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  1. #1
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    "Beater" bike....suggestions?

    My only bike is a Masi Gran Criterium S that was a present from my gf 5 yrs. ago. It's an aluminum frame w/ CF forks and rear. It's outfitted with Dura Ace and is really a nice bike. I'm reluctant to use it in crappy Spring weather on salted roads here in northeast CT. So, I thought I should try to find a relatively inexpensive CF framed bike on the theory that CF would be more resistant to weather than any metal. Just an assumption on my part. I'm wondering if I'm right and, if so, what bikes might be good choices.

  2. #2
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    Whatever is cheap ?

    A lot of people use cheap mountain bikes around here at this time of the year. The hefty weight of some of those bikes could be seen as penance for putting on those extra pounds over the winter.

    A cheap hybrid would be another solution.

    I'd stick with an alloy frame instead of CF for this time of the year. The wild temperature swings in the spring 41F today (friday) .. it's supposed to go down to 14F at night on Monday.. It's something you can keep in the garage.

    Besides, as long as the bike stays cold, the corrosive action of the salt won't really start until it gets warmer so you can wash it down.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
    After age 50: Always carry a spare and try to get rid of the one around the middle.
    Km for last year: 2,844.02 km
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  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Get something that will take fenders! Many of the modern CF bikes will not. If you want a new bike, look at Cyclocross bikes, see: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400306

    My winter and rain bike is a $170 1987 Trek. It's been treated with framesaver, a rust-preventitive. Now that it has modern wheels, it's about 90% as fast as my Ti bike.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think of a carbon frame bike as a beater bike, certainly not for mucky weather conditions.
    An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
    It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge ~ Bob Dylan

    2010 Motobecane Fantom 29
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Get something that will take fenders! Many of the modern CF bikes will not. If you want a new bike, look at Cyclocross bikes, see: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400306

    My winter and rain bike is a $170 1987 Trek. Now that it has modern wheels, it's about 90% as fast as my Ti bike.

    +1 vote
    An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
    It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge ~ Bob Dylan

    2010 Motobecane Fantom 29
    2010 Jamis Quest

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    +1 to that !

    I've seen the odd guy out on a cyclocross bike in the spring (besides, they're used to having to hose down their stuff after every outing anyway).
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
    After age 50: Always carry a spare and try to get rid of the one around the middle.
    Km for last year: 2,844.02 km
    Km this year: 172 km

    2011 Specialized SL2 Roubaix Comp
    2007 Trek 7100

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Old steel, treated with framesaver or old aluminum. If you'll be riding in wet conditions, add fenders.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  8. #8
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    Good point about fenders. I haven't ridden a bike with fenders since I was 12 but with the rain and crud an all that... it's not a bad idea. Beats walking around with the skunk stripe up the back with a wet behind.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
    After age 50: Always carry a spare and try to get rid of the one around the middle.
    Km for last year: 2,844.02 km
    Km this year: 172 km

    2011 Specialized SL2 Roubaix Comp
    2007 Trek 7100

  9. #9
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    +1 on Hybrid

    I've been surprised how well the upright Trek 720 (late 80s, after the numbering switched from the touring road bike to the hybrid bike) rides. I think it was named "multi-track", or somesuch. I rode one down in FL (my brother in law's) during a recent vacation - surprisingly responsive, clearance for fenders, adequate gear range, no frills, CrMo frame w/unicrown fork. Even with the upright geometry and bars, I was comfortable for ~40 mile rides no problems.

    You should be able to pick one of these up for less than $100.

    Phil

  10. #10
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Beater bike should be cheap, and expendable. Get something off CL for under $100. I don't ride my beater bike in rain and snow, but I do ride it in the cold.. I be out in 12 degree weather, just as long as nothing is coming down. Also, I will locked my beater bike while I am out for extended periods of time. Won't do that with my other bikes. I am not brave enough to ride in the rain and snow like the other peeps.., but I will do it in the cold..

    My $50 CL beater bike, an 86 Schwinn Prelude.. It is a sweet beater I tell you that...


    2001 Raleigh R700
    1996 Litespeed Classic
    1995 Klein Quantum
    1989 Cannondale Black Lightning
    1988 Centurion Expert Ironman
    1989 Centurion Master Ironman
    1986 Schwinn Prelude(Beater)
    1986 Raleigh Grand Prix(Beater2)
    1985 Raleigh Prestige
    1985 Raleigh Competition
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #1
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #2 (project #1)
    1985 Raleigh Super Course (project #4)
    1979 Raleigh Competition GS-1

    2007 Suzuki GSX R1K (commuter)
    http://www.cehoward.net/pretty.jpg
    74,Old,Dirty,&Fast

  11. #11
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    "Beater" bike? Anything with wheels, chain, and brakes will do for the cheapest money you can find !
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  12. #12
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    This is good info. Thanks.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Found an old Fuji, basic mountain bike in the dump a few years ago, $16 is my total investment, still have it.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

    '12 Salsa Casseroll (Pepé)
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  14. #14
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    Yes, a nice steel Hardtail Mountain bike generally fits the bill.

    They're strong, accept a wide array of tires, can be fitted with fenders, and are very affordable (new or used). I've been using mine for year-round foul weather riding (rain and snow) since 1988. It ain't pretty...it's truely gritty...and it gets the job done!!

  15. #15
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
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    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    1 on Hybrid
    I've been surprised how well the upright Trek 720 (late 80s, after the numbering switched from the touring road bike to the hybrid bike) rides. I think it was named "multi-track", or somesuch. I rode one down in FL (my brother in law's) during a recent vacation - surprisingly responsive, clearance for fenders, adequate gear range, no frills, CrMo frame w/unicrown fork. Even with the upright geometry and bars, I was comfortable for ~40 mile rides no problems.

    You should be able to pick one of these up for less than $100.

    Phil

    You could get this new out of the original box last year 1993 Trek 820 for $200 plus shipping

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Suggestions for a beater bike? To me, that's a question that only you can answer.

    For me beater bikes are what happens when my box of old bike stuff meets some perceived special need. The result is sometimes driven by the need (a semi-expendable bike for college campus or commuting to a train station bike), and sometimes driven by the "stuff" (my son is thinking of building his old road bike frame into a gravel-path bike.)

  18. #18
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
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    Just picked up an old Road Ace for riding through the muck of spring. I like to ride fixed gear so that lessens the failure of parts in the spring weather. I ride with fenders, at least off the back end, cause the road strip up my back can be embarrassing, and touring, taught me its nice to stay as dry as possible, so anything to that end is an advantage.
    "I will remain the stranger who came from a faraway land." Lance Armstrong

    "The more you drive, the less intelligent you become." Miller "Repo Man"

  19. #19
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Beater bike should be cheap, and expendable. Get something off CL for under $100. I don't ride my beater bike in rain and snow, but I do ride it in the cold.. I be out in 12 degree weather, just as long as nothing is coming down. Also, I will locked my beater bike while I am out for extended periods of time. Won't do that with my other bikes. I am not brave enough to ride in the rain and snow like the other peeps.., but I will do it in the cold..

    My $50 CL beater bike, an 86 Schwinn Prelude.. It is a sweet beater I tell you that...


    That's one tall frame!
    "I will remain the stranger who came from a faraway land." Lance Armstrong

    "The more you drive, the less intelligent you become." Miller "Repo Man"

  20. #20
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naisme View Post
    That's one tall frame!
    I was thinking that. A serious ball-buster, unless the camera distorted proportions...
    Who is John Galt?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naisme View Post
    That's one tall frame!
    That's what I was thinking too. A couple of long term tandeming friends of mine are about 6'7" and 6'?" tall. (They have some seriously tall kids.) Their Santana tandem is custom sized. They seldom feel the need for a lock because nobody else can ride it.

  22. #22
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naisme View Post
    That's one tall frame!
    I am a tall old man!!

    I am 6ft 3in tall at 135lbs...

    The bike in the pic is a 60cm. Fits me perfectly. all my bikes are between 59 and 62cm..
    2001 Raleigh R700
    1996 Litespeed Classic
    1995 Klein Quantum
    1989 Cannondale Black Lightning
    1988 Centurion Expert Ironman
    1989 Centurion Master Ironman
    1986 Schwinn Prelude(Beater)
    1986 Raleigh Grand Prix(Beater2)
    1985 Raleigh Prestige
    1985 Raleigh Competition
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #1
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #2 (project #1)
    1985 Raleigh Super Course (project #4)
    1979 Raleigh Competition GS-1

    2007 Suzuki GSX R1K (commuter)
    http://www.cehoward.net/pretty.jpg
    74,Old,Dirty,&Fast

  23. #23
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    That's what I was thinking too. A couple of long term tandeming friends of mine are about 6'7" and 6'?" tall. (They have some seriously tall kids.) Their Santana tandem is custom sized. They seldom feel the need for a lock because nobody else can ride it.
    Not to get away from the topic of beater bike, but all my bikes are 60 to 62cm. I was on these 3 yesterday, as you can see they are all the same size, with the beater down in the middle..

    2001 Raleigh R700
    1996 Litespeed Classic
    1995 Klein Quantum
    1989 Cannondale Black Lightning
    1988 Centurion Expert Ironman
    1989 Centurion Master Ironman
    1986 Schwinn Prelude(Beater)
    1986 Raleigh Grand Prix(Beater2)
    1985 Raleigh Prestige
    1985 Raleigh Competition
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #1
    1985 Raleigh Grand Prix #2 (project #1)
    1985 Raleigh Super Course (project #4)
    1979 Raleigh Competition GS-1

    2007 Suzuki GSX R1K (commuter)
    http://www.cehoward.net/pretty.jpg
    74,Old,Dirty,&Fast

  24. #24
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    This is the bike I'm trying to save from Spring weather. I'm sort of "average" in an NFL Running Back way....56 cm C to C. (No, it doesn't live in that snow.)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    cehowardGS...question for you.

    Maybe I am reading it wrong but why would you lock the beater and not the better? I would think it the other way around.

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