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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 02-24-14, 10:11 PM   #1
LoneStarGuitar
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Looking to buy a cheap road bike for work/school commute.

I'm looking for a road bike to commute to work and school with. Currently I ride my Giant Revel but it feels bulking plus I've been meaning to get a road bike for awhile. I really like older bikes and would love to get something Vintage for under $200. I saw on Craigslist that a guy was selling a Schwinn Varsity for about $180( http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/bik/4346878381.html ) I'm not sure if that would be a good buy or if I should look for something else. I'd really appreciate a little insight.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:29 AM   #2
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Doesn't matter how good of a buy it is. A bike has to fit the rider to be a decent purchase and I'm a touch on the small side to ride a 54in bike. My current commuter is a third that size and having just turned 59 my chances of growing into anything more than three times its size are slim.

If you're looking for older stuff the folks C&V would would be more likely to know about it. Some, but not many, of us ride older bikes like that.
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Old 02-25-14, 09:58 AM   #3
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I went to a bike store, paid the $$$ to get fitted, then bought a used bike off Craigslist (my size) for my rain bike. I couldn't agree more, get measured first.
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Old 02-25-14, 11:42 AM   #4
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I went to a bike store, paid the $$$ to get fitted.
Now, that's flying first class.

Here's probably the best free alternative. A new rider must at least do this.

To get it right:

1. Get someone to help.
2. Use metric (cm) measurements.
3. Repeat and repeat. Measure three times and average.

Match top tube results to bike effective top tube length for best results.

The only sure place to start looking for a bike is to measure.
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Old 02-25-14, 11:56 AM   #5
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I had that yellow Schwinn when I was in middle and high school, from about 7th to 9th or 10th grade. After that, I bought an early 80s Nishiki which was a better bike in every way.

The Schwinn Varsity is heavy. and it has Steel wheels, which is not the best both for accelerating, climbing, and braking. Worth considering for $80 or less as a bad weather commuter or beater that you wouldn't care if it were stolen, but not worth $180 as your modern Giant is a better bike in every way. The Schwinn is likely a lot slower and heavier than your Giant. And it might need some work. If you have to spend $100 on replacement parts and/or repairs, you are really in a world of hurt.

Save a few more bucks and get a real road bike. If you like C & V, at least look for something with aluminum alloy wheels and downtube rather than stem shifters.

Last edited by MRT2; 02-25-14 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 02-25-14, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Now, that's flying first class.

Here's probably the best free alternative. A new rider must at least do this.

To get it right:

1. Get someone to help.
2. Use metric (cm) measurements.
3. Repeat and repeat. Measure three times and average.

Match top tube results to bike effective top tube length for best results.

The only sure place to start looking for a bike is to measure.
I wish I would have looked here before I did that

Then again, my local CO-OP shop said they would have done it for free....live and learn.

Edit: they deducted the cost though from the road bike I bought. (Last years floor model that was my size ~ lucky!).
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Old 02-27-14, 08:56 PM   #7
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Are you still running the stock tires? I'm on a pretty similar bike (Jamis Trail X1) and changing to 26x1.95 Tioga City Slickers really woke it up. Slower than a roadie but cheaper than an additional bike and comfier too.
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