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Old 12-05-11, 10:30 AM   #1
Dan The Man
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What to do with this bike?

I've got a '08 Schwinn LeTour. It's a Sora road bike I got for $550 at a Performance Bicycle in San Francisco. It's been twice across the continental US, ridden in the rain, broke my clavical crashing it. I use it as my do-everything, touring, commuter bike. The frame and fork are solid, but lately the components are kind of falling apart. The front derailleur got sucked into the drive train and mangled, so I have it locked into one chain ring right now. Also I checked the chain stretch yesterday at 1/8" over a 12" span. I replaced it and sure enough, the new chain skips. The headset and cables have all sorts of clicks. The bottom bracket is kept from loosening with plumbing tape on the threads. Also, I've replaced the front axle with one that has slightly larger cones, so now the bearings ride right along the inside of the race. I've been tightening down the cones repeatedly as the bearings wear in the groove.

So now that Winter is on, I'm debating whether to get a new bike or not. I have one nicer Bianchi road bike for going on rides. I could clean and fix this one up: new bar tape, new derailleur, new casette, maybe new middle chain ring, maybe new wheels.

Or I could sell this one with a $20 fd, probably for around $200-350 in the spring - the 30 year old 10-speeds go for $200 here- and get a new comparable bike in the $800 range. This is in Canada where bikes are more expensive. Or I could look around for a better used bike, maybe cobble together a frankenbike from the best of both.
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Old 12-05-11, 12:47 PM   #2
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So, you have ridden this bike no less than 16K miles and you are pondering because you "suddenly" have parts to replace due to wear?
Perhaps, had you taken the time to repair, replace, and service items when they needed it, rather than throwing band-aids (and poor solutions for, at that) then you wouldn't be faced with this large expense all at once. Bikes, like any other form of transportation, do require that you take care of them for continued ability to do the job they were designed for.
Sounds to me like you just need to go down to the LBS and spend a few dollars on things that should already have been taken care of...or if you are more of a DIY type (apparently) then order the correct parts and repair and replace.
There again, you could just buy another inexpensive bike and beat it into the ground as well....
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Old 12-05-11, 01:01 PM   #3
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Is the frame and fork straight? since you say you crashed while riding it.

Drive train parts are Consumables.. they wear with use..

Sora level of components are part of getting that bike to retail at what you paid.
If the desire is to buy components that would have been on a pricier bike,
Like the 105 group includes, this is the time to get them.
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Old 12-06-11, 04:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
I've got a '08 Schwinn LeTour. It's a Sora road bike I got for $550 at a Performance Bicycle in San Francisco. It's been twice across the continental US, ridden in the rain, broke my clavical crashing it. I use it as my do-everything, touring, commuter bike. The frame and fork are solid, but lately the components are kind of falling apart. The front derailleur got sucked into the drive train and mangled, so I have it locked into one chain ring right now. Also I checked the chain stretch yesterday at 1/8" over a 12" span. I replaced it and sure enough, the new chain skips. The headset and cables have all sorts of clicks. The bottom bracket is kept from loosening with plumbing tape on the threads. Also, I've replaced the front axle with one that has slightly larger cones, so now the bearings ride right along the inside of the race. I've been tightening down the cones repeatedly as the bearings wear in the groove.

So now that Winter is on, I'm debating whether to get a new bike or not. I have one nicer Bianchi road bike for going on rides. I could clean and fix this one up: new bar tape, new derailleur, new casette, maybe new middle chain ring, maybe new wheels.

Or I could sell this one with a $20 fd, probably for around $200-350 in the spring - the 30 year old 10-speeds go for $200 here- and get a new comparable bike in the $800 range. This is in Canada where bikes are more expensive. Or I could look around for a better used bike, maybe cobble together a frankenbike from the best of both.
Okay, if bikes are so much more expensive where you live why didn't you take better care of this bike? How likely are you to take care of a new bike?
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Old 12-06-11, 10:13 AM   #5
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Okay, if bikes are so much more expensive where you live why didn't you take better care of this bike? How likely are you to take care of a new bike?
Other than replacing the chain earlier, what would you have suggested I do to better take care of the bike? Touring and commuting means riding in the rain. Work doesn't let me bring it inside, so if the weather is bad it has to sit outside in the rain and snow during the day.

As things break, I fix them. The fd just broke last week, so it has just come to the point where there are a few things broken at the same time, and right at the start of winter when my mileage is going to decrease, so if ever there was a chance to consider the value of incremental repairs vs replacing the entire drive train or selling and getting a new bike, this is the time.

As for the frame and fork, other than a few paint chips, they are fine.
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Old 12-06-11, 12:54 PM   #6
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It is not unusual to need to replace drive train components on a heavily used bike. Typically I have had to replace rear cogs about every 2-3 chain replacements, alloy chain rings were on a similar time schedule, stainless lasted longer. I had noticed that he more gears you have the more often the chain needs to be replaced. For and every day commuter I went IGH many years ago, I was getting about 18,000 miles out of chain on that bike vs the 7-8,000 on the derailleur equipped bike. Fenders and chain guards go a long ways towards reducing drive train maintenance. In your case I would do a cost analysis then decide if you want to buy a new bike and keep the old as a backup. I found that even with a extremely dependable 3 speed as my main commuter, having the 15 speed as a back up bike wasn't a bad thing.

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Old 12-07-11, 01:34 AM   #7
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Other than replacing the chain earlier, what would you have suggested I do to better take care of the bike? Touring and commuting means riding in the rain. Work doesn't let me bring it inside, so if the weather is bad it has to sit outside in the rain and snow during the day.

As things break, I fix them. The fd just broke last week, so it has just come to the point where there are a few things broken at the same time, and right at the start of winter when my mileage is going to decrease, so if ever there was a chance to consider the value of incremental repairs vs replacing the entire drive train or selling and getting a new bike, this is the time.

As for the frame and fork, other than a few paint chips, they are fine.
Proper Preventative Maintenance

Clean and replace the chain
Clean and replace the rear cassette
Clean and replace the bearings
Replace the cables as they become stretched
Wash the bike monthly

There are a "ton" of "little" things that one can do to maintain and prolong the life of a bike.
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Old 12-07-11, 01:42 AM   #8
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It is not unusual to need to replace drive train components on a heavily used bike. Typically I have had to replace rear cogs about every 2-3 chain replacements, alloy chain rings were on a similar time schedule, stainless lasted longer. I had noticed that he more gears you have the more often the chain needs to be replaced. For and every day commuter I went IGH many years ago, I was getting about 18,000 miles out of chain on that bike vs the 7-8,000 on the derailleur equipped bike. Fenders and chain guards go a long ways towards reducing drive train maintenance. In your case I would do a cost analysis then decide if you want to buy a new bike and keep the old as a backup. I found that even with a extremely dependable 3 speed as my main commuter, having the 15 speed as a back up bike wasn't a bad thing.

Aaron
Agreed, the drivetrain, cables, tires/tubes, brake pads, etc. are parts that I expect to have to replace periodically.
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Old 12-07-11, 06:14 PM   #9
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Don't know what to say dude. With that discription you might want to set the frame aside and use it for a build some other time. I have done that with an old aluminum frame. A new bike would seem to be in order and maybe you might drive over the border and get a better deal on a new bike or a used bike with 105s or better. I like SRAM so Apex or better.
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Old 12-07-11, 06:25 PM   #10
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Do you like the bike?

If it fits well - and I assume it does if you ride it that much - why not just keep it as a project build bike. Slowly over the winter upgrade some of the parts to Tiagra or 105. Since you said you have a better bike anyway.
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Old 12-09-11, 08:21 PM   #11
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If you like the bike, renew the drivetrain. If you don't like it enough to invest more dollars into it, then divorce yourself from it and move on.

Simple, eh?

But hey, what do I know? My mount is 20 years old and still goin' strong... I like it enough to fix what wears or breaks and keep on riding it.

J.
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Old 12-10-11, 12:21 AM   #12
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I say, sell the old bike immediately and upgrade to the Jamis Satellite Comp.

- Slim
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Old 12-10-11, 03:07 PM   #13
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I'd get a mechanic to look it over and get their opinion and take it from there. It's getting up there in miles but, sounds like the frame is in good shape. Probably due for a major overhaul.
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