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Fix or buy new bike

Old 08-14-13, 09:37 PM
  #1  
nuke_diver
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Fix or buy new bike

This is a repost from Road Cycling which it was suggested that I repost this with some pictures and gets some other opinions from some more experts. Here's the original post

Hi all
I'm new to the forum but it looks to be quite active and I have a bit of a dilemma and am looking for some advice from more knowledgeable folks. First here is the issue

I have a very old 12 speed road bike which has served me well. For the record it was built by a shop in Kitchener Ont call Braun and I bought it in either 81 or 82 IIRC. I say it has served me well because while I do basic maintenance (tires, lub the chain/gears and replace cables if needed) I'm not fanatical about it so I am still on original brakes, chain, BB etc. The bike still rides pretty well. I have been able to keep up with younger riders with fancy bikes even though I don't have clips of any sort

While there was a period of time when I did not ride much for the first 4 years I had it it was my only transportation so it was rode a lot. A few years ago after rediscovering how much I like riding I started riding more, at first 1 day a week in the good weather to work (16 miles round trip) and one day on the weekends (20-40 miles typical). As a results of the heavier use the brakes are getting pretty sketchy and the crank is getting a bit cranky

Last week I dropped by a bike shop on my way home and they said it needed a complete overhaul and would be about $300 (est). Now old bikes being old I am sort of concerned that it will just start at $300 and it might be better to put $ into a new bike. On the other hand $300 for a decent bike (my bike was a good one when bought back then though I cannot tell you what I got cause I don't remember). Repairing it myself isn't an desired option because I don't have a ton of free time and would rather spend what I do have on my hobbies and I don't have a good work area to break down a bike. I don't have kids so I do have some disposable income to pay someone to do it if I go that route

I'm not a fanatic and I won't be riding much more than I do now. I would like to ride into the coastal mountains on occasion (when my knees are up to it) and right now I won't because my bike is not well geared for that (though I have done so in the past) and I don't trust the brakes. I am going to go to another shop to get a second opinion and maybe (if I have time) check out some newer bikes just to see how they feel compared to the old faithful.

Would you go and fix the old bike or get an new one and why? Any other advice as to what to do or other information I could provide?

Thanks
And I took some bad pictures of the bike I hope they don't show up too small







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Old 08-14-13, 10:05 PM
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You've never replaced the chain, overhauled the bottom bracket, or changed the brake pads in 30 years? Incredible...

$300 to pay someone to resolve all the issues on this bike isn't a bad deal at all: you'll end up with a bike much nicer than what $300, or even $500, can buy new today. Just be sure that you find a bike shop where they have experience working on older equipment, plenty of people here have stories about older bikes being mishandled or components damaged by mechanics who aren't familiar with anything that didn't come out in the past decade.
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Old 08-14-13, 10:35 PM
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here, a full restore would cost $300, and a basic overhaul is $120ish.

i'd restore it for $120 plus parts (grease, bearings, tires, clips/straps, bar tape and a seatpost bolt). maybe you can find a home mechanic in the neighborhood and save some cash. try google maps.
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Old 08-15-13, 03:57 AM
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You can clean and polish the bike and it's shiny alloy bits in under 90 minutes.

In metro Detroit, an LBS would charge $175 +|- to overhaul, including 4 cables. That includes minor wheel truing, headset, bottom bracket, wheel hubs cleaned, and new bearings installed. Also, cables installed and adjustments on controls. Tires, cable housing, and brake pads extra.
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Old 08-15-13, 04:15 AM
  #5  
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In Dayton Ohio, our LBS would charge $150 labor for a complete overhaul, add a few bucks for frame saver, and you're set.
The great thing about the shop I frequent, is they get vintage bikes.
I don't think they would sell me a carbon bike - they would think that was a sign of the Apocolypse!
But they will look for period correct, vintage parts if you need a replacement. They have a network in the area of three stores, so they have some vintage NOS parts. They also know all the Classic and Vintage guys and gals in the area, and know basically what parts they have.
I am sure if they needed a 600 brake set, they would not hesitate to call. Conversely, when someone is selling a vintage bike, or a vintage group, I may get that call.

I'd keep the bike and ride it forever.
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Old 08-15-13, 05:14 AM
  #6  
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I was reading your road forum thread. After seeing it, I agree with the folks above. That's worth cleaning up and using. You'd be hard pressed to find an equivalent bike for $300 used (assuming it also had a fresh overhaul) and you certainly aren't going to find anything for $300 new that will ride as nice.
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Old 08-15-13, 05:28 AM
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I directed the OP here, but withheld my opinion until he had heard from the group. Over on the road forum, they generally agreed that it would be best to sell the bike at unrepaired street value and put the money toward a new road bike in the ~$1.5K range.

I fall into the restore/repair camp, for two reasons. First, the bike appears to be low-mid level rideable with serviceable hubs and decent components. The money spend repairing can be mostly recovered by the OP reselling it a year later (should he not want to keep it as the backup bike), after a good season of riding it and getting his legs and cardio back. Second, there is a learning curve in discovering what one wants in a modern road bike. I support the idea of riding what you can today, to permit you to learn what you really, really want next.
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Old 08-15-13, 05:37 AM
  #8  
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Fix it....It needs TLC...Unless you are gonna race it you will get just as much out of this than a new bike...I didn't have a bike so i put $600 in a new entry level CAAD8.....Now i wish i had looked around for used higher end bikes....OH WELL....Just clean it up a bit and Spend the $300 or less if you find somebody else to do the work..., you will be amazed...
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Old 08-15-13, 05:59 AM
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Were they nice to you at the road forums?

I say fix it as well. Maybe you can (a little) work on it yourself, like new brakepads or something. Where I live we pay in euros, and a regreasing of BB and axles would cost me about 30 to 40 of them at a certain bikeshop (called Aandewiel btw -'on the wheel' in english- ) a very oldfashioned lbs but specialised in old road and track bikes. His father and grandfather were wellknown cyclists back in the day, his grandfather was a national champion (track, long distance) in 1920.

If you have an lbs like this around, you're lucky. Otherwhise don't hesitate to spend some for repairing your bike, especially if you got some cash lying around, cause all bikeshops need the clientele.

When you do fix it, please post it here!
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Old 08-15-13, 06:02 AM
  #10  
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How could you end 30 years of ownership over some maintenance? Of course you can't, that's why you posted in the first place! Either do the work yourself or shell out the $'s to have it done, but do it, the warm weather is fading and soon it will be fall!
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Old 08-15-13, 06:03 AM
  #11  
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There are enough Toronto area members who love to recondition bikes, you might pay your $12 membership and post an ad asking for someone to overhaul your bike on the C & V for sale.

Many members here, in particular the Canadians, have far more knowledge and experience than the typical teenagers hired by local bike shops.

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Old 08-15-13, 07:28 AM
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If you were here, we'd be done and you'd be riding it. Maybe $30 - $50. Find one of us near you, if possible.
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Old 08-15-13, 08:05 AM
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Two points not mentioned. That's a big frame, and we have to believe it fits you. That's worth a lot.

If you pull bearings apart (wheels, headset, bottom bracket) to lube them, you may find a pitted bearing race. That could mean a bit of extra expense. However doing all this is easy if you have the tools, the mechanical inclination, and time.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:41 AM
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Thanks all. A few comments since there are a number of posts. Yes it is a big frame, not sure how big but IIRC it was the biggest frame you could buy at the time retail. I'm not that tall (185cm, 6'1" but have pretty long legs). I thought about doing the work myself but I do not have the tools or the time (or the work space).
The bike shop said $150 for labour + parts (the + parts has me more worried as there could be issues that are currently unseen as mentioned by a few)
I am 2500 from TO (I live in Nor Cal now)
Phil you are right about why I posted in the first place. While I am in (as) good a shape as I will likely be now the newer bikes seem to be a different breed and I wasn't sure about how to go about deciding on what to get. I'm not a kid and given my age and my knees (multiple surgeries) I am unlikely to ever ride more than casually anyways
They were nice to me on the Road Forum
and finally
You've never replaced the chain, overhauled the bottom bracket, or changed the brake pads in 30 years? Incredible...
PM's are overrated

When I made the first post I was leaning toward new but even before this posting I started trending back, this is only reinforcing that. It is a bike I'm very comfortable with, that I can currently even with the shape it is in, keep up with most riders on newer bikes and it's pretty comfortable to ride all in all. I will stop over at another shop tomorrow when I ride to work for a second option still. The 1st shop the mechanic is around my age (mid 50's) so I think he should be familar with older bikes (said he loved working on older bikes FWIW)
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Old 08-15-13, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Many members here, in particular the Canadians, have far more knowledge and experience than the typical teenagers hired by local bike shops.
Any reason for Canadians to know more? Snow?
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Old 08-15-13, 09:54 AM
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I just thought of one other thing that is probably best asked here (now that I know the protocol ). I live near coastal mountains and while (because of the knees) I don't go climbing much there are days that I think about it. But it seems my bike is not so well geared for climbing (I have run into hills that I am standing on the pedals and am not moving up at all in the lowest gear). Is this likely due to age of the chain etc or just that I don't have good gear ratios and would it be worth looking into changing that if it is possible on my bike?

Thanks again
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Old 08-15-13, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nuke_diver View Post
I just thought of one other thing that is probably best asked here (now that I know the protocol ). I live near coastal mountains and while (because of the knees) I don't go climbing much there are days that I think about it. But it seems my bike is not so well geared for climbing (I have run into hills that I am standing on the pedals and am not moving up at all in the lowest gear). Is this likely due to age of the chain etc or just that I don't have good gear ratios and would it be worth looking into changing that if it is possible on my bike?

Thanks again
Your bike probably has a standard road double, most likely a 53 or 52 tooth big chainring and a 42 tooth small chainring. Consider changing to a compact double, with perhaps a wider range cassette or freewheel in the back. You will have big jumps between gears, but your knees will appreciate it on the climbs. This is where modern stomps all over vintage. 9 or 10 speed cassette with a 28 to 32 tooth climbing gear, and compact double chainring or triple, with modern shifters are far easier on the knees (and back) than the old 5 or 6 speed with old school downtube shifters.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:10 AM
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dude, you want a new bike? buy a new bike
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Old 08-15-13, 10:22 AM
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If the issue is, you like the feel of a classic cro moly steel frame but want modern components, there are lots of bikes out there that fit the bill. Surly Pacer, All City Space Horse (or Mr. Pink), Specialized Tri Cross Elite Steel, Jamis Quest (or Satellite Comp). If you want to build something from the frame up, Soma and Velo Orange make some tasty frames that you could build up with whatever components you want. All fantastic bikes with great modern components, but with the comfort of a classic steel frame.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CenturionIM View Post
Any reason for Canadians to know more? Snow?
Don't you know, eh, it's the Canadian Beer!
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Old 08-15-13, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Don't you know, eh, it's the Canadian Beer!
Indeed

Sorry OP /thread Hijack.
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Old 08-15-13, 11:37 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Notgrownup View Post
Fix it....It needs TLC...Unless you are gonna race it you will get just as much out of this than a new bike...I didn't have a bike so i put $600 in a new entry level CAAD8.....Now i wish i had looked around for used higher end bikes....OH WELL....Just clean it up a bit and Spend the $300 or less if you find somebody else to do the work..., you will be amazed...
Your CAAD8 is faster, lighter, and more responsive than just about any consumer grade road bike from 25 or 30 years ago. Those entry level components were mid level components 10 or 15 years ago. In other words, you are riding a bike better than all but the pros could get 25 years ago, and as good or better than a mid level road bike of 15 years ago. Ride it with pride. You did just fine, especially given that your initial impulse was to get a hybrid. It will take years, maybe a decade or more before the CAAD wears out, or holds you back.

That said, I would probably repair the vintage bike and buy a new one, but I am sentimental about old bikes.
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Old 08-15-13, 04:33 PM
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fix your bike and make a gear chart on paper or using a spreadsheet. the chart will help you do some 'what-if' analysis on your chainring/cluster options. new sunrace freewheels with a 28t cog are cheap. match that with a smaller ring (if you can), and you're set for the hills. or, go compact and spend lotsa cash.
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Old 08-16-13, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
fix your bike and make a gear chart on paper or using a spreadsheet. the chart will help you do some 'what-if' analysis on your chainring/cluster options. new sunrace freewheels with a 28t cog are cheap. match that with a smaller ring (if you can), and you're set for the hills. or, go compact and spend lotsa cash.
Can you explain what a Gear Chart is? I am not familiar with the term and how to do what if analysis using it. I'm sure my bike has a standard double because I do not recall any other options at the time
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Old 08-16-13, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by nuke_diver View Post
Can you explain what a Gear Chart is? I am not familiar with the term and how to do what if analysis using it. I'm sure my bike has a standard double because I do not recall any other options at the time
Here you go. Basically, you figure out the combinations you have now, and plug them in, then compare them to other combinations you might get for your old bike, or that are available on modern bikes. https://home.earthlink.net/~mike.sherman/shift.html
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