1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Buy new or repair/up grade old bike? Proflex 455

    Getting back into riding after several years, so i dug out my old mountain bike and it looks like the wheels and suspension are shot. The bike is a Proflex 455 and its probably a good 10-12 years old. I figure i'll take it down to my local cycle shop next week and see if the bike tech can do anything with it. Maybe it can be fixed, failing that i'll bite the bullet and buy something new however would prefer to fix up my proflex. Any one know if its possible to upgrade to these new disc breaks on the proflex?

    Thanks for any input here,

    TC

  2. #2
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    By the time you upgrade suspension, wheels, brakes, and probably other components you are approaching the cost of a new bike. I would look into a new bike if you can swing it, but it depends on what your budget is and what type of riding you want to do. The disc upgrade will require a disc compatible fork. For $1200 - $1500 you could get into a fairly decent full suspension bike (not top end mind you, but good solid bikes capable of later upgrades if you desired). A good hardtail can be had for less than $1000.

  3. #3
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    I have not been riding for 10+ years like you have, but I promise you that things have changed. If you can get the bike up and running for a minimal amount of money, go for it. Otherwise, you need to weigh if it is worth it to retrofit your frame with 2008 parts.

    To get disk brakes, will have to have a bike that has disk brake tabs in the rear. Your proflex may not have them. If it does, you need disc tabs in the front too, obviously. You also need a set of wheels that has disc mounts- again, odds are you don't have this and would have to get a new wheelset. On top of that, you need the actual linear pull brake rotors.

    You can see what a slippery slope this is....

  4. #4
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    You could go with a disc up front only which a lot of riders do. As Steve pointed out, when you upgrade your wheelset you would need disc mounts. Another good option may be to find a more recent model used bike that hasn't been abused. Some bike shops sell consignment bikes and I have had good luck with those in the past.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input. I like the retro vibe my proflex has and a decade or so ago it got a lot of use, maybe i'm just sentimental but it sure would be nice to breath some life back into the old girl as long as it stays within a certain budget. The present gears and breaks look ok, seat needs to be replaced, probaby needs new wheels and a new back cog. Main concern is the suspension. It'll be good to get back into cycling again.

  6. #6
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    So as it was a Sunday and did'nt have anything better to, i fixed up the old proflex as best i could and took her for a spin. Was great to back on the bike, clearly the suspension is shot and a couple of new wheels would'nt go a miss but its useable in its present state but would'nt take it off road. I just hope the suspension is not going to be a S.O.B to replace.
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  7. #7
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    I'm in the same boat Tenor. I've been riding my old Joshua Y bike a lot more lately and am considering discs up front. My Judy SL doesnt accept disc, but I found some lowers that do (cheap!) My rear suspension doesnt lock-out anymore either... I figure I'm looking at about 800 for the front disc conv. and a new rear shock. Half the price of a decent new bike. If I wanted to refresh my rings and cogs and chain (as I should) I guess I should just get a new bike....damn!

  8. #8
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    I had a 1996 Trek Y-22 I was riding for many years until I test rode a new bike. The difference was night and day, and I retired my old rig. There is something to be said for a new bike. Adding up the individual components on one I recently purchased, it is well over the purchase price (at least partially bc I got it at discount).
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    more carbon=more awesome
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    My brother had a proflex with the same rear set-up as yours. He was riding it to work one day and the rear elastomer split down the middle, with the centre shaft hitting the rear tire and stopping the bike in its tracks. You cannot get replacements for these. Dad eventually found a bike shop who were able to replace the bumper with a coil spring, but without any damping. Needless to say the bike rode like complete rubbish and he never rode it.

    Bike really have improved so much since Proflex were manufacturing. Seriously, don't spend any money on this. Buy something new and you will have a much better time on the trails. I guarantee.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  10. #10
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    Indeed the elastomer is going to be the biggest drawback both in terms of even finding a replacement part and poor damping even if you could. A lot of members are quick to recommend going new (myself included) but I suppose if the Proflex still gets you down the trail and back, ride her till she can ride no more.

    However, it is true that bikes have come a long way since this era. Suspension performance is in a whole different league than what you're used to. On the flip side, are there any posters on here currently riding today's designs who would be eager to retire their steed to go back to the elastomer Proflex? That's when the advances in technology become really apparent.
    Ever been to Mountain Bike Tales Digital Magazine? Now if only the print rags would catch on!

  11. #11
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    Well today i finally got some feedback from the bike tech, we decided after some conversation not to give up on the proflex but had to agree the back suspension was going to be just left as a 'hard tail' because their was very little chance of finding a replacement elastomer which has gone solid on my bike. The front suspension folks are being replaced, the gears and V breaks are quite repectable Shimano's and he felt they did'nt need replacing as they were good quality ones still in current useage.

    In total its costing me about 200 to bring the bike back up to spec and safe for road use, i will use it off road occasionally but not much. I figure it would have cost me about 300-450 for a new bike so I was happy to spend half that on my present bike to get it back on the road.

  12. #12
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by tenorclef
    Well today i finally got some feedback from the bike tech, we decided after some conversation not to give up on the proflex but had to agree the back suspension was going to be just left as a 'hard tail' because their was very little chance of finding a replacement elastomer which has gone solid on my bike. The front suspension folks are being replaced, the gears and V breaks are quite repectable Shimano's and he felt they did'nt need replacing as they were good quality ones still in current useage.

    In total its costing me about 200 to bring the bike back up to spec and safe for road use, i will use it off road occasionally but not much. I figure it would have cost me about 300-450 for a new bike so I was happy to spend half that on my present bike to get it back on the road.
    Make sure that you post in-focus pictures of your accident in the proper area when the time comes. Your "bike tech" really wasn't taking your safety seriously, or you whined so much that he told you what you wanted to hear. By your admission, your bike is shot. You come here and ask advice and then don't take it.

    Keep in mind when that bike leaves you stranded and possibly bleeding profusely from a hamstring that no one here advised you to continue riding a deprecated, admittedly worn out, unsafe bike.

    But hey... You're thinning the gene pool so we don't have to.

  13. #13
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    Whow was your post for real? How old are you 16?
    Last edited by tenorclef; 05-20-2008 at 05:39 AM.

  14. #14
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    Make sure that you post in-focus pictures of your accident in the proper area when the time comes. Your "bike tech" really wasn't taking your safety seriously, or you whined so much that he told you what you wanted to hear. By your admission, your bike is shot. You come here and ask advice and then don't take it.

    Keep in mind when that bike leaves you stranded and possibly bleeding profusely from a hamstring that no one here advised you to continue riding a deprecated, admittedly worn out, unsafe bike.

    But hey... You're thinning the gene pool so we don't have to.
    Lighten up there Francis. Just because he asked advice doesn't mean he is required to adhere to what is said on an INTERNET FORUM.

    Enjoy getting some more miles out of your bike tenorclef.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WrenchDevil6
    Make sure that you post in-focus pictures of your accident in the proper area when the time comes. Your "bike tech" really wasn't taking your safety seriously, or you whined so much that he told you what you wanted to hear. By your admission, your bike is shot. You come here and ask advice and then don't take it.

    Keep in mind when that bike leaves you stranded and possibly bleeding profusely from a hamstring that no one here advised you to continue riding a deprecated, admittedly worn out, unsafe bike.

    But hey... You're thinning the gene pool so we don't have to.
    really, you can't be serious...

  16. #16
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    I did some googling today and discovered the proflex has a bit of a cult following, i found this web site-
    http://www.rapiddescentscotland.co.uk/

    and guess what they actually make the elastomers for proflex bikes as well as many other obselete parts. How cool is that. So looks like i'll have my suspension up and running again soon. Also the new suspension folks which are being installed will accomodate these new disc breaks if i want to go down that route at a later date.

    I don't know why some come down so hard on us sentimental types who'd sooner repair and use their old bikes rather than just onto the buy new and better market? I'm doing my bike up for to ride and have some fun and also a bit of keep fit at the same time.

  17. #17
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    Your Proflex might actually be worth something on eBay. Lots of people are discovering the joys of older mountainbikes, just look at the Vintage/Retro section of this very forum.

  18. #18
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    Observations...

    In its day, the Proflex was an innovative, upper end bike. At the expense of sounding elitist, as others have mentioned: Technology advances in mountain biking have made the Proflex less relevant than it was. It's still a fine bike but you can get a lot more for your $ or pound these days. So go ride it. Have fun. Take pictures of you flipping the bird to WrenchDevil6 while you're riding some great trails.

    I'm glad you found replacement parts for your elastomers.

    Ken

  19. #19
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    I got my Proflex back from the shop yesterday and i got to say the bike floats like a dream! Its basically had everything replaced, new suspension folks, a disc break added to the front wheel, new high grade wheels/tyres, chainset, seat,pedals,tubes & cables. I'm just waiting on a set of elastomers from a guy and the bike is just as good as anything else out their IMHO. Have'nt taken it off road yet but once i get the new elastomers it should be fine for off road. This has been great fun to renovate and i'm enjoying the cycling

  20. #20
    backwoods and backwards
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    If you're happy, then we're happy..... but don't be foolin' yourself that it's as good as the new stuff. I'm blown away by how much cooler my '07 is compared to my '04. BTW is the old fork the cross-link type, cause those were pretty cool?
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  21. #21
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    Ok, point taken. I guess i was just comparing it to its previous state of disrepair. Sorry no idea regarding the previous folks as i just assume they were beyond service/repair so i guess the bike tech just binned them. They would have been the originals though and they were shot as i recall. The new Rockshox Dart 3's which are on the bike now are very nice suspension folks though. They even have a switch so that if your on road/smooth terrain you can switch the suspension to solid folks. Clever concept. what will they think of next

  22. #22
    more carbon=more awesome
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    Good luck tenorclef.
    I'm glad you found someone who makes the new elastomers for the back end. That was my big concern with your spending any money on it. Riding the old one for any length of time would have resulted in it splitting down the middle and quite possibly causing a nasty accident..... as Wrenchdevil6 was so keen to point out.
    I'm glad you will get to keep enjoying your old steed.

    b.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  23. #23
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    Nice, glad to her the wheels are spinn'. Any before/after pics?

  24. #24
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    The elastomers were the biggest concern for me too, apparently he's posting them monday and the new elastomers are much better than the ones proflex originally used, they either went rock hard or turned to mush depending on your enviroment. Mine went rock hard and shrunk. The new design makes them more resistant to UV light and so they should last for years. Its fantastic how the internet makes things possible.

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