Thursday, February 25, 2010

Repair it or buy a new one?

France, morning

When I moved to France, I bought a second hand very old bike. I need a bike, I can't do without it. But because bikes here get stolen easily and because I never know for how long I will be in the same place and where I will be next, I decided to go for an old bike.

Everything worked well till the last weeks. I paid my old bike only 45 euros and it last in a decent shape for a year and half. Now, it starts to have a lot of little problems that need reparation or pieces to be changed. Last week end I went to a bike shop with a friend, as she was looking for a new bike. A new simple bike doesn't cost less than 150 euros. However, you can find a second hand bike for between 40 and 70 euros. Repairing mine would cost me probably around 50-60 euros for a complete check and substitution of broken pieces. Here the dilemma:

Should I buy a new bike?

If I would decide to buy a new bike, I would buy a new one, with the warranty etc, as I wouldn't want in a year from now find myself in the same situation I am now in the case I would decide to buy a second hand bike again.

On the other hand what should I do with my old bike? I am not very much in favor of this philosophy that when something is broken we throw it away and we buy a new one. My bike would certainly work well if I would repair it, but it is true that for how things go now, it is cheaper and easier to replace a broken thing with something new than repair it.
I always got upset about this. Why should I buy something new when my old thing could be repaired and still work? and beside, don't we already generate so much trash that it would be much better for the environment to recycle things and repair what it is broken than buying new things?

I guess I will try to repair my bike, even if at the end on the long term for sure it would be better to buy a new one. But I don't want to throw my bike away, when it could still work well.


Piccola said...

It's been so long since I have visited your blog! Even my blog..haha! Well, here in the states we have Craiglist and my suggestion would be to sell your old bike there rather than jus throw it away. Or you could donate it. In my opinion if you are paying more to repair something than the actual purchase price, it's just not worth the expense. This was the case with my first car!! What a piece of crap! haha! I vote for a new bike, this way you don't have to worry about repairs anymore. Just keep it safe so no one steals it. I have a Trek mountain bike and I love it. I look forward to seeing what you decide :-)

fromtheworld said...

Welcome back on the blogsphere Piccola! Craiglist is good. Second hand market here is not too good. The reparations that my bike needs are small things. If I would be good with bike-repairing I could do it myself. This is why I am not too convinced about give it away to buy a new one. I just need to replace a few pieces. Apparently where I work there is a group of people who teaches you for free how to repair your bike. Before to decide if buying a new one or not, I will visit them!

Anonymous said...

let us know how the 'bike repair/buy a new one' dilemma goes. it's tricky trying to decide.

it sounds like you feel like you want to keep your bike that you have now, only repair it. nothing wrong with that, it's not necessary to try to convince yourself otherwise.

maybe the repair people you mentioned will help you decide.

good luck, good dilemma...


fromtheworld said...

Hopefully this saturday I will be able to make a full check of my bike and decide about it. Another very old thing that cannot be repair and I should buy new is my IPod. I love it and now the battery doesn't last for more than 20 minutes....In the case of my IPod, no chance to repair it.