How can I upgrade my 1994 mountain bike?
I want to upgrade my 1994 Kona Hei Hei 1994 (Titanium fre). I would like to convert to disc brakes on the front with new suspension forks and upgrade the canti to v-brake on the rear. Is this possible? What make/model would you recommend buying groupset wise, wheels, forks, etc., to keep the bike light but the cost of the upgrade low? Catherine Macclesfield, UK
Id recommend…starting over, Catherine. Ti frames just werent a good route for mountain bikes to take. They were light and had some shock-absorbing capabilities, but they also flexed too much, which made front suspension problematic and dualies about impossible. Which is why NOBODY makes a Ti mountain bike these days. Well, there are a fewTitus is one makerbut theyre scarce.
That said, I just dont think a 15-year-old Ti mountain bike is worth fussing with. You cant do discs in front and cantis in back. Youll be ass over handlebars so fast it will make your head swim. Youve got to have discs front and back. Or cantis alone.
So Id just take it to a good shop and have it cleaned and tuned. Maybe add a front forkget a discounted RockShox Reba from PricePoint or someplace ($400). It might not even fitshock travel is a lot more than it was when you got the Kona.
But for the price of overhauling the Kona, you can get a new bike. Buy a new Marin Indian Fire Trail ($2,300), which boasts an aluminum frame, Fox front fork, great Shimanon components, and disc brakes. A nice bike. Or a Giant XTC ($1,100). Lot of bike for the moneya bike with a stiff aluminum frame that will put a lot more pedaling energy to the trail than the Kona. Disc brakes, a decent SRAM/Shimano component group. Youd have fun with it!
So ditch the old Kona. Not really a good way to spend your money. It’s time to start fresh.