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Classic bike for light urban commuting

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Classic bike for light urban commuting

Old 01-29-22, 07:43 PM
  #26  
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Road bikes with 25" frames are not that hard to find. There are also 26" and 27" frames out there, although they are not that common. If that turns out to be the size you need, keep your eyes open and your wallet handy. As mentioned above, alloy rims that are preferably 700c in size are the best way to go. Vintage Japanese bikes from the late '70s to mid-80s usually give you the best value and reliability. Alloy Sun-Tour components are very reliable and perform nicely. Accessories such as water bottle cages, a rear rack, saddle bag ,handlebar bag, reflectors, bell, LED lights and a mirror are nice to have. As far as shifters are concerned, bar-end shifters are something to consider. Their placement can be very convenient and easy to reach when riding. Puncture resistant tires and/or liners can also be worth having on a commuter bike. This is.my commuter that I get alot of use out of. It's kind of a standard


set-up, IMHO, and recently I've taken a liking to posting pictures of it.
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Old 01-29-22, 07:57 PM
  #27  
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Just in case the handlebar wrap and brake lever colors on the bike above look familiar....
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Old 01-29-22, 08:05 PM
  #28  
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Step 1: google bike sizing and take some measurements. 25 inch road frames are plentiful, but you make need something even larger.

Step 2: Study up on top tube sizing too. Fit has as much to do with top tube length as seat tube length.


FWIW: I had a guy 5-11 buy a 25 inch Centurion from me. Now he had really long legs, and the top tube was on the short side. It fit him well.

Once you get larger than 25 inch frame size, bikes get hard to find. There were some vintage road bikes as large as 27 inch frame.


And don't expect sellers to get frame size correct. I rarely/never get correct sizing information from sellers. Seems like a class in school: "How to Use a Tape Measure." would be useful!


I'm a huge fan of the old school rigid frame MTBs for commuting. Plenty of room for fenders, racks, wider tires, and more. MTB sizing is different than road bike sizing, so a little more study would be prudent. Bigger MTBs are relatively hard to find. I've found way too many 22 inches, but nothing over that.

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Old 01-29-22, 08:17 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@merziac, great bikes, but I think the OP is looking for an upright city bike. Curly bars can look intimidating for those of us who don't use them.
No worries, I get that and you're right, they will become a handicap at some point but I cannot reconcile without them.

Hence the jacked and turned up with brake levers placed way high up on the bars setup. They also mostly have double foam or cork tape wrap on at least the upper half to keep me on the bike.

The Rivendell fit calculator is somewhat geared to upright fitting as they firmly eschew and embrace that type of riding and any proper fit starts with an accurate inseam/PBH IMO, variations and liberties can be taken much better once you know that, especially if you are not normalish in this foundational measurement.
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Old 01-29-22, 09:16 PM
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Boston? Home of Raleigh in the US, so I'm about to make a recommendation that might be difficult anywhere else:

Hold out for a 25" Raleigh Sprite 3-speed. They're a bit hard to come by as the Sprite was only offered as a 3-speed in this frame size between '77 and '82 in the US lineup. Get the wheelset re-laced with 700C aluminum rims instead of the steel 27" rims. Replace brake calipers with Tektro 800A (or 800A front / 900A rear).

Done - instant commuter bike that goes and stops reliably.

No other mods necessary unless you want narrower gearing than the AW. The Shimano Nexus 8 would be my choice for a hub with a wider range and closer ratio spacing, but then you're getting well past that $250 budget.

-Kurt
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Old 01-29-22, 11:41 PM
  #31  
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Hello Nervous Jerboa:
Given that you are 6'-5" and seeking a good riding large frame bike to ride upright with ordinary old fashioned style tourist bars instead of drop bars, then
you consider the 24" FRAME SCHWINN SUBURBAN Five SPEED (not the 10 speed model....and not a 10 speed Varsity/Continental ).

----You will need to acquire a 10 speed VARSITY or CONTINENTAL in order to get a FRAME SIZED LARGER than 24". Then what I would recommend doing is then converting that supersize frame Varsity/Continental into a SUBURBAN Five Speed clone !
WHY? The Five Speed SUBURBAN with its 46T front and 32T rear first gear cog provides you a (39 GEAR) for the lowest available hill climbing gear.
The Varsity/Conti using its 39T front and its 28T rear first gear cog provides you a (38 GEAR) for the lowest available hill climbing gear.
That (39 GEAR ) is close enough with no front derailleur and only just one shift lever to worry about!

***** I'll bet that most of you didn't even know that the 26" (597mm) wheeled SCHWINN COLLEGIATE 5 speed of the seventies HAS A SUPERIOR (37 GEAR) lowest available hill climbing gear than the VARSITY/CONTINENTAL ten speeds!!
Although the (1970-1977) Collegiate has the exact same gear teeth as the (1970-1976)Suburban 5 speed, the difference in wheel size (630mm 27 INCH) on Suburban versus the (597mm 26 INCH) 26 x 1 3/8 597mm of the COLLEGIATES.

YES, the seventies era COLLEGIATE was also available with the 24" FRAME.
24" FRAME was the largest frame offered in the SUBURBAN, and 24" was typically the largest frame of the VARSITY/CONTI before about 1973.
There were some very large frames (greater than 24") offered in the CONTINENTAL & VARSITY between about 1973 and 1977 where probably at least a million of these very large framed bikes were sold.

I do suspect that given that you are 6'-5" that the 24" FRAME SUBURBAN 5 Speed would fit you comfortably in upright riding UNLESS you have a short torso and extremely long legs for your proportionate body make-up.
Either way: YOU DO WANT THE REAR WHEEL GEARING FROM the ('70-'76) Suburban 5 speed or ('70-'77 Collegiate 5 speed) because you do want the Model J freewheel gearing of 32-26-21-17-14 rather than the Continental - Varsity 's Model F freewheel gearing of 28-24-20-16-14
because when you employ just one front crankwheel with 46 TEETH, that 32-14 model J gives you the best gearing.
WARNING: the 1964-1969 Collegiate 5 speed employed that 28-24-20-16-14 model F that the Seventies era Continental & Varsity continued to use throughout the seventies. The 28 teeth low first gear cog combined with the 46T front only gives the 1964-1969 COLLEGIATE a (43 GEAR) for lowest hill climbing. As you can see, the number 37 is a helluva lot lower than 43...... (37 GEAR) of '70-'77 versus (43 GEAR) of '64-'69 Collegiates.

For an upright city commuter bicycle, simplicity is your friend, and thus STEM SHIFTER or Thumb Shift on Handlebars IS THE WAY TO GO!!!
Yes, it is considered "undersireable" and old fashioned, "peasant" type bicycling by those fools who are trying to tell you that downtube shifting is the only acceptable looking way as they say that stem shifters are a common item on low end and really old bikes. There were some decent bikes in the late sixties thru mid seventies that did employ stem shifters. You are gonna ride UPRIGHT, so why the hell do you wanna have the shifter in a location that just does not make any practical sense. If it were a dropbar racing style set-up in which you were planning to ride in, then certainly there would be objection to having shifters on the downtube as it works that way.
Remember that you get to decide what you ultimately would like to do.
I am simply trying to inform you that this is potentially one good option. Feel free to criticize and completely disagree but I would urge anyone in the same boat to consider the options before just willy-nilly choosing something that is the proper cool thing to do just because some idiot that knows nothing about nothing except perhaps just a very little bit about current LBS offerings in the urban commuter segment.
The ancient Sturmey-Archer geared 3 SPEEDS are great and extremely durable too, but you might find that the Ashtabula One Piece CRANK ancient derailleur equipped 5 speeds(ASSUMING you use a Shimano or MaedaSUN TOUR rear derailleur) are UNBELIEVABLY BULLETPROOF TOO and the five speeds offer a better choice of gears if you may find that you do need that sometimes on your rides.

----SAME THING THAT I PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED APPLIES WITH RESPECT TO your constructing a "Large" frame 3 SPEED bike, if you wanna do only three!! (IN 1970 & 1971 model years Only, there was also a SUBURBAN 3 speed)
You can just as easily find one of those Seventies era CONTINENTAL or VARSITY in the huge frame sizes and then just change it to 3 speed with the aid of a donor 3 speed bike, or perhaps two donor bikes, or parts...etc.
The 630mm(27"wheel) bikes like the Suburbans/Continental/Varsities do offer greater TIRE choices than the 597mm(schwinn 26 x 1 3/8) which only has one tire manufactured today with that being the 597mm Kenda k23 Schwinn only 26 x 1 3/8 37-597 tire. Now the Common 590mm 26 x 1 3/8 wheels that all the other makes' 3 speed bikes of the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's have as standard equipment (the 590mm bikes) have plenty of tire choices from many manufacturers where the (597mm SCHWINN) has only one!
SCHWINN made maybe at least a MILLION of those mid seventies huge extra large Conti/Varsities frames. It shouldn't be too hard to acquire the huge frame to build something in whatever configuration that you might want..
Here is what I would suggest if you're gonna go 3 speed:
Calculate what choice of gears would give you optimal practical 3 speed gearing for you. THERE ARE NUMEROUS threads here and over on the C.A.B.E. on options on how to. All of the various options are really simple to do as well as the parts are super inexpensive and widely available, with the new parts being very high quality and still very inexpensive because nobody except old farts and a few other offbeat folks are crazy into 3 speeds these days.
So yeah, it wouldn't be too difficult to take something like any brand's old three speed in a typical women's or small man's size frame, and just use that bike as maybe the transplant donor.......you don't care if if its a Austria made PUCH for SEARS or a Peugeot, or Raleigh, because you aren't gonna use the frame or the cottered 3 piece crank.....You just want the Sturmey-Archer geared rear wheel, and front wheel. It could be an old sixties or fifties COLUMBIA 3 speed in a 19 inch women's model...
MOST OF THOSE OLD EUROPEAN & Non-schwinn US made 3 speeds have the 590mm 26" wheels although there may be some seventies era British & French 3 speeds that came with 630mm 27" wheels.
Either way, you're golden with respect to placing the bicycle guts from the donor 3 speed ON TO a huge electroforged Seventies era SCHWINN bike's frame.
Here is why: The Collegiate/Breeze/Speedster/Racer/sixties Traveler & CO-ED and other name variants were 597mm 26" wheels & The CONTINENTAL/Varsity/Suburban etc was 630mm 27" wheels.
The electroforged frames are essentially the same................the 597mm 26WHEEL Collegiate, etal, etc have L.S. 2.8 schwinn approved Weinmann sidepulls where the 630mm 27 WHEEL VARSITY/SUBURBAN have the L.S. 2.4 schwinn approved Weinmann sidepulls.
Those designation numbers do not stand for the measurement that you might be thinking it might be. It is an internal code that requires multiplication by a standard fraction and is not a metric measurement. SCHWINN began to employ this designation on the brakes in the 1969 model year.....the 1968 brakes are exactly the same but do not exhibit this Schwinn code. For example that L.S. 2.8 from the COLLEGIATE is exactly the same as Weinmann 810. Off the top of my head, I cannot recall right now the Weinman number that corresponds with the L.S. 2.4 of the Varsity/Suburban.
---the tenths digit on that code....you know the number to the right of the decimal......Well that number gets multiplied by 3/32 inch.
The number to left of the decimal is Distance in Inches from center point of brake mounting bolt TO the center point of the slot for brake pad BUT THEN YOU GOTTA FACTOR IN THE number to the right of the decimal TIMES 3/32..............and then add that to the amount to the left to get the total distance.......SOUNDS COMPLICATED BUT IT AIN'T:
for example: L.S. 2.4
number to Left is 2, so two inches but we still got more to do....
number to Right is 4, so 4 times 3/32 = 12/32 , and as we know 12/32 reduces to 3/8
SO THIS Schwinn L.S. 2.4 code is telling you that
the reach from the center point of the brake mounting bolt TO the center point of the slot for the brake pad is 2 3/8 inches on the L.S. 2.4 (VARSITY/SUBURBAN)

for example: L.S. 2.8
number to Left is 2, so two inches but we still got more to do...
number to Right is 8, so 8 times 3/32 = 24/32, and as we know 24/32 reduces to 3/4
SO THIS Schwinn L.S. 2.8 code is telling you that
the reach from the center point of the brake mounting bolt TO the center point of the slot for the brake pad is 2 3/4 inches on the L.S. 2.8 (Collegiate/Breeze, etc...)


I KNOW THIS IS MORE INFORMATION THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD GIVE A RATS.. ABOUT, BUT IT MIGHT PROVE USEFUL FOR ANYONE CONSIDERING SUCH A PROJECT. I AM ABOUT TO GIVE A LITTLE MORE GENERAL INFO ABOUT THESE OLD SCHWINNS THAT YOU'D ALSO WANT TO KNOW:
--------Schwinn made a change in 1966 that REQUIRED the use of the 21.1mm STEM instead of the 22.2mm STEM of 1965 and earlier. Schwinn did this because Schwinn engineering concluded that by making the walls thicker of the fork tube portion that is with the headtube, it would be the strongest & safest of its kind in the industry.
You must remember that you must choose either the 21.1mm STEM or the 22.2mm STEM that is required for its particular application. Thus, if the Chicago SCHWINN electroforged bike has its original factory front fork it will be 22.2mm STEM for 1965 & earlier and 21.1mm STEM for 1966 up.
It is possible to swap earlier and late forks, and aftermarket forks into all year model Schwinn bicycles........ You then would choose whatever diameter stem that fits whatever functional fork that you will employ on your build.

You may have noticed in all your years of looking at ancient Schwinns, that the CONTINENTAL & SUBURBAN models have a TUBULAR front fork, whereas the VARSITY & COLLEGIATE ..others etc., have a forged steel Ashtabula "BLADE" front fork.
The Suburban models ALL* have the tubular front fork of the CONTINENTAL, although the SUBURBAN has the L.S. 2.4 weinmann sidepulls of the Varsity whereas the CONTINENTAL has center pull brakes. ( * I do recall that world reknown most knowledgeable Schwinn expert, METACORTEX, mentioned that there was about a week in early 1974 when the Schwinn factory had run out of TUBULAR front forks, so they substituted the BLADE fork of the Varsity on those produced during that week)


Another thing to consider when comingling stuff from donor bikes to make one special bike that fits you. On ONE PIECE "American style hanger set(bottom bracket)" CRANK bicycles, SCHWINNS have more threads per inch, so if you decide to use a non-Schwinn in a Schwinn, or a Schwinn one piece Ashtabula crank in another old USA made bike like a Columbia, or whatever, you will need to use the nut and lock washer that fits the threads on that particular crank. SCHWINN is 28 tpi and others are 24 tpi. You definitely probably do want to use SCHWINN cups & bearings if given that choice because their quality was superior to any others.
The post war SCHWINNS through the Chicago factory end in 1982, all took the #64 caged bearings in the bottom bracket.....One on each side,,,,,,so just two of them.
New reproduction replacements are widely available everywhere for about $4 each. They are really good but they aren't made of the same super long term lasting materials as the SCHWINN stamped bearings made by Schwinn from between 1956 and 1980.
Bearings are bearings and non Schwinns with One Piece Cranks typically use #66 caged bearings. Schwinn before WWII did use #66 caged bearings. Both #66 and #64 caged bearings are widely available with current NEW reproduction bearings for between $3 to $4 each with the #66 being less costly today.
Use what properly fits. You'll get arguments from some on the c.a.b.e. that like the #66 bearings better, but like Olivia & John T sang in 1977, "GREASE IS THE WORD" and fresh waterproof synthetic grease such as "GREEN Grease, yeah that is a brand name, and they are outta Texas, you can find it at Auto parts stores like Auto Zone , NAPA, etc and it is about $10 for a 14 ounce cartridge cylinder tube that should be enough to do about fifty bikes or more. You do want modern waterproof synthetic grease because it is better than the grease from 1942. Still if you have a container of military spec grease from 1942, it will do the job.... you won't be able to forget about the one piece crank bearings for years as you might be able to do with the waterproof synthetic grease. Remember most new Walmart & Target bikes have almost no grease, typically an inadequate amount in their bottom brackets off the showroom floor as a cost saving move & to insure the bike does not last forever.

Another main point to remember if you go the 5 speed route and you build a huge framed CONTI / VARSITY or other 10 speed that originally had a 14-28 freewheel, and either swap the rear wheel from a 5 speed SUBURBAN with 14-32, ...or if you swap the freewheel with 32 teeth, remember that the derailleur that did function on the Conti/Varsity WILL NOT WORK if its the Schwinn Approved Huret Alvit which was factory specified for the VARSITY/CONTI/10spSUB.
You'll need a JAPANESE rear derailleur capable of shifting the 32 tooth cog. The GT-100 and GT-120 seen on the SUBURBAN 5 speed & seventies Collegiate were made by SHIMANO and are designed to shift the 32 tooth cog. GT-100 was seen on '70-'73 and some very early '74 models , and GT-120 was seen on '74-'76 and'74- '77 Collegiates. These were also sometimes fitted to Varsity & Conti when the factory production line was out of Huret Allvits. These Shimano built units are superior to the Huret Allvit.
You may wish to employ a Maeda SUN TOUR rear derailleur model which easily shifts a 32 tooth cog. You absolutely do not want any European made rear derailleur on a commuter bicycle. Just say NO to Campagnolo, and NO to Simplex, and No to Huret. SAY YES and Hooray to SUNTOUR & SHIMANO and celebrate Japanese reliability and quality. The European rear derailleurs are second rate to the Japanese units on any commuter bicycle or any bicycle where flawless reliability and durability are more important than overall weight or cool looking components.

Study up on the potential possibilities in either derailleured 5 speed or 3 speed internal configuration. Yes, it is old fashioned but it works....and whats wrong with that, I'd like to know because here I go.........you say that people would've had enough of silly old bikes....


Lastly, as you probably know the old American bikes including SCHWINN from all of the Seventies, Sixties, and Fifties had 13/16 diameter SEATPOSTS with a 5/8 seat mounting clamp portion.
The SCHWINN 13/16 seat post on bikes like the 10 speeds, 5 speeds, and 3 speeds WERE TYPICALLY 9 inches in length, however you can find seatposts that exceed 14 inches thanks to the old banana seat bikes.
WALD sells about a half-dozen or more 13/16 diameter seat posts in lengths over 9 inches in overall length with both the vintage 5/8 top or the more modern 7/8 top.
These are all widely available and inexpensive today due largely in part to the strong popularity of the single speed beach cruiser.
As bugs used to say....thats all folks... ride on!

Last edited by Vintage Schwinn; 01-30-22 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 01-30-22, 06:56 AM
  #32  
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If you’re also looking for an anchor for your boat, vintage Schwinns are definitely the way to go.
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Old 01-30-22, 07:52 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
If you’re also looking for an anchor for your boat, vintage Schwinns are definitely the way to go.
Vintage Schwinns (the ones made in Chicago) are definitely a good way to go for short trips in the city even if you don't need to use them to keep your boat from floating away. Yes they are heavy but that doesn't make them unworthy. When you pedal at a walking effort and aren't going far, they work fine. The problem (as Vintage Schwinn pointed out) is finding one in your size. They are probably in your price range. .

With your budget I also recommend (as others already have) of finding on old MTB bicycle. They have to be old enough not to have suspension forks. And probably levelish top tubes (see Bikemig's bike in post #23). Also it might be possible to find earlier models that are big. You want to find one big enough so the handlebars will be as high or higher than your seat. City biking demands that you sit more upright so you can comfortably look down the road and not worry about being aerodynamic.

Hybrids came out a bit later with skinner tires. Look for a very big one. Hybrids were not designed for serious cyclists and so won't get any respect among enthusiasts but they will do what you want. They were marketed to someone thinking they might want to get into cycling and a traditional bicycle with drop handlebars look like torture machines. They will probably work well for your purposes and be in your price range. They just won't have any coolness factor among the elites. Ignore them.

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Old 01-30-22, 08:51 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
Vintage Schwinns (the ones made in Chicago) are definitely a good way to go for short trips in the city even if you don't need to use them to keep your boat from floating away. Yes they are heavy but that doesn't make them unworthy. When you pedal at a walking effort and aren't going far, they work fine. The problem (as Vintage Schwinn pointed out) is finding one in your size. They are probably in your price range.
I'll still take a Raleigh Sports any day of the week, if I have to pick one of the two. They're lighter (a bit of a surprise, but perhaps not), better tire availability (also a surprise - EA3 vs EA1), better factory North Roads (the Schwinn ones are huge; they want to be cruiser bars), better bottom bracket (kid you not, I'd rather argue with cotters than deal with the weight of an Ashtabula 1-piece and their equal penchant for bending at the pedal eye), and even the Raleigh stamped steel calipers flex less than the Weinmanns fitted to most 3-speed Schwinns.

-Kurt
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Old 01-30-22, 09:30 AM
  #35  
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I think the point the op makes, "Mainly just 1-2 mile trips to pick up groceries, run errands, etc Absolutely no judgement here, but I just want something I can hop onto in my jeans and take my time getting where I'm going" points more toward an upright bike with higher bars as opposed to a road bike. I mean one or two miles - I'd be tempted to walk. Why use a nice bike for that and risk getting it stolen? Or why go through the trouble and expense of getting a nice road bike and reconfiguring it into a flat bar road bike? I'd be thinking of three speeds or even single speed, with fenders, baskets, even a kickstand.

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Old 01-30-22, 10:14 AM
  #36  
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Lots of choices in the 70's - 80's , both European and Japanese.
Don't count a bike out just because it doesn't have a cromo frame . A high ten frame is heavier true, but sturdier. less likely to get dented. and at 6'5" and 270 lbs. a guy like me wants something that can deal with a bit of weight.
Most of the lower end Raleigh bikes used 20 / 40 hi ten which is a step above the gas pipe frames others used. I rode a 1980 Record ace for a couple years that I converted to upright bars and a 14-34 tooth 5 speed freewheel and is was a great townie.
Here is a pic of a Nishiki I just customized. Started out as a 36 lb. tank with steel wheels and cranks and now after going on an aluminum diet weighs 28.5 lbs.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:14 AM
  #37  
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Iím a utility bike fan and I agree with the people here recommending a Raleigh 3-speed or a 70s era Schwinn with an upright riding position. A Schwinn would probably be easier to find in a larger size and they were equipped with fenders when new. Alloy wheels are recommended since braking will be better in the wet.

See if there is a bike co-op near you. They may have bikes for sale at a reasonable price and if youíre not handy doing your own maintenance they can help with that too.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:21 AM
  #38  
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Also, if you want a bit of panache, a mixte with swept back handlebars would be a great choice. 1980s bikes can often be found with decent brakes and components that are easier to service than older bikes.

Thinking more about it, this would definitely be my choice for the intended purpose.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Hobbiano View Post
I think the point the op makes, "Mainly just 1-2 mile trips to pick up groceries, run errands, etc Absolutely no judgement here, but I just want something I can hop onto in my jeans and take my time getting where I'm going" points more toward an upright bike with higher bars as opposed to a road bike. I mean one or two miles - I'd be tempted to walk. Why use a nice bike for that and risk getting it stolen? Or why go through the trouble and expense of getting a nice road bike and reconfiguring it into a flat bar road bike? I'd be thinking of three speeds or even single speed, with fenders baskets. Even a kickstand.
Totally. Based on OPs requirements, I'd shoot for a decent mid-range, sized large, rigid MTB from the 80s/90s, and throw a swept back handlebar on it with thumbies and some slick tires. Easy, bomb-proof, flies low on the theft-radar, and relatively cheap and abundant to buy used. These are perfect for short trips around town in street clothes.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
If you’re also looking for an anchor for your boat, vintage Schwinns are definitely the way to go.
Hey, I resemble that remark.

Schwinn Project KOM-10 specs: 27.4 lbs, not bad for a mountain bike

Schwinn Paramount road bikes are world class.

As for other Schwinn road bikes, don't underestimate the sleepers, such as the fillet-brazed Superiors, Super Sports, etc., or the 1980s Japanese-built lugged frame models. Some of these are lighter than their Nishiki counterparts. Not every Schwinn road bike is an electroforged Varsinental.

(I commuted for awhile on a mid-1970s Varsity, upgraded with aluminum rims and a 6-speed freewheel. Not particularly fun up the daily 12 percent climb from the commuter rail station to my office, but a good workout. I replaced it with a 1973 Peugeot UO-8, but cracked a chainstay on it after a year of uphill commuting. Varsinentals do not have this problem.)
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Old 01-30-22, 10:38 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Also, if you want a bit of panache, a mixte with swept back handlebars would be a great choice. 1980s bikes can often be found with decent brakes and components that are easier to service than older bikes.

Thinking more about it, this would definitely be my choice for the intended purpose.
A mixte for someone who is 6'5" might be a bit of a reach (literally)!
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Old 01-30-22, 10:46 AM
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Just buy marius.suiram's 25" Fuji and be done with it. It's everything you need and more, it's priced right, and you're buying from a trusted BF'er as opposed a stranger on the internet.

See his for sale post here: 1990 Fuji Saratoga 21 speed, 65 cm touring bike

you can put upright bars on it, it already has a rack, heck, he may even out fit it with the bars you want for a nominal fee.

**I have bought parts from marius but I'm not affiliated with him or getting any kick backs for this recommendation, merely a guy that likes to match good people to good bikes**


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Old 01-30-22, 10:58 AM
  #43  
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one more factor to consider - if your urban life is anything like my apartment dwelling life, you're not going to want to leave the bike living on the street. if boston thieves dont take it, the elements will.

I'd vote for that Fuji Touring or something similar over a dutchie or a too-solid Schwinn simply for the weight consideration for toting up and down stairs. I add racks, fenders and townie handlebars to old road & touring bikes and they suit just fine, and the bike still is a spirited steed when you want it to be.

Another consideration is that you might find yourself using the bike more and more as you get used to it, since bikes & urban living go together like the proverbial peanut butter and chocolate... and especially if it's your only bike, i'd maybe factor the choice as something to "grow into".
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Old 01-30-22, 03:26 PM
  #44  
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Another vote for a 90's rigid mountain bike...they make great urban bikes for short-or longer urban use. With street tires (Schwalbe Big Bens, Big Apples, Maxxis DTH's, Continental Contact Speed) you'll get great handling and have a ride robust enough to take on any city street bumps or bruises along your path. Lots of them around. Relatively inexpensive. All kinds of fender and rack mounts. Room for fenders AND 2 inch tires. I have a Trek 970 converted to touring use. Awesome bike..fun, cushy, fast ride that's comfortable all day.
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Old 01-30-22, 04:44 PM
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I don't know if you would be interested in having a bike shipped to you but there's this monster of a bike in Seattle, WA. The ad is old, but I asked if the seller still had it last year and he/she said yes. It might be worth a shot to ask if it's still available.
https://offerup.com/item/detail/495501752

Custom 28 inch cross country bike 6’4” tall or better

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Old 01-30-22, 04:45 PM
  #46  
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Having nothing better to do, I scrolled through Boston's CL, both bikes and parts, and found zip for size. One of those Fujis really looks the best bet. Being a masochist, I also scrolled through eBay, and found some possibilities if you can get over their optimistic pricing. I went with mountain bikes for their sturdiness, including the smaller wheels.
Here's a Mountain Tour Teton, probably too small,
A GT Karakoram, also likely too small,
A very nice Ross, I think the right size but at a downright delusional price,
And a Miyata Sky Runner, probably too small, frameset only.
HTH.
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Old 01-30-22, 04:59 PM
  #47  
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I've found two 24" Schwinns locally. A Suburban 5 speed and a Speedster 3 speed. Both supposedly bike mechanic owned and maintained. They've both already got chainguards, fenders and upright bars. They're also about half of the price of the Fujis before I go doing any of those modifications. I'd just feel better about riding one of these bikes as it was originally intended and equipped than paying extra for a racing bike and then paying even more to make a bunch of borderline sacrilegious mods to try to turn them into Schwinns.

One other factor which is going to affect my options is transporting the bike home initially. Has anybody here ever crammed a bike into the back of a VW new beetle? I think I can manage it by taking the front wheel off and folding the seats down. If not, I'm pretty much limited to what I can get to via public transit and on foot.
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Old 01-30-22, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Nervous_Jerboa View Post
I've found two 24" Schwinns locally. A Suburban 5 speed and a Speedster 3 speed. Both supposedly bike mechanic owned and maintained. They've both already got chainguards, fenders and upright bars. They're also about half of the price of the Fujis before I go doing any of those modifications. I'd just feel better about riding one of these bikes as it was originally intended and equipped than paying extra for a racing bike and then paying even more to make a bunch of borderline sacrilegious mods to try to turn them into Schwinns.

One other factor which is going to affect my options is transporting the bike home initially. Has anybody here ever crammed a bike into the back of a VW new beetle? I think I can manage it by taking the front wheel off and folding the seats down. If not, I'm pretty much limited to what I can get to via public transit and on foot.
Hmm, Iíve fit one in my similar-sized Subaru but my bikes are smaller. If you can take the pedals off that helps a lot.
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Old 01-30-22, 05:24 PM
  #49  
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If you take both wheels off, you shouldn’t have a problem.
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Old 01-30-22, 07:20 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Nervous_Jerboa View Post
I've found two 24" Schwinns locally. A Suburban 5 speed and a Speedster 3 speed. Both supposedly bike mechanic owned and maintained. They've both already got chainguards, fenders and upright bars. They're also about half of the price of the Fujis before I go doing any of those modifications. I'd just feel better about riding one of these bikes as it was originally intended and equipped than paying extra for a racing bike and then paying even more to make a bunch of borderline sacrilegious mods to try to turn them into Schwinns.

One other factor which is going to affect my options is transporting the bike home initially. Has anybody here ever crammed a bike into the back of a VW new beetle? I think I can manage it by taking the front wheel off and folding the seats down. If not, I'm pretty much limited to what I can get to via public transit and on foot.
It is smart to try out a one of those Schwinns to see if that style works for you. You can always sell it for similar money if and when you decide to upgrade or get something different. All of us trying to give advice don't know all of the circumstances (can you park it indoors and will you need to carry it up a flight of stairs?). So not all of our advice is perfect.

20 years ago I did an extensive study of transportation style of bicycles. My original personal experience with transportation bikes started by using my traditional touring bike with a rack to run errands around town. It worked okay. Next I used a mountain bike I had made with wide street tires. I even put a kickstand on it and Wald folding baskets on the rear rack. It worked better. Eventually because of a charity bike project I am involved with in Ukraine, I got a Dutch style bike with a 7 speed internally geared rear hub. That allows for a fully inclosed chain case suitable for riding with any kind of street clothes. In town with many stops, it is easier to shift an IGH. I was also surprised at how much more comfortable for short rides sweptback bars where than MTB bars.I liked its light with a generator and brake at the hub. I was a total convert. Once you have figured out your bicycle needs, you might become a convert too. By the way, this kind of bike is less fussy about fit than a traditional road bike.
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