Get a decent lock before you get your bike...fuck bike thieves.
There are some community projects out there who will basically give you the parts and let you use their tools to get the job done. Goodwon't has used bikes for sale (not cheap). Craigslist has 'em by the assload on the cheap...
I'm not sure how to avoid purchasing stolen shit, but a bill of sale or a transaction in front of the cop shop might help.
There are a few people out there who love traveling with their bikes and even put them on trains.
Well there's a few ways you can go here. Personally I prefer something with parts that are easy to find and low maintenance, a basic 3 speed. There are even touring bikes that you can fit into a backpack, but they cost a pretty penny and aren't the most efficient for long distance peddling.
As michael said there are places that will let you build your own bike out of free parts if you put in some work for them. I remember one place in asheville (can't remember the name) where if you build a bike for them you can build your own bike for free.
Yeah in my city there are two organizations that can be googled (Rochester NY) and they have bikes that are donated (I've sent severaal of my older?bored WIP bikes) there. Both howeer - if I recall require recipient to go through a how to ride course and/or to work for community hours to hellp out on other free community bikes to be handed out (and also to be more bike savvy).
Well compared to what you have already, a skateboard; almost any bike will get you around faster. Probably even a discarded but still working department store bike rusted to crap. If you live in an area with no serious hills, a single-speed bike would suffice and be less work to maintain and service(though gears exist for a reason, and are preferable if you want to get around as fast and efficient as possible).
You can get a serviceable new bike for $450 at any dedicated bike store, which may sound like alot, but compared to other modes of transportation it is a bargain if you take care of it and if it lasts for years or a decade. Not to mention that a bike is more than just transport, it is also a good way to exercise, explore, and a form of entertainment. Used bikes for less can be found on craigslist, ebay or pinkbike. If you check out scrap metal yards, dumps, thrift stores, yard sales, your town's metal recycling you can probably find the cheapest bike possible, but the likelihood of such bikes being in top notch shape or running well without added work, is much less. There is a good website on finding and restoring used vintage bicycles called My Ten Speeds, that lists strategies for finding such bikes for free or at little cost. The downside is that such older bikes are often heavier and use the more difficult and harder to master friction shifting, instead of the newer, more regular indexed shifting.
I went for a bike ride and I checked behind this local bike shop that usually has many unwanted/obsolete bikes behind it left to the store by people/customers and there must have well over 10 there. I don't know what they do what they do with those bikes. I also remember being in NYC when I bought my Brompton folder at NYCeWheels and some lady brought her bike there, saying it just took up space and she didn't want it and gave it to the store.
I figure a decent amount of people try to dump their unwanted bikes on such bicycle shops who have no interest in selling them. You could ask the store or just take one if they leave it in the open.
Craigslist. This is my first stop for all goods I need in life except food. Bikes are like packs, skis, excerise equipment & most everything else American consumers buy and intend on using and don't. Don't pay retail! Let them buy high end stuff & then allow them to tire of it & then buy cheap on cl. It's also often my first choice traveling, looking for work, aps
, cars etc
Bikes rock. I am a fan of Specialized, Trek, Garry Fischer, Giant, Cannondale, and Ghost bikes.
You need to determine the style of bike your aiming for Road, Mountain, Racing, or BMX. Wouldn't recommend BMX as a choice in your line up.
I prefer hybrids, like mountain-road bikes or racing bikes. Regular mountain bikes, though durable, tend to be a slower less control bikes.
I prefer shifters with the clickers, the grip shifters.dont tend to last as long.
I would suggest, if you are buying a bike, goodwills, thrift shops, garage sales, offer up, or craigslist. Getting an older high end bike (90s) is far better then buying a newer low end. I got a 90s Specialized Hard Rock in mint condition for under $25 at the Federal Way goodwill.
Make sure you buy a bike pump and verse yourself in the art of flat tires, patching tubes, and adjusting breaks.
Vasoline is your bikes best friend. Lube that baby up, weekly. Stay away from WD 40, itll fuck your shit up.
Bike U locks are a must. Dont go cheap. And bike trailers and rear racks are also a strong suggested items.
Dont ever let anyone ride your bike. It never pans out good.
I find Craigs to be the most helpful. I'd look for late 80's through early 90's MTB's. Rigid front and rear, always pick a larger size than normal, steel preferably in mostly original condition. I look for $150 or less price range in very good condition minimum. I also look at the freewheel or cassette teeth to judge overall condition especially when the bike is dirty and been in storage. Expect to buy new tires, tubes and tire liners.
old school 70s schwinn, usually cheap and can make them do what you need for cheap.
Just disregard weight.
Chicago schwinn will outlast your abuse. heavy side yes. but usually cheap and easily upgradeable for cheap.
Consider calling a Police Department. They often bring in abandoned bicycles that have been suspected as being stolen. They often have rooms that these are stored in and after a month they are put up for silent auction. (you bid on the bike(s) you want on a card and drop it in a box). Generally the public doesn't know much about this. But you get a receipt from the Police Dept when you purchased the bike there so if there is ever a question or someone claims that the bike you purchased was the bike that was stolen from them then you'll have recourse. .
In my home town they have had so much of this that they are giving them away to the City Mission so that the homeless or semi homeless can have conveyance to get around food banks, Churches which offer free lunches and dinners to the down and out, and used clothing hand out facilities Church groups maintain.
When I was out in the Loveland, Colorado area years ago I saw a bicycle shop called the "Recyclery" which got donated bikes, and took them apart and rebuilt them while offering them for an affordable price. The workers
were being trained or retrained in all aspects of bicycles. It was a very interesting place.
It’s weird how the heyday of community bike projects seems to have passed, I thought it should get bigger...gentrification I guess. Maybe they’ll be back.
I love old ten speeds and I like how that site gives advice on how to assess! Getting a bike-savvy pal to go along with you could also be a good move.
I don’t have any super new ideas- craigslist, local shops, yard sales, thrift stores can be surprisingly awesome- but I did read an interesting freakonomics type piece on bike resale values. said used bike actually tend to be cheaper in places where bikes are less popular and therefore less common. The opposite of what you’d think about supply-demand but it makes sense if you think of the inflation somewhere bike culture is really hip.
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