The Chainlink

***Update: I have decided to keep & fix my bike. My dad, the jack of all trades/master of none, wants to help. I will be visiting over the holiday/new year, so we will have time to work on it. I got a new AL-wheel set/tire/tubes/etc & some (lower grade) SRAM brakes. Thanks for everything! I will be going to other shops when I need work that is out of my skill level. 

My 1984 Fuji needs a lot more work than I want to pay for. Brought for $130 - Estimated work from my LBS $330. - In insurance sense, it's totaled.

I brought this beauty from a fellow Chain-linker. I have pretty much switched to riding this bike alone. I have worked it pretty hard for the last 8-9 months.

I assume the components are original, so almost 30 years old. The 'list' of things wrong is too advanced for my wrench turning skills. 

  • broken spoke (I know spokes are cheap, it is the labor & skill needed)
  • wheels need trued (again & they are steel so I seem to eat through brakes quickly too)
  • loose chain (*I was told that it would eventually 'snap')
  • suggested replacement of brakes & brake lines
  • etc, etc, etc....

So, to the point... I want your opinion. And I know you have lots!! 

Put it up for sale for parts (I don't know fair/market prices)?

Learn some new wrench turning skills & fix what I can (& pay a pro to do the rest)?

Convert to single speed? (I already own a wonderful single speed, I don't really need another.)

Break out of my comfort zone and get estimates at other (not so local) LBS?

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learn to do that stuff at west town bikes.

or if thats not possible, I have all the tools & know-how as well as
plenty of free time. Just cover the parts, I'd do the work pro bono.
I enjoy wrenching. a standard overhaul isnt a big deal.

Mixte frames are pretty popular these days so even with a bunch of worn out components  you should be able to probably sell it for what you originally paid for it I would think. Someone would likely buy it, fix the worst stuff and flip it for more than what they paid for it. Some other factors to consider is what your frame is made out of. Is it high tensile steel or a cro-moly alloy? I'm not sure on a bike of this vintage, it could be either/or. That will affect pricing should you decided to sell.

Now, on the other hand these repairs are not exactly major. If the spoke that needs replacing is on the rear wheel - freewheel side of the hub, then that is likely the most complex repair out of the whole list. If the spoke is elsewhere (other side of rear hub or front wheel), then it's not as big of a deal. New cables and housing are cheap. As William mentioned, you can learn to do these repairs at one of the DIY shops, or bribe a Chainlink wrencher with beer or single malt (my price, incidentally).

If you really like the bike and you're willing to live with some of its shortcomings, like those chrome steel rims I'd just look around for a way to get it fixed. You can probably buy another new bike for $350 or so, but it'll be really basic and probably just as heavy as your 30 year old Mixte. I'm not a huge fan of Mixte frames, but they're neat in their own way and frankly if the choice was between a newer really simple, heavy, cheap bike, or an older Mixte framed bike that needed a little TLC, I think I'd rather put the effort into the Mixte, just because you get style points for riding one of those.

I'm sure other folks will chime in with some suggestions as well. Also, you don't have to fix everything at once. Your spokes and wheel truing should probably be first, followed by the chain and cables/housings. Of course, on a bike this old if your chain is worn badly you might be looking at needing a new freewheel and crankset too, but as I said before, it doesn't all need to be done at the same time. William mentioned he'd be glad to help. I would too, although I charge by the six-pack and I only take craft brew ;)  so William might be cheaper.

Whether it's worth putting the money into an old bike isn't really a question of what the bike is worth, but rather what end product will be. If you think spending $330 to overhaul your current commuter will give you a nice commuter, it's probably worth it. You'd be hard pressed to by any sort of decent commuter for that much.

My commuter is actually built around the diamond frame version of that bike, but has almost no original components left. It's a great frame so updating and replacing the worn parts gave me a good bike for much less than a new one would have cost.

Edit: Good call kiltedcelt about spacing repairs out. I've probably completely rebuilt my commuter 3 or 4 times (I've been ridding it for 13 years), but it's always been the Johnny Cash one piece at time approach so it's never been a big expense.

That does not sound like $330 worth of work to me but even then you cannot get a bike that nice for $330.  Actually I would think that for that money or not much more you could get a aluminum wheelset which would ride nicer, brake better and lighten the bike as well as most of what is wrong with it.

I would suggest bringing it to another shop for a second opinion; bring it to me at Rapid Transit North and I'll make sure you get it taken care of proper.

Thanks everyone!! This is what I needed to 'hear'. I have a lot of opinions and as always the Chainlink brings out the wonderful helpers!! I really don't want to part with this bike, so I need to determine where to start fixing.  (Spoke for sure!)

The spoke is in the rear wheel. And my dumbass-self has been riding on it for a couple of weeks not knowing what was wrong. I knew the rear wheel was outta whack, but until the mechanic pulled it out to show me the spoke was not connected it never crossed my mind. 

 

Doug, I was trying to get my 7 year-old to make the trek to RT on Sunday for the class - but 2.5 miles and cold didn't work out. RT was one of the (not so local) shops I wanted to go to.

It might have been $330 worth of work if her local shops idea of fixing the spokes and wheel truing issues were to install a whole new set of wheels then replace not only her brake housings and cables, but the calipers and levers as well. But yeah, that all sounds like a lot of fairly simple work, and it looks like maybe that spoke was on the non-hub side, so it's not like the freewheel needs to come off.

Anyway, it's a nice bike. Get some other estimates at other shops or get a Chainlinker to help you, either way, it shouldn't cost you $300. I like Dug's idea of a new wheelset though. You could probably find a nice inexpensive set on Nashbar in aluminum which will help you stop WAY better than chrome steel, especially in the rain. They'd also shave as much as a pound off your bikes total weight too, and shaving weight in the wheels is the best place to start with any bike, assuming you're not hauling tons of cargo or anything.

notoriousDUG said:

That does not sound like $330 worth of work to me but even then you cannot get a bike that nice for $330.  Actually I would think that for that money or not much more you could get a aluminum wheelset which would ride nicer, brake better and lighten the bike as well as most of what is wrong with it.

I would suggest bringing it to another shop for a second opinion; bring it to me at Rapid Transit North and I'll make sure you get it taken care of proper.

I'm going to pile on the new wheel recommendation. Alloy wheels aren't that expensive and they're such an improvement that I wouldn't put any money into fixing a steel set.

kiltedcelt said:

Anyway, it's a nice bike. Get some other estimates at other shops or get a Chainlinker to help you, either way, it shouldn't cost you $300. I like Dug's idea of a new wheelset though. You could probably find a nice inexpensive set on Nashbar in aluminum which will help you stop WAY better than chrome steel, especially in the rain. They'd also shave as much as a pound off your bikes total weight too, and shaving weight in the wheels is the best place to start with any bike, assuming you're not hauling tons of cargo or anything.

Looks like an '85 model, no? http://classicfuji.com/Sagres_1985_Page.htm

If it's that one, you have a decent bike, with triple-butted tubing and alloy rims, not steel (not saying the rims can't be due for replacement, though). It's possible, but seems unlikely, the brake calipers need to be replaced.

If your LBS was going to replace the wheels AND the brakes, it's possible the work would come out to $330, but that's a lot of stuff that may not need to be replaced. Most definitely take it to Doug and get a second opinion.

Will it does look the same... I will have to flip it over and try to figure out the true year by the Serial number. 1984 was a guess based on other (google) research. I am sure I wrote the serial number down somewhere... Just not here at work. 

*I don't think she was talking about replacing the wheels. Brakes, derailleurs (maybe), chain, cassette... 

When she started talking about replacing grip tape, I knew I wasn't getting my work done. I had my wheels trued at this shop before, and since they are physically my most local LBS, I want to try and support them when possible. I went in for a turn up and got a price for an overhaul. Maybe it is just this mechanic, that doesn't want to deal with me. (Can't blame her!!)

It might be worthwhile to evaluate and replace the chain/cluster (i.e., "cassette"), brake pads and cables/housing, but you should definitely get a second opinion on the cost of all that work, because $330 is a major expense, and all that stuff together should not cost that much money on a bike that age. On a newer racing bike, sure, but not on a 30 year old Fuji.

Derailleurs and brake calipers should not need to be replaced, BTW, but will definitely need to be adjusted as part of the service to replace the other items above.

Do you know the frame size. I know someone who might want to buy it.

No Idea on the frame size... Point of reference I am 5'1".

(Edit in: I can measure when I get home after 6.)

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