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One new bicycle per month.

Old 07-10-17, 03:21 PM
  #1  
Mack3601
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One new bicycle per month.

I started cycling seriously in February 2016. when I got up to 15 miles per day I decided it was time to upgrade from my Walmart mountain bike to a better quality. I selected a Specialized Sirrus Sport Disk. One of the things that appealed to me was unlimited free tune ups at the shop I bought it from. I now ride about 400 miles per month.
First time I took it in cost me $100 for a new chain and cassette.

One year later I have now spent enough on maintenance to have purchased the same bike two more times. I have now figured out I could have bought a brand new bicycle at Walmart every month and saved money.
It may not have been the same quality - but it would have been always new.

I am considering an experiment where I ride Walmart bicycles until they need some maintenance, do a quick home tune up and sell it and get a new one from Walmart.

They are much heavier than the Specialized, but I am riding for fitness. The weight is not that much of an issue for me. It just means more exercise while riding.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Mack3601; 07-11-17 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 07-10-17, 03:36 PM
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I think you got robbed by an LBS.
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Old 07-10-17, 03:42 PM
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$100 for a new chain and cassette??...okay, it's not that exorbitant, but did you need to replace the chain and cassette after only 5000 miles?
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Old 07-10-17, 03:57 PM
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usually you need a "tune-up" after a couple or a few weeks to make sure that your spokes are all tight and your cables are tightened up to account for stretch. That's it.

A chain and cassette should last a long time .... and there is No way you should rack up a bike's worth of repair bills in a year. No way.

Unless you regularly hit your frame with a hammer or drop bowling balls on your wheels from the second floor .... you shouldn't need anything but tires for a year. maybe some tubes, if you get a lot of flats and get tired of patching .... But look .....

If you could have bought an entire new bike, they should have replaced every single thing on your bike. If maintenance cost two bikes .... you should have two brand-new bikes.

Sorry, but they thought you were an easy mark and robbed you.
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Old 07-10-17, 04:01 PM
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my thought is that if you can't tell the difference between the Specialized and the WalMart Special, go for the Walmart Special. Let us know how it works out.
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Old 07-10-17, 04:03 PM
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I'd definitely look for a different bike shop for repairs. In the meantime, look into doing some of your own bike maintenance. You'll save big cash.
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Old 07-10-17, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mack3601 View Post
One year later I have now spent enough on maintenance to have purchased the same bike two more times.
That is not the norm. You're paying way too much for maintenance.

My first recommendation would be to become a little more proficient mechanically. You don't need to be a master mechanic yourself, but if you're familiar with wrenching on the bike, you're a lot less likely to be taken advantage of. That and you can handle routine stuff yourself, which will not only save you a fair amount of money but a trip to the bike shop.

My second recommendation is to consider finding a new shop.
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Old 07-10-17, 04:20 PM
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Are you regularly (every 200 miles or so) degreasing and lubing the chain? If not, coupled with riding in rain/muck of the PNW, I could see maybe blowing through chains every 1000 miles or so - MAYBE.

Other than that, the specs on your bike seem like it should be fairly reliable.

What other repairs besides the chain and cassette got you to the $500-600 mark within a year?

I vote finding a new bicycle shop.
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Old 07-10-17, 05:52 PM
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Change your own tires.
Change your own chain.
Learn to check the tightness of nuts/bolts/screws periodically.

That's mostly it after the free 1st check (30 or 90 day inspection) by LBS following a new bike sale.

Did you lube the chain regularly? Clean the whole drivetrain periodically? Check tire pressure regularly? Are you a Clyde? Hop curbs? Daily commuter?
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Old 07-10-17, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mack3601 View Post
Thought?
You spent $1,000 in maintenance in one year?? How is that possible?

I might spend $200 or $300 on maintenance in a year if a bunch of stuff happens I can't do myself. Or if I'm just lazy.
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Old 07-10-17, 08:54 PM
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I have actually changed the chain and cassette twice in 5000 miles. Also had to change the crank, the rear derailleur and have two new wheels ordered now. the back one has developed a series of cracks.
I am pretty heavy - 255 right now. I did not know much about how to ride at first.
But I think the reason it goes through chains is because it has never, from the first day I got it, shifted properly. I have taken it in over and over to no avail.
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Old 07-10-17, 08:55 PM
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two chains, two cassettes , new derailleur, new crank and now, two new wheels.
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Old 07-10-17, 08:59 PM
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I have had to replace the rear derailleur, the crank and now, two wheels. Ok, I would have only had to replace one wheel, but I want the bicycle to have matching components.
I am pretty bothered, but I have so much in the bicycle I am not sure what to do.
When I approached them about a new bicycle they offered to trade mine in a a slightly better price but told me that then I would have a new bicycle with the same frame I now have but a lesser grade crank and lesser grade wheels.
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Old 07-10-17, 09:03 PM
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I had to learn how to degrease and lube but I did learn. I replaced the crank, the other one definitely stopped spinning true. I am currently replacing the wheels. The back one developed cracks and I wanted them to match.

I am not exceptionally rough on the bicycle. I don't ride over curbs and all of my riding is on bike lanes and blacktop. I am 255 lbs, which is pretty heavy for the bicycle. But it does not seem like I should be having this much trouble.
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Old 07-10-17, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
You spent $1,000 in maintenance in one year?? How is that possible?

I might spend $200 or $300 on maintenance in a year if a bunch of stuff happens I can't do myself. Or if I'm just lazy.
I would certainly rather not pay that much!
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Old 07-10-17, 09:12 PM
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I did change my own tires. Haven't learned how to change chain. The bicycle has never shifted correctly so I allowed them to upgrade the derailleur. The crank legitimately broke. The back wheel legitimately developed cracks. I don't know what a Clyde is. I use the bicycle for fitness riding between 15-25 miles per day. I do not jump curbs and all of my riding is in bike lanes and blacktop.
The only explanation I have is that
1. There is something wrong with the bike that make the rear derailleur shift poorly
2. I am 255 lbs and was heavier when I began riding
3. I wasn't very experienced when I began. I thought I might now know how to shift properly. At this point though, I just think the bicycle is a lemon and the shop sort of has me hooked. I tried to talk them into selling me a new identical bicycle. They agreed to do it but said I would end up with the same frame I have right now but a lesser grade crank and wheels. Hopefully this will make the bicycle work much better the next year. I am also going to go introduce myself to a different shop and see if I might have better success in the future there.
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Old 07-10-17, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mack3601 View Post
two chains, two cassettes , new derailleur, new crank and now, two new wheels.
The wheels are understandable, but the shop should've had the foresight to warn you, and to suggest beefier wheels. (Hopefully your new ones aren't low spoke count wheels built for lightweight riders.)

In 5000 miles, a chain wouldn't be abnormal. Cassettes typically last quite a bit longer. But the life of cranksets and derailleurs should be measured in decades.
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Old 07-11-17, 02:54 AM
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I'd say still, you got beat.

Here's a clue your shop is not good: "The bicycle has never shifted correctly."

Maybe it's a bent derailleur hanger, or a bent frame, or just really lousy mechanics, but well-adjusted bikes shift correctly. If they couldn't fix it, they suck. Not to be mean, but straight up---how many times would you go to the same auto mechanic that failed to fix a basic problem after repeated visits for a year?

The wheels---255 is a little heavy (I weighed considerably more when I started and am around there now---Never cracked a rim, even on my 28/24-spoke Vueltas.)

Cranks last years and years. Unless they installed it wrong ... I don't care if you weigh 400 lbs, they cranks don't break.

My suggestion? If the new shop cannot fix it either sell the mess (with fair warning) or put it aside as a tinkering bike and get a new one.

But any decent shop can check if the frame is straight, if the derailleur hanger is straight .... and have Any bike shifting well in an hour.

I am sorry you found a bad shop to start, and really glad you chose to stick with cycling.

Once you get the thing finally set up right by a decent shop, you will replace chain and tires and maybe cables once a year and nothing else.
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Old 07-11-17, 07:36 AM
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I agree no the "never shifted correctly" thing. If that LBS cannot get this right, then I wouldn't trust them to touch my bike.


It's not rocket science. Bikes are relatively simple machines.


I think you got taken by these guys. Is there another LBS you could use next time instead?


Or, check out youtube. They have videos for everything. Shift adjustment. Wheel trueing. Replacing tires. Etc. Again, bikes are relatively simple things. You can learn to wrench on it yourself and save a lot of money.
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Old 07-11-17, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I think you got robbed by an LBS.
^^^This.

You got raked over the coals dude.

I have a similar bike (Giant Fastroad) that I purchased last year in June. Close to 2000 miles on it right now and I haven't touched or adjusted a thing. Just lube the chain every now and then.
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Old 07-11-17, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I have a similar bike (Giant Fastroad) that I purchased last year in June. Close to 2000 miles on it right now and I haven't touched or adjusted a thing. Just lube the chain every now and then.
Wot? No air in the tubes?
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Old 07-11-17, 07:56 AM
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I do hope you are correct.
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Old 07-11-17, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
Wot? No air in the tubes?
Lol. OK you got me. Have to air up the tires every now and then. I did put some tires on it also. Not because I needed them, but because I wanted tires with a lower rolling resistance. Only $70 for 2 new Conti GP4000 after I patiently scoured ebay for deals to show up.
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Old 07-11-17, 08:03 AM
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Sounds like things that should have been covered under warranty. If a rear derailleur goes out in a year, that has nothing to do with your weight, that was poor setup or faulty components, which the LBS should have covered (assuming you did not physically damage it, in which case no bike is going to last you). I agree with everyone else that says find a new shop. Even I can do a spot tune on the side of the road to get faulty shifting back into line, if needed, it is inexcusable that a shop can't unless there is something faulty with the frame.

Originally Posted by Mack3601 View Post
I tried to talk them into selling me a new identical bicycle. They agreed to do it but said I would end up with the same frame I have right now but a lesser grade crank and wheels. Hopefully this will make the bicycle work much better the next year. I am also going to go introduce myself to a different shop and see if I might have better success in the future there.
Tell them to swap it out AND move your better components on the new frame. Should be all of ten minutes labor on their part. This response from them alone tells me I wouldn't do business with them.
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Old 07-11-17, 08:05 AM
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Lots of lessons to learn from this Mack3601, mostly to do with 'some shops are to be avoided', though not all because there ARE good shops out there, and the advantages of doing at least basic maintenance yourself. Although you're obviously a novice to tinkering with bikes, watch some videos, visit the Park Tools website (excellent how to articles on there) and work on your bike - pushbikes are relatively simple beasts and there's not much you can 'fix' that a mechanic can't unfix
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