Author Topic: Can I justify this bike expense?  (Read 4120 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Can I justify this bike expense?
« on: June 03, 2013, 03:53:04 PM »
Hello. First time poster. In fact I registered just to be able to ask this. :)

I have this road bike that I paid $1,200 for last year. I'm like the fourth owner. I rode it very often through Fall and Winter (several times a week), but two months ago I skid and fell sideways, and the rear wheel got bent.

Replacements cost around $300-400 on Craigslist. At first I was going to pull the trigger, but I decided to exercise my "Mustachian muscles" and slept on it. So here I am. :)

I usually bike long distances (20+ miles), and this Fall I will be participating in a Triathlon with a 44 mile biking portion. Therefore, getting rid of this bike and replacing it with a cheap (frugal) alternative is not an option.

So the question is, should I buy a new - used - set of wheels?


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Re: Can I justify this bike expense?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 06:22:19 PM »
Can't you just bend it back?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Can I justify this bike expense?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 06:28:16 PM »
go with the craigslist- used option!  unless you are already at the absolute limit of your physical ability, you will see greater improvements in your tri times if you focus on your body than your bike.  yeah a new set of uber light and stiff aero rims would be AWESOME!!  but a good decent pair with some new rubber will be just as good, save the extra cash and find a good deal on a top of the line pair of rims from last year, subsidized by the extra spendy doctor triathlete guy who just needs to replace his gear every year and sell the old, and then KICK HIS ASS!!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Can I justify this bike expense?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 07:27:17 PM »
If you still have a good hub, why don't you check with your local bike shop and see what it would cost for them to rebuild the wheel. I think going rate is about $50 labor plus the rim and spokes if you supply the hub.

A shimano 105 rear hub is $75 new, so if you have a good hub of that quality level or higher, you should save a fair amount with a rebuild instead of a purchase of a whole wheel including hub. Definitely don't buy a whole wheelset (including front) if all you need is to replace the rear wheel.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Can I justify this bike expense?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 07:31:11 PM »
Can't you just bend it back?

Umm, no.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Can I justify this bike expense?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 07:38:16 PM »

Not super high quality, but way better than $300.  For that price you can get a custom wheel built with some nice components.

If you do buy a less expensive wheel like I showed you can have the spoke tension double checked (because they are machine built).  Once they are at the proper tension they will last for many many years.

Problem with used stuff is you don't know how it was used.  For example, I had a great pair of wheels on my TREK (they looked great from the naked eye), but the spoke holes were getting old, cracking, and I couldn't keep the tension on the spokes up.  My point is you might see a really nice wheel, but not know what the wheel is really like (they are selling it for a reason).
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 07:40:07 PM by Rollin »


  • Stubble
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Re: Can I justify this bike expense?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 07:51:00 PM »
Can't you just bend it back?

It strikes me as unlikely that you'll be able to bend it and true it such that you won't get constant brake rubbing or worse. Depending on the severity of the problem bend it close enough that you could swap the rim for a new one (this assumes not too much damage to the spokes. Spokes are tough, but if there is obvious kinking after bending back, you should replace at least those spokes that are damaged). Rim swaps are a pretty easy task:

You'll need a rim that has the same spoke count and Effective Rim Diameter (ERD), but it doesn't have to be the same manufacturer. Basically, you tape the rims together and move the spokes over. If did the basics, you could probably take it to a shop to do the final tensioning and truing. If you want to do the whole process, I highly recommend this book (which includes instructions on making your own truing stand):

Also, you could get up and running for less than $50 by buying an inexpensive machine built wheel:

Good luck on your triathalon.


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