This could probably go under emergency preparedness, but since there is a category about Bicycling, I’ll put it here.
I am currently considering purchasing a bike for a ‘my car broke down and/or missing parts and cannot be fixed and I still have work to go to and need to buy groceries’ kind of scenario.
Any thoughts recommendations? Something very simple wrt riding and upkeep. Complete newbie here (to my shame, I think I was 10 the last time I rode a bike). With room for shopping basket. I live in suburban area with almost no walking /bike trails. So it would most likely mean riding on the road.
Having looked around a bit on what is advertised, I found price range from 100$ to 15000$? Somewhat confusing to compare. Since I’d need to buy 2 (or 4 if I’m buying duplicates), my top range is probably ~500$ each… otherwise I’ll be walking.
Any tools I’d need for the simple upkeep?
Thank you for advice. Hoping I’m not too late for this.
You can spend a mint on bike tools, just like on the bikes. But as an absolute minimum, you’ll need chain cleaner/lube, a good pump, a few spare tubes, a patch kit, and tire levers. Bikes are pretty bulletproof these day but flats are still a regular occurrence.
Most important, invest in a couple of quality helmets. The ER is the last place one wants to be in today’s environment.
Get used. Depreciation on high end bikes is ridiculous. I would suggest a “mountain bike” frame as they are rugged. Go for “city slicker” tires, since the knobby tires of a regular bike make for a harsh ride on the pavement. Lots of good brands – trek/giant/mongoose/etc which would normally cost big bucks but can be had in your price range in the gently used bin. go to a few mountain biking websites and educate yourself, and you’ll save a ton of money. Don’t go for the crazy light stuff its money wasted. you want ruggedness and durability, not tour de France performance. Hope this helps.
TWalker5 wrote: Most important, invest in a couple of quality helmets. The ER is the last place one wants to be in today’s environment.
This! Even if you don’t ride fast, the SUV that clips you can have your head on the pavement before you can put an arm out to break the fall. Seriously, I’d be jello in a wheelchair several times over without the series of helmets I’ve burned through. Also, gloves, either full- or half-fingered, help a lot when it comes time (and it will) to catch yourself on the pavement.
travelbug007 is probably right about used. Look around at local bike shops, they sometimes have deals on trade-ins or when customers won’t pay a repair ticket. Craigslist can turn up some good prices too.
Yeah, a used mountain bike is probably the best. Keep it simple, with no or only front suspension. Also, look at gravel bikes. They look sort of like road bikes, but have fatter tires and are suited to gravel roads and even light off-road use. Kind of trendy now, so $$$, but still something you ought to be aware of.
ps: Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance is the classic DIY reference book. There’s a corresponding road bike book too.
Thank you all, I’ll definitely check out used & the manuals.
My thoughts in no particular order:
I love bikes, I think they’ll be a big part of the transportation future. I’ve ridden them off and on for exercise. Last year I rode an e-bike and it got me off the couch I’d been riding for a few years. IMHO they are really, really, fun.
I go back and forth with buyers remorse of my Trek. I got the one that can go up to 28 mph. Just today I passed a truck (on the right) that was doing the 25 mph speed limit on the (pretty much 1) road we have that is bike/car friendly. In downtown I do better than cars due to being faster off the lights (or I can run them). I’m definitely not some super cyclist, in reasonably good shape.
The reason I have buyers remorse is that the alternative to buying a premade ebike is to build one yourself, which I’d also like to do in the future. The site I’ve found I would most likely use is Grin Technologies: https://ebikes.ca/
There’s alot of informative stuff on that site for anyone who wants to dig deeper.
I’m just throwing that out there. You mentioned using it for groceries and going to work and so forth. I feel reasonably safe in traffic with the additional speed, more so than I would on a regular bike. That being said, if there are cars around at all, anytime anywhere, you have to pretend you are invisible. Cars will cut you off and won’t even know they did. Wear bright colors, bright helmet. Lights on the bike. This safety applies doubly so for a regular bike.
I’ve contemplated building a couple of bikes and then renting them, they are renting the scooters nowadays. I believe this is the airbnb of bikes: https://www.spinlister.com/
You mentioned buying duplicates, I assume for parts. I would just buy the parts that most break down or need replacing. You’re also buying 4 frames if you buy 4 and you really don’t need 4 frames, or alot of the other parts either most likely.
I don’t consider myself to necessarily be gentle with my things or how I use them sometimes. Curbs will be hit and other things will happen regardless. I think Shimano dominates most of the parts and most of them are fairly durable. I can’t think of much that has had outright broken and needed replacing. Chains for sure is the only thing that comes to mind.
I’m pretty lazy about doing my own maintenance or any maintenance at all for that matter. I’d like to learn from a mechanic sometime how to maintain and fix it all properly. You can put alot of bikes (not wal mart crap) through quite a bit.
“Don’t go for the crazy light stuff its money wasted. you want ruggedness and durability, not tour de France performance.” — this for sure.
You’ll probably want to look at a commuter or hybrid type style, with a rack on the back or ability to install a rack. On the rack you will hang bags of some type (for the groceries). There are all sorts of bags. I read reviews on the Wirecutter and got a couple. My favorite out of the 2 is the Arkel Bug pannier backpack. Never done a front basket but I saw they have reviews of those too.
If I built an ebike out of a new bike, I was thinking I might order it from here:
I am definitely no connoisseur of bikes, generally speaking. I think the brands the site above sells are of fairly decent quality and the pricing seemed to be the best I could find at the time. They sell alot of Motobecane which I think is decent based on a little bit of research I did and I think I read some of the reviews on the site.
“trek/giant/mongoose/etc which would normally cost big bucks but can be had in your price range in the gently used bin” — Yes.
If you ever electrify it you’ll want good brakes.
Going back to me being lazy, the last thing I ever want to have happen is a flat. I accidentally got on a trail that I had no business being on. It was the most washed out, rutted out, full of rocks of all sizes, trail I have ever been on. I was worried one of the rocks would poke a hole in the tubeless tires that I have. If they didn’t go flat on that trail, I don’t know what would cause them to. They are just whatever comes stock on the Trek ebikes. They are wide, non-knobby. I think they are around $150 each. If it was me, I would put those or something like those on any bike I road and have some solid piece of mind, I know I do. I think the tubeless technology is pretty spot on these days, others here know better I’m sure.
I haven’t looked too hard into how to do security of (the battery in particular) in the ebike scenario. There’s a few places I’ve contemplated moving to where I’m pretty sure I could rent lots of bikes, and security would mostly be a non-issue, which is a nice plus. There’s all sorts of trackers you can put, hidden and not hidden. There’s a service called Boomerang that you can attach to your bike and there’s even an alarm, makes your phone go off if the bike is vibrated for example. It’s pretty cool actually imo.
One advantage of having a crappy looking, non electrified bike, is maybe not even having to worry about using a bike lock.
I’m not necessarily trying to steer you to electrify. There’s nothing wrong at all with a regular ‘ole bike. It’s just that they are so fun.
I get they depend on the electricity being there. One reason the DIY route is appealing, fairly simple and easy to de-electrify.
Don’t forget you’ll want a comfortable SEAT. They have all different kinds of seat posts you could put on a used (or new) bike to make it more comfortable if needed.
Thanks for all the info.
Yes, I realize the dangers of road biking. In fact, where I live (and my commute) is really not bike friendly. My thinking is that there will probably be less cars on the road eventually.
These are really great bike utility trailers, if you are looking for a way to haul stuff: