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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Thinking of building a campus cruiser...

    For my girlfriend for a Christmas gift. Her bike is a total POS that doesn't shift or brake well since it's a Walmart special. I'm not looking to spend much more than 3 or 4 hundred bucks, though. Should I try and build the bike myself using low end bargain parts I find, or should I buy something from a LBS? Is it even possible to build something for under 400 bucks? The biggest thing is that it must be inconspicuous. I'd love to build her a nice Cannondale or something with disc brakes but I'm sure it'd get stolen pronto on campus. So what are my options here?
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    i got my gf a trek 800 for $50 used when she went to school. i had to true the wheels and strapped on a pair of fenders. i thought it was appropriate plus she didn't want a sporty bike.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  3. #3
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I think the used bike idea is a good one. There would be less need to worry about theft (I'd still get a decent lock though). I was thinking earlier today that a Redline Monocog would be great to have for riding around campus and going to the local Fred Meyers. Alas, I doubt I'll ever find one of them for $50. Maybe I can steal my roomate's when he's not looking.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  4. #4
    Member Structure0's Avatar
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    They have some very sweet cruisers now. Nerve, Schwinn, GT, and more all make very custom looking rides. Most are well under $400. My wife acted over a Nerve Sunflower like it was a pair of Italian leather shoes (she doesn't ride much).

    I wanted to build her up a custom cruiser with a three speed hub, but the cost was just way too high. Unless you have lots of spare parts strewn around it's impossible to beat the price of a new complete bike. IMO even buying on EBay is a mistake right now for a custom crusier. I guess just because so many manufactures have entered the market.

    Now if my wife really rode, I'd be tempted by a KHS Solo One or Redline MonoCog... but those are only cool if one really rides. For "fun factor" all the new custom cruisers are sweet.

  5. #5
    bentrim
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    They don't make decent looking cruisers anymore. I like the old 80's style beach cruisers that were on the cusp of being an MTB. My memory is fading but I think brands included: GJS, Knight Lawill, and Cook Bros.

    Actually Cook Bros. has a retro beach/mtb cruiser. Check it out! Looks cool! http://www.cookbros.com/

    For $400, check out Redline's single speed MTB Monocog at www.redlinebikes.com. It has that retro early MTB look.

    Anyone else old enough to remember the Mongoose Kos Kruiser? That was more of a BMX on 'roids but it was "radical and gnarly" in its day.
    Last edited by bentrim; 11-28-03 at 02:17 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Yeah.. I kinda want it to be a multispeed mountain bike with front suspension if possible. I'd like her to be able to shift gears and whatnot.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Get her a mountain bike and teach her to jump logs. Then she can ride around campus and singletrack. Actually, just teaching her to ride singletrack would be a great holiday gift.

  8. #8
    bentrim
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    Multigears? Then that may no longer be, by definition, a cruiser.

    But if it's a multispeed mountain bike of modern vintage, the answer is easy. Just get her a good used MTB under 5 years old. $400 is more than enough for that.

    But to answer your question:

    As it's already been pointed out, don't try building a new bike from scratch. That's really expensive. I considered it a few months ago and researched the cheapest way possible and I couldn't find one so I just bought a good bike on sale. In the long run, it's cheaper to buy an entire new bike on sale rather than buying a frame and build-kit. Not to mention that you have to have the proper tools (and knowledge) to put together an MTB.

    Buying a fixer upper that needs a few parts upgraded is different. That might be an inexpensive route to take.
    Last edited by bentrim; 11-28-03 at 03:28 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    I have the tools and knowledge to build her a bike. I built my last mountain bike and it ended up being much cheaper than I could have bought it for from a dealer. I guess I didn't mean "cruiser" in the literal sense, just a bike she can cruise around campus on that shifts and brakes relatively well. So I guess I should scope out the LBS' in town. I'm thinking about maybe getting her a low end Kona or something. Something that will hold up if she decides she wants to ride with me on the trails occaisionally. It's also hard to find a bike that fits her considering she's only 4'10!!!
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  10. #10
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    For $400, its hard to beat a Specialized Hardrock. Unlike a lot of manufacturers, they build good small bikes, down to 13", and fit proper small components, such as cranks.
    With slicks, rack and fenders its an excellent utility bike; with knobblies, its a capable off-roader.
    The women's version is a bit shorter than the standard version, but get whatever fits.

  11. #11
    www.mtbkanata.com mtbkanata's Avatar
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    Here are the coolest cruizers I know of.. and they are within your price range!

    http://www.nirve.com/main/cruiser/
    Mountain Bike Videos/Photos Uploads: Click Here to Visit

  12. #12
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Jim, what do you have for spare parts laying around?

    I bought one of those steel Nashbar frames for $35.00 awhile back and have built it up as my SS. It works great! I only spent about $250 on the stuff I didn't have, but figure it's worth over $500 if I had to buy everything new. It's definately NOT a head turner, so it would be a pretty inconspicuous bike for campus.

    BTW, what about that game huh? Good game, bad ending!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

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