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Considering a new bike - advice requested!

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Considering a new bike - advice requested!

Old 07-08-17, 06:36 PM
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f1sherman
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Considering a new bike - advice requested!

In the past couple of years I have started getting into biking and really like it. I live in a suburban area, but it is fairly bikable with a good amount of trails and lots of places to go within a short distance. I'd really like to continue to increase my biking, especially since my kids (4 & 6) are now starting to get old enough to ride a few miles at a time and I want them to appreciate the athletic, environmental and recreational benefits of biking.

Currently I have a Schwinn Cross-fit, it was built in Taiwan I believe around 1991 from looking at pictures online of similar bikes and based on a stamp that says "0811" on the front, from which I believe the last digit indicates the year. I've added a rear rack and a speedometer to the bike and I seem to get around just fine on it, though I've only ridden about 100 miles so far this season (2-3 months).

I live in Minnesota and I'd like to have a bike that I can use year round if possible, ideally without having to change wheels/tires between summer/winter, though I'm willing to accept that may not be realistic. If I do have to change wheels/tires I'd like it to be as effortless as possible to give myself less excuses to stop riding. I'll probably bike less in the winter, but I'd like to at least be able to get to the bus stop (~2 miles) without major injury risk. I haven't tried the Schwinn in snow yet, maybe that would be good enough. I'm not 100% sure, but from looking around online it seems like my bike would generally be considered lower-quality.

One thing I'm wondering is, what am I missing from a higher-quality bike (~$500 range)? How likely is it that a bike that is nicer to ride would lead me to ride more? Obviously these are ultimately questions I need to answer for myself but I'm interested to hear accounts from other folks.

I'm considering spending ~$500 on a new bike for myself, though I'm not sure what to get. I'm pretty handy and know my way around houses and cars pretty well and plan to learn how to work on bikes, but I don't yet know much about bikes so I'm a little hesitant to buy used, though I'd be open to that if I could find a way to be reasonably sure that I'm getting a fair deal.

I'm not really interested in mountain biking yet, though it's something I'd be interested in getting into in the future. So for now this bike would just be for biking on roads and dirt trails.

One bike I've looked at is the Fortified Invincible 8 Speed. I like that it's more difficult to steal, uses rust-resistant components and that it has a simple design with just a single derailleur, though I'm not sure how great it would be in snow, especially not without another set of tires.

Whew, that was fairly long-winded. Thanks to anyone that read through the whole thing. I'd love to hear thoughts or suggestions. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-08-17, 06:52 PM
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The jump from a wal mart POS to a $600 low end Cannondale hardtail is what really got me more into cycling. If you have a decent bike shop in your area they'll work with your budget and make sure things fit you properly.

And changing tires is pretty easy and a skill you should have. It takes me maybe 10 minutes (if that) for both wheels if I'm not patching anything or changing tubes.
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Old 07-08-17, 07:35 PM
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And changing tires is pretty easy and a skill you should have. It takes me maybe 10 minutes (if that) for both wheels if I'm not patching anything or changing tubes.
Awesome, that's great to know. Sounds like changing tires won't be an issue for me then, thanks!
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Old 07-08-17, 07:38 PM
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I just noticed that my LBS has a 2015 Jamis Commuter 2 on sale for $439. That bike seems to be along the same lines as the Fortified Invincible though it doesn't have the theft-deterrent features. That said I have a good U-lock so I should be ok. I really like that the Jamis comes with a bike rack and fenders, both things that I would likely want to add to any bike.

Thoughts on the Jamis?

One other question I have is weather I should be concerned about winter tires fitting on any given bike that a purchase, do I need to check clearance or anything like that?
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Old 07-19-17, 06:53 AM
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I went out and took several bikes for a spin at a couple of different LBS'. I initially ordered a Giant Cypress DX but a few days later had second thoughts that I might not like the upright position and comfort-oriented suspension components long term. I talked to the folks at my LBS about it and they said "no big deal, we'll sell the bike to someone else". I currently have a Giant Escape 2 City Disc on order. It's going to take about 4 weeks to get it in stock, can't wait!

(Tried to post a link to the bike but it won't let me do that until I have at least 10 posts)
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Old 07-19-17, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by f1sherman View Post
I currently have a Giant Escape 2 City Disc on order. It's going to take
Looks pretty nice for the price. The parts listed on the 2018 model should be pretty easy/cheap to replace yourself if anything goes wrong.
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Old 07-19-17, 11:16 AM
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Your Schwinn Crossfit is a pretty decent bike. It's unassuming to thieves because it's older. Thieves can steal anything even when it's called "Invincible".

It's most likely made by Giant. The Giant Escape is pretty similar, but with an aluminum frame and disk brakes.

You can clean and grease all hubs, change the brake pads, change and adjust the cables.

This guy changed some components Velo Resto: Rachel's Schwinn Townie
From:


To:
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Old 07-19-17, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Barabaika View Post
Your Schwinn Crossfit is a pretty decent bike. It's unassuming to thieves because it's older. Thieves can steal anything even when it's called "Invincible".

It's most likely made by Giant. The Giant Escape is pretty similar, but with an aluminum frame and disk brakes.

You can clean and grease all hubs, change the brake pads, change and adjust the cables.

This guy changed some components Velo Resto: Rachel's Schwinn Townie
From:


To:
That Schwinn looks like a modern Fairdale Weekender Archer (retail price $850). If you have a good solid frame, even if it is 20 years old, there is a lot you can do with it.
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Old 07-19-17, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Barabaika View Post
Your Schwinn Crossfit is a pretty decent bike.
Thanks! That's good to know and makes me feel better about my intent to keep the bike around after I get the new one. What you're saying is along the lines of what my LBS said, "It's not a bad bike, just older, and if you wanted to you could swap in new components to make it better, but that would probably cost about as much as a new bike."

Last edited by f1sherman; 07-19-17 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 07-19-17, 11:51 AM
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Nice, thanks for the links! I'll be sticking to roads in the winter and it's probably a little premature for the fat bike, but I'd definitely be interested in the future if I can handle the winter riding this season. Now I just need to decide if I'm going to put the winter tires on the Escape or the Schwinn...
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Old 07-19-17, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by f1sherman View Post
Thanks! That's good to know and makes me feel better about my intent to keep the bike around after I get the new one. What you're saying is along the lines of what my LBS said, "It's not a bad bike, just older, and if you wanted to you could swap in new components to make it better, but that would probably cost about as much as a new bike."
Your shop will charge you $150 just for work.

The Schwinn Crossfit was really the lower-end bicycle in the Schwinn's model line. The Schwinn Crosscut was superior, but it doesn't show up among used bicycles on Craigslist.

I would say that the Schwinn Crossfit is equivalent in components to modern $300 Chinese bikes.

If I were you and liked mountain type bikes, I would sell the Crossfit for $80 and get the Univega Alpina Uno for $150 (you can offer less).
The Univega Alpina Uno was the top mountain bike in the Univega's model line. Look closer: the crankset has aluminum chain rings, the stem and handlebar look aluminum, the seat post is aluminum.
I assume that spokes are stainless.
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...186621653.html
But it looks smallish.

Last edited by Barabaika; 07-19-17 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 07-19-17, 02:17 PM
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That looks like a unique bike. Doesn't specify rear derailer, tire models so makes me wonder if they scimped on part quality. For 600 you can get a really nice bike at shop or online. For winter riding as long as pavement is dry clean ride like hell. I wouldnt recommend riding on ice without studs or incredible low tire pressure. Even a tiny patch can spell disaster. Bikes direct, nashbar i think theres few others have great deals online.
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Old 07-19-17, 02:23 PM
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I should really read through posts first. Congrats! That is a great bike for all around riding. Sorry I am a impatient reader.
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Old 07-19-17, 02:46 PM
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Sorry I am a impatient reader.
No worries! Thanks for the awesome feedback and suggestions everyone! I'm not really looking to do any mountain biking in the near future so for now I'm going to stick with my Escape 2 City Disc preorder.
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