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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all,

I'm looking into picking up a new bike, but I'm not really interested in over the top spending. My current bike is a 1999 Schwinn Mesa GSX. I've never replaced any parts, and bit by bit, things are starting to break down. I've ridden it hard, and it probably isn't worth $150 now.

So I'm looking now at a 1997 Schwinn Homegrown in good condition without much use.

The question is, what major advances have happened in the last 10 years of bike design? Is a $1500 racing bike from 1997 as good as a $600 bike today? The parts set is all stock; mostly XT-level stuff. Superficially, the bike looks like my Mesa, which I bought for $550 way back when.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Dave
 

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conjoinicorned
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thoughts?

1997 = 10 years of riding, maybe hard maybe not, on an aluminum frame. NO WAY. i would never throw a leg over that. steel on the other hand....

edit: there's nothing wrong with the "bike" per se but i have broken alu. frames, and seen many many broken alu. frames. i personally would not ride it.
 

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Crunchatize me Capn'
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nothing wrong with an "older" bike. Yeah if it's aluminum and has been used alot I wouldn't go for it but that has more to do with the disadvantages of aluminum. Take careful note of all the parts. The less obscure parts such as rear cassette, chain, hubs will tell you if the bike is used alot of not (hopefully). For example if there's a relatively new cassette on the rear I'd have to ask myself why that is. A bike not ridden much as you say, or a bike ridden alot.

Most of the advances in bikes is on the full suspension design. A ten year old FS will be a whole lot different than what is offered today in terms of performance and overall quality of ride
 

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How much will it cost you?

A 1998 Homegrown should have v-brakes and a 24 speed drive train. Realistically, that is ample for most riding. What fork does the bike come with? I have a 2000 SID that has remained flawless over the past 6 years and one of my sons rides a '98 Judy SL that also remains in excellent shape.

As for what would $600 buy today? Probably a hardtail with disc brakes and a 27 speed Deore/LX drivetrain plus a fork that, while not extremely tuneable, would be pretty good.

The Homegrown may be lighter than a current $600 bike. As for fatique, yeah, it is a factor but I have yet to wear out an aluminum frame. I'm not so sure that is much of a concern unless you know the bike was really ridden hard for the past 8 years.
 

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noMAD man
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Those Homegrowns are old enough to start running together in my fuzzy memory. I thought they made hardtails and FS bikes with that title. If that's one of those URT full suspension models, I'd put my money elsewhere. I had a couple of Trek Y models from that era that were URT designs, and in light of just about every other FS design you can get used, they are not that good. They almost quit working when you stand up. If this is the bike you're talking about, don't waste your money. A good simple single pivot will be waaay superior to a Homegrown FS.

Bicycles are one of those items that some people buy and find that it isn't for them...so they wind up selling it cheap after it sat in a garage for years, will little use. If you spend some time searching and can find a decent bike with little trail time, it's worth it. Beware of older heavily used off road bikes...as a rule. You can usually tell by the scrapes and dings on the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The bike is a hardtail with all-original equipment. Judy XC front suspension, XT parts. Even the tires are original, and both those and all the gearing equipment look like they've been hardly used.

The frame is aluminum, but with no use. Does whatever they used (?) for the Homegrown series in 1997 compare to Alpha Aluminum or ZR9000?

I mean, the most noticeable advance I've seen in hardtails is a seat with a groove down the middle. They started doing that probably 6 years ago.

I'm looking at the new Treks, and the whole hardtail line looks like they borrowed the geometry of their all-mountains from a few years ago. Very long front fork, a short seat tube, and the height of the seat almost level with the handlebars. This Homegrown, and my Schwinn, definitely have the seat well above. Is there any reason Trek (and others) moved in that direction?

Dave
 

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bi-winning
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Wow, the same post five times, that has got to be a record.

Anyways, if the original tires still look good, the bike clearly has not been ridden that much, and the chances of the frame being fatigued are pretty low.
 

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Well, actually, 6 identical posts. So that means that 71% of his posts are simply "removed, repeat" :lol:

Anyway, I have a 1996 Klein Pulse that has been fully rebuilt with modern components, and it kicks ass. I got the frame used, but in good shape, since it had been sitting in someone's garage for most of its life. The frame is a bit scuffed up and such, but still performs magnificently. Everything but the frame is made in the last couple of years though. I'd say it could be a good deal if the price is right, and the bike is in good shape, and is a HT, but otherwise skip it.
 

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noMAD man
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Ahhh, yes...thanks for the clarification. Those HT Homegrowns were very good XC rigs. I think the difference you are seeing in some newer HTs are usually geometry related just as you surmised. Most MTB geometry philosophies have changed since the advent of those older Homegrowns. That's either good or bad depending on how quick handling a bike you want and the terrain you normally ride on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ha, yes.. I had some trouble earlier..

That's either good or bad depending on how quick handling a bike you want and the terrain you normally ride on.
I'm not up to date on how frame geometry geometry affects anything, how do you mean? Most of my riding is basic XC stuff. No huge downhills, no major dropoffs. Nothing too ridiculous. I'm mostly looking at this bike because I think the build would be a lot lighter than what I could otherwise get for the same money.

Dave
 

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noMAD man
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Older geometry.

KnightRT said:
Ha, yes.. I had some trouble earlier..

I'm not up to date on how frame geometry geometry affects anything, how do you mean? Most of my riding is basic XC stuff. No huge downhills, no major dropoffs. Nothing too ridiculous. I'm mostly looking at this bike because I think the build would be a lot lighter than what I could otherwise get for the same money.

Dave
On hardtails, the geometry on many later designs are more capable of accepting 3-4 inch forks, whereas back when that Homegrown was new, 60mm was the norm and 80mm was extreme for an XC hardtail...I'm talking mainly XC rigs here. Manufacturers have gotten smarter about tweaking their numbers to get a better combination of quick handling and stability. This is done differently by different makers. Your Homegrown is more of a traditional "old school" setup which will probably get sketchy in really technical terrain or on descents. As I said, possibly not a problem depending on your priorities.
 

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Bike to the Bone...
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Hi Dave

A lot has changed in the bike scene since 1997. Maybe you can still ride a 1997 bike, if it's in good shape. How much would it cost the older bike?

Something that you need to consider is that some standards have changed. This makes it harder to find good replacement parts, or upgrades.

Probably the headset width has changed from 1' to 1'1/8. If so, you cannot put any new forks. Probably your XT deraileur is 7 or 8 speed. If your cassete, shifter or rear deraileur fails, you will have to change all 3 to have the same level, or find a lower level deore that is 8 speed. If you want to buy disc brakes, probably neither the frame nor the fork will be compatible, nor the hubs.

Also, I don't know the seller, and if you don't, then it's hard to say how hard use the bike went through.

If you already had the bike, then it would be a great one to ride and ride. But if you're planning on buying it, I would think twice about it. Not because the bike might or might not be in good working conditions, but when something breaks, it will probably be harder to find the pieces to fix it.
 

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'98 would have an 1 1/8 head & 8 speed

Aside from 8 speed gearing which is still available, most of the basic geometry for a race hardtail were about the same as today assuming a 3" fork. Going to a 4" would not cause any major problems. I just put a 4" Judy Race on a '98 GT Zaskar and don't see much difference from the old Judy XC (circa 1995) it replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
rzozaya1969 said:
Hi Dave

Something that you need to consider is that some standards have changed. This makes it harder to find good replacement parts, or upgrades.

Probably the headset width has changed from 1' to 1'1/8. If so, you cannot put any new forks. Probably your XT derailleur is 7 or 8 speed. If your cassete, shifter or rear deraileur fails, you will have to change all 3 to have the same level, or find a lower level deore that is 8 speed. If you want to buy disc brakes, probably neither the frame nor the fork will be compatible, nor the hubs.

..I would think twice about it. Not because the bike might or might not be in good working conditions, but when something breaks, it will probably be harder to find the pieces to fix it.
Now that's interesting. The fork is a Judy XC with 3 inches of travel. It's rated poorly on MTBR, everyone seems to think it falls apart. But they didn't like the Indy C either, and I've beaten the tar out of that one on the Mesa and it's still pretty decent.

Unfortunately, I can't find ANYTHING on the OEM specifications beyond what I already knew, so I'm not sure what the headset width is. The rear derailleur is an 8-speed from what I can tell. The Homegrown series was up at 27 speeds back in 1999, so that jives.

The fork is actually about the only part I'd even consider upgrading, and that only if the Judy proves too maintenance-heavy. Knowing zilch about front suspension though, I'm not in a position to know what would be appropriate for that bike. I'm sure a 4" would be fine as others have said, but it's moot if they don't make them to fit anymore.

Do you know when the move to 1 1/8" occurred?

NC:

Your Homegrown is more of a traditional "old school" setup which will probably get sketchy in really technical terrain or on descents.
I suspect if it gets sketchy, it'll be my fault at least as much as the bike's. :)

As before though, it seems like everyone is moving toward a much more upright riding posture. This homegrown has an even lower front stem than my Mesa, which is already a few inches below the new Treks. I wonder why that is.

---
You guys are great!

Dave
 
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