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Cheapman Finds a $25 Bike!

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Cheapman Finds a $25 Bike!

Old 05-16-21, 09:54 AM
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LifeNovice1
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Cheapman Finds a $25 Bike!

I'm a notoriously frugal individual. I ignored all advice on here and bought the cheapest working bike I could find. A 7 speed Ozone Westcliff 700 for $25. My guess is the guy bought two bikes, ride them once or twice with his s.o. and out them in his garage for 3-4 years. After cleaning off about an inch of dust and dirt, they look basically new. Brakes needed adjusting and the wheels look like they were never put on right as they were rubbing hard against the fork and frame, respectively.

Brakes squeal like a raped pig despite my cleaning them with soap, water and alcohol...any suggestions?

Other than that it's a very SIMPLE bike. No quick release anything. Surprisingly light and nimble!
Derailleur is, I'm sure the cheapest Shimano makes but it works smoothly.

I'll try to update if it falls apart and what fails first. There certainly are some things that look pretty cheap...plastic pedals, plastic brake adjusters on top. Some spokes seem looser than others but the wheels seem pretty straight and true so I don't want to mess with them.
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Old 05-16-21, 09:58 AM
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LifeNovice1
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I'm thinking this was bought at Academy sports, don't know if that's as bad as Walmart or not.

One question though....there look to be holes near the drop outs for a rack, but there are no braze ons near the seat post. Does anyone make a rear rack for this kind of bike or do I have to get a seat post rack. Those look kind of rickety.
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Old 05-16-21, 10:03 AM
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Depending on which type of brakes it has ... assuming it's basic V brakes, consider the appropriate Kool Stop pads for it. I've used them on several different brakes and they have worked exceptionally well. Smooth, low risk of squealing (when adjusted properly).
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Old 05-16-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Depending on which type of brakes it has ... assuming it's basic V brakes, consider the appropriate Kool Stop pads for it. I've used them on several different brakes and they have worked exceptionally well. Smooth, low risk of squealing (when adjusted properly).
Good advice but the "notoriously frugal" OP may not want to spend that much money on brake shoes!

A lot depends on what kind of brakes the bike has.
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Old 05-16-21, 10:13 AM
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P clamps will work for the rack.

You could try taking a file to the brake shoes. Also can the shoes be angled or toed in? That helps with squealing.
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Old 05-16-21, 10:19 AM
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Take the brake pads off and try using a file/sandpaper on the contact surface to roughen it up a little as that surface might be hardened with age, or the pads are so new they still have the 'sheen' on them rom being molded. Last resort is new pads.

Koolstop pads - I tried those once, never could get them to stop squealing like a terrified pig and I didn't think they stopped the bicycle any better than generic pads. I replaced them with generic black rubber pads that work fine and don't make noise. YMMV
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Old 05-16-21, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! There is very little room to "toe out" the brakes but I did try as best as I could. Unfortunately my file is in storage. Worse comes to worse I'll replace the pads. Or I'll just live with it....I'm 51 years old so looking/sounding dorky doesn't really bother me.
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Old 05-16-21, 11:24 AM
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I just replaced a set of kool stop salmon pads because they were squealing, even after "doing everything right." My guess is they will work perfectly on the next bike, so they went back into my bin, and the bike now has some generic black rubber pads. Given the popularity of the KS pads, I can't believe there is actually anything wrong with them. Nobody knows the precise cause of squealing, so the best approach is to first try "doing everything right," and then start changing things.

Also, the age of the pads is kind of on the edge of where they could be hardened by natural aging of the rubber material.
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Old 05-16-21, 11:36 AM
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Interesting read re: cheap vs. frugal.

https://www.poorinaprivateplane.com/frugal-vs-cheap/
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Old 05-16-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Interesting read re: cheap vs. frugal.

https://www.poorinaprivateplane.com/frugal-vs-cheap/
In 2003, I bought a new road bike for $1000 which seemed like a lot of money at the time.

In 15 years, the bike had over 40,000 miles on it, and definitely qualified as frugal.

No way would you get that kind of value from a cheap bike.
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Old 05-16-21, 02:52 PM
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I love squeaky brakes, lets people know you are there! I have an older bike with a front brake so loud that I use it instead of my bell and hardly drop speed. Ride the bike into the ground
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Old 05-16-21, 04:38 PM
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LifeNovice1
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N

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
In 2003, I bought a new road bike for $1000 which seemed like a lot of money at the time.

In 15 years, the bike had over 40,000 miles on it, and definitely qualified as frugal.

No way would you get that kind of value from a cheap bike.
I'm sure it's a great bike but for $1000 I can buy 40 cheap bikes. I can get a new one every year and still be way ahead by year 15. I'm a casual, around town rider/commuter so I doubt I'll ever use a 1000 dollar ( now 3000 in today's dollars?) to anything close to it's full capabilities.
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Old 05-16-21, 04:42 PM
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LifeNovice1
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Interesting read re: cheap vs. frugal.

https://www.poorinaprivateplane.com/frugal-vs-cheap/
Totally agree with the article. Fwiw I pretty nice carbon fiber road bike years ago and while I was much faster and everything worked better I just didn't need a bike that expensive. I totally get that there are times NOT to get the cheapest thing.
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Old 05-16-21, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
I'm sure it's a great bike but for $1000 I can buy 40 cheap bikes. I can get a new one every year and still be way ahead by year 15. I'm a casual, around town rider/commuter so I doubt I'll ever use a 1000 dollar ( now 3000 in today's dollars?) to anything close to it's full capabilities.
I wouldn't want to own one cheap and nasty bike, much less forty of 'em. But you knock yourself out.

By the way, $1,000 in 2003 had the same purchasing power as $1,451 has today.
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Old 05-16-21, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
I'm sure it's a great bike but for $1000 I can buy 40 cheap bikes. I can get a new one every year and still be way ahead by year 15. I'm a casual, around town rider/commuter so I doubt I'll ever use a 1000 dollar ( now 3000 in today's dollars?) to anything close to it's full capabilities.
You'll get a 40 times better workout too!
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Old 05-16-21, 08:22 PM
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LifeNovice1
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I wouldn't want to own one cheap and nasty bike, much less forty of 'em. But you knock yourself out.

By the way, $1,000 in 2003 had the same purchasing power as $1,451 has today.

Not sure how you know my bike is cheap or nasty. It rides great. Thanks for the well wishes.

Also thanks for correcting my off-the -cuff estimate with the exact inflationary data. You must be a really fun guy at parties. God bless.
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Old 05-16-21, 08:36 PM
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I'm wondering if the Ozone Westcliff is the same bike as the Mongoose Hotshot, which is a big-box bestseller of sorts. They look very similar. The Hotshot is a simple, decent bike for getting around town (I rode one while visiting Gallup once), with the same brake pad issues.

(Issues that are, of course, fairly common among caliper-brake big-box bikes.)
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Old 05-16-21, 08:44 PM
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Rough concrete works well as a file for things like brake pads.
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Old 05-16-21, 08:58 PM
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You get what you pay for and there is no need paying for more than you need I guess. Bikes make people happy and if you can do it for 25 bucks more power to you.
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Old 05-16-21, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
I love squeaky brakes, lets people know you are there! I have an older bike with a front brake so loud that I use it instead of my bell and hardly drop speed. Ride the bike into the ground
I love a properly working bike that isn't poorly set up and in need of service but maybe that is just me and well just about everyone else here. If you don't "drop speed" when using your front brake that is BAD and you could not stop at all and potentially get very badly hurt or die, Troll or not people shouldn't die over not maintaining their bike because they are cheap (not frugal this is not frugality) or think it is a great feature. A Chris King or I9 hub is a better option if you want to make extra noise.
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Old 05-17-21, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
In 2003, I bought a new road bike for $1000… which seemed like a lot of money at the time.
$1000 bike back in 2003 is much better value....

Today's $1000 bikes has too much plastic and made in China parts in it.

In 15 years, the bike had over 40,000 miles on it, and definitely qualified as frugal
It also depends on where you live, where you ride.

Where I live and where I ride, a $1000 bike is likely to be stolen, wrecked by the horrible road conditions or hit by a vehicle long before hitting 40,000 miles.


Last edited by cubewheels; 05-17-21 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 05-17-21, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
...Unfortunately my file is in storage...
Do you have any poured concrete within walking distance? Try that.
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Old 05-17-21, 05:41 AM
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Yet another BSO thread. Are they somehow linked to cicadas?
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Old 05-17-21, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
I'm sure it's a great bike but for $1000 I can buy 40 cheap bikes. I can get a new one every year and still be way ahead by year 15. I'm a casual, around town rider/commuter so I doubt I'll ever use a 1000 dollar ( now 3000 in today's dollars?) to anything close to it's full capabilities.
It doesn't really work that way. There is no equivalence in the riding experience.

Like saying why buy a $25,000 touring sedan (think, Honda Accord) when I can buy 50 cars for $500 each, and simply discard them as they stop running. The diving experience? Um, not so great.
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Old 05-17-21, 08:45 AM
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Depending where you live, it's impossible to sell a good old bike. I just gave away a 1981 Raleigh, in perfectly good condition after no bites at $100 listing on Craig's list. I'd have loved to have a bike like that when I was in college.
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