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this is too expensive for a newbie

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this is too expensive for a newbie

Old 06-29-07, 06:34 PM
  #1  
mcompton1973
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this is too expensive for a newbie

ok,
so a little background on me first. I am 34. I am overweight a bit...prior Marine who got out and put on weight. Last year I started to MT Bike with my son, and it was a blast...but I like to just get out and ride as well sometimes as well. Fathers day we biked on a rails to trails trail 60 miles on my Trek Mt Bike. Yesterday I did 20 miles on a Taco Thursday ride as well. I am really starting to like to bike...but I wish I had a good road bike....alot of what I do does not need my Trek.

Last year I did some commuting to work...and I bought an '81 or '82 Schwinn. It is not bad for commuting I guess, but I live in a hilly area, and the 10 speeds dont give me enough flexibility on the hills, also it seems a little rickety I guess...and HEAVY. so today I thought I would look at an entry level road Bike.

I cant afford that. I thought maybe I had 100-200 I could spend. I cant find a single bike for under 700 unless I go to Walmart/Target. I know when I bought my Trek all the reasons to buy from a LBS....but there is no way I can spend 700+.

so my question...am I being too hard on the schwinn? Should I try to stay with it? Should I go ahead and get a 150 bike from Target so I can at least get on the road? Should I just log a bunch of miles on my Trek? what would you do? a "real" bike is totally out of the question though.

Thoughts? Comments?
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Old 06-29-07, 06:39 PM
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Don't waste your money on a new bike, look for a used one on Craig's List or ebay.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:41 PM
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A good option is to buy a used bike. Try local first, craigslist.org, ask around at the LBS, etc. If that doesn't work use ebay. Just make sure the bike fits and do your research.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:41 PM
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put faster tires on your MTB
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Old 06-29-07, 06:44 PM
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The Target/Walmart bikes are junk, you're better off on what you have now.

There's nothing wrong with an older ten/twelve/etc. speed bike, anyway - usually they have quite a bit of range. If not, you can pick up a different cassette for your rear wheel and have more range.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:44 PM
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www.craigslist.org
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Old 06-29-07, 06:45 PM
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learn to build road bikes and go on ebay. 10 months later, you'll thank me.

Originally Posted by mcompton1973
ok,
so a little background on me first. I am 34. I am overweight a bit...prior Marine who got out and put on weight. Last year I started to MT Bike with my son, and it was a blast...but I like to just get out and ride as well sometimes as well. Fathers day we biked on a rails to trails trail 60 miles on my Trek Mt Bike. Yesterday I did 20 miles on a Taco Thursday ride as well. I am really starting to like to bike...but I wish I had a good road bike....alot of what I do does not need my Trek.

Last year I did some commuting to work...and I bought an '81 or '82 Schwinn. It is not bad for commuting I guess, but I live in a hilly area, and the 10 speeds dont give me enough flexibility on the hills, also it seems a little rickety I guess...and HEAVY. so today I thought I would look at an entry level road Bike.

I cant afford that. I thought maybe I had 100-200 I could spend. I cant find a single bike for under 700 unless I go to Walmart/Target. I know when I bought my Trek all the reasons to buy from a LBS....but there is no way I can spend 700+.

so my question...am I being too hard on the schwinn? Should I try to stay with it? Should I go ahead and get a 150 bike from Target so I can at least get on the road? Should I just log a bunch of miles on my Trek? what would you do? a "real" bike is totally out of the question though.

Thoughts? Comments?
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Old 06-29-07, 07:07 PM
  #8  
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Good entry level bikes are getting cheaper and cheaper. My LBS, which is very good, was clearing out Trek 1000s for as low as $600, and Renos for $750. You'd be much happier with a new bike, no matter what these yahoos tell you.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:09 PM
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I'd be much happier with a $50 used bike than a $150 new Target bike.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:11 PM
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ebay ftw.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:23 PM
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eBay and craigslist are great if you know exactly what you want. If you really want to ride the bike, it needs to fit you. Try larger LBS stores with more selection of bikes like Performance, not shops that sell only Trek. You should be able to find some bikes for $500 or less.

I'm sure that none of the above posters riding used bikes, just giving advice to do so.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:35 PM
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Do you people even listen?

"a "real" bike is totally out of the question though."
"I thought maybe I had 100-200 I could spend."
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Old 06-29-07, 09:41 PM
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I think it is rather normal to suffer sticker shock when looking for a "real" bike. It was a lot harder for me to pay $600 for my Trek 1000 than it was to pay $1600 for my Trek 5000.
Some of the Schwinns were pretty decent bikes for their day. In fact, some of them were outstanding. A halfway decent Schwinn Paramount can go for over $1000 on Ebay. What kind of bike do you have. There might be some upgrades you can make that will make your commute more pleasant. If it is a 10 speed, it might actually be older than '81. By 1981, most bikes came with 6 speed freewheels. Can you post a picture?
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Old 06-29-07, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
put faster tires on your MTB
Yep. Get some nimbus tires.
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Old 06-29-07, 09:53 PM
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I will look and see if I can find a couple pictures. It is a Schwinn Traveler...which I understand at one time was a decent bike. I live in Omaha, NE. There are not a ton of bikes around. I have checked Craigs list for a while...but I just dont see $200 being enough. Man. I thought that 350 for my Trek Mt Bike was alot...I had no idea. How is anyone that does not have a ton of money supposed to get by? Buy a cheep bike, and replace it once a year? over time I could have bought a pretty decent bike...but there is no way I can find 700+ for a bike. not with a 3 year old, and everything else.

and, I found a picture...but I dont have a place to host it or whatever...so I will try another time.
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Old 06-29-07, 10:03 PM
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You should be able to pick up an 80's Japanese road bike from Craigslist or a garage sale for $100-200. You'll probably have to look for a while, but you should be able to get a very serviceable bike. My Summit Comp Pro TR that got me back into cycling cost me $40 at a garage sale. You might ask around to see if there's a community bike co-op in Omaha also.
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Old 06-29-07, 10:08 PM
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if i were you i''d keep your current bike and put away $20 a week... and no more coke and junkfood... you'll save tons and be able to get a better quality road bike in a few months...
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Old 06-29-07, 10:13 PM
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You may want to see if there is a KHS dealer around you. It seems to have good priced bikes for the components offered. Just a quick search of the web site shows a couple below $700. The 300 MSRP is at $660, the 250 is $550.
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Old 06-29-07, 10:51 PM
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OK, if it was me, knowing what I know now:

Buy slicks for the MTB, start saving your pennies, and start doing your research. Go for test rides at bike shops, learn as much as you can on the web, get to know which LBS's are run by good people.

That way, you're using what you have with a bare minimum of expense, you're still riding and getting stronger, and when you finally buy something it'll be what you want, not what you can settle for. You'll also be more educated, so if you run across a new-old-stock gem at some garage sale or on a craigslist ad, you'll be able to score an amazing deal. Hell, a bike mechanic I know just scored an old beautiful Colnago with spotless Campy Delta brakes for $150. How cool would it be to do that?

I see flat broke kids pushing hoopty conversion fixed gears up amazingly steep hills. I see migrant workers making long commutes on 50-pound Wal-Mart bikes after working the entire day. Your ride sounds non-ideal, but still better than those situations, so you could probably hang with it a bit longer. The dividends later could be huge.
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Old 06-30-07, 07:52 AM
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I would call around to all of the thrift stores and pawn shops and ask what they have. Also, start combing the garage/yard sale ads on Fri/Sat for bikes. I think you stand a good chance of picking up a decent road bike for $25. Happens on here all the time. Go look in the Vintage forum for inspiration. I think there's a sticky for Garage Sale finds or similar.
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Old 06-30-07, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
Do you people even listen?
I quit reading the thread as soon as I saw this. Later dude.

edit: stupid me, just realized that wasn't the op that said that.

I though someone was asking for advice and then getting impatient.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:04 AM
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Keep the schwinn until you can put together about $350. Then get a good used bike on ebay or Craig's list. With some looking you should be able to get a very nice late 80's, early 90's bike, that if it's been properly maintained will be a very nice bike.

It won't have integrate shifting, but you can find a bike with 14-16 speeds, lugged, butted frame,and firt rate componets for that price. and it will only weigh 2-3 lbs more than a modern cf wonder.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:43 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by mcompton1973
I live in a hilly area, and the 10 speeds dont give me enough flexibility on the hills. ... I live in Omaha, NE.
Omaha? Where they had to build a freakin' hill so the kids would know that there is a vertical dimension?

You're just spoiled by the ultra-low gearing of the Trek.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:55 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Keep the schwinn until you can put together about $350. Then get a good used bike on ebay or Craig's list. With some looking you should be able to get a very nice late 80's, early 90's bike, that if it's been properly maintained will be a very nice bike.

It won't have integrate shifting, but you can find a bike with 14-16 speeds, lugged, butted frame,and firt rate componets for that price. and it will only weigh 2-3 lbs more than a modern cf wonder.
+1 on using what you have now and saving up for something better. One of the biggest problems with department store bikes (in the $100-150 range) are the components. My sister had one of these when she was a kid. The frame was ok, relatively indestructable, but the wheels were terrible. They went out of true very badly after a few weeks. Figure in what it cost to have the wheels trued and that's a significant percentage of the purchase price. So you'd definitely want to take this sort of thing into account before buying anything.

My parents saved all our old bikes. We had some old schwinns, Motobecane and a few others. They were heavy bikes, components weren't fancy, but those bikes were solid. I don't think we did much other than just lube the chain.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:00 AM
  #25  
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"I though someone was asking for advice and then getting impatient."

no...I am not impatient. OK, I am, because I want a nice bike...NOW...and I dont want to pay for it...but with advise I am patient.

" You're just spoiled by the ultra-low gearing of the Trek."

this could also be true...I am about 40 pounds heavier than I was in my Marine corps days...and not in as good of shape, that is for sure....but I have stoped drinking pop all together, and I am eating a lot better...and so if I can start ridding a lot more, I should really be able to shed this weight. Until then, I am fat and weak....lol...and I guess a little spoiled.
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