Fitness Minutes: (29,082)
75 7/26/13 2:14 P
LOSINGFORBABY, I had the same exact situation about 5 years ago. I had a broken down car, that was hugely unreliable and up for new tags and I knew there was no way it would pass inspection. So I decided to bike commute to work until I got enough money for a new-Used car. I just went to Target and got a cheap $50 bike. I loved it!!!!! I parked my car and never started it again (in fact I sold it for parts.) I bike to work, to the grocery store, anywhere I need to go. I can bike all year, as long as I take precautions like: always have water, wear sunscreen and sun protection, wear a helmet, and try to stay on bike friendly streets. But you couldn't get me to give up my bike now. I don't have to worry about gas, insurance, tags, and my maintenance costs are usually around $20 a year. I would recommend it!
Fitness Minutes: (130,440)
1,369 7/26/13 1:55 P
That is so great that you will become a commuter city/town cyclist and ditch the car! Kudos. I like the sound of visiting the guy who fixes and also sells bikes. You would be able to try a few different ones and he would be able to make seat and handlebar height adjustments and help you out in the future. Cycling has been my main way of getting around for decades. I've always had a clunker, a non-appealing bike in thieves eyes. For me, I've needed one that is stripped down and light. Helmet is important. Don't get one used. They are only good for one crash. A little portable pump and a patch kit, a couple of clip-on reflector lights for night riding (little lights that flash red or white and clip on to your clothes or bag) and you're good to go. If you live where it snows or there a lot of cobblestones, I'd think about wider tires. You'll never need more than 3 speeds and a lot of people would say just one speed is perfect. It is so fun to fly where you need to go and to not have to plod or pollute. It is liberating. I hope you have a blast.
Good luck! I biked to work when I lived in San Francisco. It was a great option for me till my bike got stolen (I did have it locked up too). Invest in a good lock and make you you have a backup plan in the event you need a ride home.
Fitness Minutes: (3,429)
634 7/25/13 10:14 P
Thanks all! I will look into the team. Planning to get sized soon. I have a few friends who may have some giveaway options and another friend who knows of a great used shop run by a guy who likes to fix bikes, and apparently always has a large selection with incredibly reasonable rates, so that sounds like a great option.
There's a very active cycling team on here that would love to help you with this question - http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_ messageboard.asp?board=0x1670
Fitness Minutes: (10,640)
116 7/25/13 3:54 P
I would go to a local bike shop and get properly fitted. Riding a bike that is either to big or to small for you will can cause knee, hip, and back issues. When you go tell them what you need and your price range. They have bikes in all price ranges. Also, shop around and do a little haggling. I was able to talk them down on my current road bike by a couple hundred dollars (in addition to using my bike for commuting, I also use it for triathlons and century bike rides). A lot of bike shops are now starting to clearance their inventory for winter so you may get some good deals.
For the type of bike I would go with either a hybrid or road. A road bike, like the name implies, is only to be used on the road and not on trails. Those bikes have the skinny tires and curved handle bars. A hybrid is a cross between a road and mountain bike. The tires are fatter and it's a little bit more heavy duty. The handle bars are not curved. these bikes can be used on the road and on trails. These are very popular bikes because they are very universal.
Whatever bike you decide to get, make sure you get some basic equipment (tube, CO2 cartridge, levers, saddle bag) and know how to change a flat. If you get your bike at a local bike shop they will not only help you get everything you need for your bike but they will also teach you how to change a flat.
I wish I had the option of ditching my car and just commuting by bike. But living in Chicago makes it darn near impossible (and dangerous) to bike 6 months out of the year.
Fitness Minutes: (43,615)
4,576 7/25/13 3:26 P
LFB - depends on the bike shop. The local (mom & pop) bike shop here sells used bikes; the franchise store in the next town doesn't.
Keep in mind if you're biking to work, you'll want panniers to carry your stuff and a rack to carry it on. If you'll be biking in the dark/semi-dark, you may also want a reflective vest to make yourself more visible to traffic and maybe even lights for your bike.
Fitness Minutes: (3,429)
634 7/25/13 11:10 A
I'll certainly wear a helmet (that's a law in these here parts). Would you suggest going to a bike shop even if I'm hoping to get a used bike? We're hoping most of the money from selling the car will go into savings to put toward a more reliable car later on, so while I'll have some money to play with, not wanting to pay new if I can get a good, used bike.
Make sure you wear a helmet! Other than that, I would go to a bike shop and express your needs. Hopefully that way you'll get the best bike for you.
Fitness Minutes: (3,429)
634 7/25/13 10:57 A
I'm thinking about selling my unreliable car and getting a bike. Note: other than spin bikes in an exercise class, I've not been on a bike in YEARS. I want something decent that will last awhile, but will likely be "shopping" on craigslist to keep cost down. What should I look for? What do I need to know?
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