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Old 10-02-08, 09:30 PM   #1
mgold8
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Trouble Finding a Bike!

For the past couple of weeks I've started to bike a lot more. I've decided that I'd really like to get into using bikes more for transportation. It's a great way to get where you need to go, while getting in some good exercise.

Right now I'm using my Trek mountain bike that is still in good condition. However I've quickly found that for doing serious distances it just doesn't seem to be cutting it to have a mountain bike. So I decided to start looking at some road bikes. I thought naturally that would be a good thing to upgrade to really get around town faster. That was until I actually started to see some of the prices! I couldn't believe how expensive road bikes are nowadays.

Then I thought I'd just try to find a reasonable used bike on Craiglist. Well.... I've been looking on there for awhile and haven't been able to find anything that is really suitable or reasonable. Everyone seems to assume that their used bikes are worth something even if they need a lot of work.

Recently though I discovered the wonderful local Co-Operative Bike Shop! It's a great way to learn about bikes and Earn-a-Bike if you need one. Like I do! Unfortunately though at this specific co-op all the good bikes have been picked over. There was an old bike mechanic that helped me search what was available and he didn't seem to think any were worth the time or effort. Right now they aren't really getting in many donated bikes since people seem to be want to keep them and fix them up.

I don't really no what I should do! I'd like to start getting into biking more, but I can't seem to find anything reasonable. I'd like to get a bike from the co-op or a used one. I just can't find anything! At the co-op they do have frames, but my reservations about that is it's hard to know how the frames will fit. I've never had a road bike before so I don't really even know what I need to look for.

I guess I'm wondering what people think I should do? Should I just keep using my mountain bike? It's been working fine and I do see a lot of people on them in the city. I actually find it useful since the roads are so bad where I live. Should I maybe look at a hybrid? Keep checking at the co-op? Try to do a buildup with one of the frames?

Last edited by mgold8; 02-26-09 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 10-03-08, 05:28 AM   #2
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Do you think you can just make a few changes to your current ride to stretch it a little longer?
That would give you more time to find the perfect bike for you. Mid winter is a good time to find a deal on a bike.
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Old 10-08-08, 10:31 AM   #3
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I can use my bike a little longer. I've been using it for awhile and it's been fine. It's just that for doing long distances and picking up real speed a mountain bike in the city doesn't work well.

I can wait until late fall or winter. I'm sure that's a good time to buy. However isn't that kind of like saying I'm going to buy a convertible in the winter! I mean sure you can get a really good deal, but will you be able to find someone who is selling one you want? Not as many people will be selling their used bikes in winter... I assume. So it might be easier to find a good deal on a bike, but even harder to find something that is suitable. Right?
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Old 10-08-08, 01:15 PM   #4
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This thread will give you plenty to think about on how to solve this need. Enjoy!!!

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Old 10-08-08, 01:27 PM   #5
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Where are you located? Used bike values can be high, especially in certain areas.

Craigslist can be spotty, especially in certain areas.

Another source is Ebay. Sort the listing by nearest first, and ask about local pickup. You may be able to find a bike that is reasonably nice, but not nice enough for someone to pay the bid price plus shipping. Again, you need patience, but I have had some luck picking up a vintage bike or two this way.

Thrift stores and garage sales can sometimes be a source for good deals too. But again, it takes persistence and patience.
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Old 10-08-08, 06:25 PM   #6
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My local shop has been running low on stock simply because people keep buying bikes as fast as they can build them. Sometimes I'll see a shipment of new bikes, still in boxes, and they tell me that every one of them is already sold, waiting to be built and picked up by their new owners.

Since finding another bike may take a long time, I'd tweak the current bike. Try skinnier tires first, or at least tires without knobby tread. That alone will make a big difference in how it rides. The only major difference you'd gain in a road bike is the handlebars, which give you multiple hand positions (good for really long rides) and the option of crouching lower (good for better aerodynamics, which is most helpful in a headwind).
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Old 10-08-08, 07:14 PM   #7
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bike

I believe you may have a motor problem.
The guy on the right is on a Tandem Mountain bike with Knobby Tires.
I rode with him for THREE hours at Speeds up to 19 mph.
At one point he was Leading a pace-line of road bikes.
Get your motor in shape.

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Old 10-09-08, 05:53 AM   #8
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I visited a LBS last week to pick up a rack for my wifes mountain bike and the store owner showed me some tires he sells to the police department for their mountain bikes. They have an extra thick center to cut down on flats and the tread is cut into the tire, nice. I want a set bad, but my wifes bike will need tires before mine does. About $20 each.

Keep checking Craigslist.
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Old 10-10-08, 05:06 PM   #9
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So basically people are just saying that I should be persistent and keep looking for something? I just would like something that I can use now! Winter will come really soon and I don't think I'll want to go bike riding then.
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Old 10-10-08, 07:07 PM   #10
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Tell everybody you know - EVERYBODY - that you're in the market for a road bike. There's a lot of road bikes gethering dust in garages and basements that aren't benefitting anybody. My bet is that if you tell 100 people one will come to you.

The hardest thing might be how to gracefully turn down the ones that you don't want.
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Old 10-12-08, 07:59 AM   #11
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That's a Great Idea! I should have thought of that myself. I'm sure someone I know has a good bike that is just sitting around. I'm sure they would be more than happy to just give me the bike and get rid of it.

I just need to start asking around. That will be a little awkward... slipping that into a conversation, "Hey do you have a bike that is sitting in your garage of basement that I can take?"
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Old 10-12-08, 08:18 AM   #12
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Actually, if you want a bike for basic transportation, you really could do far worse than an older rigid MTB with slick tires. You will be shocked what lighter and smoother tires will do to the machine. Performance/Nashbar sells cheap ones that work pretty well. So, for about $20 you might just have the exact bike you need.

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Old 10-12-08, 09:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgold8 View Post
I just need to start asking around. That will be a little awkward... slipping that into a conversation, "Hey do you have a bike that is sitting in your garage of basement that I can take?"
Here's how you do it --

Talk about how you're commuting by bike a lot, and although your mountain bike is good n' sturdy, it's overkill for riding pavement all the time. So, you're thinking about getting a road bike, or at least something better for the street -- but you "aren't really in the market yet."

If someone has a bike for you, they'll feel like helping you out, instead of thinking that you just want to take their bike. Same end result, just a different perspective to get there.

Or they'll tell you the same thing that some of us have, and just say to try different tires.

Last edited by BarracksSi; 10-12-08 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 02-24-09, 04:56 PM   #14
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Still Looking!

I still haven't found a suitable and inexpensive bike for my needs. Well... since it's been the winter I haven't been riding at all! When the weather changes though I'd like to have something. I'm thinking about going back into some shops and looking. Have people found any 08 bikes on closeout still in stores?
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Old 02-24-09, 07:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgold8 View Post
I still haven't found a suitable and inexpensive bike for my needs. Well... since it's been the winter I haven't been riding at all! When the weather changes though I'd like to have something. I'm thinking about going back into some shops and looking. Have people found any 08 bikes on closeout still in stores?
They're still out there. I just picked up a brand new 08 Gary Fisher from my LBS for a steal ($200)
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Old 02-26-09, 02:21 PM   #16
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WOW! That sounds like a great deal. I'll have to check around. Was it a MTB or Road bike?
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