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Finding a Versatile First Bike

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Finding a Versatile First Bike

Old 07-31-17, 02:47 PM
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Finding a Versatile First Bike

Hi all, I'm a student in the Los Angeles area that's been looking to try and get more into cycling, learn plenty about general maintenance and repairs, and snag my first bike that isn't a POC from Walmart. At the moment, the bike will mostly be used as a commuter (15 miles from Glendale to downtown LA and 15 back after class). My daily commute definitely has a good set of hills along the way, a few of which go on for a while at a good grade. Is there any components I should be checking for in the bikes I'm looking. I've been told a triple crank as well as big tires and a strong Cr-Mo frame are a must. Anything else that comes to mind?

I've been looking mostly into touring bikes but I was also told that a quality classic mountain bike would be worth looking into as well. I was hoping that I could get some good help as to where I should get started looking. I've been looking through Craigslist for Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego County as well as the apps OfferUp and LetGo, but wondering if I should try Bike Kitchen, Bike Oven, or Bicycle Tree all pretty close by.

I'm about 5'9" so I've been recommended to go with about 55-57cm bikes. I was also wondering about theft deterrence since I've had two bikes stolen already even with a U-lock and cable, and I definitely don't want to get a nicer bike stolen. Any good or better quality U-Locks I should be looking at? Also any recommendations for racks, seats, tires/wheels, maintenance tips, or panniers to go with the a rack. Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-31-17, 02:56 PM
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In a high theft area, ideally you'd get your hands on a beat up looking road bike that is mechanically sound. Touring bikes tend to command a premium. Equivalent quality MTBs go for a lot less generally.

I'd look for an older Japanese road bike that comes stock with center pull brakes or a long reach sidepull (i.e., something that is not a racing bike). Those bikes have plenty of clearance for a reasonably fat tire (say 28/32 c which is I think ideal for commuting) and will have eyelets for a rack and fenders.

Then do some homework on a damn good lock.

This looks to be a 54 cm which should work well at five foot nine and it's a very decent bike at $150, https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...244044365.html

Last edited by bikemig; 07-31-17 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 07-31-17, 03:00 PM
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That's a pretty serious commute...I'd want a triple for those hills if they're significant. A touring bike would probably be preferable...but a MTB would surely be cheaper. The thing is, you'd probably want to make so many changes to the MTB that it will be more effort/cost than a tourer when all is said and done.

I'd aim for a sports tourer sort of bike with a triple...they do exist

Place a wtb ad on your CL.

As far as locks, I'd leave a Kryptonite NY'r at the spot you commute with a couple of chains. If there's anything guarded/underground near you, use that.

Locking a bike is a deterrent...basically you don't want to be the easiest target. I don't know your area...but with a NYr and a cable, I wouldn't worry much where I am.
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Old 07-31-17, 03:06 PM
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One last point, I find that older road bikes often have questionable wheels. The frames are sound and the parts are often in decent shape (you can tell that by a visual inspection) but wheels are often the weakest link given the abuse they receive. MTBs have stouter wheels and they generally survive the years and abuse better. The one downside to a MTB is that it may not be as comfortable for a 15 mile commute given the lack of hand positions. Bar ends will help a lot. The plus side to an MTB is that you can fit a nice volume tire that is relatively flat proof which will help you deal with crummy roads.

Here's a vintage Trek MTB at $50, https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/...232734532.html
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Old 07-31-17, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
This looks to be a 54 cm which should work well at five foot nine and it's a very decent bike at $150, https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...244044365.html
This is a darn fine bike to start with. Sure it's a 10 speed but you could put a 32 large on the rear (if it doesn't already have one) and handle most any terrain. It looks like a typical 52/40 from the time. Room for mudguards, barcons and Fuji Mojo. Garage queen.
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Old 07-31-17, 03:35 PM
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That Fuji is a 21", i.e. 54cm, which is a bit small, but I'm your height, and I fit bikes between 53 and 57cm. You can probably make that one work for you.
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Old 07-31-17, 03:49 PM
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If you got hills, then the weight of the bike and gearing will be two things to consider.

I wouldn't want a bike much over 24 lbs. That being said, when I was younger I road a 44lb Schwinn Varsity and never knew it was a problem. But then again, I didn't have many hills in the area I lived in back then. I do now though.

I don't think mountain bikes help you climb a paved hill any better than a road bike with appropriate gearing. I favor road bikes and am biased that way. IMO off-road is for hiking, horses and 250 yamaha's.

But if off road biking is something you think you want to do, then maybe a mountain bike needs to be considered too.

And I wouldn't snub a Walmart bike if you can find one that fits and is light with the appropriate gearing.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-31-17 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 07-31-17, 04:15 PM
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Some of the best deals are poorly worded or described. Here is a "Schwinn medium frame large tall" bike :-)

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...232574931.html

Looks to be a 22" (56cm) 1983 Voyageur?? (Maybe Le Tour Luxe) in decent shape for $140. Not a screaming deal, but a pretty good price for a quality bike. Already has a triple, and nice Suntour components. Figure new tires ($50 pair of 27x1 1/4" Paselas), and you would have a nice riding, low profile bike.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:05 PM
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You're in a good market to find something great. Whatever you end up getting it would be wise to frequent one of those coops in your area. They'll teach you basic maintenance and they probably have a good parts bin for you to do modifications and repairs as they come. Rarely does whatever you buy work exactly as you want it out of the box, and if it does it doesn't stay that way forever.

Your commute is also not necessarily a hilly one. You'd probably be taking the LA River path most of the way so unless you're taking a detour for exercise you don't really have to scale Griffith Park or summit any mountains.

Get a basic road bike that's more cromoly than not and whatever gear set it comes with will probably be adequate. Just make sure it fits. After that I'd definitely invest in some rack/pannier setup because riding with a backpack is sweat city and more tiring than riding with your books attached somewhere on your bike.

The Schwinn looks too big for you, the Fuji a tad small. Making a slightly smaller bike fit larger is easier than making a slightly larger bike feel smaller in my experience.
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Old 07-31-17, 11:52 PM
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Awesome thanks again guys, plenty of good advice and things for me to consider, plus tons of research I'll keep doing. I contacted all three CL people to figure out when I can test ride them. Anything I should look for while I test ride the bikes and pointers for negotiating price?

Also of these sound like potential bikes I should hop on or am I still cluelessly looking at race bikes? Been trying to spot eyelets as well as look up any model info I can get my hands on. Based on whether I think I could spot eyelets or find info that they might have eyelets, see they already had a rack they were willing to include, and definitely if priced under $120, this is what I've found nearby: A Univega Supra Sport, a Vivo Sport, Sport Tour, a Nishiki Custom Sport, International, a Panasonic Sport Deluxe, and a few Trek mountain bikes.
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Old 08-01-17, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Some of the best deals are poorly worded or described. Here is a "Schwinn medium frame large tall" bike :-)
+1. Two of my three CL scores were utter botch jobs on the posting, one the pictures so horrible that I could only tell the bike was probably red, but I took a chance to go look in person and gladly handed over the cash and ran away with the bike when I saw what they were.
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Old 08-01-17, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Any touring bike is going to be heavier than 24 pounds, more like 27 pounds +/-. MTBs are heavier still.

Custom Sport and Sport Deluxe are dogs, Univegas are on the basic end.
There were fancy Univegas and basic cheap Univegas, like any brand. All the bike shop brands had starting models at around $200, and top models that were $1000 and up. You have to go by the particular bike, not the brand.

UV Specialissima was one of the best production touring bikes ever made. Good luck finding one, but there are some out there. The much more common Gran Turismo is probably sufficient for your needs, and you are more likely to find one at your budget.

Finding a nice vintage touring bike is going to be a matter of luck and seizing opportunity. Keep your eyes open and post here if you have questions as to whether it's worth it.

PS you don't necessarily need a triple to ride from Glendale to downtown LA. It's pretty much flat, unless you live at the top of the Glendale hills or something.
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Old 08-01-17, 09:30 AM
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You've got some good advice here. If you can find a touring bike with a triple crank in your size, go for it. Otherwise, an '80s Japanese road bike with a double in front and the biggest low gear you can put on the back (32, if you can swing it). You'll learn what geometry works for you, but I'd look out for relatively long chainstays and long wheelbase -- not a twitchy racing bike.

As for tires: I'm not convinced of the need for very wide ones. I find 28mm (27 x 1 1/4) ideal for the distances you're riding.

As you ride, you'll figure out what's comfortable (or not) for you -- it's very personal. But I'd say that many people don't do well with vintage drop bars. I prefer bars where the drops are parallel to the ramps; your preference may vary. You might also prefer something like moustache bars. The Nittos are excellent.

As for saddles -- again, it's personal, but most people do like a Brooks. Look out for deals on eBay -- or just make an investment in a Brooks Imperial.

For U-locks, I've done well with both OnGuard and Kryptonite. The important thing is to use it -- and if you can help it, don't leave it locked up outside overnight.

Last edited by brianinc-ville; 08-01-17 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 08-01-17, 10:10 AM
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This takes me back to my days as a UCLA student (1968-78). I built several beater bikes for riding to campus, everything from a 3-speed to pop up the hill to campus to an uglified high-quality sports touring bike (full butted Reynolds 531 Capo Modell Campagnolo, which served me well until I got left-crossed by an errant motorist) I used for longer commutes. I always tried to park to a better-looking bike (not hard to find) with a flimsier-looking lock.

I like the suggestions of either a mountain bike with street tires or a road bike with generous tire clearance.
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Old 08-01-17, 11:01 AM
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I live in Southern California.
For the commute described, and the eventual end of daylight savings time, plus the overall poor condition of LA City streets, I would be looking at a rigid mtb. Exchange the quick release seat binder bolt for a bolt.
Consider where you will be parking, at say school, repeat parking during the week, for extended periods...the strongest U lock you can afford, yes the better ones are not cheap. I would really look to see if there is a low risk parking option, even a cheap bike being stolen can really stand you.

When I ride to my Dr., a 25 mile jaunt each way, I park in the building in easy view of the parking attendant. Ride a mtb, long shadows in the morning can really hide dangerous road surfaces. Almost lost it on Lincoln Blvd once, near Venice Blvd at a bus stop, there literally was a 9" abrupt drop in surface where the plane changed as well, there was another commuter behind me and we met at a signal later, he stated " you don't ride this often, do you?"
It's a dangerous world out there.
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Old 08-01-17, 11:06 AM
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Yeah, I agree that you don't really need a triple. I doubt your locale is as hilly as where I live, and I get by with a 39 tooth chainring as the small ring on a double. You could go with a 36 or a 34 if you really need it. For additional reference, I also have a couple of touring bikes, and unless I'm fully loaded and/or going up a very steep hill, I almost never use the smallest ring on the triple. It's nice to know it's there, but I wouldn't plan your purchase around it.

Do look for something with a relatively long wheelbase, clearance for wide tires and fenders, fender mounts, and rear rack mounts at the very least. Most importantly, find something that fits, and that doesn't show signs of damage (bent fork/tubes, excessive rust, etc.). It's a good idea to bring some basic tools and ensure the seatpost and stem aren't stuck.

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-17, 11:33 AM
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I commute about that distance every day I can. When I need to haul stuff or it rains, I will use this bike. Since this thread needs pics, I submit this as a reference in support of using a MTB.
[IMG]1997 Specialized RockHopper, on Flickr[/IMG]

Although this isn't currently built, it could be another reference for using more of a road bike.
[IMG]104_PaTrek., on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 08-01-17, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I live in Southern California.
For the commute described, and the eventual end of daylight savings time, plus the overall poor condition of LA City streets, I would be looking at a rigid mtb. Exchange the quick release seat binder bolt for a bolt.
Consider where you will be parking, at say school, repeat parking during the week, for extended periods...the strongest U lock you can afford, yes the better ones are not cheap. I would really look to see if there is a low risk parking option, even a cheap bike being stolen can really stand you.

When I ride to my Dr., a 25 mile jaunt each way, I park in the building in easy view of the parking attendant. Ride a mtb, long shadows in the morning can really hide dangerous road surfaces. Almost lost it on Lincoln Blvd once, near Venice Blvd at a bus stop, there literally was a 9" abrupt drop in surface where the plane changed as well, there was another commuter behind me and we met at a signal later, he stated " you don't ride this often, do you?"
It's a dangerous world out there.
Originally Posted by ecnewell View Post
Yeah, I agree that you don't really need a triple. I doubt your locale is as hilly as where I live, and I get by with a 39 tooth chainring as the small ring on a double. You could go with a 36 or a 34 if you really need it. For additional reference, I also have a couple of touring bikes, and unless I'm fully loaded and/or going up a very steep hill, I almost never use the smallest ring on the triple. It's nice to know it's there, but I wouldn't plan your purchase around it.

Do look for something with a relatively long wheelbase, clearance for wide tires and fenders, fender mounts, and rear rack mounts at the very least. Most importantly, find something that fits, and that doesn't show signs of damage (bent fork/tubes, excessive rust, etc.). It's a good idea to bring some basic tools and ensure the seatpost and stem aren't stuck.

Good luck!
Glendale to downtown, I'd get on the LA River Trail to Dodger Stadium. Not sure how to navigate to downtown that avoids traffic after that. But you surely don't need super low gearing for your commute, although a vintage mountain bike will give you that.

As you're seeing, lots of suggestions to use a mountain bike, stronger wheels and fatter tires for the commute. Speed sholdn't be high on your priority list, durability should be #1. If you're budget constrained, find a good, cheap, old steel mountain bike that has decent quality components, and if need be replace all the consumables: chain, cables, tires.

Here's a picture of a near perfect commuter bike:



There's tape, decals, and stickers covering up the true identy of this bike. A closer look and I could see a Tange Magnalloy sticker-not top shelf, but not shabby gas pipe either. Forged dropouts, and a hodgepodge of parts, none of which matched, but all good quality, used, but well maintained condition. The chain was clean and lubed, cable housing cut and routed fairly nicely. 32 spoke rear wheel, 36 spoke 4 cross front wheel, decent rubber on both. The shift and brake levers were well positioned, and parallel. The saddle and bars appear to be at reasonable heights, suggesting this is the correct size bike for the rider.
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Old 08-01-17, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I live in Southern California.
For the commute described, and the eventual end of daylight savings time, plus the overall poor condition of LA City streets, I would be looking at a rigid mtb. Exchange the quick release seat binder bolt for a bolt.
Consider where you will be parking, at say school, repeat parking during the week, for extended periods...the strongest U lock you can afford, yes the better ones are not cheap. I would really look to see if there is a low risk parking option, even a cheap bike being stolen can really stand you.

When I ride to my Dr., a 25 mile jaunt each way, I park in the building in easy view of the parking attendant. Ride a mtb, long shadows in the morning can really hide dangerous road surfaces. Almost lost it on Lincoln Blvd once, near Venice Blvd at a bus stop, there literally was a 9" abrupt drop in surface where the plane changed as well, there was another commuter behind me and we met at a signal later, he stated " you don't ride this often, do you?"
It's a dangerous world out there.
As a Venice resident, I no longer fear Hell, because I've ridden Lincoln Blvd.
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Old 08-01-17, 04:01 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
There were fancy Univegas and basic cheap Univegas, like any brand. All the bike shop brands had starting models at around $200, and top models that were $1000 and up. You have to go by the particular bike, not the brand.

UV Specialissima was one of the best production touring bikes ever made. Good luck finding one, but there are some out there. The much more common Gran Turismo is probably sufficient for your needs, and you are more likely to find one at your budget.

Finding a nice vintage touring bike is going to be a matter of luck and seizing opportunity. Keep your eyes open and post here if you have questions as to whether it's worth it.

PS you don't necessarily need a triple to ride from Glendale to downtown LA. It's pretty much flat, unless you live at the top of the Glendale hills or something.
Actually found a Univega Specialissima the first day I started checking Craigslist about a week ago for $140 that seemed in pretty good shape. At the time, I had no clue how amazing it would have been to snag but definitely gone by the time I realized.

Yeah the more I think about it, the more I'm debating if I'll necessarily go for a bike with a triple. I found I did pretty well without it on the last mountain bike I had. I do like to take detours or random long routes on the way home though, so I'm sure I'll eventually try and find a triple that I can swap in if I don't immediately get a bike with one.

Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
You've got some good advice here. If you can find a touring bike with a triple crank in your size, go for it. Otherwise, an '80s Japanese road bike with a double in front and the biggest low gear you can put on the back (32, if you can swing it). You'll learn what geometry works for you, but I'd look out for relatively long chainstays and long wheelbase -- not a twitchy racing bike.

As for tires: I'm not convinced of the need for very wide ones. I find 28mm (27 x 1 1/4) ideal for the distances you're riding.

As you ride, you'll figure out what's comfortable (or not) for you -- it's very personal. But I'd say that many people don't do well with vintage drop bars. I prefer bars where the drops are parallel to the ramps; your preference may vary. You might also prefer something like moustache bars. The Nittos are excellent.

As for saddles -- again, it's personal, but most people do like a Brooks. Look out for deals on eBay -- or just make an investment in a Brooks Imperial.

For U-locks, I've done well with both OnGuard and Kryptonite. The important thing is to use it -- and if you can help it, don't leave it locked up outside overnight.
Awesome! I was definitely wondering about different styles of bars since I'm used to simple flat bars and haven't rode drop bars for any extended amount of time. Ah darn maybe I should have hopped on a nice Brooks seat when I had the chance. Any other brands to consider or is Brooks undeniably the best? As for the U-locks, I'm considering investing in a Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit when I have the extra cash (overkill?) but maybe in the mean time Kryptonite Keeper since it seems tough but well-priced.

Originally Posted by ecnewell View Post
Yeah, I agree that you don't really need a triple. I doubt your locale is as hilly as where I live, and I get by with a 39 tooth chainring as the small ring on a double. You could go with a 36 or a 34 if you really need it. For additional reference, I also have a couple of touring bikes, and unless I'm fully loaded and/or going up a very steep hill, I almost never use the smallest ring on the triple. It's nice to know it's there, but I wouldn't plan your purchase around it.

Do look for something with a relatively long wheelbase, clearance for wide tires and fenders, fender mounts, and rear rack mounts at the very least. Most importantly, find something that fits, and that doesn't show signs of damage (bent fork/tubes, excessive rust, etc.). It's a good idea to bring some basic tools and ensure the seatpost and stem aren't stuck.

Good luck!
Yeah definitely not as hilly as somewhere like SF over in NorCal. I am definitely considering whether I'll go for a triple bike or not since it's pretty much only when I take random detours on the way home that I'll come across some good hills.

Ah that's a very good idea about the seat post and stem. Having broken my old seatpost, it was awful and definitely wouldn't be a fun surprise on a new bike. For that, would a set of hexkeys be important?

Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Glendale to downtown, I'd get on the LA River Trail to Dodger Stadium. Not sure how to navigate to downtown that avoids traffic after that. But you surely don't need super low gearing for your commute, although a vintage mountain bike will give you that.

As you're seeing, lots of suggestions to use a mountain bike, stronger wheels and fatter tires for the commute. Speed sholdn't be high on your priority list, durability should be #1. If you're budget constrained, find a good, cheap, old steel mountain bike that has decent quality components, and if need be replace all the consumables: chain, cables, tires.

Here's a picture of a near perfect commuter bike:



There's tape, decals, and stickers covering up the true identy of this bike. A closer look and I could see a Tange Magnalloy sticker-not top shelf, but not shabby gas pipe either. Forged dropouts, and a hodgepodge of parts, none of which matched, but all good quality, used, but well maintained condition. The chain was clean and lubed, cable housing cut and routed fairly nicely. 32 spoke rear wheel, 36 spoke 4 cross front wheel, decent rubber on both. The shift and brake levers were well positioned, and parallel. The saddle and bars appear to be at reasonable heights, suggesting this is the correct size bike for the rider.
Definitely tough to avoid traffic once I start getting close to downtown but luckily some bike lanes have been opening up to help me out.

Any recommendations on must-have or solid mountain bikes to watch out for? I've mostly found Trek bikes otherwise I'm only finding hardtails. Also checking my local co-op a good idea to replace the consumables?

Would you recommend using stickers, tape and paint as a good idea to hide the value of the bike and theft deterrence (aside from just making it my own I suppose)?

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Any touring bike is going to be heavier than 24 pounds, more like 27 pounds +/-. MTBs are heavier still.

Custom Sport and Sport Deluxe are dogs, Univegas are on the basic end. $120 price point is a tough one to find a decent road bike. Touring bike? Harder still. MTBs should be plentiful at that point. Most of the better stuff around here road bike wise sells for $200 and up. If you do find a better road bike under $200, it either needs a lot of work, or it will be sold lightning fast.

Do you have the transportation to pounce on a deal fast?

Check out the co-ops first. They often sell nice used bikes that have been repaired and made road ready. In addition, they could assist you in refurbishing a neglected used bike if you find a deal. Every co-op is different, so check out several of them. At the co-op I work at, we get a lot of MTBs and hybrids. Avoid MTBs with suspensions, they tend to be worn out, and you don't need one for road work anyway.
Luckily I have transportation if I can spot a good deal, whether through the girlfriend or family. Definitely going to drop by a local co-op today and see what I can do.


Update on finds: Found a $140 Univega Supra Sport with rack, helmet, solid looking chain and lock, water bottle holder. $100 Miyata 610, $100 Motobecane Super Mirage, $130 Schwinn Continental (70s).

Will be doing searching more for mountain bikes later and then do another big update. Thanks a ton guys for looking out for me!
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Old 08-01-17, 04:21 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by NBike View Post
Actually found a Univega Specialissima the first day I started checking Craigslist about a week ago for $140 that seemed in pretty good shape. At the time, I had no clue how amazing it would have been to snag but definitely gone by the time I realized.
Bummer! Oh well. There is a big luck factor in all of this.

Ah darn maybe I should have hopped on a nice Brooks seat when I had the chance. Any other brands to consider or is Brooks undeniably the best?
For a commute bike that you lock up, I think I'd look at something less blingey. There was a time when you could lock up a bike with a Brooks, but that time is mostly gone. Try the stock saddle of whatever you get first.

If you get a mountain bike, I'd personally try to find a hard tail and hard front too if possible. Stickers, paint and stuff does help make a bike look less valuable, but it's no guarantee. It can be fun for you regardless...

Update on finds: Found a $140 Univega Supra Sport with rack, helmet, solid looking chain and lock, water bottle holder. $100 Miyata 610, $100 Motobecane Super Mirage, $130 Schwinn Continental (70s).
Of those I'd say the Miyata 610 is most deluxe. Same bike essentially as the Gran Turismo I mentioned. Motobecane Super Mirage ride nice for a high tensile frame. Perhaps a bit more style potential though not technically as nice as a 610.
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Old 08-01-17, 04:23 PM
  #22  
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Run and grab that Miyata now if it fits and isn't wrecked! It's near ideal for your needs, and an absolute steal at $100.
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Old 08-01-17, 04:28 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
As for tires: I'm not convinced of the need for very wide ones. I find 28mm (27 x 1 1/4) ideal for the distances you're riding.
On good paved streets, I would agree. On crappy streets, potholes, glass, fatter tires run at lower pressures and are much less likely to flat, and all that air protects the rim. And it also protects my behind...

Add it all up, an 80's-90's no shock hard tail mountain bike with 26" wheels meets just about all of the requirements. The one thing the OP might want to modify are the handlebars, but then you're changing brake and shift levers and adding significantly to the cost.
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Old 08-01-17, 04:44 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by NBike View Post
Would you recommend using stickers, tape and paint as a good idea to hide the value of the bike and theft deterrence (aside from just making it my own I suppose)?
I'm lucky. I take my bike right into work next to my cube. My schedule is to drive to work on Monday morning, drive home on Friday evening. This gives me a car during the day to run errands if need be, or for emergencies, or if I just work so damn late I don't want to ride home. On the weekends, I just leave the bike at work.

Don't know if you mentioned where you plan on parking. If you can bring it inside a building that's pretty secure and lock it up, you're good. If you have to park outside in downtown LA, camouflage won't hurt. Theft-proof bolts on the seat post is a good idea as well. In Portland, you'd be crazy to use a Brooks saddle if you park outside, they're very popular and can get stolen. A lot of older mountain bikes had quick releases so you can easily adjust the saddle height. That's an almost useless feature, but is very useful to remove the entire saddle and post and bring it with you.
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Old 08-01-17, 08:18 PM
  #25  
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I would strongly recommend a Norco Charger 7.1. It is price range you're looking for, and has way better parts (Sram shifters, Rockshox air suspension, and way more) and a way better bang for your buck. I have this bike and it is the best XC bike I have ever owned. Obviously though, the more money you spend, the better the bike. If you have anymore questions or want to see other related bikes let me know!

Happy biking.
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