There’s a friend of the Mountain Bike
Action wrecking crew that we reluctantly
invite on our rides. He’s tremendously
talented, riding wheelies down sections of
trail that inspire fear in the hearts of others.
He’s also fun to be around on or off the
bike. The problem? He rides this hard on a
15-year-old hardtail that’s never seen any
Rides with him have been cut short by
everything from broken chains, bent handlebars, sheared derailleurs, taco’d wheels
and even cracked frames. We’re all for
getting the usable life out of components,
but riding blown-out parts simply isn’t fun.
Mountain biking is a gear-intensive sport.
If you’ve neglected your equipment long
enough, it might be easier just to start
fresh. Here are 19 situations where a new
bike might make more sense.
The bike shop has a nickname for
your bike, such as “The Nightmare”:
We actually had a bike with this nickname.
It’s been retired. If there’s so much wrong
with your ride that the shop mechanics run
when they see you walk in the door with it,
it’s time for an upgrade.
You still have a straight, non-ta-
pered head tube: The steerer tube stan-
Is It Time
to Put Your
Ride Out to
19 Reasons to Put Your
Bike Out of Its Misery
dard has been 1 1/8 for years, and now
the tapered style (1 1/8 to 1 1/2) is all the
rage. If your bike was designed to accept a
1-inch steerer, your operating system is no
longer supported. No, you can’t retrofit a
1-inch steerer tube into a current fork. It’s
a one-time press-fit. Save the phone call to
the fork manufacturer, get a new bike and
enjoy your old one as a townie.
Your chain has never been replaced:
Drivetrain parts wear together. We’ve
explained how a chain can wear a different spacing into the rings and cassette.
If this is the case, throwing a new chain
on will cause more skipping woes. Also,
if that’s the case, we’re willing to bet the
derailleurs, shifters, cranks and bottom
bracket have seen better days too.
Your bike’s components are on display in a mountain bike museum: Most
companies will keep service parts on hand
for five or so years after they stop making a
product. If it’s past that point, it’s probably
not worth shopping the endless eBay jungle
to restore your dinosaur.