Looking at purchasing my first road bicycle for commuting as my ancient cars engine blew a bearing (scrapped for $50 to junkyard) and I need a less expensive mode of transportation. I've been riding my girlfriends hybrid and decided I enjoy cycling. I feel better, more fit and energetic at work.
I live in Victoria, BC and it's quite hospitable to cyclists. I have a 20-40 minute commute and will probably be commuting in the winter. It rarely snows and I'll bus if it does, however there is light to moderate drizzle at least half the year.
I found one bike for $500, the Apollo, I think it's a mkIV based on the paint job, didn't get the specifics. I test drove it and it has friction stem shifters that I'm less than stoked on and also drop bars that are too narrow for me, but otherwise the new tires made for a smooth ride and I enjoyed the bike. It recently had a tune-up and the kid selling it has clearly taken good care of it.
I would want to change to wider drops (44cm I think) (handlebars sourced at $40) which I believe would require breaks & hoods, I'm thinking bar-end shifters, maybe shimano ($80), new cable/housing, and tape and maybe a new stem/clamp setup. I want to do the work myself unless I get super stuck - in which case there's a Trek shop down the road who've been really nice, idk if they'd help with off-brand cycles though..
I talked the guy down to $420 at the test drive, debated it for a night, offered $300 (based on upgrade costs) and said sorry for the lowball offer expecting a counter, he said $380 and I think I could probably do it but I don't know if it's worth it for a low-end 70s bike. Not a lot of options on craigslist/local used sites around here for men so just asking around. I'd also add fenders, a rack and eventually a brooks leather seat. So, all in, opinions/comments appreciated, let me know what's up!