I'm Fixing to ride.
March 7, 2012 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Can I fix my bike within my budget?

I've decided since the weather is getting nicer, it is time to fix my bike or get a new one. I had an accident around a year ago where the rear derailleur, rear brake, rear rim, and the rear tire were destroyed. I'm looking for a cheap way to replace these parts or permission to think about buying a new bike. The frame is a bit too tall for me and it is a little hard to sit on but I kind of enjoy the height. Price range is about $150. I really don't know enough about bike pricing and parts sourcing to really have a good idea what this would cost. I do however live near a bike coop so tools and various sundries are available.

tl;dr Replace rear derailleur,rear brake, rim and tire < $150
posted by Rubbstone to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The kind of bike will determine this I think
posted by murkywaters at 3:35 PM on March 7, 2012

If you had the kind of accident that resulted in the rear derailleur, brake and wheel being destroyed, it would be worthwhile to have someone take a look at the frame and make sure it's undamaged.
posted by box at 3:39 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Its an iron Miyata road bike from 70s I think . It wasn't a collision the derailleur became over tensioned and then broke off and fell in the spokes in the course of dragging it come it caused collateral damage to the other parts. I don't think the frame was impacted at all.
posted by Rubbstone at 3:48 PM on March 7, 2012

If you can't stand over the top tube and lift the bike off the ground an inch (or more), it's too big and you probably shouldn't bother. If it's that tall, it's dangerous for you to ride.

Seconding box that you really should have someone check for frame damage, especially if all of those components were "destroyed".

Otherwise, you should be able to get parts secondhand for... less than $75? (And that's being generous.) The organizers of your co-op should be able to help you source them.
posted by supercres at 3:49 PM on March 7, 2012

On your update: this might be obvious, but make sure the derailleur hanger is still there (assuming it's welded to the dropout and not replaceable).
posted by supercres at 3:51 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

With used parts, sure, but that doesn't seem worth the hassle if the bike is too big. New parts would probably run around $150 to $200, but that would allow you to upgrade to 8 or 9 speed in the rear (including cassette and chain, you'd need to bend the dropouts a little most likely). With labor, no way. If you could get another bike you'd be happier with for a few hundred dollars, I give you permission to do so!
posted by ssg at 3:59 PM on March 7, 2012

Also, if the frame is too large, consider that you can still set your seat up high if you like on a properly fitting frame.
posted by ssg at 4:00 PM on March 7, 2012

Have you taken your bike to the co-op? It seems like part of this depends on what sort of cheap/used parts they have in stock that you could use.

Alternatively, you could think about harvesting parts from your old bike to put on a better fitting frame. Perhaps also acquired from the bike co-op. I'm not sure what decent used bikes in your area go for, but where I am, a used $150 bike still requires some money spent on repairs.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 4:03 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Or you could sell the old frame to help fund a newer bike.

As a short person who doesn't like riding bikes that are too big for me, I give you permission to get a bike that fits.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 4:12 PM on March 7, 2012

Iron? Man, that must be heavy!

Seriously though, you should consider saving up for a new bike, especially since you say yours doesn't fit you.

My 80s-vintage chromoly bike tried to kill me a few years ago (okay, it was the aftermarket aero bar that failed and caused me to endo, breaking my collarbone into three pieces. [But I got a cool souvenir from it]).

The upshot was my darling wife wouldn't let me fix the bike, so I was forced to get a new aluminum bike with carbon forks. The whole thing weighs less than my old bike's frame. It's a joy to ride.

tl;dr: Buy a new bike. You will love it to death.

(Also, get clipless pedals. Trust me.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:23 PM on March 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

As someone who last year upgraded from a trusty old beater to a Shiny New Beautiful Road Bike, even though I couldn't really afford it, I give you permission to get yourself a bike that fits. I also give you permission to splurge a little and get yourself a bike that crosses the line of "rideable" and "serviceable", and enters into the realm of "fast" and "fun" and "quality".
Seriously, you cannot make a better investment (if you're willing to measure your returns in terms of childish glee and joy levels).
Also, seconding Johnny Wallflower's suggestion to go clipless. Do it.

Enjoy! :)
posted by Dorinda at 4:41 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Be nice to know what model Miyata.

I consider some Miyatas, such as the Miyata 1000, or the World Traveler, to be among the most desirable Japanese frames of the late '70s and early '80s-- which is saying a very great deal-- and I don't think Miyata even made a bad frame.

Also of that era, I think Suntour Superbs and Cyclones, as well as Mountechs are very good derailleurs and could be had for ~$10-15 in Seattle last time I was looking, 7 years ago, and the same is true for brakes.

For that era bike you'll probably need a 27" wheel or a long-reach brake, and my impression is those wheels are pretty easy to find because so few people want them, but I could be wrong.
posted by jamjam at 4:42 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

If your old bike fit well, these people might be able to help you fix it.
posted by kjs4 at 6:37 PM on March 7, 2012

You should really consider posting your location if you want accurate advice. I'll answer based on Chicago, with the caveat that I know this wouldn't work in New York and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work in Portland. That said, here's how I would price the job in Chicago:

For $150, I doubt you can find anything fun, fast, or quality, so I would recommend fixing up the current bike.

$15 rear derailleur
$25 rear wheel (used) OR $50 rear wheel (new)
$5 derailleur cable
$15 tire
$5 tube
$15 rear brake (used)
$5 brake cable

So, $85-$105 for parts. A competent mechanic won't need to bill you more than a single hour, assuming you're right that there was no frame damage. You might have to go with a used rear wheel in order to make your $150 budget, but at least by Chicago prices it could be done.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:38 PM on March 7, 2012

the derailleur became over tensioned and then broke off and fell in the spokes in the course of dragging it come it caused collateral damage to the other parts. I don't think the frame was impacted at all.

If nothing else, make sure the derailleur hanger wasn't bent (if it was, and that's the only thing wrong with the frame, it's usually fairly easy to bend it back).
posted by box at 6:46 PM on March 7, 2012

Something else to think about, even if you can replace the parts on the cheap: the wheel size. If the bike was made with rims smaller than the now-universal 622mm, a new wheel is gonna put the back of the bike even higher than it was already. If the bike's original rims were larger, it'll be more your size, but here's the other problem: the rim won't be in the right place for the brakes to squeeze.

Short version: plan for a new bike.
posted by notsnot at 7:22 PM on March 7, 2012

I had a similar bike that needed just a new wheel and had the same issue notsnot describes. Cost-wise, this is gonna be right up to the wire in my mind, and it doesn't sound like a bike worth investing in. (I don't mean that in a derogatory way, all my bikes have been of the same style and price.)

I'd buy another bike. I only paid $110 for my beautiful Panasonic road bike (in NYC), and you can probably do that too.
posted by zvs at 8:00 PM on March 7, 2012

If you're in a pretty flat area consider literally fixing it into a fixed gear. You could get a new 27 inch rear wheel with a flip flop hub in case you don't like riding fixed and want to go single speed. A new wheel shouldn't be more than 80 bucks. If it's fixed you're off the hook for the cost of a rear brake.

Plus people will be like *~sweet fixie dude~* when they see you.
posted by last night a dj saved my life at 8:18 PM on March 7, 2012

Oh forgot to add that's only if it has horizontal dropouts. If you're not sure post a pic.
posted by last night a dj saved my life at 8:19 PM on March 7, 2012

Response by poster: Its a miyata 1024. I'm on the look out for a new bike thanks folks. I think I'll put the frame on ebay see if anybody wants it.
posted by Rubbstone at 9:08 PM on March 7, 2012

Oh, I hate to see an old bike you like get cast off to an anonymous eBay buyer. I know it's too big for you, and the frame weight 35 pounds and components are nothing to brag about, but that bike was your trusty steed, your partner in crime, your love and your heartbreak.

I'm not sure what you can get for a 40-year-old Miyata in need of work. An eBay buyer might be a collector or might just as easily be a bike flipper. My suggestion would be to donate it to the co-op for someone else to fix up and ride for awhile. Good old steel bikes will easily survive many bike lovers.

I got my first adult bike through a co-op and rebuilt it from the tires up. Now I have three bikes, commute to work, and ride charity rides all summer. There is nothing like the love for bikes that comes when you pick up a beater frame and transform it from an assortment of parts into a machine. A machine that you built.

tl;dr: Donate it to the co-op, brotherman.
posted by OHSnap at 10:36 PM on March 7, 2012

FYI, Rubbstone, if you saw 1024 written on the frame that almost certainly refers to the material rather than the model. 1024 is a kind of (cheap, heavy) steel used for bicycles and also plumbing.
posted by d. z. wang at 11:30 PM on March 7, 2012

Response by poster: Its a Miyata 1000.
posted by Rubbstone at 4:28 AM on March 8, 2012

Life does have its little ironies.

I spent a mostly pre-internet decade looking for a Miyata1000 in a 57, 60, or 63 cm size without success.

The last one I can recall seeing was a 54 on Ebay about 5 years ago, fully loaded with a starting bid of $1500.

Here's what Sheldon Brown had to say about the Miyata 1000:

Miyata is a major manufacturer, and made bikes for export under other names as well, notably Univega. Miyata even draws its own tubing, and pioneered triple-butted tubing. The mid-80s Miyata 1000 was possibly the finest off-the-shelf touring bike available at the time.
And about Japanese touring bikes of that vintage generally:
The Glory Years...the mid-'80s

Throughout the '70s and early '80s, "Touring" was the hottest buzzword in the industry, and it was hard to find any bicycle part that didn't feature "tour" or "touring" in its name or advertising.

The loaded touring bike was the most prestigious type of bike, and was generally recommended as the ideal general-purpose bike for the serious cyclist. Unfortunately, such bikes were not available from stock; a buyer would have to start with a "sport touring" bike and make various modifications to turn it into a thoroughbred touring machine. Around 1985, the industry finally figured out how to make a good off-the shelf touring bike. Suddenly, all of the Japanese builders got it together at once, and serious, ready-to-ride touring bikes became available, with triple chainwheels, cantilever brakes, triple water bottle mounts, front and rear rack braze-ons, bar-end shifters, 40-spoke rear wheels, sealed bearings. Centurion, Fuji, Miyata, Panasonic, Shogun, Specialized, Univega and others offered these bikes. Some of these companies offered 2 or 3 different models at different price ranges. At the same time, the mid 1980s, the dollar reached a peak against the Japanese Yen (260 ¥ to the $!) The Japanese tourers of this era were a value unequalled before or since.
I'm no longer in the market, or I'd be making you an offer.

All the 1000s I've seen had cantilever brakes which should handle a 700 rim easily, and I'd say that's the way you should go, because 27" tires are hard to come by, and the selection of styles and widths is miniscule
posted by jamjam at 9:06 AM on March 8, 2012

Go in and have this discussion with your bike coop. If they are anything like mine they would love to help and will yell you everything you need to know. Yes, you can probably fix your bike within your budget. You definitely could around here. If you are comfortable on your bike then the size is fine. If you aren't, maybe a few things need adjusting. A miyata is a good bike, so the only reason to trade it in is if it isn't comfortable. Any new bike you get will also eventually need repairs.
posted by aniola at 9:07 AM on March 8, 2012

They will tell you everything you need to know, I mean.
posted by aniola at 9:08 AM on March 8, 2012

because 27" tires are hard to come by, and the selection of styles and widths is miniscule

There are still plenty of options for those who want to keep their 27" wheels. (I've got the Conti Gatorskins on my old steed... they're plenty tough and ride pretty nicely.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:30 AM on March 9, 2012

I don't think anyone's mentioned Sopo Bike Co-op yet.
posted by at at 5:37 PM on March 9, 2012

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