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I've recently bought the SCOTT Metrix 20. I'm usually having 3 road trips per week of 30 km / 18 miles. My goal is a total of 3500 km / 2200 miles per year.

Question: Are there any obviously weak parts coming with this bike I should replace to improve the overall experience and/or reduce maintenance expenses?

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4 Answers 4

18 mile trips are reasonably short, and 2200 miles a year isn't much.

General advice: You want to replace things as they break/get worn down. For example, if your chain is worn or cassette is worn, you'll want to replace it (though you should get several thousand miles out of each, but YMMV with riding conditions, maintenance, etc.), when the chain is properly lubricated. Make sure to do the 1 month service after you buy the bike (this should have been included with your purchase), since they'll have to adjust things (cable stretch, etc.). You can find most of the things you need to do for bike maintenance on Sheldon Brown's site, and you can look at books like "The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair" by Todd Downs, which goes over several common problems and solutions and adjustments.

Things you will probably have to adjust within the first year are the brakes as the pads wear down (rate is highly depending on riding conditions), chain cleaning / lubrication (and possibly a new chain at the end of the year), and fine derailleur adjustments due to cable stretch. You'll probably also have to clean the rims at some point due to residue from the brake pads. And you'll probably want to tighten nuts and bolts periodically, since they do come loose eventually. And you obviously need to keep your tires inflated properly (and possibly repair any punctures).

Bike Fit: The only things you want to replace off the bat are things related to bike fit (these would have come up if you had a professional bike fitting done). For example, if the stem is too long, you'd have swapped it out for a shorter one, or if the saddle is too narrow, you'd have put in a wider one. But, if you're properly adjusted to this, then you don't really need to replace things (but there is a great deal of personal preference to bike fitting - it isn't a science). One thing to note is that a wide cushy saddle isn't really good for anything longer than 5-10 mile rides for most people, so if you're not used to using your sit bones, a good saddle may not feel good at first.

Some accessories you may want: You may also want to go with some grips with bar ends like the Ergon GP3 which give you another hand position or so, for longer rides (you won't really need them for ~25 mile rides, but I do like them a lot, even for my commute). Even if you're not intending to ride at night, you should have some lights (cause you will get caught at night one day). You should also buy a helmet and a good u-lock. If you're commuting on this, you may want to get some full fenders - they'll keep crud out of the drive train and dirt off your back. A bike multitool is nice for rides as well, in case something goes wrong. A bike rack is also sometimes useful.

You should also be familiar with basic bike maintenance (like, how to change a tire, patch a flat, etc.).

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Mainly:

  • Clean & lube the drive train occasionally. Some people are obsessive and do this almost daily, but a couple times a season is usually sufficient unless you ride in excessively dusty or muddy conditions. A "chain washer" (and associated solvent) is a worthwhile investment. And use real "chain oil", not motor oil. Pick an oil ("wet" or "dry") appropriate to your usual riding conditions.
  • Check the chain for wear. Purchase some sort of a chain wear gauge and use it 2-3 times a season. Replace the chain when it gets to about 0.8% wear. 2000 miles is about typical for the life of a chain.
  • When replacing the chain, check the sprockets for wear. The rear sprockets generally wear first and may need replacing at 5000 miles or so. The front sprockets generally last 10-20K miles, with the different sprockets wearing at different rates, depending on which you use most. (You're probably best off having sprocket wear checked at a bike shop.)
  • Brake pads need to be checked for wear fairly regularly (every 500 miles or so, depending on riding style) and replaced before they get worn enough that the pad holder is in any danger of contacting the rim. Adjusting the brakes as they wear is also necessary.
  • Wheel and headset bearings need to be repacked maybe ever 20K miles, sooner if ridden in really wet conditions. Generally you ride bottom bracket bearings until they fail, since the BB is usually a cartridge that you throw out and replace. (Sometimes the other bearings are cartridge too.)
  • Tires need to be replaced when worn out or damaged. "Worn out" means the center part is getting thin to the degree that it feels thin when you press it and is apt to puncture -- simply being bare in the center is not a problem (and in fact is the way most road bike tires are designed).

There's nothing that you should NEED to replace on the bike when it's new, though you may decide you want, eg, a different style tire, or perhaps brake pads that are harder or softer.

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1  
Instead of a chain gauge, you can just use a ruler/tape measure and count links. –  Batman Jan 20 at 1:15
1  
@Batman - But the gauge is cheap and you're more apt to use it than go to the trouble counting and measuring links (which is more difficult than it sounds). –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 20 at 4:16

For two years, I've commuted on my Metrix 20 (8 miles each way Brooklyn <-> Manhattan) and honestly there is nothing from the original bike that I can see that was weak or flawed from the beginning. The answers provided are good tips for any bike owner. I'd follow their advice and tweak for your own personal needs.

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I have the 2012 Metrix 20, which is the first model year of the bike. The 2012 is a little heavier than later models due to disc brakes, triple crankset, and aluminum forks. In general, the previous advice to replace things as they break given that your bike is reasonably well equipped is good guidance.

However, I got a case of "upgrade-itis". Here is my list: Wellgo R025 track pedals and clips (stock pedals are garbage), Prologo Nago Evo Plus saddle, Merek carbon seatpost, Ritchey clone carbon 600mm flatbars, Kalloy Uno 100mm stem (stock 90mm too short), Shimano XT 3x9 shifters, Ergon GS1 grips, Cateye computer.

None of my upgrades will reduce future maintenance expenses, but it sure does improve my overall riding experience. I concede that the carbon upgrades are a bit of a placebo effect, but they do make the bike lighter. I got my bike on sale ($250 season end discount) and had some additional other funds, so for me money was not an issue. If you can afford it treat yourself and upgrade, starting with your contact points - pedals and seat. Otherwise enjoy your new ride for now, you've got a good bike.

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