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How many miles is a High End Road Bike good for ?(25 posts)

How many miles is a High End Road Bike good for ?Maartin
Jul 2, 2002 5:38 AM
I have a 98 Trek 5200 OCLV with Ultegra and am very happy. It has I estimate about 11,000 + tough miles. I am heavy at 220 and travel lousy roads on my commute. What should I expect for life. I start looking at the wheels and components and they are looking old and somewhat beat. I have replaced alot of components (chain, sprockets, brake levers etc )already which have broken or worn out. When do most people buy a new bike ?
most people buy a new bike well before the old one wears outColnagoFE
Jul 2, 2002 5:44 AM
I personally have only had to replace a bike from "breakage" once...and that was the bike I had when I was a teenager. The rest are all in relatively decent condition and still on the road.
re: How many miles is a High End Road Bike good for ?netso
Jul 2, 2002 6:15 AM
I have a CIOCC Mockba I bought new in 1984, still have it, rode almost every day. It has almost 25k miles.
Sounds like you just need an overhaul...biknben
Jul 2, 2002 6:22 AM
Road bikes are surprisingly durable. Keep the drivetrain tuned and wheels true and you're good to go. Things like chain, cassette, tires, and brake pads are wear items which will need to be replaced. Other than that, if the bike is maintained it will be around for a long time.

I sold a mid 80's steel road bike last year. After 15 years of service, I decided it was time to modernize. It was working flawlessly and I sold it for over $500.

If your stuff is "Looking old and somewhat beat" I'd recommend a thorough overhaul. Strip it down, shine it up, and put it back together. It will look and feel like a new bike.
Don't you think that frame material suffers ...Pecos
Jul 2, 2002 6:47 AM
degradation from the vibrations and stresses it is subjected to?
Jul 2, 2002 7:21 AM
My old bike was steel. I neer applied any rustproofing to the inside of the tubes. I used touch-up paint on scratches. I'm sure that it was rusting on the inside but never had any worries.

An Aluminum bike may be slightly less forgiving over years of use. That being said, the enginners are designing these bikes accordingly. Unless you do something stupid you shouldn't have trouble. I.E. 250# guy jumping curbs on a scandium superlight. In that case, it's not the bikes fault something failed.
I am not neccessarily talking about failure as much as ..Pecos
Jul 2, 2002 8:44 AM
I am about ride characteristics. The ride characteristics that you originally purchased the frame for to begin with. The bending and stressing of the frame components has to take it's toll. So if you originally bought that AL frame because of its snap, or the steeel frame because of the plush the responsive ride it would give, and now, 10,000 miles down the road find that the snap is gone, hasn't the frame surpassed it's useful life? Maybe it's fine as a beater or commuter, but not as the machine you intended it to be.
Urban Legendgrzy
Jul 2, 2002 9:41 AM
You don't have much of an understanding of materials. What you're talking about is cycles and fatigue limits. If your frame is designed and used correctly it will go pretty much indefinitely - millions of cycles at the least. If the frame is marginal for the rider and it's use then it will fatigue and fail. This is more of a catastrauphic thing and not some gradual deterioration over time. Basicly if you don't yield the material and take it to it's limit then you will not have any problems. If you do exceed the limits then your problems will be pretty noticable.

In reality most people look for excuses, any excuse to buy the next hot bike.
No pun intended???biknben
Jul 2, 2002 11:12 AM
If it had "snap" when you bought it, it will continue to have "snap" until you SNAP it in half.
I am not neccessarily talking about failure as much as ..bic
Jul 2, 2002 7:10 PM
duh it's not al or steel read the post. then say something
Most people buy a new bikeMel Erickson
Jul 2, 2002 6:31 AM
when the bug bites them. But most people don't put on 11,000 miles in four years. That's on the upper end of mileage but who knows how many miles an OCLV can give? With that kind of mileage I would expect all moving parts to have been replaced by this time so what you have left is the frame, fork, stem, bars, seatpost and seat. If you like them, and don't have the bug, ride 'em 'til they give signs of breaking. Bar and stem breaks could be bad. They tend to be sudden and the results can be serious. An OCLV is not likely to fail suddenly. I would check the frame and original components frequently after 11,000 miles just for peace of mind.
Christian VandeVelde of USPS fame..wonderdog
Jul 2, 2002 6:51 AM
Put 21,000 miles on his bike in 2000. However, I don't know if he had problems with his frame. Inspect for cracks regularly. Good advice.
...and still didn't make the Tours final cutmtnpat
Jul 2, 2002 8:06 AM
oh my!
hey, when old Russian dudes come outta retirement.....wonderdog
Jul 2, 2002 9:43 AM
somebody's gotta move over. eki's a good rider, but personally, i think Christian got hosed.
...and still didn't make the Tours final cutbic
Jul 2, 2002 7:09 PM
Still dropped your fat ass!!!
Speaking of bar and stem breaks ...scottfree
Jul 2, 2002 6:55 AM
I notice Zinn solemnly advises replacing them every four years or so. I think that's the only place I've ever heard that advice. Seems a little overcautious to me. Does anyone really follow that regimen?
Most people buy a new bikeGregJ
Jul 2, 2002 7:22 AM
Very few moving parts will be done after only 11k miles on an upper end bike. That is not that high of mileage. Probably the cassette, mabybe 2 chains and the chainrings are the only parts that for sure will be worn out by now. You are correct about the bug bite thing though.
A steel road bikescottfree
Jul 2, 2002 6:36 AM
will in all probability be good for your lifetime, absent unrepairable crash damage. The only limiter I can imagine would be availability of parts. Same's probably true for ti.

I'm enough of a skeptic that I wouldn't say the same for AL or carbon, although my guess is 11,000 miles, even tough ones, aren't even remotely at the outer limits of useful frame life. Just keep up with your beat components, like we all do. Unless you just want to buy a new bike, and are looking for a spouse-convincing excuse!
Have 35K on my 96 OCLV...jvr-oclv
Jul 2, 2002 7:36 AM
I just took my 1996 OCLV 5500 in for repair/replacement. It had a small crack in the bottom braket area. I weight on the Avg. over the past 6 years 210 lbs. The bike has 35,000 mile on it. I will be happy If they repair the bike I am sure it will be good for another 35K+ I hope.
20,000-30,000 miles (nm)LC
Jul 2, 2002 7:37 AM
Based on what? (nm)grzy
Jul 2, 2002 9:42 AM
When do most people buy a new bike ?unchained
Jul 2, 2002 7:54 AM
Answer to that question would be to buy one when a good opportunity presents itself. It is always nice to have a spare. Get it on sale, used, or a closeout. Just be patient. If you wait until you absolutely need a new bike you may be stuck paying retail.

If you want something that will really last and is reas. in price, buy steel or used Ti.
re: How many miles is a High End Road Bike good for ?namir
Jul 2, 2002 8:07 AM
Why would you replace the frame/fork if those are working well? Perhaps swap out the fork if you'd like something stiffer/different, but don't get an entirely new bike. Even if you got a brand-new component group from abici (465 for ultegra double) and got new wheels/fork/bar&stem/seatpost etc, you'd still be coming in a LOT cheaper than buying a new Trek 5200 at retail (if that was your plan or if you wanted something different).

However, if you're just itching for a new bike, go for it. Have two.
Don't assume that because some componentry looks worn that the frameset is worn as well. The frame on a '98 OCLV should have lots of life left in it. Buy yourself a new Ultegra group and some new wheels and see how you feel after that.
If you bought the OCLV new, a lifetime...tarwheel
Jul 2, 2002 10:31 AM
That's how I interpret Trek's lifetime warranty. My brother has a Lemond carbon fiber, which has the same frame as your bike. He has put about 14,000 miles on the bike in 4 years. During that time, he has had to send the bike back to the Trek factory twice for warranty repairs. In both cases, Trek fixed the frame at no cost other than shipping (and paying the local bike shop for removing and reinstalling parts). The last time they repaired the frame (bottom bracket problem), Trek repainted the entire frame with new decals and clearcoat at no cost. That's probably the biggest advantage to buying a new bike, particular brands like Trek with good warranties.
If you bought the OCLV new, a lifetime...bic
Jul 2, 2002 7:15 PM
Gee you mean TREK does honor its word. Based on "opinions" they just make and drop junk on us all!