Component Life Expectancy

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by swimmer88, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. swimmer88

    swimmer88 New Member

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    From your own experience, or a general rule of thumb, how long (in miles) do the various components on a road bike last before they should be replaced? I want to try and get an idea so that those of us who aren't professional bike mechanics [​IMG] know when to replace a part. I realize that for some or all of these components there are simple ways to figure out whether that component needs to be replaced or not, but that is not what I am looking for. I am only looking for an estimate on how long before they should be replaced. Try and give a range if you can, because there will be some variablility (part quality, rider style, etc.). I'm looking for life in terms of miles ridden. Thanks

    Feel free to add to this if i missed anything:
    Tires
    Brakes
    Cables
    Chain
    Chainrings
    Cassette
    Handlebar tape
    Hubs
    Pedals
    Pedal cleats
    Front derailleur
    Rear derailleur
    Bottom bracket
    Shifters
     
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  2. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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  3. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    In general, a fixed-mileage replacement schedule doesn't really make sense for several reasons. First, the extreme variation of use profiles and road conditions means the life expectancy miles I've experienced would be meaningless for you. Many of the items on your list are subject to rapid wear from contamination based on rain, sand, and dirt exposure, but wear very slowly in a clean environment.

    Also, the wear on some of items on your list isn't really related to miles at all.
    EG, brakes only wear when you stop, cleats when you clip in and out and walk on them, and shifters when you shift. One rider might get on his bike and ride 30 miles on a flat road without stopping or shifting, putting zero wear on brakes, shifters and cleats, while another might be riding constantly in urban traffic, stopping, shifting and clipping out dozens of times per mile.

    Finally, most things can be inspected easily, either just with a visual inspection (eg tires), by feel (hubs, BB, pedals, cables), or by a simple measurement (eg chain). IME if you do the simple checks and keep alert to how your bike is operating when you ride, you'll rarely experience any failures on the road. Spokes might be an exception to the rule; I know of no easy way to check them to determine when they are getting weak from fatigue and more likely to break...but they weren't on your list anyway :)
     
  4. swimmer88

    swimmer88 New Member

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    Very true. Thanks for pointing that out. I knew that there were variables, but I guess I didn't consider the very wide range of variablity. Such as, riding in snow and rain vs riding on paved clean bike lanes. I guess this proves that we people from southern california really do live in a bubble[​IMG].

    If anyone still wants to add any input...be my guest. Otherwise I assume this thread is dead.
     
  5. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    What dhk said! :)

    If the point of your original query was to know when to begin considering replacing something on your bike, distance travelled is potentially a useful indicator for certain components and not others.

    The best way to approach this issue is regular maintenance (your weekly bike cleaning and lubing should handle this just fine) with adjustments made whenever necessary.

    Overall, half-decent components will greatly outlast the bicycle's lifetime (in that you will probably buy a new one well before replacement of parts becomes an issue).

    Of course, with the exception of the 'consumeables' such as bar tape, clinchers, brake pads, cleats, etc.
     
  6. lisandom

    lisandom New Member

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    on a related note, i was wondering just yesterday (as i sent my odo over 2500 miles) if i should change my road tires.

    what are some things to look for that tell when a tire is about to expire?

    thanks:)
     
  7. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Well, it also depends on whether you have a very light, hi performance tire or not.

    Look for the back tire to be somewhat 'flat' or threadbare, see if there are a lots of small cuts...
     
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