In 1995 I bought a Raleigh M80 and used it quite adventurously on mountain singletrack. I took good care of it, but it took a good beating.
More recently, I've converted it to a commuting and long-distance (albeit not heavy weight) touring bike. Last March I decided to upgrade from a 7-speed drivetrain (the front cogs and cranks were still the originals!) to a 9-speed drivetrain (all SRAM X.9). I kept having problems with the upgrade, some of which were the fault of the bike shop. By November, I finally had a properly working bike (I think). During this long period of the bike being constantly fixed and then test driven by me on a 26 mile round-trip commute I was told:
-- commuting really is hard on the gears
-- my bike was never intended for a 9-speed drivetrain (something the shop failed to mention during my purchase), therefore I will always have problems with it
-- the rear part of drivetrain may hold for now, but the minute I hit a log or rock or similar, it will knock out the gearing
I would love to keep my bike, the Raleigh, which I have taken on numerous tours around the world and which has provided me many, many, great memories -- even
great moments enjoying the scenery riding to work. However, is it time I buy a new touring bike and convert it into an inexpensive commuter bike? Please keep in mind that I plan on doing at least three long-distance tours this year before either taking a sabatical (if work will allow) or quiting work to ride some even longer-distance tours around the world next year.
Thank you for any insight and advice.