Upgrading an old Giant…

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    • #607298

      I have a Giant XTC SE4 – from 2003, purchased for just £25 off a friend a couple of years back. Bike similar to the one in the link below.


      Having sat for a couple of years, I’m just getting around to start riding again after 20 years or so.

      Already I’ve upgraded the disc brakes to Shimano MT400’s, adjusted the cockpit set up to suit me (new grips and bars etc.) and a set of new tires to replace the perished originals.

      I’m mainly doing trails and off road on Exmoor, which is parts is pretty gnarly, looking to stick to similar and cycle paths and manmade trails, don’t think I’m built for much more let alone the bike!

      I have noticed that the ride doesn’t inspire confidence and I’m not using all gears available and those that are used, it feels I’m often compromising on selection rather than choosing the right one…let’s face it, it’s almost a 20-year-old bike.

      So in short – upgrades based on the above and anything else anyone feels beneficial. Not got a bottomless pit of money and happy to look at second hand quality rather than cheaper new stuff, especially as it’s on 26″ tires and as mentioned, it’s not the latest in design to start with. Nor am I looking to win any competitions, just looking to turn it into a more enjoyable ride.

    • #607816

      Bump. What mods have you done so far? Hope some experts would chime in

    • #607823

      The bike is fine, but probably not worth dumbing too much money into it.  Think contact points!  Grips, seat, pedals and shoes.  Tires were a good investment also.  Pedals and shoes can easily transfer to your next bike- even the seat if you want.  The most important thing is that you make the bike comfortable enough that you actually ride it!!!  Go out and ride that will tell you your next step.

    • #607836

      Older bikes are seldom worth upgrading because they lack everything that makes modern mountain bikes great like modern geometry, 29 or 27.5 wheels, 1x drivetrains, wider 2.4-2.6 tires, improved suspension designs, etc. So I would only spend as little as possible until you can buy a modern bike. That modern bike doesn’t have to be brand new. If you can get a used bike that is not more than 2-3 years old, that bike would be worth upgrading. You’re wasting your money upgrading a 20 year old bike.

    • #611652

      Would agree w/ Bike Nerd… old bikes are so much lamer than new bikes, even styled out, that its like going from a horse & buggy to a Pagini – its just not even close.  So much better to just get a good new entry level bike (Polygon, Vitus, plenty of others) full sus or hardtail or just a frame now build up slowly vs. trying to upgrade bad geometry & outdated frames (which surely your bike is). Not all, but most “vintage” bike fixer uppers are just lipstick on a pig and I’ve never seen one work well for long.

      You may not have funds at all for a new bike to which I say – finance it! The difference in ride quality, response, fun, speed, the places you can ride (and the buds you can shred with since no one really wants to ride w/ kooks on kook bikes, unless you’re a super shredder) is beyond palpable with even an entry level full sus (or hardtail) rig.  AND you can buy basic bikes now that are far (far) better than an upgraded 20-yr old bike at relatively affordable rates.

      I can tell you from having not done enough homework myself in the past and trying to fix up some old rigs that just wouldn’t take the components I wanted to add that its just not worth it. You’ll look like a dork, they’re slower & less responsive, they break often, are less fun and people won’t wanna ride with you…it’s a waste ultimately.  I know this b/c I have buds who have lately tried to fix up their circa-2000 rigs and I’ve tried to ride with them out of kindness but ultimately 1) they just cannot hang on old gear, even “restored” and 2) they’re always breaking things – its a huge drag.

      Concluding:  you wanna look at your bike and say “GD – I wanna F*** that bike!” – and if you can’t say that, you’re on the wrong bike.  I have a 2019 YT Capra that I said that with instantly, and as I’ve upgraded it over the past 3 yrs I can still easily say that about the bike…I just wanna nail it.  Its good as sex on the downhills, maybe better.  You want your rig to be your sexy soulmate & if not – move on. Life’s too short to ride shitty bikes.

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