An old bicycle for a commuter - bad idea?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by mrksf, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. mrksf

    mrksf New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm relatively new to the world of bicycles. I have cycled for the last 3 years on a single speed opa fiets. Now I looking to buy a more serious commuter.

    My question is, is it advisable to buy a new, modern bicycle, rather than a classic frame road bike? There appear to be a lot of classic framed used bicycles for sale, but I have slight concerns about reliability and maintenance.

    My requirements for a commuter are:
    - sporty geometry (preferably diamond, squared)
    - capable of carrying a single bag (work bag)
    - light enough to lift onto a train in a hurry
    - quick and nimble - the commute is only 30 mins each way.

    Thanks!
     
    Tags:


  2. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    Personally, the only requirement would be that the bike fits and is in good working order. If you are going used, try to ask a friend who knows bikes or at the very least post some pictures for forum members to comment on before you buy. You will certainly get some feedback about fair deals, things to avoid, etc.

    But if a bike has been well maintained, regardless of how old, it should be able to hold up to most commuter use/abuse.
     
  3. vspa

    vspa Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    39
    there is no such thing as modern bike alone, "modern" bikes could be road, mountain, track, hybrid or any other specific use
     
  4. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    One problem with old bikes is that the stuff on them is often worn out or even broken: tires, rims, chains, cables, brake pads, grips, cogs, hubs, bottom brackets, etc. A new rider selects what looks like a nice bike and ends up putting more money into into it than the purchase price, causing a lot of anger at the shop mechanic. Or the rider tries to be selective about what needs work and the bike ends up not getting ridden because something is always not working right.

    Another problem is that new riders sometimes end up with old bikes that really don't suit their purposes.

    I'm all for reusing and refurbishing old equipment, but only if you're eager to learn how to learn the territory, select carefully, and do some of the work yourself. Having a bicycle repair co-op in the neighborhood helps.

    In general, for a newbie who needs a go-to bike that can't be out of commission for a couple weeks while parts are on order, my recommendation is to buy a new or slightly used contemporary bike that is designed expressly for your needs.
     
    dhk2 likes this.
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    126
    Unless your commuter train has a 'special' car for a commuter's bike (apparently, some do) OR you know you will be allowed to stand in the train's vestibule with your bike then you probably want something like a BIKE FRIDAY (that would NOT be my choice, but I am merely citing it as an example) rather than a traditional Road bike ...

    Thinner tires for your bike AND/OR changing the chainring (a larger chainring may make the chainguard unusable, so it isn't an ideal option) and/or rear cog to achieve slightly different gearing may be all you need to make your current bike more suitable (i.e., quicker & more nimble) for your immediate-and-near-future riding needs.

    While a frame with step-through geometry is NOT sporty, there are definite benefits for the commuter which s/he will not find with a traditional "diamond" shaped frame ...

    Is the route between your home & the train station FLAT or does it have one-or-more inclines?

    BTW. Sometimes, circumstances dictated that you just need more than one bike!
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    126
    BTW. If your current bike has a horizontal top tube (which I now guess is the difference between an opa & oma fiets) then before you buy another bike, you may simply want to see how much lighter you can make your current bike by changing out AND removing certain components ...

    Presuming that the bike currently weighs about (?) 32 lbs. WITH FENDERS & CHAINGUARD, if you don't need them, then remove them (you will probably want something to prevent your cuff from rubbing against the chain ... you could probably put-or-fabricate an abbreviated chainguard on/for the bike) ...

    • Changing the crank & BB will reduce the bike's weight ...
    • Possibly, changing the rims ...
    • Definitely, changing the tires/tubes ...
    • Perhaps, changing the handlebars & stem + seatpost (if steel)

    Basically, you could probably get the weight of a 32 lb. bike down to about 24 +/- lbs.
     
Loading...
Loading...