shimano - SRAM MTB Cassette
    Metallic Silver, 11-46t
    sku573599
    £49.99

    Shimano XT M8000 11sp Rear Derailleur
    Black, Medium Cage,
    sku493074
    £50.99

    Total: £178.74 (Plus cables which in my case I already had lying around)


    I also ordered, but didn't need (as the chainring had it's own spacers built in)

    Race Face Chainring Tab Shims
    Black,
    sku422860
    £9.99

    Thank you for the input, nearly ended up with an XD conversion for my hub that I don’t need.

    11spd it is then 😅

    The logic for your bike (to me) is to convert it to 1x11, that would just mean
    Cassette (Shimano fit onto your existing wheel)
    Narrow wide chainring (middle location on current cranks)
    Chain
    Derailleur and shifter.

    I just went from 1x10 to 1x11 for less than £80 using used parts (New chain) from ebay/pinkbike and facebook market place. The narrow wide ring you'd need on top would bring it to still sub £100.
    In my case that was an SLX shifter, XT mech and cassette and a mid level KMC chain.

    You could go 1x12 using a lower level SRAM cassette (Shimano HG freehub fitment) but it will cost you a fair bit more for not a huge benefit.

    As an indication I was running a 2006 frame with the 1x10 (sub 10kg full suspension), I then built up a 2014 frame with most parts from that bike, now done that 1x11 conversion.

    Thanking you also, I wasn’t aware that an 11spd cassette would fit my freehub, much appreciated. Also, something to look at regarding used parts, thanks again for the advice.

    Scott
    "If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

    Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!
  • scotttomoscotttomo Posts: 531
    Additionally, would my new rear mech need to be a long cage to accommodate the extra two rear sprockets? I’m thinking, an 11-42 cassette with a 32 ring up front.

    Thanks again,

    Scott
    "If i was a slug i don't think i could handle it, i'd just throw myself in the salt pot" -Karl pilkington

    Whyte 46, i fall off it alot!!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    You need to look at mech capacity, I ran a short cage 9-speed XTR with an 11:40, but that was on it's limit, a medium cage should do it.
  • ads4ads4 Posts: 698
    I went with a long cage for an 11/42 conversion from an 11/36. I also added a wolfs tooth goat link so the position of the rear derailleur changed without having to wind in the B screw all the way.
    Adam.

    Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

    Current ride - Yeti ASR 5a X0
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