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Bikes: Replace Every Few Years vs. Keep 5/10+ Years?

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Bikes: Replace Every Few Years vs. Keep 5/10+ Years?

Old 05-01-19, 01:35 AM
  #1  
ADAP7IVE
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Bikes: Replace Every Few Years vs. Keep 5/10+ Years?

I'm shopping now and so this question has been floating around my head. Do you buy a bike with the intention of replacing within 2-5 years, or buy with the intention to keep as long as possible? I realize this may change depending on the type of bike (it's easy to imagine MTBs getting replaced more often with the amount of punishment they take and the tech developments in that area), but what is your approach? Is it purely an economic decision for you, or are there other considerations at play? As always, thanks and have fun!
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Old 05-01-19, 02:33 AM
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I just bought a new bike because i wanted disc brakes and more comfort.
Ended up with much more, so hopefully i can get 8+ years on this carbon horse
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Old 05-01-19, 03:38 AM
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I purchase bikes with the intention of keeping them as long as possible. I don't care about the latest new tech or new trends... As long the frame is solid I'll keep it.
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Old 05-01-19, 04:00 AM
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Every couple of months I'll get a flat tire so I'll just park the bike next to the nearest dumpster, and go get a new bike.
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Old 05-01-19, 04:12 AM
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No, yes.
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Old 05-01-19, 04:13 AM
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So, there is no real answer to your question. Each person's situation is different.

I bought a bike in high school, and it lasted me a good long time. Through college. Working. Graduate Studies. More working... And moving across the country and back. Pretty much my primary bike for about 30 years.

My life has changed recently, and I've been experimenting some. And, expanding to more task specific bikes.

Technology has changed a lot since my HS purchase. But, the old bike is still a good solid bike.

I've had a lot of stuff wear out. I'm now putting on about 7,000 miles a year. And, those miles add up quickly. Nonetheless, I haven't ever broken a frame or fork.

Discs will bring a fundamental shift in technology, so out with the old and in with the new. But, they may not be necessary for everyone.

Hardcore commuting can be hard on a bike. So, a person can have a choice of buying cheap, and replacing as needed. But, as one moves up the chain on bikes, it is no longer practical just to discard because of a minor shortfall.

A racer might choose to keep up with the cutting edge. While a commuter may just patch up and keep riding.
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Old 05-01-19, 04:48 AM
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With the cost of a new bike vs selling it used, I say hang on as long as possible and even change out components when they wear. I cannot speak for the new ones, but a lot of bikes from the 70s to 90s still out there in daily use, sometimes with new modern groupsets. If you like it then why not hang on to it?
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Old 05-01-19, 06:11 AM
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I buy something that should last. I'll decide later whether I want to replace it based on how I'm using my bikes at the time. I have a baseline of acceptable components that is nothing terribly fancy, so getting the latest tech is never an issue for me.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:46 AM
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Keep the old bikes for as long as I can AND buy new bikes!

(This is the only correct answer. Pencils down. Test is over.)
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Old 05-01-19, 06:51 AM
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It all depends on what your budget is and what you’re looking to do. If you’re just starting out and are on a limited budget then getting something affordable now with the intent of upgrading later on (if you’re still into the sport) is not a bad plan. If you’re serious about cycling and want to really get into it now, buy something that you’ll be ok with for the rest of your life. You can always buy another down the line (n+1 and all of that stuff) should you desire a new bike 5 years from now but you don’t have to get rid of the original “nice” bike you buy now.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:23 AM
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The only time that I will replace a bike is if the frame breaks.
For most of the ones that I assemble, I go with specific drivetrains where I know that replacement parts will be around for years. 2x10 for example.
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Old 05-01-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Keep the old bikes for as long as I can AND buy new bikes!

(This is the only correct answer. Pencils down. Test is over.)
@Skipjacks wins!

My main bike is 20 years old this year. Well, the frame was warranteed 13 years ago, and everything but the fork and brake arms have been replaced as they wore out or broke, but the bike is 20 years old. It's been supplemented by the rain bike, 13 years old (frame warranteed three years later), and the bars, shifters and derailers are still original.

They still work.

If the old bike would just rust through, I could buy another one!
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Old 05-01-19, 03:09 PM
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I'm actually one of the ones that never buys new bikes.

A 10 or 20 year old bike is good enough. Ok, so a 5 year old one might be nice...

I do like newer components though, and am fine hanging newer components on an older frame. "Newer", however, can mean up to 10 years old, give or take a bit.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Keep the old bikes for as long as I can AND buy new bikes!

(This is the only correct answer. Pencils down. Test is over.)

This.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Keep the old bikes for as long as I can AND buy new bikes!

(This is the only correct answer. Pencils down. Test is over.)
This is what I tend to do, although I don't buy new bikes. I buy "new to me" bikes and doctor them up. Plus I have a couple of bikes from 2004 that I have no intention of selling. And even though all of my bases are covered, the stable somehow keeps growing over time.

My older bikes aren't worth much if I sell them on CL and I have quite a cache of spare parts so why not keep them going as long as I can?

I know of people who are in the industry who are able to buy their bikes cheap, overstock for example, ride them for a couple of years, and sell them for more than they have into them. If I could do that I probably would, but I don't have the insider connections. By doing this, one could stay near the bleeding edge without the large outlays of cash. I can only afford to stay on the bleeding edge of yesteryear.

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Old 05-01-19, 07:40 PM
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Hang on as long as possible. The newest bike at my house is 13 years old
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Old 05-01-19, 07:46 PM
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A bike is for a lifetime, not just for Christmas.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:00 PM
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I've kept my current bikes 5 years, 8 years, 9 years*, 12 years and 40 years. No plans to part with any of them until advancing age dictates.

* this is the 5th frame for a bike in continuous operation since 1976

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Old 05-01-19, 09:44 PM
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My current bike is an '84 Peugeot PH10 that I bought new in '85. It's my one and only velo. No plans to replace it any time soon. It ain't broke so no need to fix or replace it. And yes, it still has the Helicomatic rear end and works as good as new.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:45 PM
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Maybe. Not really.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:31 PM
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Have a lust to own the latest bike? then you chosen a frequent turn over..
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Old 05-01-19, 10:48 PM
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I don't buy bikes with any expectation of a limited life span.

On the other hand I'm happy to buy bikes from other people who got a limited life span out of a perfectly good bike.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:50 PM
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Bikes are a prime example of durable goods. There's little reason to replace a good quality bicycle every few years unless you're damaging the frame. All the components can be repaired or replaced piecemeal if any of them break or wear out.

Bicycle tech progresses slowly enough that a new one every decade or so is plenty sufficient, at least to me. A top of the line race bike from 2009 would absolutely be competitive against a top of the line race bike from today, given equal riders.
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Old 05-01-19, 11:06 PM
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I buy with the plan of keeping a bike forever. I sold a couple that did not ride well. I have every kind of bike I want. There is a specific reason for each
bike.
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Old 05-01-19, 11:26 PM
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Why would you sell a bike, just because you want a new one? New isn't always better, just different.

I've had this bike since new in 1964.

I've had this bike since new in 2013.
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