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Newbie here needing to know if I'm getting robbed.

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Newbie here needing to know if I'm getting robbed.

Old 05-01-10, 08:12 AM
  #1  
mandi5379
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Newbie here needing to know if I'm getting robbed.

Ok, so I'm not a cycling enthusiast. I just need a bike to ride around the park with my 4 year old. It's all he wants to do now, and walking behind him has become running behind him. I have a really, really bad DSB that is too tall for me. So I think I want something sturdy with a coaster brake.

Not sure of the frame size, but I will measure it when I go to take a look as I am very, very short.

How bad of shape does this look? I am willing to spend up to $200 total. Any other suggestions which would leave me $125 for repairs at the local bike shop.

Here's one on craigslit for $75 http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1718115482.html

Same bike offerered by my local bike shop $300 http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1690393170.html

Any other suggestions... I know this is not a "real" bike, but I'm really not lookinf for one. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-01-10, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post
Any other suggestions... I know this is not a "real" bike, but I'm really not lookinf for one. Thanks in advance!


-Kurt
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Old 05-01-10, 08:16 AM
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Those bikes are very simple, and you can judge based on looking closely for dents, rust, missing stuff, and by taking a little ride - is it quiet, do the brakes work, feel sprightly, is the saddle ok, does it turn the same way in both directions. If the $75 rides decently, it's a steal.
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Old 05-01-10, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post


-Kurt
Ok, yes a real bike. Just not the kind of bike an cycling enthusiast would want.
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Old 05-01-10, 08:25 AM
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Thanks Road Fan! I'll just take it for a spin and if it feels good, I'll buy it. Simple is exactly what I am looking for! So this in your opinion, would be better than going to Target and buying a new Schwinn for $200?
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Old 05-01-10, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post

Here's one on craigslit for $75 http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1718115482.html

Same bike offerered by my local bike shop $300 http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1690393170.html
First bike looks cosmetically ok, but we can't be sure of any problems from the pictures. If I was looking for one of these, the first one seems ok, but it may require work that you probably are not capable of...not to mention the tools needed. Even if the bike seems to be riding just fine, the grease in all of the moving parts probably needs to be replaced. I'd figure to offer $60 and then be prepared for possibly another $100-150 to take it to a shop and have a overhaul.

With the second bike, the shop should have done all of the work, so the bike should be ready to go. However, the price seems pretty high, but I don't know if those are collectible in any way. I'll readily admit that I know nothing of Schwinn, other than to grab a Paramount if I ever come across them for cheap. Does the shop offer any incentives to buy from them? Many places give a year of maintenance on new bikes, I don't know about used, and a few offer lifetime tune-ups. To me, the lifetime tune-up is a pretty big perk for most casual cyclists.

If I were you, I would check the $75 bike out as Road Fan suggested. If it doesn't work out, keep an eye out for a CL bike flipper who does some work on them before flipping them. For $200, you should get a pretty decent 3-speed.

Last edited by beech333; 05-01-10 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 05-01-10, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post
Ok, yes a real bike. Just not the kind of bike an cycling enthusiast would want.
Lots of enthusiasts, lots of bikes. The only bike you don't want comes from a big-box store, and is more accurately described as a "bicycle shaped object."

-Kurt
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Old 05-01-10, 09:03 AM
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Kids "Bicycle Shaped Objects"

Gotcha, thanks guys!

So is it appropriate to buy a "bicycle shaped object" for a 4 year old? Any suggestions? He is outgrowing his curent one.
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Old 05-01-10, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post
So is it appropriate to buy a "bicycle shaped object" for a 4 year old? Any suggestions? He is outgrowing his curent one.
It's even better if you can find a nice, '70s Raleigh Mountie for him



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Old 05-01-10, 09:38 AM
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So is that a real suggstion Kurt, or is finding one equivalent to winning the lottery?
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Old 05-01-10, 10:11 AM
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i would suggest getting a used mountain bike for around $20. you can fill the big tires with air and forget about them for 2 months. they are abundant and have long seatposts that fit a wide variety of riders.
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Old 05-01-10, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
i would suggest getting a used mountain bike for around $20. you can fill the big tires with air and forget about them for 2 months. they are abundant and have long seatposts that fit a wide variety of riders.
I agree with the older, rigid fork mountain bike, but I'd spend $100 and try to find a bike flipper in your area that lubed the bearings, tuned the derailers and replaced or at least verified the chain is still like new by measuring it. A good flipper/rebuilder can set you up with a good bike that will last many years for cheap which sounds like what you want. Post your location here and let's see if one of us is in your area.
OOPS, sorry, I see your from Dayton Ohio. I wonder if any of our regulars are close by.
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Old 05-01-10, 01:46 PM
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+1 on the mountain bike. Keep looking at your local CraigsList for “Trek” and “Specialized” and you'll find one that will fit you great, within your budget, and in good shape. I've even done that here in NYC, and it only took a couple days: $140 for a few-years-old fully-equipped hybrid city bike that only needed air in the tires, chain lube, and it shifted perfectly right from the start.
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Old 05-01-10, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
+1 on the mountain bike. Keep looking at your local CraigsList for “Trek” and “Specialized” and you'll find one that will fit you great, within your budget, and in good shape. I've even done that here in NYC, and it only took a couple days: $140 for a few-years-old fully-equipped hybrid city bike that only needed air in the tires, chain lube, and it shifted perfectly right from the start.
+2

Here in the SF area, the bike market is hot. Even so, when my wife's friend asked me to find a pair of bikes for her and her husband to do just what you describe, it took me all of two days to find a Trek and an Iron Horse that were ready to ride for a total of $160. The IH was like-new, the Trek well-used but very functional.

Rigid frame mtb's have almost no resale value, and the major brands can be excellent values. They are sturdy, reliable, versatile, and inexpensive.

Like so:
http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1719580960.html
http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1719609520.html

Or even:
http://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/1715408922.html
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Old 05-01-10, 03:34 PM
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^ nice call on the hard rock. can probably be had for $40 too.
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Old 05-01-10, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post
Thanks Road Fan! I'll just take it for a spin and if it feels good, I'll buy it. Simple is exactly what I am looking for! So this in your opinion, would be better than going to Target and buying a new Schwinn for $200?
Yes, because cheap big box bikes are famous for having a bunch of things go wrong right away, and the local bike shops will charge you a lot to repair it. Soon you'll be up to the price of the bike. Whereas that Schwinn is likely to keep working as it is for at least a year.

I do agree that it might need an overhaul. If you have a friend who knows bikes a bit bring that person with you to check the bearings.

Last edited by Road Fan; 05-01-10 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 05-01-10, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post
So is that a real suggstion Kurt, or is finding one equivalent to winning the lottery?
Truth be told, it would be a bit difficult to get one, but they aren't ultra-rare either. Any nice child's roadster of the '60s or '70s would be a great starter, in my opinion. I'm not keen on starting kids out on MTB's or kiddie BMX bikes.

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Old 05-01-10, 03:51 PM
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Honestly, nothing is as simple as that Schwinn Hollywood. Once it's right, it will stay right for a long time.
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Old 05-01-10, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Honestly, nothing is as simple as that Schwinn Hollywood. Once it's right, it will stay right for a long time.
Good point.
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Old 05-03-10, 07:40 AM
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Thanks to all!

Thanks for all the great suggestions I did not but the Hollywood, but I did end up buying a vintage (1950s) Schwinn Starlet for $60. I cannot believe I am riding a bike that is 30 years older than I am, but it feels like it was made for me. Coaster brake, just like I wanted.

Took it out for 2 hours on the bike path this weekend, and it was just lovely. Lot of stares though. It's got the whitewall balloon tires and the tank horn, so it's a bit more of an eyecatcher than I would prefer.

I found a pdf file of the original catalog from the 50's. Turns out it's actually a girls"youth" bike. It feels sturdy though, and I'm actually no taller than the average 10 year old, so I think it's alright.

It seems like a pretty simple bike, but at this point I am not comfortable trying to do any work on it myself. I'm probably going to ride it through the summer, and take it to the bike shop closer to winter, sooner if I run into problems.

For $60, I'm not going to complain.
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Old 05-03-10, 08:48 AM
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Good find. If you really don't like the tank, you can remove it and set it aside maybe the little one will want it on a bike in the future. Or you can probably get a few bux for that part on eBay if you were so inclined....however its always nice to keep a bike with its original parts if those parts are particularly cool.
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Old 05-03-10, 09:02 AM
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I'll probably just keep the tank with the bike, it actually still works, but needs cleaned as it looks pretty funky inside. It's actually a pretty cool looking bike, just kinda flashy for lack of a better term. Feels super sturdy, but is heavy which I do not mind.

The good thing that's come out of it is that now I actually want to go on a bike ride instead of being dragged out kicking and screaming.
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Old 05-03-10, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post

It seems like a pretty simple bike, but at this point I am not comfortable trying to do any work on it myself. I'm probably going to ride it through the summer, and take it to the bike shop closer to winter, sooner if I run into problems.

For $60, I'm not going to complain.
I would have the bearings serviced right away. I would not wait til winter. Should not be vey expensive. Shop around a bit. Bikes tend to sit for extended periods, and bearings and grease get bad over time.
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Old 05-03-10, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mandi5379 View Post
Thanks for all the great suggestions I did not buy the Hollywood, but ...
But a Hollywood ending nonetheless!

I'd say you got really lucky. Old Schwinns can get really expensive, and to find one that suits you for $60 is very good luck. Congrat's!
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Old 05-03-10, 09:11 AM
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