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  1. #1
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    Question for Knowledgable riders whether to fix up or buy new

    Ive recently been getting back into biking at my local trails.

    I have an abused Gary Fisher Tassajara. Its a nice bike but my brother who had used it over the years did not take care of it.

    I have ordered new shifters for it since the previous ones were broken and it has alot of issues including the actual frame being all scratched up from abuse.

    Im a college student so i really dont have the present funds to put money into this thing.

    SO my question is, should i put money into this to make it ridable and enjoy it? Or will it just end up being a money pit and should i save up and get a new Trek 4300?

    The reason i say the Trek 4300 is because it is a nice and fairly inexpensive bike that wouldnt be out of my range to save up for.

    any thoughts or comments would be great!

  2. #2
    dru
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    It all depends on how negelected and how old it is. A bike isn't really a money pit unless you are incapable of doing your own work. If the bike is old, it isn't worth much money, especially since throwing new shifters on, a chain, shifter cables, a tire etc. will eat up 2 or 300 bucks quicker than you can blink.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  3. #3
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    Yup!
    I don't rattle.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    It all depends on how negelected and how old it is. A bike isn't really a money pit unless you are incapable of doing your own work. If the bike is old, it isn't worth much money, especially since throwing new shifters on, a chain, shifter cables, a tire etc. will eat up 2 or 300 bucks quicker than you can blink.

    Drew
    Ive bought new shifters and its going to eventually need a new chain and the cassette is bad.

    The rear derailleur is pretty beat up but still functional.

    Its technically my dads bike so he wants it rideable regardless, but im just curious if i should go ahead and try to get a new bike of my own.

  5. #5
    dru
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    Well, if you are fixing up your dad's bike with your own money I expect he'll let you ride it all the time. Since you've already got the ball rolling there probably isn't any point in spending on that bike and another you want to buy. More importantly, how old and dead is the pop-mobile? There is a point where it just doesn't make sense to spend any more.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  6. #6
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    At length this problem is not as straightforward as it seemed at first. You are wasting your time on this bike. I'm not sure why your lovable dad wants to bring this back. I'm guessing he doesn't know much about them, or he is cheap and thinks he can save money, or he hates to throw "perfectly good" stuff away, or he is trying to teach you a lesson. None of these effects what you need to to for a bike.

    Go buy new.
    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    At length this problem is not as straightforward as it seemed at first. You are wasting your time on this bike. I'm not sure why your lovable dad wants to bring this back. I'm guessing he doesn't know much about them, or he is cheap and thinks he can save money, or he hates to throw "perfectly good" stuff away, or he is trying to teach you a lesson. None of these effects what you need to to for a bike.

    Go buy new.
    Since that bike was a good bike in its day he thinks its not worth getting a new bike and yes he is being cheap.

    now i dont mind him being cheap because id rather not spend money.. but i do understand that just buying a new bike would probably be best. not sure what im gonna do yet.

  8. #8
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    The answer also depends on what type of riding you plan to do. What are your local trails like? What year is the bike and what kind of shape is the fork in?

    A Trek 4300 is certainly a nice bike but it's probably no more capable than a used Tassajara (in good working order). And if you're handy and have tools, then it shouldn't take much more effort or money to make it a nice trail bike.

    Now, if your trails call for a more capable (long travel, full suspension) bike, then save up and get another bike. Keep your eye on Craigslist, as well, since many enthusiasts get into the habit of "upgrading" to the latest and greatest on a frequent basis. You might get more for your money there if you're careful and take your time.

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    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  9. #9
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    How old of a Tassajara are we talking about? Have you made an honest assessment of what NEEDS to be done vs what you think needs to be done? There is an obvious point of diminishing returns depending on how much truly needs to be done to get this bike riding properly but I'm not convinced that a new 4300 is automatically better than a fixed Tass. There is a possibility that spending a couple hundred (more, since you've already spent money on this bike) could make it a solid ride.

    I'm going to warn you right up front that if you replace the chain you will be required to change the cassette and probably the crank on that bike (unless it has replaceable chainrings, which mine did not). Unless you preemptively change your change regularly the drivetrain wears as a group and as such needs to be changed as a group.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  10. #10
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    It all depends on what is wrong with the bike. Why is the chain bad? Rusted, too long? You might need a cassette or maybe not. The issue is a bad chain will accelerate wear on the gears, but if it bad from rusting maybe not.

    There is a point of diminishing returns, but that may not be the point right now. It is nearly impossible to tell where you are with few posts on the net.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    Joe reveals that you can do this if you know what you are doing....and you don't.

    Zebra reveals that you are looking at a hornets nest.

    I will qualify my position by telling you that in the process of appealing to and receiving old donated bikes and pats for 10 seasons of High School racing teams we managed this scenario a lot. The condition of these gifts varied widely. Some simply had not been used much, laying dormant in a garage or basement. Some TLC, lube, new tubes and a tune and they were gold. While we always expresses appreciationfor support, Some went right into the dumpster. Some were cannibalized for their most useful parts.

    Most needed to have an exhausted part or two replaced or brought back into line. The parts bin we developed came in handy. Between that and highy skilled and resourceful mechanics our costs were kept down.

    Wheels can be adjusted in some cases and drive trains can be nursed along but sooner or later those very expensive systems put us in difficulty. As our experience grew we learned to cut our losses early; a behavior which left those close to us, but ignorant, scratching their heads.

    Many here can take a POS bike, tinker with it to make it work and keep it running. It takes a lot of skill and most would rarely put up with such a troublesome and marginal product. Toss in a replacement cassette, chainrings, and a chain? See dumpster comment above.

    ( waiting for wife at Volvo....)
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 03-23-2013 at 12:51 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Ok. well I have upgraded the shifters and the grips and i found a used bontrager front Sprockets/pedal system part (not sure of the correct name for that) which is in better condition than the bent one i have now.

    i feel like the rear derailleur is out of whack but it seems to be working ok. The Chain is not rusted and appears to be decent and i feel like the cassette could last a while longer. So for now i have the drivetrain in working order. Unless my derailleur is broken and i dont realize it yet. i havent got the bike to working condition yet.

    Reason for me saying the Trek 4300, is i feel like it would be better to take good care of a fresh new bike, which has hydraulic discs compared to the current clamp brakes on the tassajara. Rather than nursing an old bike with old parts that would potentially need to be fixed more often.


    But im really not sure what kind of bike i need. The trails im riding in are a good mix between technical, leisure, and a bit of difficult sections. Its a nice trail but its not an advanced trail at all.

    Ive been riding it pretty hard though and there is a trail near where i live called "the beast" which is supposed to be one of the best and most advanced courses in the south.

    I dont know if an old tassajara hard tail is up to the task for that kind of stuff, nor do i even know if a trek 4300 would be good.

    I appreciate the input. all of it!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by colehasarsx View Post
    Ok. well I have upgraded the shifters and the grips and i found a used bontrager front Sprockets/pedal system part (not sure of the correct name for that) which is in better condition than the bent one i have now.

    i feel like the rear derailleur is out of whack but it seems to be working ok. The Chain is not rusted and appears to be decent and i feel like the cassette could last a while longer. So for now i have the drivetrain in working order. Unless my derailleur is broken and i dont realize it yet. i havent got the bike to working condition yet.

    Reason for me saying the Trek 4300, is i feel like it would be better to take good care of a fresh new bike, which has hydraulic discs compared to the current clamp brakes on the tassajara. Rather than nursing an old bike with old parts that would potentially need to be fixed more often.


    But im really not sure what kind of bike i need. The trails im riding in are a good mix between technical, leisure, and a bit of difficult sections. Its a nice trail but its not an advanced trail at all.

    Ive been riding it pretty hard though and there is a trail near where i live called "the beast" which is supposed to be one of the best and most advanced courses in the south.

    I dont know if an old tassajara hard tail is up to the task for that kind of stuff, nor do i even know if a trek 4300 would be good.

    I appreciate the input. all of it!
    First off, you haven't identified what year Tassajara we're talking about. Try BikePedia if you are unsure.

    Second, the reason I say that if you replace the chain you'll need to replace the rest of the drivetrain is because when a chain becomes stretched it starts to carve out the metal of the chainrings and cassette making a new chain not grab into the old teeth because they're a different shape then a new chain needs. If you don't regularly change your chain then the safest option is to change everything as a unit. You could measure the stretch by various methods but unless you measure the roller wear induced "stretch" then you probably aren't getting a good measurement.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    First off, you haven't identified what year Tassajara we're talking about. Try BikePedia if you are unsure.

    Second, the reason I say that if you replace the chain you'll need to replace the rest of the drivetrain is because when a chain becomes stretched it starts to carve out the metal of the chainrings and cassette making a new chain not grab into the old teeth because they're a different shape then a new chain needs. If you don't regularly change your chain then the safest option is to change everything as a unit. You could measure the stretch by various methods but unless you measure the roller wear induced "stretch" then you probably aren't getting a good measurement.
    Its a 2002 Gary Fisher Tassajara.

    and yes i understand what youre saying about the chain and such!

  15. #15
    dru
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    2002? It is time to cut your losses. Seriously, unless you can get it running for peanuts more than you've spent already, stop.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    2002? It is time to cut your losses. Seriously, unless you can get it running for peanuts more than you've spent already, stop.

    Drew
    You really think its that bad? well I cant afford anything quite yet so i might have to make it due for now and start saving.

  17. #17
    dru
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    The simple fact is money. That 2002 bike in good working order wouldn't be worth more that $200 bucks. Don't spend more money on it.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  18. #18
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    If your really keen to save your old bike. Search Graig's list for a cheap donor bike. Larger framed bikes make good donor bikes IMHO as you can always shorten fork steerers and cables etc.

    or make a plan. List all the work that needs to be done. Price parts and or labour and or tools. Do the math. Buy a new bike.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    2002? It is time to cut your losses. Seriously, unless you can get it running for peanuts more than you've spent already, stop.

    Drew
    I'm less sure that it's an instant throw-away. Though it depends heavily on the condition it is in. It's hard to ignore that the 4300 is not a trail worthy bike off the shelf, there is too much compromise there. The Tassajara was a trail-worthy bike falling in the low-mid level specs. The broken shifters make me wonder what shape the rest of the bike is in but I tend to think that with new cables and housing the Tass can be brought back to a higher level than a 4300 for less money. I would suggest taking it to be appraised at a bike shop to see how much is wrong and how much that would cost then talking with your dad about splitting up the cost maybe.

    Specs for the lazy:

    Frame & Fork
    Frame Construction TIG-welded
    Frame Tubing Material 7005 aluminum
    Fork Brand & Model Answer Manitou Six Elite, 3.15" travel
    Fork Material Aluminum, single triple-clamp crown
    Rear Shock Not applicable

    Components
    Component Group Mountain Mix
    Brakeset Aluminum linear-pull brakes, aluminum linear-pull levers
    Shift Levers Shimano Deore Rapidfire Plus
    Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore SGS
    Crankset Bontrager Sport, 22/32/44 teeth
    Pedals Aluminum platform
    Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-LP28
    BB Shell Width Unspecified
    Rear Cogs 9-speed, 11 - 32 teeth
    Chain Shimano CN-HG53, 1/2 x 3/32"
    Seatpost Bontrager Sport
    Saddle Serfas dual density
    Handlebar Bontrager Crowbar Sport
    Handlebar Extensions Not included
    Handlebar Stem Bontrager Sport
    Headset 1 1/8" threadless Dia-Compe STR

    Wheels
    Hubs Aluminum, Q/R
    Rims Bontrager Corvair
    Tires 26 x 2.10" IRC Mythos XC
    Spoke Brand DT stainless steel, 14ga. (2.0mm) straight gauge
    Spoke Nipples Unspecified
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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