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  1. #1
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    Best CHEAP mountain bike

    ok,

    I know this is a bike forum and I KNOW that all of you are going to tell me it's worth saving a little extra and buying a better bike.

    I'll tell you why I want a cheap bike. I had a nice 500 dollar GIANT that got stolen. It got stolen because I had to lock it in a non-secure area. We don't have balconies big enough for bikes, so there is a public garage that mine was locked it and someone took it.

    Now I want another bike to ride around town, but I don't want to spend more than 120 dollars. For one, I don't have it right now, and two, I don't want something nice enough that someone may steal again.

    SO, I'm looking at target, wal-mart and I see Huffy's, Schwinn, Roadmaster, Magna... Is one better than the others?

  2. #2
    WNCrider BurnNotice's Avatar
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    I have found people will even steal a cheap bike.
    Ego ago per Murphy's Lex
    http://ncmountaingunner.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    Look on Craigslist.

    I got this for $100 yesterday.


  4. #4
    dont make me get the belt scyclops's Avatar
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    I'm not going to recommend a cheap bike (tried that once this week with another poster, didn't go well), but perhaps if you beef up your locking strategy you'll have a better shot at keeping your next bike, whatever it is.
    What were you locking the bike with? If I'm reading this right, the main concern is securing the bike where you live, in the same place all the time when you're not riding it, correct? That situation gives you the ability to use the biggest/baddest/heaviest chain and lock you can get, and when you ride the bike just leave them (chain and lock) locked in the garage (to something really sturdy of course). And I'm talking about the most ridiculously heavy chain/lock combo you can find. Possibly in conjuction with a really good U-lock or even two. If you can make it difficult enough to steal, the thief will likely move on to an easier target.
    Last edited by scyclops; 06-13-10 at 03:24 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    I'm not going to recommend a cheap bike (tried that once this week with another poster, didn't go well), but perhaps if you beef up your locking strategy you'll have a better shot at keeping your next bike, whatever it is.
    What were you locking the bike with? If I'm reading this right, the main concern is securing the bike where you live, in the same place all the time when you're not riding it, correct? That situation gives you the ability to use the biggest/baddest/heaviest chain and lock you can get, and when you ride the bike just leave it locked in the garage. And I'm talking about the most ridiculously heavy chain/lock combo you can find. Possibly in conjuction with a really good U-lock or even two. If you can make it difficult enough to steal, the thief will likely move on to an easier target.

    Doesn't matter, a determined bike thief will be able to defeat all those.

  6. #6
    dont make me get the belt scyclops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin-rider View Post
    Doesn't matter, a determined bike thief will be able to defeat all those.
    That's not the point. Given enough time and the right tools your determined thief will be able to defeat anything. Ask anyone in law enforcement - whether it's a bike, a car, whatever, the best strategy is to make it difficult to steal, since you can't make it impossible to steal.
    Criminals are inherently lazy - that's why they're criminals (a "duh" would seem appropriate at this point, but I'll refrain).
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    That's not the point. Given enough time and the right tools your determined thief will be able to defeat anything. Ask anyone in law enforcement - whether it's a bike, a car, whatever, the best strategy is to make it difficult to steal, since you can't make it impossible to steal.
    Criminals are inherently lazy - that's why they're criminals (a "duh" would seem appropriate at this point, but I'll refrain).
    Well a really nice bike might motivate a thief to try harder. A cheap one may not require the toughest locks. It's a matter of balance.

    Some criminals are lazy, some commit crimes for thrills, some do it because they are good at it. Reasons vary.

  8. #8
    dont make me get the belt scyclops's Avatar
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    So garek007, I think the answer is, buy a cheap ugly bike and just lock the crap out of it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?

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    So this is nice. I knew this would be a waste of time. thank you all for not answering even close to my question.

    I laid it out straight away. I don't want to spend the money on a good bike. I don't even want to spend 100 on a good bike, because again, it might get taken (even though that post was at least more helpful than the others).

    None of you listened to what I was after. YES, I could lock the crap out of it, don't want to do that. I KNOW what my options are. If you weren't going to offer useful advice you might as well not posted at all. I want something that is so crappy, it won't get stolen, but will also not fall apart on me, and not blow out a tire.

    nevermind

  10. #10
    What's a bike? adclark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garek007 View Post
    So this is nice. I knew this would be a waste of time. thank you all for not answering even close to my question.

    I laid it out straight away. I don't want to spend the money on a good bike. I don't even want to spend 100 on a good bike, because again, it might get taken (even though that post was at least more helpful than the others).

    None of you listened to what I was after. YES, I could lock the crap out of it, don't want to do that. I KNOW what my options are. If you weren't going to offer useful advice you might as well not posted at all. I want something that is so crappy, it won't get stolen, but will also not fall apart on me, and not blow out a tire.

    nevermind
    Thanks for stopping by then. FWIW, I rode several cheap bikes before buying a decent one. None of them fell apart, they just didn't last as long as another bike. I would stay away from a full suspension because they feel like crap due to the cheap suspension. Just pick one and go with it if you are determined to get a cheap bike. I too recommend getting a good bike and locking the crap out of it though because I had a huffy road bike that was worth ~$30 one time and somebody climbed up a support post for a second story deck and stole it, so no bike is immune from being stolen.

    EDIT: Just to clarify, the huffy was so crappy that it was free. The most expensive part was the tires which were $15 each.
    Last edited by adclark; 06-13-10 at 06:21 PM.
    The cake is a lie...

  11. #11
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    Even cheap crappy Walmart bikes will get stolen.

    I still suggest you look on Craigslist for an old bike that looks so crappy that no one would want it.

  12. #12
    What's a bike? adclark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin-rider View Post
    Even cheap crappy Walmart bikes will get stolen.

    I still suggest you look on Craigslist for an old bike that looks so crappy that no one would want it.
    IMO, this doesn't exist. See my post above. That bike fit that description, but somebody still climbed a deck to get it.

    As I read somewhere that I can't recall at the moment, "Somebody, somewhere has a crappier bike than yours."
    The cake is a lie...

  13. #13
    dont make me get the belt scyclops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garek007 View Post
    YES, I could lock the crap out of it, don't want to do that.
    Then plan on having the next one stolen as well, regardless of how cheap it is.
    Last edited by scyclops; 06-13-10 at 09:31 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by garek007 View Post
    So this is nice. I knew this would be a waste of time. thank you all for not answering even close to my question.

    I laid it out straight away. I don't want to spend the money on a good bike. I don't even want to spend 100 on a good bike, because again, it might get taken (even though that post was at least more helpful than the others).

    None of you listened to what I was after. YES, I could lock the crap out of it, don't want to do that. I KNOW what my options are. If you weren't going to offer useful advice you might as well not posted at all. I want something that is so crappy, it won't get stolen, but will also not fall apart on me, and not blow out a tire.

    nevermind
    I can understand your frustration. Fact is, when you don't get an answer (like you're not getting here) it's usually that nobody knows. I mean, I know I don't. I just don't buy Walmart/Target bikes, they have such a terrible reputation. Not saying anything bad about buying them, but I'm saying more than the kind of people who frequent a bike forum usually just don't buy bikes from there so they don't have much advice.

    The only really info I know of is this thread:
    Review on the GMC Denali bicycle

  15. #15
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    I had an old schwinn ranger 2.6 fs that I got from walmart I think, it worked fine. You could probably get one for around $100 in store, even cheaper on craigslist.

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    Maybe you should invest in a good U-lock and not lock your bike in a parking garage. A parking garage may be one of the worse places to lock a bike up because it's secluded and there aren't going to be other bikes around. If you lock your bike next to other bikes on a proper bike rack, thieves will try and steal the least secure bike. If they see your bike with a U lock around the rear wheel (or front wheel and frame) they probably won't bother unless they've noticed it sitting there for a while.

    To answer your question though, $120 isn't going to get you much. Just keep checking craigslist and get whatever you can. You probably won't have much of a selection to choose from though. I don't recommend department store brands or low quality bikes like Huffys.

    I just checked my local craigslist and saw a nice Deore LX equipped Univega for $125, and a Trek 800 for $30. Just keep your eyes out and decent bikes will pop up.

  17. #17
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    Fine, buy a $50 Specialized HardRock/Rockhopper/Stumpjumper or whatever that's in acceptable mechanical condition. Then proceed to lock/cable whatever has a quick release.

    You can have cheap. I spent two quarters of my freshman year on a heavy steel road bike on its last legs. It was not something you'd want to steal or ride - the rear derailleur was unfamiliar with the concept of shifting, the tires dry-rotted, and the cranks sounding as though they were broken. The only things worth anything were the VELO seat from my BMX bike and the front wheel that, as you'll see, I needed. Yet somebody still unbolted the unlocked, bent front wheel with the dry-rotted tire and ran off with it over the thanksgiving break. The lesson is that it's not always what you ride, it's how you lock it that matters. You can have cheap - just don't be surprised if it breaks. If you know your way around a bike, you can keep it on the road. The only thing that's crappy enough for people to not want to steal is not something you want to ride.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I saw a sweet late 80s GT Karakoram for $50 at a garage sale the other day. That's the best sub-$100 bike I've seen all year. I scored a 1988 Giant Iguana for $17.50 at the Salvation Army a little while ago. I had to invest in a new rear tire for it. That's the best sub-$50 bike I've seen all year.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  19. #19
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garek007 View Post
    None of you listened to what I was after. YES, I could lock the crap out of it, don't want to do that. I KNOW what my options are. If you weren't going to offer useful advice you might as well not posted at all. I want something that is so crappy, it won't get stolen, but will also not fall apart on me, and not blow out a tire.
    Depends on where you live. Are there many tweekers there? They'll steal anything and take it to the metal recycler. In some rural areas, you can roll around on a 60s-70s 3-speed and leave it unlocked and no one will steal it. They might be more interested in MTBs, tho. In many areas a mountain bike is the most likely to get stolen. Do you really need a mountain bike?
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  20. #20
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin-rider View Post
    Even cheap crappy Walmart bikes will get stolen.

    I still suggest you look on Craigslist for an old bike that looks so crappy that no one would want it.
    Heck, you may even find your old bike on Craigslist.

    You can make whatever bike you buy slightly less appealing to thieves with a simple rattle can spray paint job in an undesireable color.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by graytotoro View Post
    Fine, buy a $50 Specialized HardRock/Rockhopper/Stumpjumper or whatever that's in acceptable mechanical condition. Then proceed to lock/cable whatever has a quick release.

    You can have cheap. I spent two quarters of my freshman year on a heavy steel road bike on its last legs. It was not something you'd want to steal or ride - the rear derailleur was unfamiliar with the concept of shifting, the tires dry-rotted, and the cranks sounding as though they were broken. The only things worth anything were the VELO seat from my BMX bike and the front wheel that, as you'll see, I needed. Yet somebody still unbolted the unlocked, bent front wheel with the dry-rotted tire and ran off with it over the thanksgiving break. The lesson is that it's not always what you ride, it's how you lock it that matters. You can have cheap - just don't be surprised if it breaks. If you know your way around a bike, you can keep it on the road. The only thing that's crappy enough for people to not want to steal is not something you want to ride.
    Well to take the other side, your story really kinda supports the guys idea - since people will steal anything, maybe you're better off buying something really cheap figuring you can replace 3 or 4 bikes for the price of 1 good bike.

  22. #22
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  23. #23
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    The Intrawebz is where to go for a used bike. Stay away from wally world
    "Who Trains, Wins. Who Sweats, Wins. Who Plans, Wins."

    '90 Bianchi Equinox
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    Looking to get a touring / long distance ride. Still evaluating exactly what I want... strictly road or maybe some offroad capability.

  24. #24
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    You can get decent cheap bikes on Craigslist all the time if you're not picky. I would look for an older road bike personally.

  25. #25
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    The deals are around. I saw an old Schwinn 10 speed at Goodwill for $40 bucks. It needed new tires. The bike was rust free and in good shape otherwise. Really wish I would have bought it...

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