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  1. #1
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    Replacing my bike

    The Huffy bike that I bought in May (because hubby refused to buy a better quality used bike when we could get a new bike for the same price ) is wearing out...in the last month I replaced the petals twice, the brake cables, and had to tighten up the rear hub because it was wobbly. Now it's making clanking and grinding noises and it's something in the crankset which I don't have the tools to investigate. I don't feel like it's worth taking it to be looked at either.

    So, since my budget doesn't allow for a new bike until March, I'm looking at the used ones on Craigslist and trying to find something to get today. The best thing I've seen so far is a Raleigh C40 with an aluminum frame. Does that sound like a good choice for a heavier rider? or would I be better off waiting to find something with a steel frame? I don't do anything extreme with the bike, just ride sidewalks and streets. Probably what killed the Huffy (other than it's general poor quality) was pulling the trail-a-bike with it so I could get my little one riding.

  2. #2
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    In all honesty it sounds like the combination of a poor quality bike, your weight, and pulling a trail a bike was way more load than the Huffy could ever handle.

    That said, consider a stout bike that will not fail you no matter what. This bike can be built to your order and delivered to your door for a very reasonable cost.

    http://worksmancycles.aitrk.com/shop.../cruisers.html

    http://worksmancycles.aitrk.com/shop...ml/page63.html

    If you order this bike the 3 speed gearing ,with 36 tooth front sprocket, will make that bike a dream to ride.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  3. #3
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    I use an aluminum frame trek 3700 to pull a trail a bike and my two year old rides in an IBert on the front at the same time as my 5 year old is on the trail a bike. I have had no issues. I think any decent name brand bike kept tuned properly should do the trick.

  4. #4
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    nothing inherently wrong with aluminum. I'm 240lbs and have ridden aluminum and just sold it for a carbon fiber roadie as long as the bike fits you it should be good.

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    As people on this forum say repeatedly, the frame material usually isn't the issue for heavier loads. Aluminum should work fine. Heavier loads may require beefier wheels but you can upgrade those later if it turns out to be a problem. If you buy the Raleigh I wouldn't pay much for it, even new they were pretty inexpensive bikes, at least according to: http://www.bikepedia.com/QUICKBIKE/B...=C40&Type=bike The 2004 new had a suggested retail of $340. I don't know enough to evaluate the quality of that bike or its components.

  6. #6
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    They were selling it for $85, but sold it before I could go look at it.

    I'm thinking of looking at the pawnshops too. I really can't spend a lot on a bike at the moment, but I can't go without one either.

  7. #7
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Depending on where you live I have seen good used bikes for sale by guys who pick up used bikes and fix them up and sell them. In Minneapolis, where I was looking, there were several small businesses that did this. They had a number of bikes for less than $100.

  8. #8
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    I'm in San Antonio. I'll have to see if there's anything like that here.

  9. #9
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Many LBSs take trade ins. I've purchased several decent used high-quality bikes that way. Since they want my repeat business I've never had one sell me a problem bike yet. I've purchased two cro-mo framed Trek 800 series bikes for $99 each and they were in good condition and had been lubed and adjusted. My wife still rides the first one I bought. I've purchased used bikes from individuals but you have to know what to look for and always keep the purchase price low as you can assume you are going to have to put some money into the bike. Even my best "free" bike cost me $45 and a few hours of clean and tune before it was ready to ride.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    The reason I avoid aluminum frames isn't just for size. At 280lbs, I'm not the heaviest. But in college, my fittest time, I was climbing hills at 255lbs, and even broke steel frames, and I climbed on a CF/aluminum bike and hear a crack from the head tube. The failure mode of aluminum is quick and catastrophic. It doesn't give you any real warning and then cracks. Aluminum also continues to fatigue even under very minor stresses, and this means it can and does wear out and fracture after a long time. With steel, in both cases, I cracked the right chainstay on the inside bridge near the BB. In each case, I was out in the middle of nowhere and was able to walk the remainder of the hill, then get to local mass transit, and get home. I'd hate to imagine what aluminum failure would look like if the whole rear triangle lost integrity because the right chainstay cracked completely.

    Typically, all frames, including aluminum are designed to never reach the end of their fatigue lifetimes. But they are also not experiencing the power of some really big riders as we get up and honk fast up hills. For a year or two, maybe, aluminum is good. For maybe even 5 years, if it's hardly used. But my average bike age in my garage is steel from 1990. That's 20+ years. I'm not sure if you plan to keep you bikes that long. But once I fall in love with a bike and buy it, I ride it and don't intend to sell it (even though I am guilty of selling off a whole bunch of bikes in the past). So with steel, I get more assurance that my relationship will last longer with that bike.

    But hey, a new Aluminum bike might be fine for all people. A used one is less sure for bigger folks. You don't know if folks like me rode it. If it does fail, you need to accept the possibility that it could be an instantaneous failure without any warning, that's all.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
    The reason I avoid aluminum frames isn't just for size. At 280lbs, I'm not the heaviest. But in college, my fittest time, I was climbing hills at 255lbs, and even broke steel frames, and I climbed on a CF/aluminum bike and hear a crack from the head tube. The failure mode of aluminum is quick and catastrophic. It doesn't give you any real warning and then cracks. Aluminum also continues to fatigue even under very minor stresses, and this means it can and does wear out and fracture after a long time. With steel, in both cases, I cracked the right chainstay on the inside bridge near the BB. In each case, I was out in the middle of nowhere and was able to walk the remainder of the hill, then get to local mass transit, and get home. I'd hate to imagine what aluminum failure would look like if the whole rear triangle lost integrity because the right chainstay cracked completely.

    Typically, all frames, including aluminum are designed to never reach the end of their fatigue lifetimes. But they are also not experiencing the power of some really big riders as we get up and honk fast up hills. For a year or two, maybe, aluminum is good. For maybe even 5 years, if it's hardly used. But my average bike age in my garage is steel from 1990. That's 20+ years. I'm not sure if you plan to keep you bikes that long. But once I fall in love with a bike and buy it, I ride it and don't intend to sell it (even though I am guilty of selling off a whole bunch of bikes in the past). So with steel, I get more assurance that my relationship will last longer with that bike.

    But hey, a new Aluminum bike might be fine for all people. A used one is less sure for bigger folks. You don't know if folks like me rode it. If it does fail, you need to accept the possibility that it could be an instantaneous failure without any warning, that's all.
    Thanks, that's actually a really good point.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    I bought a couple of bikes through Craigslist in the last few years. Both steel Bridgestones. They were vintage but I got great deals on the basic bikes. $200 for a 1985 Bridgestone 600, and $50 for a 1990 CB-2. Both were rideable when I bought them, but to really make them ride really sweet, I put another $200 each and quite a few hours to modernize and make the bikes ride better than new. But both are steel frames too. I ride the 600 and it's a real pleasure. My son rides the CB-2 and loves it as well. I think it's possible to find a ready-to-ride bike on CL, but I'm not sure if the prices offered are much better for just going to an LBS. I think to take the best advantage of a deal on CL, you need to be patient but prepared to jump when the right bike comes along but then have the skills to work and perfect that bike after you buy it.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  13. #13
    Senior Member mymojo's Avatar
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    A few years ago I bought a Trek 950 mtb off CL for $75. I wound up putting slick tires on it since it never really leaves the pavement. It is a friggin' tank. Its heavy and clumsy.... and as far as I can tell, damn near indestructible. It mainly sees service pulling my daughter around on an In-step kids tandem. I'm around 270 right now and she & the tandem probably add an extra 65-70 lbs. That old trek just keeps on truckin'.

    I guess my point is to not rule out an old Trek MTB for your stated purpose.

  14. #14
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    I ended up getting Academy to let me return the broken bike. So then I had store credit and I added a little more money to that and got a Schwinn Suburban. I'll still watch for the right bike on CL...I was looking for either a Trek mountain bike or a Giant...but I have something to ride in the meantime, and once I find my perfect CL bike, then the schwinn can be a spare, or my mom can ride it when she comes over. If I don't find something on CL, then at tax time I will get a bike from a bike shop. I have no idea how well the schwinn will hold up, but it feels pretty comparable to my daughter's Giant bike...or will when I'm done adjusting things.

    I can do basic repairs on bikes, change tires, replace brake cables, that kind of thing, so the idea of buying a used bike is not intimidating. Actually, while I was looking for the right bike on CL, I ended up buying an old specialized stumpjumper for $30, fixed the brakes and sold it that same night for $100 (could have gotten more but I wanted it to sell quick).

    I told my daughter we can't use the trail-a-bike until I get another bike. She has her own little bike and she can ride at least a few miles, she just can't go fast. She wanted to ride with me and her big sister who's 9, but the 9 year old already has a bike with 26" wheels so she rides as fast as an adult and complains if she has to go slow for her sister.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    There is no reason that the suburban cannot handle the trail a bike. Also if you are that confident in minor maintenance take your money to bikedirect and get a nice bike next spring.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner65 View Post
    There is no reason that the suburban cannot handle the trail a bike. Also if you are that confident in minor maintenance take your money to bikedirect and get a nice bike next spring.
    I'm short and the seatpost on the suburban doesn't have room for the trail a bike hitch. It's one of those suspension seat posts...not sure if I care for it yet but I'd have to swap it out for a regular seatpost to use the trail a bike.

  17. #17
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi View Post
    I'm short and the seatpost on the suburban doesn't have room for the trail a bike hitch. It's one of those suspension seat posts...not sure if I care for it yet but I'd have to swap it out for a regular seatpost to use the trail a bike.
    swap it; you and your family will be happier.
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

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