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What are potential repair upgrade costs with used bikes ?

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What are potential repair upgrade costs with used bikes ?

Old 10-19-20, 07:09 AM
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preventec47
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What are potential repair upgrade costs with used bikes ?

I have been looking at some used Tandem bikes because my current old tandem bike has small issues that are likely to be expensive to fix so I was considering
just buying another used tandem that is in good working order to save having to repair and or upgrade my current bike. One of the things that surprises me is that if
you have an older bike and experience a minor problem with one of the components, you might have to buy a whole set of brand new components and install them because you
cannot get repair parts for the old components. Case in point, I have a 17 year old tandem with one shifter ( my 3 speed shifter ) wont work and it is a 2002 Shimano 105
model. It is a 3 speed with 28-42-54 front ring gears and has the integrated brake lever. If I cannot fix it... which I probalby cannot, I am looking at new brake lever, new shifter
and possibly new derailleur to be compatible with a new shifter-brake lever combo and then if I want to match the other side of the handle bar I have to replace that shifter and maybe rear gear cassette along with derailleur .... the component costs and installation costs just keep going up up up. A working used bike could be cheaper... See what I mean ?
IS there any reputable component mfgr that supports with parts and repair of older models.... much like cars ?
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Old 10-19-20, 09:21 AM
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Not sure but I think a modern Sora shifter would work. You can get a 3 X 9 set for $150.00 or so. I'll bet there are other options as well. Fixing this should not cost anywhere near what a decent used bike is going to cost and if you don't know how to thoroughly inspect a bike, you may end up needing repairs to the new bike as well.

If you like the bike you have, fix it up.
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Old 10-19-20, 09:38 AM
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It's amazing what new old stock is still available on the bay.
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Old 10-19-20, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
Case in point, I have a 17 year old tandem with one shifter ( my 3 speed shifter ) wont work and it is a 2002 Shimano 105
model. It is a 3 speed with 28-42-54 front ring gears and has the integrated brake lever.
Once a component has reached voting age, I'm pretty satisfied with its lifespan.
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Old 10-19-20, 10:48 AM
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I agree with what Ogsarg said about buying a used bike that might need as much work as the old one. If you feel confident doing a thorough inspection on a used tandem then go for it otherwise you may consider bringing it to a local bike shop for a pre-purchase inspection (of course the seller would have to approve of this) as a professional bike mechanic can find things you may not think of and would have tools to check for chain stretch, spoke tension, etc.

You should try to fix the broken shifter first, maybe all it needs is a squirt of lubricant to free it up. I always prefer separate shifters and brake levers when possible (not possible on modern road bikes but can be done with most flat bar bikes) because this way only one component needs replacement when it fails rather than replacing a perfectly good component to fix the broken one. Good luck with the repair of your old tandem or purchase of a replacement.
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Old 10-19-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Not sure but I think a modern Sora shifter would work. You can get a 3 X 9 set for $150.00 or so. I'll bet there are other options as well. Fixing this should not cost anywhere near what a decent used bike is going to cost and if you don't know how to thoroughly inspect a bike, you may end up needing repairs to the new bike as well.

If you like the bike you have, fix it up.
I have one shifter not working that is integrated with the brake handle. If I replace it ..... Can I get anything new that will work with old Shimano 8 speed cassette with Ultrega derailuer and the brake too for both the right and left side so they will match ? How can I know what might work ? Otherwise maybe I have to change the cassette and front ring gears or maybe change derailuers.... See my problem ? I cant see my way to a solution that is not a LOT of money and without replacing a whole bunch of stuff that is working perfectly..
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Old 10-19-20, 11:34 AM
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One of the problems with tandems is that since you need the correct size for 2 people, it's hard to find the right one. New ones are crazy expensive; I have looked.

So new shifters, cassette and derailleur can be a lot of money, but way less than a new or even a decent used. Mine has a Shimano Altus rear derailleur which is fairly low end, but works just fine. Bar end shifters, also Shimano, but predates the combined brake/shift levers.

I do most of my own maintenance, but let the LBS do the tandem.
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Old 10-19-20, 11:36 AM
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Who does maintenance on your tandem now? Why not ask them? Have you talked with mechanics at a(n) LBS?
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Old 10-19-20, 12:07 PM
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I think any Set of Shimano shifter for a 3 X 8 will work. Search for that and you'll find something. Used stuff on ebay and new stuff from other places. Don't worry about whether it says 105, or Tiagra, or Sora. Not sure but microshift levers may be compatible also.

Asking on the bike mechanics forum will probably get you some detailed info.
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Old 10-19-20, 12:34 PM
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I have a tandem about that vintage with a 3x9 Shimano Ultegra setup. The left hand shifter (3X) got very balky. I stripped it from the bike removed the hood and doused it up with WD40 to decrease it. I worked it back and forth, counting the clicks. It took a while of working it and spraying it, but it finally did click through all the steps.

I washed it out with Simple Green and flushed it water. After drying, sprayed in some kind of lube. (Might have been TriFlo?). This brifter has been working 'ok' not perfect, but ok, ever since.

These things do wear out and there may be no saving yours. There's a lot going on in there, a lot of small parts: springs and pawls and ratchets and stuff. From what I've read, the grease Shimano uses in these things can dry up and harden. Try to thoroughly clean it out and re-grease. It's worth a shot.
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Old 10-19-20, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
One of the things that surprises me is that if you have an older bike and experience a minor problem with one of the components, you might have to buy a whole set of brand new components ... because you cannot get repair parts for the old components.
Maybe your bike isn't quite old enough! Seriously, I've never run into what you describe. The dozens of bikes I refurbish are from 1960 - 1988. There's so much used, period-correct stuff out there in great shape, I'm always set.
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Old 10-19-20, 01:31 PM
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You could potentially spend enough that you could have bought a new bike.
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Old 10-19-20, 01:34 PM
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Have you considered a non-indexed bar end shifter to bypass your existing shifter? That way pull ratio, which differs between Shimano and SRAM, would not be a factor. A good source for them is Microshift or Sunrace. The Microshift is probably higher quality than Sunrace. Price for the Sunrace left bar end is about $30.

BTW most of the bikes I bought new for the past decades were set up with bar end shifters. Love them but left the used bikes as is if the shifters that came on them were decent quality.
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Old 10-19-20, 01:36 PM
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Left shifters are the least critical, especially on a tandem. You have many options that will be compatible with your front derailleur. Pick one. New or used.

Your other option would be to use a Shimano bar end shifter on the left side, since it's only a triple. Friction shifting is your friend on that side.

Do you have a local mechanic that you trust? Where do you live? I could do this for under $50 with ease.
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Old 10-19-20, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
I have one shifter not working that is integrated with the brake handle. If I replace it ..... Can I get anything new that will work with old Shimano 8 speed cassette with Ultrega derailuer and the brake too for both the right and left side so they will match ? How can I know what might work ? Otherwise maybe I have to change the cassette and front ring gears or maybe change derailuers.... See my problem ? I cant see my way to a solution that is not a LOT of money and without replacing a whole bunch of stuff that is working perfectly..
It is good that you came here to ask quiestions.

You could buy a used bike with a host of problems ... or buy the wrong parts or whatever .... and then pay someone a ton to do the work .... when the solution might be simple.

For instance .... if you get a new brake/shifter, why would you need a new derailleur? Who told you that? Why would you need different chain rings? I don't see how all that relates.

The shift lever pulls cable a certain distance. The derailleur moves when the cable is pulled. 6,7,8-speed front derailleurs move a certain distance, 9, 10, and 11 each move a different distance ... but any 9-speed road shifter pulls the same length of cable. You can buy any 9-speed shifter---some knock-off brands like Microshift and Micronew offer very good prices---and new Sora is supposed to be excellent, being the same basic tech that Dura-Ace used a decade ago.

(oops, you need 8-speed. Same advice, different number ... but get Claris possibly.)

Why would you change the chain rings unless they were worn?

As far as shifters matching, they don't have to---I use a Claris 8-speed shifter and FD with a Micronew 7-speed rear shifter and an Acera RD on my vintage Cannondale 3x7. I like the trim settings on the Claris lever. The two sides look and feel different but then ... I use different hands and arms on each one.

If your shift lever is broken ... well the old Shimano levers were rebuildable, the new ones less so. But if rebuilding is a hassle (there used to be a guy online who did it for about $40-$50) then just buy any 8-speed triple front shifter/brake lever and swap it out.

Y have to be careful mixing MTB and road parts once you get above 10 cogs, I hear, and maybe front derailleurs, because (Shimano) MTB stuff pulls different lengths of cable up front, and in back, because of the Shadow derailleur, ten-speed and above MTB parts might not work with road stuff. Nine-speed and less should work fine (as I said, I use an Acara (or Alivio, i forget nd am too lazy to check) MTB RD on my Cannondale touring bike. with a Claris brifter.) (You should be able to use an MTB front derailleur with a road shift lever, because just as in back, the derailleur doesn't know or care about doubles, triples, 1X, MTB, road, whatever.)

eight-speed stuff is all interchangeable. If your cassette is not worn out, don't change it regardless of what you do up front. if you need a new cassette, anything with eight cogs will work fine.

Any road RD will work with any shift lever. The derailleur only cars about how much the cable moves---you can use an 11-speed RD with a 7-speed cassette (I wouldn't--the chain might be too wide) but the derailleur itself just moves as far as the shift lever tells it. Except for MTB stuff and electronic stuff, RDs are cross-compatible. Mix and match to suit your taste.

if I were you I would look at a Claris or Sora brifter .... or shop EBay for NOS (New, Old Stock) Ultegra 8-speed parts. You might find prices to be outrageous but you might get lucky.
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Old 10-19-20, 04:24 PM
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Shimano does not do parts service. In past they sort of maybe would occasionally have parts service. Lack of parts service never hurt them.

Campagnolo had exemplary and extraordinary parts service for a very long time. They do still at least design with a thought to how this thing will be maintained and will frequently go out of their way to help. With rare exceptions it never did them much good.

What you are left with is what most posters here discuss, which is workarounds. The other way to get it done is to stick with proven designs. For example Stronglight 49d cranks were introduced 1932 and ran until 1983. Several interchangeable clones are currently in production. Nothing like that available in derailleurs unfortunately. Perhaps a rod operated front derailleur. Extremely simple and reliable and can be homemade.

Potential cost? For a tandem? Your entire bank account.
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Old 10-19-20, 04:44 PM
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I am excited to have a plan. I have been through one can each of WD40, Blaster and Auto Brake cleaner over several days to free up the release lever on the shifter.
The bike was only ridden about 200 miles in the first year then stored in basement for 17 years. So I know it is not broke, but rather seized. HOWEVER since I found out that pretty much any 3 speed shifter will work I assume a Shimano would be most similar to te faulty Shimano 105 integrated shifter so I found I can get a new Shimano SORO? 3 speed left shifter for less than ninety dollars. I am relearning from scratch almost because I didnt ride for 17 years and slowly getting back into it. Many thanks for the phenomenal help here ! I can learn to do many things but I am going to find a pro to install the shifter and new wires and tubes and a barrel adjuster...etc.
One question not answered, is it a good idea to put oil down into the tubes the shift and brake wires run through ?
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Old 10-20-20, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
One question not answered, is it a good idea to put oil down into the tubes the shift and brake wires run through ?
When you replace the shift cable housing on the left side, use modern lined, "compression-less" 4mm housing with the correct ferrules, and stainless drawn inner cables. This combination does not require lubrication.
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Old 10-20-20, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
IS there any reputable component mfgr that supports with parts and repair of older models.... much like cars ?
Good questions. What most people don’t realize is the way that Shimano compatibility works; it follows the number of “speeds” rather than the nameplate. So, any “8-speed” Shimano-compatible shifters would work with the rest of the drivetrain on your bike.
Typically with Shimano, improvements made to top-line models ‘trickle down’ to mid and lower tier groups a couple generations later; so an 8-speed Claris shifter (which is an entry level unit) will incorporate functional improvements from later generations of Ultegra and 105 than your 2002 unit.
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