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Should I "Hoard" Mechanical High End Parts?

Old 11-07-23, 03:56 AM
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Should I "Hoard" Mechanical High End Parts?

Hello. I read that mechanical high end groupsets like Ultegra 11sp have been discontinued. Does this mean they don't make parts any more and whatever's out there is out there until it runs out forcing the public to go electronic shifting?
I would rather avoid electronic shifting. I tried a friend's who raves about it and wasn't impressed. Especially on a drop bar bike where the controls feel so vague where a pull of the fingers can do anything (brake, shift, since one lever does everything you never know until you do it!) the button leads to a lot of wrong shifts especially riding in cold w/ gloves and I hate the prospect of having to remember charging batteries. People say they are maintenance free but in my experience as long as you don't go with the low end Claris/Sora groupsets if seriously riding which are total garbage and degrade with just a handful of miles the mechanical 105 or above only really need a new chain and oil every once in a while and maybe a minor adjustment and a cassette every few years. I also like the manual element of shifting it feels nice, especially on the higher end groupsets. I am the kind of person that would have wanted to hoard a few high end sports cars maybe 15-20 years ago when it was obvious they were going to go DSG/semi automatic then but that would have been cost prohibitive. On the other hand looking at the price of mechanical Ultegra replacement components its not too bad like 80 bucks for a rear Derailleur and so forth. Since parts are still available should I order up a few sets to have in reserve so I never have to go electronic while I can still get them?
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Old 11-07-23, 04:11 AM
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There are guys riding all sorts of vintage bikes and parts are still available. So I wouldn't bother "hoarding" parts that you don't need in the near future.
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Old 11-07-23, 06:41 AM
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The maintenance of mechanical shifting is not with the components themselves, it's with the cables.

If you only ride your bike on weekends and in good weather, they can last a long time. For people riding high mileage in all weather, cables have to be replaced annually at the minimum, sometimes more. Yes, even with high end cable kits. And when you replace the cables, you have to rewrap the bars, even if the tape is still ok.

After years upon years of doing this, it gets old. I'm in the gradual process of transitioning my bikes to electronic shifting, and I don't think I'll buy another cable system in my life.
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Old 11-07-23, 07:13 AM
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As someone that has a stash of components that I will never use in my lifetime and my kids won’t care about, no don’t hoard parts that you may never use.

I really enjoy setting up my bikes in a way that uses a mix-n-match of quality components. I’ll even build up unique cassettes. It is a lot of fun and it allows me to set my bikes up exactly as I want to.

But at the end of the day, as much as I enjoy it, it really has been a waste of time, and money.

You do realize that electronic shifting is going to continually improve to the point where entry level bikes will probably out shift your current setup.

John
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Old 11-07-23, 07:21 AM
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"Hoarding" or smart planning?
Once I found out that Shimano no longer produces a 12-27 road 10 speed cassette, I purchased a SRAM cassette of the same gearing just in case they become scarce.
Consumables I can reason why having extra parts available is not a bad idea.
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Old 11-07-23, 07:50 AM
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wear parts, like chains and cassettes, for sure, especially if they are somewhat proprietary or NLA.

I have a couple spare 9 speed Campagnolo chains and cassettes in desireable ratio.

the Campagnolo crown race and lower headset cup come to mind, as do rear hub cones.

things like cables and brake blocks can be substituted if you don't have to use genuine factory originals.

/markp
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Old 11-07-23, 07:58 AM
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How many do you plan to hoard? Will that and other things you hoard have your relatives begging you to stop and maybe you'll be on a TV show showing your cramped living conditions? <grin>

Consider if you really want a bunch of out of date stuff. The money you spend to buy everything you might need of the old stuff will buy you all the new stuff by the time you might actually need it.
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Old 11-07-23, 09:08 AM
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I've been hoarding, er, I mean pre-planning, for years now. I was starting to wonder when I can flea-bay them for the highest price, then I needed a tandem-length Campy shifter cable and found I'd used them all. A half dozen or so only lasts six years!
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Old 11-07-23, 09:52 AM
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My name is Terry, and I'm a hoarder.

My main bike has Dura-Ace 10-speed (mechanical). I hoarded Dura-Ace chains and cassettes for as long as I could find them, but those are long gone. Now I am hoarding Ultegra chains and cassettes. I found some Dura-Ace OEM hoods for the levers at a local shop, so those are tucked away.

I don't bother with derailleurs, as they last forever. But if one of the levers goes bad, I am screwed.

If anyone tells you that obsolete group set components are easy to find as new old stock, they are shameful liars.
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Old 11-07-23, 10:00 AM
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I don't call it hording, I call it collecting!
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Old 11-07-23, 10:11 AM
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I would have some consumables on hand, pads (and maybe some shoes), chains, cassettes, cables and housing...but honestly I don't worry about stockpiling major components though I keep a decent sized parts bin but I don't generally stock it with a ton of new stuff unless it is stuff I use for builds regularly. Certainly if the bike was a daily commuter then maybe having some back up stuff might be good beyond consumables but honestly not really. I can generally find most parts I need minus total vintage stuff but I can find ways around it.

The best thing to do is maintain your stuff well both at home and potentially with a shop or trusted mechanic if you don't desire to do the work yourself or maybe don't know how or maybe just want a second set of eyes on it.

In 10 years I might want a different bike anyway.
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Old 11-07-23, 10:18 AM
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My oldest bike has Dura Ace 7400 with Uniglide. Thatís about 1985.

I can get parts if I look around.

Itís not a high mileage bike, so itíll probably last forever. But I have checked, stuff is available on the bay.

Youíll be able to get chains, rings, and cassettes from aftermarket suppliers for years.

If you want a set of 11 speed shifters and derailleurs to help you sleep, do it. They wonít take up much room. Youíll probably sell them or put them on a different bike before you need to use them as a replacement.
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Old 11-07-23, 11:14 AM
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In a word, yes. And don't limit yourself to drivetrain parts.

As 70sSanO said, even if hoarding turns out not to be 100% useful, it makes one happy.
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Old 11-07-23, 12:52 PM
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it depends... maybe. why not?
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Old 11-07-23, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
In a word, yes. And don't limit yourself to drivetrain parts.

As 70sSanO said, even if hoarding turns out not to be 100% useful, it makes one happy.
I'm not sure hoarding makes me happy, but it does give a sense of security in knowing that if a component fails there is another one in better condition to replace it.

The caveat is being able to do your own work on your bike. If you can essentially build your own bike and set it up correctly it eliminates handing a difficult part to find into the hands of someone who may or may not install it correctly. Thankfully bikes are easy to work on and most LBS mechanics will have no problem. But still handing over that only-NOS-in-the-world component would make me count the days... hours... minutes...

John

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Old 11-07-23, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
wear parts, like chains and cassettes, for sure, especially if they are somewhat proprietary or NLA.

I have a couple spare 9 speed Campagnolo chains and cassettes in desireable ratio.
That is a Campagnolo problem. There will never be a problem finding 11 speed chains and cassettes. The electronic 11 speed groupsets use the same chains and cassettes.
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Old 11-07-23, 01:47 PM
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I run 10sp Campagnolo, and while consumable parts (chains, cassette, chainrings etc) are still available, I still have to spend a little more time each time tracking them down. I usually go to the likes of Sprockets UK for "vintage Campy" and find what I need, but, for example I am no longer able to find correct Kool Stop salmon brake pads for my "C8-9" rim brakes, so I have had to adapt newer pads for the older brakes. I don't "hoard" per se, but I always ensure that I have a replacement in place - so I have the next cassette and chain rings in the parts box. 10sp chains are still plenty available (I use KMC), as are cables (Jagwire), so I'll buy those when I need them. In a fit of slight "crazy", I did buy an NOS 10sp right shifter body in case my current one crapped out. Not really sure what I did that - the old one is still serviceable...

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Old 11-07-23, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 13ollocks
In a fit of slight "crazy", I did buy an NOS 10sp right shifter body in case my current one crapped out. Not really sure what I did that - the old one is still serviceable...
I mailed my 10s Ergo shifters to an outfit in Portland a couple years ago for a full rebuild. They came back in a week or two and are as good as new.

Now that my modern gravel and mountain bikes take the most of my miles, I expect theyíll last another 20 years.
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Old 11-07-23, 04:30 PM
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Hoarding sounds harsh to me. Like others said, planning for the future more aptly describes keeping spares.
I decided to make mechanical and rim-brake 11sp my final configuration. Mostly Dura Ace, but I like the Ultegra or SRAM cassettes.
My stash includes a set of DA brifters, as well as a right-side one.
My wheels look good for another 40k miles, but a NIB DA wheelset sits ready to go.
Same goes for 50/34 chainrings, pulleys, and other odds and ends.
Judging from the scarcity and prices of 7400 and 7700 components, stocking up for the future ain't a bad idea.
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Old 11-07-23, 04:39 PM
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When I bought my '01 Jeep WJ a few years ago I bought OEM parts for backup. I'm glad I did because most aren't available anymore. I can sell the ones I have for 2-3 times what I bought them for. As far as bikes....no. They have no engines or electronics.
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Old 11-07-23, 04:59 PM
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Hoarding spare parts is the gateway to N+1, so by all means, yes. It starts with buying one or two components as spares when they go on sale. Eventually, one ends up with a sufficient imbalance between components and bikes such that one can nearly assemble another bike but for a few missing components, so one buys those too and builds another bike. Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Old 11-07-23, 05:03 PM
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My thoughts are if you have a bike you love and want to die riding, then do what you need to do to reasonably ensure you can keep it going. Maybe even consider buying another one of the same bike as something you can take parts off as needed.

But if you're really more of a Luddite and just want to use tech that is becoming obsolete, that's of course fine. In that case, I might be more inclined to keep on eye on the availability of parts. When you start seeing something harder to locate, then buy what you think you might need. But that takes some effort and vigilance to stay on top of it.
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Old 11-07-23, 06:04 PM
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Not an original observation, but one I agree with:

Prior to the 1960s or so, watches were mechanical. Then electronic watches were introduced, and they were very expensive. That technology trickled down, and now if you want a cheap watch or a specific-use timing system it's electronic, but really nice watches are mechanical. Bike shifting technology is following the same curve, and is at the "starting to trickle down" phase. It may be hard to get mechanical shifting for a few years, and it will be more expensive when it does come back in style, but it will never be gone forever (from consumer bikes: it may be gone forever from pro racing).
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Old 11-07-23, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
The maintenance of mechanical shifting is not with the components themselves, it's with the cables.

If you only ride your bike on weekends and in good weather, they can last a long time. For people riding high mileage in all weather, cables have to be replaced annually at the minimum, sometimes more. Yes, even with high end cable kits. And when you replace the cables, you have to rewrap the bars, even if the tape is still ok.

After years upon years of doing this, it gets old. I'm in the gradual process of transitioning my bikes to electronic shifting, and I don't think I'll buy another cable system in my life.
I ride a lot of miles like 6k a year all season long. But I only ride my high end bike w/o road salt. I have single speed for rainy days where I put away wet and clean/oil the chain once a year original one lasted me 2500 miles. I also have a couple mountain bikes one of which I use primarily in the winter as well as a cheap gravel hybrid. I have been riding bikes as adult since 2018ish and never had to replace a cable. Ever. The only stuff I had to replace was in the cheap bikes because lower end components don't last but anything SLX/105 or better seems to be pretty bulletproof and maintenance free other than needing a new chain and some oil every once in a while. I don't do work on my bikes I don't enjoy tinkering at all. But like I said the most expensive bikes to keep going were the cheap ones should have bought the mid to upper groupsets from the start as the long term cost is far less which is why I am concerned about electronic because I am a luddite and don't see any advantage, only drawback between buttons and battery charge. FYI I also don't race either.
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Old 11-07-23, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
As someone that has a stash of components that I will never use in my lifetime and my kids wonít care about, no donít hoard parts that you may never use.

I really enjoy setting up my bikes in a way that uses a mix-n-match of quality components. Iíll even build up unique cassettes. It is a lot of fun and it allows me to set my bikes up exactly as I want to.

But at the end of the day, as much as I enjoy it, it really has been a waste of time, and money.

You do realize that electronic shifting is going to continually improve to the point where entry level bikes will probably out shift your current setup.

John
I don't work on my bikes at all. In the buy vs build debate I am a 100% buy as I can't be bothered to tinker. I'd rather use the time to stretch, work out, kayak or ride more, work or just rest.

I am thoroughly impressed and happy with shifting performance of mechanical groupsets and having tried electronic prefer the mechanical engagement and feel be it slower.

After having put up with a few cheap groupsets like Claris, Sora or a low level SRAM MTB was it deore or Eagle not sure but that too was junk maybe in 20 years they will outperform mechanical Ultegra/XT whatever but seeing how quickly they fail with serious riding it probably only lasts from the ride home after you buy it .Every few miles it seems like something goes worse. After 1000 miles real problems start. After 2000 its almost impossible to not visit bike shop at least a couple times a month and everything is cooked. Using cheap, lower end metals this is likely to continue. Hence my apprecaition for the SLX/105 or better level. Not saying I am Dura Ace/XTR type top end fanatic as I don't race, but I want something that just needs a chain once a year, new pads/rotors/cassette every few and that's it. That is how the upper mid groupsets have behaved for me the last 3-4 years.
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