Author Topic: New or Used Bike?  (Read 2325 times)

teltic

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New or Used Bike?
« on: March 07, 2018, 10:17:56 PM »
Hello,

I'm looking to grow my money mustache, and buy a bike to commute to work/grocery store/everywhere. 

Work: 1.2 miles
Grocery Store: Ralphs 2.3, Walmart 5.6 miles, Harvest international foods 6.2 miles (This international food place had amazing deals, so I think its worth the distance)
Beach: 5 miles (I live in San Diego)... Playing with the idea of strapping my surf board on my bike... But I don't know.


So basically I don't see myself riding more than 12 miles RT, and I'll save 2-4 miles RT.

Nashbar is having a sale, and I found this
http://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/specials-10000/week-of-03-05-7000000000000000838/city-bikes-up-to-75-off-7000000000000000843/breezer-finesse-city-bike-yb-fin

Seems like a legit deal. I"m 5'10, weight 185... Do I buy medium or large (online thinks I'm inbetween...)?  It feels weird buying something new though..... So I dug through offerup

https://offerup.com/item/detail/391432681/?ref=Search
https://offerup.com/item/detail/314916518/?ref=Search
https://offerup.com/item/detail/400392130/?ref=Search


As a rookie, its hard to identify a deal (frame size, gears, age, miles... Hard to calculate what is a deal, and what is overpriced).

Any Bike enthusiast out there that can help me?

Thank you so much!

nereo

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 05:58:59 AM »
Ok... you've got a bunhc of different bikes that you are looking at, but they are all slightly different.
The Nashbar is your typical hybrid with flat handlebars and a very upright riding position
Then there's a 'light' mountain bike with front suspension and two roadbikes with 'bullhorn' handlebars.

So first question that needs to be asked is what *kind* of bike do you want.  Based on your description of use, it sounds like you only plan on using this on paved streets and maybe the occasional hardpacked trail for short distances.  If that's the case I would favor a bike with NO suspension.  Why?  Because bikes with suspension are less efficient, and this is especially true at the lower end.

Next is your riding position.  Having a flat handlebar and relaxed geometry (more on that in a minute) allows you to be seated upright.  People who don't ride a lot often prefer that, as initially its more comfortable.  BUt it also is less aerodynamic and doesn't give you as many hand positions to switch around with as the bullhorns.  In the end its personal choice - do you want to be seated more upright/natural, or do you want a bit more speed but leaning over your handbars more?  I'd try both at a bike shop and see what you think.

Finally there's tire width - if you are truly talking about biking on paved roads nad paths you want skinnier tires which are much more efficient.  If your path will take you on lots of dirt paths and/or if you think you might want to go riding up/down some hills than you'll want wider, knobbier tires (but it will be slower nad less efficient).

Final advice?  Given you are looking at a whole range of bikes I think you need to go to a bike shop and just test-ride several bikes to see what feels good.  Ask the sales-guy to let oyu ride a flat-bar hybrid.  Then ask for a commuter-bike with bullhorn handlebars.  You may decide not to buy from that shop, but often they'll have last-years' model or used bikes in their arsenal that they'll offer to sell to you.  If you mention what price-point you've been looking at they might have an older model they'll match price on for you.  And if you wondering if the price they offer is a good deal come back here and ask (preferably with pictures of the bike and/or detailed specs).

Thegoblinchief

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 07:06:25 AM »
A lot depends on what the used bike market looks like in your area. In my city, good quality hybrid bikes fit for commuting usually cost at least $250-$300 and they donít come for sale all that frequently. A Giant Escape 2, which is a very nice quality hybrid suitable for commuting but still sporty enough to ride longer distances easily, is only $400ish new.

I bought my first hybrid used but happily bought a second one brand new this year so I could leave my old one permanently hooked up to my indoor trainer (I find it a PITA to take it on and off).

Unless you have short legs for your height, a large frame will mostly likely fit you better than a medium. Iím 6í0Ē with short legs (30-32 inseam) and Iím best on a large in the bikes Iíve tried.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 07:38:58 AM »
Hello,

I'm looking to grow my money mustache, and buy a bike to commute to work/grocery store/everywhere. 


Yay!! Another person joining cycling! I just joined the club of biking:)
I think Nereo said it all for your questions.

Just my 2c:
I went to local bike shop, saw the 2016 Trek road bike for $599 (they were willing to work on pricing).
So if you are looking at used bikes 400+, definitely look at the local bike shop for new ones.
It takes couple of rounds of visits, but it would pay you off.

GuitarStv

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 08:10:49 AM »
Strapping a surf board to a bike would make for a very exciting ride if there's any crosswind at all . . .

To mostly echo what nereo said . . . my personal preference leans towards a bike with drop handlebars because you go faster on 'em for less effort (they're narrower, you can get low on the drops), and on a long ride having lots of hand positions is more comfortable.  If you don't go for long rides and if you're not a confident cyclist you might find that wider flat bars are better because they offer greater control.

If you're not planning on riding very rough off-road trails in the woods, don't get a bike with any kind of suspensions (cheap suspensions suck anyway . . . they just add weight and drag without really doing anything beneficial to your ride).  Most commuters will do fine with 32mm tires.  They're wide enough to absorb the bumps (even on packed dirt paths), and narrow enough to not be too heavy.  Wider tires will feel more stable, and you'll notice that you'll feel more confident when cornering and descending hills.

Going to a bike shop will help you figure out what size works for your body shape, and I'd be inclined to start there in your position.

nereo

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 10:46:20 AM »
Strapping a surf board to a bike would make for a very exciting ride if there's any crosswind at all . . .

Having lived in a California surf town for 10 years I'll say it's a pretty common sight to see people biking with a surf board, though usually for just a few blocks to get from their house to the beach.  They make surf-board racks that fit on bikes. 
No, you don't want to try this when there are 30km+ winds... but then again most people don't want to go surfing when its blowing a gale either (strong wind blows the face of the wave off and just makes it choppy as hell).

Acastus

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 10:54:06 AM »
Hand me downs from the "Lycra head" type of cycling club can be a very good deal. Some of the hardcore riders get a new bike every year. They dump the old one, which can still be a mighty nice bike. You may have to consider a good deal as $500 for a $2000 bike.

Alternately, Nashbar has some very good deals at all price levels. They tend to be best at the end of summer, but some inventory may linger.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 10:56:57 AM by Acastus »

GuitarStv

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 11:09:05 AM »
Hand me downs from the "Lycra head" type of cycling club can be a very good deal. Some of the hardcore riders get a new bike every year. They dump the old one, which can still be a mighty nice bike. You may have to consider a good deal as $500 for a $2000 bike.

Alternately, Nashbar has some very good deals at all price levels. They tend to be best at the end of summer, but some inventory may linger.

The only issue with cycling club used stuff is that it's likely to be very performance oriented.  This can be lovely when you're doing a 100km fast ride on smooth country roads . . . and kinda miserable when you're trying to get several bags of groceries home over potholes and street car tracks amid the traffic in a light drizzle.  :P

teltic

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2018, 03:19:48 PM »
THANK YOU ALL.

I'll head to a bike shop on Monday. 

https://offerup.com/item/detail/438386694/?ref=Search

Thoughts on this?  Ah man, I'll just go to a bike shop before I do any further research.

Again thank you :)

teltic

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2018, 04:28:44 PM »
Do you guys pay for tune ups?  The local bike shop charges $75 for a tune up... How often do I need to do this for a bike?

Primm

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2018, 05:19:30 PM »
Do you guys pay for tune ups?  The local bike shop charges $75 for a tune up... How often do I need to do this for a bike?

Good god no! They won't do anything you can't do yourself, except maybe true your wheels, but even that can be done without fancy equipment. Although it is a tedious job.

Start here, with Sheldon Brown. It's a bit of an 80s website design-wise, but it has everything you will ever need to know about servicing your bike. Also GCN (Global Cycling Network) have a youtube channel with a lot of helpful videos.

GuitarStv

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2018, 05:27:16 PM »
Do you guys pay for tune ups?  The local bike shop charges $75 for a tune up... How often do I need to do this for a bike?

I do about 99% of my own repairs, but that number has slowly increased over the years as I've run into more (and more varied) problems.  Everything on a bike will eventually fail if you use it regularly.

The shifting goes out of adjustment, the wheels go out of true, the brake pads need aligning/adjusting, the chain/cassette/chainrings will wear out, the tires go bald, the tubes get punctures, the bearings will need to be replaced/re-greased, shift/brake cables (and housings) will need to be replaced.  Fortunately, it's not too hard to fix stuff (occasionally you'll need special tools).  You can get most of the information you need from:
- https://www.sheldonbrown.com/repairs.html   and
- https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

Just be patient, remember that if you're forcing it you've probably done something wrong, and don't get upset about it if you need to bring something into the shop occasionally because it's beyond your ability.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2018, 06:35:06 AM »
I do most of my own work but the nearest bike shop to me has very reasonable rates and usually turns things around very quickly outside of spring and early summer when every LBS is slammed.

Iíve hired them to true wheels, re-index a rear derailer I couldnít get adjusted for the life of me, and replace a completely shot headset. I recently bought a new bike from them, so once itís broken in Iíll also take advantage of the free adjustment. When I bought it, I also gladly paid them the $10 in labor they wanted to mount my fenders and bike rack. I can do that myself, but itís a PITA to adjust everything and honestly I would have paid at least $5 just buying some of the hardware I was missing or that needed to change to fit the new bike versus my very well loved year-round commuter.

So YMMV. If articles and YouTube donít work for your learning style, see if your area has a bike co-op where you can pay a little bit of $ for help but get to learn the process in person.

frugaliknowit

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2018, 06:49:28 AM »
Test ride, test ride, test ride.

A bike becomes part of your body.  You want it to "fit" and be comfortable.  I would not buy one on-line if you have not tried it.

In my case I use and prefer "flat bar" for commuting and "drop bar" for leisure/distance riding. 

ElleFiji

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2018, 08:34:26 AM »
I do none of my own repairs. My bike shop does free checkups and minor work, and anything that needs parts and they have to charge me, they type in assorted discount codes and I pay maybe $5 above the price of the part.

They are in an area where they make shit tons of money off of people who can easily afford it. So they take care of people like me.

Laserjet3051

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2018, 11:05:35 AM »
OP, I live in the area. There are so many GREAT deals on used bikes on Craigslist in this area, I would start there. Figure out what type of bike you need, inclusing size and fit, then narrow your choices down on CL and go check top candidates out. Some folks advertising their (older) bikes on CL don't even realize their true value. Take advantage of that!

bryan995

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2018, 02:25:44 PM »
I live in SD as well. Great place for biking! 

This may be controversial ... but have you considered an e-bike?
I recently purchased one myself as a car replacement. Work is 5 miles each way with some large hills. Most other stores are < 5 miles. The e-bike isn’t necessary, but it sure makes biking fun and easy.  Very easy to accelerate up to and maintain a 28mph speed (which makes bike commuting very fast!).   

I use the motor most mornings to ensure I don’t arrive to work sweaty. Then on the way home I can lower the assist and get in some cardio. The motor has also allowed me to go from no biking to only biking from day one onwards.

The other thing about e-bikes, is that because there is less of a demand for them in the US, you can rake in some hefty savings on last year models.  Remaining 2017 stock can be had at ~50-60% off right now.  Haibike is my brand of choice.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 07:25:24 PM by bryan995 »

teltic

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Re: New or Used Bike?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2018, 10:42:29 AM »
I live in SD as well. Great place for biking! 

This may be controversial ... but have you considered an e-bike?
I recently purchased one myself as a car replacement. Work is 5 miles each way with some large hills. Most other stores are < 5 miles. The e-bike isnít necessary, but it sure makes biking fun and easy.  Very easy to accelerate up to and maintain a 28mph speed (which makes bike commuting very fast!).   

I use the motor most mornings to ensure I donít arrive to work sweaty. Then on the way home I can lower the assist and get in some cardio. The motor has also allowed me to go from no biking to only biking from day one onwards.

The other thing about e-bikes, is that because there is less of a demand for them in the US, you can rake in some hefty savings on last year models.  Remaining 2017 stock can be had at ~50-60% off right now.  Haibike is my brand of choice.

Not a bad idea... It would be 100% badass to ride my bike to the beach and back... But theres a major hill, and I'd die if I had to pedal it.  But with electric? Hmm... I'll do some research on this!!  Thanks!