To Fix Or Not To Fix--when To Buy A New Bike

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Dahlia, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Dahlia

    Dahlia New Member

    Sep 29, 2015
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    HELP!!! My idiot ex-boyfriend jumped up and down on the frame of my new Schwinn bicycle and now it is unusable. He bent it right where it would seriously affect the gear system. I have been too depressed about it to do anything about it until now and even though it is under warranty, I doubt it will hold up under the circumstances. I bought it for $300 new and I am wondering if it will cost much to fix, if it can be fixed. Do you think i should just scrap it and get a new one? It is a hybrid and only has seven gears if that helps. Any suggestions are appreciated.
    haleylx4 and DwayneEi like this.

  2. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Active Member

    Jul 14, 2004
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    If a frame can be damaged that badly by someone jumping on it, the frame was crap and/or the person WAY too heavy.
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2005
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    Is the frame steel or aluminum?

    Without seeing your frame, I am going to presume that you meant that your boyfriend bent the rear derailleur hanger ...

    If it is steel, then it can be readily fixed/repaired ...

    If it is aluminum, then you may need to consider a new boyfriend ... kidding!

    MOST, but not all, aluminum frames have replaceable rear derailleur hangers.

    A good shop can re-align a STEEL rear derailleur hanger for between $10-to-$20 ... ask them how many times they have done the procedure ... you don't want YOUR frame to the be their first!

    YOU could theoretically DIY if you are moderately handy ...

    I always say that if you can replace a light bulb, you can work on your bike ...

    However, I'm going to guess that YOUR boyfriend is probably NOT handy enough to do the work no matter how wonderful you may-or-may-not think he is in other areas of your relationship.

    Steel is actually softer than most people think (simply consider how easily bent a wire coat hanger is) ...

    You simply (?) need EITHER a medium sized adjustable crescent wrench (i.e., 10" or longer handle) OR a medium size pipe wrench PLUS a couple of small pieces of scrap plywood to sandwich the derailleur hanger with ...

    REMOVE the rear derailleur ...

    Grasp as much of the FLAT portion of the rear derailleur hanger's tab as you can NEAR-the-bend with the wrench you have chosen to use ...

    AND THEN, apply whatever YOU think is about only 5 lbs. of pressure ...

    ASSESS ...

    REPEAT as necessary ...

    DON'T be in a hurry ... applying LESS pressure MANY TIMES is better than more pressure only a couple of times ...

    IF you happen to go past the vertical (you can probably use the frame's seat tube as a visual guide), you can tweak it back, accordingly ...

    IMO, a pipe wrench is theoretically (?) easier to use due to the angle of the handle relative to the hanger, but it does require the pieces of scrap wood to prevent marring the SOFT steel of the rear derailleur hanger.

    The cost of a replaceable rear derailleur hanger seems to vary widely ... again, allow $10-to-$20.

    If the frame is aluminum AND it does not have a replaceable rear derailleur hanger, then you (or, your bike shop) will need to consider how to bolt a not-designed-for-the-specific-frame derailleur hanger onto your current frame ... IT CAN BE DONE.

    BTW. Of course, you will need either a 5mm Allen Wrench to remove-and-reinstall the rear derailleur from the frame OR (possibly) an adjustable wrench if your bike has a lower-end rear derailleur ...

    You can buy a cheap set of METRIC Allen Wrenches for only $2 from many "dollar" stores, Harbor Freight, etc.

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2005
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    Post pictures of the damage.
  5. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

    Aug 19, 2015
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    Is there anyway you could take it to a bike shop or something, just to have someone look it over and maybe give you an estimate or an opinion on whether it's worth fixing? Otherwise it also becomes an issue of how much time and effort you're willing to invest in the repair, especially if you plan to do it yourself. If it turns out it's going to be a gong show to fix on top of being expensive, then that might be a sign that it's time for a new bike.
  6. LokPot

    LokPot New Member

    Oct 9, 2015
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    I may not know too much about bikes, but I sure as heck know that you can fix a lot on a bike, except the frame. Once the structural integrity is compromised, that's it. Even if it is bent back into shape it is only going to be at least half as strong. Plus if you do bend it back and get it to work it is now only a matter of time until it fails again. Best bet is to save up and get a new one just for your own safety.