Has hardtail technology significantly changed since 1997?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Has hardtail technology significantly changed since 1997?

    Aside from disc brake mounts, would I notice any significant difference between my 1997 Trek 8000 frame (ZX geometry) versus something more recent? I'm considering purchasing a newer frame and moving over the components, but I don't know if this would be a waste of money or not.

    The two frames I have been looking at are the Schwinn Homegrown (2001) and Giant XTC (2002 or 2003).

    I've always liked my Trek, but it is 6 years old now. There is nothing wrong at all with the frame, so that's not why I am considering a swap. I was just wondering if I would notice any significant improvements if I went with one of the bikes listed above.

    I think my old ZX8000 frame weighs about 3.5 pounds. The Homegrown and XTC are probably closer to 3 pounds. Are newer designs as strong with less weight? Or does that mean my old Trek is a tougher frame?

    In general, what do you guys think about the idea of swapping out the Trek frame for a newer one?

    Thx...Doug

  2. #2
    Villiage Idiot
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    i like the idea, although i don't think you will notice a HUGE difference. It may make a small difference, but all in all, hardtails have evolved very little.
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  3. #3
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    Only thing I can think of is possibly geometry improvements (longer top tubes, more standover, higher bb height) and possibly butting. I don't know how your Trek is built but I remember a big difference between double butted main frame and butted stays on my old S-Works hardtail compared with the old Stumpjumper. Also, I've seen some good used hardtails go for dirt cheap on eBay, even Ti. But if your Trek fits well and you are comfortable with it, why change?

  4. #4
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    Well, a newer frame would better accept a longer fork. I'm guessing that a 6 year old frame was built around a 63mm fork, so if you wanted to move up to 80 or even 100mm, a newer frame would be better suited. I guess you could look into getting a Ti or steel frame, but I don't know what your budget is. It seems you probably want the frame for racing, at least you're looking for something light, so maybe you don't want steel. You also may consider a custom-built frame. That would probably make the biggest difference. There are a lot of builders out there who do custom frames in the $1000 range (+/- ~$200).

  5. #5
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    Well, the ability to handle longer travel forks has been covered. How 'bout that some frames can handle fatter tires. Also, keep in mind that a 7-yr old aluminum frame has some amount of metal fatigue to worry about and that can add up to more flex even if it doesn't competely fail. Does your bike have a replaceable hanger? think '97 was the first year that Trek used replaceable hangers, so perhaps you're lucky in that respect. I have a '96 (I think) Trek 7000, so I just pray that my luck will continue. You also might be able to save a little weight with the new frames, if that matters to you.
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  6. #6
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    98 was the first year for the replaceable hanger...

    Quote Originally Posted by bhutata
    Well, the ability to handle longer travel forks has been covered. How 'bout that some frames can handle fatter tires. Also, keep in mind that a 7-yr old aluminum frame has some amount of metal fatigue to worry about and that can add up to more flex even if it doesn't competely fail. Does your bike have a replaceable hanger? think '97 was the first year that Trek used replaceable hangers, so perhaps you're lucky in that respect. I have a '96 (I think) Trek 7000, so I just pray that my luck will continue. You also might be able to save a little weight with the new frames, if that matters to you.
    1998 was the first year for the replaceable derailleur hanger on the ZX8000 bikes. My 1997 does not have a replaceable hanger and, like you, I've always crossed my fingers in the hopes that it does not get bent.

    I don't think flex has anything to do with age on an aluminum frame. Aluminum does not "flex" more as it ages...it just suddenly breaks. But the Trek 8000 frames made w/Easton Program tubing have a great reputation for durability, so I'm not worried about breaking my frame anytime soon.

    The other issue is disc brake mounts. My old hardtail doesn't have them. My old fork didn't either, but I just slapped on a new fork with disc brake mounts and I'd like the option to run discs on the hardtail in the future (have 'em on my FS bike and love 'em).

    But in terms of performance, do you think there is anything else I might notice?

    Thx...Doug

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