Need some Advice on Beater FS Mtb

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    • #218916

      I recently picked up a 2003 KHS FS mountain bike that I’m riding to work every day on mixed dirt & pavement.  I’m really enjoying it and I want to buy a new bike, so I made a deal with my wife that if I dropped XX pounds, I get a new bike.  I haven’t yet told her how much I’m going to spend :).  I figure it’ll take me a couple of months to lose XX pounds (I think it’s only like 15 right now).

      Anyway, so I’m loving this KHS, but it has a few issues.  I already had to replace the rear tire ($100), the headset is leaking oil, I’m pretty sure both the forks and the shock are shot, and the transmission + brakes are all kinda beat, low-end stuff.

      I can fix *some* of the stuff, but I’m short on time, and I figure a trip to my LBS to fix it all will be in the $500 range.

      So I figure I have 2 choices… anything in-between smacks of fear of committment:


      1)  Don’t spend a dime on it and ride it until it breaks, then fix it with duct tape.

      2) Give this KHS xc304 the love it deserves because, after all, it’s actually a pretty good bike!  I figure this means

      • fix or replace headset
      • general tune-up ($100)
      • shock tune or replace  (???)
      • fork tune or replace (it’s a RS Pilot, so I’m not sure if you can even tune them) (???)
      • probably new front tire.  ($100)
      • perhaps bottom bracket (??)
      • new brake pads. ($30)


      I’m really torn here… anyone have advice?

    • #218940

      $100 for a rear tire??? Damn dude.

      I wouldn’t spend any significant money on that bike. If it needs new pads or something like that to keep it safe, that’s one thing, but I wouldn’t upgrade any of the components. The headset shouldn’t have any oil in it. There’s grease in the bearings, but nothing should be leaking out of it.

      Save your money for that new ride.

    • #218946

      Oops… I meant wheel, not tire.  Thanks for the advice, man.  Yeah, there’s definitely grease (not oil) coming out of the headset, but it’s a slow grease-leak 🙂

      The gaskets on the top/bottom are also all stretched out and basically useless.  It makes a little <tick> sound, but I haven’t noticed any actual problems with it aside from the sound and the grease.

    • #218997

      To start with I would tear it down, check and re-grease all the bearings, but I wouldn’t pay a shop to do it. After that, it is a nice bike, but old, hard call to make.

    • #219027

      What is your goal for your final bike. Mountain biking or just a simple ride to work?

      • #219699

        My final bike is primarily a commuter to/from work but also with some really mellow singletrack I have around my house, maybe some snow riding, banging across neighbors’ lawns at high speeds, etc.

        I get super frustrated with crowds, so I can’t see myself going up to popular front range downhill routes or ski areas to fight it out with the masses, but I’d love to take a weekend on the western slope and do some chill singletracks.

        I plan on eventually blowing about $3K on a used carbon FS 27.5+ that’s been well-used and maybe a few years old, if I can find one.  I’d like the bigger tires for snow & loose gravel, but Fat Bikes are just a bit too heavy for my tastes.

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