Bicycle Lifespan

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Kurt Tappe, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. Kurt Tappe

    Kurt Tappe Guest

    I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    bad) or buying a new ride.

    This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    bike should be. Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the
    thought of dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do
    with computers? Or is it longer, allowing one to think more of it
    like a car? If the latter, are expensive parts worth replacing on a
    bike? I expect the shifters & cables alone to cost over $400 to have
    replaced; a significant expense that requires serious consideration.

    Thanks for any thoughts,
    -Kurt

    PS: I'm a bit dismayed at the lack of durability of "Dura-Ace"
    components. Has anyone else found them to not necessarily be worth
    their cost?
     
    Tags:


  2. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    On 1 Aug 2004 14:38:36 -0700, Kurt Tappe <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    > then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    > saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    > of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    > either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    > bad) or buying a new ride.
    >
    > This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    > bike should be. Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the
    > thought of dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do
    > with computers? Or is it longer, allowing one to think more of it
    > like a car? If the latter, are expensive parts worth replacing on a
    > bike? I expect the shifters & cables alone to cost over $400 to have
    > replaced; a significant expense that requires serious consideration.
    >
    > Thanks for any thoughts,
    > -Kurt
    >
    > PS: I'm a bit dismayed at the lack of durability of "Dura-Ace"
    > components. Has anyone else found them to not necessarily be worth
    > their cost?


    If you have had it for some time, and it sounds like you have, you
    will be familiar with everything. It makes sense to spend the money
    to upgrade the parts that wear out with higher quality if possible.
    Then you would be out $400 rather than another $2K and you would
    know what will wear and what won't. I have been riding an old Huffy
    for about ten years as my utility bike and have only worn out
    the bottom bracket, and rear wheel bearings. I ride from 10 to 70
    miles every day so maybe I am lucky or maybe you put in a lot of miles.

    Think of what you could do with $1600 versus breaking in a new ride.
    Bill Baka

    --
    Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/
     
  3. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    I run a Huffy 8000 miles a year, and replace all sorts of stuff
    (Huffy phone order), bb, rear wheel, derailleur, freewheel, as it
    wears out, EXCEPT if a whole bunch of things are marginal at once,
    when it is cheaper to get a new Huffy, which has all new parts
    all around.

    A $2000 bike though this is not true for; try replacing with cheaper
    parts, if you don't want to part with much money. The cheap stuff
    works okay.
    --
    Ron Hardin
    [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  4. >This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    >bike should be.


    The other day I was out for a ride round the lanes. Stopped and chatted to a
    guy on a bike coming the other way. His bike was over 50 years old. It was
    *immaculate* in original paint & parts. He rides almost every day on this bike.
    He maintains it wonderfully.

    Cheers, helen s


    --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam--
    to get correct one remove fame & fortune
    h*$el*$$e*nd**$o$ts**i*$*$m*m$o*n*[email protected]$*a$o*l.c**$om$

    --Due to financial crisis the light at the end of the tunnel is switched off--
     
  5. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "Kurt Tappe" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    > then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    > saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    > of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    > either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    > bad) or buying a new ride.
    >
    > This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    > bike should be. Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the
    > thought of dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do
    > with computers? Or is it longer, allowing one to think more of it
    > like a car? If the latter, are expensive parts worth replacing on a
    > bike? I expect the shifters & cables alone to cost over $400 to have
    > replaced; a significant expense that requires serious consideration.


    It's not years, it's miles, and maintenance. Some high-wear parts may last a
    few thousand miles. Others may go 10k or more. The frame should last
    indefinitely.

    What I don't understand is why this should come as a surprise.

    RichC
     
  6. On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 14:38:36 -0700, Kurt Tappe wrote:

    > I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    > then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    > saddle, wheels, tires, etc.


    What makes you think all these things need replacement? Tires and cables
    are maintenance items, and need to be replaced regularly. But what is
    wrong with the shifters? STI shifters do break down eventually, but not
    until you have a good bit of mileage. And wheels? Wheels are
    not a unit. Rims need occasional replacing, but hubs last
    nearly forever if properly cared for, and spokes can last for
    several rims if you replace the rim with one of the same
    diameter.

    > This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road bike
    > should be.


    Decades.

    > Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the thought of
    > dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do with
    > computers? Or is it longer, allowing one to think more of it like a
    > car? If the latter, are expensive parts worth replacing on a bike? I
    > expect the shifters & cables alone to cost over $400 to have replaced; a
    > significant expense that requires serious consideration.


    Then they must be STI. Unfortunately, STI shifters are not repairable.
    In contrast, Campy Ergo shifters are easy enough to repair that a
    competent home mechanic can do so within half an hour.

    > PS: I'm a bit dismayed at the lack of durability of "Dura-Ace"
    > components. Has anyone else found them to not necessarily be worth their
    > cost?


    Depends. The only Dura-Ace component I have, a rear track hub, seems to
    be bomb-proof. Others have not had such luck -- but all Shimano shifters
    have the same problems. Other wear parts, such as bearings, are easily
    and cheaply replaced.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not
    _`\(,_ | certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to
    (_)/ (_) | reality. -- Albert Einstein
     
  7. gooserider

    gooserider Guest

    I know that there are steel bikes 50+ years old which are still going
    strong. I'd be interested in seeing how the ultralight aluminum and carbon
    fiber bikes are going to hold up, though. Will we be seeing "classic OCLV
    Treks" for sale 30 years for now on eBay?
     
  8. Kurt Tappe wrote:

    > I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    > then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    > saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    > of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    > either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    > bad) or buying a new ride.


    What year was the bike made? And what makes you think all those parts
    are bad?

    My Cannondale is a 1986 model. The "wear parts" have, of course, been
    replaced. That's tires, chain and cogs and (rarely) cables. The rims
    were replaced only because I wanted to move from 27" to 700c rims - the
    old ones were perfect. The shifters are perfect. Hubs are perfect. So
    are the bottom bracket, cranks, brakes, etc etc.

    My utility bike is probably the one I ride most. It's a 1972 Raleigh.
    Between 1976 (when I rescued it from someone's basement) and 1986, I
    replaced most of its equipment, but since then, only tires, chains and
    cogs, and (rarely) cables. The shifters date from the late '70s!

    Bikes last a long, long time, and they're usually simple to fix when
    parts do wear out.


    >
    > This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    > bike should be.


    I'd say decades.


    --
    --------------------+
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, remove rodent and vegetable dot com,
    replace with cc.ysu dot edu]
     
  9. On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 22:12:42 -0400, Frank Krygowski
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    >> bike should be.

    >
    >I'd say decades.


    Probably so, considering what a success my little brother's Follis has
    been with minimal work.

    -Luigi
     
  10. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Kurt Tappe" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    > then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    > saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    > of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    > either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    > bad) or buying a new ride.


    There are items on a bike that need replacement after a while, and that
    certainly includes items like cables, tires, and chains. A new bike is
    likely to need all that stuff after 3 years, if not before.

    Some of the other items on your list -- shifters, saddle, wheels -- are also
    replaceable items; it's hard to say what mileage might be on them. The main
    expense item will be the shifters, and I can't comment on Dura-Ace.

    Road bikes can be ridden a long time. I'm not the only guy in this newsgroup
    riding a bike from the 1970's. It partly depends on what type of experience
    you are seeking.
     
  11. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Kurt Tappe wrote:
    > I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    > then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    > saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    > of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    > either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    > bad) or buying a new ride.
    >
    > This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    > bike should be. Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the
    > thought of dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do
    > with computers? Or is it longer, allowing one to think more of it
    > like a car? If the latter, are expensive parts worth replacing on a
    > bike? I expect the shifters & cables alone to cost over $400 to have
    > replaced; a significant expense that requires serious consideration.
    >
    > Thanks for any thoughts,
    > -Kurt
    >
    > PS: I'm a bit dismayed at the lack of durability of "Dura-Ace"
    > components. Has anyone else found them to not necessarily be worth
    > their cost?



    I guess the answer is, it depends.

    My 9-yo Trek 720 is about dead. But I never clean it, and
    commute on it year-round, in WI, where salt is plentiful.
    Still, the only thing that has died on it is the entire chain
    and derailleur system, last week, and the expense of having
    someone re-do that makes me think of getting a whole new
    bike.

    What's a good ceremony for retiring a trusted old bike anyway?
    I've only had 2 accidents on it -- ran into a parked car
    'cause I wasn't paying attention, and ran into a pedestrian
    who wasn't paying attention -- and broke a lot of chains
    pulling 2 kids up a hill in a Burley. But other than that,
    it's been a real workhorse.

    I commuted on rollerblades today :)

    Scott, prepping for sticker shock at the LBS
     
  12. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    >then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    >saddle, wheels, tires, etc.


    >This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    >bike should be. Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the
    >thought of dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do
    >with computers?


    Well, I will probably cover the same ground as others. With proper
    maintenance, road bikes last quite well. But I think the best way to measure
    it is in miles.

    The shifters assuming you have the new ones, do where out about 20,000 miles or
    so. Even handlebars go if you live here in Central Florida and sweat on them
    quite a bit - they corrode where the brake levers are clamped onto the
    handlebars. They last about 20,000 miles or so. With wheels, it depends. The
    wheels I have a pretty bullet proof and have about 40,000 miles on them - I had
    to replace a spoke because a squirrel committed hari kari by diving into the
    wheel but other then that nothing. Many people go for very light weight wheels
    and those can have much shorter lifespans. I have broken up wheels in 2,000 -
    12,000 miles. The deraillers and the brakes should hold up for about 30,000
    miles +. The frame should last virtually forever. The sealed bearings on the
    bottom braket will eventually go and so will the pedals. If you maintain the
    hubs on your wheels and headset, they should hold up pretty well.
     
  13. Scott wrote:


    > What's a good ceremony for retiring a trusted old bike anyway?


    -- Fill the frame with concrete, bolt it to the ground and use it
    to lock your new bike to ;-)

    -- After buying your new bike, embark on a relaxed and occasional
    restoration project (getting new bits when you see 'em cheap or
    on eBay). A good way to hone the maintenance skills.

    -- Use it as a pub bike. [1]

    -- Convert it to a fixed / single speed.

    -- I once briefly entertained the idea of suspending an old
    bike frame from the kitchen ceiling, so I could hang pots &
    pans etc from it. I don't think my other half would have
    approved though.


    [1] Depending on where in the world you're from, this may
    need explaining. A "pub bike" is one that you don't mind
    taking to the pub (bar), or any popluated area where you're
    away from the bike and there's a chance it'll get stolen.

    I used my old MTB for this purpose until, yes, it got
    stolen, so that sort of counts as retirement :-/

    --
    jc

    Remove the -not from email
     
  14. Jeremy Collins wrote:
    > -- I once briefly entertained the idea of suspending an old
    > bike frame from the kitchen ceiling, so I could hang pots &
    > pans etc from it.


    What a cool idea!

    -km

    --
    the black rose
    proud to be owned by a yorkie
    http://community.webshots.com/user/blackrosequilts
     
  15. Darin McGrew

    Darin McGrew Guest

    Jeremy Collins <[email protected]> wrote:
    > A "pub bike" is one that you don't mind
    > taking to the pub (bar), or any popluated area where you're
    > away from the bike and there's a chance it'll get stolen.


    The folks at the LBS where I bought my current commute bike would retire
    dead bicycles by leaving them outside in the bike rack, unlocked. Then
    they'd guess how long it would take before someone stole the bike.
    --
    Darin McGrew, [email protected], http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
    Web Design Group, [email protected], http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

    "Predictions are difficult, especially about the future." - Casey Stengel
     
  16. Darin McGrew wrote:
    > Jeremy Collins <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> A "pub bike" is one that you don't mind
    >>taking to the pub (bar), or any popluated area where you're
    >>away from the bike and there's a chance it'll get stolen.

    >
    >
    > The folks at the LBS where I bought my current commute bike would retire
    > dead bicycles by leaving them outside in the bike rack, unlocked. Then
    > they'd guess how long it would take before someone stole the bike.


    That strikes me as somehow unfair...

    -km

    --
    the black rose
    proud to be owned by a yorkie
    http://community.webshots.com/user/blackrosequilts
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    >I bought a used Cannondale road bike in 2001. It was in great shape
    >then, but now many items are in need of replacement--shifters, cables,
    >saddle, wheels, tires, etc. Admittedly a new bike might not need all
    >of this after only 3 years, but I'm still stuck in the position of
    >either fixing this one (which I fear would be putting good money after
    >bad) or buying a new ride.
    >This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    >bike should be. Is it 3-5 years and one should just live with the
    >thought of dropping $2K for a new one that often just as one must do
    >with computers? Or is it longer, allowing one to think more of it
    >like a car? If the latter, are expensive parts worth replacing on a
    >bike? I expect the shifters & cables alone to cost over $400 to have
    >replaced; a significant expense that requires serious consideration.
    >Thanks for any thoughts,
    >-Kurt
    >PS: I'm a bit dismayed at the lack of durability of "Dura-Ace"
    >components. Has anyone else found them to not necessarily be worth
    >their cost?


    My dura-ace stuff has lasted a long time for me. Tires, cables and saddles
    are normal wear items that have to replaced on a regular basis no matter
    if the bike is new or used. What is wrong with the shifters and wheels?
    Shifters should last tens of thousands of miles. Wheels should last until
    the point where your brakes wear through the rim sidewalls or until you
    have an accident that kills the rim. It shoulds like the used bike you
    bought was neglected by the prior owner. I would check the chain and
    drivetrain since those items will also cost quite a bit of money to replace.
    ----------------
    Alex
     
  18. the black rose <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Darin McGrew wrote:
    >> The folks at the LBS where I bought my current commute bike would retire
    >> dead bicycles by leaving them outside in the bike rack, unlocked. Then
    >> they'd guess how long it would take before someone stole the bike.

    >
    > That strikes me as somehow unfair...


    i did this with an old schwinn continental. and sort of with an old schwinn
    varsity (i never locked it up in minneapolis). one day while watching tv
    with my room-mates we heard a commotion out back followed by someone
    trying make a quick exit out the alley. a bit later a few expletives
    muttered in disgust and the unmistakable sound of a bike being thrown to
    the ground in disgust. this being the third time that summer this scenario
    had repeated itself i just went outside and put my bike back in the rack.

    the answer with the schwinn continental to the original question was about
    4 months. that bike sat all summer and part of fall against a sign at
    franklin ave se and river road in minneapolis before someone had the good
    heart to walk off with it and give it a new home.
    --
    david reuteler
    [email protected]
     
  19. On 02 Aug 2004 20:16:08 GMT, David Reuteler <[email protected]> wrote:

    >i did this with an old schwinn continental. and sort of with an old schwinn
    >varsity (i never locked it up in minneapolis). one day while watching tv
    >with my room-mates we heard a commotion out back followed by someone
    >trying make a quick exit out the alley. a bit later a few expletives
    >muttered in disgust and the unmistakable sound of a bike being thrown to
    >the ground in disgust. this being the third time that summer this scenario
    >had repeated itself i just went outside and put my bike back in the rack.


    This is dangerously close to the old banjo (or accordion) joke:

    One day I foolishly left my banjo in the back seat of my car with the
    windows rolled down and the doors unlocked. Sure enough, when I came
    back, someone had tossed in another banjo...

    Curtis L. Russell
    Odenton, MD (USA)
    Just someone on two wheels...
     
  20. Andrew Price

    Andrew Price Guest

    Kurt Tappe wrote -

    > This brings up the question of what the expected lifespan of a road
    > bike should be.
    >

    Try a respray in your favourite colour scheme from a good frame painter.

    Its amazing how a shiny bike with a paint job you love re-establishes
    enthusiasm and affection for an old but still serviceable frame.

    > PS: I'm a bit dismayed at the lack of durability of "Dura-Ace"
    > components. Has anyone else found them to not necessarily be worth
    > their cost?


    In terms of replacement costs Campy is a better bet because its inherent
    re-build, unlike Shimano - but that choice is a religious decision! Both are
    very very good.

    best, Andrew (who recently resprayed a Giant Cadex frame with uncounted km
    to "midnight black" on it and put on a Centaur triple - and I love it)
     
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