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Old 01-11-11, 08:36 AM   #1
Johnny Lomax
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Looking to purchase a second-hand bike

G'day fellas,

I've been living in London for 4 odd months now (arrived 18th September last year), and have tardily (for I have already spent around £390) come to the conclusion that public transportation is self-mutilation in this city.

As such I have to purchase a bike ASAP. As you can see, from the dough I've already thrown around with transport, I could have bought an expensive bike.

However ATM my finances aren't exactly in the happy zone so I've set myself the £100 limit.

Why this thread then?

Well back in Lisbon where I last cycled I used a hybrid bike that allowed me to travel in the city asphalt and the rural sand/light off-piste terrain.

Here in London I've noticed people use single-speed road bikes a lot, due to the general evenness of the turf (not many ups-and-downs, to be sure).

I used my mate's road bike with thin tires a few times last term and ended up popping his front tire because those thin wheels are really quite fragile, and any crack you go over on the strässe means they will go kaput.

On the other hand I reached soaring speeds with this thin-and-large-wheeled bicycle of his I'm pretty sure I haven't attained since my tour down the south of Portugal in Summer 2009 (c. 310 km total length traversed, back in the days when I was fit).

Basically I want a bike that won't give me any hassle, and it seems the single-speed eliminates the gear-changing headaches I used to have, whilst the thin wheels supply faster riding.

I have been scooping around gumtree and ebay.co.uk but I'm not sure which is a solid brand to buy.

This dude is offering his old lightweight aluminium racing road bike with Campagnolo parts for £100 (http://www.gumtree.com/london/59/71545659.html).

On the other hand Rutland Cycling is offering a brand-new Coyote Urban Single-speed Courier Bike for £150 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/COYOTE-URBAN-S...#ht_3573wt_905).

Yet another man is peddling a one-year-old Viking Racer Bicycle for £139 (http://www.gumtree.com/london/98/71684098.html).

Now I've read Viking is a cheap brand, and that Coyote fairs little better. I've also read second-hand bikes from higher-end makers such as Campagnolo are to be trusted.

So if I buy a second-hand bike which is old but is of high quality (ie. Raleigh or Specialised) that I might have to change tires or substitute brakes for, or handle the rust on, this is still less of a chore than a new bike of lower quality?

I just want the least amount of stress possible. For my 100% substitution of public transport to be successful I need to have a reliable bike that I will use every single day of the week to commute to Zone 1 (I live in Zone 2, North London) without problems.

Any advice is welcome.


/Johnny
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Old 01-11-11, 09:07 AM   #2
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Did you ask the folks in the UK forum about these bikes? http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...United-Kingdom
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Old 01-11-11, 09:25 AM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up - Ive posted a link to this thread in that forum.

Cheers!
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Old 01-11-11, 09:31 AM   #4
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JL, It's essential to buy a bike that fits, not just for a price point. If you liked running the SS, the new bike seems the best choice.

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Old 01-11-11, 10:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Johnny Lomax View Post
Thanks for the heads up - Ive posted a link to this thread in that forum.

Cheers!
Your signature just gave me a seizure.
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Old 01-11-11, 12:45 PM   #6
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When I built up a roadbike for London commuting for <£100 I used an old steel road frame with horizontal dropouts and long drop caliper brakes. This gives the option for singlespeed and fixed gear and clearance for 32mm tyres + mudguards.
I found that 28mm tyres are about right for London roads, they protect your rims better than thinner race tyres and can be had with plenty of puncture protection.
You can probably pick up one of the modern aluminium single-speeds more easily, the frame material makes little difference for your use.
I would advise a bike that takes bolt-on mudguards, fitting isnt compulsory but it makes life a lot cleaner.
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Old 01-11-11, 01:13 PM   #7
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I'm seriously considering a Scott Sub 30 2010 Hybrid Bike. He's selling it for £150 when it's retail price is £400. http://www.gumtree.com/london/20/71722020.html
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Old 01-11-11, 03:08 PM   #8
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Doesn't matter what bike you get---Unless you get a good lock- it won't be around you for long.

The UK is a buyers market right now. Look in the local papers or The "Friday-Ad" (A local free paper that is just ads) for something around your price. Then try it for size. If it fits at £100 you have a good deal. But offer less than advertised- We Brits need money for that ozzie export that seems to be popular over here (Fosters)

Depends which bit of London- But forget Mountain bikes- too heavy- tyres that drag and gearing too low. (And probably from Halfords or Wally Mart) Single speed might be the answer but unless you have ridden a fixie before--Take care.
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Old 01-11-11, 04:05 PM   #9
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stapfam, Enjoyed Fosters until I discovered Red Stripe (Jamacian, maan)!

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