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  1. #26
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Unless you ride in dirt, knobby tires slow you down and increase pedaling effort. The bumps really are not what protects you against glass and goat heads. Good tires do.

    You need good road tires, just in a 26" size. Look here for a selection of commuter tires for MTBs.

    The Schwalbe Marathon Supremes are a top rated tire in goat head land, although they are very expensive. A search in this forum will bring up other offerings. I'm lucky enough to have decent roads and can get away with the cheap stuff.

    A nice set of smooth tires will be the best thing you could do for your bike.

    They will get you riding at the speed of happy.

  2. #27
    Bike hoarder. Murray Missile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    Unless you ride in dirt, knobby tires slow you down and increase pedaling effort.

    Sounds like the OP does ride a fair mount of dirt. I switched our MTB's to street tires years ago, our average speed immediately increased 2-3 MPH and we enjoyed riding a lot more. We ride a lot of gravel, chip & oil streets and a few rails to trails that aren't much more than the old roadbed with the ties and rails pulled out and the roadbed leveled and packed down. I run tube liners and good tires and have never had a flat, no goat's head around here but plenty of other sharp point things.

  3. #28
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    Unless you ride in dirt, knobby tires slow you down and increase pedaling effort. The bumps really are not what protects you against glass and goat heads. Good tires do.

    You need good road tires, just in a 26" size. Look here for a selection of commuter tires for MTBs.

    The Schwalbe Marathon Supremes are a top rated tire in goat head land, although they are very expensive. A search in this forum will bring up other offerings. I'm lucky enough to have decent roads and can get away with the cheap stuff.

    A nice set of smooth tires will be the best thing you could do for your bike.

    They will get you riding at the speed of happy.
    I agree about the tires. Knobby tires on pavement suck the life out of you! Why suffer? ;-)
    My touring bike has Marathons and they're very reliable. I ride on pavement, dirt road and gravel on a fully loaded bike with no problems. I did get a piece of glass in a rear tire once that caused a slow leak. Pulled it out and was good to go, I'm still using the same tires.

    I'm not familiar with your bike, is it steel? If so, I suggest you spray some Boeshield T9 into the frame, especially as the bike will live outside.

    Happy riding!

  4. #29
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Yip812, I'm glad you like your bike. I'm glad it got you into cycling and bike commuting. Keep it up.

    For advice on restoring bikes, visit the Classic & Vintage section. Others may also poo-poo your bike, and for that I apologize. I say whatever brings you or keeps you on the road is good. In time, you'll probably buy yourself a nicer bike. And if you're smart, you'll keep this as a clunker, because clunkers are always useful.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  5. #30
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrasymachus View Post
    Those people who balk at spending money on bikes tend to not balk at spending money on many other items like huge flatscreen LED televisions, their car or expensive sofa sets to spend their lives watching through pixels or the car dashboard while real life processes pass them by.
    Do you have a source for that assertion?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  6. #31
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    So here's a little of it. My commute takes me down an old bumpy road, over dirt roads and rocks, and through sage brush and goat heads and gravel and over a barbed wire fence or 2. And I can't store my bikes inside. They are outside in rain, snow, blistering heat. Would you do that to a nice bike?
    My town is small, and my commute is short.

    And the bike shifts flawlessly.
    Sounds like you've got the right bike for the job. I like that you have a little springiness in the saddle, but no suspension. That gives you a little protection from the bumps without hurting your climbing ability.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  7. #32
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    Got me, looks like a nice bike! Sure it's not sporty, but that's the point. It's a commuter, not something to race in the Tour who cares France.

    If it does what you want and you are happy, who cares if it is a $50 bicycle or a $50,000 bicycle. Who cares what some anti department store bike snob thinks. If you ride it and like it that's what counts! I myself am always glad to see someone enjoy a more relaxed style bicycle and not give in to this countries sports bicycle culture.

    If you get into rebuilding bicycles often I would check out dutch bike bits (http://www.dutchbikebits.com/) for parts. They specialize in parts for dutch bikes, but many of those can be used on a standard bicycle.

    Good luck and learn to ignore those negative nellies, I have.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Shahmatt's Avatar
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    Thrasymachus is a little harsh. However does he not make a point?

    Time, money and effort went into restoring this bike. In his opinion it was just not worth the trouble. Rather it's better to buy a slightly more expensive bike for more acceptable quality and performance. Does anyone here outright disagree?

    If Yip812 is happy with her bike that's fine. I guess in the end that's all that really matters.

    Nobody likes the critic. But dissenting voices like Thrasymachus's are still necessary to give pause for thought. Especially for those of us considering attempting similar restorations on the many department store bikes lying around in our garages rusting.

  9. #34
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    I'll side with the OP Yip812, not that the opinions of the rest of us affect her life at all, nor that she asked for advice. As she noted, this was a "My free bike rides so well I put baskets on it and have a great commuter.", not a "How can I improve the performance of a department store bike."

    For a 3 mile commute and leaving the bike outside, I'd say a free bike that fits is perfect, and it doesn't sound like a lot of time and money went in to brushing it with rustoleum. I really don't think she'd get better performance from a more expensive bike, and if it's a beater that's left outside I'm not sure she'd get longer life either.

  10. #35
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    A nice set of smooth tires will be the best thing you could do for your bike.

    They will get you riding at the speed of happy.
    She can do what I did with my freebie commuting bike, wear out the knobbies and then go to smooth tires.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 09-02-13 at 11:22 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #36
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
    Nobody likes the critic. But dissenting voices like Thrasymachus's are still necessary to give pause for thought.
    Perhaps, but there are many tones of voice in which to make his points. A kind and helping voice will ensure a better reception of his message.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  12. #37
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    My free bike becomes a commuter

    Yip, as a guy who prides himself on doing everything as inexpensive as possible(I call myself the cheap bastard) I salute you! You beat me, I actually paid for my bike so you win in my book!!

    Here are some ideas for you to go super low cost but still have an improved setup...

    1. Do you have a patch kit? If not, get one. If those goatheads end up causing you to go flat, patch the tube, don't toss it.

    2. Bike light. Mine is a 5 dollar flashlight and 2 hose clamps. Much cheaper than a bike light. Mine performs just as well as a 30 dollar bike light.

    3. You mentioned goodwill...I look for bike jerseys there and get them for 5 bucks each. Any dri fit shirt will work too, you're in the desert so you know sweat I'm sure.

    4. Keep doing your own maintenance!! Keep the chain clean, and lubricated. I use simple green to clean the chain, very cheap compared to the bike shop stuff. Any lubricant lubricates. Some are better than others, but even cheap motor oil is better than nothing. If your gears shift flawlessly, keep them that way. Once a month or so dab a little lubricant on all the cables, and other moving parts on the deurailers.

  13. #38
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    I'd ride it. I like black bikes.

    And those baskets... I've bookmarked them for myself!

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    I wish I had a before picture, but the bike was just so ugly (and I wasn't actually planning on doing anything to it besides wiping the dirt and spiderwebs off). So you'll have to settle for a picture from after I replaced the handlebars and seat. I have no idea how old this is, but it is a Murray "Sky Canyon", I'm going to guess early 90's because it looks like the bikes I had as a kid.

    Attachment 338170

    I sanded off most of the rust, and painted it with glossy black rustoleum. Then I found these old baskets from a previous bike, and painted them too.

    If you don't look too close at the paint job (I brush painted it, too lazy to take it apart and spray paint), it looks pretty decent. Rides well too. And thanks to the baskets, I can ditch the backpack if I need to stop on the way home for groceries.

    Attachment 338172
    Sweet paint job btw! Not being sarcastic. You did that by hand and it looks really good. You're taking better care of your free bike than I do my not free bike. Here is my light setup, again 7 bucks total at home depot, and the phone holder is a light switch cover, Velcro, and zip ties. Not a necessity but I like it haha.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #40
    Senior Member Shahmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Perhaps, but there are many tones of voice in which to make his points. A kind and helping voice will ensure a better reception of his message.
    No doubt he could have done much better in imparting his view. I am not trying to defend his critical manner. However I do think that many in this thread have naturally reacted indignantly to his manner and perhaps unnecessarily overpraised the OP's efforts whilst ignoring Thrasymachus's opinion, which possibly deserves some merit.

    I am a budget cyclist myself. Sometimes I spend less and learn bitter lessons. I look out for the best value items out there that can do the job I need, for as long as I need. So I guess I'm trying to rebelance this thread. What if Thrasymachus never posted? Perhaps this thread might look different.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Perhaps, but there are many tones of voice in which to make his points. A kind and helping voice will ensure a better reception of his message.
    No doubt he could have done much better in imparting his view. I am not trying to defend his critical manner. However I do think that many in this thread have naturally reacted indignantly to his manner and perhaps unnecessarily overpraised the OP's efforts whilst ignoring Thrasymachus's opinion, which possibly deserves some merit.

    I am a budget cyclist myself. Sometimes I spend less and learn bitter lessons. I look out for the best value items out there that can do the job I need, for as long as I need. So I guess I'm trying to rebelance this thread. What if Thrasymachus never posted? Perhaps this thread might look different.
    It's a 6 mile round trip commute. Seriously, I know guys that do this on a skateboard. I think if it was a 10 or 12 mile commute we would be at a minimum highly encouraging upgrades as money becomes available. In fact we still are. Slicks, or no slicks. Lights.mount the tire the other way. Are there better bikes out there? Yes. There are better bikes than mine as well. Components can be upgraded if they break for very cheap used, or even new in some cases. The frame is heavy but who cares? I have only broken one frame in my life, an I jumped it daily. The frame will hold up under the commute. Op is probably more comfortable and confident on the bike than many many commuters are, since they don't personalize the seat and wear a backpack because they just blew 400 on the new bike and now have no $ for a rack or panniers or even a new saddle that they are comfortable in. I've seen it because that was me when I first started commuting. No more $ left over, blew my wad on the bike not realizing the importance of the other things. So kudos to the op on the great paint job , baskets and let us know if the bike is acting funny and well see what we can do to get you back on the road, just like bf does for me.

  17. #42
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    @Yip812:
    No the point of this thread was not: "I have a bike that I'm happy with." Forums are not about making people happy and can't. You posted a thread about the Murray you have been working on looking for advice or feedback and I gave mine, which you didn't like.

    @the too many weirdos on bikeforums:
    Department store bikes are not made to last. In this country actually most the population(more than don't) have bicycles, usually cheap department store fare, but if you go outside in everywhere but the densest areas it is a bike desert, you can go very far without seeing a single bicycle used. This is why bikes like this Murray exist and are so popular in the USA. Most bicycles are garage queens that are barely ridden and dry-rot and rust to pieces before seeing any significant mileage. That is the market that department store bikes are made to cater to. I doubt in the Netherlands where the bicycle is seen as more than a toy, that they have a market for crap like the Murray being talked up in this thread, because people there actually care about bikes, will invest money in them and see them as more than toys that will mostly fall to pieces in storage.

    Department store bicycles are the disposable razors of bikes. Advising someone to invest in or ride one till it falls apart is the same as some weirdo advising someone to be amazingly frugal and try to sharpen and use a disposable razor for years and years instead of buying a new or used quality straight edge razor that was actually made to last for years. If you had money why would you sharpen a disposable razor? It is the same with trying to do something with this Murray. Infact if that Murray was not wasting in storage for who knows how many years, till it ended up in the hands of the original poster, it would have already fell apart and been landfilled. There are plenty of older surplus bicycles from reputable brands built to last out there that have similar garage queen vintage as the Murray in question, which while harder to get for free, can often be had for very cheap. Actually a forumer here has an excellent page about obtaining for free or very cheap, these vintage bicycles and restoring them called my My Ten Speeds.

    @Shahmatt:
    You are wasting your time. In general there are many people that need help in the USA, where most the posters here are from:
    Quote Originally Posted by National Institute of Mental Health
    The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America
    Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.1 When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.2
    I already have many of the busy-bodies and easily offended grandmothers trapped in the bodies of men that abound on bikeforums following me around to essentially say they don't like me or my posts. It seems like speaking honestly and not saying what you think you want others to hear, greatly offends most these days.
    Last edited by Thrasymachus; 09-03-13 at 02:56 AM.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrasymachus View Post
    I doubt a free 90's Murray can ride well, which makes me suspect you don't know any better and haven't ride any quality bike. The best way to describe those department store bikes which I heard is "bike like vehicles." I had a sh1tty Murray mountain bike as a kid. Would I like to torture myself today by riding a Murray bike like vehicle for nostalgia or frugality? NO!

    If you have no money or other options, I can see why restoring or riding that is what you are doing. But if you have any spare funds do yourself a favor and avoid bike like vehicles.
    Wow. I'll bet your social calendar has a waiting list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrasymachus View Post
    @Yip812:
    No the point of this thread was not: "I have a bike that I'm happy with." Forums are not about making people happy and can't. You posted a thread about the Murray you have been working on looking for advice or feedback and I gave mine, which you didn't like.
    This is the problem. I went back and re-read Yip's post. No where did she ask for opinions or help. Seems to me she was simply sharing. Of course people like you jump immediately to the assumption that anything said anywhere by anyone is a direct solicitation for your critique and a plea for you to set the speaker straight. For crying out loud, you even have the audacity to presume to tell her what her own thread was about.

    I humbly request that you get over yourself.
    Last edited by Geek.Verve; 09-03-13 at 07:20 AM.

  19. #44
    High Plains Luddite
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    Yeah, actually, you can get them on Amazon. They're also made by Wald. Some reviews say you can't use them on mountain bikes, but mine came on a mountain bike, and they work fine on this one too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wald-520-Bicycle-Carrier-Basket/dp/B001EL7P34


    They make a larger version as well for about $15 to $20 more.
    Thanks Yip812! I had not found those online. Now if I could just find those in person...I'm always hesitant to order things that "should" fit.

    And to second what others have said about street tires on a MTB, I just switched from knobbies to Forte Gotham street tires from Performance Bike and rode to work on them for the first time this morning. I also rode them for over two hours on Saturday. It's like a whole different bike with smooth tires on it! Hopefully these will be as puncture-resistant as the reviews claim they are. Time will tell, but they're certainly faster than knobbies.

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    Are you still here, Thrasymachus? No one's really listening to you any more.
    Good news is, I've figured out your problem. So now I understand and can stop wasting my time with you.

    Squeeze, it's funny, I've had those baskets on the side of my house for years, and have never seen them on another bike. Until this morning, when I saw someone else with them.

    Thanks for the great advice Bjforrestal!

  21. #46
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Meh don't worry about the snobs. Ride what you have and have fun.

    I rode 10 years on a cheap bike before buying an expensive bike, and I had fun and still ride the old one occasionally if the weather is bad.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  22. #47
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Meh don't worry about the snobs. Ride what you have and have fun.

    I rode 10 years on a cheap bike before buying an expensive bike, and I had fun and still ride the old one occasionally if the weather is bad.
    This. I started out with a bike that was a little nicer than yours (but not as nice as some of the suggestions for you) and have upgraded it over the years as I've worn out various parts and added things it didn't come with (like lights, a rack, a mirror etc...). Keep riding and having fun for the time being, we can critique your choices on the things that really matter here later.

  23. #48
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    This. I started out with a bike that was a little nicer than yours (but not as nice as some of the suggestions for you) and have upgraded it over the years as I've worn out various parts and added things it didn't come with (like lights, a rack, a mirror etc...). Keep riding and having fun for the time being, we can critique your choices on the things that really matter here later.

    Haha! That thread is hilarious! I look at it sometimes, but no way in hell I will post my bike there!

  24. #49
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    Are you still here, Thrasymachus? No one's really listening to you any more.
    Good news is, I've figured out your problem. So now I understand and can stop wasting my time with you.





    Ride Happy!!!

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yip812 View Post
    Thanks for the great advice Bjforrestal!
    No worries, anytime, especially when someone starts knocking a fellow commuter. I don't care if you are on a unicycle, you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it. I could easily hop into my car, but I choose not to because I dont want to, I can ride, it's fun and yes, I feel better about myself for doing it. I don't ever feel superior to other bike commuters, just those in cages(cars). I also like saving money and not giving it away to gas companies and the federal government. enough of my philosophies, good on you for riding, great paint job, keep pedaling!

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