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Old 08-30-10, 04:47 PM   #1
phidauex
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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
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Old 08-30-10, 05:51 PM   #2
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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...
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Old 08-30-10, 06:13 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 06:59 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 07:09 PM   #5
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Convert a fixie to a single speed, add brakes. Viola! Instant loaner bike.
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Old 08-30-10, 07:26 PM   #6
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Convert a fixie to a single speed, add brakes. Viola! Instant loaner bike.
This, but make it a mixte.
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Old 08-30-10, 07:52 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 08:58 PM   #8
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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: "......"
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Old 08-30-10, 09:30 PM   #9
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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
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Old 08-30-10, 10:42 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-30-10, 10:52 PM   #11
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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.
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