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Very first bicycle with a limited budget?

Old 05-06-14, 10:52 PM
  #26  
beerbaron2002
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
I have to disagree completely. I have seen many a young whippersnapper on vintage bikes. Only thing really different on them is the modern tires and clamp-on water bottle mounts. If you can score a solid bike for a few bucks at a garage sale and have the money to get it roadworthy with new tires, tubes and a tuneup, why not?

Unlike old cars, bikes tend to stay useable for daily riding for decades as long as corrosion isn't an issue. That's why there are more old bikes than old cars.

- Andy
that's because the old bike thing is a new fad. I see it all the time in vancouver it used to just be a crackhead theft deterrent.

Its rare to find one especially now that is in good order for dirt cheap I see them all the time people will come in and say "I got this for just 200 bucks its vintage maaaan" I want to tell them they should have saved for a lobotomy because that would be cheaper than what they are gonna have to put into it. Plus once the fad is over it goes back to its realy value of parted out and the rest taken to be recycled before the wife has a fit.

There are odd deals that are good. But he's a student the fad will be over by the time he graduates and sells it at least with a new bike that doesn't need anything he will get a little back out of it.

Plus personally I think they are atrociously ugly.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:13 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
that's because the old bike thing is a new fad. I see it all the time in vancouver it used to just be a crackhead theft deterrent.

Its rare to find one especially now that is in good order for dirt cheap I see them all the time people will come in and say "I got this for just 200 bucks its vintage maaaan" I want to tell them they should have saved for a lobotomy because that would be cheaper than what they are gonna have to put into it. Plus once the fad is over it goes back to its realy value of parted out and the rest taken to be recycled before the wife has a fit.

There are odd deals that are good. But he's a student the fad will be over by the time he graduates and sells it at least with a new bike that doesn't need anything he will get a little back out of it.

Plus personally I think they are atrociously ugly.
Well, I'm talking like 12 bucks at a garage sale & fixing it up, and not using it as an investment for return, but transport vehicle. But, yea, there are those that are foolish with their money like that too.

What's that adage about a fool and his money? Hopefully they get a lock so the fool & his bike dont also get separated...

- Andy
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Old 05-06-14, 11:20 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Well, I'm talking like 12 bucks at a garage sale & fixing it up, and not using it as an investment for return, but transport vehicle. But, yea, there are those that are foolish with their money like that too.

What's that adage about a fool and his money? Hopefully they get a lock so the fool & his bike dont also get separated...

- Andy
12 bucks in vancouver will get you a coffee and not much more this is one of the most expensive places in north america. So I don't see deals like that around here.

But still say he spends 50 on an old bike its still gonna needs all new bearings tires tubes spoke adjustment pedals grips probably a seat new chain brake pads maybe cables. Shop labor if the wheels are fine but need adjustment.

For that it makes way more sense to get a new bike.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:47 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
12 bucks in vancouver will get you a coffee and not much more this is one of the most expensive places in north america. So I don't see deals like that around here.

But still say he spends 50 on an old bike its still gonna needs all new bearings tires tubes spoke adjustment pedals grips probably a seat new chain brake pads maybe cables. Shop labor if the wheels are fine but need adjustment.

For that it makes way more sense to get a new bike.
I don't disagree that it would need work, but local shop here does spring tuneups for 50-75. I guess my point is, that a cheap older bike needing a little work might be more fun and interesting to have than some few hundred dollar new bike that you'll see 30-40 of around. That's just me, and i tend to go for the quirky factor in things.

- Andy
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Old 05-07-14, 12:05 AM
  #30  
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Keep looking, and talk to everyone you know.

My current main bike was a freebie from a friend of my then-wife. It's a late 80's Specialized Hard Rock that spent its early years hanging out in a garage. I've been riding it over 9 years. I bought lights, fenders and a cheap rack. I rode the knobbies until they were worn out. After 5 years of riding it, I had it gone through mechanically. It's been a rock solid bike that can go anywhere.

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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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Old 05-07-14, 12:49 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
that's because the old bike thing is a new fad. I see it all the time in vancouver it used to just be a crackhead theft deterrent.

Its rare to find one especially now that is in good order for dirt cheap I see them all the time people will come in and say "I got this for just 200 bucks its vintage maaaan" I want to tell them they should have saved for a lobotomy because that would be cheaper than what they are gonna have to put into it. Plus once the fad is over it goes back to its realy value of parted out and the rest taken to be recycled before the wife has a fit.

There are odd deals that are good. But he's a student the fad will be over by the time he graduates and sells it at least with a new bike that doesn't need anything he will get a little back out of it.

Plus personally I think they are atrociously ugly.
IMHO, whether you think they're ugly or not is completely irrelevant...

The fact remains that there are millions of old and vintage chromoly steel framed bikes that are still in good to excellent condition. Some have been just sitting dormant in attics, basements, and garages for years and just need a slight tune-up. Some might need only a new wheel, a chain, a derailleur, or a bottom bracket. Believe it or not, I once went to a garage sale in Akron Ohio, where a lady was selling her deceased husband's vintage Paramount Schwinn bike for only fifty bucks. I asked her what was wrong with the bike. Her response was, "Well, both the tires are flat for one thing..."

Most of these older bikes were made to last a lifetime. Most vintage bikes aren't merely fads, they are indeed classics. Classics that should be respected and revered for the ingenuity, craftmanship, and engineering, that were invested in these truly honorable American products that have in most cases outlasted their original owners.

When a person purchases a vintage bike who really appreciates cycling, that person usually makes certain that the bike is properly maintained. This behavior then assures the probability that the bike will continue to remain operable for many years to come. Most of the older bikes that I see, that haven't been modified into fixies and such, are in either fair to mint condition.

Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
12 bucks in vancouver will get you a coffee and not much more this is one of the most expensive places in north america. So I don't see deals like that around here.

But still say he spends 50 on an old bike its still gonna needs all new bearings tires tubes spoke adjustment pedals grips probably a seat new chain brake pads maybe cables. Shop labor if the wheels are fine but need adjustment.

For that it makes way more sense to get a new bike.
A decent new bike, worthy of consideration is gonna cost you at least $500, if it's a hybrid, and at least $1000, if it's a road bike. OTOH, if you purchase an old steel vintage bike, that will outlast one of your brand new aluminum deals. You just might pay a few hundred dollars to bring it back up to specs. However, if you keep it well-maintained, you can keep that same bike for over twenty years and all you have to do is occasionally upgrade a few components. You might even have it painted a couple times during those 2 or 3 decades. After needed upgrades and a fresh paint job, it will both look and operate like a brand new bicycle all over again. Now that's what I call recycling!

* That said, the OP should most probably go to www.performancebike.com and checkout the Fuji Absolute bicycle that I mentioned in my first response in this thread.

Last edited by WestPablo; 05-07-14 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 05-07-14, 01:13 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
IMHO, whether you think they're ugly or not is completely irrelevant...

The fact remains that there are millions of old and vintage chromoly steel framed bikes that are still in good to excellent condition. Some have been just sitting dormant in attics, basements, and garages for years and just need a slight tune-up. Some might need only a new wheel, a chain, a derailleur, or a bottom bracket. Believe it or not, I once went to a garage sale in Akron Ohio, where a lady was selling her deceased husband's vintage Paramount Schwinn bike for only fifty bucks. I asked her what was wrong with the bike. Her response was, "Well, both the tires are flat for one thing..."

Most of these older bikes were made to last a lifetime. Most vintage bikes aren't merely fads, they are indeed classics. Classics that should be respected and revered for the ingenuity, craftmanship, and engineering, that were invested in these truly honorable American products that have in most cases outlasted their original owners.

When a person purchases a vintage bike who really appreciates cycling, that person usually makes certain that the bike is properly maintained. This behavior then assures the probability that the bike will continue to remain operable for many years to come. Most of the older bikes that I see, that haven't been modified into fixies and such, are in either fair to mint condition.



A decent new bike, worthy of consideration is gonna cost you at least $500, if it's a hybrid, and at least $1000, if it's a road bike. OTOH, if you purchase an old steel vintage bike, that will outlast one of your brand new aluminum deals, you just might pay a few hundred dollars to bring it back up to specs. However, if you keep it well-maintained, you can keep that same bike for over twenty years and all you have to do is occasionally upgrade a few components. You might even have it painted a couple times during those 2 decades. After needed upgrades and a fresh paint job, it will both look and operate like a brand new bicycle all over again. Now that's what I call recycling!
Totally agree on all points! The "whippersnappers" i'm referring to are simply younger than i, not trendhipsters. They got the bike because they saw something in it they liked, not to "look maaaann its vintageee".

- Andy
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Old 05-07-14, 01:47 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
Plus personally I think [vintage bikes] are atrociously ugly.


Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
Just buy something off bikesdirect or citygrounds


I mean really? You rag on the looks of a classic lugged 10-speed and send the guy to the aesthetic manglers at BikesDirect? Home of what are certainly some good deals but not good looking ones.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:53 AM
  #34  
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What's the depreciation on a new bike these days?

I've never sold a vintage vintage bike (Lotus) for less than I paid for it, even the Lotus Legend that I bought in 1980 is still worth what it cost new and I've used it for decades.

Many vintage steel bikes were usually designed to last a lifetime (Lotus even had a lifetime warranty on their frames), the disposable-upgrade-to-the-latest-iGadget-mentality hadn't yet become the norm.
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Old 05-07-14, 05:15 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
What's the depreciation on a new bike these days?

I've never sold a vintage vintage bike (Lotus) for less than I paid for it, even the Lotus Legend that I bought in 1980 is still worth what it cost new and I've used it for decades.

Many vintage steel bikes were usually designed to last a lifetime (Lotus even had a lifetime warranty on their frames), the disposable-upgrade-to-the-latest-iGadget-mentality hadn't yet become the norm.
I do not equate innovation & progress in new models of things with the old ones being useless. Sure, there's the marketing angle to sell sell sell, but soon you'll have mobile devices that do everything from the cloud including run apps & shoot video. To afford all that fancy stuff the companies involved like apple need to make a profit..... You'll find this is true with lots of bike manufacturers & brands as well, and just because some things are put in a planned obsolescence cycle doesn't mean everything they make is disposable.... This is called long term strategy, and its how things tend to evolve into better things. No need to be bitter about it!

- Andy
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Old 05-07-14, 06:07 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
I do not equate innovation & progress in new models of things with the old ones being useless. Sure, there's the marketing angle to sell sell sell, but soon you'll have mobile devices that do everything from the cloud including run apps & shoot video. To afford all that fancy stuff the companies involved like apple need to make a profit..... You'll find this is true with lots of bike manufacturers & brands as well, and just because some things are put in a planned obsolescence cycle doesn't mean everything they make is disposable.... This is called long term strategy, and its how things tend to evolve into better things. No need to be bitter about it!

- Andy
I'll admit to old and sour, but not bitter . . . yet.

Maybe it's just my bad luck, but advancements in technology and "making a profit" seem to have come at the cost of durability and longevity.

My first TV lasted 20 years (and was still working when I gave it away), my second TV lasted 9 and now the third is 4 years old and acting up.

Every piece of my Hi-Fi equipment from the late 1970s and early 1980s still works great, but I'm on my 4th or 5th CD player with probably 2 or 3 DVD players in there too.

Our first refrigerator was bought by my grandmother in 1972, she gave it to us in 1995. We bought a new fridge in 1998 and moved the 1972 fridge to the basement to use as a beer fridge. The "new 1998" fridge died in 2008. Our "new 2008" fridge needed recent repair for a few hundred dollars. The 1972 fridge is still working perfectly.

The list goes on and on, but I've derailed the thread enough already.

Newer is not better.
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Old 05-07-14, 06:18 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
I'll admit to old and sour, but not bitter . . . yet.

Maybe it's just my bad luck, but advancements in technology and "making a profit" seem to have come at the cost of durability and longevity.

My first TV lasted 20 years (and was still working when I gave it away), my second TV lasted 9 and now the third is 4 years old and acting up.

Every piece of my Hi-Fi equipment from the late 1970s and early 1980s still works great, but I'm on my 4th or 5th CD player with probably 2 or 3 DVD players in there too.

Our first refrigerator was bought by my grandmother in 1972, she gave it to us in 1995. We bought a new fridge in 1998 and moved the 1972 fridge to the basement to use as a beer fridge. The "new 1998" fridge died in 2008. Our "new 2008" fridge needed recent repair for a few hundred dollars. The 1972 fridge is still working perfectly.

The list goes on and on, but I've derailed the thread enough already.

Newer is not better.
+1

I'm in the choir singing, "Amen, St. Snydermann!"....

Last edited by WestPablo; 05-07-14 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 05-07-14, 06:44 AM
  #38  
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If I found a good vintage bike at a great price, and I knew what it was, and I knew enough about the hardware that I could tell if parts were original, cobbled together, worn or pristine, or decent aftermarket, and I was a good mechanic on old stuff and had the specialized tools to work on it, then I'd be all over that deal.

If with a limited budget I just needed a decent bike for transportation that I could get on and ride, that wouldn't have problems and wouldn't need much spent for fixing it up, I'd go to an online source. Bikes direct, Nashbar, Bike Island, even Amazon. Reserve $50 or so for the helmet, patch kit etc.
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Old 05-07-14, 08:14 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
I'll admit to old and sour, but not bitter . . . yet.

Maybe it's just my bad luck, but advancements in technology and "making a profit" seem to have come at the cost of durability and longevity.

My first TV lasted 20 years (and was still working when I gave it away), my second TV lasted 9 and now the third is 4 years old and acting up.

Every piece of my Hi-Fi equipment from the late 1970s and early 1980s still works great, but I'm on my 4th or 5th CD player with probably 2 or 3 DVD players in there too.

Our first refrigerator was bought by my grandmother in 1972, she gave it to us in 1995. We bought a new fridge in 1998 and moved the 1972 fridge to the basement to use as a beer fridge. The "new 1998" fridge died in 2008. Our "new 2008" fridge needed recent repair for a few hundred dollars. The 1972 fridge is still working perfectly.

The list goes on and on, but I've derailed the thread enough already.

Newer is not better.
Of course there are sometimes tradeoffs, however if the american consumer only bought the solid durable stuff, thats mostly what they'd sell & make. Problem is wages and taxes are too low, and we have too many service jobs & not enough "real" jobs, the list goes on and on. It's a huge problem.. in that we've set ourselves up for disaster being so dependent on foreign manufacturing & cheap domestic employees with all the money going up instead of out. Our economy is basically based on construction, mining, and service jobs. There's too little manufacturing, and too little re-investment across the spectrum.

We have settled for less than what we previously had, and that needs to be fixed. It is a complex and difficult to talk about series of interconnected issues, and us cyclists bear the brunt of some of those poor decisions & policies, just look at our roads......

In any case i need to take a nap, i've been awake too long hah.

- Andy
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Old 05-07-14, 08:46 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Of course there are sometimes tradeoffs, however if the american consumer only bought the solid durable stuff, thats mostly what they'd sell & make. Problem is wages and taxes are too low, and we have too many service jobs & not enough "real" jobs, the list goes on and on. It's a huge problem.. in that we've set ourselves up for disaster being so dependent on foreign manufacturing & cheap domestic employees with all the money going up instead of out. Our economy is basically based on construction, mining, and service jobs. There's too little manufacturing, and too little re-investment across the spectrum.

We have settled for less than what we previously had, and that needs to be fixed. It is a complex and difficult to talk about series of interconnected issues, and us cyclists bear the brunt of some of those poor decisions & policies, just look at our roads......

In any case i need to take a nap, i've been awake too long hah.

- Andy
100% Agreed!

You are truly gifted, Andy...

It's an absolute pleasure being your friend!
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Old 05-07-14, 08:53 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
If I found a good vintage bike at a great price, and I knew what it was, and I knew enough about the hardware that I could tell if parts were original, cobbled together, worn or pristine, or decent aftermarket, and I was a good mechanic on old stuff and had the specialized tools to work on it, then I'd be all over that deal.

If with a limited budget I just needed a decent bike for transportation that I could get on and ride, that wouldn't have problems and wouldn't need much spent for fixing it up, I'd go to an online source. Bikes direct, Nashbar, Bike Island, even Amazon. Reserve $50 or so for the helmet, patch kit etc.
+1

Sounds like sage advice to me!
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Old 05-07-14, 11:24 AM
  #42  
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When I left the States earlier this year, I sold my modern MTB and boxed and brought my 37 year old touring bike and 47 year old fixed-gear conversion touring bike. But I've been doing vintage bikes and fixed gears for ten years now... Certainly not to impress the ladies. It's just what I want.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:40 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Oscight View Post
I'm planning on buying a bicycle to go around a somewhat hilly college campus/commute to work (well, I don't know if it's worth calling it a commute - it's roughly 2 miles away), but I'm having a really difficult time deciding on a bike. My budget runs anywhere from $300-400, but I'm really iffy about spending $400. Like, really iffy.

Saw a 1984 Lotus Unique for $300 on Craigslist. Seller won't budge on the price (well, I offered $200 initially - maybe I'll keep trying haha), but he says it's in brand new condition. It would require me taking a 40 minute bus ride to get where he is, where I'll most likely end up biking back.

But I'm not sure. The bike retailed for about $350-450 back in 1984, but then again, inflation and whatnot so it might be worth it.

Otherwise, my options are:

1. Take buses to LBSs and pray that they'll have some good stuff on clearance
2. Buy from Bikesdirect and try to learn assembly/etc. myself (I have no experience, but am decent in general mechanically).
3. Keep being patient on Craigslist (but again, I have no car, it's a pain trying to think of how I'll get to some neighborhoods/how long it'll take, etc.)

Bikes I was looking at on Bikesdirect were the Mercier Galaxy Tour, Motobecane Super Mirage, Motobecane Mirage, and a few others.

Suggestions?
I don't recommend craigslist for your first bike. I've perused local listings and the amount of junk being offered is unreal. The prices the sellers are asking for are ridiculous.

BD is a good option in your case. It sounds like you're not really thrilled with the prospect of visiting multiple local shops. Assembly should be reasonably straightforward. You'll have to learn to adjust brakes and derailleurs, tasks which are not very challenging. A minor wheel truing might be in order as well.

BD has no sales tax and free shipping. Performance charges sales tax and shipping, unless you ship to a store.

You might want to start with a flat bar bike rather than a drop bar for your first bike.
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Old 05-07-14, 01:46 PM
  #44  
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I think that Motobecane Mirage you linked looks super nice! It comes with 25 mm tires though, and those aren't great for commuting unless you'll be on very smooth roads the whole way. It fits 28 mm tires, and those would work fine for reasonably good roads, but then you'd have to include new tires in the cost of the bike. I'd still consider it though. Maybe you could sell the original tires on craigslist to cover some of the cost of the new tires.
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Old 05-07-14, 01:55 PM
  #45  
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All of the vintage bike enthusiasts seems to forget a few points the op stated and got all emotional about their hobby.

1. Very first bike. So he's probably wants something he doesn't have to upgrade or work on. Probably doesn't even have the tools to do so and certainly doesn't want to pay shop labour.

2. College student with a job. No time to tinker like the vintage enthusiasts and no time to scour garage sales for that wonderful deal that he wouldn't be able to spot anyways.

Just go to bikesdirect or citygrounds order a bike in your price range.
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Old 05-07-14, 02:26 PM
  #46  
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Very first bicycle with a limited budget?

Bikes and mechanical stuff were always a release for me when I was a college student working full time. And a grad student working full time. And a salaried worker doing 70 hours a week.

I also think a bike 2 or so years old is an excellent solution. I tend not to slam the door closed on the opinions of others as a rule, though.
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Old 05-07-14, 03:08 PM
  #47  
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Real life answer here ...

2 miles each way ... that's walking distance ... if you're out of shape it's 30 minutes each way. If you're in decent shape it's 20 to 25 minutes.

A bike won't save much time at all (might break even with locking/unlocking/etc...) and most likely will get stolen unless it's a beat up European style city bike.

If you're not in good shape, I would good some good shoes, a good backpack and a few umbrellas (that's probably almost $200) and walk until I was in good shape (6 months max at 25 miles / week).

Then I would buy one of city bike and not a road bike (GIANT Globe, Uptown, etc...) so that you can carry a lady on the back.

Walk and save the money for entertaining ladies

Last edited by acidfast7; 05-07-14 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 05-07-14, 03:26 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
Newer is not better.
No, but it's usually more efficient, which is better in the long run.
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Old 05-07-14, 03:28 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Of course there are sometimes tradeoffs, however if the american consumer only bought the solid durable stuff, thats mostly what they'd sell & make. Problem is wages and taxes are too low, and we have too many service jobs & not enough "real" jobs, the list goes on and on. It's a huge problem.. in that we've set ourselves up for disaster being so dependent on foreign manufacturing & cheap domestic employees with all the money going up instead of out. Our economy is basically based on construction, mining, and service jobs. There's too little manufacturing, and too little re-investment across the spectrum.

We have settled for less than what we previously had, and that needs to be fixed. It is a complex and difficult to talk about series of interconnected issues, and us cyclists bear the brunt of some of those poor decisions & policies, just look at our roads......

In any case i need to take a nap, i've been awake too long hah.

- Andy
I agree and that's why I left ... didn't see a future for a family in the US. In addition, it's too insular to the rest of the world.
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Old 05-09-14, 12:26 PM
  #50  
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Here's one on Bikesdirect that might be better overall for commuting:
Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes


Originally Posted by Oscight View Post

Bikes I was looking at on Bikesdirect were the Mercier Galaxy Tour, Motobecane Super Mirage, Motobecane Mirage, and a few others.

Suggestions?
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