Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Houston Heights
Bikes: Surly Cross Check
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I bought a similar vintage Bianchi for $100. It too, has suicide levers and stem shifters, but it was all in working order.
In retrospect, I probably should have tried to pay a little less. Since I've had it I have put more money than I thought into it
new flat-resistant tires, new tubes, and rim tape ~ $50
rack and fenders ~ $35
tune-up at bike shop (they fixed a bent rear derailer) = $55
The unexpected expenses were replacement of a slipping steel seatpost - $20, and replacement of the headset, which was another $25.
I'm not counting add-ons like lights and a new seat (I did have a perfectly servicable one, but I wanted a Brooks), since those would be required for almost any commuting bike. That would be another $150 all together.
So far I've spent about $285 on the "beater" road bike, but I really do enjoy riding it. The frame is great, and I like being able to go faster than I could on my mountain bike.
Edited to add: the bike looked WAY better in person than it did on the crappy photos on Craigslist, so don't let that deter you too much.