I have a Cannondale catalyst 3 but for some reason I see myself constantly replacing things on it and I getting tired of taking out money just to replace something. I was wondering should I just try to save up for like $1000 bike or should I try upgrade my catalyst with all new parts. I'm even considering buying used. let me here your opinions. I mostly ride my bike 6 miles each day, 3 miles to school and 3 miles back home. I'm also on a tight budget

  • You have a solid bike. What kinds of things have you been replacing? Just a short summary of the last three things maybe. – David D Apr 15 '19 at 16:39
  • I bought the bike back in December and so far I had to replace both tubes(buts that's common on all bikes), I had to replace a cassette, chain, and crankset, I also had to replace to brakes pads – Nathan Plumstead Apr 15 '19 at 16:51
  • Assuming you bought it used initially? As otherwise that's a pretty quick wear out time.) But generally, everything you listed are consumables, and are things you'd expect to need to replace on any bike after significant riding. – Ross Apr 15 '19 at 16:57
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    I bought this bike new for $500 and I only rode it on a trail once or twice but I wouldn't expect these to wear out this quick – Nathan Plumstead Apr 15 '19 at 17:02
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    Inner tubes and brake blocks are consumables. However, something is wrong here. A $500 bike isn't going to be amazing, but it shuold be very competent and you shouldn't need to have replaced your entire drivetrain after only 3-4 months of light use. (Four months of 6 miles every day, including weekends, is only 750 miles / 1200km.) Either there was something wrong with it or you're abusing it. Do you clean and maintain the bike? Do you lubricate the chain? Is there a lot of salt on the roads in winter where you are? Does it live outside? – David Richerby Apr 15 '19 at 17:31

This is a mystery that is tough to solve without actually seeing the worn parts.
Here's what we know...

Replacing the cassette, chain, and crank set after five months use and 810 miles (135 days between December 1 and today times 6 miles)
- It is not normal wear (even brake pads should not wear that fast in Florida)
- It is not due to the quality of the parts on your bike
- It is not due to lack of cleaning and lubrication

I can think of two possibilities

  1. Something is causing excessive wear.
  2. The parts didn't need to be replaced.

Let's work on number 1. Here are the options I can think of - probably not a complete list.

  • Storing a bike outside might allow rain to wash lubrication out of the drive train. This can cause excessive wear and rust. You cleaned a lubricated the chain but it may not have been often enough to keep up with the rain.
  • Always riding in the highest gear can cause excessive wear on the small cog on the cassette. A worn cog can cause greater wear on the rest of the drive train. This feels unlikely because I'm not sure 800 miles in one gear would be enough to wear out a drive train. When replacing the drive train parts this kind of issue would be visible and indicate the need to change riding styles.
  • Always riding in the largest chain ring and the largest cog or the smallest chain ring and the smallest cog is called cross chaining and it can cause wear. Cross chaining once in a while would not cause excessive wear. This type of wear would be visible and indicate he need to change riding styles
  • Incorrectly cleaning and lubricating your chain. If your chain is over lubricated the chain will gather dust in the oil and turn the oil into a grinding compound. This seems unlikely because I'm sure you'd notice the chain getting dirty quickly.

Number 2 - The replaced parts didn't need replacing. You'd have to tell us more about the symptoms to know the validity of the repair.

Bottom line:

  • If the problem is excessive wear getting a more expensive bike will not solve the problem.
  • Getting a more expensive bike might make for more expensive repairs. Generally speaking, more expensive bikes have more expensive parts.
  • The cause for the replacement of the drive train components needs to be determined so that changes can be made to prolong the life of the parts.

The bike shop you bought your bike from should help you diagnose what happened. If they won't there are shops that will.

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