Buy new or upgrade existing?


Original Post
BJ Bruce · Feb 10, 2017 · Lake Oswego · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

Good day!  I have an old 2000 Cannondale Super V 800.  I don't mind riding it, but I've been thinking of a couple of options here.  The technology on it is a bit outdated, and the Headshok I don't really like.  Otherwise it's not been bad to me.  My questions are these:  Is it worth the money to throw a couple of updated parts on it, or better to buy a newer bike altogether.  I don't need to get something crazy, as I'm not planning on racing or crazy downhill or anything.  Just recreational riding.  I was thinking of getting a new hardtail, but wasn't sure.  Is the difference in technology great enough since 2000 to warrant a new ride, or can I fake it by adding new forks and maybe disc brakes and..and?  What are your opinions on this?  I also don't really want to go out and drop $2k+ on a bike.  That will get me in more trouble with they Wifey...Nobody needs that...

Thanks, and have a great rest of your day!


Brandon Dykes · Feb 11, 2017 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

It's funny I came across this thread. I have been on a iron horse 3.5 for about a decade. I had some problems with the drivetrain and converted it over to a single speed.  That was enough to get me riding more again. Started saving up some money and found a great deal on a new ride. Has it changed anything? Maybe not, but I have had a blast on my new bike. I think we all get gear lusty every now and then. A few components will make what you have seem like a new bike to you but saving up and getting a new bike is awesome also. I think sometimes it's more what you would like. If you're happy with your bike then upgrade and enjoy the ride. If you think you want to advance into something a little more technical try saving up and getting something a little nicer. Also, keeping the wife happy always makes life easier, that's why I waited to drop a little more on a nicer bike after I go the ok from the better half. 


Kylan Shirley · Mar 8, 2017 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

You might not be able to put disc brakes on your bike if the frame doesn't have the right mounting points.  I'm not sure how headshocks from that era worked, but a new fork might not work with the frame, or be the wrong dimension and throw the geometry off. 

If you were I, I'd go ride some new mountain bikes and see what you think about them.  If they don't feel any 'better', however you want to quantify better, then your old ride is good enough.  If you're blown away by how the new bikes ride and can never imagine going back to your old bike, well then you'll have to get a new one. 

bike geometries, drivetrain technology, wheel sizes, basically everything, has changed so much since 2000 that bikes ride and feel very differently to someone that is paying attention.  then again, it's still just a bike and if the wheels are still turning, you can ride it.

good luck with your decision!


Jim Swanson · 3 days ago · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

I was in the same boat about 5 years ago. I had ridden moderately in the early 90's, then life got in the way. 2010 comes around and I want to get back into riding. Needless to say, my 1994 Trek was pretty "behind the times". I did ride it to get my self back into the activity, but knew that I needed something better suited for the way I ride now. My first instinct was also just to see if I could "update" the brakes (it is fully rigid, and I only ride fully rigid so I don't have to worry about sus forks etc). Pretty much everyone told me that it would be less expensive to get a new bike. So I started the 2 year search for my new bike! Tons and TONS of spreadsheets, lists and hours spent window shopping as well as getting on forums like this, MTBR etc, I settled on a new bike. This also gave me time to save up!! The 2 BIGGEST THINGS that really helped me figure out what to get were finding out which riding styles I would be doing the most, and then finding the right geometry to suit those styles. 

What I learned was that really, components are components, and they are interchangeable. Geometry and the frame of the bike to me are not (mostly b/c I rarely have extra cash laying around to buy a new frame every year). I knew I was going to get into bike packing, but also wanted to ride single track and that I ride more in the winter than the summer. I grew up riding BMX so I knew I wanted fully rigid steel. All of my research led me to my Surly Krampus. There were many other bikes that were behind it - Trek Stache 9, Salsa Fargo, and the Surly ECR - but the Krampus was the one for me. 3 bikes in 1. Cockpit and front triangle geo for long rides, a short chainstay for BMX like nimbleness - and fun on twisty singletrack; 29+ wheels for bashing though mud, most snow, and unridden territory (what I call bushwacking). I also wanted a bike tha twould not hinder me as my skills get better

Long story short. Do some research. Think about what style you will ride the most. Really research geometry, and test ride as many bikes as possible. Don't buy a bike that will NOT allow your skills to grow into using it (meaning, don't allow "budget" or your current ability level to be all of your decision). Dont' drink the FS/carbon Fiber Kool Aid unless you are really going to be making millions racing the bike....and enjoy the journey!!


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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