Is your bike a forever bike? - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Is your bike a forever bike?

Kelly Iniguez

I have two identical bikes (except for color) that I've ridden for over a decade. They've gotten tired, and it seems like service calls are always ongoing. I like what I like, and am slow to try new things. My husband has nagged me to buy a new bike (isn't that refreshing?) - he says I spend more money fixing up the old bikes than if I bought a new one, with updated components.

I like having two bikes. That way if one is in the shop, or unexpectedly has a flat tire, I have another bike to ride. But, both of these bikes are aluminum - they're getting old, high miles, and have carried heavy loads. I've heard all sorts of stories about aluminum frame failure.

So - fall of 2022, I bought the updated version of my favorite recumbent. Oooh, la, la! It was a lightly used bike, set up as a go fast bike. I ordered myself a touring version early in 2023. Two wheeled recumbents are very out of favor now.  The shop called me and asked if I'd be interested in their floor demo model.It was four years old, but had only 35 miles on it. The bike has about every goodie on it that a cyclist can think of - a Rohloff hub, S & S couplers (with the wrench painted to match!), a Steer Stopper (one of those things you don't know you need until you try it), Dynamo hub/lights, more eyelets for water bottles and accessories than I'd ever imagined, etc. They were selling this floor demo for only $20. more than I paid for the bare bones bike I'd order in 2023. Sure! 

That's the story of how I ended up with three new(ish) bikes in 18 months. 

I'm thinking the fancy bike is bumped to the top of the list for touring. I've never owned a Rohloff hub before, but it has plenty of gear range, and I seem to be adapting well to the style of shifting.

That's my back story - I had my forever bike - and now I have three updated versions of the same bike!

Do you also have an overwhelming favorite?

My new to me Phoenix recumbent, at East Saguaro Park in Tucson. I'm practicing climbing hills, in preparation for this summer's tour. Rohloff range seems just fine for my needs.
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1 month ago
Mike AylingTo Kelly Iniguez

Hi Kelly,

You now have a steel frame with a Rolloff IGH. Unless you tire of it that bike will last your lifetime.

I have a Thorn Mercury with Rolloff and a Merida Speeder 100 which I bought to be converted to e-assist. I far prefer riding the Mercury and save the Merida for those hilly rides. 

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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodTo Kelly Iniguez

Sweet looking bike. Looks like (and spec'd like) a stretched out version of our Tout Terrain Silk Roads, even including the steerer stop (very very simple and useful!).

If Gates makes a belt long enough, you might want to look into adding that. You'd then have an almost maintenance free bike, and that's a real treat!

Our Tout's are going on 10 years old now and are still rock solid. A couple of sets of tires and brake pads, a few brake fluid changes, annual hub oil change and one new belt and cog's each. That's about it  ... oh and absolute mechanical peace of mind (more or less) while on the road. The 'always on' front and rear lights are a great feature too.

I'm sure this will become your fave of the three.

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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Kelly Iniguez

I went back to modify the title, but it appears I cannot do that. Park of the question is - at what point are you putting too much money into an old bike, and a new one is more cost effective? Sub question that pertains to my aluminum bikes - which I have not had any trouble with at all - but I've had one too many people bring up aluminum frame failures, and now that is stuck in the back of my mind. 

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1 month ago
Mike AylingTo Kelly Iniguez


I really would not worry about what people tell you about alumin(i)um frames breaking , occurrences are few and far between. Just look carefully at the frame joints whenever you wash the bike and if there are any cracks in the paint see what the bike shop person says.

The ongoing maintenance items on your old bikes are probably normal wear and tear stuff cables, chains, derailleurs, cassettes, chain rings, derailleurs, tyres etc.

USA                                                    ROW

aluminum.                                       Aluminium

Tires.                                                   Tyres

Your Rohloff chain ring and sprocket will last a lot longer than cassettes and  two and three speed chain rings.

Enjoy all your bikes but I am tipping that you will be riding the Rohloff bike a lot more than the others!

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1 month ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Kelly Iniguez

Yes our bikes are forever bikes: Patrick has a Vittorio Dutch bike and mine is Davidson Bike built in Seattle. Both Steel frames, both purchased in 1992. Steel frames because the frames can be fixed (As Patrick's bike finally needed on NT 2021 tour) And both bikes still used on all our tours with replacement parts and new wheels of 48 spokes.

We love our bikes.

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1 month ago
Wayne EstesTo Kelly Iniguez

I don't have a forever bike but sometimes it seems like I've had this bike forever.

I bought this bike in October 2007. 28 tours so far...

Almost every component has been replaced. It should be usable for a few more years. It has outlasted my first two touring bikes.

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1 month ago
Keith AdamsTo Kelly Iniguez

Each of the three (*- not counting the one that's currently for sale) one-seat bikes I currently have is likely the last of its respective type I will ever own.  The same is probably true of each of our three two-seat bikes, but for different reasons.

My 2008 Trek Madone is still the sweetest-riding road bike I've ever been on.  I fall in love with it every time out, and I don't see any reason to replace it.  If the carbon fiber frame ever fails, I'll probably stop riding that style of bike rather than replace it.  None of the other components, apart from normal wear items like chains and brake pads, appears to be in any mechanical difficulty so I don't see the bike as being a likely candidate for costly repairs or upgrades (it's already at or near the top of the line in its componentry, at least as of the time it was built).

My ~ year 2000 Litespeed Owl Hollow mountain bike doesn't see a great deal of use any longer, and what it does see is mostly on the C&O Canal towpath.  Like the Madone, it's a very pleasant and capable bike to ride.  I've never been much of an off-road type so it's not getting very beaten up. Also like the Madone, it came from the shop with about the best components and gizmos that were available at the time.

Finally there's my Rodriguez touring bike, built to order and to my specs and sensibilities in 2022.  I'll never wear it out and it's definitely the last touring bike I plan to own.  Like all my other rides it's a bit of a garage queen: I simply don't ride as much as I once did so all of the fleet spends more time gathering dust in the basement than they do collecting dirt and grit on the road.

And our tandems?  Those days are probably long behind me.  None has been off the wall since 2019, and none is likely to be in the foreseeable future.  I should try to sell them just to clear out space, if for no other reason.  So they're "forever bikes" by default if for no other reason.

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1 month ago
Larry MitchellTo Kelly Iniguez

Hmmm … a forever bike (or trike now)?  Maybe, possibly … or at least until something new catches my eye perhaps.  But this question did get me thinking about my bikes and trikes along the way.

It started with a Schwinn Continental which saw my first tour.  Then a change came when we moved to Alaska and a new Schwinn enter, followed by a Bianchi and a few mountains bikes.

Vision recumbents began in 1998 after a ride and were a solid platform for many years and took us across the United States and several other states.  But a visit to the Terratrike plant in Michigan at the end of a tour resulted in the first 2 Terratrike following us home.  The Terratrike Travellers followed until a brain hemorrhage and stroke happened at which time the first two ICE Adventures came home.  Those were subsequently followed by 4 other ICE trikes and the selling of two ICE trikes and two Terratrikes.

So, for now, I am quite happy with our setup of 2 trikes for Alaska and 2 trikes for traveling.

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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Kelly Iniguez

I vaguely remember having only one bike at a time, but that was a (very) long time ago.  The last “only” bike I owned I still own, though I don’t ride it anymore. It’s been superseded by modern bikes—no more downtube shifters or horizontal top tubes I can’t stand over for me!

When I got my Co-Motion, I thought it would be a forever bike but it’s just so heavy!  When Al said he was getting a custom  titanium bike for touring and gravel, I decided to get one too. After all, that’s what I’d really wanted when I got the Co-Motion and there’s no way the smaller, less strong partner should have the heavier bike!

Enter Maple, my titanium forever bike from Naked Bikes on Quadra Island here in BC. My road bike hardly sees the light of day anymore and the Co-Motion gets used when I need to lock up somewhere. 

The features I like include the brushed titanium finish, the comfortable fit, the reasonable weight, the hydraulic disc brakes, and the electronic shifting. Maybe those latter things could be hard to fix somewhere remote, but I doubt I will be doing any truly remote trips. 

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1 month ago