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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 05-11-09, 06:16 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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It's not what you got - it's what you do with it

Been riding my '70s era steel bike with steel wheels since my modern bike is popping spokes left and right. I need to replace that rear wheel altogether I think.

I'm liking my steel bike. The ride is actually quite comfortable even with the gum wall tires pumped to their MAX pressure. Who knew cheap could also be good. Cleaning the wheels surfaces definitely helps my stopping.
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Old 05-11-09, 06:36 AM   #2
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I started riding again in July on a Schwinn Varsity that was at least 35 years old. It was great. I only stopped because it got a flat while sitting in the garage. Since August, I've owned a couple more expensive bikes, but I'm always on the lookout for a cheap road bike. Just picked up a cheap MTB the other day.
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Old 05-11-09, 06:39 AM   #3
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Just for fun you might want to change the cables; housings, brake pads; tires & tubes; bar tape & slap a cheap rack on it. If you've got the time do the bearings and grease and you've got a decent back-up bike. I keep my eye out for similar deals and I'm on the fence about replacing this one - though I do see some pristine cherries on CL sometimes for like $150. and I am so tempted.

Congrats on the cheap used MTB!
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Old 05-11-09, 07:10 AM   #4
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meh
A good bike helps a good rider. A good rider can overcome a crappy bike but imagine what he\she could do with a good bike.
Life is too short.
Get what you can afford.
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Old 05-11-09, 07:29 AM   #5
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I've concluded that if a bike fits well, runs quietly, and basically performs acceptably then it can be a joy to ride, cheap or not.

As I keep riding, good bike FIT gains more importance to me. When a bike has some unexplained, constant creak, ping, or other noise, it really bothers me.

"performs acceptably" is open to a lot of interpretations. I'm not a sophisticated, detailed cyclist. For me "acceptably" its not much more than having brakes that stop the bike, being able to change gears without too much "clunkiness", and having a frame and wheels that are not obviously out of true.

More money can buy a lighter bike with (I assume) smoother/better gear-changing and braking (than your 70's era steel bike), but I doubt it would be any more durable. As far as bike weight is concerned, I used to be into wanting a sub-20 pound bike, but after considering the way I ride (I'm not a racer), and all the information considering bike-weight that I've read here on bikeforums.net, I don't think it would add that much to my enjoyment of biking (which way the wind is blowing on a given day would probably have more impact on my ride).

I do like aliminum-alloy rims (which will bring a lot of steel-rimmed bikes to sub-30-pound weight)
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Old 05-11-09, 07:36 AM   #6
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It is still mostly the engine but a nice bike makes it just that more enjoyable. However, "nice" is up for interpretation.
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Old 05-11-09, 07:37 AM   #7
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I would get new wheels for it. I would consider buying a modern steel bike.
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Old 05-11-09, 07:42 AM   #8
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It is still mostly the engine but a nice bike makes it just that more enjoyable. However, "nice" is up for interpretation.
Ain't that the truth
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Old 05-11-09, 08:19 AM   #9
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If some one is willing to invest in a basic tool kit, clean/workstand,a repair manual and
invest a little time in upkeep, they are on thier way. Just a matter of time in the saddle
to increase the learning curve. I keep these items in the cellar at work.
A coworker brought in two trashed box store mt. bikes. I cobbled one bike together so
he can do some beach riding with his kids. After I did a test ride, I figured that was a
pretty good bike for what he wants to do with it... It was free too.
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Old 05-11-09, 08:31 AM   #10
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... I sooooo need a workstand. I dislike lying on my back to inspect the low stuff. I a pinch I stick a rake handle in the frame and support that with my deck railings. There have been at least two occasional where the dam thing fell on my neck. UGH
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Old 05-11-09, 08:35 AM   #11
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I've been doing most of my recent riding on a 1988 Trek 400 frame/fork which I pulled from the trash last year and refurbed with parts from a 1991 PDG-5.
It looks like a beater, but rides like a dream.
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Old 05-11-09, 08:46 AM   #12
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... I sooooo need a workstand. I dislike lying on my back to inspect the low stuff. I a pinch I stick a rake handle in the frame and support that with my deck railings. There have been at least two occasional where the dam thing fell on my neck. UGH
Do you have an unfinished garage or basement with exposed supports?
I used to use long bungee cords drapped over my ceiling supports in my garage. Hook one set to the handlebars and another to the seat or rack. It has issues like swinging around but at $5 is a nice cost.
My ex purchased me a performance workstand a few years ago that works decent and does not cost too much.
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