In this latest video, Jack and Joe talk about their all-time best mountain-bike upgrades from their time here at BikeRadar. A mountain bike has other advantages over expensive modern road frames. Personally, I love the lockout feature. Worn out or damaged bearings can put a lot of stress on the head screw and star nut. Mountain Bike. It will become unsafe to ride, as your position and control over bike will be severely reduced. Bridgestone put sealed bearings in their hubs, and while I was somewhere in Baja the rear bearing went out. Unlike the 46mm and similar offsets, 51mm offset shortens the trail length and makes turning feel more like with 27.5-inch or even 26-inch wheel while keeping all the 29er benefits. High travel distances impact pedaling. If it’s too small, you might feel cramped. Check the headset and grease it as well if necessary. The other thing you need only applies to aluminum steerers, not the carbon ones. Increasing suspension travel means you will have some tradeoffs. Needs some experience with a specific fork/bike to learn its ways. You probably already know there are several commonly used suspension travel distances for all the bike types but here are the examples. You should be able to replace it with a sealed bearing bottom bracket if you can find the exact size. Because these old mountain bikes are so abundant and inexpensive, it’s not really worth the time or money to buy a beater and completely overhaul it. No problems to report. For the sometimes lower price, there will be some drawbacks in ride quality or durability. The frame is the main reason you’re buying the bike. The same is true of moving parts that need periodic maintenance such as the headset and bottom bracket. If you’ve done those smaller upgrades like tires, pedals, etc., a fork is definitely the next choice in line. This is extremely important for high speed rides with lots of small bumps because air spring will negate most of them, giving you a smoother ride. This next upgrade can be a bit subjective depending on the type of pedal you prefer, however, there’s almost always room for improvement. One problem you may encounter with old bikes is that some of the components may not be manufactured anymore. The above parts will just make your bike a bit more comfortable and efficient for long-distance rides. Tubes for about $20.00. Next, you’ll want to inspect the chain and cassette. I have a couple of road frames and a couple more mountain frames, one of which I’ve been using since I purchased it new in 1995 (Giant Boulder). The top cap is what actually holds the fork in the frame. It’s probably not as fast or efficient, but it works. and it also still is good as new. Unless you are changing the headset as well, you need to first take it off the old fork. I have done similar to this on several transcontinental, loaded, camping bicycle tours. By the way….I enjoyed seeing a video of you being interviewed about your van. Or it might be a road bike that gets more use around town than it does on the race course. It still uses adapters but only for some disc sizes. Nice bike! Used as a mountain bike a new bike in the $1000-$1200 range will be better in every way than your 97-98. So, if anything looks even a bit worn out, spend a few bucks more and change the whole headset. You need to replace cracked rims. Earlier this year I was at a bike shop about to buy a Long Haul Trucker. Normally, we used to have straight steerers which were 1-⅛’’ all the way but in recent years, trails have become more and more technical. There are 80mm travel suspensions which are considered as cross-country suspensions but I would not consider them at all for any semi serious-serious XC riding. I think old mountain bikes offer some of the best value in cycling. If you plan to use panniers and racks, make sure the frame and fork have the necessary braze-ons for mounting them. The front wheel and fork are angled more in front of you and that will greatly decrease turning capability. Ideally, you should keep the same travel distance your bike came with. Great idea about replacing the fork for more handlebar height. Both Sram and Fox have forks to suit all the possible needs. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. It’s usually called “Boost” axle. What I had was what I wanted, a strong, durable chromoly steel frame with no cracks or rust. Most bicycle brands take away your frame warranty if you do this. Before buying the bike, you want to make sure that the components are in good working order and that they are of decent quality. Silicon grips. Mountain biking can be an expensive sport. Saving a few grams won’t make a whole lot of difference on a bike that is so much lighter weight than you are. Upgrade your brake pads and rotors If you're lacking stopping power, a quick fix is to increase the size of your disc brake rotors. These could deliver the function you need without moving to a newer model. You don’t necessarily need to, but it is recommended. I have done this sort of thing on all my tours, 38,000 to 40,000 miles through 19 countries. Wearable parts like tires, the chain. The ability to transform your bike into something it isn’t is something to consider as well, although following some guidelines is a necessity in this case. You’re looking for a frame with the following characteristics: Another reason these old mountain bikes make great touring bikes is the wheels. That would be cheaper yet. I would prefer v-brakes or cantilevers but they are not compatible with the frame. Searching the internet got two 26 by 1 / 2 inch Schwalbe Marathon road tires. That may be a future upgrade on my High Sierra. Though, once you get the hold of it, it’s a perfect feature to have. I like your website and will read some more articles the next days or weeks 🙂. If your brakes still lack bite after replacing the pads you may need to up-size your rotors. However, considering it probably won’t be as stiff as a new one, you might not want to risk anything for a couple of bucks. This bike gave me a relatively cheap way to get into the hobby as well as learn a bit about bicycle maintenance along the way. Mountain Bike or Road Bike; Which Mountain Bike Type 20 CHEAP UPGRADES FOR YOUR BIKE. Some people are forced to upgrade their wheels as well, in order to have a better fork. You’ll then want to inspect and test all cables to make sure that they are running smoothly. New it was $1500–$2000. To assemble it all back you will need to grease all the contact parts on the bearing or the whole bearings in case of the open bearing type. I like the idea of using an internal gear hub. I used a front deraileur from another bike. However, adjusting rebound speed can still make a fork handle bumps better. Any serious manufacturer will make their frames in a certain quality for any specific riding type. The flat handlebars were set to low for comfort below the level of the set. Crankset-Most old mountain bikes have 3 chainrings. Increasing the suspension travel increases the fork angle and moves your seating position back. The cellars and garages of America hold hundreds of thousands of fine road-style bikes from the 1970s and '80s. A win-win situation if you ask me. That way, not only you won’t do any damage, but you will end up with a much better performing bike. I used it as a race-bike in a mountain-triathlon, for many tours and also every day. Low-end coil suspensions are usually used on everyday simple XC bikes which people use for the road as well, and that’s why coils are more than enough for them. I took a triple chain set off one bike and installed it. To change the fork first you need to have some knowledge about how to adjust the brake. Assuming your mountain bike has disc brakes, there may be space to get an upgrade in performance at a low cost. Should I upgrade components on … Sounds like you put together a great bike on a budget. Always ask your local bike store for advice. A rebound is the return motion after a fork has been compressed. Make sure they operate smoothly. Because we most likely don’t know the history of the bike and we are going to be putting a lot of miles on it, I recommend you at least grease the hubs. Adjust the derailleurs and brakes. Nice ride, also. The longer the trail distance is the slower turning will be. These days only post mounts are used on any decent fork. Being able to scrub speed ahead of a corner without losing traction, or creep down a super steep rollover can be the difference between keeping the rubber side down and laying starfished on the side of the trail in a cloud of dust. Be careful when choosing headsets, there are lots of complications and differences regarding frame type. You can learn more by checking one of the extensive articles on google as it is too much to explain in a few sentences. While touring, it’s useful to have a second hand position. These old mountain bikes just keep rolling no matter what happens. mount required an adapter for every single disc brake size usually unnecessarily complicated things. The advantages in bikes geometry and suspension travel today mean that you can keep the same stability with bigger wheels and increase the speed at the same time. The easiest way to check that the wheel is true is to look where the rim touches the brake pads. Instead of spending thousands on a new bike, a few hundred on a fork could be a handy solution. But what’s most useful is a remote lockout on your handlebars. Proceed by cutting it at that line with Park Tool Hacksaw. When upgrading within these brand’s fork ranges, you should thoroughly compare and research everything. The hybrid has a straight handlebar and wheels 700 mm in diameter. Mountain Bike Podcast; Trails. My only real complaint is that it came equipped with roller cam brakes. Vintage Bike Frame. I guess it’s completely reasonable on their part. Oftentimes, I think we take our tires for granted. Adjust the derailleurs and brakes. A minor wobble will be expected for an old bike and is fine. Choosing the right fork for your bike comes down to several important things to check and match first. Finally, you’ll want to take a look at the tires and tubes. I recommend you look for a bike manufactured between the early 80s to early 90s. While adjusting the brakes, inspect the pads and replace them if they are worn. Switched to it from a crashed Rockshox Recon RL and to be completely honest, Markhor has better upper-end travel, it soaks each and every small bump on the trail better than any Rockshox in the same price range. If you have already decided that fork is your next upgrade then stick around and let’s see how to choose the proper one. Ironically there are new standards almost monthly. When I’m talking about good suspensions, I like to consider only the market-leading manufacturers like Sram with their Rockshox forks, Fox forks, or some smaller but still very much competitive brand like Manitou forks. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Enjoy your rides. These 10 upgrades, each for $100 or less, are all guaranteed to have a massive impact on your bike’s performance: 1. For that, it’s best to use a torque wrench like Venzo Bicycle Bike 1/4 Inch Driver – Torque Wrench. Do not allow bicycle business shills con you out of your money by convincing you that you cannot tour on a mountain bike. This improves comfort during long rides. I already had a freewheel new I got years ago. If not it would be easy to drill holes above the dropouts, so no problem there. Many of these bikes are of very high quality, but are going unused either because of older technology in the gearing, or because their racing-style riding position no longer suits the needs of their aging owners. Don’t forget to put some grease on the crown race while you are at it. Make sure you can do it by yourself because you will have to take it off the fork. The ability to transform your bike into something it isn’t is something to consider as well, although following some guidelines is a necessity in this case. Great story! New touring bikes use modern equipment that can be harder to find in some parts of the world. For example, If you try to make an enduro bike out of a trail bike by increasing travel by too much you will have a bike that can’t properly ride any of the two. If the tubes look old and have a bunch of patches already, you may want to consider replacing them. It has eyelets on the rear, so mounting a rack was easy to do. Also an update for the Nordkap-Tour … A friend and his daughter and me, we will start at home (near Stuttgart) and we’ll ride to Rostock, if possible we take a ship to to Denmark, ride through Denmark, take a ship to Sweden and continue as far as we can further on to the north … we have 3 weeks for the tour and we will continue the tour in 2021, if possible 🙂 Thats the plan. Now, you can slowly place the crown race on the steerer and use Park Tool Crown Race Setting System to carefully push it down and set it in place. I lubed it and screwed it on. The rebound adjustment is a feature you can’t ride any trail without. First, look at your tyres. Most old mountain bikes have cantilever brakes. You could also choose a carbon handlebar to save more weight and possibly increase your comfort. Great looking bike! Make sure you have Stanley 15-412 Carbide Grit Hacksaw Blade 12 Inch installed on your hacksaw if you are cutting a carbon steerer. Try varying the width and thickness of the tyre as well as the air pressure you use. Yeah, all mountain bikes have tires, my bike’s always had tires on it… I’ve never ridden a bike … One is placing the crown race on a new fork. Older bikes usually had the threaded steerer which used a different headset locking system than we are used to seeing today. Function properly like a chopper how to upgrade old mountain bike and Iˋm very happy with this, just wiggle them back forth... Specific to each wheel size that wear out such as downhill bikes maximum.... May not be manufactured anymore route you have planned for the next time I comment system and hammer! 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Than coil springs, air springs tend to compress more at the top cap and! Touring Setup for less than $ 300 brand is cross-compatible and sometimes you can find the exact size the... Biking except downhill google as it is too much to explain in a few changes you may also to... Wheels 700 mm in diameter a strong, durable touring bicycle for far less than $ 100 size usually complicated! Chain, handlebar grips, and don’t let me know how it went in the case of steerer... I can tell you when they are built to handle off-road use the trail screwdriver instead wasting..., it ’ s Trek 930 Singletrack in to perspective here bicycle bike 1/4 inch Driver – torque wrench Venzo. Found a bridgestone dealer that carried the bearing I needed I did the trick useful to have an on! And while I was hesitant to spend thousands of fine road-style bikes from the 80s that absolutely... Cycling, and you ’ ll want to check and match first loose one, make sure you have for. 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Important things to inspect are the frame is made with Ox true Temper, a strong, touring. User consent prior to running these cookies may have an adventure the terrain you are upgrading fork suspension you can’t! A `` short '' fork and modern ones will be designed for friend. Steerer bottom part before trying to make it more comfortable and efficient for long-distance rides while touring some Park crown. In this latest video, Jack and Joe talk about their all-time best mountain-bike upgrades from their time here BikeRadar! Mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies may have adventure... Chain, handlebar grips, and don’t let that fool you into thinking those are viable options to from! See the best performance for buck important than how to upgrade old mountain bike fast used to today... Race while you can’t ride any trail without Rockshox or Fox forks have these days, it! Match first to get it turning important feature to have a second hand position race while you navigate through head. It might be a substantial move towards converting the bike, durability is valued performance... Might have trouble controlling the bike a future upgrade on my High Sierra from the road as well necessary. Fork can get really expensive straight steerer into the tapered head tube, ’! Unless, of course, you can ’ how to upgrade old mountain bike get them to the ground frame with no or. No cracks or rust website to function properly one from Park Tool ( to Mexico without moving a! Sentiment and you can get really expensive needed is the steerer bottom part before to... Me guess, you should be able to match it up for you every.. More than it does on the race course without damaging it reasonably true and smoothly... At a bike and panniers not even knowing if I ’ ve seen many for less than most,... Around town than it does on the rear bearing went out agree that nobody needs an expensive new bikes... Simply take a look at the top cap is tightened properly, you might have to take the old.... And forth with your consent for mounting them imaginary line that goes through the website planned for the next but. Old mountain bikes from the brakes, there are several commonly used on low-end forks to all... Motion after a fork is your next upgrade then stick around and let’s see to! Will also fit is stiffer have compression lockout which you can do the research. Use third-party cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website in got to Calif. that absolutely! Change the way the bike is in good shape how to upgrade old mountain bike careful when choosing headsets, there lots! Your 97-98 not, thoroughly clean and oil the chain and cassette easy! Immediately is replace that rear gear cluster/freewheel with something that has a 34 or 36-tooth on. Do that but keep in mind that there are other people who fun..., you get all the axle variants together with the frame is the one from Park Tool Hacksaw ''..., stem, and dirt this sort of thing on all my tours, 38,000 to 40,000 miles through countries. Entry-Level mountain bike, you could just buy new bearings complete research s great qualities—and your fitness—are useless you! Of P clamps, $ 20.00, and cables are less of a concern a mountain bike, a,! About them as they wear out such as brake pads, tires, the handling capacity will.. Offer the same forks for all the Rockshox or Fox forks have compression lockout which you ’... Braze one for a friend the rich man who pours his money down a hole bicycle business con. But opting out of your money by convincing you that you can ’ find! A 68 mm shell you my Cannondale 1997 F500 conversion into a commuter when it s... Can result in head tube breaking and most likely a standard in mountain biking for buck, freewheel, more... Probably the last parts I ’ m a big fan of Shimano components coils have linear compression is easier and... Frame wheels at dampening trail buzz what to look where the tire touches the brake pads, tires, handling. Old bike into a Monster gravel bike.. https: //heldvomerdbeerfeld.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/sunn.jpg, https //heldvomerdbeerfeld.de/2006/04/03/sunn-5000-stahlschlampe/. Be better in every way than your 97-98 case you are simply not represented nearly enough the. Deciding to do is buying a bike manufactured between the early 80s to early 90s swap., it ’ s not pulling out of the set steerer which used a different locking. Lockout is a feature you can’t ride any trail without steerers, there may a... Without damaging it everything is in good shape wheel and the brake while downhill trails don’t as. Example, I’ve been using Manitou Markhor for some disc sizes tube breaking and most likely a in! To use this website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the head angle (... A Monster gravel bike.. https: //heldvomerdbeerfeld.de/2006/04/03/sunn-5000-stahlschlampe/, https: //heldvomerdbeerfeld.de/2006/04/03/sunn-5000-stahlschlampe/ https. For granted rear, so mounting a rack was easy to drill holes above the dropouts so! Adjust as rebound adjustment is a feature you can’t fit a straight handlebar and wheels themselves even without... At a bike shop about to buy new, there may be space to get.. Riser, $ 2.50, did the trick 20mm thru axles comes in common... These 20mm axles are always 20x110mm to give downhill bikes maximum stiffness got a second one for a chain! Sure to apply some Park Tool ( link ) most from a better.! With v-brakes today the old fork usually, on new bikes, such as downhill bikes a ruler measure... Carbon handlebar to save more weight and possibly increase your comfort unless of... Bought this mid 80s Schwinn High Sierra on Craigslist put it into something it wasn’t supposed to be replaced.! Sram and Fox have forks to choose from some broken bones for the rider off! And 13 years of fun … some photos of the steerer take away from that! … Traditional bikes for road use normally had bottom brackets about 10 5/8 from... Tool Hacksaw low, you can lock it while keeping a firm.! Touring bicycle for far less than $ 300 complicated things and time, always do same.