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Buying a (used/hoopty) bicycle

shoreman1782

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I'm toying with the idea of buying a bike. I can get most places I want by walking/public transportation, and I have a car, but I wouldn't mind having an alternate form of transportation handy.

I am not in the market for high end, here. This is for riding around the neighborhood/to bars/to shows/maybe occasionally to work (about 5 miles, accessible on residential streets, for the most part), not for putting on a postal service uni and clipping in. Also, bikes get stolen around here pretty regularly, so flashy and new is not good. On the other hand, it's pretty hilly around here, so some functionality would be nice.

Any recommendations? I've flipped through craigslist for a few days, assessing what's out there. Seems like, in the <$200 range, there's a lot of older road bikes and a few 90s model mountain bikes.

What do you guys ride?
 

Renault78law

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If I were you, I'd get a single gear road bike. Simple simple simple and does the job. You don't have to worry about tuning or gears wearing out or cheap-good-for-nothing components. You mention hills - so long as you don't have any long sustained climbs, you should be fine.
 

Lucky Strike

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You, Sir, would be best served with something classic and elegant, like an English roadster:
These can often be found used on e-bay. Raleigh and Humber are the best brands. Or something more exotic and high-end:
(That's the Dursley-Pedersen, or "Christiania" bicycle. It can best be described as something like a two-wheeled, self-propelled Bentley.)
 

DNW

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Originally Posted by Lucky Strike
Or something more exotic and high-end:



(That's the Dursley-Pedersen, or "Christiania" bicycle. It can best be described as something like a two-wheeled, self-propelled Bentley.)


So, where do you put the hamster?
 

faustian bargain

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Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
So, where do you put the hamster?

i kinda want to know where one puts one's ass...from this angle it looks like you have to sit on a chain of link sausages...
 

VMan

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Originally Posted by Renault78law
If I were you, I'd get a single gear road bike. Simple simple simple and does the job. You don't have to worry about tuning or gears wearing out or cheap-good-for-nothing components. You mention hills - so long as you don't have any long sustained climbs, you should be fine.


Are you suggesting a fixed gear? As in no brakes, the only way to slow down is to use your leg muscles to de-cellerate the bike? While those bikes are real dope, the shoreman specified he'd be riding this bike to shows and bars - probably not a great bike for that. I'd suggest a real nice vintage 10-speed, with the brakes and gears tuned up at a local bike shop for cheap.
 

Nantucket Red

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Originally Posted by faustian bargain
i kinda want to know where one puts one's ass...from this angle it looks like you have to sit on a chain of link sausages...

I think you lounge in the little hammock while your chauffeur operates the pedals from a standing position inside the triangular space between the frame stays and guides the vehicle by way of the downward-sloping handlebars.

My grandfather used to collect high-wheelers and other fascinating early bicycles, so I have ridden quite a variety of unusual bike designs, but this is something else entirely.

It seems you can bet these for a reasonable price.

http://www.pedersen-bike.dk/
 

shellshock

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i got a crappy bmx bike for free
my friend got like 12 bikes from some police auction. it does the job.
i just want to paint it
 

Kent Wang

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Let me tell you how my dad bought my first bike in America. We were driving around our hometown of Galveston and saw a fellow of Hispanic descent riding a bicycle. We pulled up next to him and my dad offered him $20 for the bike.

That's how you get a cheap bicycle. True story.
 

Nantucket Red

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Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Let me tell you how my dad bought my first bike in America. We were driving around our hometown of Galveston and saw a fellow of Hispanic descent riding a bicycle. We pulled up next to him and my dad offered him $20 for the bike.

That's how you get a cheap bicycle. True story.


Classic story, Kent!


The more I learn about the Dursley-Pedersen, the more I want one. They look amazingly comfortable.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Let me tell you how my dad bought my first bike in America. We were driving around our hometown of Galveston and saw a fellow of Hispanic descent riding a bicycle. We pulled up next to him and my dad offered him $20 for the bike. That's how you get a cheap bicycle. True story.
a couple of weeks ago i was driving in marina del rey and stopped at a red light. beside me were three cyclists. two were wearing cycling gear like pros, with helmets, gloves, etc... the third was a mexican guy in t-shirt and jeans. i used to be into cycling so i was checking out their bikes. the 2 'enthusuasts' had some pretty good racing bikes, a cannondale and a bianchi. nice, but nothing special. the mexican guy had a bottechia; the type of bike they use in the tour de france. to me, a bottechia is the ferrari of racing bikes. it was old and the paint was faded, but i imagaine that thing must have cost at least $3k when it was new. as far as i know, they don't make cheap bottechias. the light turns green and i take off. about a half mile later i stop at another red light and here comes the mexican guy pulling up right next to me. he had kept up with my car, but the other 2 guys were barely visible in my rear view mirror. i thought of offering the guy $100 for his bike, becuase he probably didn't know what he was riding, but i didn't have any cash on me so i let it go. true story.
 

Renault78law

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Originally Posted by VersaceMan
Are you suggesting a fixed gear? As in no brakes, the only way to slow down is to use your leg muscles to de-cellerate the bike? While those bikes are real dope, the shoreman specified he'd be riding this bike to shows and bars - probably not a great bike for that. I'd suggest a real nice vintage 10-speed, with the brakes and gears tuned up at a local bike shop for cheap.
Nope, while very cool, I intentionally did not recommend a fixed gear. A single gear bike can just as easily be a freewheel (I'm not 100% on the terminology). Anyway, I chose not to recommend a fixie based on his experience level and the fact that he did not want to clip in. Neither would be absolutely necessary, but both a good idea. That said, I think a fixie, functionally, would do the job just fine.
 

Renault78law

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Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
a couple of weeks ago i was driving in marina del rey and stopped at a red light. beside me were three cyclists. two were wearing cycling gear like pros, with helmets, gloves, etc... the third was a mexican guy in t-shirt and jeans.

i used to be into cycling so i was checking out their bikes. the 2 'enthusuasts' had some pretty good racing bikes, a cannondale and a bianchi. nice, but nothing special.

the mexican guy had a bottechia; the type of bike they use in the tour de france. to me, a bottechia is the ferrari of racing bikes. it was old and the paint was faded, but i imagaine that thing must have cost at least $3k when it was new. as far as i know, they don't make cheap bottechias.

the light turns green and i take off. about a half mile later i stop at another red light and here comes the mexican guy pulling up right next to me. he had kept up with my car, but the other 2 guys were barely visible in my rear view mirror. i thought of offering the guy $100 for his bike, becuase he probably didn't know what he was riding, but i didn't have any cash on me so i let it go. true story.

I don't mean to nitpick, but some athletes ride Cannondales in the TDF. I agree though, they're seldom anything special.
I ride one. True story.
 

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