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Old 05-19-07, 01:09 PM   #1
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Is it worth it?

I need a decent bike for the summer to commute to and fro from college and maybe try a hand at mountain biking. I have the following offer for a Raleigh M80: older (late 90s?) Raleigh M80 mt bike but the front rock shox is now rigid, which makes it a perfect commuter. It needs nothing mechanically.

This bike is a 24 speed bike (8 back, 3 front). The front shock no longer bounces so it is like a rigid fork. It shifts like a dream and it is in really good shape. There are a few nicks with rust spots.

It is not a cheap bike with off brand components. It has decent shimano components and new flat pedals. I would guess it is probably 8+ years old but not used all that much...

Is it worth it? I don't want to spend a lot for a bike I might just use for 3 months and $100 seems just about right.

Your reply would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-19-07, 02:08 PM   #2
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The "front shock no longer bounces" is like saying the car runs fine but has no brakes. If you want to "try a hand at mountain biking," you'll want a front fork that "bounces." Also, the quality of the bike doesn't matter if it doesn't fit you. If the bike doesn't fit, you won't ride it.

If you're REALLY hard up for cash, shop at garage sales, thrift shops, or Police auctions. There are LOTS of nice bikes to be had for as low as $5. Those prices leave you lots of $$ for repairs, adjustments, etc.

The less you know about bikes, the better off you are getting a simple bike. For short-distance commuting without a lot of hills, there's lots to be said for the simple coaster-brake bike (the one you backpedal to stop). If you must have multiple gears, the internally-geared 3, 7, and 8 speed hubs are more reliable (but much more expensive). If you have long distances, steep hills, or want to try mountain biking, buy a mountain bike. Their derailleur gearing systems (look like a angled corn cob of gears on the rear wheel) take the most maintenance & adjustment, but provide lots of gears for less money.

Before deciding on the bike you want, why not go by the local bike store (NOT the department store) and try looking at & riding the various types of bikes they have. Who knows - the shop might have some used bikes or know of a customer who wants to sell one. If you can buy a good used bike (even for more money) you should be able to sell it when you're done for close to what you paid. Having the "better" bike means better reliability. That alone may justify the price. Also, the shop won't let you leave with a bike that doesn't fit.

Happy shopping!
Nishiki road bike, Raleigh road bike, Electra Cruiser Lux 7d, Electra Townie 3i, Electra Townie 1, Whatever I find today!
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Old 05-19-07, 03:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jukebox81
I need a decent bike to commute to and fro from college.
You sure? Colleges are reknowned for bike theft. That's a good place for riding a POS bike that won't heartbreak you when it gets stolen. You'll want a better bike than that Raleigh for mountain biking.
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Old 05-19-07, 03:49 PM   #4
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I honestly wouldn't pay $30 for the bike you just described.
I've seen better for $50, and much better for the price mentioned.
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