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?

  • 6
    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, 2015 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.) Aug 20, 2015 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. Aug 20, 2015 at 20:27
  • @Batman thanks for the advice. I'll have to check out the new Shimano equipment. Aug 20, 2015 at 20:27
  • possible duplicate of Replacing a groupset in step purchases
    – Nuі
    Aug 22, 2015 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


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, 2015 at 1:36
  • 1
    I agree, the worst thing is that you end up in the incompatibility loops, and ends up buying everything new.
    – Nhân Lê
    Aug 20, 2015 at 1:40
  • I know this is an old answer. It's generally on point. However, I'd point out that people usually sell framesets, i.e. frame and fork (and sometimes headset, especially if integrated). In any case, given that this is a road bike (Ultegra components specified), the OP could have a 1" steerer fork, and probably a threaded one. Also, the rear dropout spacing for 2015 road bikes would have been 130mm if rim brakes, but (and I'm straining my memory here) likely 12x142mm thru axle if disc, but possibly 135mm QR for disc also. At least the front dropout spacing is still 100mm, although beware TAs.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 15, 2020 at 18:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.