With the start of the global health crisis 2 years ago we re-discovered the joy of biking. By now my wife is really hooked on it and likes to bike a lot (judging by Google Fit she's done over 3000km since March and we intend to keep going until the ground freezes over). We feel like it would be justified to throw some more serious money at the hobby at this point (and by that we mean about 600€, which I know is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but still).
The overall goal is to improve general fitness, maybe go faster or longer.
But what would be the most useful thing to improve?
About the current bike:
It's an older model, pretty much a generic no-name. We bought it in 2003 and until 2020 it mostly sat unused. It has a heavy steel frame and weighs about 18kg altogether. These last 2 years however have already seen several replacements, since the old parts simply wore out:
- Brake pads, tires and wires are new, obviously
- Cassette and chain were replaced this spring and are actually being replaced again as we speak, since it turns out they last only for about 1000km (or so the repair guy told us)
- Rear derailleur was replaced
- The rear wheel had a broken spoke and was replaced (not shown in picture)
- The right crank arm broke yesterday (didn't expect that!) and it's being replaced now too
- The saddle and seat post was upgraded (not shown in picture)
- Multiple new lights have appeared
The bicycle was a pretty average no-name when we bought it, and the replacement parts, although from reputable brands, are also from the low end of the spectrum. (Like, the crank-gear combo and the cassette cost about 30€ each; the chain's below 20€, etc.) The saddle is the exception, I guess, where we went for a fancier one for about 70€.
Anyways... what would be the best use for our money here? Should we upgrade the existing bike (then which parts)? Or maybe a new bike entirely? How noticeable would the improvement be?