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  1. #1
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    *sighs* And so a Magna it must be.

    Hey, I'm not sure where to post this but this seemed like the most appropriate spot.

    Some of you guys might have seen my last thread, called "Missing my old bike". http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-308363.html

    At the beginning of the thread, I had bought an $80 Dynacraft and hated it. At the end, I had fixed my old bike and gotten rid of the Dynacraft. I was a happy man, and after that thread I got 83 miles out of the fixed-up Freespirit.

    Then it got stolen

    I tied it outside a store with a pretty cheap lock. Came out of the store an hour later and it was gone. No sign it had ever been there. I contacted the police department and kept an eye on Craigslist, although the bike wasn't worth much to begin with. After 2 weeks, I have found nothing. It's been awful not having a bike, I always have to ask my mom for rides and I hate doing that. I also really enjoy riding a bike everywhere I go and it's too easy to take things for granted in a car. Wanna go to the mall? Sit in an air-conditioned leather seat for 5 minutes and boom you're there. Need something for your computer? No worries, Fry's is 10 minutes away if you take the freeway.

    I hate it!

    Anyway I was pretty saddened to lose that bike, after fighting my parents to let me keep it. I've been riding it for 2 to 3 years now and I have some good memories with it.

    So anyway, I need a new bike badly. I took $300 out of my bank account (from my job last summer), I wanted to get an OK bike at a real bike shop. Unfortunately, my parents see a bike as a way of getting somewhere, it must be cheap in case it gets stolen or if you trash it. What's the point of spending a lot on a bike? They just don't understand. So my dad told me to put $200 straight back into the bank because "you don't need to spend more than $100 on a bike". Ugh. It's been 2 days of arguing and they are NOT changing their minds. My dad also doesn't want me to buy a used bike (wtf?) because he says you can't trust them. I know none of this is true but it's just the way they think and there is no changing their mind about it, it must be bought new and it must be $100 or less. The only bike that I found to be passable at all the dept. stores was a blue Magna "great divide" MTB (trash, I know...). I would love a real bike but I must buy a toy instead. So...

    1) I know it will have a horrible assembly job. What should I check before I ride it, where are the usual weak spots of a bike assembled by someone who doesn't care?

    2) It has the awful pedal cranks that aren't 1 piece, but instead 2 chunks of metal that screw into the sides of the bike. The last bike I had with these types of pedals, they kept getting loose as I rode it no matter how hard I tightened. Is there some secret to making sure they stay on or are these doomed to always do that?

    3) It has a few Shimano components. Does this mean anything, or is it the same as no-name components?

    4) Is there any alternative for a $100 bike that must be bought new?

    I wish my parents could understand.... you can get a great bike used for around $50 on Craigslist...

  2. #2
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    Well, you could always buy a big rock of crack. Surely that's a better activity than riding a bicycle. Clearly, you've earned your own money, and you should be able to spend it however you'd like. Give him the old "it's a better investment to purchase a better quality bike" spiel. Good luck.
    Last edited by croscoe; 07-15-07 at 10:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    It's not going to work, we've gone over it already and they tell me I should "save the money for college". I have told him about how a better bike will last a lot longer and be more enjoyable to ride but he says it's all the same, you're just paying for the name, etc etc etc. He's had good luck with crappy, off-brand TV's and it's lead him to believe "why buy expensive when cheap will do the job just fine?". The problem is that I'm only 15 and sadly I don't even have much control over how I spend money I worked for myself

  4. #4
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    Since the old Toys R Us bike was obviously unreliable and of poor quality, it seems to me that his argument about used bikes being untrustworthy is rather ironic.

    As to what to check? Everything. Though especially make sure the wheels fit properly in the dropouts, and are secure. I've heard several stories of them popping out mid ride on dept. store bikes.

    P.S. Show your dad this forum?

  5. #5
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    You sound like a reasonable fifteen year old. Have you been this reasonable with your parents? If so, your Dad is being unreasonable, and you might consider buying the bike you want (within the budget he has set, or at least something close) and keeping it locked somewhere off their property. You are certainly old enough to make the decision of what budget bike to buy with your own money! If that means locking it outside, so be it. Get the most thief and parent-proof lock you can.

    Just something to consider, I obviously don't know your family situation or all the facts.
    Last edited by the bandit; 07-15-07 at 09:02 PM.

  6. #6
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Actually, printing this thread out is not a bad idea. I would ask them what would cost more - a $300 bike or the hospital bills when something crucial fails on the Magna and you are hurt or worse? One thought is that if you get a bike of moderate quality - and you care for it well - you will have something to use for transportation in college.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  7. #7
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    weirdlookinguy,
    Are you still working? Also didn't you buy a thrift store bike for parts? Or did you just end up with a new wheel? If you are still working or will be see if you can cut a deal that a certain percentage of your money can be spent however you want if the rest goes in the bank for the college fund. Can you makes some bucks on the side working on someone else's computers? Is there a "bike co-op" in your area? Scour the neighborhood for parts bikes and build something up. I don't know how to tell you to deal with your parents...

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  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I think that wahoonc's suggestion is a good one. My parents demanded that I put every other paycheck into college savings, the remaining was mine to do what I want with (within reason). It sounds like your parents give you a little less leeway. It's hard to give advice without knowing your family situation. Your parents are obviously pretty ignorant about cycling. That's not say they are ignorant people, just that they have zero exposure to this. Have you got any cycling events in your area? Races, shows, etc.? Ask them to take you, in a car, to one of these events. That will make them feel like they are providing for you, being the parent. At the same time, it's exposure for them, which they need if their positions will be swayed.
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  9. #9
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Wierdlookinguy's folks,

    $100 is not going to buy a real bike. The ones for that price point in big box stores are quite literally toys.
    For an automobile analogy, $100 is going to buy a Yugo at best, not even a Trabant. $300 one can get a bicycle that was assembled by a bike mechanic, not a check out boy, and will be a significantly better vehicle, and not the cheapest thing that can be made for the lowest price point possible; ok for a lawn chair, not the best strategy for something your child will be riding in traffic.
    Replacing inadequate parts can quickly bring a Walmart bike's cost to as much as if not more than a bike shop bike. A box store bike can be made into a reliable bike, but it's analogous to making an old English sports car a reliable daily driver; be prepared to do a lot of tinkering, and in the long run a Toyota would have been less of a headache and likely cheeper.

    Giant makes several bikes in the $300 range that will last for years. The Cyprus and Simple cursiers are two.

    Wierdlookinguy,

    The absolutely best way to prevent your bike from being stolen is to use a quality lock, such as a Kryptonite Dlock, and a proper locking strategy such as what is recommended by Sheldon Brown.

    If you have no choice but to use a big box bike, here is a list of many good books on bike repair. Good to know and have no matter what kind of bike you end up with. The mechanics forum here is also an excellent resource. Posting a thread asking what exactly you need to check there would be prudent.

  10. #10
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Get a $30 80's road bike, throw away the junk derailers and run it as a bombproof singlespeed. I built up a solid Miyata for my roomate for about $60 total. I needed wheel truing, bar wrap, new chainring bolts, and threw on some slightly better brake levers I had laying around.

    If you're patient, you'll find your bike. Don't waste your money at any department store.

  11. #11
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    Actually, printing this thread out is not a bad idea. I would ask them what would cost more - a $300 bike or the hospital bills when something crucial fails on the Magna and you are hurt or worse? One thought is that if you get a bike of moderate quality - and you care for it well - you will have something to use for transportation in college.
    Nobody can get a Magna going fast enough to hurt themselves.

  12. #12
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Actually, you might get off easy finding a bike you don't need to wrench on at all.

    Example:
    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/bik/374660599.html

  13. #13
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blickblocks
    Nobody can get a Magna going fast enough to hurt themselves.
    Don't be too sure about that. I've seen some guys on those kind of bikes get going pretty fast (and also watch the frames shake and wheels wobble alarmingly).
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    bikes are transportation, not toys.

    a LOT of bikes sold at discount retailers are toy bikes, built with disposable non-standard componetry no bike shop wants to work on or repair.- most bikes sold at discount stores are like Corvairs - your dad might get this - "unsafe at any speed"


    At the bike shop I work at, we see a lot of 'discount' bargain bikes that are 'throwaway bikes' after six months of riding;

    we also see twenty year old inexpensive bikes built by established bicycle manufacturers that are still going strong.

    would your dad buy an unsafe, disposable car that no auto mechanic wants to work on, that breaks in six months and has to be scrapped?

    even inexpensive bikes sold at bonafide bike shops are much better quality than most discount store bikes.


    barring the purchase of a good quality, inexpensive bike at a real bike shop, look for a bike kitchen that allows you to earn a bike while learning to fix them up. go and get one.

    Buy a good lock and never neglect to lock your bike well- remember, its' not a toy, its transportation.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-16-07 at 12:22 AM.
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  15. #15
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    what's wrong with a nice $100 used bike? My Sorrento set me back 100 before taxes. It's still going strong. It was 8 years old when I got it, it's almost 9 now, and I've put over 500 miles on it, including a really awesome 20 mile midnight ride last night, and a few miles on the local trail with my wife this evening.
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  16. #16
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n
    what's wrong with a nice $100 used bike? My Sorrento set me back 100 before taxes. It's still going strong. It was 8 years old when I got it, it's almost 9 now, and I've put over 500 miles on it, including a really awesome 20 mile midnight ride last night, and a few miles on the local trail with my wife this evening.
    I'm not sure, ax0n, but I gather his parents are concerned about the state of a used bike. I think perhaps they may not be aware of how easy (relatively) and inexpensive most bike repairs are. If weirdlookingguy is going to print this out for his mom and dad, what do you think they should know about that?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  17. #17
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    Thank you so much for the support guys, I am printing this and showing it to my parents. Unfortunately, it probably won't change things much since my parents follow the "newer is better" train of thought. I wish my dad wouldn't be so stubborn sometimes I'll let you guys know what happens.

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    True, New is usually better than used. particularily in bikes IF you don't know what to look for in the wear and tear of the used ones.

    However, there are a lot of good, NEW, QUALITY bikes at the bike shops for under three hundred dollars. ones that would last you well into your college years and beyond. soon there will be 2007 model year closeout sales going on, as bike shops roll in the 2008 models.

    but one word of advice on the lock- no cable lock is a good lock. whatever type of bike you get, also get a U-lock.

    To Dad, your son should spend more than a hundred bucks to get a quality new bike. spending only a hundred bucks at a discount store is just throwing the money away.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-16-07 at 10:30 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #19
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Also, hold off on printing until later tomorrow. There are a whole bunch of members that read BF during their lunch hours at work, and I suspect you'll get a lot more posts then. Try about 4pm Pacific time.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  20. #20
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Get a job in a bike shop. Make a deal with the owner for the $100, plus take a cut off the top of your check for the balance until it is payed off. With the employee discount, you might be able to get a $400 bike at $200 actual without getting your Dad on your case. (Just a thought).

    My Dad got mad at me when I was 16 (ages ago) and bought an expensive stereo with some of my work money. After 8 years, I bought a better - new stereo while in Japan; already had my college fully covered and gave him my old stereo. He loved music and loved listening to that stereo. So in the end, he respected my choices.

    Hope it somehow works out for you.

    If Dad gets to read this: From one Dad that raised 3 boys, to another Dad; $400 is what a decent new bike cost nowadays. And it sounds like you have a good kid who is willing to work for his ride.
    Last edited by CB HI; 07-16-07 at 03:35 AM.

  21. #21
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by croscoe
    Clearly, you've earned your own money,
    See the problem with this argument is then they bust out the, are you paying rent + food + backpay for all we spent on you.

    Then you're ****ed.

    What the hell do you say to that?

    On topic:

    $100 will buy you a nice bike, that is not new. In fact, you're better off spending that $100 on a good u-lock like a krypto NY U or the krkypto fagheddboutit chain. And ONLY after you've bought a lock should you even begin looking at a decent bike. Your parents sound like major asshats like all parents are to kids who are 15.

    1) 'Rents need to go on a need to know basis, ON EVERYTHING, ASAP.

    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    Actually, printing this thread out is not a bad idea. I would ask them what would cost more - a $300 bike or the hospital bills when something crucial fails on the Magna and you are hurt or worse?
    This argument, while looking good on paper has the disadvantage of being a con for a dept store bike that is $300 AND a new LBS bike that is $300. That is, they both need to be adjusted before it can fly out the door. That is unless you _KNOW_ that your LBS can put together bikes competently.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Get a job in a bike shop. Make a deal with the owner for the $100, plus take a cut off the top of your check for the balance until it is payed off. With the employee discount, you might be able to get a $400 bike at $200 actual without getting your Dad on your case. (Just a thought).
    This is the best suggestion, THUS FAR. Either that or some variant where you don't actually have to clear bike buying with your parents.
    Last edited by operator; 07-16-07 at 09:19 AM.
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  22. #22
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    What size do you ride? We can be on the lookout...
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  23. #23
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdlookinguy
    Thank you so much for the support guys, I am printing this and showing it to my parents. Unfortunately, it probably won't change things much since my parents follow the "newer is better" train of thought. I wish my dad wouldn't be so stubborn sometimes I'll let you guys know what happens.
    Explain to them that an old Miyata, Panasonic, Raleigh or whatever have you that might cost you $50 today cost 20 years ago the equivalent of a $600 modern road bike today. The bikes that were equivalent to the $100 Magnas are practically nonexistant because they were all thrown away.

    A good quality steel road bike can last you a lifetime. I ride a 22 year old Panasonic. I'm 20. It has a good chance of outliving me!

  24. #24
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blickblocks
    A good quality steel road bike can last you a lifetime. I ride a 22 year old Panasonic. I'm 20. It has a good chance of outliving me!
    +1. My dad's had the same road bike for 30 years, and he bought it used still. That thing still runs very well, and is actually a pleasant ride.

    To the OP, check out pawn shops. I remember searching for my first real bike, pawn shops had some very attractive deals. I think it's just because the owners didn't really know the value, they were obviously not exposed to cycling as we are. I saw some stuff in the 100-200 dollar range that looked decent.
    Check craigslist too, it's local. I wouldn't do eBay for this. I think that, in general, when people list things on eBay, they are looking to make top dollar. On Craigslist, it seems like most people are just listing it to get rid of it, maybe you'll be able to pull the "I'm just a student" routine and reduce the price a little bit. I've pulled the "I'm a student" stunt plenty of times.
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  25. #25
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Instead of spending all that money on a magna, why doesn't your dad just buy you a bigwheel?

    Do me a favor and tell your dad that he's a f*ck'n moron.

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