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Sinking too much money into an old bike....

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Sinking too much money into an old bike....

Old 03-12-19, 11:22 PM
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Sinking too much money into an old bike....

(Yes, much of this would be moot if I did more of my own work on my bikes, but I don't.....)

My 10 y.o. alloy Trek (2.1) has 30,000 miles on it and though I upgraded years ago, I've been riding it maybe 1000-2000 miles/year of late, and those miles have been the harder ones. I use it as my rain bike, as the bike I ride during the winter when the streets are clear enough for a road bike, during changing seasons when I don't want to trash my good bike with the slush, salt, grit. And at night when I don't want to risk my good wheels on an unseen pothole. I try to take care of it, but it's seen a lot.

So at the LBS, it needed, well, new everything - the big chain ring was worn out, the cassette, cables. a new seat post (old one was cracked), bottom bracket, etc. Only the newish Velocity A23 wheels were really in good shape. With power cleaning and all the rest, it was going to cost $500.

I thought....the bike isn't worth $500. I'll find a better replacement on Craigslist for similar. But after some time looking, nothing that fit the bill was on offer.

So I did the stupid thing and paid the $500 to thoroughly recondition the old bike. I love the thing. It's a low end model and sort of heavy, but it's got aggressive geometry and I can ride it hard. It fits me perfectly. It's exactly what I need for that riding niche.

It came back today and it's lovely. I know this was probably not economically wise. But I am so excited to get out and ride (and, I guess, trash anew) this old warhorse....
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Old 03-12-19, 11:27 PM
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I never compare the "worth" of my bikes (or cars) with their maintenance costs, except for amusement. If $500 means a completely-renewed bike that is ready for many more years of riding, that sounds alright to me.
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Old 03-13-19, 04:05 AM
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I have a similar bike that gets used in wet or gritty conditions, including salt treated roads. It fits well and I've installed fenders. I'm surprised how much use it gets! It allows me to save my good bike for dry weather. I'm sure that using a rain bike is preserving my good bike and doubling the life of the components on that bike. My good bike seems to never need service and stays clean with only one or two detailed cleanups annually.

In the future, you might consider migrating the drivetrain from your good bike to your rain bike. This won't immediately save money, since you'll be spending money on a new crankset and derailleurs for your good bike. But it allow you to have updated your good bike while extending the utility of your rain bike a few more years.

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Old 03-13-19, 05:25 AM
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Eh... used bikes generally need a bunch of work themselves and then you don't know the history. Even if $500 seems steep (it's a lot less than a comparable new bike, and won't get you a whole lot on the used market as you saw without a lot of looking), it gets you a bike that you know is good and know fits you. And it's a bike that clearly has a lot of sentimental value for you.

It does make sense (in this situation generally, it's moot here since you already made the decision) to put a ceiling on how much you'll pay to rehab an old bike before deciding it's time to retire it and replace it with something new. That level is probably some large fraction of the price of a new bike you want for the same role (whether that's 50% or 80% is up to you). From a cold, left-brain standpoint it makes no sense to pay as much to refit an old frame as you could get a new bike for with the same equipment, but even then, if the frame means enough to you or fits better than the new one, even then it might be worth it. The important thing is to have the number in mind of where the crossover is and when it's time to retire the frame. Maybe your 2.1 will be ready for that in another 10 years!

The good news is, even when a bike needs to go to 11-speed, 105 is dirt cheap.
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Old 03-13-19, 05:34 AM
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I bet most of that $500 was labor. And / or overpriced brand name parts. If $500 seems like a lot, I would study up on how to do more of your own work.

But hey, you have something reliable to get around on, something you know fits you and you're used to, and is now mechanically-sound. What's not to like about that?

I can safely say that any bike part that I have personally worn out from riding many miles on, I got my money's worth out of it.
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Old 03-13-19, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I have a similar bike that gets used in wet or gritty conditions, including salt treated roads. It fits well and I've installed fenders. I'm surprised how much use it gets! It allows me to save my good bike for dry weather. I'm sure that using a rain bike is preserving my good bike and doubling the life of the components on that bike. My good bike seems to never need service and stays clean with only one or two detailed cleanups annually.
Yes, this is true. Of course, there are times when it starts raining in the middle of a ride with the good bike, but the Trek protects the Felt, which seldom sees harsh conditions.

I really couldn't do without two road bikes. And one of them has to be low end alloy frame with high spoke count wheels. Of course, I could have a second nice CF bike if I had THREE road bikes....
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Old 03-13-19, 09:43 AM
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I love my old bikes and have spent a fair chunk keeping them all in good condition. It has been worth it. I would have done the same as you for your Trek, MinnMan.
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Old 03-13-19, 09:45 AM
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I don't think it was stupid. Look at the alternatives. You looked for a used replacement and came up empty. Even if you had found something, it may have also needed repairs/maintenance. You could also bought a new bike, which certainly would cost you more than $500 and if used the same way as your old bike, would eventually need maintenance/repairs.

If you like the bike and use it, I don't see anything wrong in putting some money into it.

If you really want to save money, consider investing in some tools and learning to do some basic maintenance/repairs on your own. Replacing a cassette, cables, and some of the other work you mention is not that difficult and would save you a bunch.
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Old 03-13-19, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
Yes, this is true. Of course, there are times when it starts raining in the middle of a ride with the good bike, but the Trek protects the Felt, which seldom sees harsh conditions.

I really couldn't do without two road bikes. And one of them has to be low end alloy frame with high spoke count wheels. Of course, I could have a second nice CF bike if I had THREE road bikes....
It perfectly reasonable to have a different bike for every day of the week... or two weeks ;-)
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Old 03-13-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine
I love my old bikes and have spent a fair chunk keeping them all in good condition. It has been worth it. I would have done the same as you for your Trek, MinnMan.
Originally Posted by Ogsarg
I don't think it was stupid. Look at the alternatives. You looked for a used replacement and came up empty. Even if you had found something, it may have also needed repairs/maintenance. You could also bought a new bike, which certainly would cost you more than $500 and if used the same way as your old bike, would eventually need maintenance/repairs.

If you like the bike and use it, I don't see anything wrong in putting some money into it.
You guys are making me feel much better.

As I said at the outset, I know a lot of the cost was doing this at the LBS instead of myself, but the reality is that beyond replacing the chain and a few other things, I don't have the time or the commitment to be my own wrench. And I can't complain about paying a skilled mechanic what he or she is worth.
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Old 03-13-19, 03:39 PM
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The real answer is THREE bikes with different gearing/materials/purpose.

See my main stable:
1 - Carbon top end superbike - Dura Ace, super light, sees nice weather only, does not race anything other than TTs (cant afford to replace!) 52/36 with an 11-28, can handle most climbs.
2 - Older Ti bike with mishmash but reliable 10 speed parts. Sees ALL the crap weather, it cant rust! If something breaks, pretty cheap to replace. VERY comfy, and with a 50/34 and an 11-32, I have yet to find a climb it wont do for. Not as light, all secondhand, did the work myself, I have maybe 1/10th the funds into this bike as the prior one. I will race this one on hilly courses.
3 - Classic lightweight steel with older deep carbon wheels. Again all secondhand, setup to be stiff AF, 53/39 lives its life on my trainer and the occasional crit/flat road race. About 1/5th the cost of my main bike.

All three = happy and versatile riding for years and years. Spread the weath, less stuff wears out and all three have things they do really well!
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Old 03-13-19, 04:12 PM
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Tires Rings Cassette. Chain. Stem bars
I needed to dump $200.00 into my new to me Craigslist find and did all work myself
now i have a wonderful Lemond 853 steel Full Dura Ace bike. That looks great
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Old 04-13-19, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
I love the thing
I think you said it right there.
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Old 04-13-19, 02:11 PM
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I think it’s fine what you did. You could have done it yourself and possibly scrounged gently used parts on EBay and saved some money, but it’s done and you love it so ride on!

PS Got a pic??
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Old 04-13-19, 02:29 PM
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https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/sear....aspx?id=22604

I've always thought the used bike market was somewhat upside-down. But, there are so many new bikes being sold that they force the used bikes to lower values.

That Trek 2.1 looks pretty nice, and was a $1200 bike.

Ok, so BBB says it is only a $300 to $400 bike in excellent shape. But, you may find it tough to find a suitable replacement for that price.

And, say you find a used Trek 2.1 for $300, you may well spend $200 to get it tuned up and you're back at the same $500.
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Old 04-13-19, 02:42 PM
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$500 is alot for those parts and a bike wash, FYI you can get full Shimano 5800 groupset for $360

https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...set-72462.html
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Old 04-13-19, 03:09 PM
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It's money well spent.

My 2008 Allez was $800 new, and it's probably worth only $300 now, even though I've likely spent 1500 or more on upgrades and parts over the last decade.

Considering the tens of thousands of miles, and the wear and tear it saves on my nicer bike and cars, it's been a solid "investment".

Bikes and most cars are depreciating assets, so making decisions based on their current supposed market value is dumb.
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Old 04-13-19, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z
$500 is alot for those parts and a bike wash, FYI you can get full Shimano 5800 groupset for $360

https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...set-72462.html


Of course, the difference between US Retail, and UK Tax-Free. And the OP decided not to do the work himself.

I could imagine dealer labor costs to add up, especially if doing a comprehensive tune-up, tearing down everything, lubing everything, etc.
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