Low cost single speed?

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Low cost single speed?

Postby artwebb » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:13 am

Anyone know of a low cost single speed mountain style bike? I prefer the good rider control of this style of bike to a Cruiser's more upright, less controled possition, but don't need 21 speeds in a small Texas town that's fairly flat. I did have a 24" Bmx bike years back that worked well for me, but those seem to have dissapeared from lower cost manufacturers offerings in the years I've been a non rider (it was a Huffy or a Roadmaster, I think, and believe it or not, a decent bike (which means probably a Huffy) anyway, I'm digging the idea of a bike once again, and can find no low cost options I like
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Postby Billy K » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:27 am

Look and or ask around at a Good Will or Salvation Army, the managers may know of a "bike-man" who buys, rebuilds, sells used bikes.

That's where the bikes I got as kid always came from. I still see a few of those guys around.

Bikes $25 and up ! is what I saw on sign in OK or TX...??
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:26 am

You may not have hills, but you do have wind. :fan:

We live in an area where the last great glaciation planed the land FLAT. my MTB and our tandem both have a very esoteric gearing system (half step) to make up for the average 15mph winds.
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Postby artwebb » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:37 am

That's a good point. Shadow, and maybe a three-speed might be benificial, but the complexity of 21 gears is off putting to me, and I rode in Austin (hills and wind) with single speeds quite happily pretty much all my life till I lost interest, and I think a single speed would suit me right down to the ground right now. (maybe if I had pretentions of speed I'd be happy with gears)
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Postby Conestoga » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:02 pm

I don't know if anyone else has similar memories, but I do remember as a kid getting my first bike with multiple gears. I had wanted the upgrade so badly. Once I learned how to get the best out of the gearing, there was no going back to a single speed.

Let's assume many bike riders only use 4 or 5 gears on the 7-gear rear cluster on a 21-speed bike. This being the case, I agree, the extra hardware at the crank seems to add unnecessary complexity.

However, driving on relatively level surfaces you can just set the chain on the middle chain wheel and use only the gears at the rear.

I love bikes and was going to write more, but this article says everything and better:

http://bicycletutor.com/gear-shifting/
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Postby emiller » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:32 pm

I went with a vintage ballon tire bike and like it better than my other two bikes. paid $80.00 for it and sunk in another $600.00. You wouldn't have to get all fancy like me and re chrome everything on it but you can pick up some nice bikes at yard sales or even your local pawn shop. Here is what I have
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Postby artwebb » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:11 am

Emiler, that is a VERY cool old cruiser. thank you for posting pics, I really enjoyed them. However, the riding posture on those bikes is a problem for me, as I wind up in a comfortable sitting position with my hands next to my knees, which leaves me feeling wobbly and not in control. This is why I prefer the posture on a MTB.
Conestoga thank you for that link, was very informative. I still don't WANT gears but at least now I have an understanding of how to use them without confusion. Hard to believe that info was not in the owner's manual of the first (and only) geared bike I ever owned. Also, websites on my faves list now, maybe I'll learn more about a once beloved sport I abandoned now that I'm renewing my interest.
My wife's mother bought her a cruiser type bike, and the one time I rode it, I HATED it. It's a La Jola from WalMart, which I thought would be better than the Cranbrook. What it is is almost unrideable. The wife now wants the trike WalMart sells (she is very out of condition and ovrweight) and I'll probably get it for her eventualy, but it's a slow bike, I'd rather have fun!
Maybe I could get a cruiser and change the bars. Or get an MTB and gange the crank and rear wheel
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Postby Conestoga » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:30 am

artwebb wrote:...
Maybe I could get a cruiser and change the bars. Or get an MTB and gange the crank and rear wheel


I know what you mean about cruisers, the actual riding ergonomics are not good. And MTBs are not exactly comfortable. However there is a middle ground with a somewhat "upright" riding position. My other half has one and it's very nice. It's something like this,
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bi ... vigator20/
This one is only 7-speed and might be more to your liking:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bi ... vigator10/

*I'm not trying to sell anything, just referring to pictures.
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Postby artwebb » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:39 am

That second option might work, if I can find one like that in a lower cost brand. Just don't have a 'trek' budget. I think, though, I've seen a mongoose like that on WalMart's site. That might be my baby. (I know, I'd be happier with the Trek. Budget just won't do it)
Thank you, connestoga, you've been very helpful. I wonder if a 'comuter' bike will stand up to the abuse an immature 43 year old is likely to dish out?
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Postby Conestoga » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:27 pm

I've had the same chromoly MTB for 20 years. I had test-driven every bike that was my size in the shop, and ended up getting the ugly duckling that was on sale ... because the frame geometry was perfect for me. Nowadays the frame is an ugly mess and I've replaced many parts but it's still my bike.

Always test ride before parting with your money. The length of the "top tube" is a secret ingredient that is rarely mentioned. You can adjust the seat and the handlebars to some degree but you cannot change the size of your torso and you cannot change the geometry of the frame so get one that fits. You will know instinctively - when you sit on it and reach over and grab the bars it will whisper one of the following: "your torso is too short", "your gonna do a nose-plant" or "you're ok kid!". :lol:

Find a bike that fits you perfectly and feels right. If you love it, you will love riding it, and will want to learn everything about it, including the things that don't interest you now.

What makes a new bike inexpensive is cheap components and construction, they look fine but they don't hold up to offroad use or abuse. A quality bike minimizes the chances for frustration, and a decent used one will cost about the same price as a new cheapie. I am not up to date on brands or what's currently available, however a quick search on the Navigator yielded a nice selection
http://craiglook.com/all.html?q=trek+navigator

Keep an eye on craigslist and your local classifieds.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me.
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Postby Rob » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:09 pm

Our local university has a bike auction twice a year. They are the bikes abandoned by graduating students. There are all sorts of bikes available. Any nearby options for you there?
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Postby tk » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:44 pm

The owner of the bike shop we patronize made his own "fixed gear" bike from an old road bike. If you're handy, just find an old MTB with a quality frame that fits you, fix it up with the gearing you want, replace/repair other parts as needed and go like hell. If you're not so mechanically inclined, perhaps you could find a bike shop to do the mods and repairs for you.

Best,
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Postby mikeschn » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:57 pm

I bought a cross trail last year for myself. It ended up being so comfortable that Chell went and got one for herself too.

They are not that expensive, and they are even less if you buy them used.

For example...

Image

Of course, you'll want to test ride it first, to make sure it fits you...

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Postby artwebb » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:25 pm

My town of residence, Columbus, Texas, has a population of less than 6000 mostly old farts who could care less about a bike, and would get it from WalMart if they did want one, so guess where the ONLY place to buy a bike here is? :lol:
Nearest large city is Houston or Austin, unless you count Brenham, which might have a bike shop. Is a WalMart bike by Mongoose realy that bad? I'll look on Craigslist Houston and see what I see
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Postby Fenlason » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:39 am

artwebb wrote:My town of residence, Columbus, Texas, has a population of less than 6000 mostly old farts who could care less about a bike, and would get it from WalMart if they did want one, so guess where the ONLY place to buy a bike here is? :lol:
Nearest large city is Houston or Austin, unless you count Brenham, which might have a bike shop. Is a WalMart bike by Mongoose realy that bad? I'll look on Craigslist Houston and see what I see


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