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Kicker of Elves
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427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this is an irritating question but, although new here, I did spend a few days searching the forum for an answer or similar questions.

Last weekend I decided to race for the first time in about12 years. My bike is about 15 years old but is in very good working condition. It is high end for its day with 8 spd XTR, Cook Bros Racing, Ringle', Ti BB, etc. It's a hardtail FTW-made frame with a suspension fork for which parts are still available.

I've been considering a new bike, but I really don't see that much of a performance advantage over what I already have in the price range I can afford. Do many of you still race and train on your older MTB's or use them as your main bike?
 

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Master of the Face Plant
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120 said:
Sorry if this is an irritating question but, although new here, I did spend a few days searching the forum for an answer or similar questions.

Last weekend I decided to race for the first time in about12 years. My bike is about 15 years old but is in very good working condition. It is high end for its day with 8 spd XTR, Cook Bros Racing, Ringle', Ti BB, etc. It's a hardtail FTW-made frame with a suspension fork for which parts are still available.

I've been considering a new bike, but I really don't see that much of a performance advantage over what I already have in the price range I can afford. Do many of you still race and train on your older MTB's or use them as your main bike?
Just ride it, think of how cool it will be beating guys who are riding $5k modern bikes, assuming ofcourse you don't suck:D

Seriously though, if the frame is good and you are happy with it why change? I would just update a few parts as needed. Consider if you could use better shifting, braking. Chances are you could upgrade to a newer fork and maybe lighten up a bit.

One thing for sure, a new bike will not make you faster but it may make you want to ride more. I have seen several racers riding older frame with modern parts. You really need to post a picture and full specs.
 

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Kicker of Elves
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427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sandmangts said:
Just ride it, think of how cool it will be beating guys who are riding $5k modern bikes, assuming ofcourse you don't suck:D

Seriously though, if the frame is good and you are happy with it why change? I would just update a few parts as needed. Consider if you could use better shifting, braking. Chances are you could upgrade to a newer fork and maybe lighten up a bit.

One thing for sure, a new bike will not make you faster but it may make you want to ride more. I have seen several racers riding older frame with modern parts. You really need to post a picture and full specs.
Thanks! I really appreciate your input and the frame of mind you suggest!

Seems like most of the people I meet lately have never seen a V-brake, or if they have can't believe I'm actually using them. They worked pretty good back then and still seem to work now...

Here is my bike, it's still dirty from the race (been out of town)...but it gives an idea of what it is:




Action Tec Framewerks frame: Easton 7005 series elite programmed tubing
ProShock:True Temper OXII
Action tec TI Bottom Bracket
Action Tec Ti chainrings, bolts
XTR front and rear
Grip Shift X Ray 8 speed
Answer Bars: Hyperlight I think?
Ringle': hubs, seat post, stem, QR's
Cook Bros E cranks
Sun Rims, DB spokes 32h
Flite saddle
Ride On cables
Avid speed dial levers, can't remember what the Avid V's are called.
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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4,734 Posts
Keep That!

You're not going to find anything noticably better out on the market today.
 

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VRC Illuminati
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17,650 Posts
FTW made ActionTec? Ya, there isn't any new bike that'll give you any more of an advantage over that bike and its build. Keep it and keep riding it. Or send it my way.

Now...depending on where you live and the trails you have and the type of rider you are...the rougher stuff and going especially fast, its great to have a modern full suspension bike and disc brakes.

But for good ole' fashioned XC racing...thats a cool set up.
 

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Rumpfy said:
Ya, there isn't any new bike that'll give you any more of an advantage over that bike and its build.
On the racing side having raced a few of my early to late 90s bikes as a change from the modern ones, I'd disagree and say that a newer bike can make a big difference to where you finish in the field. Modern disc brakes alone can make a massive difference on some courses.

Depending on how much you enjoy your racing, I'd keep the old bike for kinder races (ie smoother and dryer) and get a more modern bike in your price range which can be trashed and fixed relatively inexpensively.
 

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Master of the Face Plant
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2,901 Posts
Tassie Devil said:
On the racing side having raced a few of my early to late 90s bikes as a change from the modern ones, I'd disagree and say that a newer bike can make a big difference to where you finish in the field. Modern disc brakes alone can make a massive difference on some courses.

Depending on how much you enjoy your racing, I'd keep the old bike for kinder races (ie smoother and dryer) and get a more modern bike in your price range which can be trashed and fixed relatively inexpensively.
I agree. It looks like the rider is riding in muddy conditions so he could benefit from using disks. However now that I see the bike and the build I would not trade it for a new bike. That is a kick ass ride. In dry conditions with the brakes setup properly you are good to go. You could lighten it up a bit by cleaning it:D Forget what I said earlier. I would not change anything on that bike.
 

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So what are all the frame makes FTW has had his torch on?
Sinister, Spooky, Yeti, Action Tech, Sweetheart.......What else?
I was not familiar with Action Tech.
T
 

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Nice forking bike! Warms my heart to see those AT frames. Had no idea FTW made them. Sweet bikes/forks.

Anyone remember or have a Fish Lips Toxic Tuna? AT inspired out of SLC. They rode sweet.

To the op, builders are starting to rediscover the AT fork to a small extent. Basically, if you can't get it done on that bike, you can't get it done.


-Schmitty-
 

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sandmangts said:
I agree. It looks like the rider is riding in muddy conditions so he could benefit from using disks. However now that I see the bike and the build I would not trade it for a new bike. That is a kick ass ride. In dry conditions with the brakes setup properly you are good to go. You could lighten it up a bit by cleaning it:D Forget what I said earlier. I would not change anything on that bike.
I agree its definitely a nice ride, but with higher end older parts (8 speed XTR etc) getting harder to obtain a new mid range bike for all conditions to me make sense as you can walk into any bike shop and fine what you need as it wears out.

An alternative to a budget new bike is a lightly used bike a couple of years old, and there are a stack of them out there to choose from. Maybe thats worth loking at.

In any case I'd love to see this bike cleaned up with more photos :thumbsup:
 

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Relax. I'm a pro.
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1,464 Posts
Ride it! Your bike is sweet.

For what it's worth, my daily rider is '98 Curtlo with 8-speed drivetrain and v-brakes. The only reason that I'm about to switch to 9-speed is that my shifters are worn out. I'm sure that there are folks on this forum who ride bikes much older than that.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Awesome bike! Keep it. While I'd agree discs are great, somehow the worlds best managed to get through many a race without them, so I think you would too. You won't win or lose based on the brakes you have. It's like that old guy nobody knows who shows up at the trail head on a Huffy, and schools the whole group:p

On a side note, the one upgrade that could very well keep you in the running at a race is going tubeless. A Stans kit is like $60, and will allow for lower pressures for smoother faster rolling, and punctures will no longer require any thought from you to fix themselves...:thumbsup:

Best of all? You can use your existing tires, and wheels, so it's a super stealth upgrade that's cheap (several of my VRCesque bikes are converted, I challenge any naysayers to pick which ones)! Also drops weight at the outer edge of the rotating mass, which is the best place for it to get dropped!

Have fun with that, and we want cleaned up pics too please!
 

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Single Speed Junkie
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3,116 Posts
Keep on riding.

As for the V vs disc, just get your self a set of Avid Ultimates and be done with it. While Avid makes / made some of the better V brakes out there (perhaps the most popular was the Single Digit Mags since discontinued) the Single Digit Ultimate was on par with many of the disc brakes IMHO when used paired witht the Ultimate lever.

Honestly all that bike needs is a quick clean and your good.
 

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Kicker of Elves
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone, that's all good news and advice and I really do appreciate it...I've been looking at the tubeless thing-can I do the ghetto version? I'll search around for a thread or web page.

About that mud, it rains here about twice a year and it happened this time about three days before this event. Usually mud isn't an issue for me, luckily.

I'll shoot a couple more pics when I get a chance to clean it.

Thanks again!
 

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Certified Bike Junkie
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Aemmer said:
So what are all the frame makes FTW has had his torch on?
Sinister, Spooky, Yeti, Action Tech, Sweetheart.......What else?
I was not familiar with Action Tech.
T
He built the front end for the Deans with the AMP rear ends when his shop was still in Arizona.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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120 said:
I've been looking at the tubeless thing-can I do the ghetto version?
I saw a good one, which my wife is riding successfully right now. BMX sized 20" presta valve tube, stretch onto rim, slice it up the middle and lay the flaps around the outside of the rim. Mount tire, goo, inflate, set. Then it's just the time with a pair of sharp scissors (dull nose in towards tire :eekster: ) trimming off the side flaps....
 

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MendonCycleSmith said:
I saw a good one, which my wife is riding successfully right now. BMX sized 20" presta valve tube, stretch onto rim, slice it up the middle and lay the flaps around the outside of the rim. Mount tire, goo, inflate, set. Then it's just the time with a pair of sharp scissors (dull nose in towards tire :eekster: ) trimming off the side flaps....
Being a fairly agressive rider and a 225 lb lard ass that's rarely complemented on my finess while picking a line, I would not trust this setup on a hardtail. Probably too old fashioned but I am the master of snakebites, and this setup just seems like an invitation to fail. I try to look at things with an open mind but need to see someone else do this for a while first. If you blow the tire off the rim while riding, how difficult is it to fix on the trail? I try to accept change, but not sure here.
 

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I'm just messing with you
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Aemmer said:
If you blow the tire off the rim while riding, how difficult is it to fix on the trail?
It's easy to fix, you whip out your spare tube and stuff it in the tire. :)

There's a write up in a recent Mountain Bike magazine - the cover screams "best $50 upgrade", then the article goes into depth describing $1000+ wheel sets. When it gets to talking about the ghetto upgrade, the article includes the disclaimer "Warning: it might kill you".

Hyperbole isn't dead, it's alive and thriving in that rag.
 
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