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The last bike I'll ever buy

Old 06-06-20, 12:59 AM
  #1  
fofinet855
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The last bike I'll ever buy

Hey everyone, first post here.

I'm looking to buy a new road/tourism/gravel bike, for hybrid use (commuting, traveling, skiing
). I've checked online and found tons of possibilities, of course, with almost endless choices regarding all the possible aspects of the bike.

My question here is a bit lateral, perhaps: what bike, or bikes, or kind of bike, can I expect to last the longest? Right now I'm using a Cannondale H800 from, I believe, 1994. I've been using it a lot and for a very long time, been hit by a (slow) car once, and in time I've changed almost all the components, but it's still working (frame and fork are original). I find this quite amazing: it's so old, but with some maintenance it stil serves it function.

Now I want to replace it with something similar, because it's a bit too small for me, because it does show its age, and because in Italy there is a Ä500 bonus for buying a bike. I'm looking for something in the Ä1000-1500 range (but can think of going a bit higher if it's worth it). What aspects should I take into consideration regarding the likelihood that it'll last me just as long as the Cannondale? (For example: carbon vs aluminium vs steel for both frame and fork, mechanical vs fluid for the brakes, model of the derailleur, etc)

I'm not a pro, I'm not obsessed with speed, I'm not looking for the highest-end components. I mostly want it to be solid, and to carry me around even with a heavy load.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-06-20, 04:29 AM
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shelbyfv
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Welcome to BF
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Old 06-06-20, 04:52 AM
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Maybe look at touring bikes. Built to last, comfortable and for heavy loads. You should be able to find models with drop or flat/riser handlebars. Somehow I believe you it will be the last bike you will ever buy. Me I've said that about last 10 bikes.
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Old 06-06-20, 05:19 AM
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Welcome! I'd say a steel touring bike is your best bet for longevity. You can change every piece on it over the years and expect it to keep performing. Brand is subject to taste and preference and the components you select will depend on the job requirements. I have not bought a "new" bike since the mid-'90s but somehow I keep buying bikes. Good luck!
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Old 06-06-20, 10:48 AM
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Something closer to your Cannondale would be something like the Jamis Coda Elite. Nice steel frame, 32 spoke wheels, upright riding position makes it a nice choice. Under your budget.


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Old 06-06-20, 11:00 AM
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Juan Foote
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In my own romantic notion of it being "the last bike I ever buy" it would be awesome to go custom build. I had a local builder I would have liked that to happen with but he shut his doors some time back. A lot of that around here.
Anyway...would probably consider steel, disk brakes, drop bars, braze on for three bottle racks and fenders/racks front and back. Room for ~40's under the fenders. Triple front, anything 10S on the rear (or better) with a mountain bike like gearing. The GT traffic that I currently own checks many of those boxes already and cost sub $500. No real complaints.
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Old 06-06-20, 02:45 PM
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Skiing??
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Old 06-06-20, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by theDirtyLemon View Post
Skiing??
I won't speak for the OP but I use to bike to the ski hills to do cross country skiing. I would strap my skis and poles to the top tube, bike on the frozen Rideau Canal in Ottawa (longest skating rink in the world) until I got to the Parliament buildings. From there, across the bridge into Quebec, up to the Gatineau Hills, ski and then the return trip home. It was a blast. I would do this all on my Miele mountain bike.
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Old 06-06-20, 04:41 PM
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Loaded question. It may evoke lots of ideological responses. This response may be ideological, too.

Why not a steel Italian bike? My own frame is Reynolds 531 from 1973, and it has lots of miles left in it. You might be able to buy a new Italian steel frame, a new gruppo, and maybe use your old wheels if the price gets too high.
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Old 06-06-20, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fofinet855 View Post
Hey everyone, first post here.

I'm looking to buy a new road/tourism/gravel bike, for hybrid use (commuting, traveling, skiing
). I've checked online and found tons of possibilities, of course, with almost endless choices regarding all the possible aspects of the bike.

My question here is a bit lateral, perhaps: what bike, or bikes, or kind of bike, can I expect to last the longest? Right now I'm using a Cannondale H800 from, I believe, 1994. I've been using it a lot and for a very long time, been hit by a (slow) car once, and in time I've changed almost all the components, but it's still working (frame and fork are original). I find this quite amazing: it's so old, but with some maintenance it stil serves it function.

Now I want to replace it with something similar, because it's a bit too small for me, because it does show its age, and because in Italy there is a Ä500 bonus for buying a bike. I'm looking for something in the Ä1000-1500 range (but can think of going a bit higher if it's worth it). What aspects should I take into consideration regarding the likelihood that it'll last me just as long as the Cannondale? (For example: carbon vs aluminium vs steel for both frame and fork, mechanical vs fluid for the brakes, model of the derailleur, etc)

I'm not a pro, I'm not obsessed with speed, I'm not looking for the highest-end components. I mostly want it to be solid, and to carry me around even with a heavy load.

Thanks in advance.
The bike that lasts the longest will be the one that was assembled and maintained well. You will replace tires and drivetrain according to use and conditions regardless of brand. Entropy hasn't changed. Frame material and brand is somewhat irrelevant as long as the bike you ride meets your needs. Pick the bike for 80% of your use. Thereís a big difference between a 150 lb rider with a heavy load and a 225 lb rider with a heavy load with regard to wheels and bike so you leave a lot missing for feedback. Many bikes can carry a heavy load if distributed well front to rear but few bike handle well with a heavy load sitting over just the rear wheel. You might consider other handlebar configurations than the near straight bar of the hybrid H800.
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Old 06-06-20, 07:25 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Something closer to your Cannondale would be something like the Jamis Coda Elite. Nice steel frame, 32 spoke wheels, upright riding position makes it a nice choice. Under your budget.


I would seriously consider this bike too.
If you want something more "touring" you can take at this one https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/auroraelite.html
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Old 06-06-20, 07:52 PM
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theDirtyLemon
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
I use to bike to the ski hills to do cross country skiing. I would strap my skis and poles to the top tube ... It was a blast.
Amazing! I had no idea.
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Old 06-06-20, 08:21 PM
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Have you looked at Masi? They have two very well thought out touring/gravel bikes, their both called Giramondo, one is a 700c with dropbars, and the other is a 27.5 with flat bars and a bit wider tires.
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Old 06-06-20, 11:12 PM
  #14  
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I would think about an aluminum-frame since there are many nice alu hybrids & the light weight is a nice advantage. Anyway at €1.500 price the quality & durability will generally be very good, bike & components should last a very long time except for normal things like replacing chain & bearings. In Washington DC the best local ski spot is very close to a popular cycling trail & in Utah the ski roads have bike lanes so with enough time and/or fitness, why not cycle to ski spots? No problems with car parking, maybe even camp to save cost of expensive hotels. For bike/ski trips I guess a trailer would be the easiest option.
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Old 06-07-20, 05:34 AM
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The quality of frame construction is so good now that steel or aluminum will make little difference long term as your Cannondale has proven. I suggest focusing on components for the "last bike". Get absolutely the best drive train and wheel components you can afford. Absolutely avoid a suspension fork. Cheap forks are just that, cheap and garbage long term. Top notch ones are great, but will need service over time, and 10 years from now parts may not be available for rebuild.

As an aside the 1995 F500 Cannondale I have still works perfectly, even the Headshock! Shimano XT components are the workhorse of the lineup and are my favorite for mountain bikes or touring bikes, and are all original on the F500 and work like new. Of course I take very good care of it, so I expect it to last 30 years.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:42 AM
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Thank you everyone for the very thoughtful answers. Both the Jamis and the Masi look very good. Not sure how easy it'll be to find one in Europe, though. And BTW I didn't know they still made bikes with triple crankset. Most of the choice is between single and double.

And about biking, yes, that's what I meant. I wanted to post a picture, but I'm probably not allowed to, yet, so here's a quote by Kilian Jornet, from Training for the uphill athlete.

I was in school then, so I’d train early in the morning or after school, and then in the middle of the day I’d go to the gym or for a run. I used the weekends for longer training. Sometimes I’d bike to school, my skis in my backpack, and then after school I’d bike 60 kilometers to the snow, ski for two hours, and then bike home. Other days I’d run to and from school—25 kilometers each way.


Thanks again. I had some ideas before starting this thread, but now I'm back to square one
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Old 06-07-20, 01:10 PM
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Dont be too quick to say it will be your last bike. I did when I bought a touring bike with a triple. I figured in my old age the granny would help me get up hills. That was 4 bikes ago. I went to a mountain bike, then a recumbent, a bigger recumbent and now a trike. I still have the LWB recumbent and the trike.
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Old 06-07-20, 02:17 PM
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Yeah well you never know. But I use MTBs too, and those for sure don't last that long.
Anyway, as I suspected, both Masi and Jamis bikes are basically impossible to find in Europe, at least those models.
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Old 06-07-20, 02:56 PM
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Whatever you choose make sure it is titanium. My bike has survived three major crashes without a scratch. It is also comfortable..
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Old 06-08-20, 12:26 PM
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Any bike can be a "last bike" if you quit bicycling, for whatever reason, before you get the urge to buy a new one.

All components wear out and need to be replaced, eventually. So your question becomes what frame will last the longest? Like other respondents, a steel touring bike would be one of my top choices. But if you want to go on rougher roads, you might want to look at gravel bikes (if you can find one geared appropriately low), or even a rigid mountain bike.
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Old 06-08-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Surubi View Post
Whatever you choose make sure it is titanium. My bike has survived three major crashes without a scratch. It is also comfortable..
Titanium is not stronger than steel, they are marginally similar. Titanium has a better strength to weight ratio. Titanium may be more comfortable, owners I know say so but I havenít ever ridden one.

Id give steel the edge for ease of repairability. Can be simply welded or worked, Titanium not so much.
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Old 06-08-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Toadmeister View Post
Titanium is not stronger than steel, they are marginally similar. Titanium has a better strength to weight ratio. Titanium may be more comfortable, owners I know say so but I havenít ever ridden one.

Id give steel the edge for ease of repairability. Can be simply welded or worked, Titanium not so much.
I totally agree with Toadmeister that the strongest steel alloy has a higher tensile strength than the strongest titanium alloy, and that titanium has a better strength ratio, although I admit that I have no idea of the relationship of tensile strength and suitability for bike construction, As someone who rode a Schwinn Paramount made of Reynolds 531 and a Samson titanium interchangeably for years, I will say unequivocally that titanium's vibration and shock adsorption ability make the titanium bike more comfortable. It is these two qualities that make a titanium bike more crash resistant than one made of steel.
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Old 06-08-20, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Toadmeister View Post
Titanium is not stronger than steel, they are marginally similar. Titanium has a better strength to weight ratio. Titanium may be more comfortable, owners I know say so but I havenít ever ridden one.

Id give steel the edge for ease of repairability. Can be simply welded or worked, Titanium not so much.
Ti - Heavier than Al, weaker than steel
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Old 06-08-20, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Ti - Heavier than Al, weaker than steel
Haven't really seen or experienced that particularly with the newer, thinner tubed steels that are available. I saw a pair of cycling sunglasses dent a steel frame after only a 10" drop and have seen steel frames that had warnings against sitting on the top tube to prevent denting. Although it will be a couple years off after the money I just laid out for a new steel cross bike, my next road frame will probably be Ti based on past experiences. The pursuit of steel frames that can match carbon and aluminum has made them more prone to damage then the bikes of yore.

To the OP, what about something like a trekking bike like Scott offers https://www.scott-sports.com/us/en/p...icle=274905009
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Old 06-09-20, 01:06 AM
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Two suggestions from me - firstly, a classic /vintage touring bike. It should come in well below budget, will do all that you want, and will last for a lifetime. I rode 70 miles yesterday on a 50 year old Peugeot AO-8 that has front and rear rack fixings, and a supremely comfortable ride quality.

Second suggestion is a Thorn - a Club Tourer would fit your requirements very well, although it would be slightly over budget.
I see a lot of Thorn bikes on Audax rides; they look very well built and the owners are invariably very positive about the bikes.
https://www.thorncycles.co.uk/bikes
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