Classic & Vintage - New 3 speeds???
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I was wondering if there are manufacturers of new 3 speed bikes? My grandma is 72, and hers needs repair. She thought about getting it fixed but then thought maybe she could get a new one. I tried to talk her into one that has at least 24 speeds, but she wouldn't hear of it. She said it would be too complicated. So, I was hoping that someone in this forum could give me suggestions.
09-02-04, 02:14 PM
Take a look at the Electra site (http://www.electrabike.com/04/bikes/townie/townie_3.html) . My wife has a Townie 21 speed and loves the upright seating position.
09-02-04, 02:52 PM
Electra sells a 3 speed flat foot bike for around $300.
Are there any other manufacturers of these type bikes? Would any be stocked at the LBS? She doesn't want to spend more than around $100, but I may be able to convince her of more (not much more).
09-02-04, 04:07 PM
I don't think you will find a new bike for under $100 that is worth buying, how much work would it take to restore her current bike?
Mad Wagon may be worth a look, the bikes weight a ton tho...
09-02-04, 04:11 PM
if you want to get a little nicer bike, look at the bianchi milano. If you are going for the $100 barrier, I know that Wal mart (gag!) sells a nice single speed coaster brake shcwinn cruiser for about $125. While not the best quality, it is better than the other huffy stuff they sell.
The main knock on the WalMart "Schwinns" seems to be cheap drivetrain and very poor assembly. Drivetrain issues are minimal with a singlespeed and taking the bike out of the store in its box will negate the big problem.
What's wrong with Grandma's bike? The lifespan of those old Sturmey Archer 3 speeds is +/- forever. Unless it's catastrophic frame your $100 should be more than enough to get it running.
Her thought was that if she had to spend more than 90 bucks, why not get a new one. Plus I abused the hell out of it when I was younger.... :D
I have seen that Bianchi and that is pretty wild, but expensive. I think she would dig that one, but that price is way too high for granny. I was amazed that she wanted to ride! Not that she isn't capable, she looks 50 at most, but just surprised at her interest. Is there a market for used ones?
If anyone thinks of anything else, let me know....
have you looked into getting hers repaired? sturmey archer AW three speeds are not particularly hard to fix. what is wrong with it?
Giant has a line of cruisers called their Simple line (http://www.giantbicycles.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.006.asp?lYear=2004&bikesection=8836&range=169&mode=rangelist). The Simple 3 is around $350.
Another company that's making reliable well thought out recreational and light utility bikes is Breezer. Their 3-speed model is the Breezer Citizen (http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes-town.html) which although pricier at around $450 does come with a rear rack and dynamo-powered lights.
Raleigh also makes a line of retro cruiser bikes (http://www.raleighusa.com/dept.asp?deptid=8) with the 4-speed internally geared Retroglide NX4 (http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=8&itemid=134&va=0) going for around $330 and the 7-speed derailleur-based Retroglide 7 (http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=8&itemid=163&va=0) going for around $280.
09-04-04, 05:49 AM
No offense guys, but some of you just aren't hearing the part about Grandma spending limit. You need to remember she's not as young as most of you guys, and not a total bicycle geek (not yet, anyway). I think I know where she's coming from; I'm 50, and my sister-in-law and her husband are in their late 60s. They bought a matching pair of Raleigh Sports back in the early '70s, rode them for a few years, then as babies started arriving they relegated the Raleighs to the back yard for the next quarter-century.
Now the kids are grown, sis got a pair of new titanium hips last year, and they decided they'd like to try riding again. They asked me if I could return the Raleighs to a useable condition, so I took them home, I pulled them apart, repacked and adjusted all the bearings, threw on a set of cheapo WalMart tires, did as much cosmetic work as elbow grease would allow, and one bike needed a saddle. Now they're both in good, safe running order and I spent less than $75 on both of them. They don't look half bad either, for all they've been through.
Now, there are a dozen good reasons why my old coots would be better off with a pair of new comfort bikes; you guys all know them -- less weight, better brakes and shifters, suspension, etcetera. But here's the thing: There's a good possibility they'll ride the bikes a few more times and decide they're either not up to it physically, or it's just not as much fun as they remember. If that's the case, they aren't out a lot of money and they got their Raleighs (which have a certain sentimental value to them) redone. If by next summer I see they're riding regularly, then I'll drag them down to the LBS and let them get acquainted with the 21st Century (if they haven't gone there on their own already). Right now though, it'd be dumb for them to lay out $600 -$700 for a pair of new bikes.
I'm guessing the case with Redhed's grandmother is really similar. My advice is to put her old bike in safe running order with a minimal investment. If that isn't possible, you can get her a decent thrift store bike for $40 or less that will let her find out how serious she is about riding. If it turns out she sees that riding a bicycle is just like 'riding a bicycle', take her to the LBS and get her a ride on a modern bike. I'll bet that $100 limit will fly right out the window.
I am going to give hers a good looking over and see what needs to be done. I haven't seen it in years, but maybe repair is a do-able thing. I love some of the bikes you all suggested and I even looked at some at the LBS Friday. They were Giants. I bet if she did decide she enjoyed it again, she would blow that $100 bucks out the window. They looked really cool. :D
Make the old one work, if possible. The lowest price decent three speed I've see, was at a LBS, one of these: http://www.micargibicycles.com/bike_view.html?bid=elegant_m for about $175. The ones in the LBS had front brakes, too and step through frames. But still, over the spending limit.
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