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Presently, I am riding a women's Trek road bike. I ride mostly flat roads and sidewalks, approximately 125 miles/week. My bike is 6 years old and I need a new bike. I felt this bike was too high maintenance for me as I averaged a flat at least once/month and often spent $300. at my yearly check-up, replacing the chain, cassette, etc.

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    So you're averaging 4¢/mile, not bad. If you're only spending 300/year with 6500 milesish/year that's great, I wouldn't call it high maintenance. – whatsisname Apr 10 at 5:44
  • For comparison, check out the numbers at bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/38405/… where the numbers are for parts only – ojs Apr 10 at 6:16
  • 6 years old is not "old" Many of us still ride bikes from last century. If you're spending too much money on your bike's maint, learn to do it yourself. Learn to fix punctures rather than buying new tubes, and learn to change the tube yourself. If you just want a new bike, get on some and try them out. The maintenance costs of a new bike will be about the same as your current bike. Even at $300/year its still WAY cheaper than a car and more convenient than a bus/tram. Sadly this question is off topic as written, we don't do recommendations like brand/model etc cos no longterm relevance. – Criggie Apr 12 at 22:02
  • Do consider Bicycles Chat or a far less structured organisation. – Criggie Apr 12 at 22:02
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If it’s just about maintenance costs: Maintenance of a new, regular bike is going to be just as expensive or even more expensive because newer components usually cost more (e.g. 11 speed components vs. 10 or 9 speed).

You could get a low-maintenance bike, for example the chain on a single speed or internal gear hub lasts much longer and there is no expensive cassette which needs replacement.

However, unless almost everything on your current bike needs replacement my advice would be to keep it, but:

  • Get more puncture resistant tires to avoid flats. They’ll roll slightly worse or cost slightly more but with “puncture proof” tires you’ll basically never suffer a flat. Usually the rubber also lasts longer.
  • Regularly check chain wear and replace the chain early enough. This will reduce wear of the (more expensive) cassette and chain rings. And of course keep the chain clean (I just wipe it down with a rug, others go as far as taking off the chain) and well lubricated.
  • Get (relatively) cheap chains and cassettes. For example Shimano 105 chains and cassettes are much cheaper than their Ultegra or Dura Ace counterparts while performing almost identically.
  • Do as much maintenance yourself as possible. With your weekly mileage it absolutely makes sense to get appropriate tools.
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    Being able to fix a puncture on the side of the road is not just about saving money - its also a lot easier and safer than walking home. Should be a skill for every cyclist. – Criggie Apr 10 at 11:47
  • I love it when people refer to 105 as cheap, Tiagra is half that price, and non shimano brands cheaper again - its not quite as nice and a bit heavier - but it is reliable and robust and ideal for cost sensitive customers. – mattnz Apr 10 at 21:45
  • @mattnz: I didn’t want to write too much. There is no 11 speed Tiagra and no dual pivot brakes. I think Shimano 105 vs Ultegra and Dura Ace (or SRAM Rival vs Force vs RED) is a more fair and direct comparison where functionality is the same and the only real difference is weight (not so much) and price (very much). Of course it’s all a question of how low you want to go. I’ve seen people go for friction shifters and 9 speed components on cheap, low maintenance bikes. – Michael Apr 11 at 6:28
  • One thing I forgot: I dimly recall that Tiagra (at least the 4700) uses a different cable pull ratio, so you can’t just replace a 105 10 speed derailleur with a Tiagra one. – Michael Apr 11 at 7:09

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