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...