How long should a bike last??

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  • How long should a bike last??
  • Stevelol

    You need a ball park figure for the repair to decide this really. I’d say 5 years was an absolute minimum for the frame.

    Wasn’t “five years is a reasonable lifetime for a frame” the line that Lynskey trotted out when people tried to claim on their supposed “lifetime” warranties?

    As for your question, without knowing the issues and what they might cost, it’s hard to make that decision.


    The LBS have quoted 250 to patch it up and keep it going a bit longer. I think the frame is mostly ok, apart from the bottom bracket. My concern is whether I keep spending a hundred quid here and there which could soon add up. It was more whether I should be disappointed I’d only got five years or just accept it


    In 5 years I’d have replaced every component at least once. Mountain mayhem alone trashed virtually every part on my bike last year.

    I think your problem is going to a bike shop. Just fix the bits that need fixing and carry on.

    Edit: £250 is just consumables! I spend more than that every year.


    If the frames getting a bit tatty, how’s about getting it powdercoated? Then treat it to a new groupset and it’d be good for a few more years.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    5 years is not bad considering it’s not been properly serviced (I don’t mean to be rude by that, but if it had been looked after then maybe it’d still need this much work, but you’d have seen it coming). But it should still be worth more than £250… And it’s not like it’s chronically outdated.

    I would fix it and carry on.


    Frames are good for life.. Until they break! Not trolling but in reply to your ‘as long as a piece of string’ i’d switch my bike if a. It broke or b. It was stopping me enjoying my rides (i.e. Doing xc on a dh bike or vice versa). Conversley I ownly own 1mtb and it does everything, when it breaks I will replace the frame and move the parts over 🙂

    If i’ve missed the point and your wondering whether to ‘repair or replace’ is it fun to ride? If so keep. Do you have cash to spare? If so go try some other bikes n see if they’re any fun


    Is that the grey one with black rear triangle? That was my fist full suss (5.5.2s…absolute brilliant bike. Had to sell it to fix my car…was gutted.

    I’d fix it as a new frame for a similar travel one could be 4 times as much(new).

    Full susses are always going to be hammered more than hardtrails and last less time or need more spent on them with rear shock/rocker bearings/swinging arm etc.If £250 gets it sorted and rides great why spend 2k or more!!!!!!inless you fancy a new bike.


    If there’s nothing wrong with the frame, surely you’re not going to be able to buy a new full-sus for what the new parts are going to cost? I suppose the only way it could get close to that is if you need wheels and a fork too?

    EDIT: Is it not just the bike shop trying to get you to buy a complete bike?


    Every weekend doesn’t say much, I have a 2 month old Air 9 Carbon that has 1300 odd miles on it already which could be what some weekend riders do in 2-3 years

    Too many variables to give an answer, but really it will normally be replaced due to the owner wanting something new or through accident damage, other than the obvious consumable parts bikes will last a life time


    Thanks for all the replies chaps. Yes it is the black/grey 5.5.2, and I absolutely love it. I only have one bike and it’s pretty good for everything – although perhaps a little overbiked on some of the Dales routes. I would love to keep it going, so I think I shall ask them to patch it up, and replace some of the components. Like you say it’s still going to be a lot cheaper than a similar new bike. I suspect it’s not been serviced as it should, I’m not the greatest mechanic ski should have taken it to the shop a bit more.


    I know this is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question but I could do with a little advice since I’m thinking it’s time to part with my first bike (it’s emotional!). It’s a 2008 Commencal Meta 5.5, now over five years old. It’s been ridden pretty much every weekend, and has racked up the miles (and the descents!). In that time it’s been regularly serviced and had a few components replaced. I took it to my lovely LBS today as I’d broken the front mech in a fall. To cut a long story short the bike is f@&ked. Lots of bits need replacing and there is a major problem with the bottom bracket. To the extent that the options included getting a new frame! I need to decide whether to spend a bit fixing it to get me through this year or cut my losses and get a new bike.
    Is five years a good innings for a bike??
    Part of the decision of how much I can afford on a new bike will depend on how long I can expect to get from it.



    How much maintenance has it had? £50/annum retrospectively is not a lot. Not even a chain and cassette per year. Get it fixed. Enjoy. Service. Repeat…


    My cannondale f800 with lefty was 8 years young when I parted with it.

    In that time it had only ever had new rings, chain and cassette,(XT) plus a DIY fork services, pads and cables.

    The drive chain was ready for changing at point of sale but if that was changed it would of done a few more years at least.

    My suggestion… Skip the bike shop and get your hands dirty, buy some tools and do it yourself. You will save a bit and hopefully enjoy it.

    Premier Icon Shackleton

    Have you asked what the problems are? Last time a friend of mine took their bike (2008ish commencal super 4) to a bike shop they were told XYZ need replacing, pivot bearings scrap, shock bushings worn, etc. Quoted over £200 and “it might just make it to the end of the year”.

    It took me about 1 hour and £50 to find the bearings and parts needed, 3 hours to fit it all, service the forks and fettle bits and bobs. Bike was still going strong last weekend 2 years after my repairs.

    Just ‘cos the LBS say it is so doesn’t mean it’s true.


    Bikes aren’t really a singular item, there a bunch of parts, is the frame broken?


    My spesh enduro (main bike out of my two) has recently reached its 9th birthday. Bar the frame there is nothing original left.
    In fact I stripped it down today deep clean, polished and heli taped it and it looks bloody good.
    Sounds like you need to learn how to maintain your bike as the lbs sounds like they “may” be taking liberties with your trust.


    I don’t think the lbs are taking liberties – they are always very clear about what does and doesn’t need doing, and their prices seem pretty fair locally. Of course they’re going to try and sell me a new bike, it’s their job!!!

    I’d love to get better at bike maintainence but I’m rubbish at practical stuff, don’t have the tools and family life means time is limited. If I have a couple of hours I’d rather be riding than stripping the bike. But I will try to learn some more basic servicing – things like gears and forks scare the life out of me incase I make things worse. Any suggestions of books or DVDs to get me started?

    Premier Icon Simon

    I think your problem is going to a bike shop. Just fix the bits that need fixing and carry on.

    ^ This, learn how your bike bike works and how to fix it when things go wrong or just buy a new bike.
    Edit, posted my post at the same time as your last post.
    Park tools website is good and there’s plenty of “how to” videos on YouTube.
    If you get really stuck STW is full of great advice!


    Hardtails I’d keep longer than 5 years. Full sus, especially something with as many bearings as a Meta. I don’t think 5 years is too bad.

    You could probably swap the frame out for relatively cheap on the flip side, generally lots about. Generally just treat the frame like a big component here, if anything it’s a good one to swap, few hundred quid and you get a totally different bike.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    In my book, until you get bored or something better comes along.


    Don’t let the bike fall into disrepair in the first place….

    My main bike frame is 12 years old, the brakes 9, hubs 8, headset 5, etc….. but it works perfectly smoothly.

    It’s been raced (Enduros, MacAvalanche ’12, DH races) and ridden for miles…

    I don’t want to change it…

    My newest bike is 5 years old, my oldest is 22. All the bikes are subject to running repairs but the old one has had two from the ground up rebuilds in it’s life. At 5 years we’re just getting to know one another.


    I’ve a nine year old Specialized Enduro frame hanging on my living room wall, the only reason it was retired was because I bought a Camber frame through cycle to work!

    Oh, and Spesh have run out of frame spares for it.

    b r

    My bike is more like Triggers Broom, about the only thing that is still on it from when it was built 5 years ago is the front mech.

    And just in the last 6 months I’ve broken 2 pedals, crankset, headset cup, seatpost and worn out 3 chains, cassette, middle ring, rear tyre and loads of brake pads plus killed a fork.

    Premier Icon somafunk

    My Marin Indian Fire Trail from 1994 is still getting hammered, albeit not on the trails but set up as a lightweight rigid singlespeed roadbike – i retired it from mtb duties in 2004 as it had 10yrs and 60,000miles+ of off-road use and to be honest i didn’t really trust the frame due to aluminium fatigue, it’s still doing sterling service to this day as my knockabout 15lbs ss roadie.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Your frame is probably sound, everything else is a consumable.

    What you may have got to is the point where economically there are better deals to be had with a complete new bike than replacing everything.


    What’s the actual problem with the BB where changing the frame is one of the repair options? BBs should be cheap and easy to replace. Are they saying the BB shell needs rethreading?

    Lots of bits need replacing and there is a major problem with the bottom bracket.

    Bottom brackets are never a major problem…just put a new one in! Do a little research so you know what to expect in the way of charges…get them to itemise what needs doing before they start so you keep track of the costs.

    If the list starts getting a bit silly you can get a complete Deore groupset for under £300 which includes complete drivetrain, mechs & shifters, brakes and discs. The other big costs can think of would be if it needs a new bearing kit for the suspension, and shock servicing.

    Premier Icon tomd

    £250 sounds pretty good to keep it going, and it sounds like you enjoy riding it. I have a 1 year old full sus which so far has needed:

    – Shock service
    – New drivechain
    – New rear hub bearings
    – New free hub
    – Pivot bearing

    So unfortunately stuff wears out, replace it and ride on! If you get a new bike it’ll start creaking after a few months anyway.


    To me a percentage of the joy of cycling is fixing it myself. Well, actually, let me redfine that, it is knowing that it has been fixed by someone I trust.

    LBS are good if you are time short and cash rich, or mechanically timid, but you really should learn to fix it yourself. Otherwise, what are you going to do when it breaks out on the hills?

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    mikewsmith – Member
    Your frame is probably sound, everything else is a consumable.

    What you may have got to is the point where economically there are better deals to be had with a complete new bike than replacing everything.

    That sums it up.

    If you were doing it yourself then you don’t have to factor in labour costs. It’s worth learning how to do the various jobs even if you don’t end up doing them because you’ll learn to spot problems before they become a major cost.

    A full suspension bike is an assemblage of consumable parts – probably why so many bike mechanics run rigid singlespeeds 🙂

    Premier Icon senor j

    Replace the bits that need changing and it’ll ride like a dream… 😀
    I would ask the lbs what the “major problem with the bottom bracket” actually is. Are the threads fubared?
    If so, why ?…if parts have been fitted correctly & regularly serviced …..Why not ask the lbs to show you how to fit the parts that you buy off them? That’s how I learned my limited “skills” 🙂


    b r – Member
    My bike is more like Triggers Broom, about the only thing that is still on it from when it was built 5 years ago is the front mech.

    I’ve got a bike that is officially 100% Trigger’s Broom and it’s not much older than the OP’s Meta.
    I bought a Rockhopper in 2007 and I’ve since broken or upgraded literally every component on it.
    Finally, a few months ago I broke the frame. Thanks to good old Spesh warranty department, I now have a bike with NOT ONE SINGLE original part remaining. 🙂


    I’d think of a bike as broken only when the frame has broken beyond repair (and as I ride steel frames, that could be a long way down the road). Sure, stuff breaks / wears out, but that’s just stuff. 😉

    I’m still happily (and regularly) running a couple of early 90’s frames – granted none of the components are from that time, (but that’s probably also true of lots of the bits on my 22 yr old truck too, and that’s my daily drive).

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    2 years for me. But then I get bored easily/am fickle/am a sucker for marketing/like shiney things….

    Get it sold and get a new bike. I got a new bike this year and it has been a breath of fresh air and I genuinely feel that my riding ability has progressed because of it.


    Thanks for all the replies and the advice. The problem with the BB is the threads. As to why, well it’s my first bike and I knew nothing about them to start and found out about regular servicing too late…..

    The mechanic reckons he can fix it with a Hope BB instead. As to the rest it’s just servicing the fork and shocks and replacing some components. Obviously this is a lot cheaper than a new bike. What I was trying to find out was whether it was worth spending money on fancy new bits if the bike was likely to need replacing soon. Economically it seems to be a lot cheaper to buy a new bike complete than a frame and new components.

    So I’ll get the bike sorted and make a mid year resolution to learn about maintainence and servicing and take better care of it.

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