Bicycling/mountain bike



A very general question, please.   I have a 10 years old KHS Comp mountain bike.

 If I am buying a new good bike,  will I feel any MUCH different in efficiency, pedaling ? Other advantages?   Or, it is more for technical trails that you need the more advanced suspensions which I do not that much need ?

I do light plus trails but I got more into it and would like know whether it is worthwhile or not?   I live in a very small town so I can not really try one here.

Thank you,   Gabe

The improvement in buying a new bike will depend on the condition of your old bike.  If the old bike needed repair, new cables, new components, then in a new bike you will definitely notice a huge improvement in shifting speed, braking capability, and all-around tightness in handling.

You can fix up an older bike pretty dramatically by giving it a fresh set of cables (brakes and shifters), a new chain, new brake pads, new grips and by making sure the headset and cranks are appropriately tight.  If you want to go further, grease the hub bearings, change the bottom bracket (the crank bearings) and grease the pedal bearings.  The biggest benefit from a refurbishment, though, is that you know exactly how it handles, so you won't have to adapt to a new feel when riding.

When you get a new bike, you get some things that make it feel tighter and more efficient.  The fork seals are new and it is properly pressurized, so you get better shock absorption.  The drivetrain is not worn, so you get smooth, consistent shifting and you will likely get a more modern frame which will have many handling improvements from earlier frame shapes.  One other nice thing is that if you were on an 8 or 9 speed drivetrain, the new bike will likely have 10 speeds in the back.  

I have a number of older frames that I refurbish, keep current and still ride.  However, every couple of years (approximately every 7 years), I buy a new bike to keep up with technology (for instance to have 29 inch wheels).  The truth is, you really can go either way, depending on your budget.  If you are going for a new bike, it is most important to buy a good frame, because that is the single most expensive component.  You can always upgrade the drivetrain, seat, fork, etc. but changing the frame is usually big money.

So, to answer your question, it sounds more economical to refurbish if you are happy with the way this rides.  There will not be a dramatic improvement in pedaling efficiency from buying new unless your 10 year old bike is really worn down and hasn't been upgraded.  If you are going to buy new, it sounds like there is no need for full suspension (front and back) for you, but I do think front suspension is important for all bikes.

Hopefully this answers your questions.  Feel free to ask more if I missed anything.



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Graeme Henderson


I can answer questions pertaining to cycling training, mountain bike racing, bike repair (mountain, road, time trial, tandem, cyclocross), triathlon competition and training (mostly biking and running), and Spinning


Expert mountain bike racer (starting racing in 1989), raced in 5 different state series, built all my own bikes. Worked in a bike shop during summer. Currently in my fifth year of teaching Spinning at a major gym chain. Have developed and now teach a weekly triathlon class at the same gym.



Awards and Honors
One state mountain bike series top 5 finish. Raced in several ultras: Laramie Enduro, Leadville 100, 24 Hours of Moab, 24 Hours of Snowshoe. Gold finisher in El Tour de Tucson. Top 10 finish at XTERRA East Championships. Currently, regular top 15 finisher in Ohio triathlon series (top 3 in age group).
Qualifier, USAT Olympic Distance Nationals. Qualifier, XTERRA Nationals.

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