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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 04-06-14, 10:57 PM   #1
tkbarr1
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Bike Type question

Hello,

I want to make this as succinct as possible to save you all time in trying to understand my situation, etc so I will try to be specific.
I will be riding on concrete, either via residential or a straight forward, nicely paved, public trail 7 miles each way.
I have a strict budget of up to a max of $300.
I have bought a cheap bike to get by in the past and it lasted about 1 year of solid usage; Repairs cost more than the bike is worth.
I don't have much time, about a week before I have to buy.
I will be night riding, the trail will be pitch black at night, the residential is lighted enough but I will be buying a nice light (need a suggestion on that too).
Since I do not have a car and I do not trust craigs list, I will be buying from Wal Mart or maybe Sports Authority.
I am 5'11 1/2 and weigh about 280 (I stopped riding 6 months ago and gained a **** ton of weight)
I cannot afford a Trek unfortunately
There are some 700c hybrids I saw, linked here:
GMC Denali 700c Men's Road Bike - Walmart.com
Jeep Men's 700C Jeep Compass Hybrid Bike: Bikes & Riding Toys : Walmart.com
700C Hyper Spinfusion Adult Hybrid Bike - Walmart.com

Hybrid or Road?

I am sorry if wrong forum and this has eben asked I am sure 1,000 times but I figured each situation is different. I began reading the forums and quickly became dizzy.
It's kind of urgent, any advice is greatly appreciated. My name is Tim
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Old 04-06-14, 11:43 PM   #2
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Edit: I have personally worked on one of those gmc road bikes if I'm not mistaken. I can undoubtedly say it is one of the worst bikes I've ever wrenched on. You know how they put grip shifters on road bars? They cut the bars in half, then use one low grade bolt to hold them together once installed. The aluminum frame also weighs more than any steel bike I've owned, and I doubt those components will last a year of commuting without constant adjustments, which if you can't do yourself quickly brings your bike budget way higher than it appears.

You will be spending more on a bike from wal mart in the long run, especially if maintenance costs are an issue. within the past week Giant bicycles in the sub $500 range have dropped in price considerably. IMO finding a local dealer who offers follow up service for free might just save your butt in the long term. Even before this drop in price giant often out performed the other big name competitors for their price, now in the entry level range it's no contest. Lifetime frame warranty, one year parts warranty, follow up service from an actual bike shop, and potentially a discount on accessories to boot. Doesn't have to be giant, IMO any decent company from a local shop with follow up service will be better off for you

Or just buy a wal mart bike and hope you don't have to instantly pay a shop eighty bucks or more to adjust everything for you.

Last edited by AlTheKiller; 04-06-14 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 04-07-14, 12:39 AM   #3
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For me $300.00 means you build it yourself - 280# means a ChroMo steel frame Trek Fuji Nishie - 14ga stainless spokes - Freewheel with a bail out gear - Long cage dérailleur - Down tube or stem shift - Simple flashing LEDs that use AA or AAA batterys on the bike and a head light on your helmet of 110 to 150 lumen's - Staying under 300$ is real challenge but you can do it and have fun doing it too...

This is currently my favorite headlamp at $12.00
Ozark Trail 150-Lumen Multi-Color Headlamp: Home Security : Walmart.com
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Old 04-07-14, 04:57 AM   #4
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At $300, I would seriously consider getting a used bike from a garage sale or something, not a bike from Walmart. I learned that the hard way. I got into cycling on the Bike Shaped Objects (BSO) sold at Walmart and I liked each of them (all 5) when they were new. Unfortunately, none of the BSOs lasted very long. I got a year, or less out of each of them. Then something went wrong, and it always cost less to just get a new bike than fix the old BSO. Over the course of 3 years, I spent ~$500 on 5 BSOs, none of which are any good now. For that price, I could have had an entry level bike that would have lasted much longer than the five BSOs that I got. I finally got rid of the last BSO and replaced it with an older bike that I got at a garage sale. I've had that bike for several years now, and have not had any problems with it.
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Old 04-07-14, 05:07 AM   #5
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Spend a couple bucks more and think about one of these.

820 - Trek Bicycle
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Old 04-07-14, 06:32 AM   #6
tkbarr1
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I forgot to mention that I do not know a thing about working on a bike myself or building one and I don't trust myself to build one for sure. Man after taxes that Trek is $400. Wellok, so the writing on the wall is, pay now for the lasting bike or pay the same amount over the course of a year with cheap bike. Man it's going to destroy my budget but it's probably the right thing to do.
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Old 04-07-14, 06:34 AM   #7
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This is currently my favorite headlamp at $12.00
Ozark Trail 150-Lumen Multi-Color Headlamp: Home Security : Walmart.com[/QUOTE]

Looks a little small, the trail I will be on is pitch black and I have owned a 12 dollar light before, I was going to pay for a good one, I figured like $40. I've seen a ton, any suggestions?
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Old 04-07-14, 06:35 AM   #8
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Get over the fear of CL and buyb a used trek or other bike. You'll save in the long run. Just be sure to try the bike out before buying. If you can't test ride, then don't buy.
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Old 04-07-14, 06:38 AM   #9
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Spend a couple bucks more and think about one of these.

820 - Trek Bicycle
Mountain bike wheels, wont that be tougher for a commute, and a heavier frame?
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Old 04-07-14, 06:39 AM   #10
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get over the fear of cl and buyb a used trek or other bike. You'll save in the long run. Just be sure to try the bike out before buying. If you can't test ride, then don't buy.
cl?
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Old 04-07-14, 06:40 AM   #11
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Craigslist
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Old 04-07-14, 06:47 AM   #12
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Craigslist
Ah, well I ended up taking a look and the used Trek's on there are $300 and more, but I will keep looking. I bought a bike from there, within one month I replaced a wheel and nwo the left crank is done, the bearings inside...I really do not trust people on there with bikes, but if it's a trek in my budget I will give it some real consideration
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Old 04-07-14, 07:10 AM   #13
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Mountain bike wheels, wont that be tougher for a commute, and a heavier frame?
A bunch of people like older, rigid (no suspension parts) mtbs for commuting. A hardtail (mtb with only a suspension fork) with smooter tires works for some as well.

A mtb frame typically does weigh a bit more, but unless you plan on carrying the bike around a lot, the gearing compensates for that .

Not sure if there is a dealer close to you, but Raliegh is offering rebates on some of their models- which includes the Misceo and Cadent lines. Might see if the entry model of either line comes close to your budget with the discount.
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Old 04-07-14, 07:39 AM   #14
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Yesterday, I was volunteering at the Milwaukee Bike Expo for a local bike club. The bike shop sponsoring the event offered trade ins for old bikes. Unbelievable the bounty of nice old C & V road bikes, hardtail mountain bikes, and hybrids people were walking into the show for trade in in pristine condition. Many looked like they had been ridden just a few times before getting hung up in a suburban garage or basement for a decade or two. Had I known, I might have brought $100 or so in cash with me and made an offer.

Many of these bikes would be perfect for use as a commuter. I know Craigslist is filled with flippers, but just know nice bikes are out there sitting in people's garages and basements. Talk to people you know. While, no doubt, most people will have a crappy Wal Mart bike rusting out, someone you know might have something worthwhile. Or go to a local bike shop and see what they have. Though you will overpay at a LBS for a used bike, hopefully, they can at least sell you a bike that is tuned up and good to go at or under your $300 budget.

Or stretch the budget a little and get a decent new bike for $400 to $600.

Last edited by MRT2; 04-07-14 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 04-07-14, 07:54 AM   #15
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$300 is really tough to get a reliable bike that will put up with daily commuting use. Any possibility that you can take the bus or something for a few months to save up some money? Even $500 makes a lot more bikes available to you.

As far as lights, I like my MagicShine MJ-808. It's $90, but is very bright.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:25 AM   #16
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Nashbar currently has a sale on...

Buy 3 items and get 20% off the entire purchase. I say, get a bike, a light, a lock, and a helmet!

www.nashbar.com

Call their customer service department concerning the correct bike size to order.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkbarr1 View Post
I forgot to mention that I do not know a thing about working on a bike myself or building one and I don't trust myself to build one for sure. Man after taxes that Trek is $400. Wellok, so the writing on the wall is, pay now for the lasting bike or pay the same amount over the course of a year with cheap bike. Man it's going to destroy my budget but it's probably the right thing to do.
Get a book or use online sources (Park Tools has many tutorials) and some tools. Anyone can learn to fix a bike. It's not rocket science. Saves a ton of time and money fixing it yourself. Any bike, no matter how much you spend, requires regular maintenance. Or continue wasting your money buying and riding crappy disposable bikes.
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Old 04-07-14, 09:11 AM   #18
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I don't know how far away these are from you but here are a couple you could try...



26" Mens Motiv Rockridge Mountain Bike 19.5" Frame
trek mountain 930
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Old 04-07-14, 09:15 AM   #19
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I don't know... $300 is a lot of money when spent on a BSO. My wife and I have gotten a lot of miles out of our BSO tandem and that was less than $300 from Wal-Mart. $90! Can get you a serviceable BSO from a box-store. $300 gets you a bicycle that one should be able to use for commuting as a newbie in Florida. I mean... in FL you can save tons by going 1X8 or even SS. The Schwinn Protege/Varsity should fall into the $300 bracket and to my eyes looks a lot better than the Denali. I am not encouraged by the bikes I see on CL. I do, however, think that there are LBS's that can offer a bike, new or used for $300 and stand behind it.

H
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Old 04-07-14, 09:52 AM   #20
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I could take this challenge and come in at ~$325 in Washington DC.

Budget:
- Light ($75)

Amazon.com: Nite Rider Lumina 550 Bike Head Light: Sports & Outdoors

- Cables and Brake Pads ($25)
- 7-speed Chain ($10)
- Tires ($25)
- Rear light ($10)
- Used, rigid-fork, steel MTB from the 1990s ($180)

Bikes are numerous, if you know how to search: Nishiki, Fuji, Giant, Univega, and Trek (heck, even Schwinn) sold steel famed MTBs in the very late 80s and early 90s.

These will be 3 x 7 speed, with gripshipft or maybe lower end Shimano thumb shifts, cantilever brakes, quick release hubs. look for ~20 inch frame size. It can be done.

If you need it all in 1 week, you'd best order the light first, since that's mail order...
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Old 04-07-14, 10:05 AM   #21
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I had great luck with an early version Denali, which for the most part had exactly the same low-end components you'd like find on any inexpensive entry-level bike. Over 20,000 miles on it, and I still use it for my fowl-weather bike. It's about 5 years old now. I consider it to be a hybrid as opposed to a road bike, because of the mountain bike drive train and its ability to use at least 32mm wheels.

You would need some mechanical experience or else good native mechanical ability to keep that bike in shape.

As to specifics, the biggest drawback is the weight (32 pounds total), an issue if you anticipate hills or racing. The frame is 4.5 pounds, similar to other heavy inexpensive frames. The fork is heavy, the handlebar is heavy, there are no other issues with those components. I'm not thrilled with the grip shifters, if the particular model comes with them. That's about it. If someone tells you it's impossible to work on it means that they can't adjust Shimano Tourney derailleurs or entry level caliper brakes. Or they simply don't know what they're talking about.
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Old 04-07-14, 10:17 AM   #22
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Wally World is Not where you find properly assembled bikes .. and all the PRC contract criteria is about lowest cost .
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Old 04-07-14, 10:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkbarr1 View Post
This is currently my favorite headlamp at $12.00
Ozark Trail 150-Lumen Multi-Color Headlamp: Home Security : Walmart.com
Looks a little small...[/QUOTE]

I know - You will be surprised and at 12$ get a few of them - This one will allow you to see each side of the road and at least 80 meters out...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkbarr1 View Post
I forgot to mention that I do not know a thing about working on a bike myself...
This is a real handycap - Especially for someone on a tight budget - BUT - It is fixable...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
...there are LBS's that can offer a bike, new or used for $300 and stand behind it.
Thing is man your wasting excellent bike time - Get out there and ride...
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Old 04-07-14, 10:39 AM   #24
tkbarr1
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Alright thanks all, I have been out looking around. I'll post an update, thank you and have a great day

Last edited by tkbarr1; 04-07-14 at 10:39 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-07-14, 10:49 AM   #25
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Maybe check out Bikesdirect. The crappy bikes there are much less crappy then what is at Walmart. If you can deal with a single speed bike there are good options for $300 and less:

Save Up to 60% Off GT Traffic Bikes, Hybrid bikes, Multi-speed Comfort and Hybrid bikes

Save Up To 60% Off Fixie Track Bikes | Track Bikes | Fixie Gear | Single Speed Bicycles | Motobecane singlespeed bicycles | Save up to 60% off list prices

Save Up to 60% Off Road Bikes | Track Bikes | Fixed Gear | Single Speed Bicycles | Motobecane Fixie Flat Bar singlespeed bicycles | Save up to 60% off list prices

Town Bikes | Classic, Stylish City Bikes | Urban Bikes | Commuter Road Bikes | Windsor Essex from bikesdirect.com


A little more and you can get a internal gear bike:

Save Up to 60% Off Town Bikes | Classic, Stylish Three Speed City Bikes | Urban Bikes | Commuter Road Bikes | Windsor Oxford from bikesdirect.com

Save up to 60% off new Hybrid Bikes Cafe Express 3 | Shimano Nexus Three Speed internal gear hub | Save up to 60% off new bikes

or geared bike:

Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Avenue FB | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

You will have to do some assembly but any of those bikes should last several years as long as you maintain them and that makes more sense than buying a $150 bike every year.

For lights, I got Serfas Thunderbolts and they are a great bang for the buck. About $40 each

https://www.serfas.com/products/view...s%7Cusb-lights

https://www.serfas.com/products/view...ights%7Cpage:2
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