Just brought my 2010 Trek 1.5 into my LBS to get a tune up. They quoted me 475 based on needing to replace both rims as well as the slightly bent handlebars. Which gave me pause in that maybe I should just buy a new bike instead.

LBS guy said that I could've prevented some of the rim damage if I cleaned the bike between rides to prevent salt buildup on the pads and such. I use the bike to commute to work, and last thing I want to do when I get home after a 15 hour shift is wipe down my gross wet bike.

So: Do I fix my bike or get a new one, maybe something like the Specialized Allez Elite? Or is that just going to require the same level of repair in a year, and not end up saving me any hassle? Or if I do get a new bike, would I be better off getting something a little less delicate and more forgiving to the rough environment of winter in upstate NY?

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    Are you unwilling to do bike maintenance on your new bike? Perhaps a bike rental scheme like mobike or a scooter like lime would be a better solution for your transport needs. – Criggie Mar 27 '19 at 19:33
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    You don't need to wipe down the bike every day, but a rinse with a hose every week or so is a big help in rough weather. Even better if you get the worst of the obvious dirt off with a brush and some detergent. Then oil the chain and gears – Chris H Mar 27 '19 at 19:54
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    You can probably buy a new pair of generic wheels for under $100. And a new handlebar for under $40. Bar tape for anywhere from $10 to $40. Some labor is involved in replacing the bar, mainly installing the bar tape. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 27 '19 at 20:22
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    @DanielRHicks only on ancient bikes. A pressure washer is another matter but modern bearings can easily handle a driect spray from a hose – Chris H Mar 27 '19 at 20:51
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    It also wouldn't hurt to learn how to do your own bike maintenance. Most bike maintenance can be done in less time than it takes to get the bike down to the bike shop. Especially if you use the bike regularly to commute to work every day. There really isn't anything hard about any part of bike maintenance, and there are many, many places on the internet where you can find instructions and video tutorials. It's not hard to build your own wheels - and entire bikes - from parts. But that usually won't be cheaper than buying prebuilt. – Andrew Henle Mar 28 '19 at 10:39

I would always repair a bike unless its crash damaged.

Since it sounds like you ride then put away the wet/dirty bike, this has been more of a gradual decline rather than sudden damage.

  • Remove the wheels from the bike, and remove the tubes/tyres/rim tape.
  • Fill a container with warm soapy water - pick a container you can put 60 degrees of rim into.
  • Clean your rim with a dish brush or perhaps light steel wool - may need to soak each bit then scrub. Clean rim around and between spoke nipples too. Also clean up the spokes while you're there. Avoid getting a lot of water in the axle bearings.

  • Then true your wheel using the bike as a frame. This will require a spoke key - its very hard to do without the right tool. Aim is to get the wheel flat. Then refit the tyre and tube and remount in bike.

  • Finally tweak and adjust the brakes.

If you are looking for an excuse to buy a new bike and can afford it, then go for it. No need to seek justification from random people on the internet.

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There are lots of variables at play in a question like this. The bottom line is where:

  • the condition of the bike
  • your finances
  • your preferences

come into play to find a happy place in your mind.

Condition of the bike - as long as the bike is not dangerous to ride keep it. A well worn bike is a badge of honor. It's great to hear about people who use their bike as daily transportation.

Finances - Getting the most miles for your dollars is excellent. The more you ride a bike the more value you get out of it.

Preferences - On the other hand, if you can afford a new bike and your preference is to get something new then why not go for it.

- As you have said, you could get a new bike. It looks like your old bike was around $1,000 new and the Allez you mention is around the same price.
- Let LBS fix the bike for the whole $500
- Let the LBS fix the bars, you clean the wheels and keep riding
- Find something used in good condition

It wouldn't hurt to test ride some bikes. Try different styles / tire sizes and see if there isn't something more appropriate to a daily commuter. If they don't feel much better than your old bike you can feel good about keeping it and fixing it.

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