Here we go again…

I went to see a framebuilder the other day. (Well, it’s been almost a year since I had a new bike, and there’s a Big New Adventure in the pipeline.)

He took all sorts of measurements and photographs, and then we disassembled the Condor, to try me out in different riding positions, and see which set-up would work best. And in doing so, we discovered that:

1. My headset is on its way out, after less than a year.

2. My forks are also on their way out, after less than two years. The steering tube’s coming apart from the crown, which means at some point, when I least want them to, they’ll break (followed closely by my front teeth).

3. My front brake caliper has totally jammed. (Which means I’ve been riding round brakeless for the past few weeks – something I didn’t actually think I was capable of.)

4. My handlebars are bent (I haven’t got round to replacing them since I got knocked off in New York last year), and will probably snap at some point, in all likelihood when I’m putting the most power in, i.e. hammering it along Euston Road or the Highway. (Almost every mechanic who’s looked at my bike in the past year has told me this, and I’ve smiled and nodded and …done nothing.)

So what does this mean? It means the Condor is still trying to kill me. It means I’d be a fool to ride it till it’s fixed (I rode it home, and then out to Rotherhithe later that evening, so it looks like I’m a fool). It means the whole front end of the bike needs to be replaced. It means I won’t get much change from £200, which is what I originally spent on the bike itself. (Don’t ask me how much I’ve spent on it since then. I’d rather not think about it. And don’t ask me how this sum compares to what I’ll earn this week.)

It means I have to decide whether it’s really worth wasting any more money on this murderous, ugly, knackered, rusty pile of junk, or whether I should just cut my losses and get (another) new bike.

What do you think?


11 Responses to “Here we go again…”

  1. marchapple Says:

    I suggest you get a new bike ….. and then take any decent gear from the old one (probably not much) and keep it for when the new one goes wrong.

    Oh and maybe go easier on the next one 😉

  2. zero Says:

    New bike, new bike, new bike! Nothing else you do this year will feel so good, so right.

  3. David Says:

    The other factor you might want to consider (depending on your eco principles) is the energy cost of bringing a new bike into this world. I gather it’s not inconsiderable (aluminium frames, for instance, use a heck of a lot of energy to produce). So if you’re dark green and you could possibly repair/recycle an old bike, that’s what you should do.

    Personally, I’d buy a new bike 😉

  4. thatmessengerchick Says:

    OK, I’ve discussed it with various mechanics and fellow couriers, and the overwhelming consensus is: NEW BIKE!

    Trouble is, I’ve already got one new bike in the pipeline (see first line of post), so getting another one feels like a bit of an extravagance, particularly as I mightn’t be riding it all that long. Perhaps I should just try and eke the Condor out for another six months?

    Also, a new bike is still going to be more expensive than just replacing the broken bits of the Condor – in all likelihood, £400ish rather than £200ish. And I can’t just do a frameswap, since just about all the components are knackered. It would have to be a new frame, plus new wheels, forks, headset, etc. etc. And since the Condor frame’s actually still holding up, part of me thinks I should just carry on putting new components on it until it actually falls apart under me. (And won’t that be fun?)

    But then again, in three months time I’ll have to spend another £200 on it, when the next lot of stuff goes wrong, so maybe I should just cut my losses now…?

    Arsen once pointed out (yes Arsen, I know you’re reading this) that me and bikes “are really not a good match”. By god he’s right. Perhaps I should give up and become a management conslutant…

  5. Kim Says:

    could you do your couriering on boris bikes?? surely there must be some couriers who do?! x

  6. ecophile Says:

    New bike then give me the old one. Yes – that would work out rather nicely.

    Realistically though, what about Lola?

    • thatmessengerchick Says:

      You don’t want the old one. It’ll only try to kill you, and besides, it’s too small. Not sure what I will do with it though. Perhaps donate it to the Catholic church to practise exorcisms.

      Lola would cost more to repair and repaint than it would cost me to fix the Condor – or, realistically, to cobble together a new bike.

  7. casper Says:

    Hang on – don’t you have another bike? the jazzily-named salsa? or am I just being a bike ignoramus? a bikenoramus?

  8. Chrissy J Says:

    If… you could buy a bike for what the parts and repairs would cost, then it’s new bike time. Sounds harsh and a bit excessive, but you need reliable wheels ASAP, yeah? Bite that bullet.

    I had the same dilemma over a decade ago when my go-to-work bike finally died- resurrect it, or replace it? I went for the latter.

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