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Old 12-04-15, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Saratoga calif.
Posts: 749

Bikes: Miyata 610(66cm), GT Vantara Hybrid (64cm), Nishiki International (64cm), Peugeot rat rod (62 cm), Trek 800 Burning Man helicopter bike, Bob Jackson frame (to be restored?) plus a never ending stream of neglected waifs from the Bike exchange.

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Is there a bike co-op in your area. If there is find out if they will sell you used parts.

The last bike I built up was for a friend who lost his license and need a bike to get to work.

Looking on Craigslist I found a guy with a bunch of old junk bikes for sale.

He had an old Schwinn Mesa Runner that had bad tires and a rusted chain and frozen rear Freewheel. He sold it to me for $15.

At the bike Exchange I found some 1.5" x 26" tires that were used but usable, some new cable and covers, and a used seat that was way better than was on the bike . All together I paid $15.

Back at the house I removed the chain and soaked it in solvent for a few days, cleaned it up and reinstalled it. I lubed the axles and head set, adjusted the bottom bracket, installed new cables for brakes and derailleurs and put on the new used seat. New reflectors and a cheap front and rear light and it was back on the road.

Total cost for the bike (minus labor) was about $40. It is a solid bike, rides well, and just scruffy enough not to attract attention.
You don't have to spend anywhere near $500 to get a nice bike for yourself. Just keep your eyes pealed for good deals on craigslist , visit your local Bike co op for advice and hopefully cheap parts, and do the wrenching yourself.
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