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Replace Parts or Get a New Bike?
#1
I have a 2001 Trek 7200 hybrid that I use frequently to ride for transport around NYC (~1,000+ miles / year).

Several times in the past few months I have broken spokes in the rear wheel. The last time I took it to my local bike shop to replace the spokes and true the wheel, they said I should replace the wheel. This sets off a chain of events, as I still have the original 13 year old chain, cassette and crank (and the middle chainring is cracked).

The bike shop would charge $250 - $300 to replace the wheel, chain, cassette and crank. I looked online and it seems I can get parts (listed below) for ~$150. However, I have NO experience with bike repairs -- I can't even properly adjust the derailleur.

My options:

- Buy the parts and tools and do it myself for ~$150 - $200 (Can anyone tell me how hard it is to do this?)

- Pay the bike shop ~$250-$300 to replace the rear wheel / drivetrain

- But a new bike for ~$450 - $600

Parts the bike store would sell me:

Wheel R-700C HB AL CT9 QR $99.99
A 41 Chain SH HG 53 $27.99
FW CSST 8SP 11 X 34 $39.99
Crank (unspecified) $40
Labor $50

Parts I'm considering if I repair it myself:

Avenir Shimano RM30/Weinmann XC-260 32H QR Rear Wheel with 8/9 Speed Cassette Compatible Hub (Silver, 700 x 24mm) 48.41
Shimano FC-M171 Altus Crankset (Black, 170-mm 48/38/28T 6/7/8 Speed) 25.77
Shimano HG51 8-Speed Cassette 19.61
Shimano CN-HG70 6/7/8-Speed Chain Fits, Black 19.99

Other parts I could get?
Shimano RD-M410 Alivio SGS Rear Derailleur (7/8-Speed, Long Cage, Silver) 27.57
Bottom Bracket (?) Do I need a new one? How do I know what size I'd need?
Front derailleur (?)
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#2
welcome, so far you are heading in the right direction but a couple more questions, what kind of shifters do you have and does yours have a shock or is it rigid? did you have single wall rims and are the replacement rims single or double-wall? If you are willing to learn and have a way to hang the bike to do the repairs, and are willing to purchase the tools needed it can be done, but if your shock is not really up to snuff and you need brake work now or soon. it's a call you will have to make. If its just a bike to you and you could part with it, buy a new one. it can be hard find rigid forks but I prefer them to low end shocks, double wall rims are a must and any thing else can be upgraded later. the bottom bracket will be determined by the crankset
lets see a pic of your bike and go from there. It would seem to me the prices you are showing for the wheels and crank are a bit on the low side and I would go for the sram cassette over the shimano at that level. I just spec'd your wheelset and it is double-wall thats good.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
If I was a spoke breaker (which I am) I would insist on 36 spokes. I would also go to a larger or the largest rear tire that would fit the frame, to reduce impact to the wheel. I ride 3500mi+/year, I've ruined 5 wheels since 2011 on different bikes, so I now have to have handmade wheels.
How much do you weigh? How careful are you about hitting cracks, debris & potholes? I've learned to be super careful.
Go to the repair guide & sign up for tutor videos. You Tube can help also.
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#4
Sorry, the following turned out to be longer than I expected...

Aaand let's not forget: replacing parts on an old bike can be expensive. You will likely need to replace the rest of the stuff sooner or later (probably sooner), also upgrading to V-brakes is a good idea. To be honest: if it is a bike you really like it is worth the time and money. Otherwise... not so much. On the other hand, replacing the complete drive train is indeed a good learning experience. There are some tools you will need (chain breaker, crank puller, bb tool, cassette tool) the rest (metric allen keys) you should have, also get grease (boat trailer), cables, housing, a good cable / housing cutter (trust me, spend some money on that one!). It will definitely empower you: you will no longer have to rely on the local bike shop (though for some things I still do, sometimes I just like to hand it over to somebody). I second (or ... third) the concerns with the suspension, though. Shot suspension: get rid of the bike or replace fork with a rigid one.

If I were you and would decide to replace the parts I would get last year's (or earlier) slightly higher level full group set (Deore LX maybe?). The mid-range stuff is nicer than the lower end, and buying last years stuff makes it affordable. Then, it will be a full weekend of work, especially if you have never done this before. It is not hard, most of the stuff is straight forward but there are always some gotchas. Also clean and grease the head set while you have the bike apart.

I also totally agree with the LBS: on that wheel all spokes need to be replaced and since the hub is very likely in a bad condition (when did you last overhaul it?) it makes no sense to keep it (often it is less expensive to get a new wheel anyway). It sounds as if you are no spoke breaker like our friend Jef, so 32 spokes laced cross 3 are good. I would also get somebody to go over the wheel and correct the spoke tension. The lower end stuff often has unbalanced tension, and that even holds true for supposedly quality (but entry level) wheel sets (like the Mavic Aksium, mine at least had to be trued and tensioned once, did that after some 100 km, now they are good). Additionally, most lower end hubs are in desparate need of some grease and need to be adjusted (yes, they ship them in that state....).
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#5
Personally I would keep your Trek.

Is this it: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2001&Brand=Trek&Model=7200%20FX&Type=bike#.UYfKFcr8mF8 ?

Given that you are using your pick as transport and hauling stuff around on really rough roads; I'd go with a 40 spoke rear wheel that you'd never have to replace.

One of these hubs (only difference is one is black, the other is silver)
http://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Master-Tandem-Rear-Hub/dp/B006EPPLXG/ref=sr_1_7?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1367853965&sr=1-7&keywords=40h
http://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Master-Alloy-Tandem-Rear/dp/B004MEWSNW/ref=sr_1_1?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1367853965&sr=1-1&keywords=40h

This rim:
http://www.amazon.com/Velocity-Dyad-Rim-700c-Silver/dp/B001GSQVV2/ref=sr_1_8?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1367853965&sr=1-8&keywords=40h

Wheelsmith SS14 spokes (sorry, I don't have the length with me now, PM me if you want me to look it up)

These the wheels I built up for our tandems. See: http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-2920-page-3.html

My trueing stand: http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-3834.html

I'd go with a SRAM cassette, instead of a Shimano
http://www.amazon.com/SRAM-PG850-11-32T-Speed-Cassette/dp/B000NNX2P4/ref=sr_1_3?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1367854255&sr=1-3&keywords=sram+cassette

I would also suggest a narrower range than 11-34; unless you are currently struggling up steep hill in the small (28T) ring in front and largest cog in back.

M171 crank:
http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/techdocs/content/cycle/SI/FC/SI_1LX0A/SI-1LX0A-003-00-Eng_v1_m56577569830758324.pdf
Go with this bottom bracket:
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Square-Bottom-Bracket-68x110mm/dp/B005DTIG9U/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1367854548&sr=1-1&keywords=un55
It is better than the UN26 listed in Shimano's techdocs.
Shimano recommends 122.5mm with that crankset; I have found that I prefer it to be a bit narrower than Shimano's recommendations. See: http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-3167.html

If your derailleurs and shifters are working well, keep them.

I would replace cables and brake pads.

Tires: http://www.amazon.com/Kenda-700X35-Kwest-K-Shield-Blackskin/dp/B006GEZSKG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=10MSJDW9R2V19&coliid=I8B714J5WMY16

My newest bike is our T50, which is 1994 vintage.
Nigel
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#6
If you want to learn more about bike repair, start collecting tools, etc. this would be a great project to start with. But if you just want a decent reliable bike, I'd say, just buy a new one.

Look over the bike for anything it might need in the near future: tires? any splitting cable housing, rusted/frayed cables, grips falling apart, seat about to give out, crunchy or clicking sounds from the hubs or bottom bracket etc? 2 or 3 more things like this and you're up to the cost of a new bike anyway. I'm not a big believer in "disposable culture", but this isn't some classic bike you're babying to keep around for the next generation. Putting new parts into a 12 year old utility bike with thousands of miles on it may not be worth the cost or hassle. These projects tend to grow (since we've got the crank off, you really need a new bottom bracket. Since you're replacing the derailleur, really should use fresh cables, etc.)
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#7
Have to agree with the guys here, the decision is up to you but PLEASE make sure you look at your future expenses and if repair is a venture you are TRULY wanting to go in to!?!?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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