Due to the fact that I live in one of the cities with a high bike theft rate, I'm looking to purchase a "beater" bike, that is intended for being roadworthy for small commutes, but won't sting that much if it (or parts from it) get stolen.
Any suggestions of finding a decent bike for riding, but not something expensive enough where the bike locks I have to lug weigh more than the bike itself?
The options I'm looking at:
1: Purchasing a new hybrid or low-end MTB like a Garry Fisher Mako or Advance. A definite known quantity, and though it doesn't handle near as well as my other steed, a professional thief will pass it by (assuming I have it locked up), and if a crackhead takes it, it will sting in the pocketbook, but not as badly as if my real bike gets snarfed.
2: Purchasing a used bike from a known good LBS (not a pawn shop, but a LBS who makes their income from bikes, values their reputation, and can show the purchase history of what is consigned), expecting to pay $200-$400 for it, depending on quality, and parts.
3: Buying a used bike from Craigslist or a garage sale, for $50-$200. Its a risk to take, but the loss of the bike won't be much. This option is one I don't like much (except for the price and the disposability of the bike), because I don't like being a "shabe" (shop here and buy elsewhere.) Call me sentimental, but I don't mind buying components mail-order, but I just can't bear to buy a bike from anywhere but a LBS. Its an option, but not a good one.
I'm looking to pay enough for a decent and safe ride, but not too much, where if it gets stolen, it will make a major dent in my wallet (which isn't that big, due to being in college.)