Author Topic: Should I buy a new bike?  (Read 5977 times)

bluecollarmusician

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
Should I buy a new bike?
« on: December 21, 2012, 09:13:00 AM »
Hello all... Wonderful to find a group of like minded folks online. 

I am curious for varying opinions on whether I should invest in a new bike...(translate... New to me bike.)

My current ride is a Schwinn traveler, purchased off craigslist for $60.  I ride it to work, and pretty much everywhere around town, usually only use the car if wife is with me (she doesn't bike at night or more than a couple miles from home) and when we are headed out of town. 

My mileage varies...but my work has just moved from being 1 mile away to being approx. 5 miles away, so this will mean a pretty large increase in weekly mileage. 

The Schwinn is hanging in there, but it is an older bike and could probably benefit from a serious tune up.  I have adjusted it some myself (and could probably learn more) but the dereuilers have a mind of their own and the shifters aren't working that great at the moment either...chain frequently skips, lots of little things that occasionally make me nervous traffic intersections.

I could turn it into a fixie, but with a couple of hills, I like the gears.

I have been looking at upgrading and found a trek 7.5 fx for 350 on craigslist.  It is pretty mucha perfect bike for the kind of riding I do... And trying to justify the purchase to myself.

I expect I could sell mine for 50 (and have seen them listed for upwards of 100)

So...what do you think? Can I justify an upgrade?

cyclevillian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Location: KY
    • cycleville
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 10:33:42 AM »
So net $300 for a Trek 7.5 FX that you will be using constantly? yeah, go for it. That is a sweet bike and sounds like a good deal on it.

I got by on an old road bike for a while (3mi commute) but once i bought a house that was 7mi away I decided to upgrade (bought something similar to the FX) and it has been great. Been riding it almost daily for 2+ years with almost no issues. If you like your bike you will be more likely to use it and not break down and drive. And you should have confidence in your bike, you never know when you will need to slam on the brakes or accelerate quickly

bluecollarmusician

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 10:54:26 AM »
Thanks! This is the same way I have been justifying it to myself....but then I keep thinking that I have been getting along on the Schwinn ok. 

 I agree that the 7.5 is a good bike...and I think at a net price of 300$ for a nice bike that I will use every day is a pretty fair value....but not sure if I really need it or just trying to convince myself that I do :)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13759
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 11:50:58 AM »
I'd get the new bike, and set it up to be a fast commuter, but keep the old one . . . learn to fix it up over a few months without any kind of rush or deadline.  It might serve as a good grocery hauler and rain/slush bike.  If it turns out you aren't getting any use from it a year or so after you've fixed it up, THEN sell it.

jp

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 12:38:25 PM »
permission granted.

jnik

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 01:51:13 PM »
I think the Traveler may be a better bike to start with....

The question is, are you getting a new-to-you bike because this one doesn't suit you or is completely shot, or are you getting it because you're avoiding learning how to keep it in tune? It really sounds like the latter, and I've got bad news for you: that Trek is going to need work eventually, too.

So I'm going to say to take that $300 and spend it on some tools, new chain and probably freewheel for the Schwinn. Then if you still want a different bike in six months, use the Schwinn as more of a trashmo bike, as GuitarStv suggested.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 02:44:37 PM »
I'd go for the Trek purchase, and I'd also start working on learning about maintenance at the same time.  You don't mention your financial situation, so I assume you have no CC debt, have cash for the purchase, and are dedicated to biking daily.

bluecollarmusician

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 04:36:10 AM »
Thanks for the great input, friendly strangers!

I def need to learn a bit more about bike maintenance.  I have only been biking daily for 6 months or so...(after I sold my Miata, sniff...) I already have the tools, just unfamiliar with the process of tuning a bike.  This bike is probably workable... But the question is if I sink 100+ in parts on this bike, would I have been better off just upgrading to such a better bike, especially considering the mileage increase weekly.

James, you are correct we are debt free, and do have money available.... Just reaching out for third person perspective on whether I am being reasonable about this purchase or just ogling a nice new consumer toy.  One plus I forgot to mention of the Schwinn, itis much less of a target for bike thieves! 

Good food for thought.  It would be easy to justify the purchase...the Trek is beautiful!

matt_g

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 06:14:55 AM »
Total cost of Trek = Purchase Price + Maint. - Sale Price

Total cost of Schwinn = $60+Maint.-$50 = $10

So my question would be, how much could you sell the trek for?  if you think it's around $350... then it's not going to cost that much to own.  Either way, it looks like you ride your bike a lot, the cost of buying it is really negligible.  I'd go for it.

onemorebike

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 319
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2012, 07:01:35 AM »
Stop deliberating and do it. :)

jnik

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 07:37:20 AM »
I def need to learn a bit more about bike maintenance.
Start with sheldonbrown.com and parktool.com

Where, roughly, do you live? More bikey places often have bike co-ops or shared shops where you can come in and wrench with their tools and assistance for an hourly fee. It's not always cheaper than having someone do the work, but you come out with the knowledge. Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge (MA) is an example, or Eugene Bicycle Works. This list can be a starting point. Or there may be a fellow mustachian nearby...heck, we should have a thread for that.

StarswirlTheMustached

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 475
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 10:35:12 AM »
You could upgrade it you want to, but I agree: keep the Schwinn as a project bike. It'll sell for more if you get it up and running, and you'll probably be more willing to try new things on it than on your nice new ride.

The Schwinn is hanging in there, but it is an older bike and could probably benefit from a serious tune up.  I have adjusted it some myself (and could probably learn more) but the dereuilers have a mind of their own and the shifters aren't working that great at the moment either...chain frequently skips, lots of little things that occasionally make me nervous traffic intersections.
How old is this bike? These symptoms could be many things, but it sounds like you might need to replace the chain.

galaxie

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2012, 06:18:13 AM »
Fix your own bike first, before you buy a new, nicer bike that you don't know how to take care of.  Otherwise you'll be in the same place again very soon.

Check out Anybody's Bike Book for simple, practical bike fixing advice.  It's my favorite because they usually have two solutions to a bike problem: "Do this temporarily so you can ride home" and "Do this when you get home to fix it permanently."

Your problem might be that your chain is old and doesn't match the teeth on the gears anymore.  Or it could be that your derailleur cable needs adjusting.

bluecollarmusician

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
Re: Should I buy a new bike?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 08:14:10 AM »
Thanks for all the good advice.

We are in Georgia.... Warner Robins....( just read a list saying that the cost of housing is 7th lowest in the country!)

It is not a bike friendly place exactly, but quite a few people do ride.  There is a wide divide between the people on falling apart  bmx bikes and the snobs at the bike shop.  I fall squarely in the middle.  I bike by choice, not economic necessity (very thankful for that!) but not interested in an overpriced bike that is good because it is the newest hottest thing. 

The Schwinn is an 80s model with sun tour components.  I like the idea of being able to work on it without worrying about taking it on the road immediately.  The more I think about it, the bike is easily worth 60 to me as a instructional aid!  We are in England visiting family over the holidays, but when I get home I plan to check out the instructional sites on bike maintenance. Nice treks comeup all the time CL, but350 on the fx is a pretty sweet deal on a good bike.
Thanks for the encouragement on fixing my bike.  I think the chain and the rear dereuiler may be at fault.