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  1. #1
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    How long should a bike really last?

    Well what is reasonable?


    Low end

    Mid range

    Expensive



    Give me your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Probably doesn't need to last longer than its owner. My newest bike is 16 years old, my oldest is 43. Not planning on getting rid of any of them in the foreseeable future.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Probably doesn't need to last longer than its owner. My newest bike is 16 years old, my oldest is 43. Not planning on getting rid of any of them in the foreseeable future.


    Frame I see lasting a long time, especially if well taken care of...The components is my concern. Which ones gave you the most trouble? 43 year old bike...Wow built in 1966? older than me!!

  4. #4
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    Bikes are made to a reasonably small set of standards so it's generally not too hard to replace components as they wear out or there's a desire to upgrade. Obviously some components are wear items that need periodic replacement: tires, chains, freewheels/cassettes. Rims also wear out if using rim brakes (I get about 50 kmiles per front rim, a few times that from the back), and chainrings also wear (about 100 kmiles). On the 43 year old bike the cranks have also been replaced but that was mainly due to an upgrade from the original cotter-pin secured steel ones to lighter aluminum ones. And the derailleurs have also been replaced a few times - either due to breakage or a desire to upgrade.

  5. #5
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    My 275lb bro's downhill bike, 1 year or two. The dude is crazy

    My daily rides parts list over 14 years.

    3rd front wheel
    4th rear wheel (three hubs)
    1 handle bar
    2nd front break
    3rd rear break
    2nd derailleur
    way to many BB's, clusters and chains
    some inner and middle rings
    1 crank arm and later a new set
    3rd saddle
    2nd DT shifters

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyed27 View Post
    Well what is reasonable?


    Low end

    Mid range

    Expensive



    Give me your thoughts?
    Low End Indefinitely, they will get ridden a few times, the person becomes disappointed and they will live out the remainder of their lives being sold off at garage sales.

    Mid range Quite a while if taken care of and not abused.

    Expensive Depends on the bike. I have seen a multi thousand dollar CF wonder bike only last half a race before the guy crunched it. Something like an Azor city bike can last for generations.

    FWIW I have a variety of bikes, most would be considered mid range when they were new. Some have required more parts replacement than others due to the riding conditions, upgrades and type of bike. The longest lived with minimal parts replacement has been a 197? Raleigh Sports. It has been ridden thousands (15,000+) miles with little more than the occasional replacement chain, tires and brake blocks. We did have to replace the fork after my brother hit a parked car at speed. That bike is one of the ones heralded as "The All Steel Bicycle". As a general rule the less complicated the bike the longer it is going to last without having to replace components.

    Aaron
    Last edited by wahoonc; 03-16-10 at 03:44 AM.
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Crazyed, I am going to steal your sig line and use it on another forum. Thanks.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Bikes are made to a reasonably small set of standards so it's generally not too hard to replace components as they wear out or there's a desire to upgrade. Obviously some components are wear items that need periodic replacement: tires, chains, freewheels/cassettes. Rims also wear out if using rim brakes (I get about 50 kmiles per front rim, a few times that from the back), and chainrings also wear (about 100 kmiles). On the 43 year old bike the cranks have also been replaced but that was mainly due to an upgrade from the original cotter-pin secured steel ones to lighter aluminum ones. And the derailleurs have also been replaced a few times - either due to breakage or a desire to upgrade.
    That can become a problem as the bike industry has followed other industries into the planned obsolescence spiral.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  9. #9
    Powerful-Ugly Creature Greyryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    That can become a problem as the bike industry has followed other industries into the planned obsolescence spiral.

    Aaron
    According to some sources, the bike industry invented it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burton
    When some wild eyed eight foot tall maniac grabs you by the throat and taps the back of your favorite head head against the barroom wall, and he looks crooked in the eye, and he ask you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I've never owned a bike that didn't last longer than I wanted.

  11. #11
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    My oldest bike is a Nishiki I bought circa 1989. It has many hard miles on it. I have replaced the tires, pedals, chain, rear derailleur and freewheel. I am planning on tuning it up and taking it up to New Hampshire to serve as my "camp bike" for the coming year.

  12. #12
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    I have a 1990's Nishiki and the only thing I replaced is the tires. It still rides great.
    I get new bike about every ten years, I have Lemonds and a Cervelo each bike represented a large improvement in weight and ride quality.
    I like my Cervelo best, I am riding more and hope that in ten years I can get a new bike that weighs half as much and rides better.

  13. #13
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    They last until you just have to have another one.

  14. #14
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    Two of my bikes are from the late 80's originally were7 speeds. Very few of the part on them are original both are now 9 speeds. The frames are still good and still being ridden . I have only ever purchased mid range bikes. Many of the differences between mid and expensive bikes are not about durability but weight savings.

    Allen

  15. #15
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    My two bikes that I ride most often are a 1985 Univega Super Strada and a 1982-3? Schwinn Mirada. The Mirada is my project. It's subject to whatever bright idea that strikes. Over-modification will kill it.

  16. #16
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Too many variables to give any sensible answer. Some tough old components and bikes seem to be destined to be ridden by huge cockroaches long after humans have all gone away. Some finicky things seem pretty disposable.

    Some of the most expensive things are pretty robost. And some of the most expensive are the lightest and most fragile. Some cheapo stuff is over-built and will last forever. And some cheapo stuff is crap that does not work out of the box.

    And then you have the variable of how they are used and stored. An X-mart bike left in the yard for a while is not long for this world. But its not uncommon for bikes to be bought on a whim or a hope and then hardly used and then hung in the garage. They last a long time that way.

    But, setting aside the extremes of all these things, it seems like a bike and easily last as long as one wants it to.

    j
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
    --------------------------
    SB forever

  17. #17
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    18 year old steel Waterford rides same as new. Everything has been upgraded, 9 speed DA, Mavic Kysriums, saddle, CF fork, pedals, etc., but still seems like new. Components and parts wear out. You can either replace or upgrade. As long as you keep parts working, there's no real limit.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  18. #18
    Gear Hub fan
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    Aluminum components do fatigue but it is a matter of miles ridden and rider strength rather than time. In the days of steel bike frames pro teams routinely replaced cranksets, stems and bars at least annually or after a crash to prevent fatigue failures. Remember though a professional rider is using the components in question much harder than your average rider.

    I suspect that with CF bikes they are replaced after any accident which might have damaged the frame or fork whether damage is clearly visible or not. A bike is cheap compared to a professional rider's salary and/or medical costs due to a component, frame or fork failure.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
    But its not uncommon for bikes to be bought on a whim or a hope and then hardly used and then hung in the garage. They last a long time that way.


    j
    LOL

    I agree with your assessment.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    Crazyed, I am going to steal your sig line and use it on another forum. Thanks.
    Your welcome

  21. #21
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    Today I had to replace the whole bottom bracket, after about 3,000 miles. Keep in mind I ride in all conditions, rain, sleet, snow...ect. The mechanic pulled the old BB off the bike and the bearings just dropped everywhere, my BB was trashed.

    Its good to know that people are getting 15,000+ miles with one bike. Hopefully i can say the same in like several years.

  22. #22
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    The most important factor in a bicycle's lifespan is MAINTENANCE... a bike that gets ridden hard and put away wet will get rusty and have parts seizing before long, whereas the same bike ridden in fair weather and routinely cleaned and properly lubricated will last years and years and years.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dolamite02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    A bike is cheap compared to a professional rider's salary and/or medical costs due to a component, frame or fork failure.

    Not to mention the devastating PR a company would suffer for injuring a premier rider because their component failed.

  24. #24
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    The most important factor in a bicycle's lifespan is MAINTENANCE... a bike that gets ridden hard and put away wet will get rusty and have parts seizing before long, whereas the same bike ridden in fair weather and routinely cleaned and properly lubricated will last years and years and years.
    Some bikes require more maintenance than others. My Raleigh Sports that I mentioned above was ridden in all types of weather, at home it was stored out of the weather under the stairs at the apartment, at work it was stored inside or parked on a rack near the door depending on which job I was at. Maintenance involved a shot of oil in the hubs every couple of weeks (if that) wiping down the whole bike with a lightly oiled rag, usually after hosing the muck off of it. Tires had to be aired up about once a week. Chain got oil when the hubs did if I felt it needed it. Parts like brake pads, tires and chains were replaced as needed.

    The Raleigh was designed to be relatively low maintenance and durable. None of my derailleur bikes would survive that type of maintenance schedule.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  25. #25
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    bikes should last longer than us. but hat doesn't mean we can't have or use multiple bikes during our lives
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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