The thrift store up the road has a Pearl Blue 1980 Schwinn Traveler (Taiwan) with all of the original parts. It's in ridable condition through the sidewalls of the tires are hard to read so I imagine they should be replaced.
Here's the catalog: http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...0/1980_11.html
It's $45 but I'm not sure it's worth it. I'm on a pretty tight budget, which is why I am currently riding on a Roadmaster (Wal-Mart) that was given to me for free.
I can get parts pretty cheap at my local co-op but since it's Hi-Ten steel just like the xmart one I am riding, I'm not sure its going to be much difference besides road bike from mtn bike.
Am I going to notice any major difference between these 2 bikes and the dept store bike I am using now? I am well aware I have to replace the roadmaster soon, anyway.
I am only riding about 10 miles a day on a paved bike trail with no traffic. I eventually might want to make this longer, but not now as I'm likely to be pulling my 4 year old in a trailer and he has a low tolerance for being back there right now.
If you are looking to trade up, I would keep looking.
At that price point, I think you would be better off with a vintage higher quality MTB. MTBs are a really good value IMHO. For about the price of a bottom of the barrel Walmart bike, you should be able to find a 15 to 20 year old rigid frame MTB from makers like Trek, Specialized, Univega, etc. I bought my last MTB keeper for $40, needed some work, but it is a really nice bike (1989 Univega Alpina Pro). And I usually can find used MTB parts CHEAP. Last wheels I picked up were $2.50 each.
My Alpina Pro is about 10 pounds lighter than the Raleigh you linked to, with much better components.
Really hard to find a decent road bike for $45. Unless you look every day, do the garage sale circuit, and get lucky, not very likely.
The Traveler has steel wheels and is Hi-tensile steel (very heavy). Try to find something with aluminum wheels and a chromoly frame. That should bring you down to the 26 lb range. A bike like this should run you around $100, but for that price you would still need to add tire,brakes & cables. Total cost if you do ut yourself should be around $130 and be a much better investment for your time than the Traveler.
As mentioned above a Mt bike is a cheap way to go. If this will be your only bike though I would rather you go with a nicer road bike with semi wide tires. If you decide to do some longer rides on your own the road bike will be more comfortable.
As it turns out I was given 3 bikes today - a trek 820 which I will be using parts I have to fix and will become my mtn bike. It's much lighter than the freebie Roadmaster I was given.
The other 2 are a Raleigh Grand Prix Mixte, and a Ross Gran Tour. I love the Raleigh. Love, love, love. It was also made the month and year I was born (10/78) so I'm taking that as a sign. I don't care about the weight or anything else right now, this bike screams me from the style, the rainbow striping, and the date - it's fate I found this bike! it has all original parts and seems to be working, but needs new tires. I'm super stoked.