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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use to be an avid rider back in the 90's. I took about 20 years off and bought a Santa Cruz Heckler in 2014 in hopes to get back into it. That didn't happen for a variety of reasons.

Fast forward today I now have more time to ride and live in a great area (Bend, OR).

I enjoy upgrades, customization and having up to date technology in all my hobbies.


So is my Heckler now considered "old" where a new bike would have vast superior technology that would promote a more enjoyable ride?

Money is not an issue but I of course do not want to waste it either.

Should upgrade to a 1x12 and a dropper post? Or save that money and just buy a new $5k-$6k bike?

Any thoughts and suggestions would be great and sorry for the long post!
 

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Id try just riding it as long as it works. Its a good bike with a good spec and its geometry seems fairly current.

For everyone that loves their 1x, there's someone else who's going back to to 2x or 3x. Change it if you break it or start having chain/front der problems (drops, chain suck, etc.) And 1x12 introduces its own set of fiddliness problems.

I don't think any of the upgrades between your bike and a 2020 are going to make enough difference to keep you on the bike, or drive you off it. Certainly nowhere near the gulf between what you rode in the 90s and your Heckler.

Once you've shown some continued interest in the hobby, you can make more intelligent upgrades that actually serve your needs and wants. Otherwise it's another couple hundred or thousand(s) that sit around in the garage.

A dropper post is a reasonable upgrade if you descend a lot.
 

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I would recommend running what you got for a while and make sure that you are going to stick with mtb before you shell out for a new bike. Dropper post is def a game changer but you will need external routing and those are becoming rare - check out the Brand-X dropper at CRC (I’m running a couple of those, cheap and work well). If 1x is of interest or you just want better access to your dropper lever, just do a 1x10 conversion with your existing hardware (shifter, cranks, chain) and some new bits (11-42 cassette, 11sp derailleur, narrow-wide chainring) so you can avoid having to upgrade your free hub body as well. That’s about $300 in parts for the dropper and 1x conversion. I would then set a target or milestone for rewarding yourself with a new bike - a certain number of miles, rides, or time of actively riding.

When I jumped back into the sport about a year ago, I did most of the above (I’m running 2x10 still) on a 26er that’s twice as old as your Heckler and have had a great time doing it. I hit my milestone earlier this year and my new bike will be built this week or next. More importantly, I’m riding more and better than I ever have (low bar admittedly). The bike has never held me back - my fitness and my skills did that for a long time - and if anything, the outdated specs on my bike has forced me to be a better rider.
 

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Btw, my main bike is a 2014 Superlight, so I'm right there with you, though the Heckler is more slack so more modern in that aspect. I'm still running it as 3x10, but with a dropper. I've decided not to invest in an updated drivetrain and sometimes need the additional range I have over a 1x10. While not modern, I don't think my bike is really holding me back.

But I am thinking about a new bike end of this year.
 

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2014 isn't THAT old. I ride a mtb that's a 2015 that I got in late 2014 and it's fine.

I'd just ride the bike, though a dropper is definitely useful.

If you LOVE the bike, it's new enough that it can accept a lot of upgrades that are available nowadays so the sky is more or less the limit. But if you don't love it, just ride it for awhile until you decide that you want to get out of mtb riding, checking out what's on the market in the meantime. Given your track record in recent years, I'm not sure I'd justify spending a bunch on a new bike unless you're going to love that bike and ride it a lot.
 
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