We’re going to try to be a one-car family. My wife will drive the car, and I’ll get around on bike. I don’t want to use my two road bikes because I know they’ll either end up trashed or stolen. So I’m in the market for something that will be inexpensive but reliable. It also needs to be good in all weather conditions. I’ll use it for riding to classes and running errands. Here are some of my options:
Pros: I’ve always wanted to try ‘cross, and I would be killing two birds with one stone with the bike. It would be fast and fun to ride, and it would do well in the snow and other hostile conditions.
Cons: I’ve just spent a bunch of money on my new Moots this summer and I hate to shell out so much more for another new bike. Bad for my finances and marriage. If I liked ‘cross, I’d immediately start lusting for a better bike. The bike snob within me generally dislikes entry-level stuff.
B. Used ‘cross bike.
Pro: I could get a decent rig at a great price.
Cons: I might have to replace components soon, and I don’t need the extra headache and expense. Also, I’ve put an ad on Craigslist and no one is responding.
Pros: It would be easy to maintain, basically a worry-free, bomb-proof reliable ride. Kona has a good one called the “Bike,” and my local REI store has a comparable rig. They cost between $450-$600.
Cons: I’m still not sure if I want to spend that much money. It would be nice to keep the cash in my special savings fund for carbon race wheels.
D. Used vintage cruiser for $80.
Pros: The price is right. It would be a steel workhorse that would serve me well. I might even have money left over to buy a decent used cross bike.
Cons: After spending so much time zipping around in a Ferrari, would it be a huge letdown to drive a Ford Taurus? It would certainly be hard to impress the ladies with this machine.
E. A used Lemond Ti bike.
Pros: I’ve always wanted to own a Lemond bike! When will I ever find a used titanium model in my size for $800, maybe less if I can bargain successfully? I could build it up with some entry-level SRAM or Shimano components, and it could serve as my commuter rig and my rain bike. I’ll hate myself later if I pass on this opportunity.
Cons: I’m not sure if I want to spend $1000+ building up another bike. I also don’t have the time for it. Also, the seller hasn’t responded to my e-mail. It might be sold already.
F. A vintage Gitane touring bike for $250.
Pros: Wow, a real conversation piece. It would be comfortable, classy. I could hang racks on it for hauling groceries. The gearing would be easy on my legs. The price is right. It looks like someone really loved this bike.
Cons: The bike has Huret components. I’m having a hard enough time finding spare Campagnolo parts. How hard would it be to service Huret machinery? What if the rear derailleur broke down tomorrow? Would I need to replace the entire group?
As always, I welcome advice and suggestions from everyone!
wafflesandsteel | Filed under: bikes, cyclocross bikes, Gitane touring bike, Kona Bike, Lemond titanium frame | 4 Comments »