The durability of bicycle drivetrains has been diminishing for decades. The first big change was narrow chains. The Sedisport chain was the pioneer here. They eliminated a seperate bushing by swaging busings from the end plates. This design was light, strong, and shifted well but without the traditional bushing wore more quickly than earlier chains. For a long time the Sedisport was considered the best chain in the world and since they only cost $10 nobody cared that they wore out quickly; we just bought more of them. The narrow chain allowed bike makers to make "ultra" clusters with 6 cogs fitting where 5 did previously or 7 cogs in the previous space of 6. Then in the quest for more gears cogs have become narrower which of course means less metal to wear and to ride on narrower cogs the chains get narrower making them less durable. Wearing out a cluster and chain in 900 miles is not uncommon. For the most part the more expensive and high performance the bicycle drivetrain the more quickly it wears out and chances are it will keep getting worse.
Well, my "starter" bike has gotten on my nerves enough that I've decided to get another bike to keep me riding. Even though I knew it was only a temporary bike, and I'd eventually move up to something better... for $700 I would have expected far less problems (I had problems with wheel defects flattening the tubes, the brakes have always been noisy and have been in the shop multiple times AND failed completely on me on a ride, and I just had to replace the chain and rear cassette after only 900 miles). I honestly had less problems with the $99 bike I got at Wal-Mart and rode for 12 years.
Anyway, a friend of mine is selling his Giant Anthem full suspension 29", and I've been riding it for a week and am amazed at the difference between it and my starter bike. I just need to put some better pedals on it, my ergo grips, and I'll be good to go.
Once I attain my goal weight, I'm going to reward myself with a Yeti SB95. I think that is great motivation. :)
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