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I've always known my bike frame was too big for me. I got a great deal on the whole bike when I bought it seven years ago. It was an S-Works, probably from the '90s, with all Ultegra gear in great shape.

I find myself on my bike more every week, and the size is beginning to cause me aches, as I'm too stretched out on the bars and have a serious hunch. Getting a new bike or replacing this frame have been on my mind now for months.

All of my components are in okay shape. I'm semi-confident that with some time (and some help) I could move them to a new frame. My concern was that this new frame might not be compatible with my components. Some things, like the shifters, I'm not concerned about. But I am concerned about things like the wheel and bottom bracket.

So my question is, what are the main compatibility issues I could run into with putting old gear on a new bike frame and how can I avoid them?

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    Generally you'll be better off selling the old bike and just buying a complete new or used bike. Remember that trickledown happens, so current sora gear even is probably better than your 90s ultegra. You need to list the parts or at least put some pictures of the bike. – Batman Aug 19 '15 at 23:26
  • Yeah, except in unusual situations, you'd be much better off buying an new (used) bike and selling the one you have. Among other things, it's hard to buy just a frame. (Note that in some cases you may want to buy the new bike, swap some parts such as the seat or wheels, then sell the old. But that's just a refinement on the basic buy/sell scheme.) – Daniel R Hicks Aug 20 '15 at 1:11
  • @DanielRHicks I was hoping to do exactly that. Also I didn't know about trickledown, and that Sora gear may be just as good. Thanks for the tip. – shabbilyframed Aug 20 '15 at 20:27
  • @Batman thanks for the advice. I'll have to check out the new Shimano equipment. – shabbilyframed Aug 20 '15 at 20:27
  • possible duplicate of Replacing a groupset in step purchases – Nuі Aug 22 '15 at 23:57
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There are many issues for the new frame:

  • Fork drop out (front wheel spacing) might be wider, 100 mm for most modern bike
  • Frame dropout (rear wheel spacing) might wider, 135 for most modern bike
  • Headset likely to be wider, so you have to buy new headset with compatibility to a 1" fork (I guess?), 1-1/8 inch to 1-1/2 inch for modern bike
  • Bottom bracket is likely to be ok
  • Front derailleur clamp may be too small
  • Seat diameter might be different

Rules of thumb is that if the bike has no sentimental values, it is always more economical to use that money and buy a second-hand bike. Unless you would like to spend extra money to tinker and have fun with the bike in your own time.

  • A good way to learn your way around a bike, but the amount of special tools you end up buying is a drag if you're only doing it once. – alex Aug 20 '15 at 1:36
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    I agree, the worst thing is that you end up in the incompatibility loops, and ends up buying everything new. – Nhân Lê Aug 20 '15 at 1:40

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