I did it. I bought a new bike, and hopefully will end the frustration related to what should be a simple mode of transportation.
Last year I bought a used bike from a friend. We discussed what I wanted, and worked out a price of $250-300. When he pieced it together, he handed it over asking for $360. Due to his financial issues at the time, I paid without complaint. $60 is nothing for me, but significant for him.
I then spent about $100 getting it to the state that it should have been purchased in.
Then I spent another $100 for random bits and pieces necessary (helmet, lights, etc).
Since then I’ve had the brake cable fray, the chain was too big and damaged the cassette requiring both be replaced. With the spring check-up, this was around $125.
The bold holding the seat to the seat post sheared one day. That cost around $40 for a new post and bracket, and also a lot of fear when the seat wiggled between my thighs and fell off on a bumpy road. Those few seat-less seconds were terrifying, worried about what body parts it would damage.
In 7 months of riding, I’ve also popped 5 inner tubes. Not a lot of cost, but it always happened when I had something planned that had to be cancelled to deal with the f’ing bike.
All in, with a few other minor issues, I estimate that it’s cost me around $850 for 7 months of inner-city biking.
On Saturday, I bought a brand new bike from a reputable shop. With taxes it came to $580. It has a 5-year warranty on the frame, 2-year warranty on parts, 2 years of tune-ups, and the shop is around the corner from my house. It rides a lot better than the old one, and gives me much more confidence in it’s reliability. I ride around 150km per week, over 6 days. I'm pretty busy, and don't have time for the related failures of an old piece of s**t.
I big chunk of change to blow, but I’m looking at it as an investment.