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Old 04-15-18, 02:06 PM   #1
romnation
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Looking to get a single speed beater bike that will live outdoors, what should I buy?

I'm looking to get a beater bike that will live outdoors 24/7. The only thing this will get used for will be to ride from where I get off the train to my office and back. (About 1 mile) Unfortunately with the hours I go to work, I can't just take my normal bike on the train itself, because it is far too crowded during those times. I'm looking to shorten my commute a little, as walking from the train to the office takes too long. Since the bike will live outside, I'm guessing I will want something with minimal maintenance or parts that will rust. I live in a flat city, so I will also want something as lightweight as possible. I also want something unattractive to thieves.

Should I just get something super basic like a used Schwinn off craigslist for this? Or something else? Any recommendations on maintenance / care since it will live outside and be exposed to the elements?

Thanks!
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Old 04-15-18, 02:12 PM   #2
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Should I just get something super basic like a used Schwinn off craigslist for this?

Thanks!
^^^^
This
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Old 04-15-18, 02:35 PM   #3
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Wally World/...
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Old 04-15-18, 03:14 PM   #4
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Get a really cheap, used, beater bike so it won't hurt your soul to watch it get rusty. Keep the chain and moving parts oiled.
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Old 04-15-18, 03:45 PM   #5
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So this bike will live outside your office while you are at work and at the train station the rest of the time. You need something semi-disposable.

I'm thinking the real balancing act is what you choose for a lock. You want something secure enough so the bike won't get stolen too often but still cheap enough so you won't feel quite so bad when it does gets cut.
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Old 04-15-18, 03:58 PM   #6
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https://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Men-...-Bike/47443506
https://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Kent...e-Red/36877068
Leaving it at a train station is pretty likely to result in theft.
The fact these bikes are Kent will deter any thief smart enough to know what brands have resale value. Those bikes are basically designed to be disposable as many of the parts cannot be removed/serviced like the chainring. The downsides are numerous. It is heavy(40lbs.) The gear ratio is pretty bad. The tires are pretty wide(700x38c.) They have no water bottle cage bolts or rack mount holes.

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Old 04-15-18, 04:06 PM   #7
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How about something like this;

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Old 04-15-18, 04:16 PM   #8
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Local Craigslist?
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Old 04-15-18, 04:20 PM   #9
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Salvation Army or other thrift store? Pawnshop?
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Old 04-15-18, 06:32 PM   #10
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Yup. Craigslist is your friend. I convert these types of bikes all the time to fixed and single speed. The only thing I would suggest is to try and get aluminum rims as steel wheels rust easily when left outside in the elements 24/7 year after year. You can find "train bikes" easily here in Chicago for less than 50 bucks.
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Old 04-16-18, 04:28 PM   #11
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I think for your application I would at least consider an adult foldable push scooter. These can be very easy carried on mass transit and great for a few miles of flat city terrain. Would depend on your particular needs, but something to check out.
https://trendyscooter.com/image/cach...e-1024x768.jpg
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Old 04-16-18, 04:40 PM   #12
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Push Scooter is ok - but a longboard has more street cred (not too serious here - but longboard is my preferred). Or - a nice Schwinn as is already mentioned. My outdoor overnight lock up train bike is a 1973 Schwinn Would Tourer single speed. Love that bike. Perfect for outdoors.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:52 PM   #13
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Easy buy a single speed beater bike . solved !!!!
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Old 04-16-18, 10:22 PM   #14
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I was facing the exact same circumstances 5 years ago. I converted my old 10 spd to single (kept the double crank who cares). Put on some wider flat tires with Kevlar. About 6 months in I added fenders.

For 4 yrs I kept this bike downtown parked under the train tracks so it was out of the rain mostly. Never had a flat but had a tire slashed and a wheel stolen. Bike was not pretty before and is much worse now but it rides fine and only real repair ever required was replacing the chain every year or so.

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Old 04-16-18, 10:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romnation View Post
I'm looking to get a beater bike that will live outdoors 24/7. The only thing this will get used for will be to ride from where I get off the train to my office and back. (About 1 mile) Unfortunately with the hours I go to work, I can't just take my normal bike on the train itself, because it is far too crowded during those times. I'm looking to shorten my commute a little, as walking from the train to the office takes too long. Since the bike will live outside, I'm guessing I will want something with minimal maintenance or parts that will rust. I live in a flat city, so I will also want something as lightweight as possible. I also want something unattractive to thieves.

Should I just get something super basic like a used Schwinn off craigslist for this? Or something else? Any recommendations on maintenance / care since it will live outside and be exposed to the elements?

Thanks!
Leaving a bike outside is abuse, pure and simple. Get a nice folding bike and take it with you. Easy peasy. It can live in your home or office and be unfolded quickly and if you get a decent one quite easily for whenever or wherever you wish to ride. If you are down with low maintenance and something for early morning and late night commuting Tern makes an excellent IGH belt driven bike with fenders and rack and dynamo hub/lights called the Link D7i.

With a bike you leave outside you will need locks and to carry a pump and have to bring it in for maintenance a lot or have a more dangerous ride with seized and corroded parts. Plus with a folder you can take it in your car and on long trips you can get out and go for a little ride or take it with you traveling on buses and trains farther away and get through new cities with ease.
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Old 04-17-18, 12:24 AM   #16
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Outdoors? Harsh weather... Either aluminum or carbon. Unless you want an ultralight paint only bike, don't buy an old steel bike. Really any aluminum bike made in the last 20 years will do the trick. I'm not sure what sort of riding you do so can't really recommend a bike. I convert old aluminum and steel road bikes into cool things like I'm doing with my bike log down below (I hate the word blog, it sounds like something you do in the toilet like taking a bog).

I really would not recommend a steel bike if its going to be living outside but you should be able to find a decent high quality aluminum road bike in your size from a reputable brand which doesn't need all the perishables replaced for $500. My Trek cost me 300 beans it has less than 6000miles on it and 2 owners now. You just have to keep searching until you find something worthwhile. My Giant cost me $100 but the groupset on it did not.

My Trek had a full 6600 Ultegra groupset on it and its made out of SLR grade aluminium. That's my benchmark right there for value for money on a bike that needs nothing spent on it.
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Old 04-17-18, 03:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chris Chicago View Post
I was facing the exact same circumstances 5 years ago. I converted my old 10 spd to single (kept the double crank who cares). Put on some wider flat tires with Kevlar. About 6 months in I added fenders.

For 4 yrs I kept this bike downtown parked under the train tracks so it was out of the rain mostly. Never had a flat but had a tire slashed and a wheel stolen. Bike was not pretty before and is much worse now but it rides fine and only real repair ever required was replacing the chain every year or so.
This. Used an eighties’ Miyata 100, butted, lugged chromoly steel, converted to singlespeed, with flat bars, BMX platform pedals, added more modern sidepull brakes, and never had any issues. And it was nice to ride, neither a heavy tank, nor something that would dent easily or that I’d worry about.
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