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Old 04-30-12, 10:24 AM   #1
torquewrenchles
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The Non-Existent City Bike I Need

The non-existent city bike I need is:

- 3 speed internal hub
- any kind of brakes (preferably coaster for simplicity)
- relatively LIGHTWEIGHT frame (vs cruisers)
- fully comfortable seat, fully upright riding position
- back rack, front basket, fenders
- UNDER $400

and I'd like that in an understated black if possible.

Could anyone make this pop into existence for me?
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Old 04-30-12, 10:46 AM   #2
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Singing "My whole life lies waiting behind Door #3"..
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Old 04-30-12, 01:56 PM   #3
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Cheap, strong, light, pick 2. $ 400.00 not realistic.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:58 PM   #4
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You may want to check out E bays vintage bikes. Look under Raleigh, Hercules, Phillips, Schwinn and etc. They are still around.
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Old 04-30-12, 02:11 PM   #5
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Here you go. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express3.htm

but you wanted fenders and a rack http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ord_deluxe.htm
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Old 04-30-12, 02:55 PM   #6
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Bam!
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Old 05-02-12, 01:26 PM   #7
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Those two are in the right direction. With... flaws.

Are Windsor and Motobecane quality brands? (Hope I'm not asking "are Mercedes and Rolls Royce good cars"?)

I'm not seeing these Oxford models on their website (windsorbicycles.com). They seem to be steel frame (too heavy), with non-comfy seats, and semi-forward rider position. No front basket and not sure if one can be used with the cabling.

The Motobecane geometry looks better -- on the women's version (cruiser-like). But the seat post is radically higher on the men's model (road-like):

Women's: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express3.htm
Men's: http://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...blkmenside.jpg

Can't see how wide the seat is. No rack/basket/fenders and not sure if can get ones that fit.

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Old 05-03-12, 09:49 AM   #8
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Those two are in the right direction. With... flaws.

Are Windsor and Motobecane quality brands? (Hope I'm not asking "are Mercedes and Rolls Royce good cars"?)

I'm not seeing these Oxford models on their website (windsorbicycles.com). They seem to be steel frame (too heavy), with non-comfy seats, and semi-forward rider position. No front basket and not sure if one can be used with the cabling.

The Motobecane geometry looks better -- on the women's version (cruiser-like). But the seat post is radically higher on the men's model (road-like):

Women's: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express3.htm
Men's: http://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...blkmenside.jpg

Can't see how wide the seat is. No rack/basket/fenders and not sure if can get ones that fit.

Sounds like you have your mind made up to not find anything. You didn't mention brands in your first post, and as soon as someone find something that works, you pick it apart. How heavy is TOO heavy, you specified "Relatively lightweight"... add racks and fenders to damn near anything and it's not lightweight anymore. Seatpost height should change per rider, so I don't know why that is brought into question...

What you want to do, is to buy yourself a vintage road bike, and then build it up with a 3 speed hub, fenders, racks, some north road bars, whatever else you want to do..but I'm sure then it will be too much work.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:53 AM   #9
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Are you lucky!

You have a relatively clear vision of what you want. Now all you have to do is to bring that vision into reality. Making that happen is half the fun.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:40 AM   #10
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What you want to do, is to buy yourself a vintage road bike, and then build it up with a 3 speed hub, fenders, racks, some north road bars, whatever else you want to do..but I'm sure then it will be too much work.
I wanted something similar but didn’t want the basket, rack or fenders, but could easily add them and did exactly what you suggest. The donor bike was an old Soma and I used one of the stem shifters to work a 3 sp hub wheel. The other threaded boss was used to hold the horn. Seat is comfortable the ride is upright and the weight is low. I have maybe 20 bucks in this bike including a rattle can of paint. Most everything else is donor material and some time invested. I have a seat post rear rack I will put on it from time to time if I want to strap a duffle bag on.

It’s a pleasure to ride around town if I were to add anything else it would be a coffee cup holder.

There is one thing odd about the bike. Can anyone notice it in the photo?



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Old 05-03-12, 10:49 AM   #11
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Good luck finding/building something within your budget that fits your EXACT requirements.
Sounds like you need a custom built bike. Start saving and fill that piggy bank.
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Old 05-03-12, 10:51 AM   #12
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Bud
Are the wheels different sizes?
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Old 05-03-12, 11:28 AM   #13
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Bud
Are the wheels different sizes?
Yep
26 back and 27 front. With the smaller wheel and using the old large chain ring the 3 speed hub gave me a nice range for city riding. I had the rear wheel off a scrap bike so I tried it on and liked it. The brakes almost made it all I had to do was lengthen the slot a smidge. Having the small back wheel leans the seat tube a little bit and with the upright bars gave it a nice easy ride position. Just worked out that way.

You don’t have to spend a lot sometimes to get something that works for you.
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Old 05-03-12, 11:42 AM   #14
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You don’t have to spend a lot sometimes to get something that works for you.
Especially for a city bike.

I had a Fuji Sports 10 that was pretty much junk, junky old steel north road style bars, left over handlebar wrap, front basket and some basic maintenance with a gel springer seat = 65 dollar bike I ride around in the city. I could have opted for a 3 speed, as we really don't have hills here, but after some work, the rdr and freewheel woke up, and I see no reason to swap them.
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Old 05-03-12, 11:45 AM   #15
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To make any 3sp bike more useful always change the front chain ring to a 32 tooth ring. Makes a 3sp MUCH more friendly to ride in the city.
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Old 05-03-12, 11:46 AM   #16
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A wannabe penny farthing! LOL
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Old 05-03-12, 11:53 AM   #17
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Sounds like a fun bike!

I'm sure you could build one yourself in that price range using a little ingenuity and a couple of donor bikes.

Now you've got my interest piquing...

Alan
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Old 05-03-12, 11:54 AM   #18
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cogs for 3 speeds are made from 13 to 22 teeth
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Old 05-03-12, 12:14 PM   #19
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Before I decided on leaving the big ring I tried out the small one and it seemed too low for a city bike plus I liked the big ring look. I don’t know what was on it 52/42 would be my guess. A 32t would be a pretty low gear great if you have a hilly town.

Poor man’s penny farthing, hehe.

Looks like I might have had a 22t cog bob, maybe that’s why the bigger chain ring worked. There wasn’t anything scientific about throwing this together.

Build one Alan and post some pics. Everyone needs a “non-existent city bike".
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Old 05-03-12, 06:52 PM   #20
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cogs for 3 speeds are made from 13 to 22 teeth
You can even buy 24t now...

To the OP buy used and define "LIGHTWEIGHT"

I have a 1971 Raleigh Sports Standard that I purchased for $25 in 1982, still have it, still ride it. I also have a more modern city bike that fits better and has an 8 speed hub, cost more too. FWIW the frame on the Raleigh is steel and weighs less than the frame on the RedLine which happens to be aluminum.

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