Can a 26er be saved

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Can a 26er be saved

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    • #303405

      Hi All,

      I’ve got an old Specialized XC Pro from 2005. It has the the Fox Triad Float and Mnitou Splice elite 100mm Shocks.

      I switched to road not long after getting it so it hasn’t been used that much and the drive train is still in good usable condition (put a new chain on) The suspension on the other hand leaves allot to be desired, so I’ve found a seal kit for the rear, The shock looks in good condition but it’s leaking air so was ging to service it, the front either need a full overhaul or replacing, but I’m struggling to find seals for them.

      Is it even worth spending any money on or cut my losses and go for something new?

      My son is starting to do the trails and BMX tracks so need something as I’m getting the bug for the off road stuff again but the XC isn’t upto it in it’s current state.

      Thanks for any advice.


    • #303430

      Can it be saved?  It’s like everything else… with $$ anything can be fixed.  The question is whether it’s worth it to you.  You may want to take it to your LBS just to see how much it would cost to get the suspension functional.  If it were just a matter of replacing seals then it may be worthwhile to do even if it were just used as a back-up bike or even the possibility your son might use it.  I wouldn’t spend a lot of coin getting it trail ready though as the bike is now 15yrs old and today’s MTB’s are light years ahead of where they were back then.

    • #303465

      I agree with rmap01.  Modern 2020 Mountainbikes have taken a quantum leap from what they were 15 years ago.   Go to your local bike shop and demo a 2020 Trek Fuel EX, Specialized Stumpjumper, Ibis Ripmo, or Ibis Ripley which come with 29×2.5-2.6 tires, modern progressive geometry, and 1×12 drivetrains.  You won’t want to ride your old 26er again!

      Push the saddle forward and put a short stem on you old Pro so that it fits your kid.  My kids use our old bikes by doing this.  And, I’m not wasting money on a new bike that they will quickly out grow.  My youngest son is currently riding my wifes old 2003 Santa Cruz Superlight 26.  When he grows tall enough, I’ll switch him to my old 2009 Specialized Epic 29.   The old bikes have such long stems that getting them to fit a smaller person is quite easy.

    • #303472

      I thought my ’04 Turner Burner was bike lust worthy but when I bought the ’17 Turner Flux with 27.5 wheels and progressive geometry the old Burner became my road bike. The larger wheels are just plain faster and go over rocks and roots sooo much easier that at 66 I’m descending faster than ever. Time for a new or at least modern bike!

    • #303507

      We see a lot of this type of thing in the shop I work at. While it’s great keeping older bikes running, it comes down to two things:

      1. Can you get the parts? I’d be surprised if you could find the seals for the fork anywhere. Also getting anything for 26″ bikes is getting harder and harder these days unless you go used. As a shop buying new from suppliers, our options are fairly limited.

      2. How much are you willing to spend? Labour is often the prohibitive cost, and with expensive, hard to find parts + labour, the cost to put an older bike back into service often just isn’t worth it, particularly given how much better modern mountain bikes are.

      So, are you going to do the work, or is your LBS? Is it worth it to you? Honestly, the new bike route might be your best option.

    • #303508

      Many 26” trail bikes, with 5” to 6” of travel, are definitely worth saving.

      I put 27.5” wheels on a 26” Ibis Mojo SL-R and I love it.  Last summer in Santa Cruz, I spent one day on my Mojo and the next demoing the new Ripley.  The Ripley is amazing but I left Santa Cruz perfectly content with my current bike.
      Before the Mojo, I rode a Pivot Mach 5 with a 27.5” front wheel.  I had under $750 in that bike and it was almost as fun as the Mojo at $1750.  Both of those bikes have over 5” of travel and really benefit from 27.5” wheel(s).

      With that said, I don’t think I would enjoy a 26” cross country bike (4” of travel) even with 27.5” wheels.  Wheel size makes such a difference that I would prefer riding a 29” hardtail.


    • #303509

      ….. or, I would rather spend $600 on an old 29” Gary Fisher hardtail than spend my money restoring a 26” full suspension cross country bike.

    • #303520

      Thanks all,

      I was leaning towards a new bike. Who doesn’t want a new bike 🙂

      I was going to do the work myself, I’ve been building bikes for years so the labour isn’t a massive issue. I am struggling with sourcing seals for the front. One supplier has some seals but they aren’t 100% they will fit and as mentioned getting new 26″ shocks is proving to be a strugle to find something worth buying. Especially as it also has a straight 1 1/8th headset where most are tapered.

      Best take a trip to the LBS 🙂

      Thanks again.


    • #303631

      For some reason I feel 26 inch tires will re emerge in the future.

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