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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
sorry for long post.

Its time to start looking into a new frame. I currently ride a 24 year old rigid Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo I have ridden for 18 years. The frame is starting to show some stress around the head tube, cracks in the paint and rust on welds. I am nervous about riding it and the front rim is about worn through.

My budget is low, probably too low, but around $400 or so with room to upgrade later.

I am happy with my bike as it is, but its not safe
I am interested in another 20 year durable frame, so I assume steel, is it possible to buy a decent replacement frame?

I ride single track to rock garden, up and down hill, and I am not a racer and never want to be. I would classify my needs as All Mountain but no real drop offs here.


I am considering going hard tail, I know I can't afford a FS bike unless i go to wall mart. (ick, ew,) I would also consider going rigid on a frame that could accept front suspension later. I have never ridden a hardtail, so I might hate it, who knows, but I am getting older, the cushion might be nice.

I am 39, 6'3" and weigh 185.

I would buy from any place really, local, Craigslist, ebay, whatever.

I will take any suggestions.

I am afraid of 10 year old aluminum frames because of metal fatigue and newer bikes making the tradeoff of lightweight for durability. Are these valid concerns?

Any chance I can move everything over to a new frame, is anything compatible? Except the 1" forks obviously. Mix and match from a parts bike? Some things are obsolete (Ubrakes) but...


I am intrigued by 29ers, but never ridden one, intrigued by mechanical disc brakes, but if the cost is too high I would be happy with rim friction.

Any suggestions?
 

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check out a giant revel 2. the stock stuff should last for a few years if you're not pounding, you get a lifetime warranty on the frame. it is aluminum, but I have a 15 yr old giant rigid aluminum that has held up very well...I'm sure more folks will chime in on this over the weekend. good luck
 

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Bikes have changed A LOT in 24 years. Very few of your parts on your current bike would swap over to a new frame. Rear hubs are wider now, so your rear wheel won't work, since you need to go to a wider hub you will need a new cassette, the headtubes are bigger now, so you will need a new stem, fork and headset and new frames won't have cable stops to hold the cables for the cantis so you would have to rig something up.

I would recommend you pay a visit to your LBS and talk with the salespeople and check out the bikes to learn about what is out there and the options available. Commit not to buy anything, because sales people will try to get you to buy. Spend some time on this site reading and asking questions. I also would take your current bike to a Trek dealer and have it inspected to see if it is safe to ride. Then if it is safe to ride you can continue to ride it while you save up more money. $400 is enough to buy an okay entry level hardtail, but its always better to buy the best you can up front than to upgrade later.

You are not going to find a steel framed bike for $400 though. A steel frame alone can cost this much. Back in the day aluminum frames were much more expensive to build than steel. Now manufacturing techniques have changed this and aluminum is way cheaper to build than steel. It used to be entry level bikes were hi ten steel and better bikes were cro mo. Now bike companies build almost everything out of aluminum or carbon fiber. A few companies do build steel bikes, but they are very high end bikes with very high quality steel like the Jamis Dragon. You could get a frame like a Soma Groove (I picked a new one up off ebay for $200 last year) and build it up, but the cost would exceed your budget. You are correct that aluminum is not going to be safe to ride for another 24 years, unless you don't log a lot of miles. So you are either going to have to rasie your budget, settle for aluminum, or buy used. But if you buy used, you are still going to have to buy an old bike because steel bikes have not been made in large numbers for probably 15 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, and you are right, I have been doing some research here for a few weeks. Things have changed dramatically. I ended up getting a '97 copy of the bike I have now. Hoo Koo E Koo, from craiglist for under $200. It's bone stock and USA true temper. It has some wear, but I think it will last a few more years.

You're right again, nothing from my bike will transfer except the pedals and the handle bars. This bike is 14 years old, so I imagine parts will be hard to get for it as well if things have continued to change at this rate.

I will just keep my old bike complete for paved trails with the wife.
 
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