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Brought my bike in to be serviced, was told it's pretty much shot.. Where to go next?

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Brought my bike in to be serviced, was told it's pretty much shot.. Where to go next?

Old 03-20-16, 06:56 PM
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pandaman
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Brought my bike in to be serviced, was told it's pretty much shot.. Where to go next?

So I own a 2008 Marin Portofino (it was about $700 new in 08) that I bought on Craigslist. The bike looked pretty unused so I bought it for around $200. The guy at the LBS told me that it was an entry level bike and I sort of ran it into the ground (last season I put about 100ish miles a week for several months), as the bike really isn't meant for the amount of riding I did on it. The drive train is shot, chain is stretched, cassettes are both ground down, and then tires are bald. He said it would be about $250 or so to fully replace the parts in need, which at this point is worth more than the bike, so I should just put that money towards a better bike since I've started to become semi serious about cycling. He also said I shouldn't get a bike with anything less than a Shimano 105 set; is this elitist bs, or is it accurate? I don't know if I wanna go the Craigslist route again so I may just go for something brand new. I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to going used I guess, bit I don't want to get something that I'll just end up blowing out again.

The Specialized Allez E5 Sport has gotten great reviews and be found under $800 around where I live. Do you have any thoughts on this bike? Thanks!
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Old 03-20-16, 07:17 PM
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The thing is, chains, cassettes, tires, brake pads ... all those things are wear items. You should expect to replace all of them periodically. If the bike itself is in good shape and you like it, there's no reason to spend even more on a new bike; just do the normal maintenance stuff that you apparently need.

Oh, and 100 miles per month is nuttin'.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
He also said I shouldn't get a bike with anything less than a Shimano 105 set; is this elitist bs, or is it accurate?
Elitist bs.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The thing is, chains, cassettes, tires, brake pads ... all those things are wear items. You should expect to replace all of them periodically. If the bike itself is in good shape and you like it, there's no reason to spend even more on a new bike; just do the normal maintenance stuff that you apparently need.

Oh, and 100 miles per month is nuttin'.
Got it. Honestly, I'm not crazy about the Marin, but I'm not sure how much of an upgrade the Specialized e5 Sport would be. What do you think, would it be a significant enough step up? Specialized has this model marked down right now from $979 to $800 right now, which seems like a really good and affordable price. I can probably get at least $150ish or so for the Marin.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:34 PM
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What problems were you having that made you bring the bike to the shop?


I'd service the current bike.
If the chain is very worn, the distance between the chain rollers increases enough that it wears down the cassette gears pretty fast.
I expect that your front chainrings will be worn so badly that they need replacing. And then you can get one or more replacement rings instead of a whole crankset.

Use an accurate ruler, and measure the edge of the chain rivets for 12 inches. If it's more than 12 1/8, the chain is very worn, and could affect the cassette wear. If it's somewhere between 12 1/16 and 12 1/8, the old cassette might still be okay.

So:
new chain. maybe $20
new 8 speed cassette. maybe $30 (or less)
new tires. $30 each for some reasonable tires. Or get cheaper ones, but they don't ride as smoothly. Replace the tires yourself, it'll be good practice for future flats.
Labor for the chain and cassette should be low, it's fast and easy to replace these.

I'd add:
new rear shifter cable and housing. These wear out and fray eventually. This will have some labor to fit the housing,etc.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-20-16 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:44 PM
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The chain is very lose for sure. So is your opinion that it's a better idea to just replace everything? The Allez frame is great frame so I'm thinking that could be easily upgraded down the line, the one I have now I don't like a whole lot... Idk, the Allez Sport for 770 is very tempting.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:47 PM
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whatever you do, make sure the bike you have fits. I know people say this all the time, and I didn't believe it either, but it makes a huge difference. I'd rather have a cheap bike that fit than a fancy expensive one that didn't.

totally agree with the statements above. You can do a chain and tires, even cables and brake pads, easily yourself. cassettes and chainrings are super easy if you have the right tools, which can be purchased cheaply too, but if you don't feel like going that route, labor should be dirt cheap. even so, $250 for these repairs sounds ridiculous . . . shop around.

If you do get a new bike, the advice to go with 105 actually isn't off the mark in my opinion. the new 105 5800 series is now 11spd like ultegra and dura ace, and it performs flawlessly. you can get a 105 equipped bike for under $1000 several places online including bikesdirect and nashbar. I have a mix of new 105 and FSA drivetrain components and it is literally lightyears ahead of my old 8spd setup.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:49 PM
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This is the time to learn to DIY, my friend. Amazon will get you the chain and cassette for about $12 and $25 respectively. A complete crankset replacement is around $30. There's an extensive list of fine tires out there for $20-30 each. So you're looking at ~$125 in parts to replace everything, so the shop is looking to charge you about the same in labor. No reason to ditch the whole bike because some of the wear parts have worn out.

Unless you want to buy a new bike, then by all means, go ahead and do that. People on here buy bikes for absolutely no reason at all, every single day.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:50 PM
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Can you provide any links for this kind of setup? Thanks for your input.

EDIT: Also, what are the big differences between the Allez and the Allez sport? MSRP difference is about $200; the sport is currently on sale for the allez new, but it seems pretty hard to find.

Last edited by pandaman; 03-20-16 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:05 PM
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This is my 2010 entry level Fuji newest 3.0, I bought new. With 7.25% state sale tax... about $600



It has just slightly under 8,000 miles on it. I now use it as my rain bike. But it looks and rides great.

It is on it's 4th set of tires, 3rd set of brakes, 3rd chain... I think. I replaced two spokes. Still has the original cog and crankset. Original cable housing and one new cable. When it was my daily rider I put on new (Chinese) handlebar tape (about $3.50) every spring.

If you do you own work and buy your parts cheap (maybe online) you can get you bike back to like new with an afternoon of work. It doesn't take much time, effort, or money to maintain a bicycle.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:05 PM
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Sounds to me like you want a reason to buy a new bike. Go sell your old one and put the money towards a new bike. I have put more money into bikes than I have paid for them but I have the components I want assembled the way I want. I think it is cheaper to maintain a bike but if you want a new one it is not money well spent.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:20 PM
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Yeah, I'm not going to lie, I have some money to burn and the frame is a little small. It's still pretty comfortable, but I can feel it on longer rides.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by chedarhead View Post
Sounds to me like you want a reason to buy a new bike....... if you want a new one it is not money well spent.
Not money well invested. But I'd never discourage anyone from enjoying a new bike. We only live once and there is nothing wrong with buying a new bike.

Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
.... The guy at the LBS told me...... I shouldn't get a bike with anything less than a Shimano 105 set; is this elitist bs, or is it accurate?
Yes. Now-a-days... even the cheap (bicycle shop) shifters work pretty good. But the better stuff is even better.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:29 PM
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If I do go with a new bike, I'm really not sure what the big difference is between the 2016 Allez and 2015 E5 Sport is (granted I can even find the latter). Since it's a fairly low-end road bike, would you say the base model Allez isn't particularly worth it? I'm not cycling savant, I just want something that performs decently well and will last me a long time with proper care. I didn't do the 'proper care' part on my current bike. As I said earlier, it's my understanding that the Allez frames are pretty great so if I ever decided to upgrade the groupset (this all assumes I like the ride after testing) I'll have a good frame to do it on.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
Yeah, I'm not going to lie, I have some money to burn and the frame is a little small. It's still pretty comfortable, but I can feel it on longer rides.
Sounds like you answered your own question.

And yes, the "need" for 105 or better is total BS.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:49 PM
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No one really needs 105, Ultegra, Altus, etc. It is a question of performance, weight and durability. I also aim for nothing less than 105 because that's where the value sweespot is. Buy cheap, buy once.
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Old 03-20-16, 08:53 PM
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105 or better is what I strive for as well. I had a bike with Sora on it, never again. Buy once, cry once. It's like a bandaid. Rip it off quickly, not a bit at a time. I wouldn't buy a bike with hopes of "upgrading" it in the future. It costs more in the long run to do it that way.
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Old 03-20-16, 09:09 PM
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100 miles per week (not 100 miles per month as mentioned in some posts) is about average for a solid recreational rider. If you didn't know about regular maintenance including lubing the chain (100 to several hundred miles spd ding on the specific lube), tgat can wear out the drivetrain quickly. Regardless assuming this might be the original chain or close to it, you got your money's worth.

Since you are riding seriously now and the bikes not a perfect fit, why not get something new if you can afford it. There are lots of good groups now but I agree with the others above that 105 is the sweet spot. If you do get something new, have the store show you how to apply the lube. Then spend time online learning about basic maintence. It's fun and easy. But if that doesn't interest you, learn when to have a shop do things for you. It's cheaper and easier to have repairs done early. For example cassettes are expensive. If you replace chins when they wear, cassettes last through multiple chains.
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Old 03-20-16, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
So I own a 2008 Marin Portofino... The guy at the LBS told me that it was an entry level bike and I sort of ran it into the ground (last season I put about 100ish miles a week for several months), as the bike really isn't meant for the amount of riding I did on it.
The first thing I'd shop for isn't a new bike, but rather a new bike shop. That guy was full of it. The Shimano Sora components on your Marin may not be top of the line, but that just means they're not as light or as refined as the upper-tier stuff. Those components are plenty durable and should last for many thousands of miles. Even the consumables like the chain and cassette should typically be good for a few thousand miles.

Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
The drive train is shot, chain is stretched, cassettes are both ground down, and then tires are bald. He said it would be about $250 or so to fully replace the parts in need, which at this point is worth more than the bike, so I should just put that money towards a better bike...
  • New chain = $10 to $20 (KMC Z-72, SRAM PC-870, KMC X8.99, etc.)
  • New cassette = $25 (Shimano HG-50 12-25, which is almost the same as your stock 12-24)
  • Tires = $20 to $100 or so, depending on your choice. Performance Bike's house brand Forte Strada tires are $9 ea. Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks are my ol' faithful on my road bike, which can often be found for roughly $30 each.
  • The chainrings on your crankset are probably fine. It takes quite a bit of mileage or abuse to wear those things out. Be aware they'll have irregularly shaped teeth even when new -- that's by design, to aid shifting, and not a sign of wear. If your chainrings are truly worn, they'll typically show a telltale "shark fin" profile on all the teeth.

That's a parts total around $60 to $100 if you buy the parts and install 'em yourself, which isn't hard. If the shop charges reasonable prices and you have them do the work, maybe $150. You should only hit $250 or more if your chainrings really are shot, or if you have them do additional work.

Labor charges add up, which is one reason many of us do our own work. And personally, since I'm not expected to turn out job after job, I've got more time to be meticulous than a shop mechanic. And I've got incentive to do the job right -- who's gonna care more about my own bike than me?

Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
He also said I shouldn't get a bike with anything less than a Shimano 105 set; is this elitist bs, or is it accurate?
It's a matter of opinion.

Some people will say it's an elitist attitude, and there's some validity to that viewpoint. Plenty of people use lower-tier Shimano parts like Sora and Tiagra and are plenty happy with them. I've got Sora and even Claris parts on a couple of bikes. Like I mentioned above, they're plenty durable, but not as light or refined as the more expensive stuff.

On the other hand, 105 is often regarded as a 'sweet spot' in Shimano's product lineup. It's close as you can get to Ultegra or Dura-Ace quality without paying a price premium for those names. And there is something to be said for the satisfaction of nice stuff. My primary road bike has Campagnolo Veloce components, which are similar in quality to Shimano 105, and the crisp, precise shifting does seem to make riding a little more fun.

Originally Posted by pandaman View Post
I have some money to burn and the frame is a little small. It's still pretty comfortable, but I can feel it on longer rides.
If the frame's just "a little small", you may just need to get the fit dialed in. My favorite road bike is actually a little on the small side for me. I'd normally ride something in the 54-56 cm ballpark and it's a 53 cm frame. Still well within the range of adjustment, though. Even small adjustments in saddle position/angle, stem length/height, and bar position can make a big difference, especially on long rides.
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Old 03-20-16, 10:32 PM
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$250 on an 8 year old bike that was $700 new, and that brings it up to spec and ready to ride for another 5,000 miles? A bargain.

If you think the bike isn't an ideal fit, on the other hand, then it's a good option to invest that $250 toward a better fitting bike.
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Old 03-21-16, 01:34 AM
  #21  
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I consider any used bike I get as needing a full tune-up, although perhaps that is the class of bikes I'm most interested in.

One also often finds bikes for sale (new or used) with the cheapest tires available on them. So, an investment in $80 or so worth of quality puncture resistant tires is money well spent.

Do your own maintenance, and it should cut the overall costs by half or so.
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Old 03-21-16, 02:34 AM
  #22  
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Well it seems like you're doing a good time riding your bike and I would upgrade it. My advice: I would take the time to learn how to fix your bike and once you're done, sell it, and buy another like the Allez that would fit your riding a bit better. I've seen tons of really nice flawless Allez's on CL that are 105's going for 550-700 dollars if you can get them fast enough. There's even times that you can get some for lower than that, but good luck. ;]
Compare that deal to a new bike with Claris for 800 dollars and I would say more value lies in the "used" bike from CL that has higher quality components.

100 miles a week is a good start to AT LEAST have Tiagras on there and nothing below that. (My opinion). They're nicer and plus you get to "treat yo' self" after working and selling a bike.
So yeah, I would fix it, sell it, get the money to buy another bike from CL that has higher quality components.


As a random side note in terms of valuing bikes in my area (Bay Area, CA)
Your Marin with its 8 speeds and thumb shifiting brifters can fetch you around 400 dollars give or take here in my area.. If anything, I think it was an awesome deal that you got it for 200 bucks. If you are in indeed in my area, you can turn a profit after all this time... depending on what you have to replace on your bike. Cool!
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Old 03-21-16, 05:23 AM
  #23  
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I'm another person who feels if someone is going to ride regularly 105 is the "sweet spot" for cost/benefit.
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Old 03-21-16, 06:07 AM
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I think if you are serious about road cycling 105 is the place to be. It is a good solid groupset that gets more direct trickle down from DA and Ultegra. Basically a high performance groupset for less cash. A bike with 105 on up will probably have more value than a bike with Tiagra down if you decide to sell it.

Some people just love to hate on shops because they think we are all out to scam them and take as much money as possible and treat them like garbage. These are the elitists who thumb their noses at hard working mechanics and sales folks who go through a lot of B.S. in the course of their employment at a shop. We are lower class scum to some people and anything we recommend must be B.S. It is rather disgusting and wrong. I am not calling anyone out here necessarily but certainly saying give us some respect. Listen to what we have to say sometimes because we work on bikes for a living. Most people I have worked with have a genuine passion for bikes. Some don't have quite the love of vintage bikes (not talking a low end schwinn from the 80s vintage) and don't always recognize what they see because they are new or just not into old stuff but we generally all have some passion for bikes.
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Old 03-21-16, 06:25 AM
  #25  
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Are all those that ride 105, Ultegra, or Dura Ace elitist? Do they need those groupsets? No, and no. They ride them because they appreciate the quality, features and esthetics, and they can afford them. As the customer, you decide what's important to you and how much you value something. Just about all bike shop sales staff are enthusiasts and connoisseurs of fine bike components and accessories and tend to assume you might appreciate and value these things the same way they do. Of course the shop make more money selling more expensive things, and that's part of the sales equation, but there's nothing wrong with that.
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