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My bike is dying

Old 12-30-07, 07:14 PM
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kmac27
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My bike is dying

The wheel was trued less than 600 miles ago and the cogs have only gone 2100 miles and need changing. The break wire for the rear break snapped and my frame squeaks by the crank. I spend $180 on it. Is it worth repairing or should I just go get that hybrid I've been drooling over? Also I will be parked outside at work for 4 hrs in the morning then I'm gone. Suggestions?
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Old 12-30-07, 07:14 PM
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Woops I forgot, the frame weighs about 35-40 lbs.
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Old 12-30-07, 07:15 PM
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What kind of bike is it?
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Old 12-30-07, 07:51 PM
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If I had to leave a bike parked outside I would use a beater. That sounds like what you have.
A cassette is $20 ish, a chain whip $10 ish, and a cassette lockring tool $5.
A brake wire is $5 ish and you can use common tools to replace it.
Whether it is worth roughly $50-$70 to fix is up to you. Those are all easy problems to fix.
The crank creak may take a LBS to look at. I've never messed with the BB before.

If you think it is worth it get the parts fixed and purchase another bike. Only 1 bike is a travesty.
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Old 12-30-07, 08:01 PM
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Hmmm......sounds like someone is looking for a good excuse to get a new bike . Been there! Each part of a bike is replaceable for much much less than a new bike. As long as you love the frame, I would simply replace the parts as needed. If you really want a new bike, however, getting one will make you happy; it just won't get rid of the kinds of problems you are describing. Those problems happen to all bikes at all costs.
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Old 12-30-07, 09:32 PM
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Heres my delima. I need a bike that can get a rear rack and panniers. My MTB now cannot accept them. I will be needing it later for college next year. Would you lock up a $500 commuter at work for 4 hrs with a chain lock and u lock? At a college campus?
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Old 12-30-07, 09:34 PM
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What about new wheels? They seem to be breaking spokes and coming untrue in under 600 miles. After truing!!
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Old 12-30-07, 09:35 PM
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Check out the pawn shops in your area and get a good used bike . The more scratched up and gnarly looking it is, the less likely it'll be stolen.
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Old 12-30-07, 09:47 PM
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Craigslist to the rescue!
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Old 12-31-07, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
Heres my delima. I need a bike that can get a rear rack and panniers. My MTB now cannot accept them. I will be needing it later for college next year. Would you lock up a $500 commuter at work for 4 hrs with a chain lock and u lock? At a college campus?
This is your real dilema. I think you could talk yourself into a new bicycle based on the infor you have given. Lord knows I have bought bicycles with less reasons than the ones you gave.

Almost no bicycle is safe locked outside at a college campus. That is why so many people ride old beaters. The more valuable it is, the riskier it is. Even beaters take hits from parts pirates.

If you want new wheels and can afford them, go for it. Just don't leave your bicycle locked up outside overnight.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:12 AM
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I bought a beater for 50eu.
I have spent like 200eu on it just in parts. and more on tools.
The thing is, i know this bike so well, its hard to let go atm.

all it really needs is a new front wheel and the rear hub needs to be serviced/replaced.

For your bike, i say get a new BB, but more importantly clean and grease all your threads through out the whole bike.

Get a 20$ sealed BB and a BB tool, maybe even a lockring tool.

Then, www.parktools.com for instructions on how to service your bike.

Basicly, don't get a new bike unless you hate your curent one.
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Old 12-31-07, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
Would you lock up a $500 commuter at work for 4 hrs with a chain lock and u lock? At a college campus?
I do it every day, no problems yet. I feel it's safer locked up on campus than somewhere else around town. Double lock is crucial, plus my bike isn't exactly new looking. Even a u-lock without a cable, and it's still locked better than any other bike there.
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Old 12-31-07, 07:49 AM
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I bought a $300 hybrid. It's pretty much OK but I had to build a new rear wheel for it. I don't have a lot of experience, but it seems to me that pretty much any sub-$500 bike is probably going to have machine-built mediocre wheels. Mine was a Giant, and starting at about 600 miles I started breaking spokes about every 100 miles. Finally at about 2000 miles I bought a new rim and a handful of DT butted spokes (total cost about $38), sat down and built a new rear wheel. It has > 12000 miles on it and no problems.

As for the other stuff, I guess I'd just replace the cables. I dunno, I've never broken a cable so I don't know what causes that. I don't tend to use my brakes heavily though, certainly not my back brakes, which are pretty much useless on a bike.

The possible killer is that squeak. It's probably just the bottom bracket. If so, personally I ignore bottom bracket problems for a long time; I finally spent the $15 for a new bottom bracket a couple of months ago after listening to it groan for about 5000 miles (over a year). It's not dangerous and it's not wrecking anything else if it's not actually loose.

However, if the squeak is really from the frame, then you should stop riding it immediately; riding with a cracked frame is highly dangerous. Get it welded or throw the thing out.
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Old 12-31-07, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
The wheel was trued less than 600 miles ago and the cogs have only gone 2100 miles and need changing. The break wire for the rear break snapped and my frame squeaks by the crank. I spend $180 on it. Is it worth repairing or should I just go get that hybrid I've been drooling over? Also I will be parked outside at work for 4 hrs in the morning then I'm gone. Suggestions?
Any thing short of a broken frame can be fixed. Even a broken frame may be mended. It all depends on how much you want to spend on it. For a $180 bike (if I'm reading correctly), spending more then $50 or $60 on it would be kind of silly. However your $180 bike could be a good classroom for learning how to work on bikes without risking a more expensive bike.

Let's start with the wheels. If your wheels don't stay true after 600 miles, there's either something wrong with the wheel (poorly tensioned, cracked rim, a broken spoke, etc.) or something wrong with your riding. Do you jump a lot of curbs, ride into potholes, carry a lot of weight? All can contribute to wheels going out of true. But truing a wheel is pretty simple. Look here and here for some pointers on how to do it. You will need a spoke wrench but you can use the bike as a truing stand.

The cables are easy to replace with a minimum of tools. Look at the Park website for details.

Are the rear cogs worn out or do they just shift poorly. Often shifting poorly is an adjustment issue. Park can help you there too.

A squeaky crank could be the bottom bracket, the pedals, a rusty chain, etc. Start by lubricating the chain and listen closely to where the squeak is coming from. A bottom bracket is pretty cheap if you have to change it but, if you are new to doing mechanical work, the initial outlay for the tools isn't. The tools are a true investment, however, because they'll last forever. Again, the Park site is a very good guide on fixing this.

None of the adjustments is too expensive. But if you find that you have to replace parts, consider the cost of the parts as a whole vs a new bike. Don't dump a lot of money into a cheap bike. Better to just start fresh...and the fact that you are drooling on a new bike says you don't need much convincing
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Old 12-31-07, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Let's start with the wheels. If your wheels don't stay true after 600 miles, there's either something wrong with the wheel (poorly tensioned, cracked rim, a broken spoke, etc.) or something wrong with your riding. Do you jump a lot of curbs, ride into potholes, carry a lot of weight? All can contribute to wheels going out of true. But truing a wheel is pretty simple. Look here and here for some pointers on how to do it. You will need a spoke wrench but you can use the bike as a truing stand.
Another thing to think about is the age of the spokes. My commuter is old, as in 34 years old, and the wheels were original when I started riding it. I broke a spoke and took it to my LBS to get it replaced and when I picked it up the guy said that he had tensioned the spokes but that they wouldn't take another round. I was looking for new hubs anyway (generator for the front, new 3 speed on the back) and used that as an excuse to get the wheels rebuilt. Hopefully that's not the issue, and the riding style stuff that cyccommute pointed out is the case, much easier to fix.
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Old 12-31-07, 06:15 PM
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Well I can't get a rear rack on my MTB so next year I will be buying a hybrid. When I say I jump curbs its not really jump I slow down and maybe go off of it at 7 or 8 mph. Also I am 170 lbs and carry about 15 extra poinds in my bag. I am thinking of just using this bike for going to work and back. Then get a better bike for riding lots of miles on, less maintenance. Do Hybrids with disc brakes normally accept rear racks?
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Old 12-31-07, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
Well I can't get a rear rack on my MTB so next year I will be buying a hybrid. When I say I jump curbs its not really jump I slow down and maybe go off of it at 7 or 8 mph. Also I am 170 lbs and carry about 15 extra poinds in my bag. I am thinking of just using this bike for going to work and back. Then get a better bike for riding lots of miles on, less maintenance. Do Hybrids with disc brakes normally accept rear racks?
Discs and racks can be a crap shoot. Some bikes can take them easily and some can't. Most all racks will need some kind of McGuivering to make them work with discs.
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Old 01-01-08, 01:21 PM
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The LBS will be able to help me find a hybrid that accepts a rack with discs I'm guessing. Would it be better to buy this years model or wait till next year since I'll be primarily using it next year?
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