Completely clueless, looking for a cheap curb hopper

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Just John, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Just like the title. I think I want one of those bikes that's like a road bike but slightly wider tires and more relaxed positioning but I don't even know what they're called. Looking to spend as little as possible but hopefully not get something that's complete trash.

    Will be living in Madison, WI. Pretty good number of bicycle riders. Thinking craigslist will probably be my best bet?

    Open to any and all advice. Thanks!
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I'd check Craigslist or the local bike shops for used bikes. If you go the Craigslist route, insist on seeing the bike and possibly test riding it to be sure it's not in crappy shape, that if fits, and that you dig it. Also be sure that you're not buying a stolen bike. Stolen bikes often have the serial number--most often located on the bottom of the bottom bracket shell--ground off. Remember: people who buy stolen stuff are no better than the people who stole the stuff. As for what kind of bike you're looking for, both "hybrid" and "cyclocross" bikes fit your description. The former will be less expensive, typically, than the latter.
     
  3. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Alright sweet, thanks! So I'm probably looking for "hybrid." That's the first thing I needed to know. Now how much do you think I would have to spend retail to get one that won't be falling apart every 50 miles? Any particular brands or features I should be looking for?
     
  4. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Oh, also I'm a little taller than average. Just over 6 feet, 34" inseam (bottom of pants just touching the ground). I see what I think are both frame and tire sizes in bike specs. What size(s) am I looking for?
     
  5. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Looked up sizing and it seems like kids go by wheels, adults by frame. Looks like 21" frame for someone my size on a hybrid? Would still love some more feedback on the other questions.
     
  6. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Generally, a 21" hybrid is for riders 5'11" to about 6'3". You can fit hybrids a bit larger than mountain bikes, but considerably smaller than road bikes.

    And ask the seller if it's OK to have a shop mechanic look the bike over to see what work it needs. A $100 bike needing $150 of work is no bargain.
     
  7. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Thanks!

    Alright, not quite as much in my area as I was hoping. Basically down to these two if I want to get it this week.

    http://madison.craigslist.org/bik/2961206812.html Crosscut by Schwinn - $140

    http://madison.craigslist.org/bik/2911323582.html Fuji Del Rey Hybrid- 21 inch Like New - $300


    The second one is more expensive than I would like to spend, but I'm very efficiency minded. If it will last me a lot longer I won't hesitate to go for it.


    Any thought/advice? I would really appreciate any prompt input on either of these bike as I will be going to test ride them tomorrow.
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    The Fuji is a about 6-8 years old. Del Rey is a model name Fuji recycles regularly, but around 2004 it was a comfort bike, which means it has a conventional design and doesn't like to be ridden with any sort of gusto. Also, $320 is probably what the seller paid for it when it was new.

    The Schwinn is a 90s bike that looks like it's been enthusiastically ridden and lovingly cared for. 90s was a good decade for Schwinn. The bikes were designed by real engineers in Boulder, Colorado, and manufactured by top notch fabricators in Asia. The current owner's handlebar setup is idiosyncratic, er, downright weird, but it appears that he knew what he was doing. If the bike is clean and everything works and is not worn--that is, it's so good you could ride it home--then I'd make an offer. Have a shop evaluate the chain and cassette for excessive wear before making an offer. Replacement could cost $30-70. His asking price is a bit steep, but I wouldn't let it kill a deal if everything on the bike checks out.
     
  9. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Awesome feedback. Thanks so much!
     
  10. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    The Schwinn is photographed on a work stand. That and the installation of trekking bars might indicate that the owner has kept it well maintained. It could be that he/she is probably knowledgeable and will be happy to show you how well everything is working. I don't know what is a good price for this.

    I think trekking bars are much nicer on a bike like this than straight bars.
     
  11. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Did end up getting the Schwin. Guy seemed very knowledgeable like you guys guessed, said the chain was recently replaced, and I was impressed by the bike. Seems about half the weight half the pedal effort and twice the glide of the cheap mountain bikes I had as a kid. Hopefully it holds up well too. Excited to have a bike that doesn't feel like a chore to ride. :)

    Thanks for your help everyone!
     
  12. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Happy trails, John. That bike is a riot, but very cool. Glad to help.
     
  13. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    While trekking bars are not so common in the US, I think on this kind of bike they work well and they are not weird at all. They give more choices of hand positions than a flat bar and those shifters and brakes won't work on a drop bar. If you grip the front section, you can get a little bit lower and slightly more aerodynamic. I have a mountain bike set up that way and like it. I have an old Schwinn CrissCross (in beater bike condition) that I first put these handles on.

    [​IMG]

    I think it is interesting that some others have made a similar bar swap. So don't feel self conscious about it. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif (From Google image search)

    [​IMG]


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  14. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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  15. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the education, Alan. Not my cuppa joe, but I can envision the possibilities. It certainly looks like y'all know what you're doing.
     
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