Bike Maintenance for the Nth Time

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So because there are so few threads on this topic ;-) I took my new-bought 15 year-old Raleigh hybrid mountain / city bike and my wife's slightly older Raleigh ladies' bike to a certain "inner city" bike store in Frankfurt. They asked me about 350 Euro to fix up and maintain both (OK, so they did want to replace quite a few bits and bobs on both including chains and gears).

 

That's about as much as the two bikes together cost in the first place. So I asked "what can I get new from you for that price?"... the answer was "nothing"...

 

Is there maybe a gap in the market here? These Raleighs last almost forever (I've been riding mine, apparently into the ground by German standards, but experiencing no real issues). I don't want a cheap cookie-cutter mountain bike or a NASA engineered racer. Is this middle ground just unknown in Germany?

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Go to B.O.C. or MegaBike where you can pick up a middle-of-the-road set of wheels if you're looking for something new.  With bikes, though, you really do get what you pay for.  Better components are made with better materials, they are more durable and therefore last longer, should not need to be repaired that often unless you're commuting every day in all types of weather.  Replacing the chains and gears is also expensive because of the labour involved, but if your bike is basically sound it is a lot cheaper than a new bike and once you're back on the road it sure will feel like one!  

A new bike for 350 euro is too cheap unless you really don't have the money to spend on anything better.

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1 hour ago, silty1 said:

Go to B.O.C. or MegaBike where you can pick up a middle-of-the-road set of wheels if you're looking for something new.  With bikes, though, you really do get what you pay for.  Better components are made with better materials, they are more durable and therefore last longer, should not need to be repaired that often unless you're commuting every day in all types of weather.  Replacing the chains and gears is also expensive because of the labour involved, but if your bike is basically sound it is a lot cheaper than a new bike and once you're back on the road it sure will feel like one!  

A new bike for 350 euro is too cheap unless you really don't have the money to spend on anything better.

 

Your Mileage May Vary but I still have my 200 odd quid Rayleigh and it used to quite literal take me up and down hills in rain and snow, commuting in London through goodness knows what, and it's even been mouldering in the Frankfurt rain and still quite chipper on its old old tires! :-)

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Maybe that Rayleigh cost 200 quid back in the day but metal prices have gone way up and labour too, so there's going to be a bit of sticker shock on a new one. 

 

Auctions I've been to here in Hamburg.  Mostly unrideable junk imho.

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8 hours ago, silty1 said:

Auctions I've been to here in Hamburg.  Mostly unrideable junk imho.

Either you have very high standards or very bad luck.  I went to one in Rosenheim, which is much smaller than Hamburg, and they had 100s of bikes.  I bought a classic Trek Mountain bike for 30€ which more than met my needs.  Needed only tires pumped and brake pads.  Many other bikes that looked much newer and better than mine that I passed on (too small for me).  Even one E-bike.  

 

Here is an example of bikes for sale at Fundbüros across the country: https://www.sonderauktionen.net/kategorie.php?cat=475&vID=0  

Unfortunately, not all Fundbüros are online, however.  

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I and the kids have had good luck with Cube and Scott MTBs for years. I scouted eBay Kleinanzeigen for a couple of weeks every time I have to buy one and always found very decent ones from 120-200 EUR. We live in Berlin, so it is not a good idea to have an expensive bike as a daily commuter. We have taken them on the trails many many times and they have been decent. Of course they are not meant for professionals, but for us they are more than enough. And much better than el-cheapo bikes from the Baumarkt.

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Not much you can't fix on an old bike yourself really, arsed putting my street jalopies into a shop when you have youtube and a bit of time.  On the other hand there is a place in Sachsenhausen that are good value and reliable www.kettenesel.de

 

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Bikes are great for learning how to fix stuff yourself. It's all easy to get to, parts are cheap, and there are thousands of videos on how to do it. You may need a few specialty tools but those are cheap too. Or just pick up some newer used bikes. I just got a mint condition mountain bike that was half the cost of anything comparable in the shops.

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