Trying to get a bike for the summer

Discussion in 'General' started by KJSatz, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. KJSatz

    KJSatz Well-Known Member

    I'm on an internship through the first week of August. A bike would make my life a lot easier (ten minute walk to my lab, and it would be nice to be able to bike into town instead of driving). There are two or three bike shops in town, but I haven't had a chance to visit them yet (they're actually very close to each other, which is nice). Is it common for bike shops to allow a "very short term lease" of one of their bikes? A used bike in poor condition would be alright. Or if not, how inexpensive is it possible to get a used bike for road use? Do you guys have some tips for dealing with local bike shops so I can better prepare myself for it? This is pretty much a college town, if that makes a difference. Thanks!
  2. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    In college towns, it is all about timing. There is great demand for cheap bikes in the fall, but there are students who abandon their bikes when school ends. Unfortunately, it is rather late to entice one of them to give you their bike in exchange for a 12 pack! It is still worth a try, though. Have you posted a "bike wanted" ad (and electronic equivalent)?

    Please be a good ambassador for cycling -- ride on the correct (right) side of the street and obey stop signs and lights.
  3. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    That's solid advice from Bike123. I can add to it that only LBS' that normally offer rentals (most do not) will negotiate a long-term rental.

    I would check the local CraigsList and ask around about recycling bicycle shops.
  4. abcdpeterson

    abcdpeterson Well-Known Member

    If your not planing on making many long trips, I would go with a clunker. or a cheap one at a local department store.
    you won't feel as bad if a clunker gets stolen or left out in the rain.

    Garage sales this time of year are a great place to find a cheap bike.

    if your thinking of keeping the bike long term and riding long distances on a regular bases i would spend the $'s to get a good bike. a good bike can make a long ride a LOT more enjoyable.
  5. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    I'd go for a Craigslist clunker. A ten minute walk is a 2 minute ride, and a $50 clunker can manage that easily all summer. I put a couple of thousand miles on a $35, 46 lb. Schwinn Continental commuting 13 miles/day for about half a dozen riding seasons.
  6. KJSatz

    KJSatz Well-Known Member

    Success, folks! I tried four bike shops, a thrift shop, a garage sale, and a pawn shop before I found one. I wound up dropping $60 on...well I don't know much about bikes, and it is in the back of a friend's SUV at the moment. It's a silver 26-28" (not sure) road bike with thin framing and the bent-around kind of handle bars with two different brake levers (not sure what this type is called). I need to go to Wal Mart for a helmet and bike lock, then I can get it registered with the campus police Monday. I've read up on state law. Are there other tips you guys might give to a new cyclist?

    It's too large to fit in my Civic, at least with my other stuff in it. Odds are I'll try to sell it to a "real student" before I leave in early August.

    More info, pics, later...might take a while since I have to use a friend's camera.
  7. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    You'll be surprised how easily you'll outwalk your friends up hills ;).

    Don't EVER trust a cager in a car to yield you the right of way. Expect them to speed up to pass you, and to pass you dangerously.
    The best helmet is no guarantee of safety. A 7 mph direct head impact can and will kill you, even wearing the best helmet.
    Buy a current Snell approved helmet if at all possible.
    Ride defensively
  8. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    I have never heard that before and I spend time around some zealous bicycle safety folks. Please provide your source.
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar


    See if you can fit your bike with quick release hubs -- that's often enough to get a bike to fit inside a vehicle. I know it allowed me to put my large frame road bike in the back seat of my '95 Elantra (which was the same size inside a the current model Accent).
  10. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    I read it years ago in a motorcycling magazine, so my information may be outdated as the standards got tougher. The Snell Memorial Foundation Standards for bicycle helmets require them to survive a 110 joule impact against a flat anvil. 110 joules is about 2500 ft-lbs. A 200 lb. man moving 7 mph is moving about10ft/second, so it's pretty easy to see how you can exceed 110 joules in an impact when you're riding your bike 15 or 20 mph. The weaker federal CPSC standard mentions an impact velocity of 20 ft/s, but they're only dropping the unweighted helmet onto the anvil.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  11. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    I had never paid much attention to the standards so I researched them and what I've found doesn't match up with your information. This site:

    ... shows the impact tests of each standard. It shows that while the Snell tests use a 5kg "head form" their drop rates (2.0-2.2m/sec) are lessened as compared to the CPSC rate of 6.8m/sec to account for it.

    Their main page:

    ... says that the Snell B-90 test (which Snell still allows manufacturers to use) is comparable to the CPSC test.

    So, while the Snell B-95 test is a little more stringent it is not a big leap from the B-90/CPSC test, nor is it compulsory for the Snell certification. As such the CPSC standard should do just fine.

    (Sorry for the derailment, all, but I feel this is a worthy sub-topic.)
  12. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    I think you misread the report. The Snell tests mention joules, and drop distances, not drop rates. The Snell B-1995 standard tests from a 10% higher height than the CPSC height, so it is a significantly tougher test. Snell B-1995 is a different certification than Snell B-1990. One should always buy a helmet that meets the more stringent/modern standard, and the CPSC standard is the bare minimum for US helmets. Snell B-1995 came out four years before the CPSC standard, and is still stronger than the new, but weaker, CPSC standard.

    Regarding motorcycle helmets, the Snell standard required a double impact test when the federal Z90 standard required only a single impact test. Snell testing has consistently been tougher than the existing federal requirement.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  13. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

  14. drimportracing

    drimportracing Pizza driver: 61,000+ deliveries

    I took a solid hit to the head, back and left elbow from a Chevy Yukon from behind with an estimated 30mph impact (we were both traveling the same direction, I was doing 10mph on my bike, she was going 40mph when she hit me.) No helmet. Well, I don't know about her but I wasn't wearing one. :D - Dale

    P.S. I'm feeling much better now, though I haven't ridden since that day in '97.
  15. KJSatz

    KJSatz Well-Known Member

    I took it out for a spin. A pedal fell off. I managed to recover the pedal and the nut item that holds it on (it's a .2" long nut welded to a proprietary washer thing). When I got home (after a rather long walk...) I tried screwing the nut back on with pliers. I need to keep an eye on this, and it might be best to just get a new nut when I go to Wal Mart or whatever store next. I also sustained a minor injury to my lower leg when I attempted to pedal once or twice with the pedal absent. Also, I need one of those gel seat covers....

    Still pumped for my bike!
  16. jongloves

    jongloves New Member

    I thought about buying a cheap new bike from a discount place but then figured all I'm really doing is supporting the Chineese economy and doing more damage to the environment shipping it here from China. I happened on a car boot sale the other day. After some freindly banter with the seller, picked up a sound commuter bike for €15 not the most trendy but then no one is going to steal it. Used it for few trips to the gym and a couple of trips to the beer garden. I reckon it's paid for itself already and the summer has only started.
  17. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Good for you, Jon! :) I'm sure you'll get every penny's worth out of that reused bicycle, and then much more.
  18. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Go to one of those 4 local bike shops when you need to buy bike stuff.

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