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Old 05-25-09, 06:58 PM   #1
bfed
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new to the sport looking for a bike

Hey guys,

I'm new to the sport and do not have a lot of money put aside to buy a bike. I'm a college student looking for an occasional weekend ride or a couple rides a week during the summer where I don't plan on going over 40 miles. The used bikes around me are not very appealing but I don't have more than 300-400 to spend on a new bike. I know this is problematic but I have willing to risk getting a cheap "walmart" bike. There are a few I have looked including random companies Gavin and Vilani, but also the Schwinns at walmart. Other than those, are there any entry level bikes in my price range, limited by my parents and bank account, that I would be able to find? and I fully understand that they are sub-par and I probably will have problems with it. Any help would be great!
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Old 05-25-09, 07:52 PM   #2
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I'd look on Craig's List and look for an older used quality road or mountain bike. You'll get 10X the bike for the money if you shop carefully. I've seen late 80's Raleighs and other good road bikes like Nishiki, Cannondale, Specialized and Trek go for $25-$50 in yard sales as well that are extremely low miles, and in great shape.

Just a thought.
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Old 05-26-09, 04:07 AM   #3
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Yard sales are probably the best source for finding mid-level bikes for cheap. I found a nice Bianchi for $25.00 and an entry level Bianchi for $20.00 last year. Scan the papers, internet, and when you go out on Saturday mornings, look out for postings on telephone poles, trees, and such. When I found that good Bianchi, I gave up my Saturday search and was headed to the LBS when I saw on a pole GARAGE SALE. It really helps when your on a bike as you can take the time to stop and look closer.
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Old 05-26-09, 12:33 PM   #4
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Giant Cypress series and Trek 7000 Hybrid series can set you back around that price range,brand new bikes.
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Old 05-26-09, 01:53 PM   #5
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well i work at a local grocery store where alot of folks have to use bikes for transport due to the unaffordability of a car and they seem to do fine with the big box store bikes. a deli clerk at the store i work at just went down to the local target and got a fully assembled mtn bike for 90 bucks. it gets him around just fine.
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Old 05-26-09, 01:57 PM   #6
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Oh no,big box store bikes vs LBS bikes vs brand names used bikes,,,,stuff is about to go down again,hang on guys, this is coming faster than you think.
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Old 05-27-09, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom stormcrowe View Post
i'd look on craig's list and look for an older used quality road or mountain bike. You'll get 10x the bike for the money if you shop carefully. I've seen late 80's raleighs and other good road bikes like nishiki, cannondale, specialized and trek go for $25-$50 in yard sales as well that are extremely low miles, and in great shape.

Just a thought.

^ +1
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Old 05-29-09, 12:57 AM   #8
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A friend popped over with his brand new mountain bike the other day. He complained that he was out of shape. I noticed that his front tire was bulging a little so I popped off the front wheel and found that the front axle was stiff. After adjusting the axle, tire, and replacing a lawyer lip that was installed wrong, I peered over to the rear wheel. Popped it off and discovered that I couldn't even turn the axle with my fingers. Made the adjustment and now my friend is suddenly back in shape! Next week I'll probably have a look at his bottom bracket, as he said that there is a clunking sound when he pedals. Oh, by the way, he bought the bike for $129.99 + tax. It's awful heavy too!

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Old 05-29-09, 06:10 AM   #9
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Fuji Newest 4.0 is about $499 brand new. It's nothing fancy (friction shifters) but it's new and has a warranty.
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Old 05-29-09, 11:09 AM   #10
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Walmart bikes are OK if you spend some money on tools (spoke wrench, cone wrenches, hex keys) and go to the Park Tool site to make sure everything is adjusted right. Pay attention to wheel bearings, brakes, crank attachment, gear shifters, derailler limit screws, spoke tension.
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Old 05-29-09, 12:51 PM   #11
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Walmart bikes are OK if you spend some money on tools (spoke wrench, cone wrenches, hex keys) and go to the Park Tool site to make sure everything is adjusted right. Pay attention to wheel bearings, brakes, crank attachment, gear shifters, derailler limit screws, spoke tension.
Most newcomers do not have the mechanical expertise to sort a poorly assembled bike. I do and have to sort my neighbours bikes- but there are some bikes that I have told them to take back and get a refund. Some bikes will never be any good.

Still requires a bit of bike knowledge but Craigs List can provide some good bargains and some very good bikes.

But I hate to say it- for a complete newcomer- the best bet is a local bike shop. (LBS) But there lies the problem on how do you tell a good one from bad?
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Old 05-30-09, 12:19 AM   #12
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there are several bikes in that price range. Jamis bikes has some inexpensive ones, and Trek and...
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Old 05-30-09, 06:57 AM   #13
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I also feel you can get a great bargain on a used bike in the $300-400 range. You need to determine if you're only riding on streets, dirt trails, or a combo.

Check the listings on Craigslist in your area and go down to your local bike shop to see what they have that fits you and your budget.

Good luck!
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Old 05-31-09, 11:24 AM   #14
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i would think the drawback with used bikes is you don't know what parts on the bike are on their way out. with a new bike everythink is new.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:21 PM   #15
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i would think the drawback with used bikes is you don't know what parts on the bike are on their way out. with a new bike everythink is new.
If a bike survived from the 1970s it is probably very solid and built to last, which is why it lasted. I would say about half of all bikes purchased this year will be in the garbage within 10 years due to mechanical problems that are too expensive to be worth the effort.
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