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Old 01-21-04, 06:06 AM   #1
closetbiker
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how long before replacement?

Recently, my rim collapsed from being worn through after a few years of braking.

I've bought replacements but it's brought me to wonder how long cyclists ride their bikes before replacing them.

Racers seem to replace their bikes each year, recreational every few years, and commuters when things break and replacement parts can't be found (my rear triangle spacing - 126 mm - limited my wheel choices, I did find a screw on freewheel wheel with a 126 mm spacing - I was thinking I was looking at a 130mm spacing for 7 spd cassette, 135mm for 8 spd cassette)

My last commutter I put about 50,000 kms on over 11 yrs before I replaced it and my current Cannondale I've put 20,000 kms on over 6 yrs. After 4 or 6 more years, I'll be out of replacement 7 spd cassettes and I don't know if I could spead my rear triangle to accommadate and new and wider hub for an 8 or 9 spd cassette so I'll be looking at replacing it after maybe 12 years and 40 - 50,000 kms.

How many years and/or kms (miles) do you go before you replace your old bike?
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Old 01-21-04, 07:23 AM   #2
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Good question closetbiker.

Most of my miles are accounted for by commuting (about 4000 miles a year) But I treat this as "proper" road riding. Consequently the two bikes I use are ridden pretty hard. I replace parts when they are worn out and cannot be repaired (chains, sprokets, bottom bracket etc.). Occasionally I'll buy some stuff ahead of time if it is on sale and I know I'll need it.

I have not considered replacing an entire bike yet. I have two so that I'm never left without transport to work and can do a proper un-rushed repair job. My older bike has had practically everything replaced over the years except the frame, and I re-painted that a couple of years ago to keep it going. If it can be repaired, it will be.

Wheels wear out as you mention. For my better bike I keep a nice set for summer and an old set for winter use. The latter are now completely worn out - the hub races are pitted despite regular maintanance (they are non repairable) and the rims worn very thin. On the plus side they have given 5000-6000 miles service in all weathers. Luckily I just found a good replacement wheelset on sale! The new and old bikes are set up so that wheels are interchangeable between bikes if necessary, all of which helps maximise the options to keep me on the road.

I'll keep my bikes going as long as possible. I am definitely not into the equipment race, and have little desire to chase the latest 2004 issue parts!

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 01-21-04, 10:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
Recently, my rim collapsed from being worn through after a few years of braking.

I've bought replacements but it's brought me to wonder how long cyclists ride their bikes before replacing them.

Racers seem to replace their bikes each year, recreational every few years, and commuters when things break and replacement parts can't be found (my rear triangle spacing - 126 mm - limited my wheel choices, I did find a screw on freewheel wheel with a 126 mm spacing - I was thinking I was looking at a 130mm spacing for 7 spd cassette, 135mm for 8 spd cassette)

My last commutter I put about 50,000 kms on over 11 yrs before I replaced it and my current Cannondale I've put 20,000 kms on over 6 yrs. After 4 or 6 more years, I'll be out of replacement 7 spd cassettes and I don't know if I could spead my rear triangle to accommadate and new and wider hub for an 8 or 9 spd cassette so I'll be looking at replacing it after maybe 12 years and 40 - 50,000 kms.

How many years and/or kms (miles) do you go before you replace your old bike?
On titanium or steel frames you can spread the dropouts from 126 to 130mm yourself or take it to a bike shop to have it done. The 130mm spacing will handle up to a 9 gear rear cassette (maybe a 10, but I just don't know for sure). Whatever the process is for spreading an aluminum or carbon rear triangle, I don't know anything about it.
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Old 01-21-04, 11:27 AM   #4
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The gearing really puts a cramp in a bikes lifespan!

I bought the Cannondale in the fall of '97 (I'm pretty sure it was a '96 model).
After 3 years (and 10,000 kms) of riding it on nice days only, I brought it into my LBS to be overhauled with a cassete change and they had a hard time getting a 7 cog set! So, 4/5 years after a model is introduced, the push is on to buy a new bike because replacement parts are getting hard to find.

I tracked down the last 3, 7 cog sets in town myself thinking if I only buy 1 set, the next time there will be none to be found. If I could spead my triangle to fit 135mm (I'm pretty sure that aluminum can't do that), that would leave me with having to rebuild a rear wheel with a new hub, and buying new shifter/levers and a new derailer. That could cost lots more than I would want to spend. I might as well buy a new bike with that kind of money!

Stil, with what I bought and how I use the bike, I could still get over 10 years on the Cannondale.

Is this 10 year span reasonable? Do other bikes (and part replacements) last longer?
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Old 01-22-04, 07:49 PM   #5
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My usual tactic is to buy a cache of stuff that wears out, be that bike bits or boots!
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Old 01-22-04, 09:49 PM   #6
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Fixed gear makes getting parts MUCH easier. I have an old trek, mid seventies frame and it is bullet proof(since I built up some clinchers to replace the evercool tubular wheelset) You can also freewheel it if you like to coast. I have put maybe 4500 miles on it with only a cracked stronglight race(and five holed Continental Giros)
My old road bike(C-dale) made it from '82 til '97 and it is still rideable. It has a screw on freewheel, QR, and six speeds up from the original five. For some reason freewheels are still gettable altho some are exspensive.

I have been looking hard at the new Shimano 8 speed internal hub. It looks bullet proof and would be great for a commuter bike but you need horizontal dropouts and it is kind of pricy.
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Old 01-23-04, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
The gearing really puts a cramp in a bikes lifespan!
You said it! I still ride the bikes I bought in the mid-80's. Both are 6-speed, one is freewheel (road bike), the other is Uni-glide cassette (mt bike). Luckily the hubs are still holding up fine. I can still find 6/7 speed chains at my LBS, but I get replacement cogs for both at www.thethirdhand.com. I am still running the original freewheel and freehub bodies!
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Old 01-23-04, 10:18 AM   #8
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I still ride the bikes I bought in the mid-80's. Both are 6-speed, one is freewheel. I am still running the original freewheel and freehub bodies!
So, I'm guessing you just lace a new rim to the old hub every 5 years or so?
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Old 01-23-04, 11:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
So, I'm guessing you just lace a new rim to the old hub every 5 years or so?
Although the mtn bike is getting close to needing it, I have yet to replace the rims. I estimate I have about 50,000 miles on the road bike and about 30,000 on the mtn bike.
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Old 01-23-04, 02:51 PM   #10
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I have had no problem finding suitable vintage parts of eBay. I also have a stash of friction shifters, freewheels, hubs, etc.

Do not worry at all about chains, since 5, 6, 7, and 8-speed cogsets all use the same width. I recommend the SRAM PC-58.
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