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Old 05-11-08, 04:12 PM   #1
wbw
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Sun Drifter vs 12 yr old Huffy

Hello all, new guy here. I posted this in Rec and Family and then decided maybe this was a good place to post also.
I currently have a 12 year old Huffy 3 speed with coaster brakes. I don't know what model because I'm at home and the bike is at the ocean (South Bethany Delaware) where I ride it. As you would expect, all my riding is on flat ground but wind can be a factor, so the three speeds are appreciated. I'm 57 years old and in fair shape.
I'm considering a new Sun Drifter 3 speed with coaster brakes that I saw in a bike shop at the ocean. It's aluminum and lighter weight than the old Huffy. The Huffy has it's original tires, so if I keep it I should probably invest in new tires. They are not worn out but have cracks in them from age. The bike is also rusting now from being in an ocean community.

Any thoughts on whether I should keep the Huffy and put new tires on, or get a new aluminum Sun Drifter? The Drifter would cost approx. $325. (I believe I've gotten my moneys worth out of the Huffy
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Old 05-11-08, 04:28 PM   #2
Tom Bombadil
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Can't remember the Drifter specifically, but I've seen some Sun cruisers and 3-speeds and they looked like fun bikes. Not high-end bikes but seemed to be of decent quality. In general Sun is held in higher regard than Huffy, which has traditionally been a low-end, department store quality bike that uses lower-end parts throughout.
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Old 05-11-08, 04:57 PM   #3
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I'd suggest test rides of the Drifter and any other bike that looks good to you.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:10 PM   #4
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As a mechanic in a LBS i can tell you the any Huffy is JUNK! go to a shop, not a big box store. Test ride a couple of different models.
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Old 05-11-08, 06:11 PM   #5
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Huffy's do use low quality parts, and I wouldn't be surprised if the current ones were using even lower quality parts than older models, but I still hesitate in using the term "junk" to describe them. Primarily because they've sold millions of bikes over the years and an awful lot of people were happy with them.

The OP got 12 years out of his and is still riding it. He isn't complaining about it. Go visit one of those used bike dealers that runs out of their garage/backyard. They sometimes have several 20-30 year old Huffy's, still in working condition.

Now if I were buying a 3-spd today, and was going to ride it a lot, I would go out and check out some of the Treks, Raleighs, Electras, Felts, Marins, and even the Schwinns (the ones sold in bike shops, not the psuedo Schwinns sold at Wal-Mart). There are some fun options out there. When I was in Florida this past winter and checked out some bike shops, there were far more cruisers on the floor than road bikes.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:54 AM   #6
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IMO? If the Huffy is still working properly (gears still shifting, wheels still reasonably true no major creaking parts falling off) I say get tires for the Huffy. Not everybody HAS to $pend bucks on a new bike EVERY year. The use you describe is perfect for the Huffy. I live in Key West and we get a LOT of snowbirds that leave bikes behind when they go back north.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:02 AM   #7
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Just a PS here... Sun branded bikes are sold to bike dealers through a company called J & B Importers. Not every shop will carry the Sun brand and some may even look at them with the same contempt as Huffy's Our shop carries cruisers from Nirve (fun stuff!) Sun, and Jamis. But this is the market for them.Key West is FLAT.
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