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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 08-19-07, 03:58 PM   #1
Versa2nr
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Looking for charity...

Hey there all,

I have a humongus favor to ask of you all. I am currently a college student in desperate need of some parts to put together a commuter bike so I dont have to take the bus all the time. I work crazy shifts (usually 10 hours in length) and would rather not have to spend my days sitting at a bus stop waiting for the next bus. I currently have a mid 90's Scott Montego Mtn bike frame that I can build up but am needing some parts.

more specifically

1 1/8 threaded stem
handlebars
shifters
cassette
grips
cranks
bottom bracket
chain
derailleurs
seatpost and a seat

I am trying to save up some cash to buy these parts myself but it seems that monthly bills and college tuition have a nasty way of creeping up on you. I would greatly appreciate anything that anyone could contribute.
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Old 08-19-07, 04:10 PM   #2
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Why invest so much time and effort (regardless of the source of the parts) into putting together/rebuilding this specific bike for this specific purpose - commuting to campus?
See Review on the GMC Denali bicycle
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Old 08-19-07, 04:27 PM   #3
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It sounds like craigslist isn't an option for you, especially if you don't have a car to drive around and look at potential purchases. I know it can be a little frustrating to try to buy a bike from people all over a metro area without the means to get around.

Here's another idea: does your university hold a bike auction? I know that at my school, the campus police auction off the bikes that have been abandoned (i.e. left on a rack) on campus every October. You might be able to find a road bike in working condition for ~$50, or something in need of minor repair for even cheaper.

It sounds like you're pretty confident with repairs, so you might be able to bid on some bikes that others couldn't/wouldn't.

No matter what you decide to do, good luck!
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Old 08-19-07, 04:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips...

I did take a look at the Denali thread. But unfortunatley the 2 bills (after tax) is a tad scarce right now. Granted I work a full 40+ work week, and am doing 13 hours this semester. Oh well I am hopeful that I will be able to find some parts here and there. I wish they did have a bike auction at my school, but I dont go to a major university, I am still at the local community college. Not many people ride bikes there. I will keep my ears peeled for somethign like that though.

I am hesitant on getting an older bike from someone local because most of what I have seen on craigslist for my city, that is in my budget range, is total garbage that someone had sitting out in a shed or out in the elements for the last 3 years.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips...

I did take a look at the Denali thread. But unfortunatley the 2 bills (after tax) is a tad scarce right now. Granted I work a full 40+ work week, and am doing 13 hours this semester. Oh well I am hopeful that I will be able to find some parts here and there. I wish they did have a bike auction at my school, but I dont go to a major university, I am still at the local community college. Not many people ride bikes there. I will keep my ears peeled for somethign like that though.

I am hesitant on getting an older bike from someone local because most of what I have seen on craigslist for my city, that is in my budget range, is total garbage that someone had sitting out in a shed or out in the elements for the last 3 years.
Beggars can't be choosers. It sounds like you want a nice bike and don't have the money for it. Look around the thrift shops for a usable bike and slowly save up for the one you really want. You could probably even sell the frame you have to buy a usable bike.
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Old 08-20-07, 10:40 AM   #6
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Even if someone gave you all the parts you need, you can count on at least $20 in cables and housing alone. Then you need tubes and tires. Then by the time you pay shipping for everyone's parts to get to you, that will be another $40 or so. Then you need some special tools to work on the bottom bracket, etc. By that point, you are in for the same amount of money that you would be if you bought a nicer thrift store bike and who knows if all your parts are compatible coming from different people anyway. So even with free parts, you can easily be in $100 or more.

I agree with Ziemas. Thrift store bike (or ebay bike) is the way to go for the mean time. If you have the skill to put together all of the parts you are seeking, you have the skill to make an average thrift store bike serviceable. I paid $45 (plus $45 shipping) on Ebay for my fully rigid Jamis Explorer mid 90's mtb. I used it through grad school and it continues to be one of my favorite rides.

Here is another idea; a student loan for the purpose of getting to school is pretty common and acceptable in my book. If you are saving money in the long run, it is a good investment. But don't get out of control, I graduated with $70K in student loans over 1 bachelors and 3 masters degrees and that debt does hurt!

Last edited by Sawtooth; 08-20-07 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:28 PM   #7
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I am trying to save up some cash to buy these parts myself but it seems that monthly bills and college tuition have a nasty way of creeping up on you. I would greatly appreciate anything that anyone could contribute.
I've been there, done that. In the last month of college, I rode an old Montgomery Ward 10 speed that the frame was literally held together with turnbuckles and baling wire. It lasted till 3 days after graduation.

My advice is to tell your friends, tell your church, tell your relatives, tell your parents and their co-workers that you need a bike. Somebody out there has a decent bike sitting in a garage that they wouldn't mind giving to you. You gotta believe! Two of my favorite bikes have been gifts like this. An old dutch 10 speed, and my current main bike, a 15 year old Specialized Hard Rock that collected dust for over a decade before I got it. Your bike is out there. Make some noise and get yours.

Last edited by Artkansas; 08-20-07 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 08-20-07, 03:35 PM   #8
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What I said above notwithstanding, I could dig up some cantilever brakes and some stem mounted friction shifters. I might also have a set of 7 speed wheels laying about you could have (no cassette). But by the time you paid for me to ship them, you may well be into the price of a good used bike locally. I just dont' think this is going to be the most cost effective way for you to get a bike. Building always costs more than one thinks.
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Old 08-20-07, 04:15 PM   #9
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In addition to friends, relatives, thrift shops and police impound auctions, there is a privately run bike cooperative in our city. It provides all sorts of bikes very cheaply to people who need them for transportation. The coop in question has a web site and I have noticed others listed for other cities.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:56 PM   #10
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You're in college; I don't see any reason why you can't hit up mom and dad or grandma and grandpa. Even if they front you $100 that is at least enough to get you rolling on a complete used bike.

One thing that may be worth while it to hit up the "free" and "garage sale" section on CL. Every once in a blue moon you see bikes on the free section and they may be willing to hold it for you till you can catch the bus (or walk if need be) down there. I have purchased bikes and bike parts as part of garage sale "presales" for real cheap...I'm talking $0.50 wheelsets and $20 bikes that were definately dust collectors.

Outside of that I say save your money and get your parts off Ebay or something like that. It is going to cost you more than $50 to go that route.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:25 AM   #11
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Just for S&G, check to see if your campus has a bicycling program in place. Two of our larger 4 yr schools here have such a program where for a very small fee the bicycles are rented. And on my campus - we're going green this semester - and the dept in charge of the "Green" is purchasing several bicycles and other associated items for rental as we're promoting more commuting (our larger campus has several dorms, with more going up) - and I'm going over to give a couple of seminars on commuting and also distributing my club's material that I've collected the last coupla years.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:09 AM   #12
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The bike shop in the town I went to college in took in trade-in bikes all year long (beaters) and I think they may have taken the crud from the police too if they didn't want to auction it. They got them basically working; lubed things up and broke some down for parts to fix others, then at the beginning of every school year they'd put about 50 random bikes out on the sidewalk and sell them for $25 each.

See if there isn't a bike shop around your town that has some old beaters they might let go for cheap. Or check the thrift shop.
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