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Old 06-12-06, 01:04 PM   #1
Flak
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Cheap bike to learn on

I'm considering buying either an old mtn bike from the early 90's with cheap components, or going out and picking up a $70 huffy from walmart so i can pull it apart and learn how to work on bikes without damaging my good bikes, or putting them out of commission.

Are they all basically the same? Lessons learned on a huffy will transfer to a specialized?
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Old 06-12-06, 01:12 PM   #2
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Well, it's probably not a "bad" idea if you have the cash to spare, but the problem is that most cheap bikes have really crappy low-end components as compared to even low-end "good" bikes that you'd get from a LBS. And I am not just talking about the quality of the manufacturing; things like the bottom bracket/crankset, brakes, shifters, etc. are of a totally different design. Experience on the walmart special is not necessarily going to translate to newer/better technology. Some stuff will but there is "part-specific" knowledge that just can't be gained any other way than working with it.

If the money's the same, I'd go with the "older but decent" bike as compared to a "new but walmart", and see if you can score relatively newer parts to play with (e.g. on e-bay or whatever).
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Old 06-12-06, 01:21 PM   #3
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Police auctions.
I was at one on Sat.
4 bikes - 4 bucks.
For $20 you could have had more than enough to get started.
You could also cruise the neighborhood on trash day and grab a few bikes off the lawn.

Enjoy
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Old 06-12-06, 01:35 PM   #4
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garage sales..... and i would start with a nice bike, the cheap bikes are just fustrating to work on, when plasic and crap parts break.

just find like an old hard rock or something.
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Old 06-12-06, 03:30 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks for the tip.

Old but once apon a time decent it is.
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Old 06-12-06, 03:49 PM   #6
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I get cheap bikes from ebay and work on them.
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Old 06-13-06, 06:39 AM   #7
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Grab a couple old bikes from your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store.
Better still, if you have access to your local dump you'll find an unlimited supply of free bikes to take home and learn on. Or look around your neighborhood on trash pickup day.
Save your money for things like new tires, tubes and cables.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:45 AM   #8
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I have been getting cheap bikes quite a bit lately. Neighbors are starting to ask if I am starting a bike shop.

I pick up my bikes from yard sales, thrift shops, and dumpsters. The most I have paid so far is 10 bucks for a bike.

My latest project has been a 10 dollar bike. Chro-moly frame, Shimano Altus gear and decent wheels. I have replaced the rear derailer (got a lot of 9 derailers off Ebay for 15 dollars delivered), new cables (20 bucks) and had to replace 2 spokes on the rear wheel (one buck). Repacked the bearings, lubed the gears and chain as well. Hardest part has been truing the wheels. They both had some wobble in them and it took some time to get them reasonably straight.

The handle bar was bent a little, so I replaced it with one off a dumpster bike. Think I will replace the seat with one off a junk bike as well.

Been a great learning experience and I have a decent bike for commuting as a bonus.

So, for under 40 bucks I have a nice bike that would have cost me well over 250 new. Sure beats the old huffy I was commuting with.

We are also going to have a yard sale this weekend and I should be able to sell some of the other bikes I have picked up to make a little money off the whole deal.
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