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  1. #1
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    Fun ideas for loaner bikes?

    I've got a problem - all my bikes are too bizarre for non-cyclist friends to feel comfortable riding when they visit. They are all either fixies, super-dropped road race bikes, tall bikes, etc., and it restricts the times when a friend might be over hanging out and we want to just ride somewhere to get a drink, or grocery shop together, or when a friend is staying for a few weeks and I want to give them reliable transportation around town.

    So - I want to build up a fun loaner bike. I know I could just get any mid-90s mountain bike and be done with it, but I want something more unique and neat, something to fit with the rest of my collection of oddities, but that is still easy for anyone to hop on and ride.

    Requirements -
    - At least 7 speeds (relatively hilly around here)
    - Comfortable for a range of body sizes (within reason)
    - Light enough to ride across town comfortably
    - Interesting or unique
    - ~$400 - I have a range of basic parts to apply to the project such as cranks, rims, seats, etc, but would need to acquire a frame and the hub system.

    Anyone have any ideas, or better yet, examples of your "loaner bikes"?

    -Sam

  2. #2
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    Folding bikes are great at being good for a wide range of sizes, and you can get them with 7 speeds...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
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    Late 80's Specialized Stumpjumper, newly powder coated, with slick tires.

    Easy to hop on and ride. Platform pedals. Loaned it to my nephew recently; he had a blast.

  4. #4
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    My "loaner" bike is a 90's MTB.. heh. However, a cruiser with an IGH would be nice, you could pick up a cheap 1-speed cruiser and build an 8-speed rear wheel for less than $200. Bonus points if it's a cantilever frame, and you paint it up like a board tracker.

  5. #5
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    Convert a fixie to a single speed, add brakes. Viola! Instant loaner bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BigDaddyPete's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    Motobecane Fantom Cross 2008 Schwinn Super Sport 1972 SS. Surly Pacer Rando bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGefish View Post
    Convert a fixie to a single speed, add brakes. Viola! Instant loaner bike.
    This, but make it a mixte.

  7. #7
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Too funny. I never thought of that angle for +1.

    Tallbike = too tall
    Littlebike = too little
    Unicycle = too hard
    Recumbent = too weird
    '70's Super Sport = too heavy
    Tandem = reserved for my wife
    '60's 2-speed Typhoon = too rusty
    Misc others are not ridable

    I need another bike! Loaner bike! While I do like the idea of a folder, I think most people would put that in the too weird category. I think a medium sized frame with internal hub would be perfect. Mixte sounds great.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  8. #8
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    I keep a loaner bike because I'm constantly trying to get my buddies to come ride with me... they usually only last a few weeks, and so my "loaner" is now the go-to bike for anybody who wants to ride with me. It usually goes something like this:

    Me: "Come ride with me on Saturday."
    Them: "Oh I can't, I don't have a bike"
    Me: "I have a spare. Be at my house at 6:00"
    Them: "......"

  9. #9
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGefish View Post
    Convert a fixie to a single speed, add brakes. Viola! Instant loaner bike.
    Noooo, can't reconvert one of my conversions!

    @BigDaddyPete - A Mixte frame could be useful - low enough stepover for someone expecting a "girls bike", but different enough in appearance from a regular "girls bike" that guys can ride it without feeling emasculated.

    @BengeBoy - Either way, I think freshly powdercoated will be the way to go - a new color can really transform a standard looking frame, and getting rid of the stickers makes it harder to tell how old it is.

    It's interesting hearing about other people's loaners... I think this is not an uncommon problem with bike enthusiasts - we have so many crazy bikes that we end up lacking one "regular" bike... Heck, the last "bike" I built up was a heavily modified and strengthened child's "Green Machine" for a drunken Big Wheel Rally.

    -Sam

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Get a usable old vintage and put on some LOUD colors on it. I mean make it look like a leprechaun ate some shrooms and went crazy with a rainbow scheme of crayons. That'll usable, fun and you'll be sure that your friend will get lots of looks.

  11. #11
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Houston, Texas
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    '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
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    Quote Originally Posted by phidauex View Post
    I've got a problem - all my bikes are too bizarre for non-cyclist friends to feel comfortable riding when they visit. They are all either fixies, super-dropped road race bikes, tall bikes, etc., and it restricts the times when a friend might be over hanging out and we want to just ride somewhere to get a drink, or grocery shop together, or when a friend is staying for a few weeks and I want to give them reliable transportation around town.

    So - I want to build up a fun loaner bike. I know I could just get any mid-90s mountain bike and be done with it, but I want something more unique and neat, something to fit with the rest of my collection of oddities, but that is still easy for anyone to hop on and ride.

    Requirements -
    - At least 7 speeds (relatively hilly around here)
    - Comfortable for a range of body sizes (within reason)
    - Light enough to ride across town comfortably
    - Interesting or unique
    - ~$400 - I have a range of basic parts to apply to the project such as cranks, rims, seats, etc, but would need to acquire a frame and the hub system.

    Anyone have any ideas, or better yet, examples of your "loaner bikes"?

    -Sam

    Dahon Boardwalk or a Raleigh Twenty product improved with a Sturmey Archer 8 Speed internal hub.
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
    Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
    1988 Specialized Sirrus, 1989 Alpine Monitor Pass MTB, 2007 Specialized Sirrus 700C hybrid, 2007 Schwinn Town & Country trike, 1970 "Resto-Improved" Raleigh 20, 1970 "WIP" Raleigh 20, and 1980 "WIP" Schwinn Town & Country trike

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