Bicycle purchasing advice

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Dave, Feb 16, 2003.

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  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I'm about to move to a new place that'll let me commute to work and back by bicycle mostly on
    relatively low speed residential roads, so I'm thinking about getting a bike in order to save on gas
    and get some excercise. Problem is I don't really have any money at the moment, so I'm thinking
    about getting an el-cheapo bike just to hold me over for a few months (maybe up to a year or so)
    when I can afford to get a good one. Since it's going to be a temporary bike, I'm going for just
    about as cheap as I can find, and amazon.com seems to fit the bill (even cheaper than the local
    Evil-Mart).

    That said, I would like to at least make sure that I get a bike that's the right size (I'm about
    6'3") and one that's the most suited to the kind of riding I'll be doing. While most of my riding
    will be on paved roads, this is the deep south and many paved roads, including one that I might end
    up having to ride on, look a lot like off-road trails because the potholes appear faster than they
    get patched (and the patching's usually pretty shoddy).

    Here're the cheapest bikes I found at amazon. From what I've read on this group, a "comfort bike"
    might be the thing to go for, but I'm not at all sure. Also, these are all "26" bikes" which is the
    largest I could find at amazon. Would this be large enough? The 18 sp. Anza Mtn bike, which is also
    the cheapest, even has a comment that says it's great for riding around NYC (???)

    All comments, hints, etc are appreciated.

    26" Mens 18 Speed Anza Mountain Bike by Dynacraft List Price: $89.99 Price: $44.98 You Save: $45.01
    (50%) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000056CHX/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/104-3835369-0895935

    26" Mens Voyager Bike by Pacific Cycle List Price: $109.99 Price: $54.98 You Save: $55.01 (50%)
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000056CHZ/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/104-3835369-0895935

    26" Murray Grand Mesa Mens Mountain Bike by Murray Cycle List Price: $79.99 Price: $69.99 You Save:
    $10.00 (13%) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005UK8C/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/104-3835369-0895935

    26" Mens Braemar Comfort Bicycle by Huffy Bicycles List Price: $109.99 Price: $54.98 You Save:
    $55.01 (50%) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000645DV/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l2/104-3835369-0895935

    26" Mens Belfort Comfort Bicycle by Huffy Bicycles List Price: $109.99 Price: $54.98 You Save:
    $55.01 (50%) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005B08I/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l2/104-3835369-0895935
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] (dave) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > Since it's going to be a temporary bike, I'm going for just about as cheap as I can find, and
    > amazon.com seems to fit the bill (even cheaper than the local Evil-Mart).

    I have no idea what Amazon sells, but I doubt its a good deal. I think you're much better off
    getting a used bike. During the spring, you usually have a pretty good selection at college
    graduation sales.

    Ken
     
  3. >Since it's going to be a temporary bike, I'm going for just about as cheap as I can find...

    Well, I'm known for being cheaper than Jack Benny and some people call me a scrounger. So here's my
    advice for what it's worth.

    First of all, you're 6' 3". That isn't going to change anytime soon and it likely means that a one
    size fits all bike isn't going to be a good choice. The 26" in the ads refers to wheel size, not
    frame size.

    On a road bike, assuming normal proportions, you'd want a 60 cm frame, maybe taller. So that kills
    X-Mart bikes, sorry.

    You are going to have to get creative. I'd suggest something in a 1970s-80s sport bike, an awful lot
    of them were built with 24.5 inch frames, and an awful lot of them are still out there.

    The problem is that you aren't prepared to evaluate their condition without local help.

    What I'd do is first go to the local bike shop and let them know what you need. You're new in town
    and you need contacts anyway, this is a logical place to start. They might even be willing to hook
    you up with an appropriate ride for what you can afford.

    I would not think that you'd have to pay over $60 bucks for a serviceable bicycle in your size,
    unless you're in a high demand market, say a military/college town.

    Learn some basic bicycle mechanics and your horizons can broaden to include thrift shops, pawn shops
    (sometimes), and garage sales.

    Dumpsters can yield decent parts, but that's graduate scrounging.

    Jon has a FAQ on evaluating used bicycles that's very good reading.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  4. nospam

    nospam Guest

    A good friend of mine picked up a $500 for $80 at a local pawn shop. We live near a college town and
    apprently, some of the college kids would rather sell their bikes than pack it up and take it home
    at the end of semester.

    Don't always buy on price though. You really need to get on a bike and try it out. As it was
    mentioned above, go to the local shops and tell them your situation. Have them fit you for a bike
    and see what works and what doesn't work for you. The guys working there may even know someone that
    is looking to get rid of a bike.

    Keep in mind, if you are going to be riding every day, allocate some $$$ for clothing and gear other
    than the bike. You might want to save some $$$ for a nice packable pair of pants and jacket. Riding
    wet can be really miserable.

    Hope you find what you are looking for.
     
  5. Matt J

    Matt J Guest

    [email protected] (dave) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Problem is I don't really have any money at the moment, so I'm thinking about getting an el-cheapo
    > bike just to hold me over for a few months (maybe up to a year or so) when I can afford to get a
    > good one. Since it's going to be a temporary bike, I'm going for just about as cheap as I can
    > find, and amazon.com seems to fit the bill (even cheaper than the local Evil-Mart).

    Dave- While Amazon is one place you can start, I doubt their free shipping over $25 applies on
    bicycles. Also, you'll have to put it together. See if you can learn from a buddy or a local bike
    shop some basic maintenance. Some shops have classes every so often. Another place to look would be
    eBay. They have quite a few sub-200$ bikes - beaters, sure, but they'll get you there. A single
    speed (or cheap multi-speed) would probably work nicely. Another alternative would be garage sales -
    they often have bikes, not too expensive.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2710314353&category=7298
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2711032840&category=7298
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2710319521&category=7298 Good luck!! Matt
     
  6. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Eric S. Sande" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > >Since it's going to be a temporary bike, I'm going for just about as cheap as I can find...
    >
    > Well, I'm known for being cheaper than Jack Benny and some people call me a scrounger. So here's
    > my advice for what it's worth.
    >
    > First of all, you're 6' 3". That isn't going to change anytime soon and it likely means that a one
    > size fits all bike isn't going to be a good choice. The 26" in the ads refers to wheel size, not
    > frame size.
    >
    > On a road bike, assuming normal proportions, you'd want a 60 cm frame, maybe taller. So that kills
    > X-Mart bikes, sorry.
    >

    Thanks. You probably saved me from making a big mistake there :)

    > You are going to have to get creative. I'd suggest something in a 1970s-80s sport bike, an awful
    > lot of them were built with 24.5 inch frames, and an awful lot of them are still out there.
    >
    > The problem is that you aren't prepared to evaluate their condition without local help.
    >
    > What I'd do is first go to the local bike shop and let them know what you need. You're new in town
    > and you need contacts anyway, this is a logical place to start. They might even be willing to hook
    > you up with an appropriate ride for what you can afford.
    >
    > I would not think that you'd have to pay over $60 bucks for a serviceable bicycle in your size,
    > unless you're in a high demand market, say a military/college town.
    >

    I'm actually not new in town. Same crappy place, slightly better neighborhood :)

    It's sort of a "college town" (if you consider ~3,500 out of 23,000 to be a college town ratio). By
    my estimates, however, 95-99% of the students at the college have cars on campus or commute by car.
    You could probably count the people who commute by bike on one hand.

    There used to be a bike shop in town, but it only lasted a few months before closing. The two
    current ones are 20-30 min away by car, so I called before making the trip. The first said there
    was an advert posted on their board for a used Raleigh at $200. The second had a used hybrid, also
    for $200 :-(

    I did, however, find the website of a local bike club (never would've thought there was one around
    here) and sent an inquiry to their mailing list. So far, I've been offered a ca. 1970 Schwinn
    Supersport that's supposed to be in working condition, presumably for under $100 (the only criteria
    I specified).

    > Jon has a FAQ on evaluating used bicycles that's very good reading.

    Do you know the URL for it?
     
  7. Dave

    Dave Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > >> Jon has a FAQ on evaluating used bicycles that's very good reading.
    > >
    > >Do you know the URL for it?
    > >
    >
    > There is no URL but I can Email the information to you if you want.
    >

    Please do. I just mailed you off-list.

    > Also: Where are you located??
    >

    Central Mississippi.
     
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