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1990s Trek 820 Mountain Track vs. a 2020s Schwinn Axum

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1990s Trek 820 Mountain Track vs. a 2020s Schwinn Axum

Old 09-29-22, 08:56 PM
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1990s Trek 820 Mountain Track vs. a 2020s Schwinn Axum

About 15 years ago, I bought a 1990s Trek 820 Mountain Track 26" (which was already 10-15 years old) and it has served me well for beach broad-walk rides, some exercise, mounting child seats, pulling child trailers, light dirt trails in the park (a neighborhood park, not a bike park). Its age is starting to show though: braking requires significant effort (replacing the original brake pads would probably fix that), there is a re-occurring play in the fork (I have adjusted a couple of times), the cranks are not even (barely noticeable but it's there), changing gears is clunky, geometry is probably wrong for me b/s my wrists hurt after a few miles, and other small annoyances.

The Schwinn Axum is on sale at Walmart for $228 but I am afraid that the larger 29" knobby tires will slow me down. It's offered in one size only but that's my size so that's not a concern. The weight is comparable - my Trek is about 33 lbs. and the Axum is about 35.5. I have no plans on taking it to any sort of technical trails but I do enjoy going to the parks with the kids.

Question: How much of a difference would I feel between riding the Trek vs. the Axum while riding around on paved roads and very light dirt paths?
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Old 09-29-22, 09:38 PM
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I have an 820 and it has served many of th same duties for me as yours has for you. I don't have an Axiom but hen compared to a Trek Marlin the 820 is faster (overall) but it seems like the 29er is easier to get put o speed and stay at speed. It would be far cheaper to repair/upgrade the 820 than to replace it. But if YOU can part with yours after all it's shared with you, then I would see up another couple hundred dollars and get a big brand bike-store bike. Even the lowest end of this is going to be better in every way than a bike you get from Walmart (even a "nice" one) and there will b the choices in style than just. MTB that might better suit your riding needs. Personaly, I will NEVER let my 820 go.

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Old 09-29-22, 10:30 PM
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I know everybody likes to poop on walmart bikes and 99% of the time they deserve it but the Axum is different. Normally it is a $450 bike and if you were to compare it to a Trek I'd take the Axum over a $600 trek marlin 4. A lot of the mtn bike youtubers did videos about the axum

for example.

As long as you go over everything yourself to make sure it is put together correctly it is $230 I don't see how you can really go wrong.
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Old 10-01-22, 10:22 AM
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Thank you both for the feedback.
Grumpy, your 820 looks to be much newer, higher level, and in better condition. Mine is mid-90s Mountain Track and yours appears to be mid-00s Single Track.
I did a lot more reading. It is incredibly difficult to locate a comparison between 90s and modern MTBs for riding on paved roads .
Obviously, modern will outdo 90s in anything trail-related. This is not so clear for riding on paved roads.
I like how my 90s bike rides on pavement and I am concerned that the 2.6" tires will provide a lot more rolling resistance than the 1.95" tires. I learned that, if necessary, this could be somewhat alleviated by replacing the knobbies with lower profile threads.
The gears were also a bit of concern - going from 21 down to 8. But honestly, I only ever use about 4 out of the 21 gears and do not do road racing so maybe that's not a valid concern.
Another was the geometry related to the seating position. Currently, my seating position is not very comfortable for me so still not sure about this - I guess there is higher likelihood that it will be more comfortable rather than not.
Anyhow, I bought the Axum last night with a delivery date of 10/5 - I guess time will tell...
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Old 10-03-22, 09:28 AM
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For the use you describe, what you have is likely better than a modern MTB.

MTBs have become MUCH better at being MTBs, but in the process less versitile for the non-MTB aplication you describe.

While I do not know the condition of you current bike, the design (like most 1990s Hardtails) is actually pretty darn perfect for what you are using it for.

My commuter is a mid 90s MTB (rigid). I have several modern MTBs as well. For riding on pavement and dirt roads, there is no comparison: the 90s Mtb is far preferable, IMO. Its not just the tires, it is the overall geometry of the bike.

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Old 10-04-22, 10:33 AM
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I had an 800 series Trek of about the same vintage 30 or so years ago and (for me) it was marvelous for anything from meandering on the road to pretty serious MTB. I'd keep what you have unless it's really falling apart.
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Old 10-04-22, 10:40 AM
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The only difference you will feel are in the rolling drag of the wheels and drivetrain. IIRC, the 820 had basic but decent freewheel wheels, probably similar to the Schwinn. A major advantage of '29er' wheels is that they are actually the same size and fit the same tires as the industry-standard 700C found on almost all modern road, cyclocross, gravel, and touring bikes. So you have the option of swapping out the insanely heavy and cheap OEM tires (as are included on all lower cost bikes) with something light and lively and fast when the stock tires wear out.
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Old 10-04-22, 12:49 PM
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Fix up the bike you have. Get help with the fixup if you need it.

Who knows what bizarre compromises they made to hit the price point on that Walmart Schwinn. It looks right, and that's a big step in the right direction, but... The competing Kent model lately reviewed on the Berm Peak Youtube channel had a bunch of little things wrong and some of them were things that were just basically junky for any bike, not just for Mountain Biking. The saddle popped apart, the bottom bracket was quickly minced, the handlebars bent in a really light crash, and it was all assembled poorly
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Old 10-05-22, 11:18 AM
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In case you fix up your 820 be advised Kenda Small Block 26 X 2.35 tires won't fit between the chain stays on a 1997 Trek 820. I made that discovery last night. 😐 They WILL fit on a 2014 Raleigh Companion or 2016 Trek T900 tandem MTB however.
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Old 10-06-22, 09:31 PM
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Ahhh, decisions, decisions...
The Axum arrived a couple of days ago and it's still in the box. Everyone's comments are making me seriously rethink the swap.
On the other hand, the Trek is on Craigslist for $175 and someone wants to see it this weekend.
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