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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-06-07, 02:45 AM   #1
Cyclaholic
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The cheapest x-mart POS is the perfect bike!

The shops where I get my groceries are about 3 miles away. I tow the trailer with my custom build Surly LHT tourer/commuter which is worth more than the entire stock of x-mart cheapies in the store and I constantly worry about it being stolen when its parked there.

There are several parks within a few miles from home where I take my daughter on the trail-a-bike. With the little one on the trail-a-bike I don't do more than 10mph or she freaks out.

My LBS is about 5 miles away. When I need something major done by the LBS like just recently when they overhauled my rear hub I had to run the back wheel up there on the trailer (towed it with my mtn bike) so it's a slow trip.

When I get my groceries I tow the trailes and don't do more than about 15mph empty and 8 - 10 when loaded full of groceries, so thats also a slow trip.

For all these mission profiles it seems to me that a cheapie x-mart bike would be perfect. I can just leave all the trailer attachment hardware bolted onto it and I can lock up anywhere without worring if it will still be there when I come out. If it gets pinched big deal, I can get another one for less than $100 - brand new with 12 months warranty even!
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Old 03-06-07, 03:04 AM   #2
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Get a used one for ten or fifteen bucks, replace the RD and chain with something decent, and replace the front brake with something that will last, and it should be a good "park it and forget it" bike. Just make sure to smudge the name off the RD so no one knows it's a Deore or wot-not.
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Old 03-06-07, 03:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
Get a used one for ten or fifteen bucks, replace the RD and chain with something decent, and replace the front brake with something that will last, and it should be a good "park it and forget it" bike. Just make sure to smudge the name off the RD so no one knows it's a Deore or wot-not.

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Old 03-06-07, 06:09 AM   #4
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Ditch X-Mart. Hit the goodwill or pawn shops for the win!
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Old 03-06-07, 06:19 AM   #5
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I hit all the thrift stores around here for months looking for a beater for the same types of trips Cyclaholic is describing but couldn't find anything worth getting. Then I checked Craig's list and found this guy in my area that sells good used bikes out of his house. As it turns out, he goes to all the same stores and buys everything up. He then tunes up and lubes everything to sell for ~100 bucks.

Right now he is selling a Schwinn world tourist for $85...great beater. I may have to pick it up.
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Old 03-06-07, 06:31 AM   #6
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Then I checked Craig's list and found this guy in my area that sells good used bikes out of his house. As it turns out, he goes to all the same stores and buys everything up. He then tunes up and lubes everything to sell for ~100 bucks.
The Squirrel Guy™!

:-)

p.s. no kidding, that's what he calls himself...
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Old 03-06-07, 06:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by O-Town
...found this guy in my area that sells good used bikes out of his house. As it turns out, he goes to all the same stores and buys everything up. ... Right now he is selling a Schwinn world tourist for $85...great beater. I may have to pick it up.
...or beat him to the store!

Seriously tho, I've been looking around but haven't found anything decent. So far everything is either worn out, broken beyond repair, or just much too small or large, and anything half way decent commands big $$$ I'll keep looking but much as I hate to turn to the dark side an x-mart cheapie is starting to look like an easy option.
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Old 03-06-07, 07:13 AM   #8
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try to identify which x-mart bike has the highest quality wheels...

It seems like a lot of them have these low end stamped metal wheels that have a tendency to bend easily.....

some of them, however, have better quality aluminum wheels that seem like they should hold up a little better. ..

I still think the best beater is the huffy beach cruiser with the coaster brake ! haha

Watch out - the tire might come flying off for no apparent reason (it happened to me 4 years ago with one of them) but I took it back and made them give me a new tire from the shelf and I installed it myself ... =)

good luck !

(look, it even comes with fenders for a grand total of $ 79 . ! )

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Old 03-06-07, 07:46 AM   #9
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I grew up riding a Huffy Torpedo steel battle cruiser through Waco, Texas, warily skirting the minefields laid by self-righteous religious zealots. Great bike even if it did weigh 40 pounds! I think about that bike every time I see a Huffy...
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Old 03-06-07, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
For all these mission profiles it seems to me that a cheapie x-mart bike would be perfect. I can just leave all the trailer attachment hardware bolted onto it and I can lock up anywhere without worring if it will still be there when I come out. If it gets pinched big deal, I can get another one for less than $100 - brand new with 12 months warranty even!
How long have you accomplished these "mission profiles" with less than perfect bikes before coming to the realization that xmart may have the perfect bike for you? Was CigTech's BF opus about his xmart bike the catalyst for your epiphany?
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Old 03-06-07, 11:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
How long have you accomplished these "mission profiles" with less than perfect bikes before coming to the realization that xmart may have the perfect bike for you? Was CigTech's BF opus about his xmart bike the catalyst for your epiphany?
Yes, Cig's Opus did inspire some thought. That and the redevelopment of the local shopping center which has seen the bike racks relegated to a remote corner of a multi-storey parking lot with zero security. I've reached the tolerable limit of my worrying about my bike while shopping. Anyhow, I would have thought that you of all people would be approving of such an anti-elitist, pro-utilitarian bike for the masses - the very antithesis of the racer-wannabe!.... hey, who are you? and what have you done with the real ILTB?
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Old 03-06-07, 11:46 AM   #12
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my dad has been riding his 30 dollar wallyworld special for years now... it takes him around the lake, to the store occasionally and probably sees 10-15 miles a week in the warmer months.

i gotta say it is the perfect bike for the job. heavy as hell but also durable; the cheap shifters still work damn well after a couple years.

good luck finding a simple rigid hardtail though... most of the bikes they sell are the full-suspension junk models. i wouldn't trust those, but if you can find an old rigid non-sus design them stamped metal cheapies seem to do allright!
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Old 03-06-07, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Yes, Cig's Opus did inspire some thought. That and the redevelopment of the local shopping center which has seen the bike racks relegated to a remote corner of a multi-storey parking lot with zero security. I've reached the tolerable limit of my worrying about my bike while shopping. Anyhow, I would have thought that you of all people would be approving of such an anti-elitist, pro-utilitarian bike for the masses - the very antithesis of the racer-wannabe!.... hey, who are you? and what have you done with the real ILTB?
Hey! Who says I don't approve of your coming into the light? Go for it, my cycling brother.
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Old 03-06-07, 11:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-a-mill
good luck finding a simple rigid hardtail though

the Schwinn Ranger is made by pacific cycles. It has a hi-ten steel frame, probably weighs 35 lbs, has Tourney 7 speed X 3 up front, and is sold at Target. The Aluminum Comp is basically the same bike but has a 6061 aluminum frame (this is my commuter when I don't want the roadie exposed to the elements).
Both bikes are built like tanks, and should be perfectly functional for what the OP wants. Both are hardtails. Price is a little more than what the OP was indicating he wanted to pay, but they are not outrageously priced : $139-$159 USD.
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Old 03-06-07, 11:55 AM   #15
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Ditch X-Mart. Hit the goodwill or pawn shops for the win!
Huzzah! Um, I mean, good idea.
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Old 03-06-07, 01:25 PM   #16
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I'd like to try an X-Mart bike for experimentation. I've been trying thrift stores and Craig's List, but that is just too much hit or miss, usually miss. X-Mart is always has the same bikes up for sale, so I don't have to be patient. Also pricewise, it would be very economical as far as other experiments have gone. One element of utilitarian cycling is to not to haved to constantly worry about having your bike stolen. If the bike is inexpensive enough that problem is eliminated.

My only problem is that there isn't a WalMart near me. It's not fair. People in Australia and Canada seem to have them. That just ain't fair! They are foreigners.
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Old 03-06-07, 01:57 PM   #17
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There actually aren't any Walmarts in Australia, AFAIK, but there are other cheap general merchandise stores you can buy cheap bikes from.

Some of these bikes are OK- especially if you stick to the basic ones and tune them up properly. The dual suspension ones look horrible.
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Old 03-06-07, 02:08 PM   #18
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i wish x-mart would sell a cheap-o touring bike. something with racks.
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Old 03-06-07, 02:16 PM   #19
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Unkchuck, where are you in Ohio that Wallyworld hasn't infiltrated? We have two in the same city and five more within thirty miles!
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Old 03-06-07, 02:54 PM   #20
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Yuk, no thanks. The closest I've ever had to owning an Xmart bike was a POS Renegade Mountain Lite that actually came from an LBS. Bought it about 10 years ago, it was fine for cruising around the park with my GF, and was an OK commuter until it encountered "winter". No seals on the bb, hubs and headset meant constant regreasings, until all were shot after a single winter. All of the bike was steel which corroded rapidly to the point where I was worrying about structural failure of the frame. Broke both front and rear plastic shifters, pedals seized up and were not servicable, etc.

IMO much better off with something like a Kona Smoke, who would worry about that getting nicked? Plus its quality enough that things won't fail after the slightest degree of hard riding.
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Old 03-06-07, 03:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by KrisA
it was fine for cruising around the park with my GF, and was an OK commuter until it encountered "winter". No seals on the bb, hubs and headset meant constant regreasings, until all were shot after a single winter. All of the bike was steel which corroded rapidly to the point where I was worrying about structural failure of the frame. Broke both front and rear plastic shifters, pedals seized up and were not servicable, etc.
Perfect! sounds *exactly* like what I have in mind I can get one of these for the cost of a chain for my road bike
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Old 03-06-07, 04:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
Get a used one for ten or fifteen bucks, replace the RD and chain with something decent, and replace the front brake with something that will last, and it should be a good "park it and forget it" bike. Just make sure to smudge the name off the RD so no one knows it's a Deore or wot-not.
Don't even always need to replace the derailleur. I've been riding on a used bike that has a 15-or-so-year-old Shimano Altus for RD and it's given me no trouble. For short trips as the ones describe you could even go single-speed anyway.

I've ridden lots of xmart bikes in my day though. I wouldn't want to ride a mile on those things. They really are ultimately crap in too many ways to start listing. A big pain in the butt.

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Old 03-06-07, 05:07 PM   #23
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Unkchuck, where are you in Ohio that Wallyworld hasn't infiltrated? We have two in the same city and five more within thirty miles!
In the Cinci area. I've got a Meijer's and a Target close by, but those bikes are little kids bikes. I want to see one of those WalMart adult bikes I've been reading about. They are building a Walmart close to me, but it's taking them so long. Okay, the town's dry cleaners, florists and antique stores put up a pretty good fight, but I thought Walmart moved faster than that. Sure, I could ride 20 or so miles to another Walmart. But come on, Walmart can't be worth the 20 mile ride. And if I did ride the 20 miles, then I would have to deal with the dam greeter who would ask me how I was feeling as soon as I walked through the door. How am I feeling? I just rode 20 miles to get to a Malmart, how do you think I would feel? Then the greeter's feelings would be hurt and I'd feel guilty all day. That's just too much pressure for me to shop under.
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Old 03-06-07, 05:20 PM   #24
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There actually aren't any Walmarts in Australia, AFAIK, but there are other cheap general merchandise stores you can buy cheap bikes from.

Some of these bikes are OK- especially if you stick to the basic ones and tune them up properly. The dual suspension ones look horrible.
What no Walmarts? You all got Safeways. I think there is a rule that you are supposed to get a Walmart before you get a Safeway. Wait, McDonalds first, then Walmart. No... it's if you are too small for a McDonalds, then you get a Hardees. The nicest house becomes a funeral home and the second nicest becomes a law office. And then you get the Walmart followed by the Safeway. Something like that. There is a formula, I just don't know it off hand.

Anyways, It's good to know that Walmart isn't raping and pilliging forieners while there are still plenty of communities left to be raped and pillaged right here in the USofA. I was beginning to feel left out.
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Old 03-06-07, 06:03 PM   #25
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Omg WHAT?

Dude, get one of these:



It doesn't matter what it cost, its betterer. I mean, if you think about it, it's so much better, that it's almost paying you to ride it.

I got one of these:



using the same rational. Now, sure, I sold my house, my wife has left me, I live in a Ferrari, down by the river, but it's just BETTER. I am happy about my choice. Seriously. WHAT?

Make the same choices I did, and you'll be just so awesome.

/end fixie mode

or craigslist.org
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