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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-04-06, 04:00 PM   #1
Cyclepath
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Torture Test

Just to get a sense of road bike durability (i know it would vary depending on the bike), does anyone have an idea how many miles a bike could be ridden without maintenance of any kind before it became unrideable? Would a pricy bike necessarily survive longer? (Maybe BF could get some major makers to donate bikes for this exercise.)
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Old 11-04-06, 04:33 PM   #2
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Results can vary widely by climate. In general, I'd guess that the bike can be ridden until chain stretch and cog wear start causing skips and chain suck up hills.
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Old 11-04-06, 04:33 PM   #3
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Ten feet.

Why? A punctured tire within the first ten feet of riding would make the bike unrideable, and without maintenance, the bike would stay that way.

Checking/refilling tire pressure is a maintenance task, and failing to do so would probably make most road bikes unrideable in about a week.
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Old 11-04-06, 05:22 PM   #4
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I don't think it would be a meaningful test as parts are designed to operate best within certain perameters. Theoretically an unlubed brand x chain may last longer than a shimano chain unlubed but if using lube the shimano chain could last twice as long.
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Old 11-04-06, 05:47 PM   #5
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preventative maintenance makes your bike run longer. But i guess if you totally neglected the bike and didn't do any work to it, a bike could make it 1 or 2 years (minus flats)
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Old 11-04-06, 05:58 PM   #6
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I didn't know anything about maintenance on my mtb. Besides changing a flat and lubing the chain every once in a while after riding through mud (I shudder now thinking what I put that chain through!) I didn't do anything to it. It's 12 years old, ridden hard for about 6 of those. Just did an overhaul on it: bb, replaced rear cassette, new chain, etc... The only possible 'terminal' problem is that the large gear in the front is pretty worn and it's my favorite. The cost of replacing it would go a long way towards a new bike. Plus I think it's a little small for me.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:56 PM   #7
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2-20 years. Things can work crappily for a long time. Quality of bike may not matter. A good bike just works better when maintained than a well maintained crappy bike.
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Old 11-04-06, 10:58 PM   #8
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This summer, I did some maintenance -- very little, I might add -- on my father's 1952 Norman three-speed. It had not been worked on since about 1955. Not sure of the mileage.
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Old 11-05-06, 08:18 AM   #9
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I'm thinking it would depend on how it's stored between rides. If it's exposed to the weather the the first thing to probably happen is that the chain, unless it's an expensive stainless Wipperman, will rust solid. In that case, cycling the chain by riding the bike will most likely extend the chain's useful life.

Do you suppose that the folks who buy the stainless Wipperman chains do it so they can park their bikes outside in the weather for extended periods?
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