need some opinions



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M

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]
 
P

Paul Southworth

Guest
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
 
H

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
 
G

George Shaffer

Guest
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
 
J

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.
 
B

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
 
R

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
 
H

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
 
B

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
 
I

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
 
K

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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