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Is this much bad luck normal?

SaitamaSaitama Posts: 4
edited September 2016 in Commuting chat
Hi all. For my first post joining this forum, I thought I'd write about something which is bugged me for quite a few years. How many bad things should a person experience, buying a bike.

In the last 8 years, the following have happened:

2008: bought x2 trek mountain bikes. Chained them outside my unit on level 23, figured- who would come all the way up to steal? 3 months later I arrived home at 6pm, bikes still there, went out at 10pm and they were gone.

2009: decided to buy second hand, found a bike at $180. started cycling home. after 25 min, the right crank became wobbly, 3 min later it came off.Over next 2 weeks, I kept trying to tighten it, but always came loose. Hexagonal female part was deformed. Removed accessories and left the bike next to a rubbish bin.

2009: decided to go to supermarket , saw a good looking bike for just $75 with tyres which had good tread. Loved riding it for 3 weeks. Then the familiar crank arm wobble happened again, before coming off. Warranty guy simply tried to retighten , did not replace part or bike. Again remove accessories and left bike next to rubbish bin.

2009: Decided to up my budget and assume price meant quality. Found a very attractive white Raleigh Misceo 1.0 for $680. FInally got a bike which didn't die after a few weeks. Got lots of compliments from strangers whenever I stopped at traffic lights. A year later got a flat and had to chain it 10km from home with U lock. It was 11pm, and I was flying overseas at 8am next morning. Returned week later to find bike was gone.

2010: After feeling restless from no cycling, went out to buy same Raleigh another $680. Lots of clicking noise, derailleur rubbing despite LBS adjustments.

2010-2015: weekly cycling to shops, and 10-20km cycling.

2015 (late): got the idea to buy a foldie so can take to work in back of taxi but cycle home. Bought attractive used FSIR Spin 5 $600. Took on train back home folded. 20 min into first ride the rear derailleur suddenly completely folded up 180 degrees. Was only riding on pavement.

2015 (late) : liked the bike so bought brand new Spin 5 $800. So light, rides fast. After 1.5 months it no longer folded. Took back to shop, who agreed to give me a new frame. 1.5 months later, did not fold. IMO I was over the weight limit (bike limit 105kg, I was 102kg but with accessories and water bladder was 105-107kg, so slight deformation. Sold bike to a nice lady half my weight, understanding could not fold. Otherwise really nifty to ride. Back to the Raleigh

2016 (june): Raleigh died. Rear brake shifter stuck in one position, gear shifter for rear derailleur no longer moved. x3 LBS suggested simply buying new bike as 3x8 not made anymore.

2016 (July) : Bought Merida $960 : kept 2 weeks- chose wrong size- too small. Sold for $840

2016 (July): bought used Scott Sportster 20 $600. 3 weeks later I intended to do 100km ride. At beginning front whel gave sharp "kick" to the right- wheel rotated 98% all way around straight, then kicked to right and back very slghtly but consistently. Then at 50km rear wheel started getting wobbly. During 20km ride home found x6 spokes loose, used fingers to tighten every 5 min. Took to skillful LBS who fixed everything.

2016 (Sept): Bought new GT Transeo $950. After 3 min ride out from shop- feels slow- can see some rubbing on brakes, back to shop, fiddles with it, ride out, still strong resistance, shop fiddles for few min, feels bit better, ride- chain jumps gears, still doesn't roll freely. Go to the good LBS again, fix brake alignment, new tube too. Bike shop selling did poor job.

Now- I'm not some bike fanatic who knows every part of a bike and can manufacture their own parts. I only learnt how to remove a rear wheel this year. But- my expectations have been- you buy a bike , and it should just work and give no problem. Instead, I've had x3 bikes stolen, had x3 bikes break apart on me , and only x1 has lasted the distance.

I'm a normal guy with normal novice knowledge (until the last 6 months). Should everyone in the world expect so much hassle and to spend so much money to find a bike that you feel comfortable with and simply works? OR am I being naive?


  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    You got a flat tyre and chained your nice bike up somewhere for a week and were surprised it was gone?
  • To me it seems;

    * You bought incredibly cheap second hand bikes that broke
    * You bought folding bikes that you were at or over the weight limit for and they broke
    * You bought bikes from a shop that weren't set up correctly - then they broke
    * Then chained up a nice bike for a week and it ended up stolen
    Road - '10 Giant Defy 3.5
    MTB - '05 Scott Yecora
    BMX - '04 Haro Nyquist R24 (don't judge me)
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    naïve I am afraid ... but nothing to be ashamed off, people arnt born knowing these things, you learn them.

    so far you have learnt

    (1) don't buy a cheap bike that costs less then a single decent component)
    (2) don't buy a cheaper bike when the cheap one breaks
    (3) don't ride a bike that isn't designed for what you are asking of it (ie exceeding the weight limit)
    (4) if you chain your bike up, expect that someone will see it and try to steal it
    (5) if you chain your bike up and leave it for a week, you can guarantee it will be gone
    (6) you need to know how to fix a flat
    (7) learn to use google ... you can still get 3x8 chainsets ... and even if you couldn't something else will fit
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Doesn't seem like that much bad luck over the timeframe involved. In terms of your bike being nicked, your make your own luck, doesn't seem like you've done very well on that front.

    Bikes are not like cars - you can't ignore them all year then drop them in for a yearly service. You could make a bike that'd last for many thousands of miles without issue, but it'd weigh enough that no-one would want to ride it. If you want to ride regularly, you need to either learn some basic bike maintenance (a cheap toolkit and youtube are indispensable when getting started) or be prepared to spend some money with a trusted local bike shop.

    Cheap supermarket bikes, as you've discovered, tend to be referred to round here as 'Bike Shaped Objects' - they're designed for someone to buy on a whim, ride a couple of times then leave in the shed. If you try and use them regularly they fall apart.

    A part of it is your weight - I'm a little heavier than you and have killed more bikes than you within the last 2 years. This is just reality as bikes are built with the average rider in mind - custom wheels are pretty much a necessity if you want to have many miles of trouble free riding. Lightweight frames will fail sooner or later, so make sure that you're covered by warranty and within any posted weight limits.
  • Thanks all!

    Didn't know weight was such a big issue or that bikes were such delicate things.

    I do wish I'd had known about 3x8 kits being available. As a newb I took the advice of so called experts, and turns out they are probably just gear snobs, or too lazy to discus lower end gear with me.

    Hope my current bike survives !
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