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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My 13 year old son has outgrown is 24" Hot Rock but isn't quite big enough to step onto my old Racer X size medium.

I had this old Raleigh Tangent that my older son rode hanging in the shed which should be about the right size. I think it's a 15" seat tube with 26 inch wheels but doesn't have any of the newer "cool" (to him) features like disc brakes, suspension, etc.

I don't think it will be more than a year or two before he's big enough for the Racer X so don't want to spend a ton getting him on a proper fitting bike for now.

Is it worth fixing up and what mods can I reasonbly do that will spruce it up a bit for him?

Here's some pics.
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6692486691/" title="DSC01167 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7032/6692486691_f1b9269385_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="DSC01167"></a>

We'll lose the bar ends and maybe mount more up-to-date riser bar. I would like to throw on a shorter stem but the cable stop for the center-pull brakes is in the stem. I guess I could switch to V-brakes.
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6692481431/" title="DSC01165 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7027/6692481431_f9dbca7c65_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="DSC01165"></a>

Small range on the 7 speed cassette but he'll still have more range than his old Hot Rock.
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6692478985/" title="DSC01164 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6692478985_6c53d64370_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="DSC01164"></a>

Does this look like a crack where the seat stay wishbone connects to the steat tube?
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6692483865/" title="DSC01166 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7148/6692483865_668f42b3ee_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="DSC01166"></a>

Looking for a inexpensive suspension fork with a one inch steer tube is proving difficult. Should I just run it full rigid. His old bike had a "suspension" fork but it was heavy and really didn't do anything so going to full rigid may not be that noticable.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

thanks.
 

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I wouldn't spend much money on it.
If it was me, I'd give it a good clean, check everything works and replace anything that needs it (like cables, chain or brake pads), then let him ride. If he rides a lot get him some nice folding tyres.

More than that and it'll turn into a complete money pit, plus there's a Titus waiting in the wings, make him ride a 'cheap' bike for a bit so he appreciates the expensive ones more!
 

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I wouldn't spend much money on it.
If it was me, I'd give it a good clean, check everything works and replace anything that needs it (like cables, chain or brake pads), then let him ride. If he rides a lot get him some nice folding tyres.

More than that and it'll turn into a complete money pit, plus there's a Titus waiting in the wings, make him ride a 'cheap' bike for a bit so he appreciates the expensive ones more!
++++ 1 with what 'Fix the Spade' posted above. Solid advise! :thumbsup:

Let him ride it for now, and then maybe save the coin for another, or at least let him help work for another one. That's what I did with my sons FR bike. He had to put some work in to help pay for it. :thumbsup:
 

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A few thoughts ...

I can understand a 13 year old wanting something cool as they're very conscious of what their peers think. A few 'bling' parts could help keep that bike up and running. I'd consider spending money particularly on parts that could be transferred over to another bike in the future. And parts with obvious hot-patches or fancy decals would help with the cool factor.

So buy
  • nice tires
  • a set of clipless pedals or some top end platforms
  • replace the old tired saddle with a nice new one
  • get a nice seatpost like a Thompson if the seatpost diameter is the same as the Titus
  • new cables and outers will look fresh as well as work better, plus they're pretty cheap
  • a new crankset if the BB is the same as the Titus, or get a new external bearing crankset

Maybe some would say this is dressing mutton as lamb. Then explain to your son that men judge things by what they can do more than what they look like. So he needs to put in double the practice on his bike as his friends. Then he can hand them their asses on the trails riding a rigid bike and will be showered with glory and respect :thumbsup:.

On the suspension fork I'd say getting a new one is going to be A) hard and B) probably also throw off the geometry as the bike wasn't designed for it. Plus you then often find yourself with a bad case of cascading upgraditis as you need a new stem, headset then upgrade to v-brakes or maybe discs if the new fork doesn't have canti studs anyway so then a new wheel and, well you get the idea. Instead get the largest volume tires that will fit the fork and frame and buy good light ones with folding bead.
 

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I'm going to echo what has been said above. I had an old DB that I wanted to upgrade, once I started pricing items and looking at all that I would need, the cost was as much or more than a good entry level MB that has all new parts, and the correct geometry to go along with them. Since you are looking at a year or so, a little freshening up of the bike will get him to that point. Explain it to him what and why you are doing it, get him involved with the rebuild of the current bike so that he can learn how to do the maintenance, upgrades, and the build himself so that when he does upgrade, he will have a sense of pride of ownership and want to take care of the nicer bike and know how.
 

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I say clean up and fix up the bike, but get your son to do it with you. A 20 year old bike might not be super impressive to his friends, but I bet he will take some pride in knowing that he repacked the bearings and changed the cables and tuned the derailers etc. Plus, working on bikes is great father/son time.

(Hard to tell if the crack by the wishbone/seat tube junction is just in the paint or more serious. Best bet is to clean it up real good so you can inspect it better with a bright light.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for the responses guys. Good advice.

I think I'll do as you've suggested and clean it up good. Make sure everything is working well. Change (or lube) the cables and housing, replace brake pads.

New tires in a bit bigger size/volume. Remove bar ends, maybe replace bar with a riser. Swap the seat, etc.

I'll take a closer look at that crack on the seat stay junction and get it rewelded if needed. Getting that fixed shouldn't be a big deal with a steel frame, right?

He doesn't ride a ton and this will still be a significant upgrade over his Hot Rock.

I really like the idea of having him help and he's definitely into that (in theory). He wants to learn how to fix bikes and, for now, he's at that age when he still loves doing things with me so I need to get him involved for sure.

I'll post some updates as we get it fixed up.
 

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13, my daughter will be 13 in March, at this age, they DO still like us.....most of the time! I do hear that stops in the not so distant future. :(
 

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For the stem, if you've got a stash of threadless ones around, you can buy a threaded to threadless adapter for $15-20. Otherwise lots of threaded/quill stems have the stop. If it doesn't, you can go with a brake hanger/stop that replaces the keyed spacer in the headset or one that mounts in the reflector hole on the fork.
As for the front brake, either keep it canti with new pads or switch to a v. Those look like avid 2.0(L) levers, so they'll work with canti or V's, just use the speed dial to dial it in.

Grab a high volume front tire, do the rest you outlined and it'll be good for a while!

If there is indeed a crack at the seatstay, have it fixed by someone who knows what they're doing. It could just be paint cracked by flex at that junction. You'll have to remove the paint to be sure.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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I'd buy a cheap smaller HT frame and move parts from the Titus over. It's newer and will look better. He can help, and can get some wrench time in. The effort to reweld and subsequently repaint/powdercoat is more than a $70-$100 el cheapo HT frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For the stem, if you've got a stash of threadless ones around, you can buy a threaded to threadless adapter for $15-20. Otherwise lots of threaded/quill stems have the stop. If it doesn't, you can go with a brake hanger/stop that replaces the keyed spacer in the headset or one that mounts in the reflector hole on the fork.
As for the front brake, either keep it canti with new pads or switch to a v. Those look like avid 2.0(L) levers, so they'll work with canti or V's, just use the speed dial to dial it in.

Grab a high volume front tire, do the rest you outlined and it'll be good for a while!

If there is indeed a crack at the seatstay, have it fixed by someone who knows what they're doing. It could just be paint cracked by flex at that junction. You'll have to remove the paint to be sure.
No stash of threadless stems around (that are shorter) but thanks for the suggestion for the threadless adaptor. Hadn't heard of those.

Also, thanks for reminding me of the hanger/stop that replaces the keyed spacer in the headset. I'd forgotten about those. Who'd carry something like that?

I'll use a little stripper and check out the crack carefully. Thanks for the helpful comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd buy a cheap smaller HT frame and move parts from the Titus over. It's newer and will look better. He can help, and can get some wrench time in. The effort to reweld and subsequently repaint/powdercoat is more than a $70-$100 el cheapo HT frame.
Hey that's a good idea I hadn't thought of. I kind of like keeping the Titus built up as a spare and as a loaner for my older kids when they come home, but honestly, it doesn't get ridden much lately.... and if the Tangent frame is cracked it makes even more sense.

KRob-------> Off to the classifieds and Craig's List to look for size small, more modern HT frames on the cheap. Should even be able to find something that will take a 100mm fork.

Good suggestion. Thanks.
 

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Hey that's a good idea I hadn't thought of. I kind of like keeping the Titus built up as a spare and as a loaner for my older kids when they come home, but honestly, it doesn't get ridden much lately.... and if the Tangent frame is cracked it makes even more sense.

KRob-------> Off to the classifieds and Craig's List to look for size small, more modern HT frames on the cheap. Should even be able to find something that will take a 100mm fork.

Good suggestion. Thanks.
You're welcome.

Here's some links that I know of off-hand.
Leader 510H
Leader 516H
Sette Reken
Performance Bike frame
Nashbar Frame

Tax + shipping may be applicable. Price Point was having a free shipping sale this past weekend, I'm not sure if frames were applicable, but it's a slight miss if it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Another great idea!

That rocks. I had no idea you could get a frame for that little.

I wonder if I should just buy a cheap headset or try and switch my CK headset over to the new frame. (Not a mechanic and there's not one close.)

I'd still need a stem and headset (maybe) but that should only add another $60-70
 

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That crack isn't a crack those seatstays are bonded so its just a crack in the paint. I have a very similar Raleigh collecting dust in the garage, I thought the same thing until I did some research. That should also be a 1 1/8" headtube not 1". I'd say let him ride it until he grows into the Racer X unless he is getting serious about offroading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
That crack isn't a crack those seatstays are bonded so its just a crack in the paint. I have a very similar Raleigh collecting dust in the garage, I thought the same thing until I did some research. That should also be a 1 1/8" headtube not 1". I'd say let him ride it until he grows into the Racer X unless he is getting serious about offroading.
Interesting. So does the bonding mean it's not likely to break or is that still a concern. How long does that bonding last? If it's flexing enough to crack the paint is it weakened? I'm assuming it's designed to flex some but what's the fatigue life on the bonding?

I'll measure the steer tube on the current fork but I was thinking it was 1". That would be easier if it will take a 1 1/8" fork.

Looks like I'd need a new seat post for any of the listed cheapy frames too. They all have 27.2 seat tubes. All my posts are 30.9 or 31.6.

Price Point just dropped the price of the Sette from $99 to $69. It doesn't look like it has a replaceable deraileur hanger like the Leader from Blue Sky though.
 

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Looks like I'd need a new seat post for any of the listed cheapy frames too. They all have 27.2 seat tubes. I'll my posts are 30.9 or 31.6.

Price Point just dropped the price of the Sette from $99 to $69. It doesn't look like it has a replaceable deraileur hanger like the Leader from Blue Sky though.
I believe it has a replaceable hanger.

I also think the Hotrock 24 has a 27.2 seatpost. The seatpost on the Raleigh is not 27.2? I would be surprised for a steel frame.
 

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I did this for my son as well... old trek 8000 with canti.

I used a bmx stem(1"1/8 steer 25mm handlebar) from the shop that was a takeoff to fix the reach/height problems then put a decent saddle on it for him, he's up to 8-10 mile rides :thumbsup: I know adults that ride that have a hard time with some of the rides he's starting to do.... YES, I am a proud father, how can you tell? :smilewinkgrin:
He calls it "his" 29er ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I believe it has a replaceable hanger.

I also think the Hotrock 24 has a 27.2 seatpost. The seatpost on the Raleigh is not 27.2? I would be surprised for a steel frame.
I didn't see that view. Looks like you're right. I also like the fact that the Sette comes in 14" and 16" size as well. He's about 5' 2" now but the 16" would give him a little more room to grow.

I was just thinking of the seat post on the Tangent when I was rereading my post from last night. Good call. I'll check that out. Hot Rock post may work as well.
 
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