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Old 08-01-08, 09:46 PM   #1
wils0nic
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"why get a better bike?"

i've been fooling with the idea of getting a new bike. my current ride is a ~10 year old handed down trek 800 (cromoly seat-tube).

shifting is shifty, tires are fat, and i'm sitting quite upright. but i've used this thing for about 3-4 years, and i'm tolerating the deficiencies of this bike.

now, to come to think of it, why should i upgrade? what benefits come with a quality bike?

this bike has done pretty much everything i've asked it to do. i'm looking to commute in the fall, if that means anything.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:39 PM   #2
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Why own a bike? You could walk, right?

Reasons to upgrade: Because you see something cooler and want it. It doesn't have to be rationalized.
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Old 08-02-08, 04:02 AM   #3
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Fat tires and sitting upright are good things. No reason to replace the whole bike just for a shifting issue.
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Old 08-02-08, 04:04 AM   #4
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If you like it, and are happy with it, then there is no reason for you to buy another bike. And if there is anything about it you aren't happy with, it can usually be modified without the need to buy a whole new bike.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:24 AM   #5
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If you like it and it isn't going to cost you more than a new bike to fix the things that need to be fixed, then keep it. If you want something newer, a little more up to date, something lighter or something you think is nicer or cooler and want to spend your money on it then upgrade.

I upgraded from my 12 year old Diamondback to a new Trek back in '06 because it was lighter and had a lot better parts. If would have cost me too much to upgrade the parts on the DB so buying new made sense financially.
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Old 08-02-08, 12:03 PM   #6
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How much do you ride your bike now?
When you start commuting how much will this increase your time on your bike?
If commuting will greatly increase your time on your bike than you might want to up grade to more hand positions and skinnier tires for less rolling resistance. you will probably want to make shifting better if your going to be in the saddle more often. one of your decisions should be based on how much time you will be in the saddle when u start commuting. it could be very beneficial to up grade if more time in the saddle is going to be required.

all the best!!
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Old 08-02-08, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wils0nic View Post
i'm looking to commute in the fall, if that means anything.
Why wait till the fall? Why not start now?

A new bike (like touring, cyclocross, or flat bar road bike) may make commuting easier (carrying your stuff), safer, and a more comfortable ride.
Let us know if you want recommendations (brand or components).
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Old 08-05-08, 10:19 AM   #8
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The shifting problems are fixable. Most mountain bikes can run thinner, smoother hybrid tires if you dislike the fat knobbies. If the bike is basically comfortable, I'd stick with it.

If the problems go beyond "shifting sucks, tires are shot", then it is time to replace the bike. If the frame doesn't fit you well, it's silly to sink money into the bike trying to make it work. And fit isn't just numbers... if you're most comfortable on a drop bar road bike, it's sort of silly to try and make a mountain bike into one. Odds are, it's cheaper to get a road bike than to do that kind of overhaul. (and of course, if you're like me and have hip troubles, there's no way you're making a diamond frame into a step through...)

So really look at how you're using the bike (which means ride *more*), and what is driving you bats. Then tackle what upgrades are doable... and don't cheap out on them.
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Old 08-05-08, 10:29 AM   #9
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it will cost you an honest $75 for a good tune up, new tubes and tires if you have the lbs do the work. that is assuming that there is nothing major wrong with it. if stuff is broken, it can quickly escalate in price.

now, i have an uncle that by spending a large amount of money on things he will make himself use them. when he wanted to learn the guitar, he bought a martin. when he got into cycling, he got a giant OCR 1. then he bought a recumbent. if by spending a large amount of money will make you more likely to ride, then do what it takes. my boss commutes between 30 and 50 miles per day by bicycle, on an 84 nishiki. i ride an old schwinn road bike my aunt gave me. it is by far my favorite bike i own, and i only fix what is wrong with it.
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Old 08-05-08, 03:28 PM   #10
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it will cost you an honest $75 for a good tune up, new tubes and tires if you have the lbs do the work. that is assuming that there is nothing major wrong with it. if stuff is broken, it can quickly escalate in price.

now, i have an uncle that by spending a large amount of money on things he will make himself use them. when he wanted to learn the guitar, he bought a martin. when he got into cycling, he got a giant OCR 1. then he bought a recumbent. if by spending a large amount of money will make you more likely to ride, then do what it takes. my boss commutes between 30 and 50 miles per day by bicycle, on an 84 nishiki. i ride an old schwinn road bike my aunt gave me. it is by far my favorite bike i own, and i only fix what is wrong with it.
While I generally subscribe to the above philosophy of "why replace it if it works", I upgraded from a hybrid Trek to a Cannodale CAAD 9 this summer (my boss gave me a bonus that paid for it 100%), and wow- it's like going from a subcompact to a Lexus. I can go pretty darn fast! So go for a ride on a few bikes and dream. I recently tried to adjust my old hybrid so someone could ride it and the thing weighs a ton... ack!
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Old 08-07-08, 04:00 PM   #11
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How far is your commute going to be? For anything less than about 8 miles one way, I think the Trek 800 looks like a pretty decent bike. Put some slick tires, fenders and a rack on it, and you've got yourself a good commuter bike.

If you want a road, cyclocross or touring bike (the latter two of which make great commuters) then by all means buy a new bike because those are very different animals from what you have and no amount of spit and polish is going to make a Trek 800 seem like one of these. But even in this case, keep the Trek because it's a different kind of bike (better suited for things like quick trips to the store).
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