To upgrade or not to upgrade

Justinslow

Lovely jubbly
Location
Suffolk
Hi, I posted a pic of this bike in the photo gallery the other day having completed a 31 mile day in the forest mtb tracks at High lodge Thetford forest. It's a Saracen Fastrax with handbuit 7005 oversize alloy frame, Shimano grip shifters 21 speed Shimano megarange/ventura SPS crank. Having cleaned it up its apparent it needs a good seeing to! So far the list is, chain, freewheel/cassette, BB, rear brake caliper/blocks, headset bearings, shifters/levers (vague non precise gear changing). I would also like to upgrade the rear wheel to QR this would also allow me to use a cassette rather than the freewheel on the current wheel and allow me to use modern 8 speed shifters/levers. If I stick with the wheel I've got I will have to stick to freewheels and 7 speed. The forks aren't the best obviously and flex a little! But would remain for now, the crank is slightly warped but with a new BB might be ok - might not.
I know this bike was never high end and I think it cost me something in the region of £180 new back in 2000. However it's lovely to ride feeling quite light and easy to throw around and I quite fancy improving it. My problem is that totting up the parts list is already up to £127 not including replacement forks or crank.
If I were to buy a new bike it would probably be around £350, something like the calibre two.two.http://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/calibre-two-two-alloy-hardtail-mountain-bike-p275612
So do I stick with what I've got or not?
I hate the idea that it's a throw away item but repairing doesn't seem to really make sense financially.
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Rooster1

I was right about that saddle
That looks mighty heavy - Any idea what it weights.
Wiggle have 30% off a GT Avalanche (2014) for £349.00 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/gt-avalanche-sport-2014/ or try Leisure Lakes perhaps
I would imagine these to be lighter, and with disc brakes f/r etc.
 

mrbikerboy73

Über Member
Location
Worthing, UK
It makes financial sense to upgrade if you can afford to do it. You'll get a brand new bike with up to date technology which has to be better. I understand the emotional attachment to a bike you've had for a while and I'm no different. But the cost of sorting it out is halfway to a new one. You can always keep it and replace bits at your leisure.
 
OP
Justinslow

Justinslow

Lovely jubbly
Location
Suffolk
It makes financial sense to upgrade if you can afford to do it. You'll get a brand new bike with up to date technology which has to be better. I understand the emotional attachment to a bike you've had for a while and I'm no different. But the cost of sorting it out is halfway to a new one. You can always keep it and replace bits at your leisure.
It's a real job to prioritise which bits need sorting first! I suppose I could put a chain and 7 speed freewheel on (the chain measuring tool was slapping about on the 0.75 side), some brake blocks, take the bb apart and sort out, and sort the headset which isn't that bad, but when you take up the play it makes the steering a little "stiff". And make do with the shifters. That would bring the cost down to somewhere around £40 - £50.....maybe. I don't think I can justify buying another bike at the minute, it's not like I'm using it every weekend.........and the wife would have a fit!
 

mrbikerboy73

Über Member
Location
Worthing, UK
It's a real job to prioritise which bits need sorting first! I suppose I could put a chain and 7 speed freewheel on (the chain measuring tool was slapping about on the 0.75 side), some brake blocks, take the bb apart and sort out, and sort the headset which isn't that bad, but when you take up the play it makes the steering a little "stiff". And make do with the shifters. That would bring the cost down to somewhere around £40 - £50.....maybe. I don't think I can justify buying another bike at the minute, it's not like I'm using it every weekend.........and the wife would have a fit!
If you can sort bits out for £40-50 then it's well worth doing. Looks like a clean and well looked after example.
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
Go and buy the calibre. Once you've ridden that you'll realise just what a dog that Saracen really is. Sorry to be so blunt, but even today's low-end crap will ride completely differently to your bike. Forget emotional attachment, the bike won't feel it owes you anything once it's spat you off into the weeds because the brakes and suspension are so awful. ^_^
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
There comes a point when returns from an upgrade becomes marginal. You might be better of working towards a new bike with better technology and something that you can upgrade with better returns as the main frame is worth working on.

There are 2 possible options;

  1. Keep this bike and only replace the worn out parts and have it as a second bike or
  2. Sell it off if you are financially constrained and work towards a new bike.
I would keep the bike as it does look good and work toward a new bike.
 
OP
Justinslow

Justinslow

Lovely jubbly
Location
Suffolk
Thanks for the replies, no offence taken for being blunt, you both talk a lot of sense! I'm purely a leisure rider and that's the first time that I had been on "proper" mtb tracks in 15 years! So you can see how much "proper" off roading I do! I think the answer is change the chain and freewheel, sort bb and headset and give to wife to use as she prefers the Saracen over her ridid Raleigh, then buy another bike in the future (when I've softened her up a touch)
 
OP
Justinslow

Justinslow

Lovely jubbly
Location
Suffolk
[QUOTE 3479008, member: 76"]Have a look at Decarhlon, they do some very good value mountain bikes. Double cable disc brakes and decent suspension for £230![/QUOTE]
Thanks, yes quite like their mtb's, reasonable components and a great price!
 

Jody

Veteran
[QUOTE 3479008, member: 76"]and decent suspension for £230![/QUOTE]

Depends on what you call decent suspension.
 
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