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Grocery and errand bike

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Grocery and errand bike

Old 07-27-22, 12:22 PM
  #1  
sayn3ver
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Grocery and errand bike

I've had a road bike for a few years back in 2008ish and picked up riding again last summer for sport.

however, I have many stores within biking distance and am looking for types or recommendations for a bike to use for errands and groceries.

is it as simple as adding racks to a cheap mountain or hybrid or is there a dedicated category of bikes for these tasks.

Just trying to cut down on car usage during nice weather and to put some additional easy miles on my fitness goals weekly.
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Old 07-27-22, 12:31 PM
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personally, I like to use a touring bike for errands, that way it performs two functions. Depending on the size and weight of things you're buying, you may need a cargo bike.
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Old 07-27-22, 12:46 PM
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Try a used kids trailer
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Old 07-27-22, 02:29 PM
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You can do <fill in the blank> biking with any bike, some are just better/easier than others. At some point it comes down to your situation or personal preferences.

Some people are of the mind of having one bike for all purposes. Sometimes adamantly so. As in, don't even talk to them.
Some people want their utility bike to be highly unattractive to bike thieves.
Some people want their utility bike to be highly specialized for utility, with all the things.
Some people want to spend as little as possible on their utility bike.
Some people want their utility bike to be uber fast so they can get to the places uber fast.
Some people want their utility bike to never ever get a flat, no matter what, at any impact to performance.
Some people want their utility bike to be fun to ride.

so it depends.
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Old 07-27-22, 06:14 PM
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I know that it depends and that anything could really work.

I suppose as someone who has never toured and has never run errands on a bike that I was more wondering from those with experience where a good starting point is.

for me I am looking for something

1) cheap
2) not flashy
3) comfortable

my carbon road bike is for workouts and fast.

I am looking for something to do the 1/2-2 mile ride, that just works and I won't be upset if it gets stolen.

I don't need fast.

I want proper gearing. I'd rather spin then lug.

im unsure if a trailer or racks would be better. My son is three and I'm unsure how large or small kids can be to ride in those trailers. But that seems like a dual purpose bonus of a used trailer.

I could see using racks or bags most of the time vs a trailer for food since my wife would still be doing our base shopping via car once a week.

but we often run out of things or prefer to pickup some things the day of and we have a super market in town that's too far to walk (time wise for making this a true life style change).

I just wasn't sure if the majority have found certain styles to be a better starter setup, or if certain styles Don't function with accessories like racks and fenders.

I am a male fwiw around 6'1 so I'm not sure if that makes a difference for recommendations or not.
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Old 07-27-22, 06:32 PM
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Huffy Cranbrook or other beach cruiser with a Wald basket or two. About $175 all in...and you'll appreciate your road bike more. (Pick is an older Cranbrook thats been repainted)

Last edited by stevel610; 07-27-22 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 07-27-22, 06:49 PM
  #7  
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My wife and I have 3 bikes each. Our carbon bikes are for exercise. Her road bike is 20+ years old. Mine is 10+. We each have touring bikes. Mostly used for touring but sometimes given front and back racks serves shopping experiences. Our 3rd bikes are in town commuters. Her commuter is an old, purchased used, Giant Ricon (I think that is the name or something like that), She has permanent panniers on the bike purchased at Wal-Mart. She locks it when shopping or doing erands around town but if someone should steal it, they deserve all they can get. By city bike is the same model my wife uses as her road bike. Carbon frame, aluminum forks. During its life, it was an exercise bike and a touring bike. It has thanked me for the adventures. As a commuter, the rack holds my Ortliebs when I go shopping, pickleball, meetings, etc. And if ever stolen, I will be disappointed but I know I got my money's worth.

I think downtube42 provided some good thoughts. Any bike could be made to carry stuff. Be more concerned with the the bikes ability to use racks. And, the more theft is actually happening in your area, look for a used ugly bike.
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Old 07-27-22, 10:27 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by sayn3ver View Post
I know that it depends and that anything could really work.

I suppose as someone who has never toured and has never run errands on a bike that I was more wondering from those with experience where a good starting point is.

for me I am looking for something

1) cheap
2) not flashy
3) comfortable

my carbon road bike is for workouts and fast.

I am looking for something to do the 1/2-2 mile ride, that just works and I won't be upset if it gets stolen.

I don't need fast.

I want proper gearing. I'd rather spin then lug.

im unsure if a trailer or racks would be better. My son is three and I'm unsure how large or small kids can be to ride in those trailers. But that seems like a dual purpose bonus of a used trailer.

I could see using racks or bags most of the time vs a trailer for food since my wife would still be doing our base shopping via car once a week.

but we often run out of things or prefer to pickup some things the day of and we have a super market in town that's too far to walk (time wise for making this a true life style change).

I just wasn't sure if the majority have found certain styles to be a better starter setup, or if certain styles Don't function with accessories like racks and fenders.

I am a male fwiw around 6'1 so I'm not sure if that makes a difference for recommendations or not.
Vintage full rigid MTB. You'll find plenty with rack and fender mounts, v-brakes are bombproof and leave room for fenders. Typically triples with plenty of gear range, simple grip shifters, 8 speed or so components are dirt cheap. Probably getting harder to find, or will need a complete overhaul if found. Opportunistic thieves will steal anything, but a rim-brake rigid steel 26" wheel MTB isn't on anyone's list to steal and part out. Early Specialized Hardrock (rigid fork) is a good example. You can run 1.25" slicks, hybrid tires, MTB tires, which is like 3 different bikes.
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Old 07-28-22, 12:23 AM
  #9  
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A nice cargo bike would be a relatively big expense. It could be worth it, but it would make sense to improvise until you know that's what you want or need. You could improvise using the bike you already have. Add a rack to it and get some panniers. If you decide to get a different bike later, at least the panniers could be moved over.

If you buy a bike to be dedicated to this purpose, but haven't worked out the criteria yet -- like you're not sure whether you need to haul larger cargo and maybe a hybrid with some bags is enough -- buy a used bike that resells well. You can lose your shirt on a new bike or on costly project upgrades and rebuilds. It might be more expensive, but a bike already well suited to purpose could be a lot nicer than a beater, have a better chance of precluding an even more costly cargo bike, and it won't cost you much at all if it's resalable.

I second the Wald racks. I like the rear rack and panniers so I don't get the wheel flop on the front, but I've had Wald baskets too and their stuff seems to be a good value. I got my wife some Specialized Coolcave panniers that are a bit more costly but work well. We've got two sets of Ortlieb panniers, but the roll-tops just don't add anything for a short utility haul. It's nice to have an open-top bucket to dump stuff in and go. There are, of course, much less costly ways to strap a tub on a bike, but I won't be straining myself if I acquire something more pleasing than some discarded kitty-litter buckets.

I second also the bike trailer. It's a great way to add the capability to haul larger items or more volume only when you need it. Used ones are widely available and will cost a lot less than a cargo bike.

Last edited by greatbasin; 07-28-22 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 07-28-22, 10:58 AM
  #10  
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The only thing that I am struggling with is the nice weather. I am not that far from South Jersey and this weather is awful.

Funny, I hadn't bought a flip in over a year and picked up a Giant Innova yesterday for peanuts. Something like that is perfect.

I use my Cannondale F 700. I ride it around the area.
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Old 07-28-22, 11:00 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
You can do <fill in the blank> biking with any bike, some are just better/easier than others. At some point it comes down to your situation or personal preferences.

Some people are of the mind of having one bike for all purposes. Sometimes adamantly so. As in, don't even talk to them.
Some people want their utility bike to be highly unattractive to bike thieves.
Some people want their utility bike to be highly specialized for utility, with all the things.
Some people want to spend as little as possible on their utility bike.
Some people want their utility bike to be uber fast so they can get to the places uber fast.
Some people want their utility bike to never ever get a flat, no matter what, at any impact to performance.
Some people want their utility bike to be fun to ride.

so it depends.
Some people live in places that have high bike theft rates...........
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Old 07-29-22, 11:58 AM
  #12  
sayn3ver
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
The only thing that I am struggling with is the nice weather. I am not that far from South Jersey and this weather is awful.

Funny, I hadn't bought a flip in over a year and picked up a Giant Innova yesterday for peanuts. Something like that is perfect.

I use my Cannondale F 700. I ride it around the area.
im working at a refinery outside in full nomex jumpsuit and safety Ppe.

im soaked head to toe everyday currently from 7-5:30.

Nice weather anymore is October to may.
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Old 07-29-22, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sayn3ver View Post
I've had a road bike for a few years back in 2008ish and picked up riding again last summer for sport.

however, I have many stores within biking distance and am looking for types or recommendations for a bike to use for errands and groceries.

is it as simple as adding racks to a cheap mountain or hybrid or is there a dedicated category of bikes for these tasks.

Just trying to cut down on car usage during nice weather and to put some additional easy miles on my fitness goals weekly.
I saw this Schwinn Collegiate 3speed /coaster bike in like new condition parked at the local casino garage yesterday which looked like an excellent grocery-getter. It is unusual around here to see any IGH equipped bike in any condition, let alone pristine like this. Maybe you will be able to find one like it that fits you, if you are lucky

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Old 07-29-22, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sayn3ver View Post
im working at a refinery outside in full nomex jumpsuit and safety Ppe.

im soaked head to toe everyday currently from 7-5:30.

Nice weather anymore is October to may.
I don't know how you do it. I did stuff like that for years, and it sucked! Construction, hot Warehouses.....never again!

I am 162 miles from New Jersey, but the weather is not that different. (Lots of Jersey Tags In Baltimore County)

Words can't describe how much I hate this time of year......

Last edited by StarBiker; 07-29-22 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 07-30-22, 08:51 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by sayn3ver View Post
...recommendations for a bike to use for errands and groceries...
Just about any sturdy "mountain bike" or even multi-speed cruiser. Touring bikes are ideal. IMO.
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Old 08-01-22, 04:17 AM
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I also did this. When my commuter bike turned over 30K, I converted over it to a heavy hauler bike. Wald basket, low gears and all the hallmarks of a good, heavy duty bike. Commuting, I leave that to my Fixed Gear bike. The other day, I picked up bottled water when the water line had to be tuned off to be worked on. Yep, the old commuter bike answered the call.
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Old 08-01-22, 04:51 PM
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$22 last Wednesday. If I keep it which I probably won't (A bit to small) will need tires.

Stuff like this is out there if you look. Even the Alivio Components are decent.....some parts have value on their own.

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Old 08-04-22, 08:04 PM
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Obviously, it all depends on you and the place you live.

That said: Wald folding baskets are pretty indispensable. They're made to fit U.S. grocery bags and they can carry lots of weight. Get the silver galvanized, not the black or white painted -- the painted ones rust. You definitely don't want the weight on the handlebars. Put it on the rear rack.

As for the bike: My pick for a grocery-getter would be an '80s Japanese or French sport-touring bike, with the drop handlebars swapped for upright bars (North Road, moustache, or albatross are good choices). Get something like this (in your size, though) and swap the bars: https://southjersey.craigslist.org/b...505083409.html

They often have stem shifters, which makes the handlebar swap easy (if not, you can easily switch to friction thumbies or bar-ends).
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Old 08-05-22, 04:53 PM
  #19  
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Any 80's, 90's steel frame MB would work best.
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Old 08-06-22, 01:55 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Any 80's, 90's steel frame MB would work best.
I agree. You can find good steel bikes cheaply, or for free. Some people use backpacks, I did once, but prefer bags or panniers mounted lower. When I was car free a trailer was really helpful. Especially for hauling beer
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Old 08-06-22, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
I agree. You can find good steel bikes cheaply, or for free. Some people use backpacks, I did once, but prefer bags or panniers mounted lower. When I was car free a trailer was really helpful. Especially for hauling beer
MB's although out there from the 80's, or 90's aren't really easy to find dirt cheap, at least not anymore. Not for the kind of prices many of us use to pay.

A mountain, no pun intended of them on the west coast I could see, or Florida, but much tougher in other areas.

That Innova was $22. It will be closer to $90 when done, and I would put it on CL for $190. But I road the damn thing and like it.......

That touring bike posted above wouldn't be my pick at all. Especially in an urban, suburban area.

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Old 08-10-22, 09:32 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post

That touring bike posted above wouldn't be my pick at all. Especially in an urban, suburban area.
Well, taste is kind of subjective here -- but between the two, I'd prefer a steel touring or sport-touring bike (with upright bars, not drop bars) to a steel MTB. Mountain bikes really aren't geared for road riding; an '80s sport-touring bike will be much quicker and more agile in urban/suburban traffic, especially on the flats of South Jersey. Then, you'd obviously need to put slick tires on your MTB. And I really dislike flat handlebars, so I'd need to swap them for north road, moustache, or similar. So that's three changes to make, vs. one (handlebars) for a touring / sport-touring bike. Here's a 1984 Peugeot I've been using for shopping and general utility since 1998, in a few different configurations (I don't recommend the single-wheel trailer in the second photo; those things suck):





And here's a 1981 Takara sport-touring frame, somewhat more modified, for commuting/shopping use. IGH and Hebie Chainglider are great for riding with dress pants/shoes, though that doesn't seem like the OP's situation.


An English 3-speed would also do the job well.

Of course, you could just pay a bit more money and get a new urban bike -- something like a Linus.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:43 AM
  #23  
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They are exactly what you would want and be very comfortable. The OP is in southern New Jersey, not a place like Greenville. 69K Pop in Greenville?

That's why you are mentioning speed. How far are you from things. I can bike to Target In four minutes. There's so much traffic it makes more sense to walk to the local Walmart than to bike to it. 20 Minute walk.

I have road numerous roadies and they are not only uncomfortable, and unforgiving to ride, they aren't worth a damn in this area. You would be taking your life in your hands cycling the local roads. I almost only cycle on the ramped sidewalk.

Your build looks like it's more suited to that type of bike. Mine certainly isn't.

Last edited by StarBiker; 08-10-22 at 09:46 AM.
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