need some opinions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Mike, Feb 11, 2003.

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  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Greetings all;

    At the risk of repeating a topic posted here numerous times, I need some advice.

    Let me start with a little background. I purchased a Raleigh SC200 bicycle about 4 years ago. While
    it has been a fairly reliable form of transportation, It seems to be aging more quickly that I had
    anticipated. At this time it needs about $250 in repairs to make me comfortable enough with it to
    use it for any distance riding. It needs 2 rims, one tire, crank bearings, and a rear derailer as
    well as a second chain.

    The salesman at the shop where I purchased the bicycle told me outright that he made a mistake when
    he sold me that bike a few years ago as it is not what I need for the amount of riding I do. He is
    willing to sell me a replacement at his cost.

    As for my riding style, I ride about 2000 miles a year, almost exclusively road-riding. I usually
    average 20-30 miles a day. I also use the bike to pull a utility trailer (I've got to get those
    photos posted on a site)

    OK, time for the issue.

    The original bike cost me $450 and it needs $250 in repairs. Is it worth sinking that kind of
    money into it?

    If not, What kind of bike would serve my purpose? I do have several things I would like to have on a
    new ride front shock - no rear, 18+ speeds, mountain-bike style frame and handlebars, Also need a
    larger frame, as I am 6'2".

    Anyone have any suggestions as to manufacturer/model/style/accessories/whatever is relevant?

    Thanks

    Mike [email protected]
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Mike <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Let me start with a little background. I purchased a Raleigh SC200 bicycle about 4 years ago. While
    >it has been a fairly reliable form of transportation, It seems to be aging more quickly that I had
    >anticipated. At this time it needs about $250 in repairs to make me comfortable enough with it to
    >use it for any distance riding. It needs 2 rims, one tire, crank bearings, and a rear derailer as
    >well as a second chain.
    >
    >The salesman at the shop where I purchased the bicycle told me outright that he made a mistake when
    >he sold me that bike a few years ago as it is not what I need for the amount of riding I do. He is
    >willing to sell me a replacement at his cost.

    That is a great opportunity.

    >As for my riding style, I ride about 2000 miles a year, almost exclusively road-riding. I usually
    >average 20-30 miles a day. I also use the bike to pull a utility trailer (I've got to get those
    >photos posted on a site)
    >
    >OK, time for the issue.
    >
    >The original bike cost me $450 and it needs $250 in repairs. Is it worth sinking that kind of
    >money into it?

    Well that depends on what you mean. The bike will not be worth $250 when you're done so by that
    measure it is not worth it. But the thing with utility bikes is they're going to consume parts so
    one way of looking at it is that $250 is not a lot to spend to correct 4 years of problems and wear
    given your mileage. Your cost per mile is probably pretty low, so by that gauge the SC200 doesn't
    really give you cause for disappointment. If you had spent $1000 on the bike four years ago and put
    lots of miles on it it would certainly still need parts replaced by now.

    The wheels and components on more expensive mass-produced bikes are not twice as reliable even if
    they cost twice as much. Both are going to need extra work on the wheels especially.

    In the end many people conclude that tools are the best investment.

    >If not, What kind of bike would serve my purpose? I do have several things I would like to have on
    >a new ride front shock - no rear, 18+ speeds, mountain-bike style frame and handlebars, Also need a
    >larger frame, as I am 6'2".
    >
    >Anyone have any suggestions as to manufacturer/model/style/accessories/whatever is relevant?

    Yes, I suggest that if you want that bike at cost from that dealer then you need to pick from his
    brands. What's he got?

    --Paul
     
  3. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >[email protected] (Mike)

    wrote in part:

    >I ride about 2000 miles a year, almost exclusively road-riding. I usually average >20-30
    >miles a day.

    -----snip------

    >I do have several things I would like to have on a new ride >front shock - no rear, 18+ speeds,
    >mountain-bike style frame and >handlebars, Also need a larger frame, as I am 6'2".

    >Anyone have any suggestions as to manufacturer/model/style/accessories/whatever is relevant?

    Since you asked for suggestions, I'd suggest you forget about a front shock for two reasons.
    First, hardtails are great for some types of riding but not for the type of riding you specify. A
    front shock will dampen what you feel through the front wheel but it also robs you of power, adds
    unnecessary weight (the power-robbing is an especially important consideration when towing a
    trailer), and adds to the purchase price. Instead of a shock I'd consider wider tires and
    experimenting with inflation pressures until I found a happy medium. Second and of lesser
    importance, you presumably don't do your own repairs. Shocks have moving parts. Moving parts
    wear. If you pay others to do things like replacing crank bearings, derailleurs, and chains then
    you'll end up paying them to service that shock too. Remember- you *asked* for suggestions and
    opinions. <g>

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  4. If you need a bigger frame, forget about sinking more money into it. Get a new bike. Front
    suspension is fine on the trail, but not necessary on pavement. 18-speeds are a thing of the past;
    all you'll find nowadays are at least 21-speeds. I prefer a steel frame in spite of the preceived
    "heaviness" (I'm no weight-weenie). A hybrid or rigid-frame mtb should suit your needs, with good
    1.5" street tires, suspension seatpost, and decent grips. My .02
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 11 Feb 2003 07:38:28 -0800, [email protected] (Mike) wrote:

    >What kind of bike would serve my purpose? I do have several things I would like to have on a new
    >ride front shock - no rear, 18+ speeds, mountain-bike style frame and handlebars, Also need a
    >larger frame, as I am 6'2".

    Sounds a lot like yer garden variety hybrid - but I agree with Bob Hunt, lose the front sus and
    spend the money elsewhere on the bike (better quality groupset etc).

    I'm a big fan of raked steel forks for road riding, not then big huge chunky things you see on
    solid-fork MTBs. Many hybrids have these.

    I don't know the US market well enough to talk models, so I'll shut up now. Happy riding :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  6. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings all;
    >
    > At the risk of repeating a topic posted here numerous times, I need some advice.

    Unlike the old stodgies around here, most of my commuting is done on a dual suspension mountain
    bike with a set of slicks. I'm a spinner, not a stomper, so I feel the energy losses due to
    unecessary suspension movement are minimal. I also keep it tight enough to only start moving on the
    larger bumps.

    That being said, I will back them on several points. Cheap suspension requires lots of
    maintenance and doesn't work very well. Expensive suspension works really well, but at the cost
    of being expensive. Also, a suspended bike will be heavier, adding to the load you have to carry
    up those hills.

    You might consider something with a road bar. More hand positions are always better, especially on
    long trips. Of course, you can always add aero bars and barends to a mountain bike, but it's not the
    same as a road bar.

    If you can expand your budget a bit, you can get some suspension in a road bike format. Road bikes
    from Cannondale and Marin have front suspension and there used to be a fork or two available in the
    aftermarket (although I can't find one at the moment). For more money you can get a Softride frame.
    Ah, the lap of luxury.....

    Good luck on your purchase and subsequent trip.

    -Buck
     
  7. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On 11 Feb 2003 07:38:28 -0800, [email protected] (Mike) wrote:
    >
    > >What kind of bike would serve my purpose? I do have several things I would like to have on a new
    > >ride front shock - no rear, 18+ speeds, mountain-bike style frame and handlebars, Also need a
    > >larger frame, as I am 6'2".
    >
    > Sounds a lot like yer garden variety hybrid - but I agree with Bob Hunt, lose the front sus and
    > spend the money elsewhere on the bike (better quality groupset etc).
    >
    > I'm a big fan of raked steel forks for road riding, not then big huge chunky things you see on
    > solid-fork MTBs. Many hybrids have these.

    Might sound like a smartass (me?), but all forks are raked.

    > I don't know the US market well enough to talk models, so I'll shut up now. Happy riding :)

    Robin Hubert
     
  8. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >"Buck" ju n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c o r p . c o m

    wrote in part:

    >Unlike the old stodgies around here, most of my commuting is done on a dual suspension mountain
    >bike with a set of slicks. I'm a spinner, not a stomper, so I feel the energy losses due to
    >unecessary suspension movement are minimal. I also keep it tight enough to only start moving on the
    >larger bumps.

    Did you read what type of riding the OP does? IIRC, virtually all of his riding is pleasure riding
    on the road and he sometimes tows a utility trailer. What earthly use would suspension be to him?
    Using a full suspension MTB for commuting is a little bit like using a Land Rover to drive to the
    grocery store for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. Sure, it can be done but it's wasteful and
    rather silly. The Land Rover will use more petroleum reserves than would a smaller, more fuel
    efficient car. Your full-sus MTB uses more of your energy reserves than would a decent rigid frame
    bike of any design. Efficiency of design/use isn't the hallmark of "old stodgies", it's commonsense
    you danged whippersnapper! <g>

    >That being said, I will back them on several points. Cheap suspension requires lots of
    >maintenance and doesn't work very well. Expensive suspension works really well, but at the cost
    >of being expensive. Also, a suspended bike will be heavier, adding to the load you have to carry
    >up those hills.

    On this we agree.

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  9. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Hunrobe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >"Buck" ju n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c o r p . c o m
    >
    > wrote in part:
    >
    > >Unlike the old stodgies around here, most of my commuting is done on a
    dual
    > >suspension mountain bike with a set of slicks. I'm a spinner, not a
    stomper,
    > >so I feel the energy losses due to unecessary suspension movement are minimal. I also keep it
    > >tight enough to only start moving on the larger bumps.
    >
    > Did you read what type of riding the OP does? IIRC, virtually all of his
    riding
    > is pleasure riding on the road and he sometimes tows a utility trailer.
    What
    > earthly use would suspension be to him? Using a full suspension MTB for commuting is a little bit
    > like using a
    Land
    > Rover to drive to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and a loaf of
    bread.
    > Sure, it can be done but it's wasteful and rather silly. The Land Rover
    will
    > use more petroleum reserves than would a smaller, more fuel efficient car.
    Your
    > full-sus MTB uses more of your energy reserves than would a decent rigid
    frame
    > bike of any design. Efficiency of design/use isn't the hallmark of "old stodgies", it's
    > commonsense you danged whippersnapper! <g>

    The roads where you ride and the roads where I ride must be quite different. I originally purchased
    my duallie for the dirt, but after being beaten repeatedly by a particularly nasty road on my rigid,
    I decided to swap wheels for a day and see what the ride would be like. Ah, heaven. No more teeth
    chatter on my daily commute. It was so much of a difference on the entire ride that I bought a new
    second set of wheels to match my originals, put the old ones back onto the rigid, then sold that
    sucker. I saved space in my apartment and I didn't miss that bumpy old ride.

    Now that I'm a wee bit older and have the garage space, I do keep a rigid around for rain duties
    (fenders on the duallie never worked really well) and for hauling the munchkin in the trailer (the
    swingarm design brings the trailer clamp too far forward and it hits my heel). I also have a road
    bike for long rides over smooth roads, but after my first double century where at least 30 miles was
    on freshly ground roads (the process they use to rough up the road surface in preparation for a new
    layer of asphalt), I would seriously consider using the duallie if I knew that would happen again. I
    suppose the important part here is to know your route and pick the appropriate tool.

    -Buck
     
  10. Isaac Brumer

    Isaac Brumer Guest

    "Buck" <j u n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c o r p . c o m> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Hunrobe" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > >"Buck" ju n k m a i l @ g a l a x y c o r p . c o m
    > >
    > > wrote in part:
    > >
    > > >Unlike the old stodgies around here, most of my commuting is done on a
    > dual
    > > >suspension mountain bike with a set of slicks. I'm a spinner, not a
    > stomper,
    > > >so I feel the energy losses due to unecessary suspension movement are minimal. I also keep it
    > > >tight enough to only start moving on the larger bumps.
    > >
    > > Did you read what type of riding the OP does? IIRC, virtually all of his
    > riding
    > > is pleasure riding on the road and he sometimes tows a utility trailer.
    > What
    > > earthly use would suspension be to him? Using a full suspension MTB for commuting is a little
    > > bit like using a
    > Land
    > > Rover to drive to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and a loaf of
    > bread.
    > > Sure, it can be done but it's wasteful and rather silly. The Land Rover
    > will
    > > use more petroleum reserves than would a smaller, more fuel efficient car.
    > Your
    > > full-sus MTB uses more of your energy reserves than would a decent rigid
    > frame
    > > bike of any design. Efficiency of design/use isn't the hallmark of "old stodgies", it's
    > > commonsense you danged whippersnapper! <g>
    >
    > The roads where you ride and the roads where I ride must be quite different. I originally
    > purchased my duallie for the dirt, but after being beaten repeatedly by a particularly nasty road
    > on my rigid, I decided to swap wheels for a day and see what the ride would be like. Ah, heaven.
    > No more teeth chatter on my daily commute. It was so much of a difference on the entire ride that
    > I bought a new second set of wheels to match my originals, put the old ones back onto the rigid,
    > then sold that sucker. I saved space in my apartment and I didn't miss that bumpy old ride.
    >
    > Now that I'm a wee bit older and have the garage space, I do keep a rigid around for rain duties
    > (fenders on the duallie never worked really well) and for hauling the munchkin in the trailer (the
    > swingarm design brings the trailer clamp too far forward and it hits my heel). I also have a road
    > bike for long rides over smooth roads, but after my first double century where at least 30 miles
    > was on freshly ground roads (the process they use to rough up the road surface in preparation for
    > a new layer of asphalt), I would seriously consider using the duallie if I knew that would happen
    > again. I suppose the important part here is to know your route and pick the appropriate tool.
    >
    > -Buck

    $250 in repairs after 2 years? Are you sure
    - your bike is not a lemon?
    - your bike was properly prepped and maintained
    - your salesperson isn't overselling stuff?

    Best of luck,

    Isaac
     
  11. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Mike wrote :
    > ...Raleigh SC200 bicycle about 4 years ago. ...fairly reliable ...aging more quickly that I had
    > anticipated. At this time it needs about $250 in repairs to make me comfortable enough with it to
    > use it for any distance riding. It needs 2 rims, one tire, crank bearings, and a rear derailer as
    > well as a second chain.
    ...
    > The original bike cost me $450 and it needs $250 in repairs. Is it worth sinking that kind of
    > money into it?
    ...

    How about buying the parts and taking them to a bike maintenance class? That will save you some
    mechanic's fees, and you'll probably pay for the course with the difference. The tire,
    dereailleur, and chain are easy enough to replace. Rims are a bit more involved. Bikes don't
    depreciate like cars. In my stable are my first touring bike (1974), first road bike (1978), and
    an antique women's safety
    (1897). Replace the worn-out parts, and you'll have a decent ride again. If cost is the big concern,
    try looking at used bikes (the shop probably has a bulletin board of them).

    --Karen M. who's owned maybe three brand-new bikes out of a dozen+
     
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