Are bikes like Fiats?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Moodyman, 20 Apr 2010.

  1. Moodyman

    Moodyman Guru

    Got my commuting hybrid (new) in December . All okay until last week - chain snapped.

    Replaced it and the gear cables as they were getting rusty.

    Then after a few commutes, I noticed the cassette was worn as new chain was skipping intermittently.

    Ordered a new cassette, chain whip and cassette tool.

    Riding into work yesterday morning hit a series of road undulations and broke a spoke.

    No commute today.

    That got me thinking are bikes like Fiats - run well then get into an endless maintenance run? or am I just unlucky?

    Apologies to any Fiat owners - I know they're not as bad as they used to be, but they do have a tendency for one thing to follow another.
  2. gouldina

    gouldina New Member

    What did you pay for the bike?
  3. palinurus

    palinurus Legendary Member

    They can be in the winter, yes.

    Sometimes I get a run of stuff wearing out, but in the last couple of years I've done very little work on any of my bikes. Headset for the 'cross bike is the only thing so far this year, but that gets proper abuse.

    I don't replace my gear cables if they get rusty, usually giving them a wipe with an oily rag is sufficient to remove surface rust (and protect them a bit). I can't remember the last time I replaced a gear cable.

    And you have now got a chain whip, chain tool and cassette remover- so less expense in future.
  4. OP

    Moodyman Guru


    It's a Trek SU200 - predecessor to their Valencia. It's a mid-range commuting hybrid.

    I rind 120 miles a week and rode throughout winter. I'm heavy - 16 stone and there's a lot of hills on my commute.

    I guess it's all been hard on her - poor girl.
  5. gouldina

    gouldina New Member

    Hmm. Seems pretty quick to me I must say. That said, there are no hills for me.
  6. e-rider

    e-rider crappy member

    South West
    If you're riding 120 miles a week, every week throughout the winter you have 2 choices:

    1. Maintain the bike on a regular basis
    2. Repair the bike on a regular basis

    Both options require spending lots of time/money on the bike!
  7. OP

    Moodyman Guru

    I know Tundra. I've been doing a full clean (wheels off) and lube every week. I even do a mid-week mickle method chain clean & lube.

    I think I've just been unlucky as the first 3.5 months were fine.

    I started commuting last summer and what you don't realise when you're a recreational rider, is the number of tools you need to do full bike maintenance.

    There seems to be a tool for every part, so when I've ordered a new part, I've been buying a new tool for it.

    I now have all the tools that I need. The only thing missing is a proper workstand, but I get by, by hanging it to the beams in my garage ceiling.
  8. Grasen

    Grasen New Member

    well anybody who buys a TREK is asking for trouble
  9. rh100

    rh100 Well-Known Member

    I'm the same - have been steadily buying new bits for my second hand trek. Just ordered a new set of chain rings/cranks and tools to suit. (hope I got the right stuff anyway). Ordered a new rear mech yesterday. That will have to be it for a while.

    I'm just going for budget tools to start with until I find something that gets used regular enough to invest in quality.

    The way I see it - if I learn the maintenance now on a bike with a nice frame and add acceptable parts to it, it means when I can afford a really nice bike I'll be confident to work on it instead of paying an LBS every time something needs to be adjusted.

    Hmmm..You are entitled to your opinion, but at least say why you think that. We have two Treks and both are much loved, I would happily recommend the brand.
  10. OP

    Moodyman Guru

    Say why you think that

    Yeah - why do you think that, unless it's tongue in cheek?

    My problems have been with the consumable components and my little (but increasing) knowledge.

    My particular Trek bike is very versatile. Though now expert, I can see that Trek put a loft of thought into the frame design and chosen components with the intended use in mind.
  11. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    I've got a P reg Fiat Cinquecento as my winter car. It is more reliable than any of my bikes but it costs 100's of times more to service and I can't do it myself. Moodyman sums up the rec. vs utility cycling angles pretty well. Underpins n+1 on our house.

    (My spring summer autumn car? = bikes)
  12. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    My bikes do seem to need much more TLC than the car does even though my car covers many more miles and takes much more punishment.

    When you consider the complexities of even a basic car like my ancient Peugeot 205 and the simplicity of a bicycle, this is surely wrong. Why can't a bicycle wheel bearing be designed to last 100,000 miles like a car's is? It carries very little weight after all and the corning forces are considerably lower.
  13. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    It can. But not at a price you are likely to want to pay!

    "Cheap, light, strong - pick any two"
  14. Ivan Ardon

    Ivan Ardon Well-Known Member

    I also have a Cinquecento as a runaround, it costs me far less to service than my bikes :thumbsup:

    New drivetrain for winter commuter = £70
    New engine for Cinquecento = £50

    New Marathon Plus x 2 for commuter = £52
    New front tyres x 2 for Cinquecento = £48

    I wouldn't say it's more reliable than my bikes, though!
  15. hubgearfreak

    hubgearfreak Über Member

    get an engineering workshop to make you up a hub with two flanges of 18 holes on, but that take car wheel bearings.

    do let us know how you get on
    a. with the weight
    b. with the (lack of) efficiency
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