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Re: Bike component comparison

13 September, 2011 04:42PM
You need to take with a pinch of salt the stories some people publish about their bikes. Trouble is that different people have different aspirations and expectations. Gets a bit tricky if somebody is trying to boost their macho status by bragging about how fast they wear out their bikes!

Your general question is quite a good one and as always the answer must start with it depends......

Components will last longer if the bike is looked after well, if road dirt is cleaned off regularly and the working parts lubricated. A couple of hints. Don't use a jet wash, it clears the grease out of the bearings and considerably shortens life of hubs, bottom brackets and headsets. Use a dry, PTFE based lubricant. These do not pick up road dirt and leave your cassette and chain running in grinding paste. If you prefer a wet lubricant then you need to up your cleaning regime to make sure that you don't get a big build up of grot.

To try and answer your question I'll tell you about two of my customers.... Frank and Roger. Both have bikes about five years old, Frank has a Velocity and Roger a Comet. Both use their bikes daily but they are very different in character.

Frank has cycled for years and looks after his bike. Whenever it comes into the shop the bike is clean and lightly lubricated. In the five years, and what must be well in excess of 10000 miles, he has had one cassette/chain replacement and numerous sets of brake blocks. And that's about it apart from one rebuilt wheel because he had worn the rim out. Roger on the other hand is a big lad who just pounds around on his bike. Never cleans it but does squirt some lubricant on it and every six months or so he brings it in for me to sort out, the first job always being to clean off the encrusted road dirt. He has a new cassette and chain every year, has had a new bottom bracket and chainset, and a new set of wheels although that was because his originals were trashed by a fork lift truck. Similar kit but quite different performance due to the way they are used.

On the subject of bottom brackets. There are a few different set ups but none are adjustable if you exclude the three piece bottom bracket now only found on cheaper adult and children's bikes. The most common sort is the square taper - it refers to the cross section of the axle - although there are some splined systems and lately external bottom brackets. Water gets into bottom brackets! When it does it is handy if the bearings are well sealed otherwise the bearings corrode and the system develops a lot of play and noise. In my experience shimano set the benchmark for bottom brackets. They are the most expensive but are the best made and well sealed. More manufacturers are moving away from Shimano in the effort to cut costs on new bikes. The sealing on the units is poor to non-existant and some of these need replacing after a few months of normal use.
Subject Author Posted

Bike component comparison

Simon T 12 September, 2011 03:10PM

Re: Bike component comparison

DocB 12 September, 2011 03:47PM

Re: Bike component comparison

Simon T 12 September, 2011 04:46PM

Re: Bike component comparison

DocB 12 September, 2011 06:18PM

Re: Bike component comparison

Simon T 13 September, 2011 03:50PM

Re: Bike component comparison

DocB 13 September, 2011 04:42PM

Re: Bike component comparison

Simon T 13 September, 2011 08:53PM


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