How long do you expect a bike to last?

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  • How long do you expect a bike to last?
  • Boba Fatt
    Member

    My current, only, mountain bike is 12 years old. I am way past an upgrade.

    The next bike Is most likely going to be full suspension, but not too far up the scale of expense, more towards the Enduro end of things. But I don’t want to purchase something that I’ll be looking to upgrade in a years time.

    So how long is reasonable, or is it just a case of “you’ll know when you know”

    Trimix
    Member

    Way too many variables, but by going on the only fact in your post, probably 12 years.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Many parts on my Sanderson are from my 2008 Orange ST4. It is all good – just keep replacing drivetrain as it wears, just had new brakes.

    EDIT: as above, depends on mileage, use, rider (ab)use, soils etc…

    iz confused.

    How long do you expect a bike to last?

    is not the same as

    But I don’t want to purchase something that I’ll be looking to upgrade in a years time.

    do you mean before it breaks/ wears out? Or do you mean until it’s level of performance is no longer good enough, or you just get bored of it?

    My full susser is 2nd hand and 11 years old, my singlespeed is 13 years old, and my cross bike is 2nd hand and at least 10 years old.

    When I want a new bike, I won’t be justifying it based on the age of the bike, it’ll be when I decide I want a new bike, (or they fall into such disrepair that the new parts makes me wince πŸ™‚ )

    wordnumb
    Member

    Hopefully you’ll know shortly before you need to know, if you know what I mean. No?

    Which part are we calling a ‘bike’. In its original entirety, not very long at all before something wears out. If we mean the frame, then many many years.

    I have an on one scandal frame that is about 10 years old and has been about 3 different bikes over the years. My commuter will probably be binned after 2 years due to abuse and neglect.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    I deliberately bought my current bike with a view to minimising future purchases – at least in the mtb department.

    Consequently, it has no suspension, can accommodate both 27.5+ and 29″ wheels, and is made of steel.

    On that basis, and the fact that it fits well and I love it, means it should last for many years to come. How many? As many as a piece of string is long.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I rode my old Hemlock til the frame crumbled, every bit of it cracked or broke πŸ˜† That was about 5 years now I think of it and some of it was savage- did a year of the fort william endurance dh, that race kills stuff, also a couple of years of scottish enduro series, a shitload of uplifts, weeks in the alps,and endless manky winter tweed valley rides… And most of that time I was still figuring it out so it’s not like I was smooth, it got ridden into so many trees πŸ˜†

    So I mean, 5 years isn’t a long time for some bikes but it was a long time for that poor bastard. My Carrera Krakatoa is 26 years old but it’s spent most of that being a commuter or parked, easy life.

    Premier Icon BlobOnAStick
    Subscriber

    The rear wheel on my hard tail is 20 years old this year, the frame is about 10 years old, handlebars/stem combo 13 years, the cranks came of a Trek Y5….. can’t remember when I got it, 1997? Still rides well.

    Don’t know what sort of answer that is, but aside from bearing replacements none of the above has worn out……

    fifeandy
    Member

    Really depends on the bike, how often it gets ridden, and what the repair costs are like compared to buying new.

    If I spend a lot (lets say >Β£1k for the sake of argument) on a bike, i’m going to expect it to last at least 5yrs regular use.

    On the other hand, I bought a Charge Cooker SS for winter, and at ~Β£400, if it lasts 2 years i’ll be quite satisfied with the investment. It’ll not be worth spending much on servicing/replacement parts, just run till it dies and buy a new one.

    emanuel
    Member

    Use?
    I just get new ones and keep riding them all.
    singlespeed them if there’s overlap.
    last?
    Until the frame breaks, ymmv.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I still have as much fun on my mk1 Cotic Soul as when it was new.

    Premier Icon flashinthepan
    Subscriber

    People change bikes for all sorts of reasons. Fashion, riding style change, just fancy something new.

    How long a bike should last depends on its use versus design purpose. A downhill bike ridden hard on downhill trails won’t last forever. An XC bike ridden on XC trails will last a long time if properly maintained.

    I have a 10 year old Anthem. By today’s standards it’s an antique – 80mm travel, ridiculously steep head angle, 26″ wheels. I loved it when I bought it and it suited my riding (then) perfectly. I rarely ride it now as my riding has changed. But for riding fast non technical trails (say the Ridgeway) it’s still a very, very, capable bike.

    LeeW
    Member

    The amount I’m riding at the moment, about three life times πŸ™

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I have been changing bikes every couple of years. The bikes are functional at that point, but I’ve tended to fancy a change. I’m sure they would last a lot longer, although 12 years is quite a while. πŸ™‚

    milky1980
    Member

    Been pondering this with regards to my 5. It’s 6 years old, has had an absolute hammering the whole of that time and has been completely rebuilt once in that time. The only original bits are the frame/swingarm, the rear Maxle and the top half of the rear shock! (new air can and shaft 18 months ago) It got treated to a full change of powdercoat colour, new wheels, new fork, new dropper, new brakes and new drivetrain 2 years ago which made it a lot better suited to what I use it for now compared to what I bought it for. Started as a trail centre blaster with Fox 32’s and 3×10 drivetrain, now has a 150mm Pike and 11 speed XT, is used for uplift days and has been Alpine riding 4 years running. I’m genuinely waiting for it to crack at some point πŸ˜€
    It could do with a new set of brakes and rear shock to get it 100% again which would be a good chunk of cash towards a new bike with bigger wheels and slacker angles but every time I take it out it is just so much fun to ride!

    Knowing my luck if I do give it another refresh it’ll crack next ride out, if I replace it I’ll still be riding it occasionally in 20 years πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    I’ve only owned 1 bike in my life for more than a year, so it’s rarely a question of how long they’ll last, more a question of how soon i’ll sell them πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    Just retired my 5 after 7 years of all round abuse and use looking at the scars on the frame…. replaced with something more modern and using the drivetrain and wheels off the 5 which weren’t the originals…
    even though it’s retired and snoozing in the loft I have a plan to put back to standard and use it for some light stuff again one day… orange 5’s never die…

    faustus
    Member

    If you’re happy then keep riding it. If you buy something else at some point then it won’t need upgrading in a year unless you feel like it – upgrades are nearly always a consumer choice and not a material necessity, surely? If you’ve had a bike for 12 years then you just need to make sure your mindset doesn’t change if/when you get a new bike πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    milky1980 – Member

    Knowing my luck if I do give it another refresh it’ll crack next ride out

    I did a total nuts-and-bolts rebuild on my hemlock, got the frame stripped and anodised, new custom stickers, carbon wheels, new forks, new dropper, pretty much all in… 3 rides later the seatstay broke. Fixed that, 2 rides later I binned it and dented the top tube.

    epicsteve
    Member

    My no.1 mountain bike is a 2003 Epic. It’s had quite a few upgrades and changes over the years but I still like it so not really likely to change it soon – especially given most new bikes seem to be fitted with those clown wheels.

    Quite a few of my bikes are from the 2000-2005 era in fact.

    Premier Icon roach
    Subscriber

    Loving reading this! What a good thread to read when you’re trying not to hanker after n+1.

    A minimum of 8,978,456 minutes although anything over 10,000,000 minutes seems like good value.

    Pawsy_Bear
    Member

    Depends how much use it gets? Typically five to six years 100 mile a week average. Mostly because technology imoves on, tubeless, dropper and 1 X 11 are just great additions to your ride. Why wouldn’t you want these? Depends on what how you ride ofc. Carbon is a thing to

    Van Halen
    Member

    my HT is 7 years old and (as i think its cracked) just about to be retired for the second time (unless the new frame is crap as well and then it’ll be resurrected for the third time)

    its been through hell and back but i cant seem break it terminally. to be fair its tried to break me a few times also.

    So we are calling the final score a 2-2 draw and a nod of mutual respect.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Depends, I expect something to break on the first ride usually, even if it’s just a puncture!

    I had a think about it the other day after selling a bike, I reckon I average keeping most of them for ~3 years. But then I have a few bikes that are ~10 years that would likely never be sold just because they’ve been tweeked to suit my likes/needs and are probably now worthless.

    So 3x off road bikes, replaced one each year?

    But the frame’s are usually sold for a reasonable amount and I often buy s/h, so my singlespeed is still mostly the same singlespeed I had 8 years ago, it’s just on it’s 3rd frame and 2nd wheels.

    avdave2
    Member

    Till my tea’s ready and mum calls me in.

    thecaptain
    Member

    Pretty much forever, my oldest MTB (tandem) is about 17 though to be fair it did need a new rear triangle a few years ago and that could have been fatal (for it, I mean). The road tandem is well over 20 and there are one or two issues that could kill it at some point, but they haven’t yet…

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    When you can’t get bits for it anymore. 2010 heckler 11/8 26″ so no decent forks anymore.
    Got an aeris thinking I’d be ok for ages and the next year they brought out boost…

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    I have just been advised my Trousercycle is 30yrs old, from 1987.

    The HebTroCo Trousercycle

    Well. The frame, fork and stem. Hmm.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    I bought a Canyon Nerve XC (7.0) in 2012. Don’t think it was long past a 18 months that I began worrying it was starting to fall to bits wear. Still riding it now however… after two sets of bearing replacements, rear triangle replacement, handlebars/stem, added dropper, new wheels, several bb, headsets, chans, etc.

    HT is similiar but the only original component on that is the seatpost and seatpost clamp. Deore hydro brakes on it came from the Gary Fisher frame it replaced under warrantee (thanks Trek) so are probably over ten years old by now.

    So I my expectations on how long a bike should last have gone down.

    My 2001 Zaskar is still purring.

    My old man is riding my old steel tru temper AVR frame from ’95 mtb which is like buttery smooth.

    Not sure I would spend loads on bikes again if they fell apart quickly.

    Waderider
    Member

    I have a steel mtb that is 26 years old.

    I had an aluminium mtb that died at 15 years old.

    grannyjone
    Member

    My bike is a full suspension 29er and I only bought it in May 2015 and it’s an absolute wreck now and an endless pit of money to keep it going

    My Rocklobster is a 2001 bike I think. Frame, Hope Hubs, Hope Mini Brakes are still going strong. Actually the original Marzocchi Z2’s are still functional too they are on an even older Kona….thats **** though cant get the knackered bottom bracket out.

    mlke
    Member

    A bit of a side question – what’s the oldest carbon bike/component you folks are using?
    My 2004 hardtail cracked in a “gentle ” crash last year and I was wondering if the question about fatigue qualities of well built carbon bike kit has ever been answered. I remember doom mongers saying all such bikes would fall apart within 2 years when carbon went mainstream

    I just sold a 20 yr old steel M-Trax with no rust whatsoever, and see no reason if looked after why it won’t be around in another twenty yrs. It might not have blingy retro 3×8 XT groupset by then, probably a generic retro-fit. Unless 3×8 is back in fashion.

    As for road-bikes: the older they are – the longer they seem to last πŸ˜€

    grannyjone
    Member

    It last as long as either the Frame gets broke or it’s so old that the parts cannot be bought anymore

    Either that or it falls into a state of repair that would be so expensive that it costs about the same to buy something new ? e.g. A bike a bit like mine was a few months ago: broken forks, rear shock well overdue a service, worn out pivot bearings, bottom bracket worn out, brakes failed, drive train completely knackered, crank arms broken, both wheels knackered & require rebuilding – All these problems within the space of a couple of months! Would have just bought something new if I knew.

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