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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 10-07-07, 05:12 PM   #1
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Got two new bikes off craigslist

So for the time being I own 4 (for a total of 6 in our house between 4 people).

First one is a Dahon Stowaway from 1996 for $35. Has a 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub that seems to be in perfect shape. The guy said he got it from his parents and doesn't think they ever rode it. He and his son had played around with it but not taken it more than a couple of miles.

Second is a 1999 (roughly) Specialized Rockhopper for $95. He said he bought it in 2000 and put maybe 50 miles on it. Frame is a 20.5" which is too big for me. Picked it up for my fiance to play with. If he ends up not liking it I have a labmate who needs a new bike. Shifting works great, brakes need to be played with a little but are functional and the tires are a somewhat dry rotted but are holding air fine for now.

Both seem like they could be decent commuters. I really wish I were tall enough to ride the Rockhopper, it's a great bike.

Orlando craigslist is usually nothing but "5 year old walmart bike I payed $80 for and have been keeping out in the rain for 3 years for $60" so I was pretty excited to find these two.
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Old 10-07-07, 05:40 PM   #2
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Look nice. Especially that folder. Yeah, I have a hard time finding anything decent on Craigslist, too... maybe now that winter is coming, there will be more good stuff.
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Old 10-07-07, 06:39 PM   #3
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Dang. All I ever see on CL is raunchy old mongooses (mongeese?)

I wish I had that Rockhopper. You'll make a great commuter of it. But hang onto the Dahon, you never know when you'll want a folder.

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Old 10-07-07, 06:44 PM   #4
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Way cool!
Being a folding bike fan, I'm quite jealous!
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Old 10-07-07, 07:37 PM   #5
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Aw man, that rockhopper makes me sad. This summer I saw one that someone had done a conversion to drop bars on with bar end shifters. I'm guessing to make a cyclocross bike. High quality suntour, I think, looking at the picture. It had been left at this ladies house a couple years before by a friend and after it sat in her basement for a long time (she was a non-cyclist) she put it on the list for 35 dollars

I called 3 hours after it was posted and it was already sold.

I then saw it regularly parked on a road along my commute for the rest of the summer. Lucky jerk got to it before I did.
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Old 10-07-07, 07:51 PM   #6
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folding bike question (i don't feel like going to the folding bike forum to ask) when it's folded, do you have to carry it? or can you just wheel it around? I've seen folding bikes with small, rollerblade sized wheels to wheel their folded bikes with. do those come standard on every folding bike, or is it just particular brands that have that?
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Old 10-08-07, 03:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Dang. All I ever see on CL is raunchy old mongooses (mongeese?)
You learn to read past the Mongeese, Huffys, and GMC Denalis. Also the clowns who seem to think that any frame that has survived the 70s is by definition 'vintage.' And the fools who think they'll get 90% of retail for a 3-year-old mass-market bike. And, possibly, some fences ('shed full of bikes I need to sell fast!').

But if you're willing to look, there really are good deals on there if you can read through a few pages.
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Old 10-09-07, 09:51 PM   #8
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I haven't owned a road bike in like 15 years and now I gotta a hankerin for one. I want to roll on big skinny wheels. In the last few months I have found THREE old 27" wheel road bikes for a combined $15 (2 from the dump, 1 yard sale). But they are all huge! Two are 64cm frames, and one is 61cm. I am 5'10" and my legs aren't THAT long.

I live in a tiny mountain town in Idaho, and I don't have time to drive 2-1/2 hours to Boise to pick up a used bike. Boise CL frequently has sweet looking deals on cool looking bikes and It kills me I can't scoop on them.

Finally I lost it, and I am putting 27" wheels (from dump roadie) on my Nishiki Manitoba mountain bike ($5 @ yard sale). Had to fabricate brakes solution, but it looks good and tomorrow I hope to finish it. Can't wait for the first test ride.

Guys on this forum like 65er are my heroes, finding diamond-in-the-rough bikes and building them up into something cool and useful. It is easier for the guys living in large cities. That is the only thing I envy folks in big cities.

Well, I had to spill that story. It was weighing on me. I'll post photos of my frankenstein-road-bike if it works out.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:14 AM   #9
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My wife has that exact same Rockhopper. She loves it. She won't commute on it though. She's got a Terry Classic for that. Surprised at how light that bike is for it's age. Good pick up.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by knobster View Post
Surprised at how light that bike is for it's age. Good pick up.
Yea, I was really shocked by the weight. It just has such a good weight and feel to it.

Fiance has been playing around with it a bit but the seat is not working for him. Now he wants something cushy. I'll probably have to let him play around with a couple of the other seats I've got available (except my brooks). He's ridden around on my mountain bike a fair bit with no issues so that seat may work (and would give me an excuse to get a brooks for the mtb).

Sadly I've had no time to play with the folder yet. May be 2-3 weeks before I get the chance since I have a major midterm coming up next friday.

I did give both bikes a good cleaning and lubed the chains. There's a tiny bit of rust on some of the parts of the folder, as well as the cheap screws used to put the rack and fenders on but the drivetrain looks great.

The rockhopper is nearly spotless other than that the chain needs a bit better cleaning than I gave it since the old lube had completely hardened and caked on. If he starts riding regularly or I can talk him into commuting (his car is dying and his work is only ~5 miles from our house) we'll probably take it down to the LBS for a tune up.

I am thinking the best use for the folder will be when I drive home and don't want to deal with the trunk rack. I've got a little stepsister who absolutely loves being able to come out on a bike ride with me but no adult sized bikes at my dad's house for me to ride with her so I have to bring my own.

CodyBroken: I'd be interested to see the pics of the frakenbike. I can sympathize with not being able to find good deals on bikes in the right size. I'm 5'6" and ride a 17" MTB and a 52cm road bike both of which are on the large size for my leg length (but I've got a long torso so a smaller frame often feels cramped). Finding frames in those sizes on craigslist here seems to be almost impossible except for the people who are looking to get 90% of purchase price for a 4-5 year old bike. I see a lot more deals on bikes that are 60cm/20"+.

oakdale: I can't find any easy way to roll the Dahon while it's folded. I think it must be something specific to some folding bikes. I may pick up a bag for it to make moving it easier.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:55 AM   #11
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Sure, go ahead and hog all the good stuff. I'd like to find a folding bike for $35.
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Old 10-12-07, 10:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
I'd like to find a folding bike for $35.
+1 +Oh hell yeah. That's a find.
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Old 10-12-07, 03:36 PM   #13
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I'm guessing the Rockhopper is older than that (steel frame, canti's, threaded headset) . My guess is '93-'94. Having said that I had the same Rockhopper from '94-2001 and it is absolutely bombproof. I rode it exclusively on trails and threw everything I could at it and never replaced a thing except the occasional chain and drivetrain. It is a great find for you! The only reason I sold mine is when I upgraded to a full suspension and I realized the bike was way to small for me.
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