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Huffy 314 as a paper route bike?

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Huffy 314 as a paper route bike?

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Old 06-16-12, 03:51 PM
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Corwin
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Huffy 314 as a paper route bike?

I'm starting a paper route next week and depending on the size of the route, I'd like to use a bike for it to keep the mileage off of my car, not use gas, and get exercise. I figured I'd do it at least for Mon-Sat, or Mon-Thurs(depending on the load). I have an '80s Huffy 314 road bike that I got off of Craigslist last month that I started using to bike to work with. I weigh about 170lb and will probably use panniers and a handlebar bag to carry the papers. Another idea would be to get a car rack to carry my bike to the center of the route and do half routes at a time and refill at the car.

Would the Huffy be up to snuff(after getting new tires and brake pads)? Or should I look for a better used mountain/hybrid bike with slick tires and braze-ons?

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

Last edited by Corwin; 06-16-12 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 06-16-12, 04:08 PM
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gitarzan
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I'd recommend a Murray.
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Old 06-16-12, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gitarzan View Post
I'd recommend a Murray.
its just a frame dude, who cares what brand it it as long as it holds up. the OP's Huffy has lasted almost 30 years, probably keep going and going even with panniers. I say slap some Surly Nice Racks on that baby and start throwing papers!
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Old 06-16-12, 09:20 PM
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Corwin
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gitarzan: I'm sensing sarcasm, but if not, I'd be looking for something higher grade than a "Wal Mart/Target" bike if this one wouldn't be up to the task.
CabezaShoko you think the rims on a department store bike would be up to snuff? Granted the guy I bought the bike from used it and he had to be at least 75lb heavier than me. There was a little bit of wobbling in the front wheel, but it's been riding fairly true since I've owned it.
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Old 06-16-12, 10:17 PM
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Corwin
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I assume they're steel rims. Whatever the originals were(unless they've been replaced sometime during the past 30 years, which I doubt). I know the brakes either need replacement or adjustment before I put any more weight on the bike.
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Old 08-01-12, 05:44 PM
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I had 2 paper routes combined with a total of 150 papers for 4 - 5 years in the early '80's. I rode a Schwinn single speed beach cruiser.
The only issues I had were the handlebars would start bending from the weight of the paper-holding bags (hanging from the handlebars).
A good remedy for this was putting BMX style bars on which have the top cross bar on it for added strength. The other issue was on Sundays the papers were so large that I had to make multiple trips back home to load-up more papers. Fast forward to present day and you kids now have the options of panniers, trailers, etc to haul all those papers at once.

The bonus for me (which I didn't know at the time) was my routes had the steepest hills in town and thus, over the years this built my legs up to "King Kong" status. This means pedaling up the hills, no walking/pushing!

So when considering a bike to handle the rigors of paper routes, consider a quality brand that is well built and sturdy enough to handle the extra weight (i.e. sturdy rims).

Last edited by trestlehed; 08-01-12 at 05:48 PM. Reason: .
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Old 08-01-12, 06:51 PM
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I was one of the last paper boys in the Detroit Metro area in the mid 80's and I did my route on a Schwinn Work Cruiser. Only had the back rack, but that bike was amazing for it. Rain, snow, sun didn't matter it kept going. I got hit by three cars backing out of driveways on different occasions (great tip that month), and I don't ever recall even changing a flat on it. My paper station was only 1/2 mile to my route so I would often split the load, but I do remember loading that bike up around the holidays to the point that I could barely steady it to start riding. Only real down side was it wasn't fast enough to out run dogs, but a squirt gun filled half with ammonia and half water took care of them pretty quick (aim for the nose).

<edit/add> I'm not familiar with the Huffy, but really I don't think a road bike will cut it. You need big tires and big steel rims and probably a coaster brake. Those papers weigh a lot when all packed together with inserts and all. You might also want to check with your paper to see if it's ok. There aren't really paperboys (kids on bikes) anymore. Probably for reasons like getting hit by cars three times in 4 years. And they or their insurance company might not like it. Would hate to see you loose something like workman's comp should something happen and it's against you papers policies.

Wish i still had that bike, though I wish even more that I had the paperboy bags. They would make great vintage panniers.

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Old 08-02-12, 02:21 AM
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Wheels should be strong enough if trued right and not abused. I think I would maybe look for a used child trailer for the papers instead of loading them all on the bike or use your car.

Good point about braking in rain or steep hills. Get Brakeblocks suited for steel rims. Look for a aluminium replacement wheel or rim, that would help.

If you decide to look for a different bike maybe look for a 26" MTB or even smaller wheels. 20" wheels are super strong and the small wheels give plenty room for baskets.
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Old 08-04-12, 04:26 AM
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Good point about braking in rain or steep hills. Get Brakeblocks suited for steel rims.
I would go with Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. I have them on 2 of my bikes right now. They are relatively cheap and work great.
Maybe go with the bigger discs (180mm?) to compensate for all that extra weight carrying those newspapers.
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Old 08-04-12, 03:38 PM
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That isn't the bike I would buy if I was purchasing one. But since you already have it, it's a great bike for delivering papers. As you ride, you will notice things you like and dislike about the bike, which you can keep in mind for when you get your next bike.
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Old 08-26-12, 04:15 PM
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my next bike has been acquired and awaiting a front rack that my stepson's grandpa is welding for me. a Specialized Crossroads step-through frame that I rescued from the curb during apartment move-out days. I definitely didn't like using drop bars for the few times I've used the Huffy, especially as narrow as these are(barely hip width, and I'm fairly skinny).
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Old 09-04-12, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
my next bike has been acquired and awaiting a front rack that my stepson's grandpa is welding for me. a Specialized Crossroads step-through frame that I rescued from the curb during apartment move-out days. I definitely didn't like using drop bars for the few times I've used the Huffy, especially as narrow as these are(barely hip width, and I'm fairly skinny).
Nice upgrade!!!
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