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Discussion Starter · #22 ·

That guy seems to like it.
Great questions. The front wheel is QR. The back wheel is a regular axle nut (yuck). I was planning on putting some hydraulic brakes on, possibly the Shimano MT410's that I put on my own bike. I like them so much I might get the SLX brakes to put on mine and pass the 410s to her. The headtube size is 44/56. I've seen videos of the headset being replaced with a sealed one. The cranks, I'm not sure but I'd assume either 68mm or 73mm. I've seen videos of some of the other current Schwinns being changed to external bottom brackets and hollow spindle cranks. I was eyeballing the geometry, but I actually went by today to look at it, and I used my phone's app to measure the head angle. It was either 65 or 66 degrees; I'm going to go with 66.
 

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I would be surprised if it was actually that slack. Did you measure at the head tube? If so, the taper of the head tube will measure slacker than the actual head angle.
 

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At least that you can see visually...

I'm guessing the bearings for the axles, crank, headset in the Schwinn are inferior to the Trek.
Possibly not. For example you can buy $40 skateboards from kmart (aus) that come with the same abec9 bearings found in skateboards sold in surf shops for $160.
 

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Only marginally. I'd replace the fork, cranks, and brakes on either one.
  • If you upgrade the cranks, you will likely have to replace the rest of the 3x7 set up as well.
  • You may have trouble finding a tapered fork that will work with your 9mm QR hub/wheel, so I would look into that.
  • My Avid mech discs worked great for me until I started hitting some serious slopes, but at least there shouldn't be any fitment issues with upgrading to hydros.

(Your frame will have similar issues in the rear without a through bolt option. That is non-upgradable, but you can probably get a wheel custom made to help stiffen the rear.)

Personally, I would feel uncomfortable riding hard enough to need any of those upgrades on that frame.
The welds alone make me wonder about the quality control on everything.

Of course you'll likely spend more upgrading the fork, drivetrain, brakes and wheels than you would just buying a proper bike to begin with.

Or...
Just buy a good frame and build it up.
After tax and what not on the Schwinn, you are in the ball park of a decent frame set anyway.
It would be a fun project.
You can pick the right components the first time and not pay for the useless take-off parts on the Schwinn.
You can spread the cost out over time as you wait for good deals. Time is on your side.
You can end up with a vastly superior 'custom' ride, and own the knowledge imparted from doing the work yourself.
 

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You're buying most parts. I'd do this with a Chinese carbon frame as the starting point. My goal would be to end up under 25 lbs., maybe even less. Light weight is something she would appreciate.
 

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At least that you can see visually...

I'm guessing the bearings for the axles, crank, headset in the Schwinn are inferior to the Trek.

Highly unlikely. These things are pure commodities that are the same by the millions. If you wanted something worse, it would be too expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So much this^^^
Evidently you guys have not looked into anything like this, or complete hardtails. I looked at a Kona Lana'i last night. Now, I liked it but it was $850. For $850 you get a Suntour coil fork with no lock out, mechanical disc brakes, bottom line just a basic bike. And for $850 I wouldn't expect it to be top of the line stuff. But when I get it, what am I really getting for $850? Not a lot in my opinion except for a nice looking frame.

I'm not a fan of carbon and especially carbon frames. I looked at some on AliExpress. I didn't really see anything that caught my eye. I don't mind building from the frame up, but at least if I buy a complete then she can ride it as it gets upgraded.

And I already understand the cost of something like an upgraded fork. As far as hydraulic brakes go, they're not that expensive, and I upgraded the cranks on mine with Raceface Ride XC cranks for less than $100. Of course, I can't find anything like those now.

I might do a build list and post here just to compare prices and components.
 

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Also this. You don't have to upgrade the cranks...do you think the stock cranks aren't going to go around in circles or something? I'm sure they work fine. The great thing about upgrading is you ride it first. Then if something breaks or bothers you, then you upgrade that part. But you don't have to upgrade anything right away until it brakes. You might be surprised how long some stuff goes. It turns out I even like the stock seat on one of my cheap-o bikes. I'm still running the stock front tire on my cargo bike because I actually like it (Not many 26x2.4 semi-knobbies out there).

MT-200 hydraulic brakes work super good and you can get them on ebay for like $90 or something. But just ride the stock brakes until the pads wear out or the cables need maintenance or something, then decide if you want to upgrade. Think of the planet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Also this. You don't have to upgrade the cranks...do you think the stock cranks aren't going to go around in circles or something? I'm sure they work fine. The great thing about upgrading is you ride it first. Then if something breaks or bothers you, then you upgrade that part. But you don't have to upgrade anything right away until it brakes. You might be surprised how long some stuff goes. It turns out I even like the stock seat on one of my cheap-o bikes. I'm still running the stock front tire on my cargo bike because I actually like it (Not many 26x2.4 semi-knobbies out there).

MT-200 hydraulic brakes work super good and you can get them on ebay for like $90 or something. But just ride the stock brakes until the pads wear out or the cables need maintenance or something, then decide if you want to upgrade. Think of the planet.
The cranks are the lowest on my list. But for whatever reason I hate the look and feel of square taper cranks. My Raceface with external BB look and, more importantly, feel more solid.

I thought of those MT200 brakes. I like the 410 brakes I got.
 

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Evidently you guys have not looked into anything like this, or complete hardtails. I looked at a Kona Lana'i last night. Now, I liked it but it was $850. For $850 you get a Suntour coil fork with no lock out, mechanical disc brakes, bottom line just a basic bike. And for $850 I wouldn't expect it to be top of the line stuff. But when I get it, what am I really getting for $850? Not a lot in my opinion except for a nice looking frame.

I'm not a fan of carbon and especially carbon frames. I looked at some on AliExpress. I didn't really see anything that caught my eye. I don't mind building from the frame up, but at least if I buy a complete then she can ride it as it gets upgraded.

And I already understand the cost of something like an upgraded fork. As far as hydraulic brakes go, they're not that expensive, and I upgraded the cranks on mine with Raceface Ride XC cranks for less than $100. Of course, I can't find anything like those now.

I might do a build list and post here just to compare prices and components.
You're acting like the frame on this Schwinn is in the same league as the Kona. They're far, far from being "the same" or even remotely comparable. It's not just "nice-looking". The build quality doesn't even compare. The support from the manufacturer doesn't compare. The assembly from the dealer and the support the dealer offers don't compare. Then there's the fact that the Kona comes in more than one size!

Department store bikes are effectively disposable. What's the point in servicing or repairing it when you can buy a whole new one for less? It's like computer printers. Why buy replacement ink when you can buy a whole new one (that includes the ink) for the same or less? You're going to wind up spending more on this Schwinn under your plan to upgrade it. Either buy it and let her ride it as-is, or forget the Schwinn and get something that's exactly what SHE WANTS to start with.
 

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If the man wats his schwinn, providing good reason why it is not a good idea is pointless.
No kona comes with a tapered head tube...in that awesome color.
Priorities brah.
 

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Evidently you guys have not looked into anything like this, or complete hardtails.
I have but it has been a while. If you want a bike that doesn't have you looking at the spec and making a list of all of the parts you're likely to upgrade, your budget probably needs to be near double. Starting price for a hardtail with modern specs and decent parts is around $1200. That is DECENT, not GREAT.

We've been playing the upgrade game on the Trek Marlin 6 Women's my inlaws bought. I gave advice for other options that would have cost more up front, but the Marlin was available and they jumped on it. The first upgrade was a dropper (<$200). Now she and my FIL are looking to convert it to a 1x setup. Even going Microshift and me supplying some take off SRAM SX cranks, that is another $260+. I am sure an air fork will be next. So here we are, less than a year into ownership and about to be $1200 into a bike that doesn't hold a candle to a bike that retails for that much.
 

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Why the insistence on a tapered headtube? As was said, very few forks with a tapered head tube will work with QR wheels. Plenty of good air forks out there for straight headtubes. Especially ones that can go around a track and maybe see some dirt a few times a year. I guarantee she wont be able to tell the difference between a coil fork and an air fork for the riding she is doing. Yes bike prices just went up about $200-300 a bike because of demand. Specialized used to sell a $500 ish Rockhopper. Now entry point is $700. 2 years ago I bought a nearly top of the line Rockhopper for $700. So yes you will spend about $700-800 for a good bike. That will have hydraulic brakes. Coil fork. Available is many sizes, not just one. The frame will actually be a decent frame with good geometry and be designed to be upgraded. But if you want the most expensive schwinn in the world go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Point
Why the insistence on a tapered headtube? As was said, very few forks with a tapered head tube will work with QR wheels. Plenty of good air forks out there for straight headtubes. Especially ones that can go around a track and maybe see some dirt a few times a year. I guarantee she wont be able to tell the difference between a coil fork and an air fork for the riding she is doing. Yes bike prices just went up about $200-300 a bike because of demand. Specialized used to sell a $500 ish Rockhopper. Now entry point is $700. 2 years ago I bought a nearly top of the line Rockhopper for $700. So yes you will spend about $700-800 for a good bike. That will have hydraulic brakes. Coil fork. Available is many sizes, not just one. The frame will actually be a decent frame with good geometry and be designed to be upgraded. But if you want the most expensive schwinn in the world go for it.
Point me in the direction of the plenty of good forks for straight head tubes that are new. I've been trying to find one for my own current bike that is 120mm. The best option I've come across is a Suntour Epixon for about $300. If I buy one off eBay I can get it for $220, however it may or may not be a fake; I don't know. I've even looked for used forks on eBay, here, and pinkbike. You'd think there would be people trying to sell off their old stuff but apparently not.
 

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Point

Point me in the direction of the plenty of good forks for straight head tubes that are new. I've been trying to find one for my own current bike that is 120mm. The best option I've come across is a Suntour Epixon for about $300. If I buy one off eBay I can get it for $220, however it may or may not be a fake; I don't know. I've even looked for used forks on eBay, here, and pinkbike. You'd think there would be people trying to sell off their old stuff but apparently not.
Stock can be a little difficult to find, but I would go for a Manitou Markhor over the Suntour. Low entry price and there are some options to upgrade the damper. Travel adjustment is very straight forward, as well. We use a 26" version of the fork on my son's bike and it has been great.

https://hayesbicycle.com/collections/forks/products/markhor?variant=32139633492013
 
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