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Old 05-03-09, 03:38 PM   #1
Velomancer
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Cyclist, new to NYC, needs help

A good friend and former employee of mine has just arrived in New York and is in need of a "point in the right direction" as far as bikes go.

She is a student from a developing country and needs a bike. She likes road bikes and used to ride one of my "loaners" - a steel Trek 470 (Size 50-52).

Can anyone give me a few pointers to somewhere she can beg/buy a good, used (road) bike at very little cost. She lives a couple of blocks east of Central Park, if that is any help.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-04-09, 03:49 PM   #2
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As usual, craigslist is a good place to start.
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Old 05-04-09, 04:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
As usual, craigslist is a good place to start.
Thanks noglider. She's not very 'net savy hence my asking, not her. I was looking for a co-op or a place where she could talk to people about cycling in NY... and maybe get a cheap road bike.

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Old 05-04-09, 05:34 PM   #4
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Oh. When I lived there, the boathouse in Central Park was where the serious cyclists hung out. Not sure if they're still there but it's worth a shot. It's location A in this map.
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Old 05-05-09, 05:34 AM   #5
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Sorry to hijack, but for a first-time visitor, what are the absolute must see's in cycling shop terms?

I'll be there for a week in the middle of May, and I hope to browse some stores.

TIA.

ps. Velomancer, I love the nick! Very Gibsonesque.
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Old 05-05-09, 08:23 AM   #6
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Central Park Cyclist here, so here are some shops that I think are worth checking out:

You'll have to Google to find the website and local but definitely worth checking them out.

Cadence
Gotham Bikes
SBR (sbrshop.com - great central park tri-team)
Bicycle Renaissance
Toga (a few locations)
NYC Velo
Sids Bikes


In terms of the OP's request, let's try to remember the NYC today is NOT the nyc of 5-10 years ago. If you are a bicycle shop in manhattan, you know it's all "boutique" esque. That means everything is sticker priced, there is no more bargain and barter in such a high profile city. You WILL however find small mom-n-pop bicycle repair shops who may point you in the right direction. These are the bike shops that repair "delivery bikes". This one is my home shop:

Master Bike - 77th and Broadway

There are many more small bicycle shops that don't get visibility on the web simply because they don't sell sticker priced bikes. I know for a fact that Master Bike can order in a bicycle but hardly have the space to have a showroom of them. It's more of a repair shop, which would be your BEST BET in finding a cheap deal. Other then that, I'd recommend craigslist where you'll have your best chance at finding something affordable.

Hope that helps...
-SD


PS - boathouse in central park gets some attention, but the weekends is full of blazer adorned boat shoe brunchers and the atypical couples rowing boats in the lake. I'd camp out outside of sheep meadow or the lawn adjacent to Metro Museum of Art (east 60s?) across the main central park road.
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Old 05-06-09, 01:41 AM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 05-06-09, 12:01 PM   #8
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If it's still around (They've been having rent troubles), Hub Station in manhattan is a good place for cheap, refurbished bikes.
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Old 05-06-09, 10:45 PM   #9
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Other than Central Park do people actually ride bikes in NYC? I was in NY in June last year and think I saw one cyclist in three days in midtown. The streets looked pretty dangerous for bikes to me.

Central Melbourne, on the other hand, is packed with bikes but the traffic is, I think, better behaved.
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Old 05-06-09, 11:11 PM   #10
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Send your friend to Recycle a Bicycle. The East Village shop is their main store; I haven't been to the store in Brooklyn. Recycle a Bicycle gets used bike donations and trains kids to refurbish them (the kids get to keep a bike once they've participated awhile). The bikes are cheap and there's a pretty good selection. It's a great organization and a good place to volunteer if you're willing and able.

Other than Central Park do people actually ride bikes in NYC? I was in NY in June last year and think I saw one cyclist in three days in midtown. The streets looked pretty dangerous for bikes to me.

Um, your friends were playing a practical joke on you. That was not New York you were visiting. New York has more bikes on the street and a more dynamic and enthusiastic bike culture than any other city in North America.
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Old 05-07-09, 05:54 AM   #11
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bmorey, New York must have emptied out for vacations. The streets are teaming with bicycles.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of pastoral places to ride in Manhattan. Some learn to enjoy the cityscape. Some trek out of the city to get greenery. Interestingly, riding after midnight can be enjoyable.

Yes, it's dangerous, but people do it. There's a guy here on bikeforums called gyeswho who frequents the singlespeed/fixed gear section. See posts and videos by him. He lives in the Bronx.
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Old 05-08-09, 11:41 AM   #12
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Check the trash on recycling day. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
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Old 05-09-09, 09:46 PM   #13
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Toga Bikes is one of the larger shops in New York, and Bicycle Habitat has been around for some time -- both are good shops. That said, the former is indeed, as someone put it, "boutique-esque," and both tend to sell bicycles at "sticker-price." Another decent store is "Pedal Pusher," but, again, prices aren't really "low."
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Old 05-09-09, 10:48 PM   #14
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10-15 years ago one still couldn't haggle on the price of a bike.
the last time I got a deal was dealing strictly with the owner.
and that was Stuyvesant bikes on West 14th street. he also took care of me when
I needed my Richarch sachs checked for alignment.
the guy at bicycle habitat said who do you think we are? we're not Delancey Street in a very brusque manner.
YMMV. Good luck on your finds.
I would take a trip outside the city and hit Pawn shops, thrift shops, Goodwill shops, salvation army
and flea markets. it's too expensive here.
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Old 05-11-09, 01:33 PM   #15
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Years ago, the margin on bicycles was shockingly thin. That's why you couldn't haggle. Some bikes netted a loss, after assembly and service. Shops made a profit on parts and accessories. I remember as a bike shop worker, customers asked us for 50% discounts, representing a price much lower than wholesale.
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Old 05-11-09, 05:43 PM   #16
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I think, for many of us (consumers), the price-tag looks very high, and there's a notion in the head — that comes form some unknown source — that haggling is typical in a bike store. Probably, then, we guess starting at 50% off is reasonable, and we'll eventually work our way to paying maybe 80% of the sticker. It seems, that doesn't actually happen, though: no shop I've talked with has even feigned humoring the notion of negotiating its prices.
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