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  1. #1
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    Looking to Grab A Bike Off Craigslist for Commuting

    I'm going to start commuting for two reasons...

    1.) I enjoy biking

    2.) I want to save money over summer for a more fuel efficient car since I commute to school now and get 17 mpg.

    I want a MTB for commuting and Trek is the most common actual bike brand on my Craigslist locations. What model should be good enough for commuting without being a complete POS? Right now there are quite a few 4300's and and older 6000 all for sale for around $200-350. There is also a bunch of 820's which I am assuming wouldn't suit me the best. Which one would you guys say is the best for just commuting? Since I'm hoping to save money up I don't want to spend too much on a bike right now, but I also want it to get the job done and not just be a pain in the butt. Also, If none of these are what I should be looking at would you guys point me in the right direction of bikes I should be considering? I would like to stay under $400 as much as possible too but I also know I get what I pay for. Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Helmsdini's Avatar
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    how far and how often do you plan on commuting? also is this on 100% asphalt or dirt lanes/ off road?
    -Jeremy
    08 Redline D440
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  3. #3
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    18 miles round trip...It probably will be 100% asphalt although we have a bike trail that i could take too but it'd make my trip a few miles longer. I plan on commuting 3-5 times a week.

  4. #4
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    I think the 820s would be steel and the other's aluminium. From memory the 6000 was a better bike new but is likely to be quite worn when some of those 4300 may have less wear and tear. A lot depends on the condition you see them in I guess and the sizing. I think they would all do the job but for 18 miles each way I would avoid the 820s.

    How are you going to carry your stuff?

  5. #5
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    What's wrong with an 820? Nothing beats chromo for durability and comfort. It'll probably have a rigid fork, which is just fine for commuting. Get a comfy seat and grips if you're going to be doing 9 miles each way. Some cross tires will help if you're planning on hitting light trail on the way!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  6. #6
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    Since I'm going to be working outside sweating anyways I might just use my big camelbak or if that gets too bad I will get a rack.

  7. #7
    Lionel Hutz, Esq.
    Reputation: Thirdrawn's Avatar
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    I'd go with the 4300 assuming that every bike listed is stock. You'll get double-walled rims on the 4300 and more durable components - such as a cassette body instead of a freewheel. Same tires as the 820. For a couple hundred (assuming it's not too old and in fairly decent shape) that's not a bad deal.
    Last edited by Thirdrawn; 02-02-2009 at 04:59 PM.
    2007 Trek Fuel EX 8
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    What's wrong with an 820? Nothing beats chromo for durability and comfort. It'll probably have a rigid fork, which is just fine for commuting. Get a comfy seat and grips if you're going to be doing 9 miles each way. Some cross tires will help if you're planning on hitting light trail on the way!
    I think the 820 would be pretty hefty and poorly specced components wise. 4300 is just a better bike ... If you are a tweaker with your bikes then the 820 could be the go but otherwise a 4300 would be better in stock form.

  9. #9
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    820s came stock with a CHEAP fork, drivetrain, and are HEAVY AS HELL. 4300 is at least 1 grade if not 2 up the ladder. I wouldn't spend more than 125 - 150 on a used 4300 unless it is in mint condition. I bought a decent 4300 for a friend at a local police auction last spring for $60.

  10. #10
    Rides like wrecking ball
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    100% asphalt riding in a used Trek town.... How about an old MultiTrack then? 700c wheels for speed, and steel is for real.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesh to Steel
    With people liking mongoose and trek bikes now, what's next in this crazy world? People disliking the bottlerocket?!

  11. #11
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    I'm gonna go check out the 4300 sometime this week. I will also look the old MultiTrack Bulldog maybe I will be able to find one and try that out.

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    Pretty much any hardtail will work out fine as a commuter. For what it`s worth, I have an 820 Antelpoe now (CL buy) that I`m setting up for my sister in law to commute on and I like it. I don`t know what differences there are between it and the 830, but this 820 has some decent Rodney Dangerfield components and a 7-speed cassette, not freewheel. If you want aluminum, buy aluminum but don`t do it just because you think the steel frame is going to be a pig and badly specd.

  13. #13
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    So how did it go? If you didn't buy yet, remember that patience is your friend when dealing with craigslist- something nice will eventually come along.

    I went to check out a nice looking Trek 950 this week as a potential commuter bike, but when I got there, I realized that the seller used a photo he found on the internet of a much smaller and cleaner bike. Also, my concept of "very good condition" does not typically excludes extensive rust.

  14. #14
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    There is a reason Cannondale holds value and Trek doesn't. If you want a decent Trek. there are plenty for under $100. If you want a bike/frame that holds value, there are plenty of better offers.

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