Flat route, 4 miles each way during work week, pretty broke

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by ButterflyBiker73, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. ButterflyBiker73

    ButterflyBiker73 New Member

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    Okay. I have an almost 3-year-old huffy cruiser. When I worked at a satellite campus across the lake, I only had a mile each way. I bought a house when I was moved to the main campus, then my car died.

    Anyway, the aforesaid cruiser works fairly well for what I do (I did blow out a tire in a pothole (lots of potholes) the other day and need to get that fixed). However, tax refunds are upon us. I was thinking of spending a part of mine on something a bit better. I do have other places to put that refund under 200 would be good but I could maybe do up to 300.

    So, I have two questions. My route is pretty flat. Would 3 or 7 speeds help? Also, what do you think of this? https://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/5382534434.html

    Oh, this is probably important to note. I am really short. Like 4'11''. I take a 24'' bike. This makes it a bit harder for me.
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My 2 cents: Put the tax refund on the house. Buy a $25 Craigslist bike for the 20-minute commute across town.

    Someone is asking $50 for this one with 24" wheels: http://akroncanton.craigslist.org/bik/5369175058.html
    [​IMG]

    You can find one similar for less or get a much nicer multi-gear bike for $100 or so. In covering 4 flat miles, good legs matter more than multiple gears.
     
  3. ButterflyBiker73

    ButterflyBiker73 New Member

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    Thanks! That is a pretty sweet-looking little cruiser. I wish it was near me. I have see some nice ones on the local Craigslist but they are all 26''
     
  4. ButterflyBiker73

    ButterflyBiker73 New Member

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    So, what I am thinking, then, is, should I just spend the money on sprucing up my Huffy cruiser?
     
  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    $50 doesn't buy much sprucing these days. If all you need is a tire or tube and greasing the hubs...go for it. Anything more than that and you would probably be money ahead hitting Walmart for a new bike, cruising garage sales for bargains, checking out second hand stores, etc. for a lightly used bike.

    The good thing about shopping for a 24" wheel model is that they are mostly considered bikes for rapidly growing children and they hit the market in good condition for not much money.

    Alternatively, if you are in the market for a drop bar, multi-gear racing bicycle to get experience with, you can find a few of those that were sold to Junior age racers. They, too, grow into the 700c wheel size bikes and sell off their old, smaller racing bikes. These are a bit more difficult to find locally and may require asking around the local bike clubs and shops to see if anyone knows of one that's currently on the market.

    Depending on your body proportions, don't rule out a 700c size bike. My best friend is married to a gal that tells everyone she is 5' tall...but, really 4' 11". She has been riding full size, small frame racing bikes with no issues for the last 25 years or so.

    At your height I would recommend getting fitted, even if it is just a basic fit, and test riding full size bikes before making any big dollar decisions. But odds are you could pull it off safely and comfortably. That might make your commute a little easier, but as I stated above, rolling the miles and getting stronger and accustomed to the effort is what is going to make getting from 'A' to 'B' easier.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Unless someone decides to fill in the potholes which are on the path you ride on, potholes should always be something to consider when choosing what you ride ...

    To that end, I recommend that you simply consider replacing your tires-and-tubes with either a polyurethane inner tube or a polyurethane tire ...

    Read this ....


    The only issues may-or-may-not be sizing AND THEN mounting ... but, sometimes THAT is an issue with regular tires-and-tubes for some people.​

    As far as a bike with multiple gears, if where you ride is truly flat or only has moderate inclines, then a bike with multiple gears will not be beneficial ...

    HOWEVER, the folding bike which you linked to might be a good bike to consider because you can bring it inside & stash it next to where you are working rather than parking it outside ...

    Even if you are working at a facility which is theoretically 'secure' it is not impossible for an intruder to permanently borrow a bike.​

    BTW. Depending on the hubs which your current wheels have, I might simply replace the hubs with better hubs at some point of time in the future; but, that is feasible for me because I can build my own wheels, so re-lacing a set of rims on different hubs involves only the cost of the hubs. For someone who cannot DIY, then there is the added expense of having a shop or wheelbuilder do the work (the instructions for lacing-and-truing wheels are available on-line ... spokes can be re-used ... most nipples can be re-used, too ... patience is the key ... and so, you could theoretically do the re-lacing & simply have a shop true the wheels for about $5-to-$10 per wheel ... ).

    Properly adjusted hubs will go a long way to making pedaling easier ... unless you buy super-duper hubs, as often as not, they often need to be adjusted if they have loose bearings & cup-and-cone (vs. cartridge bearings).

    If you ever-or-eventually find that the gearing is too easy OR too hard, then the gearing can be changed by simply changing either the rear Cog or the front chainwheel OR both.
     
  7. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    When you ask if 3 or 7 speeds would help, what do you want them to do? To me it sounds like your bike should be plenty good enough for a flat 4 mile commute.

    There may be something wrong with the bike if it's hard to pedal unless you never ride it that far and just need to get in better shape.

    I commuted for a few summers on a singlespeed cruiser only my ride was more like ten miles each way.

    If you have a flat route and just want pedaling to be a little easier, I would consider changing the rear sprocket to a larger one. You would only have to pry off a c-clip which retains the sprocket (protect your eyes, they can fly off) and add some links to the chain to make it longer.

    Potholes usually cause flats when the tread of the tire bottoms out against the rim. Keeping the tires at the maximum recommended pressure helps.

    You might actually have worn out the hubs if they were poorly adjusted to begin with. Some bikes come with misadjusted hubs new. Make sure the wheels can't wobble on the axle when you grab the rim and tire and shake from side to side. They should be free only to turn.
     
  8. ButterflyBiker73

    ButterflyBiker73 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, guys! I will definitely look into the rear sprocket and maybe check out a folding bike. I've been pretty lucky so far at work but, yes, I am intrigued by the idea of a folding bike.

    I have been tardy in getting back here. I got the tire and the chain replaced and it has been going pretty swimmingly. It is true I am not used to biking that far and just need to get used to it. I've been biking 8 miles (there and back) at least three days a week for the past few weeks. My mother and I biked to brunch on Saturday, even. I just need to keep it up on any nice day.
     
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