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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 03-02-11, 10:27 PM   #1
miko
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looking for a new bike, smith and wesson police bike vs mongoose 735 dynametric

Hello all,

I am a newbie to the forums and good bikes in general so please excuse my lack of knowledge in certain areas as well as length of post. I'm currently riding a pacific junker as my commuter, not the actual name of the bike but a good description of what it is Needless to say the bike is long overdue for a replacement, every component is worn out.

My commute is about 8 miles each way. It feels like I am riding at a slight incline albeit very slowly for about 50% of the time. There are a lot of potholes but I manage to go around most of them half the time. There are two major hills, 20% grade that I usually walk and take a break on. The goal during the commute is not to sweat too much so I'm not drenched when I finish. I usually carry 10lbs on me or more in my bike messenger bag.

I have been looking for a bike for a while now, there is not much for sale in my area (western MA) that either fit me or are a good price. Craigslist, pawn shop, ebay is where I've looked so far, I haven't gone to a LBS yet nearest one is 15 miles away but will soon.

I'm not sure where to put my focus on in the search, 10spd, road bike, commuter, hybird?
I'm not opposed to something classic like a 70's peugeot or schwinn le-tour or something more modern. I definitely want something lighter weight maybe 25lbs or less as well as a bike that I can use for longer trips.
My budget is not large, I'm not looking to spend more than $150 on a bike, don't need anything new. There have been plenty of deals in that range, but they so far been either the wrong size or too far away. It seems to me I can get a nice bike in that price or am I being a dreamer?

Now I went to the local pawn shop and they had the two bikes in the title. Both about the same price $130 ish.

The smith and wesson looks pretty nice they go for $1200 new so I would assume it's a good bike. This model appeared to be about 10 years old, I did not get the full name or see any good reviews that would pertain to non police use. The components looked quality shimano etc, and the bike seemed lightweight. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to test it out as it had flat tires and was buried in the back. Frame wise it's 22" which is the size I need.

The other bike was a mongoose 735 dynametric (american tradition) not sure if that was part of the name. This looked like a hybird bike to me road/mountain but it had road wheels on it, the components looked quality and the bike itself was lighter than the smith and wesson. Unfortunately I also didn't get a chance to test it out as it had flat tires and was buried in the back. Were these entry level bikes back in the day, is it a good one to consider?


Look forward to hearing some opinions/suggestions

Last edited by miko; 03-02-11 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:41 PM   #2
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$150 or less budget, 25# or less bike weight?

Used, for sure; you WON'T do that new. And good luck finding it.
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Old 03-02-11, 11:06 PM   #3
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Why not ask the pawn shop dealer or owner to let you fix the tires so you can test ride those bikes. For 150 bucks they both sound good. Patches are cheap too.
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Old 03-02-11, 11:15 PM   #4
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Surly Cross check. (First! )
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Old 03-03-11, 08:15 AM   #5
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thanks for the suggestions so far, yes I will go back to the pawn shop and test ride the two once they get them ready. I know I won't touch a new bike for $150 but it seems like I can get a pretty good one even if it's 25 years old.

Anyone have any personal experience with the two bike models listed or know of any info? (I googled them both and there were no reviews)

That surly cross check looks good, I'll keep my out for one.
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Old 03-03-11, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Why not ask the pawn shop dealer or owner to let you fix the tires so you can test ride those bikes. For 150 bucks they both sound good. Patches are cheap too.
From your description they could both be nice enough deals if they are in good shape. Its hard to tell how good they are over the internet. Get some air in the tires and take them for a spin. See if they will take a little less for them.

This was the most interesting thing I found on either bike.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ose-Dynametric

I assume the mongoose is the typical hybrid of that are. If the numbers being higher means its a nicer bike that might be a pretty solid deal as it looks liek the cranks as stuff look like higher quality. Obviously the bike in the pic has been modified so who knows. Thats what I gleaned from my 5-10 minute research. =P

Last edited by monsterpile; 03-03-11 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 03-03-11, 10:46 AM   #7
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I'd keep watching Craigslist, and watch it like a hawk. The good ones go quickly. I got a steel framed '90's mountain bike last summer for something like $40.00 or $50.00 from Craigslist.

Garage sales in the spring time are also full of bikes, as people do their spring cleaning. Lots of good bikes for cheap.

The LBS is also a good idea in the late spring/summer time. If the LBS takes trade-ins, thye develop a stockpile of old bikes very quickly. My LBS refurbs the good ones, and sells them for very reasonable prices.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:06 AM   #8
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Does the Smith and Wesson bike come loaded?
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Old 03-03-11, 11:17 AM   #9
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Spring's coming so garage sale season is only a couple months away. Clean and lube the Pacific and ride til then. The two bikes you mentioned don't sound like they're worth it. S&W makes guns, not bikes and Mongoose is on the same level as Pacific bike-wise.

What you should look for is something along of the lines of a touring bike. Throw a rack on and strap your backpack to the rack or make some DIY baskets/panniers. It'll make the ride more pleasant.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:18 PM   #10
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go to a proper bike shop? some have reconditioned used bikes.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:11 PM   #11
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I'd want a closer look at the Mongoose. As monsterpile pointed out, there isn't much info on that bike on the internets, but it looks like a touring bike. Mongoose did make some very nice bikes in the late 80s/early 90s era, very different from their current crop.

Also given that it's a pawn shop, you should haggle mercilessly for a better price. I often start around 50% of asking price at pawn shops (FYI - I don't do that with private sellers unless it's a flipper.)
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Old 03-03-11, 02:31 PM   #12
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Test ride both bikes. Like another poster mentioned, the Mongoose from the mid 80's to 90's weren't that bad. I am not familiar with the Smith and Wesson, however doing a quick search showed up either the police bike, or lower end stuff. I am probably inclined to believe the pawn shop has lower end stuff.

Unfortunately right now might not be the best time to buy. April/May and then again August/September seem to be prime times to find a lot of variety in bikes from used sources.

Keep looking and good luck.
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Old 03-03-11, 08:55 PM   #13
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Does the Smith and Wesson bike come loaded?
haha no if it did I would probably buy it

I will keep watchin craigslist, I thought that this month was the best time, I guess you can say I am waiting for a sweet deal.

I did go to the LBS, I test rode 2 bikes that they had in my price range one was a univega nuovo (supposedly top of the line in the mid 80') and then a lotus that was a little lower on the range.

I liked the univega but the bike had rust on the frame and was aesthetically very poor, no to mention they wouldn't budge from the $150 price, the lotus did not feel as good so I passed on them both.

I am going back to the pawn shop and will test ride the cannondale as well as the smith and wesson police bike and see how that goes.

Since there are so many bikes to go through, any companies I should focus more attention on than others? it seems the solid bets are mid 80's japanese bikes, panasonic, scwhinn le-tours, univegas, peugeots or is it more dependent on the acutal model of the bike?

Last edited by miko; 03-03-11 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 03-03-11, 09:54 PM   #14
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Watch out for Peugeots. Some have French threaded bb's so if you need to replace them, they can be harder to find. For bikes of that vintage, look at the steel type. I'd stay away from hi-ten (high tensile) and settle for minimum 4130 cro-mo.
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Old 03-03-11, 10:54 PM   #15
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Watch for hybrids on CL that have been used very little and then offered for sale. Its hard to go wrong with the Trek FX line. You'll find a deal on something if you take time and have patience which you said you do. =)
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Old 03-03-11, 11:10 PM   #16
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Just a month ago I saw a 5 year old Trek 7500 in my local pawn shop for only 60 bucks. It didn't look like it had a lot of use. Hopefully you have more than one pawn shop that you can check. I'm kind of wishing I had bought that Trek now just because it was so cheap I could've kept it as a backup or strip it down for parts. It had those low spoke count rims, and the spokes were about twice as thick as standard.
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Old 03-04-11, 04:17 AM   #17
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mongoose of old was pretty decent.
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Old 03-04-11, 08:05 PM   #18
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Ok, so I went to all the pawn shops, the had a poor selection, the mongoose and smith&wesson bikes did not fit me.

The best bike I've ridden so far was a univega nuovo at a bike exchange shop, but it looked like junk, rust everywhere. They did have a really nice bianchi and bridgestone but they were $350+, so it looks like I'm back to searching I will probably post more questions if I come across bikes that don't have many reviews.
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