Need help with new bike decision.


New Member
Sep 5, 2016

i’m not just looking for spoon fed answers just a point in the right direction. i have ridden a bike for 5 years and spent 50 hours and community bike centres learning how to maintenance my bike on my own.
my only bike was stollen and i have a one week opportunity to buy a new bike for work commute.
must get a bike this week with a one day chance to have a drive around the city. and the area i live in there is no wear to even go try bikes. so i have literally only ever ridden my previous mountain bike.
just trying to get some info ahead of time to know if i should head to the shops 30 miles east or 30 miles west. i understand that i will have many of my questions answered after visiting bike shops.
- do i search for a similar mountain bike ?
- buy a cheap $60 - $100 bike and save money and find a decent road bike
- try the challenges of the visually coveted and controversial fixed gear
- can i buy a nice road bike frame for $200 and ad $150 worth of used parts at a bike center making it a fixed gear leaving an option for a transition to 21 speed if fixed gear is not for me. ( i was not open to fixed gear but after 5 years of adapting to a bike life style i am very open to it ) my one problem with bike riding is it’s not as difficult as running.
i know to avoid the CCM road bikes and can sort of identify similar road bikes of low quality. my eyes see fixed gears and at first glance they all seem nice as there so clean and minimal. theres allot of $200 to $400 fixed gears out there that seem to good to be true and i’m unsure how to identify the good from the bad.
my bike was stolen from the front of an open, fully staffed ymca with 3 security cameras pointed at it and a kryptonite u lock. i was only in there for 45 mins.
i have a budget of $200 to as high as $275
my story below explains why i believe i can obtain what i desire in this price range. although it seems i need to spend a min of $400 for anything decent.
i hope the photos speak for details left out. the blue parts were old and replaced with the black. i loved this bike. i could go any-wear on it even in the winter. most of the time it was too fast if anything. i road 10 miles minimum everyday often over 20 miles up to 50 miles per day. i never thought of it as a mountain bike just a smaller road bike that could go over curbs.
5 years ago i decided i needed a bike for small commutes and exercise. road bikes seemed to be the best option. a friend of mine lent me a vintage road bike and told me to try it and see if i like it. it was and older 70s really 80s road bike of a higher end model. i did not like it at all it felt flimsy and off balance. every pebble or crack i hit i felt like the bike would fall apart or throw me off. the person who lent me the bike said this is why i lent you it as he had a feeling it would not be the style of bike for me. i was over weight at 245lb 6.1”and the bike was a bit too tall for my shorter legs. the bike was in excellent condition and still work over $1000. i had the pedals switched to regular ones and couldn’t imagine riding something like that strapped in. this turned me off the idea of roadbikes. i was looking to spend $300 max. christmas came and my budget became more in the $400 range. i was unemployed then and had all the time in the world to search kijiji and cregslist and i did so for at least 2 months. i visited community bike centres and used bike shops with crazy ideas of piecing together my own custom bike. the knowledgeable staff explained there was no way i could do that affordably knowing nothing about bikes and my best best was to find a used complete bike online. the staff members at the bike shops had touring bikes and fixed gear bikes. the ruggedness of the touring bikes and the simplicity of the fixed gear inspired me to find something that had both and something more. i wanted even more stability and a clean looking style. i searched online for a very long time probably over 2 months. making reasonable low ball offers on older but sturdy looking road bikes i was rejected often. it was for the best as i still has some crazy ideas of customizing my own bike with parts i would later learn were in no way compatible. then i came across the bike i purchased and owned for the last 5 years. it was the first bike i owned since i was 10 years old so in a way my first real bike. the ad read “vintage tech XTC aluminum frame MTB, 21 speed and newer rock show and V-brakes, this was my beater bike” i knew very little about bikes but it just seemed a good fit for me i made a low ball offer and feared it would lead to another rejection panicked and sent an offer for the asking price of $400 as i had looked at hundreds of bikes on kijiji and cregslist and never saw one quite like this. the odd thing was the owner messaged me about my low ball accepting. it appeared that i out bid myself. i think my lowball was $200. to this day i don’t know if the guy even knew it was me who made the low offer. i only ever make low offers to take a chance and start a friendly opportunity for reasonable negotiation.
so i take the bike into the bike center to learn about it and tune it up. i had read online it was inappropriate to go around asking how much a bike was worth so i never mentioned it. when asked i said i payed $400 and the bike expert said the shocks were usable but actually broken and said you paid about twice what it’s worth but it’s still a very nice unique bike. i literally had compliments on every part of my bike after a few months. often followed buy advice to lock that thing up. in a way i knew it would get stolen but i could not let it stop me from living my life. even when it happened i just accepted it. now that i try to find a similar one for $200 to $275 and can’t see any my soul screams YOU DON’T TAKE THINGS THAT DON’T BELONG TO YOU!
if they bike center expert guy said $200 and the low ball offer of $200 was excepted then is bike may have been worth only $200. if so then where are the bikes like this for $200 or even an asking price of $300.
i just don’t see them all i see are bikes that look more like something a 12 year old would ride to get some candy and the chain falls off and there asking $100 to $300.
i learned the bike was taken good care of and the newer parts on the older frame where actually rather nice. later i learned there was no chance of changing the wheels to 700C from the 26” and the chainring was at max size due to the style of chain-stay. at the time this was not an issue as the bike was a bit faster for me than i was comfortable with at top gear. these incompatibilities where not an issue i stilled loved the bike but i knew when i got a new one that these options where preferred. thats my ideal goal a bike like my past one with option for 700C and a larger chainring to take it a bit faster when need be making it an ideal commute bike and good for long distant exercise. i’m fully open to a fixed gear bike especially if it can be changed to a 21 speed if need be.
all the above preference for 700C wheels and larger chainring came recently after riding for 5 years and trimming down to a lean 200lbs from 245lbs. i like to get a few days of 40+ miles in for exercise. even a 50 mile rides just makes me want to go longer but it was never really a bike for that. i hope my new one will be more suited for long distance.
i understand good bikes are expensive and am willing to save but can i pull off any of my above desires for under $300. or should i look into a $60 $100 bike for now? all the bikes under $200 just don’t seem like they will get me to were i’m going the same way as my past bike.
- do i search for a similar mountain bike ?
- buy a cheap $60 - $100 bike and save money and find a decent road bike
- try the challenges of the visually coveted and controversial fixed gear


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005

If you can work on your own bike ...

And, you have a limited budget ...

Then see if a 29er from WALMART will work for you.

A 29er will allow you to use ANY tire size in the future ...

So, you can ride it as you buy it OR change the parts to suit your preferences with the money you didn't spend for a "name" brand decal on the bike's downtube ...​


New Member
Oct 15, 2016
You can get a old vintage but solid steel road racer for under 150 on ebay and upgrade some parts for probably another 250 dollars. Racers are just fun and fast to commute on. My wife and I do all our commuting on road bikes.


  • 20160619_142250.jpg
    429 KB · Views: 13