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I have had a 1993 or 1994 Raleigh MT200 mtb for about 12 years or so. It has seen numerous trips to the lbs and its in pretty harsh shape. Ive been looking at buying a used mtb to replace it, but when looking in my area in the 200 dollar range for a passable used bike, or at any new bikes at that price,im not finding equipment that seems any better suited to my needs than my current 15 year old bike.

On the other hand, im not sure what I can expect to upgrade on a bike of this age. More than anything, a front shock would be a huge step up from the solid fork its always had, but i dont know what fits, or even whether its 1" or 1 1/8".

Anyone know more about this bike, or have advice?
 

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I didn't look up the bike but I would be fairly certain that it will be a 1 inch threaded fork which you will never be able to find a good suspension for for. What I would do is save up until you hit the 350.00 mark and buy yourself a new Gary Fisher http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/mako or Trek http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mountain_hardtail/820/820/ a little more expensive Trek http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mountain_hardtail/3_series/3700/ All of these bikes will get you on the trail and having a good time.
 

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Those old Raleigh Technium frames (like the MT200) were 1 1/8" threaded...so theroetically you could upgrade to a suspension fork.

However, there are a few obstacles you will encounter. First off, you would have to get a new headset and stem as threaded forks are not available. You would also have to upgrade your front brake to a V-Brake (and use a Travel Agent). Also, the frame was not designed with suspension forks in mind so the geometry will be altered significantly with a 80mm travel fork (which is "short travel" these days).

$200 really isn't enough for this project. Keep looking, a few years back I got my wife a barely used 1.5 year old Trek 4300 for $200...so they're out there.
 
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