4

I ride between 150 - 180 Km per week (depending on route) and all of it is on bike path or road. I have been riding a Norco Alloy Threshold Sora. It has not been a fun experience, because within a year I have had both wheels replaced (lost too many spokes), oh my riding weight is close to 90 Kg. And recently the left pedal crank sheared off...(still within a year of purchase). I am just wondering if I am expecting too much from this bike as a daily commuter? Whether I should be investing in something like a Surly etc? Love to get some advice from you guys.

  • You may be expecting too much from a Sora drive-train. Did you upgrade the wheels when you had them replaced? – Argenti Apparatus Aug 3 '17 at 1:45
  • Do you park it outside in the weather? That has a huge effect on the bike's longterm reliability. Try and store it inside overnight. – Criggie Aug 3 '17 at 5:56
  • 3
    90 kilos is a bit much for a svelte lightweight racing bike, but should be fine on anything else. So no your weight is not a root cause, unless you ride it like a bulldozer and smash through potholes. – Criggie Aug 3 '17 at 5:57
  • 1
    @Criggie The bike is stored under cover. It does not get exposed to rain while in storage. When you mention storing it inside do you also mean literally away from the outside air, so are you referring to humidity? – joyride Aug 3 '17 at 9:21
  • 1
    @Criggie I generally avoid the potholes and choose the smoother road surface. – joyride Aug 3 '17 at 9:23
5

You probably have too high expectation. I imagine very few bikes with Sora quality components would be ridden that far in 10 years, let alone 1.

With any bike the amount of regular maintenance is far more important to longevity than any other aspect. At those distances, a weekly maintenance check on the normal stuff - tire pressures, cleaning and shifting, brakes etc needs to also include tires, wheels and spoke tension, chain wear and bearings (Headset, BB) etc.

Buying something like a Surly would be a good choice, any brand renowned for reliably rather than performance (Clydesdale vs thoroughbred) would be a good choice. Most main stream brands have a model that is aimed to be robust than their out and out racers, so its more matter of choosing the right frame, then the right component level.

At those distances, 105 would be a good level to aim for. Too high spec components are trading durability for weight. Low spec will wear out too quickly.

Wheels and spokes fail from poor initial build quality and lack of maintenance - a Sora quality bike would have come with machine built wheels so chances are the problems started before it left the factory. Upgraded wheels are better to the point they are being made lighter rather than stronger. if you really want them to last, go for 36 spoke wheels, and get them tuned by a good wheel builder before riding, and after a few hundred kilometers. Wheel made for gravel or touring bikes will last longer than wheels made for speed.

Crank failure is most likely due to something other than high use - accident damage or manufacturing fault. Cranks do have a very high margin of safety as a failure is catastrophic - More expensive cranks are usually stiffer and lighter, and if anything, weaker rather than stronger.

  • Mattnz, I have been thinking about your reply, and given what you have said, I am definitely interested in a Clydesdale experience. I want to get from home to work and back every weekday reliably. What about a configuration like this: An internal hub with Gates belt drive coupled with a good pair of touring wheels and a CroMo frame and the rest of the components. What about that for a dependable commuter? – joyride Aug 4 '17 at 7:20
  • I have no experience with belt drive, but overall, yes sounds like a good, minimal maintenance setup. Only issue to consider is with belt drive whats wheel removal like for puncture repair? – mattnz Aug 4 '17 at 8:29
  • 1
    Are you sure about your first paragraph? In cycling-heavy cities (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oxford, Cambridge...), I bet there are thousands of people who cycle 50km a week, just from living 5km from their workplace. So they do in three to four years what the asker here does in one. Most of those people are going to be riding BSOs with Tourney components. – David Richerby Aug 5 '17 at 12:41
3

I've had a few years of only slightly less distance per week on entry level components (mix of mountain and road shimano on a GT hybrid, gearing is 3x8) so you can do it without spending a fortune. I'm a similar weight to you. In 30-40 000km I have replaced the chain and cassette a few times, crankset (riveted) once and BB twice. I didn't take particularly good care of it. I've also had to replace the back wheel when the rim broke at the end of a spoke. I took the chance to fit a 36 spoke touring wheel (hand finished in a factory; it was perfectly true and stayed that way for months). There are enough potholes that I can't always go round them in traffic, but unweighting the saddle helps a lot with reducing the load on the bike.

  • Wow thats impressive statistics. I presume you are also riding with front suspension? And what was the brand of the touring wheel? – joyride Aug 3 '17 at 12:34
  • @joyride no suspension, not even very big tyres. It came with 35mm but once I wore those out I went for 28/32mm. That distance was nearly all on paved surfaces but I do take it on gravel roads and some rougher-than-planned tracks. – Chris H Aug 3 '17 at 12:42
1

A bike with hub gears may be of benefit if you can live with the upright riding position. The modern dutch bike with 7-speed hub gears, enclosed chaincase dynamo lighting front suspension and racks for pannierbags etc have a lot of durability and need modest maintenance, but they are not cheap to buy! I bought such a "dutchie"7 years ago, I do not commute daily but for shopping and 20 mile trips my dutchie workhorse earns its keep.

  • Hub gears and body position are not linked - with some effort an IGH could be fitted to a racy road frame. Likewise you can have an upright bike with derailleur gears. You're right- a commuter with an IGH is lower maintenance. BTW, Welcome to Stack Exchange - do please have a browse of the tour and see how things work around here. – Criggie Aug 5 '17 at 5:39
  • The asker doesn't mention any reliability problems with their gears, so I'm not sure how hub gears would help. Indeed, they'd probably make things worse, as the rear wheel would become much more expensive to replace. – David Richerby Aug 5 '17 at 12:45
  • You should also look into comments about hub gears. For me it seems that a lot of them fail before 10000 km and the one durable model, Rohloff Speedhub, is very expensive. – ojs Aug 5 '17 at 15:02
0

I bicycle about exactly the same amount per week, and I bike both on road and in parks. Bikes are essential for me getting to work and other places, so I decided for a bulletproof solution (which may not suit you, or most other people): I commute on a singlespeed bike. I use drum brakes on the rear wheel, which are completely insulated from atmospheric conditions and dust, and I never have to adjust brake pads. There is almost nothing that can go wrong on these bikes. All the maintenance I do is the occasional oiling of the chain, and topping up the pressure in the tires. Paired with puncture resistant tires, I have the confidence that I will be able to ride my bike to work and back home, every day.

As I mentioned, this is not a solution everyone will like, but you might consider it as an option.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.