Using a mtn bike on the sidewalk/road

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by areyounoob, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. areyounoob

    areyounoob New Member

    Dec 15, 2010
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    I've never really cared about the bike that I use which is why I happened to buy a walmart mountain bike on the sidewalk. Now, I'm reading more and more things about bikes, and that people care about what they and others ride. And as a result, I'm beginning to care about the bike that I ride.

    Is it weird? I know that mountain bikes are meant to be used on rough/dirt terrain and whatnot. I would buy a bike that's certified for the road/street but I'm on a strict budget(less than $100) and I'm a bit skeptical of the craigslist ads. I've been riding these kind of bikes on the road for my entire life and it just hit me now that I'm using a mountain bike on the sidewalk.


  2. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    Welcome aboard Areyounoob,
    We have a member on board here who is logging thousands of miles a year on his Walmart and thrift store bikes. As far as I see it he cares more about his bikes than most others I have encountered over the years. You should be able to get yourself a bike that suits your needs within your budget. Once you do take proper care of it and it will reward you with plenty of miles of riding.
  3. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

    Oct 4, 2010
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    Hi, Areyounoob!

    Don't be afraid of craigslist ads. Anything you buy there has a huge advantage over stores, because it's half as expensive, and a huge advantage over ebay or online sites, because you can see and touch and test whatever you're buying before you pay for it, and there are no shipping charges. Most of the bikes being sold are like new because so many people 'think' they want to ride, get excited about a pretty bike, and ride it once or twice then forget about it. My first cruiser sat unridden in my garage for 3 years; if you'd bought it, it would have had less than 10 miles on it. So if you know what you want, you can get incredible deals on it.

    I got an $800 Thomasville desk for $150, for example, a $1400 dining room set for $500, and a $350 dinette table and chairs for $50. I bought my cruiser before I knew about craigslist, and paid $350; the exact same one is available on Craigslist for $75.

    Just be careful: Look at the pictures in the ads closely; if they don't have any, ask the people to email you some. Anybody who wants to sell their bike will be happy to let you test ride it around the block at their home. (What are you gonna do, steal their bike and leave them your car?) So you can look closely for scratches and dings and whatever. I bought my first road bike last month from a bike shop because I wanted to be fitted by them and have a resource if I ran into problems from the fitting while I learned to ride. Now that I know what size and geometry I need and am getting comfortable on my bike, I will almost undoubtedly buy the next one from Craigslist.

    Good luck with your search!
  4. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

    Aug 8, 2010
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    Who me??

    There is nothing wrong with riding a MB on the streets, hundreds do it here, it
    is the most common bike you see on the trails and sidewalks.
    I did nearly 4000miles on one this summer. I did put some road tread tires on
    it and it helped a lot, easier to pedal and much quieter.
    If it is a suspension bike, the ride is better than most hybrids or road bikes.
    A good light weight road bike or hybrid is faster under the same conditions,
    but if you just want to ride, go for it.
    As for the C'list bikes I know nothing. I check the local thrift shops regularly.
    Just picked up an updated Spalding for $10, like new, about a '75 model.
    The neighbor and I spent a lot of time redoing an old Ironman bike last

    If you have a bike and there is nothing wrong with it,,,ride it!
  5. ambal

    ambal Active Member

    Oct 15, 2010
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    to right, save the planet, lesson traffic congestion, improve health and fitness and feel better. Ride a bike = can't loose.
  6. Daddo

    Daddo Member

    Aug 22, 2008
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    Hey Areyounoob:

    So you have a $100 budget right now. Good, but don't go looking for a bike, instead start making weekly or monthly payments on the bike that you do want. Not to a LBS or a department store, but to yourself.

    Keep the money in a savings account until you do have the sum that will buy you your next bike. Consider your current bike to be your learning platform. This department store bike will help you to learn basic and then advanced repair techniques, It will also help you to learn and implement a regular maintenance regimen.

    All of this will keep that first ride in perfect condition, in fact, in a better state of tune and adjustment then when it came off the rack at Walmart. As you save money, remember that the ultimate sale of your Walmart bike will increase your available funds when you are ready to take the next step.
  7. TKOS

    TKOS New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
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    The only thing I would do is maybe buy some tires that are more road appropriate. They don't have to be pricey but would probably cost you at least $15 a tire or so. They will make the ride a little easier. Also just make sure to maintain your bike as best as you can and it will ride much easier than if it is caked in mud and grime. Wash it occasionally, check the cables, wipe the chain off with some paint thinner and a rag or other degreaser and drop a little fresh oil on the chain from time to time. Ride that bike for awhile and get to know it and how a bike works. Then if you feel like you need more bike start saving up for something better.