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Old 02-24-12, 07:39 PM   #1
auburn11
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Advice on bike purchase

I have a very tight budget of $300. The bike will be used to commute (approximately 4 miles there and back) regularly, and as a means of training. As an athlete, I feel I could very easily eventually delve into the sport of cycling but at this point a legitimate road bike (competition level) is not what I need. After quite a bit of research I feel that a fixed gear bike may be a good choice. I've read that many cyclists ride fixed gear bikes in the offseason as a means of training, so I feel that it would be a good useful workout. I've looked for a couple months on craigslist/ebay and have really haven't found anything used that fits my needs, but I have come across these new bikes and was wondering of opinions of them:
http://bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/timeline.htm

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-54cm-Alu...ht_2788wt_1114

http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/single...rack-bike.html

Also I am 6' to 6'1", so not sure if the 54 inch shimano (the non-fixed one) would be too small, as it says that it will fit up to 6'

Any feedback will be much appreciated
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Old 02-24-12, 07:46 PM   #2
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I bought a Windsor SS from BD for my son. Actually, I bought him two. He trashed the first one in an accident. We liked the first one. I bought the second. Although it was the "same" bike, the components were a bit different and we didn't like it as much, so YMMV.

Anyway, I can recommend the Windsor. It's serviceable. You won't have a stroke if it gets ripped or trashed. I think a 54 cm frame would be too small for you.

BTW, I'm no mechanical wizard and I didnt have any trouble assembling the BD bike, but if you're a total klutz that could be an issue.
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Old 02-24-12, 07:49 PM   #3
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You actually have less than $300.00 because you still need a pump, lights, helmet, inner tube, patch kit and rear view mirror. You have more like $175,00 dollars. Also, if you never assembled a bicycle, I would recomment the single speed. The other bikes will need a LBS to do a good job.
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Old 02-24-12, 07:53 PM   #4
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I bought a Windsor SS from BD for my son. Actually, I bought him two. He trashed the first one in an accident. We liked the first one. I bought the second. Although it was the "same" bike, the components were a bit different and we didn't like it as much, so YMMV.

Anyway, I can recommend the Windsor. It's serviceable. You won't have a stroke if it gets ripped or trashed. I think a 54 cm frame would be too small for you.

BTW, I'm no mechanical wizard and I didnt have any trouble assembling the BD bike, but if you're a total klutz that could be an issue.
Thanks for information, from most sizing charts it seems that a 58 cm frame would be the best fit, and feel that at this point in the selection process the windsor and the no name bike are at the top.
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Old 02-24-12, 07:56 PM   #5
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I took accessories/additional parts into account when stating the $300 limit (thus the $300 limit is just for the bike).
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Old 02-24-12, 08:00 PM   #6
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Also reading reviews on these and similar bikes, many have problems with the tires, and suggest replacing them. What wheels would be best/make sense? Through a quick search I found these (not sure if this is close to what would be a good choice or not):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-EIGHTHI...ht_2837wt_1348
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Old 02-24-12, 09:51 PM   #7
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Go with SS over fixed. Reason being if you don't get the fit dialed in, you could potentially damage your knees. I kinda like that no name- but it's gonna weigh a ton. But since you are training and all, the added girth will only make you stronger.
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Old 02-24-12, 10:57 PM   #8
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I don't really like the $300 budget, because it is very heard to find a decent bike for around that price. If you can go at least $400 then you'll have more options. Can't really recommend too many bikes around that range, but maybe only fixies.
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Old 02-24-12, 11:50 PM   #9
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Hey there Auburn!

I would totally recommend this Nashbar Hounder Single Speed bike!

www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_504148_-1_202650_10000_202339
The Hounder @ $225

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 02-25-12 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-25-12, 08:09 AM   #10
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That Nashbar bike looks pretty nice, comes in lots of sizes and you can't beat their return policy.
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Old 02-25-12, 09:53 AM   #11
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Fixed gear or single speed? They're two quite different things.

A fixed gear bike can be a lot of fun in it's own way but you can never coast. If you've never ridden on one, you have no idea how much you coast.
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Old 02-25-12, 10:38 AM   #12
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Fixed gear is an experts bike. If you are a beginner you need something more user friendly.
2x4 miles is a very short commute and you don't have to treat it as a training ride, more like a walk in the park. Any time you cut off by going fast is added back on by cooling down, washing and changing.
Training rides are generally longer than 10miles, anything less is simply not enough for athletic fitness.

I suggest you treat your commute as basic transportation and get a bike suitable for that. If you want to get a bike for cycle sport, get another bike.

Any bike can be used for 2x4 miles commute. If you want to ride in practical rather than sport mode, get one with clearance for medium tyres, threaded eyelets for rack and fenders. A basic hybrid style bike is the easiest and cheapest to find and will do the job. Upgrade the tyres to a highly protected commuter style such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Getting to work on time is essential for your reputation, dont risk it for cheap tyres. With a luggage rack, you can do all the shopping on your bike and carry quite substantial loads. If it rains, fenders will keep your clothes clean.

People commute on fixed and singlespeeds and if that floats your boat, dont let me stop you.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Go with SS over fixed. Reason being if you don't get the fit dialed in, you could potentially damage your knees. I kinda like that no name- but it's gonna weigh a ton. But since you are training and all, the added girth will only make you stronger.
I am favoring the no name bike at this point, it has a flip flop hub, so I could switch from fixed gear to single speed based on which i preferred after riding it (though I feel I will like the challenge of riding the fixed gear). From the reviews the bike weighs around 25 lbs, really not sure relatively how heavy that is though.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:37 PM   #14
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Fixed gear is an experts bike. If you are a beginner you need something more user friendly.
2x4 miles is a very short commute and you don't have to treat it as a training ride, more like a walk in the park. Any time you cut off by going fast is added back on by cooling down, washing and changing.
Training rides are generally longer than 10miles, anything less is simply not enough for athletic fitness.

I suggest you treat your commute as basic transportation and get a bike suitable for that. If you want to get a bike for cycle sport, get another bike.

Any bike can be used for 2x4 miles commute. If you want to ride in practical rather than sport mode, get one with clearance for medium tyres, threaded eyelets for rack and fenders. A basic hybrid style bike is the easiest and cheapest to find and will do the job. Upgrade the tyres to a highly protected commuter style such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Getting to work on time is essential for your reputation, dont risk it for cheap tyres. With a luggage rack, you can do all the shopping on your bike and carry quite substantial loads. If it rains, fenders will keep your clothes clean.

People commute on fixed and singlespeeds and if that floats your boat, dont let me stop you.
Although I will use it for the commute, I would like to be able to also push myself with the bike training wise (with longer/much more challenging rides). I feel that I might as well develop/learn the skill of riding a fixed gear during my commute. Appreciate the feedback
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Old 02-25-12, 03:38 PM   #15
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Fixed gear or single speed? They're two quite different things.

A fixed gear bike can be a lot of fun in it's own way but you can never coast. If you've never ridden on one, you have no idea how much you coast.
I feel like I'm up to the challenge of riding a fixed gear, but may purchase a bike with a flipflop hub, so that I could switch from single speed to fixed.
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Old 02-25-12, 03:41 PM   #16
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This looks very solid, but really would prefer a fixed, ideally a fixed/single speed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Hey there Auburn!

I would totally recommend this Nashbar Hounder Single Speed bike!

www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_504148_-1_202650_10000_202339
The Hounder @ $225

- Slim
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Old 02-25-12, 04:40 PM   #17
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This looks very solid, but really would prefer a fixed, ideally a fixed/single speed.
Also, after a closer look at this bike I could not deal with the houndstooth pattern (being a big Auburn sports fan).
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Old 02-26-12, 12:22 AM   #18
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Have you ever considered a used bike?
You might get a much better bike for the same money if it is a few years older. 300 dollars won't get you much of a bike these days. But that same amount might get you something decent in a used bike.

Good luck in your search
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Old 02-26-12, 12:50 PM   #19
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Have you ever considered a used bike?
You might get a much better bike for the same money if it is a few years older. 300 dollars won't get you much of a bike these days. But that same amount might get you something decent in a used bike.

Good luck in your search
My original idea was to find a used bike (through craigslist/ebay), but after a couple months of casual searching, I couldn't find anything that really suited my needs. It seems that there are quite a few used $1000 to $1500 (new) bikes for good deals, but the bikes with starting prices that would drop to my budget don't seem to be nearly as prevalent. Thanks for the feedback
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Old 02-26-12, 01:19 PM   #20
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Appreciate the feedback thus far, this is what I'm strongly considering purchasing;
http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/single...rack-bike.html
with
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROAD-MOUNTAI...#ht_1176wt_250
and
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-CST-CZA...ht_2795wt_1348
and new tubes

Thoughts/suggestions?
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Old 02-27-12, 07:46 AM   #21
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Used 12 Speed From 1980s

Auburn,
Are you actually in Alabama? That might hurt your chances of finding a well serviced used bike. Here's a completely different approach, that may or may not work for you, depending on several factors...


If I had $300 to spend (to me that amount can find and build a very good working 1980s steel bike), I'd scour craigslist to identify the seller of the highest number of ready-to-ride bikes. These will have been serviced by the seller, with new cables/housings, tires, brake pads, hoods, bar tape, etc. The listing will tell that the seller has inspected and repacked all of the bearing (headset, bottom bracket, hubs) and the bike will be properly adjusted to work as originally specified. This person is cares about his craft - and makes a profit due to his efforts. He'll likely know more about bikes than many bike shop sales people (not all, but many).

This person will help you to find your bike. Go visit and ride a few of the ones he has in stock today. Find out what fits you. Then ask him to locate one that'd be right for you - from among many that are out there waiting for restoration - Fujis, Schwinns, Raleighs. Low-to-medium range lugged steel frames. You'll wind up with a bike in the 25 pound range that will completely meet your needs.

Good luck,
Phil
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