$220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

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$220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby Anonybike » Sat May 17, 2014 9:10 am

Hi everyone,

I have an 18 month old Trek 7.1FX hybrid bike ($450 AUD new) that I use to commute 5 days, 120km per week.

It’s been a little while since it’s had a service so I took it in yesterday and was given the following quote (Australian dollars):

Service - $70
Freewheel - $40
Chain - $30
Brake pads x2 - $30
Pedals - $30
Extra drive train labor - $20
Total - $220

I know my plastic pedals are indeed shot and the chain is well past its lifetime, and the chain rings are pretty worn, so I’m sure I’m not being offered services I don’t need. Unfortunately I live in a small apartment without a garden or communal space, and I’m not particularly mechanically inclined so I’m not too confident about repairs beyond changing a tube or tightening the brakes.

It’s a cheap bike, and I bought it really just to dip my toe in and see if cycling was for me, and it turns out it is, and I love the bike and I want to keep cycling. I’m considering a cyclocross as my next bike, probably within the next year or so.

So my question is – what would you do if you were in my situation? Spend half the cost of a brand new bike on servicing an entry level hybrid (that I love)? Replace just the chain and put up with occasional slipping gears and drive it into the ground, and put the $200 into a new cyclocross?

Also, is it considered bad form to buy the new components from Wiggle and then ask the LBS to install them? That seems really rude to me but maybe that’s common?

Thank you!
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by BNA » Sat May 17, 2014 12:56 pm

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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby Calvin27 » Sat May 17, 2014 12:56 pm

There are a few cheap ways to go. There is an online group for cyclists through 'meetup' that occasionally has maintenance days. Pretty much everyday Joe's helping each other out. Bna could probably pick the parts you should get online.

I wouldn't be throwing 200 around if I was in the market for a new bike.worst case is buy a tube of lube and go nuts on you bike.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby herzog » Sat May 17, 2014 1:16 pm

Yep if you're already thinking new bike, don't throw too much at the other one. Pretty much ride it into the ground, and as Calvin above said, hit it up with a bit of lube. Do it at the local park if you've no room in your flat.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby ekib » Sat May 17, 2014 1:17 pm

Calvin27,

its really up to you.

A lot of the repair cost at bike shop is labour. They have to pay their staff, the overheads, etc, etc. and actually make some profit!

Anyway back to your bicycle. I actually own a very similar bike, an Avanti - Discovery 2003 model. It has very similar specs to your bike. I'm lucky as I have a nice garage to work in and have bought a basic bicycle tool kit and have watched a lot of You Tube clips on bike maintenance/repairs. I also average 100-120 kms per week.

My experience has been;
bicycle wear components actually wear out eventually, :(
you can usually buy parts online much cheaper than LBS, :)
your labour is free, the labour at the LBS is not. :(


Lastly, if i ride 5 days per week I also save about $45 in bus fares which I figure can go towards bicycle parts or even a new bicycle !! :D
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby MattyK » Sat May 17, 2014 4:26 pm

The beauty of bikes is that you can fix them anywhere, hallway, balcony etc. But if you're confident of buying a new bike soon I would save some if be money for that. Put an ad in the wanted forum for the bare minimum parts you need (I'd guess pedals and brakes), and ask your friends or colleagues to lend you some basic tools if you don't have any.

Also ask here and someone local might be willing to help you for a beer or two.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby bychosis » Sat May 17, 2014 7:41 pm

Sounds like you WANT to upgrade. Sell your bike as is for $200, put that towards new bike, if anything isn't working, as opposed to not working well, either replace it, or reduce the asking price as necessary.

Ask your LBS about installing gear bought online. If they are smart they'll do it, or they could also say no which is their loss.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby thecaptn » Sat May 17, 2014 8:00 pm

Does the LBS you bought the bike from do trade in's? If so you could trade it in on a new one as is, if not find an LBS that does. If you're not happy to work on your own bike it can be good to have a relationship with a good bike shop. I wouldn't ask a bike shop to use parts bought on wiggle, I think it's rude too. They make some money on parts mark up but it's a tough business to make money in.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby Calvin27 » Sun May 18, 2014 7:38 pm

ekib wrote:Calvin27,
its really up to you.


I'm not OP :).

I'd add that learning to do some maintenance is probably a good thing for most cyclist because it can mean the difference between walking a long path or getting the bike going again.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby diggler » Sun May 18, 2014 11:34 pm

Get the new bike, sell the old one and learn to do maintenance.
That's what a fool does. I'm invincible, I'm paying money ... uh ... The girl's happy, she's got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby Zippy7 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:09 pm

Definitely learn to do your own maintenance.

Maybe you can buy the parts online and try installing yourself (or get the help of someone on this forum if you're not game to try with youtube).

You can continue enjoying this bike, and when you get sick of it, then buy the new one.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby SuperSix » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:06 pm

I'm going against the grain here and saying get your bike fixed up. I think their prices are very reasonable. If you're commuting in it you are miles in front. Spend the $220 and and keep riding it while you find the right bike. When you get your next bike, it can be great to have a cheaper bike to have around for rainy days or to put racks/baby seats on.

Not everyone wants to DIY bike repairs. Wonderful if you do, but there are also people who make a living from it.

I also think it's rude to buy parts online and ask the bike store to fit them. Sure if they are smart they will do it, but I just think it's bad etiquette.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby Jangari » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:41 pm

SuperSix wrote:I also think it's rude to buy parts online and ask the bike store to fit them. Sure if they are smart they will do it, but I just think it's bad etiquette.

+1. This is definitely bad form.

Also, I wouldn't spend much more than a quarter of the value of a bike on maintenance, certainly not half.
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Re: $220 for a service, or put that towards a new bike?

Postby rkelsen » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:15 pm

SuperSix wrote:I'm going against the grain here and saying get your bike fixed up. I think their prices are very reasonable. If you're commuting in it you are miles in front.

I agree with that. Their prices do seem pretty reasonable.
My commuting bike cost me $830. Three and a half years on, I've spent almost that much again on parts for it. If you're commuting, you are going to use parts. No point fretting about it. You'll still come out in front and be healthier for it, too.

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