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Old 12-31-12, 02:09 PM   #1
astrein
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Beginners bike purchase

Hi everyone,
so I have done my fair share of biking, enjoy it thoroughly but know very very little about the whole culture. As a college student I need a way of transportation so I'm looking into another bike, my old one got trashed.. As far as what is being sold I have found this bike (http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/3462801705.html), but is it worth it? Being from NYC I'm thoroughly jealous of the $40 pick ups some of you may come across, so I'm just trying to find which bike will rip me off the least. If anyone happens to know a company and model that is reputably reliable as well that I could look into, that would be much appreciated!
Cheers
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Old 12-31-12, 02:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by astrein View Post
Hi everyone,
so I have done my fair share of biking, enjoy it thoroughly but know very very little about the whole culture. As a college student I need a way of transportation so I'm looking into another bike, my old one got trashed.. As far as what is being sold I have found this bike (http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/3462801705.html), but is it worth it? Being from NYC I'm thoroughly jealous of the $40 pick ups some of you may come across, so I'm just trying to find which bike will rip me off the least. If anyone happens to know a company and model that is reputably reliable as well that I could look into, that would be much appreciated!
Cheers
Remove the '1' from the price and you'd be in the ballpark for an okay deal.
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Old 12-31-12, 02:33 PM   #3
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I would just buy a new bike. You didn't mention your budget, but many people resort to bikesdirect for a cheap reliable bike.
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Old 12-31-12, 02:35 PM   #4
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It looks very old, according to the Schwinn catalogs, this bike was made somewhere around 1992. Unless the original owner was constantly maintaining it, parts will need to be replaced, I don't think it's worth $175. Also, you should ask the seller for the frame size, the traditional geometry is less forgiving in terms of sizing in comparison to the modern compact.
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Old 12-31-12, 03:11 PM   #5
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I would just buy a new bike. You didn't mention your budget, but many people resort to bikesdirect for a cheap reliable bike.
I have a relatively tight budget, sorry I should have specified that. I also don't want to go too extravagant because if some other college steals my brand new bike I'd probably just go insane.
I also found this here (http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/3510905319.html), I also received pictures showing little rusting, and am wondering if $50 would be a reasonable offer? I'm mainly looking for a cheap but reliable source of transportation.
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Old 12-31-12, 03:13 PM   #6
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It looks very old, according to the Schwinn catalogs, this bike was made somewhere around 1992. Unless the original owner was constantly maintaining it, parts will need to be replaced, I don't think it's worth $175. Also, you should ask the seller for the frame size, the traditional geometry is less forgiving in terms of sizing in comparison to the modern compact.
I believe the seller said the frame is 24 inches, which may be big, but then again I am no expert... Sorry for so many questions and requests, I appreciate all the help I can get!
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Old 12-31-12, 04:58 PM   #7
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I believe the seller said the frame is 24 inches, which may be big, but then again I am no expert... Sorry for so many questions and requests, I appreciate all the help I can get!
That looks about right, although it's more likely a 23". It also looks like the owner was riding a bike that was too large. A 23" bike is meant for someone 5'10 to 6'1" tall with a 30 to 32" inseam.
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Old 12-31-12, 05:20 PM   #8
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Bikesdirect is garbage avoid them like the plague they are. I've purchased two bikes from there and both of them are not rideable until some $$$ is sunk into them. They are less than 2 years old.
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Old 12-31-12, 06:07 PM   #9
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Best thing to do is decide what kind of bike you really want to begin with.. be it a beach cruiser or multi geared mountain type bike.
Head over to Walmart, pick something out.. then head through the checkout. Ride Ride Ride.


Any problems just come back in here and everyone will do their best to help out while you condition your human form to a biking god.


Many won't agree with me but it's the fastest way to get you pedaling, moving forward and learning the art of cycling. Save money.. and invest where needed. Remember, the bottom line is that you want to be riding and not pondering in online bike forums on what to do to START. Just DO IT.. come back and we will help out. RIDE RIDE RIDE
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Old 12-31-12, 06:28 PM   #10
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Remember, unless you have a floor pump, you'll need one of those too.

If you do this right, budgeting around ~$1000 you'll get everything you need.

~$600-$700 "entry level" bike... something from 2011 or older but still new at a local shop. You can often find stuff for around $400... but typically it is the last one on the shelf and may not be a good size for you.... you'll spend the cost difference in parts to make the wrong size bike fit you like a right size bike, which was ~$150 more expensive)
~$100 floor pump...
~$12 extra inner tubes
~$35 entry level clipless pedels (such as Crank Brothers Candy SPD compatible)
~$45 entry level shoes (SPD street or mountain bike shoes)
~$70 helmet

---

Gloves, bike shorts and Jersies will be the next items on your list.

If you ride in places that are not eternally sunny, you'll want a "blinky" red light, ~$25, and a rechargable headlight... <$100.


This will put you on the road for your first couple years, or until you figure out what you really want to get into riding and money burns a hole in your pocket.

Last edited by BigJeff; 12-31-12 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 12-31-12, 06:48 PM   #11
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$20-30 can buy a decent floor pump.
Jenson has open box $2.00 tubes
$22 can buy a pair of shimano md520's
$45 is about the price of a decent pair of cycling shoes
$20 can buy a decent helmet or you can forgo it completely...
price hunting can make the sport more affordable, the op should figure out a ride first.
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Old 12-31-12, 07:11 PM   #12
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Many find they don't need shoes and clipless pedals on a bike used primarily for campus area transportation. The one thing you need for a campus bike is to invest in a good lock.

Schwinns are going to be heavier than most other vintage road bikes (Raleigh, Nishiki, Fuji, Bianchi, etc.). NYC is a tough market, but it's a good time of year as demand is lower in winter. You should be able to get a better deal than that for the money. As others have said, be sure it fits. That's the most important thing in a bike. Read through old threads in the Classic & Vintage Appraisals section here and you'll get a good idea of relative value of older bikes.
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Old 12-31-12, 10:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrein View Post
I have a relatively tight budget, sorry I should have specified that. I also don't want to go too extravagant because if some other college steals my brand new bike I'd probably just go insane.
I also found this here (http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/3510905319.html), I also received pictures showing little rusting, and am wondering if $50 would be a reasonable offer? I'm mainly looking for a cheap but reliable source of transportation.
If security is your main concern then by all means, go for it. I wouldn't want to steal that piece of junk, lol. All joking aside, I would still buy a newer model bike (Bikes direct has the best prices on new bikes); Bikes have made big technological advancements lately and the extra money is worth it IMHO.
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Old 01-01-13, 12:56 AM   #14
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astrein, I don't think it sounds like you need a high end or necessarily new bike, but a lot of what you need to look into is the mechanical condition of the bike. If you end up with a bike in poor condition it could be unreliable and you may spend more money than you expect on repairs if you don't learn to do them yourself. Fortunately, you live in an actual city so there's a bicycle cooperative in your area http://times-up.org/index.php?page=bike-co-op . They can help you learn to work on your own bike, and have tools to use, which will keep your total cost of ownership down. Might also be worth stopping in to see if they have any used bikes for sale. Coop bikes often are in need of repair, with the expectation that you'll do that repair at the shop (with their help).

Both those bikes are honestly kind of crappy, although the Ross is appropriately priced for it (the Schwinn is the better bike). Ideally look out for name brand bikes from the 80s-90s. Japanese brands road bikes from the 80s are often good values. Rigid (no suspension) mountain bikes are also legitimate options. Avoid anything sold at department stores or Walmart etc, like new Huffy and Pacific, and Mongoose bikes, these are crap.

Also, I haven't been to NY sadly, but my understanding is it's fairly flat? If so, a singlespeed (or fixed gear, you can switch to a freewheel on most of these anyways) might be a good option for its low maintenence. These are trendy so retain value well, but are less expensive new than bikes with derailleurs.

BigJeff's recommendations are in my opinion ridiculous considering the nature of what you're asking. Those are all nice things, and I have them, but clipless pedals and shoes are entirely unnecessarily for transportation (though nice!), $20 hemets from Walmart/whatever are fine (slightly heavier, slightly less ventilating, exactly as safe, maybe not as good fitting? I have both and the cheap Bell just looks a bit bulkier, is actually about the same weight and fit). You should buy a floor pump though, though they're available for less than that. A mini pump, patch kit, extra tube, and the knowledge to use them are actually pretty key. And you definitely should NOT cheap out on the lock, get a strong U lock (no cable locks! maybe heavy chain locks) and be willing to pay for it, thieves will absolutely steal low value bicycles if they're easy targets. Also get lights, they help cars see you and consequently not kill you at night. Cheap front lights are sort of weak, so if you actually want to see anything in the dark consider spending some money (there are good chinese lights cheap on amazon and dealextreme, also).

Good luck finding a nice bike.
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