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Old 02-24-13, 06:20 AM   #1
gsusser
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Hi from jersey city

Hello! I'm a 60 year old guy who has been a very casual cyclist since the day I quit smoking, 15 years ago. The past few years, I primarily use my bike to commute to the train to work (4 miles each way) and during the spring and summer for casual exercising, anywhere from 10 to 20 miles a few times a week. The operative term is casual, haha. A not so flattering characteristic is that I'm a complete moron when it comes to anything mechanical, like fixing a flat. I've got a couple of questions; I'm not sure if they belong here or elsewhere, but here goes.

I own a 2010 Specialized Sirrus Sport, purchased new for just under $600 16 months ago. I love the bike - I find it a good balance between commuting and slightly more serious riding. I bought it from a local shop who I've come to adore, though prices are generally list or close to it. The bike has never had more than a minor tune up (minor tune ups are a freebie when you buy a bike). The bike is in dire need of a serious tune up - the brakes need pads or more, the gears need serious adjusting, there's a broken spoke, a rusty chain and probably more. I commute year round in all weather. The store offers various grades of tune ups; the major tune up costs $200 and they take the bike apart and put it back together. I was going to opt for that with the rationalization that I love the bike and spending $200 for a "like new" bike is better than spending another $600 or so for a new bike.

HOWEVER, I checked craigslist for my bike and I could possibly get as much as $300 if I sold it. Then, it would only cost another $300 to get the same bike as opposed to $200 for a tune up. That makes more sense but I'm wondering what y'all think. I'm thinking that the $200 tune ups are meant more for a $2000 bike.

Lastly, if I do go the route of a new bike, is there a particular area to discuss this? If not, I'm looking for something very similar to the Sirrus.

Thanks,
glenn
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Old 02-24-13, 06:53 AM   #2
jerseyJim
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Hi susser welcome.

If I were you I would use this bike as my beater/commuter and get a new bike to keep in good condition and ride only in nice weather. You can keep a bike in good condition but it takes some basic regular maintenance, something it seems you probably are not going to do. Definitely have the shop look at the brakes. I wouldnt replace the chain as long as the bike is rideable.

One thing I would learn to do if I were you is oil a chain. It's not hard, your bike shop will probably show you how to do it if you buy the oil from them. Or you could watch a couple of you tube videos. Do bring your new bike to the shop regularly for service at least a few times a year, more if you don't do any lubrication.

I often ride down the waterfront from Fort Lee to Liberty State Park. I know the footbridge into the park got washed out by Sandy though I heard it is going to be replaced by the summer. How did the rest of the shoreline make out?
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Old 02-24-13, 07:22 AM   #3
gsusser
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Good suggestion, something I thought of but wasn't sure if I wanted to plunk down a fistful of money on a second bike. However, I'm considering that option. And yes, I used to oil my chain (the extent of my mechanical expertise), but it somehow slipped my mind until I saw how rusty it got.

Ah, the footbridge and I go back 15 years. How sad. I used to run across it to access LSP and a few years later, bike it also. It was a shortcut to the PATH on Grove also. The alternative entails crossing one of the most dangerous intersections in JC, particularly during rush hour - Pacific and Grand. I actually got hit by a car there while waiting for the light and not moving. And he yelled at me, haha. Drivers in JC are crazy and totally not bike friendly. I don't have first hand knowledge about the rest of the shoreline, but reading the news and hearing from friends, it's not in good shape. Towards the Highlands, I understand it's completely gone.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 02-24-13, 06:27 PM   #4
CenturionIM
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Welcome to Bike Forums.

Since you are in Jersey, maybe you can look for a bike co-op? They are (usually) nonprofit organizations run by fellow bicyclists. They won't do the repair for you, but they can show you how and help you to do it yourself. They will provide the tools too. There is usually a suggested donation but it should not be anywhere near $200. Indeed, for $240 you can take a complete overhaul class (6 weeks/18hr, overhaul = heck a lot more than a tune-up) at my local co-op.

I am a mechanic moron too. If I touched a derailer, you can bet on it being unusable later. It would have been fine if I was rich; I just couldn't afford the time and money going to LBSs. Fastforward to today, after quite some hours of fiddling ( and screwing up), I think I am okay and do not mess up as badly anymore.
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