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New: Take Part in the May Giveaway for a Change to Win the Thruster 27.5 Retrograde BMX Cruiser Bike

Keep improving or start over?

I have a Schwin Varsity that is a 2006 model. I've put a couple hundred miles on it and can see that I am now into bicycling and probably will be for the rest of my life. So far I've put new tires and tubes on, new saddle, repacked the crank bearings and am on the verge of a new front derailleur. (Long story about how I tried to adjust but ruined the old one.) Anyway, I find myself wondering if I should just keep this bike and slowly improve it as things need repair so eventually I only have maybe the original frame and other basic parts like pedals, or if I should give up on this one now and start over with a better bike. For me a better bike would have to be in the arena of about $500.

I know it's all relative, but your thoughts and opinions will help.


Live well, be safe
Prof Young
If all you need is a new derailer get one and fix the bike. However do not put too much money into it, just ride it and fix as needed.

Save your money and look for a bike with a good frame, or a vintage cro mo butted steel bike. Learn about frames, you can change everything but the frame so that's the key.

Vintage Schwinn, Fuji , Panasonic , Miyota, Bridgestone, Nishiki, some others from 70-80's from Japan had great frames. BUT on mid range up models....Look for bikes under 25lbs.

Since you know how to service them that would be a good way to get the best bang for your buck.
Never Give Up!!!
Thanks for you thoughts. Much appreciated.

Prof Young
I'm with George. If there's something wrong, fix it and get it working. But there's no point spending a fortune on top of the range components for an entry level frame.

Also, bear in mind that when you buy a whole bike, it's always cheaper than buying it separately as a frame and components because the bicycle manufacturers buy components at a much lower price than they are available retail.

Often manufacturers may have several models at different prices that use the same frame, but have different components. It's not particularly economical to buy a bike with a great frame but with low end components with a view to upgrading them later, it will almost allways work out cheaper, in the long run, to buy one of the dearer models with better components fitted at the outset.

If you're buying new, look out for big discounts on "last years models". Other than the paint job, there's often not a lot of difference between one years model and the next. I bought a brand new 2007 model bike in 2008, and got about a 40% discount. In fact, going back to my point about component costs, with a 40% discount, I paid just £80 more for the whole bike than the frame alone would have cost.

Also, if you get really into cycling, it's not unusual to have more than one bike. If you do splash out on something more expensive, you might want to keep your Schwinn as a backup. I don't know whether you use your bike for commuting, or going to the shops, but for that sort of thing, you might want to save wear and tear on your "good" bike. Also, if you have to leave your bike locked up unnattended on occassion, it's no bad thing to use a cheaper bike. Even the best bicycle locks aren't that secure, so it's best to have a cheaper, less desirable bike in that sort of situation and use a good lock with it, so that it's too much effort for most theives to bother with.

I have pretty cheap "shopping bike", which I keep in good working order, but deliberately leave dirty so that it doesn't attract too much attention and I still use a pretty good lock with it. In fact, if I have to leave it for more than a few minutes, I use two locks, one a massive motorcycle D lock that would actually cost more to replace than the bike. Big Grin

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