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Bike Riding



I'm tired of buying junk. In 2009 I went yard sale shopping and got 2 used bikes. One was for Mrs Cafeman, who since decided biking isn't for her, so I ditched it years back. The other bike, and I don't recall the brand, was for my oldest son who was like 15 at the time - wouldn't you know we still have it, it's older but the frame and wheels never bent, the brakes still work, and it didn't rust out. You can tell this was a quality bike back in the day, whatever year it was sold.

Contrast that with the pretty but horrible piece of Huffy junk I bought at Kmart or Walmart (can't remember which store) a year later, which I recently discarded on Craigslist for $15. That Huffy bike was heavy, wasn't built properly - brakes stuck, the chain would come off if you switched to certain gears, the foot pedal broke from my weight (over 200) TWICE, and when I stood and pedaled, the frame of that adult-sized 'mountain bike' would buckle, activating the brakes! The front tire of this "mountain bike" eventually warped as well. Junk. The buyer on Craigslist like my cheap price and said he could fix it and get some use for it.

So I still have that $25 bike - it has a nice stiff frame, the only problem is I have to add air to the tires every 2 days. I just got a decent deal on a Trek bike on Craigslist - what a difference in ride and quality! The bike was super clean and I can tell it had been well cared for.

I've been checking out the better bikes for a year now in local premium biking stores - but have been too cheap to fork over the $400+ that they sell for - Canondales, Treks, Giants, Specialized, etc. So I checked out Craigslist and found this 19.5" Trek mountain bike for $80. My 2 sons and I are all around 6' or so (I'm the shortest of the 3, at 5'11" , and I think I've lost some height since my teenage years...). So we'll see how the Trek fits us. For a few sample short rides, it felt nice.

If you are a bike rider, what do you like? Mountain bikes? Hybrids? Any more affordable recommendations?


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Department/discount store bikes are never a bargain, no matter how low the price is. Plus, if you buy the assembled from those places, they were put together by someone who has absolutely no idea what they're doing. I've seen bikes with the front fork put on backwards. And Huffy has become pretty much synonymous with "cheap, crappy bikes." The "Huffy" bikes team 7-Eleven rode in the Tour in the 80s were actually made by Serotta.


My workhorse, ride-to-work-on-it-everyday bike is a Peugeot 10-speed from the early 80s I bought at a thrift store for $25. Not top of the line or anything, but solid and dependable. I've also got a couple of old Schwinn cruisers I hardly ever ride and a Scott road bike for my longer weekend rides.


I'm perfectly comfortable on a road bike. (Mrs. Yojimbo, seeing another cyclist pass by one time asked me "Do you ride all hunched over like that?") I never really think of myself as being hunched over, it just feels like the natural position to be in when I ride, but I understand it's not for everyone. I think if you have the right size frame, it's adjusted properly and you have a comfortable saddle, any bike can work.


Linus and Electra both specialize in commuter/comfort style bikes, but you'd probably have to sped at least $400 on one. One option is to wait for fall or winter when a lot of places will have closeouts.

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I made the jump from a 40 year old Fuji 10 speed to a used Trek Mountain bike. I like the front shocks. 97% of my riding is on the streets so this year I changed the tires to ones with a less aggressive tread. Much less noise too.


I ride about 600 miles a year, most of it doing errands. Convenient store is 2 miles, bank is 5, Redbox is 5.5 and the donut shop is 4. Niagara Falls is 12 miles away; most if it on bike paths along the Niagara River.


I also do my own maintenance and did my first complete tare down over the winter. Nothing makes a bike easier to ride then a clean chain and new grease. I guess this is true no matter how much you spend on a bike.

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