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Need recommendations for commuter bike

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Need recommendations for commuter bike

Old 06-10-19, 02:44 PM
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sodapopgirl
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Need recommendations for commuter bike

My husband and I need some advice. He has to go up and down a few curbs on a five mile round trip ride to work that he makes 5-6 days a week. Something in the price range of $200-$350 is our price range. We could possibly invest a bit more money into buying the bike, but finances are extremely tight. I bought an x-pec 21 inch 26 gear foldable bike on Amazon for about $250, and it has not been a good bike. We lost our car 2 years ago, and had no idea what kind of bike to get, so the x-pec purchase was made quickly and with very little knowledge of what we really needed. We have purchased 2 of the x-pec bikes.....they seem to last for about a year, but there are things that donít necessarily render the bike unusable, but make it an aggravation to ride. For instance, the bike has stayed in gear 2 for the last year, because changing gears causes the chain to come off and a grinding sound starts up. It is time to buy another bike, and we just donít have enough knowledge to make a confident decision. I appreciate any and all advice you can give to us.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sodapopgirl View Post
My husband and I need some advice. He has to go up and down a few curbs on a five mile round trip ride to work that he makes 5-6 days a week. Something in the price range of $200-$350 is our price range. We could possibly invest a bit more money into buying the bike, but finances are extremely tight. I bought an x-pec 21 inch 26 gear foldable bike on Amazon for about $250, and it has not been a good bike. We lost our car 2 years ago, and had no idea what kind of bike to get, so the x-pec purchase was made quickly and with very little knowledge of what we really needed. We have purchased 2 of the x-pec bikes.....they seem to last for about a year, but there are things that donít necessarily render the bike unusable, but make it an aggravation to ride. For instance, the bike has stayed in gear 2 for the last year, because changing gears causes the chain to come off and a grinding sound starts up. It is time to buy another bike, and we just donít have enough knowledge to make a confident decision. I appreciate any and all advice you can give to us.
In my opinion, it's time for routine maintenance, not a new bike. I mean, it's always time for another bike, but shifting issues are an easy fix 99% of the time. Far less than $250 on a 7sp rear, even if you replace the full drivetrain save the wheelset. Which is almost surely not necessary.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:54 PM
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If you're cost sensitive and willing to do a little yourselves, sheldonbrown.com and park tools websites are excellent even if you're starting from very little knowledge.
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Old 06-10-19, 08:54 PM
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I agree with the other replies. You can adjust the derailleur and shifting will be fine. All bikes, regardless of cost, need this kind of maintenance.

Or spend $50 and take it to a bike shop for a simple tune up.

Itís your money, but Iíd hate to see you spend $300 and have the same issues with the new bike a year from now.
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Old 06-11-19, 05:58 AM
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Or find a local bike coop where people will help you fix the bike and possibly supply you with affordable used spare parts.
If new bike, keep an eye on the used market (craigslist, etc.) and try before buying.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:40 AM
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Do you absolutely need a foldable bike? If you could make do with a traditional bike, you would have a lot more options in that price range.
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Old 06-11-19, 01:07 PM
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Help is available...

Try a local co-op. Some of the people working there are amazingly resourceful.
Do a YouTube search for...
. All you'll need is a couple of small hand tools.
Seek out the kindness of strangers on a local trail head or bike route. Eventually someone will help you or at least point you in the right (local) direction.

If, after exhausting the list above you're still not rolling then hit craigslist for a deal. Don't buy a folder or anything older than you are.


-Kedosto
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Old 06-12-19, 01:10 AM
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Quick points:

1. I wouldn't invest £50 in a tune-up on a £250 bike. That's throwing good money after bad. Especially if the components aren't good.

2. I would get a full-size bike unless you absolutely need the folding component as they don't ride well and the hinge point will be poor (flex/sound/etc...)

3. I would initially get a bike at a shop (either second hand) or at a large chain with mechanics.

4. Will you work on the bike yourself. If it's you sole transportation, I would recommend that, but it will involve an outlay in tools at the beginning (minimum of £50) and you'll need clean/dry space to work within. Most people don't want the hassle.

I'm not living in the US any longer, over here (UK), I would buy something at Halford or Decathlon. Both are large chains that sell more than bikes, have mechanics and could do a substitution/warranty work should it fail.

People that state that money is tight and you're car-free (perhaps not by choice) need something reliable first at it is their sole transport. This story sound like your a little down and out, thus, I would get a new bike to uplift your spirits, while you climb back on your horse.

In that case, I wouldn't buy second hand as it will require cleaning / service and extra time ... you need something ready to go now ... just like a car.

I would look around at places like REI that have a good warranty (I assume they have servicing and would be able to honour the warranty in house).

Over here (UK), I would go with:

https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bik...e-18-21-frames

for £130 as it's quite solid, it would also be assembled well.

In the US, I would go with:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/700C-Schw...Black/47761534

for $319 from WalMart and would have a bike shop double-check the assembly for around $50.

That final bike is excellent value for money (seriously excellent) and someone here rode one all winter long without failure.

I'll try to track that thread down.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:11 AM
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Here is the thread:

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting...n-central.html

Paging @medic75 for feedback on the bicycle.
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Old 06-12-19, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Here is the thread:

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting...n-central.html

Paging @medic75 for feedback on the bicycle.
First, I want to clarify that I didn't read through this entire thread.

As for the Schwinn, this think it was good for the price I payed. It performed its intended job well. I kept the chain oiled and sprayed the salt off on a regular basis throughout the winter season. Because it is the typical big box bike, it does not come in different frame sizes, and it was slightly small for me. IIRC the frame measured equivalent to a 17.5" Trek MTB. This bike is not enjoyable for me, likely due to the small frame size. Personally, I would not pay full price for this bike. For the sale price, I consider it a utilitarian tool that will do a job. It is a step up from the typical big box bike, but I wouldn't call it great. If given the time, I would find a better quality used bike with the options I needed - full fenders, disc brakes, & a rack. I am sure, if someone had the time, they could find a better deal on the used market.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by EGBigelo View Post
I agree with the other replies. You can adjust the derailleur and shifting will be fine. All bikes, regardless of cost, need this kind of maintenance.

Or spend $50 and take it to a bike shop for a simple tune up.

Itís your money, but Iíd hate to see you spend $300 and have the same issues with the new bike a year from now.


Thank you for your reply. My husband, unfortunately, doesn't really know anything about his bike. He is forced to use the bike for transportation, and has been resistant to learning how to do routine maintenance and replacements. To be honest I don't even know what a derailleur is, but I'm going to go look after leaving this comment here. A guy also gave us a website to use for referencing when we do repairs or maintenance, and I'll be checking out that one as well. My husband's biggest complaint is the squeaking his shocks make, and according to him there is no way to introduce WD40 into the components since it's a sealed system. I think I may have to just start learning about how bike and it's parts and start doing some of this work myself. We went ahead and bought a bike. It was a Golden Cycle Vader Fixie for about $220. We are going to commit ourselves from this point forward in learning it's parts, maintenance, and replacements.....thanks again.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:26 PM
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Thank you for your reply. We went with a Golden Cycle Vader Fixie. At this point we don't know much about bikes, and that's to our detriment as it's our only transportation. I really left it up to my husband to learn and understand as I don't ride the bike, but he has been resistant to doing so.....but I'm going to take charge and begin learning the bike parts, maintenance, and such....thanks again for your reply.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for the link to the video!! Will check out soon. I am really beginning to learn all the parts and self repairing/maintenance.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:41 PM
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Thank you so much for your reply. I have visited the website you left for me, and it's very helpful, and will come in handy as I learn the bike parts. My husband just has not taken the time to learn so when something breaks he just wants me to buy a new bike, and since reading a lot of the comments here as well as yours I've spoken with him about learning the parts and maintenance since this will save us a lot of money in the long run. I also live in a very rural area with no biking community or bicycle shops so we will really need to teach ourselves the anatomy of the bike and the repair/maintenance process to keep from spending money on replacement bikes. Thanks again.
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Old 06-13-19, 10:16 PM
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Golden Vader Fixie is a good choice if you're not looking to do much maintenance but need reliable transportation - I had a similar bike a few years back, only sold it because I had a toddler that was interested in the pedals - on a fixed gear, there's a lot of momentum and could do a lot of damage to a finger. Keep enough air in the tires to avoid pinch flats and you should enjoy the bike.

You won't really need to know much about derailleurs with that new bike, it doesn't have any - they're the part that moves the chain from one gear to the next. Bicycles are really quite simple, as much as we try to complicate them.

The squeaking from the shocks is common from the shocks on cheap bikes. Unfortunately, a good suspension front fork is several multiples of what you spent on either bike, but its not really required except for some extreme mountain biking - overkill for commuting, for sure.
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