OK, I'm sort of just looking for justification here. I am the original owner of a '93 Trek 820 Antelope, and I am just recently getting back into biking for health benefits. Of course after riding "this old bike" for a couple months, I have the itch for "something new!"

The problem is, knowing my desire for fancy things, even a moderate new bike is going to set me back $2K, and obviously the sky's the limit. I've looked at Trek 520, a couple Surley (Troll, LHT, Bridge Club) and while they are absolutely beautiful bikes, I simply haven't yet convinced myself they are a worthwhile upgrade over my 30lb 25 year old rock solid bike. The 820 has been stored indoors 99% of the time, and only needs minimal service (new chain, new shifters & cables, new tires). So for 1/10 the cost of a new bike, I should be good to go.

Conversely, a new bike has the advantage of modern design (wheel size, frame geometry, etc) as well as A LOT lighter, and just plain cool.

So at this point, since I haven't found any super compelling reason to go with the new bike, I am really thinking of just putting a couple hundred into maintenance and be on my merry way.

My primary riding type is country roads. Mixture of tarmac and gravel. I'm too old and too overweight and too out of shape to do anything close to "mountainbiking"


  • 2
    Just recently back ? I'd go for maintenance. Six month from now or a birthday around that time onwards from now, Id get something fancy if I'm still putting hours into it. – gaurwraith Jul 15 '18 at 18:02
  • 1
    Twenty-five years is not that old for a decent bicycle. You should still be able to get repair parts for it, and there has been no revolutionary advance in technology since it was built. If it suits you, keep riding it! – Daniel R Hicks Jul 16 '18 at 0:52
  • Keep it, maintain it, ride it. In 6-12 months you might decide to look for a road or gravel bike instead. Get some time on the bike again and see how you feel later. Remember there's nothing wrong with owning multiple bikes. – Criggie Jul 21 '18 at 23:01

Just keep riding what you have, especially if it fits. Getting out to ride is the most important thing, a new bike won’t change that. As you ride more and determine the type of riding you enjoy most, then you will have a better idea of your exact needs and can decide if a new bike makes sense

So at this point, since I haven't found any super compelling reason to go with the new bike, I am really thinking of just putting a couple hundred into maintenance and be on my merry way.

In all honesty, for casual riding, older mountain bikes can work just fine especially if they can fit moderately larger tires (i.e., 26 x 2.0) which can cover road to gravel.

The newer bikes are becoming more and more specialized in terms of the type of riding they are designed for. This can be good if you know exactly what you need, but confusing to most casual rides who honestly haven’t obsessed over these details.

Marketing is also trying to sell a life style with each model, just because you can “see” yourself doing something, doesn’t mean you will. Best advice is to ride and see what you are into before subjecting yourself to all the marketing.


You don't have to spend $2K on a bike that will be faster, lighter, easier to ride and generally better than your 25 year old bike. (I'm assuming the US here as you used mentioned dollars).

That said, if the old bike only needs minimal maintenance that will not be expensive to do so, get it into a satisfactory condition and ride it for a few months. If you stick with it, then consider a new bike.

If you are not riding proper mountain bike trails, a hybrid bike with no suspension will be perfectly adequate.

  • 2
    Thanks for the input @Argenti. I have been riding the bike as-is for about four weeks now, and I realize that it needs some basic maintenance items. I think doing this basic maintenance and then re-evalulating in six months is the best plan. – Dave Nay Jul 15 '18 at 20:19
  • 3
    as a side note, there are 20 currencies called dollar, and only one of those currencies is the US dollar. – njzk2 Jul 16 '18 at 2:30
  • As a side, side note, I never mentioned "dollar" in my post. :-) (OK, nevermind, I just realized I used the $ symbol) – Dave Nay Jul 16 '18 at 2:56

That old Trek is a lovely bike. These things are rare now with MTB going all gravity. If I were in your position I should spend some money in getting it shipshape again. Then ride it. Set myself a goal, for example, reaching a ∆m in weight reduction, or an elevation gain of h. As price for achieving that goal a nice new bike would wait. That ensures that one is shipshape for the be bike as well. Then give the old bike a good polish and keep it as a trophy and "coffee racer".

  • Nothing wrong with owning a "spare" bike. – Criggie Jul 21 '18 at 22:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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