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I absolutely love my Specialized Stumpjumper HT 15.5 (26" wheels), so light and nimble - a dream for single-track and general xc trail-riding (and nice and nifty for running around town too) but post-pandemic have barely got out on her, and if I'm honest I no longer do big technical rides, and have never been a racer, just a keen recreational rider.

She's in need of some serious love - rear wheel seriously buckled with broken spoke (both front & back wheels are the original V-brake rims, and looking fairly thin), brakes need work, both the rear cassette and front chainring are worn, chain stretched... you get the picture. Everything's a bit tired, and I'm aware that I probably should have had the original Fox F90 RL forks serviced at some point!

The question is, do I replace everything that's broken, and probably upgrade to disc-brake set up at the same time (it's got the mounting points on the frame) or do I bite the bullet and buy myself a new steed?

If I go for the new bike option (don't really want to spend over £1000), the closest similar model seems to be the Rockhopper Elite 27.5 (S) or the Rockhopper Expert. The spec is a lower level than my beloved Stumpy (in it's original state), but presumably would still be superior to the state she's in now, and how much difference in real terms from an LX/XT 2006 system to a 2023 Deore system? Also what difference between the Stumpjumper M4 (super-light) alloy frame and the Rockhopper A1 premium butted aluminium? Or any other models I should consider?

OR Since I still love the geometry and general ride, am I better just to do the upgrades/replacements? And how much is that likely to cost? Which option gonna give me the better bike for value? I don't have the tools/experience, but have a great local community bike workshop that would be a cheaper option to have an assisted rebuild than getting all the work done at my LBS. And do I really need to get the forks serviced or if they're not making any trouble, assume that they're OK? Also, would it be feasible/worthwhile to upgrade the 9-speed to 11-speed rear set, with the existing XT derailleur?

Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions :-)

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    So, there's only a broken spoke. The rest is just regular wear on consumable items that need replacement periodically anyway. Does that alter your viewpoint at all ?
    – Criggie
    Oct 9, 2023 at 17:26

2 Answers 2

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There is a lot in this post.
Here are the questions I see.

  1. Fix what I have or buy something new?
  2. Do I need to get the fork serviced if its working OK? (my vote is "no")
  3. If I buy something new what should I buy?
  4. Or should I also upgrade what I have?

I'll focus on the "fix what I have or buy something new" part of this question.
Looking at what needs repair:
Drive train replacement - chain, cluster, chainring
New rear wheel
Brake pads
Fork rebuild
Assume bearing repack for front wheel, headset, bottom bracket

Answering question 1:
From a purely cost perspective, including labor this looks like less than the cost of a good new bike.

From a ride feel and emotional perspective. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find another bike that will ride better or carry the memories of the bike you have. I still remember a road bike I really enjoyed riding years ago that was stolen. There have been some fine bikes since then but it's not the same.

So, fix what you have.

Moving into question 3 a little: If you go to the "upgrade" route then costs can go much higher and the cost vs. value calculation gets complicated. I put upgrade in quotes because if your bike currently does everything you want and you really like it then is adding a cog on the cluster or disk brakes really an improvement? A good rule of thumb is - don't fix what isn't broken.

To evaluate the upgrade option it would be best to have a conversation with the bike shop that will be doing the work. They will make a list of all the stuff you will need to buy and give you an estimate on labor. This will give you a dollar amount to help your decision.

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Your question boils down to 2 important points:

I absolutely love my

and

If I go for the new bike option (don't really want to spend over £1000)

We are discussing bicycles, so let's be rational:

  • old bike was very good for you and therefore you are not really ready to give it away;
  • set a budget for the theoretical new bike you consider buying.

Let's assume you want to spend £700 for a new bike. You will find a similarly specc'd model for £500 (just hold on some 4-5 weeks and you will see bicycle prices collapsing). Then spend the £200 left to fix your current beloved but neglected bicycle. Or spend £400 for a similarly specc'd used bicycle, then spend the £300 to fix the "new" 2nd hand bike and your old one.

Problem solved.

A rough assesment of your old bike is either spend +-£150 to fix it, or get less than £50 by selling it in its current state (seeing it the other way around, if you fix it and discover it is not anymore such a nice bike, you lost at maximum £100).

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