Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Bikes: Schwinn Le Tour (vintage)
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Total newbie here
I was late in getting my driver's license (a month before I turned 25) so I did a lot of biking/bussing around when I lived in Sacramento as well as around the city I moved to here in Arkansas. But since moving back here I finally began driving and haven't done much biking. What biking I have done has been on a heavy Wal-Mart bought mountain bike.
A couple months ago I began keeping my eye out for a decent, low priced used road bike. Sadly, I live a good 15-20 miles from the city now (but there is a 55mph hwy with a shoulder as well as back roads that lead to town) so I would like to be able to get into shape enough to be able to make a 45-50 mile round trip ride per day which is what it would take to go to town and back. But on a heavy mountain bike with wide tires and knobby tires it's not a very good choice of bike to do it with.
Today I found a vintage Schwinn Le Tour for $50 at the local Salvation Army, but it was a ladies bike. However, it was in great condition except for the tires which are.. of course, badly dry rotten since they look to be the originals. The foam handlebar cushions aren't squishy anymore so it needs them as well, but aside from that it wasn't rusted or missing the chain. Only other thing it probably needs is brake pads and tubes.
Despite it being a ladies, I am hoping it works out well for me. I am pretty tall (about 5' 10") but very slender (about 145lbs). I don't have it at home yet to show off photos of it because I was on my Honda Helix (244cc scooter) trike so I couldn't haul it home but they are holding it for me (already paid for) until Thursday so I can go pick it up with my truck when I go to town next.
From what I saw on ebay via my smart phone, $50 was a good deal buying one locally for this model bike. It's not a spectacular deal, but it's not a ripoff either. $50 is about the value. I recently saw a good 90's model road bike (I don't recall the brand) at a pawn shop for $300 and it sold quick. It was gone the next time I went in. It was priced reasonably for it from what I saw on ebay as well, but I couldn't afford $300 for a bike.
I can do my own wrenching so I can save myself a lot of money vs a bike shop unless I end up needing something like a rim repaired in which case, replacement is probably a more cost efficient option if it's badly bent. I had a good look at the rims on it before buying it and they looked pretty good, might just be SLIGHTY out of round since the brake pad would rub slightly on the front when I span it but only in a very small place. Nothing drastic.
Also, I may not keep the very narrow original saddle on it. I have an old good gel seat that is fairly wide that I've had for nearly 10 years now. The thin polyester cover on it has gotten all torn up but it's still a good seat, just looks a bit ugly. But it's wide and comfortable. I don't see how a narrow, hard saddle can be comfortable for more than one mile before you end up with a very uncomfortable wedgie. I suppose a wider saddle might slightly restrict the motions your legs can make but still... I can't imagine it being very comfortable trying to get used to the factory seat they put on almost all bikes, including my current mountain bike which I couldn't stand, I had to put my old used gel seat on it immediately after riding it once.
Last edited by Cubey; 04-05-11 at 11:05 PM.