$30 for an Ultegra nine speed chain on ebay – brand new – $15 to install…..not sure why it was $100.
High end bikes are not more expensive to repair unless you are paying MSRP for parts.I’ve replaced shifters for 20% of their cost new by purchasing off craigslist or eBay.No one in their right mind pays full MSRP for parts unless they just don’t understand how it works.
Find a good used bike – with high end components – and have it put into great shape via your local bike shop – new cables, brake bads (if needed), and a thorough degreasing/cleaning.$200 should take care of all of that – and you will be a happy camper.Or, as I have done, buy the tools and a stand and learn to do the work yourself.
Just my two cents.
SSC1, it’s good you’ve done the work yourself. Folks who take ebay or craigslist-found parts to a good bike shop (and tell about it) might or might not get charged more to install or else refused an installation. (I would gnash my teeth and install the stuff). Shops are touchy about this because companies like Shimano sell (dump) old product to places like Nashbar at prices under what they charge bicycle industry wholesalers. Then that stuff likely finds it’s way to ebay. In other words, mail order or ebay prices on new parts are often under what a bike shop has to pay.
I hope there wasn’t a $100 Ultegra 9 speed chain out there; I think cost on those was around $23-27 last fall. (All Shimano chains went up in the last 1/2 of last year).
Sometimes unscrupulous bike shop people steal product and sell it on ebay/craigslist. There are several industry workers at various companies like Specialized and others who screen ebay for stolen bikes and product, both genuine and counterfeit.
Whether that is good or not and whether you want your local bicycle shop to survive I leave up to you. Bear in mind they have to make payroll, rent, etc.