Been reading this bored for the past week or so because I am going to start commuting to work (about 5 miles each way, sorta hilly, crappy baltimore streets). The only thing that I'm lacking is a bike. I've found a few good deals on craigslist and I'm going to look at this one tonight. Please let me know if it's a good deal for a new commuter (6'1", 210lbs Clydesdale status).
Short history on me. Grew up on mountain bikes and bmx bikes, stopped biking when I got a licence. I'm now 23, living and working in Baltimore. I need to get some routine exercise but I hate running and have bad knees. I figure I can ride to work and kill two birds with one stone. I think a mtb will suit my needs better than a road bike (for now) 1 because I'm on the bigger side of the bike population, 2 I have more experience on one than a road bike, 3 seems more comfy and safer (more upright) in traffic.
The Bike: 23" Red 1997 Specialized Hardrock GX Rigid Frame
The Price: $225
The Upgrades: Shimano Deore XTR rear dérailleur, Deore LX thumbshifters, Deore XT/LX brakes, Maxxis Overdrive's 26 x 1.75" semi-slicks, rear fender and Blackburn rack
Will this bike be reliable? What should I look for when I go to see it? Can I easily upgrade more components (fork, crankset, pedals, handlebars, brakes) if I see fit in the future? Price good? Good for a fattymcfats? (hopefully I'll creep back into the sub 200lb club after commuting for a few weeks).
Finally, what else will I need to get?
-2 spare tubes