Looking to buy a cheap single speed or fixie..Help a newb out
Hi i'm a new member here I'm a college student in Gainesville and I'm just looking for a low priced single speed bicycle for cheap. My budget is about 200$ and I would like a clean looking bicycle. Don't really need gears as I just need it to get to and from school and don't really want anything to complicated or expensive to fix if something goes wrong.
I know these two bikes aren't very nice in terms of quality but the only models i've found within my budget are a vilano or dawes. They would both equate to the same price because I can pick up the vilano locally its not too long of a drive from here.
I'm looking for something like that for my purposes and price range can you recommend something of this sort (nicer used bicycles are fine I just can't really find good deals locally in my area with all the high demand in a college town). At first I was thinking of getting an old schwinn frame and then fixing it up but I realize it would be more expensive especially after getting rid of the steel wheels and switching to single gear, not to mention getting rid of rust and repainting (also weight issues). Any help would be great. I'm only 5'7 btw so I would need a smaller size frame which wouldn't be as big of a problem if I get one of the above models.
Last edited by jesse10; 02-08-10 at 12:47 AM.
for that price it's best to fidn a used frame and build your bike, it's better price vs. quality
are you going to be using this bike or is it going to just be something you use a few times a month to get coffee and hang on your wall?
if you're going to be relying on this as transportation, i'll just say what i've seen in my experience.
-first, internet bike are really only good deals for people who know bikes. I know and can do just about anything on my bike as far as maintenance goes. the only thing i can't do is install a headset, only because i don't have the tools. (chasing and facing threads too, but modern frames are generally good enough to skip that) it's such an uncommon thing to have to do though that it's not a big deal. recently my bottom bracket cup broke in the frame though, so i'll need to take it to the shop. this leads me to...
-build relationships with a local shop. it's a good thing to be chill with a local shop, they'll give you good advice, sometimes loan you their tools, hook you up with good deals, or maybe even give you their advice. The guy who owns the shop i go to is really great. I do a lot of used buying, but he's a great guy to have on your side. He's helped me out with a lot of the jobs I can't do. I'm confident in my bike maintenance skills, but I admit there's plenty of times when i just can't do certain things. for those times you have your guy at your shop.
-remember that advice part? this one was from my local shop, and i think it's on point. I would get a minimum budget of $500 for a new fg/ss bike. even for myself, if i got the kilo i'd be looking at replacing the bottom bracket and headset soon after buying. I don't have the tools for the headset, my bb tool is ****. that's already at least $70. i'd probably need a different cog, 30 for an eai. that's $450 right there easy. I was waiting in said shop and someone came in to pick up a scrambler they were building. He doesn't sell eighth inch stuff, and the customer said he had the wheels at home, so i'm guessing he bought those himself. thats 300 right there. the labor and all other parts he needed he got at this shop, and his bill after tax was $440. that's $740 for an entry level bike. would have been better to buy an iro though the shop for about $500 complete and assembled.
I'm guessing from your post that you're not already a cyclist. You may be able to set up a box bike from the internet, but i'm certain cables won't be tensioned right, the wheels will be out of true, and your saddle and bars will not be fitted correctly to you. It will be uncomfortable, noisy, and generally a piece of **** like 80% of the mail order bikes i see on campus.
take the bus some more, eat out for dinner a little less, downgrade your beer, and save up for a couple more months to get something a little nicer. I really can't recommend a mail order or used bike for someone new to the game. It won't be fun. the only way i can see it working is if you have a bike co-op in your area. if that's the case you can get something running safely for your $200 budget. It probably won't look great, but it'll work.
if you're mostly going to use to get coffee or to look at (ie, you won't be counting miles per day or week, but per month) then these mail order bikes are okay. they're like walmart bikes, where the cheap parts will have a short lifespan, but the limited use will see that it works well enough for it's owned time.
I hope this gets at least somewhat read...
Last edited by LupinIII; 02-08-10 at 03:04 AM.
Best time to get a bike in a college town is right before Spring Break and right when classes end in the Spring and people are moving back home. Bulletin boards full of bike ads. Or go yard sailing early on Saturday mornings. Visit the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores every morning.
Sheldonbrown.com has a ton of info. and advice on bikes, including ss/fg.
$200 is plenty for a used bike. eBay(local pickup only) and Craigslist are possibilities.
Otherwise, save up for one of the BikesDirect bikes. Sometimes Nashbar or Performance have good deals on bikes. But know what you are getting. Any mail order bike should be taken to the bike shop for a tuneup and wheel retruing/retensioning of the spokes. That will cost $50 to $75 but will be worth the money, particularly if you can watch and ask questions and learn some stuff.
I used to tutor the owner of supercoolbikeshop.com He rides singlespeed mountain bikes. You could ask him for advice on getting a bike in Gainesville.
This is the model you want:
The other bikes are either not 4130 chromo, or they have really crappy welds. If you watch this guy's ebay, when he has non buy it now auctions they go for about 250+40 shipping.
thanks for the help guys..I have to disagree with some of the people that say it's cheaper to buy an old frame and make it single speed I'm actually experiencing that right now I got an old schwinn and now I'm trying to sell it because I realized just getting rid of the old steel wheels will run me about 120$ and that doesn't consider the other problems with the bicycle..I'm not going to drink cheaper beer and eat less the bicycle is not for a ride to the coffee shop i hate coffee I just want something to get to and from school a mile away everyday lol
if you're making a singlespeed just use the schwinn you have. pull the old 5speed freewheel off, throw on a bmx freewheel. 20 bucks and labor. shorten the chain, done.
really, the cliffs of my post is that if you have no experience working on bikes don't buy an online bike. the labor you're going to pay a shop to do to get it safely running will probably make up any savings from buying from a shop.
you're looking at 10 miles a week? I really don't think the 200 ebay bikes are up for that. the bearings will be shot in a couple months (people here at davis usually commute similar distances, republic bikes were in the on campus shop 2 weeks old with shot bb's and headsets). I'd recommend at least a windsor hour off bikes direct. that's 300. plus brake and lever, that's another 40-50. plus labor to put it together, that's about 70. you're already looking at a little over $400 for what i'd consider the bare minimum to be riding a new bike.
what kind of bmx free wheel would work and the chain is really rusty so I would just get a new one any recommendations on where to buy whether locally or online would be great for those I'm not very experienced with bicycles but i'm mechanically inclined I just don't want to make any mistakes.
i dunno about schwinns, but i'm pretty sure they used a standard iso freewheel thread. if so, any bmx freewheel will work, acs makes a cheap one that works. shimano makes a pretty good quality one. they're about 20-30 dollars. it takes a 4 prong freewheel tool. since it's something i can't imagine you'll be doing a lot, i'd just have the shop install it.
buy a chain tool, that's like 12 for a basic park tools one. for a schwinn conversion a $10 kmc z410 is fine. they're noisy and meh. if you want a nicer chain the sram PC1 is good.
make sure your brakes work well too, since you won't have a fixed cog. you might need to drop some money on a new brake cable set.
what schwinn are you converting. some are much easier to work with than others.
Its a 74 continental..I don't know if I should jump into finding another bicycle
Originally Posted by LupinIII
One thing to consider; if you get a crappy bike because you think you'll only use it to go one mile a day, then that's probably all you'll ever do. But if you get a decent bike that is actually fun to ride, you'll be riding all over the place, exploring the city, the countryside, having a great time.
I see garages full of Xmart bikes barely used. The owners bought them, not wanting to spend a lot of money on something just to ride around the neighborhood. But they didn't fit them well, the brakes worked so-so, the deraileurs shifted poorly, and the bike had such a dead feel to it there was no joy in getting on the thing.
I used to think a 20 mile ride on my old Diamondback rigid fork mtb. bike was a long haul. Now, 20 miles is just the warm up.
check out http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
yeah, i wouldn't do much more than new chain and freewheel then. ride that until you save up some more money. one day buy a bike tool kit (this is pretty good: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/145...--32-Tools.htm . I have a cheaper one, but i ended up replacing at least half the tools coz i broke them). use the tool kit to practice on your schwinn. learn how to true wheels (though you'll have to forgo a stand, but it'll give you the idea), cleaning and regreasing bottom brackets and headsets, etc. once you know how to maintain a bike, then I'd say you can buy a used one off craigslist or ebay.
Originally Posted by jesse10
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1_20000__61000 BAM!! There you go. Hi-ten baby...
The man said he had a $200 budget so this fits the bill, does it not?
Just know that there are better bikes out there. Don't get turned away from cycling in general if the bike you end up getting isn't great.
might as well ride his schwinn converted to ss.
seriously, do that and save up. i have a hard time recommending a draft to someone that already has a bike
Last edited by LupinIII; 02-10-10 at 02:32 AM.
I bet he doesn't have a bike already. Does he?
Originally Posted by LupinIII
Ride heavy metal.
You could buy a brand new trendstar, cheap, 4130 chromo fixie off of ebay or bikesdirect or something, for $250-300...OR:
1. Find a used steel roadbike with reusable front wheel, chain, and cranks for under/around $125ish (preferrably something lugged and not made by Sears or Huffy).
2. Buy this REAR wheel: Weiman DP18 w/ Formula Track hub (cheapest price I've found).
3. Check new wheel for spoke tension and that it's true (or take it to a shop and have someone else do it).
4. While at shop buy Fixed cog and lockring for new hub (or pick one up from VeloMine while you're buying the wheel).
Seriously, this seems (to me) to give you the best overall value. Sure it will take a tad bit more time, but the bike will easily be better than most bike packages. Bargain bikes from online retailers will be much more trouble than they're worth (for newbies), especially as the cost doesn't account for assembly, grease, lubricants, labor, etc. I think starting out, you'd have a better experience on a good, old bike.
Ride heavy metal.
Hey, I just read this. Everything I've heard about Continentals has been positive. I still say buy this rear wheel: Weiman DP18 w/ Formula Track hub (again, cheapest price I've found), and while you're there pick up a cog (surley or other). If you talk to the guys at Velomine, they should be willing to help you out.
Originally Posted by jesse10
But I really think you're better off sticking with the Continental than going the route of a new frame.
he said he has a schwinn continental already.
Originally Posted by dan32888
Late night reading comprehension FTL
Originally Posted by LupinIII