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  1. #1
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Help me help a bro out. He's buying an inexpensive commuter(?) bike...

    Here's his dealio:

    Hey y'all, I know some of you out there ride bikes a lot so I thought I'd ask some advice.

    I've been riding the same Schwinn Gateway I got at Target for a couple years now. I'm not a huge biking guy but in the good weather outside a too crazy to ride commute to work and back I mostly just ride the bike. Unfortunately the last bit of last year it got shitty. I kept getting flats. I'd change the tube, and two times out it went flat again. Took it to a bike shop and had them change it and asked them to see what was up and again...flat after a quick ride around.

    So, thinking I either need to get a whole new wheel or get a new bike. I'm leaning toward get new bike as the bike is pretty cheap and a new wheel and an annual tune up and I've already spent about what the thing cost. So, any advice on if I should either get some sort of better wheels and tires and put 'em on a cheap bike, or if I should get a new bike instead?

    And, if I do get a new bike, any suggestion for ones I should keep an eye out for? This is just something for getting around town, not a serious biker, so something with fenders so I don't splash all over myself on the way to the bar in and maybe a rack to carry stuff so I can run errands are things my other bike has that I really appreciate. And no fixed gear ****, I ride up and down hills. I do lug the thing up and down steps regularly so if I get something new, Id like something lighter. Don't wanna spend over $500 and would prefer less of course. Gonna go to a bike shop Saturday and look around, but if anyone has any advice before then, I'd appreciate it.


    He likes the looks of the Allant, but it's a bit over his budget. Here's what we're talking about, here:

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    Information on the trails at New Hogan Lake, Calaveras County, CA.

  2. #2
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    did you ever replace the rim tape in the wheels? that could have caused the flats.
    -Airborne Skyhawk
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  3. #3
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfb12 View Post
    did you ever replace the rim tape in the wheels? that could have caused the flats.
    Yeah, I'm sure that could have been a factor. I did a little research on the bike he has, and it's a pretty cheap bike, plus he's had it for a couple of years. I think it's time for him to upgrade.
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    Information on the trails at New Hogan Lake, Calaveras County, CA.

  4. #4
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    You can lead a horse to water but.....
    Sometimes a cheap bike is in order. Don't get why he/you/lbs can't fix the flat situation..
    IMO you're better off giving him advice and let him make his own choice, live and let live. Make a big deal, he listens, then bike sucks, breaks or get stolen and it's your fault.
    Last edited by theMeat; 03-29-2013 at 04:29 AM.
    the strongest trees grow on the windiest plains... ~Tone's

  5. #5
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    Kent Peterson--randonneur, first single speed finisher of the tour divide--rides an Allant and likes it:

    Kent's Bike Blog: Search results for allant

    Any of the big name hybrids (Specialized Sirrus, etc) would do find. You can fit fenders to any hybrid or commuter for $40 or so.

  6. #6
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    I don't like bro's, and I hate the word "dealio".

    The picture of the bike sent me over the edge.

  7. #7
    No Stranger to danger....
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    LOL, Who is he, Mary Poppins ? or the school teacher/wicked witch of the east in the wizard of oz ?
    They are the only 2 people ive ever seen riding a bike like that....
    Does he have a little dog Toto to follow the bike as his riding ?
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  8. #8
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I don't like bro's, and I hate the word "dealio".

    The picture of the bike sent me over the edge.
    mwhahahaha on the last line, funny stuff......
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  9. #9
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I don't like bro's, and I hate the word "dealio".

    The picture of the bike sent me over the edge.


    Whoops, you probably hate smilies too, doncha?
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    Information on the trails at New Hogan Lake, Calaveras County, CA.

  10. #10
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    LOL, Who is he, Mary Poppins ? or the school teacher/wicked witch of the east in the wizard of oz ?
    They are the only 2 people ive ever seen riding a bike like that....
    Does he have a little dog Toto to follow the bike as his riding ?
    *sigh* Where's Dion when I need him? You need a good schoolin', young man.
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    Information on the trails at New Hogan Lake, Calaveras County, CA.

  11. #11
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    *sigh* Where's Dion when I need him? You need a good schoolin', young man.
    LOL, Dion would dare, and i think he would agree with me in this instance lol
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  12. #12
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    If his bike functions fine aside from the flat tire issue, it's not hugely necessary to upgrade unless he just wants to. I would investigate why he's popping tubes. The first step is to figure out where on the tube it's popping and what kind of flat he's getting. Replacing the rim strip with a good quality rim tape is a good move. If the flats are always a puncture on the tire side of the tube, it's a safe assumption that there is something hiding in the tire that keeps popping it. Good rim strips and decent commuter tires with a thicker casing will help with flat prevention.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    *sigh* Where's Dion when I need him? You need a good schoolin', young man.
    JERK!

    I've been riding for 700 years in flip flops.

  14. #14
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    nothing wrong with that city bike. it's a bike built for transportation and little else. more people should be riding bikes like this, honestly. the view of bicycles as nothing more than toys hurts the viability of bicycles as legitimate transportation on our roadways.

    it will probably be tough to find something similar new for the price considering it comes from one of the big mfr's. Maybe BD would have something similar for a bit less, but it doesn't sound like the guy in question has much for mechanical skills.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    nothing wrong with that city bike. it's a bike built for transportation and little else. more people should be riding bikes like this, honestly. the view of bicycles as nothing more than toys hurts the viability of bicycles as legitimate transportation on our roadways.

    it will probably be tough to find something similar new for the price considering it comes from one of the big mfr's. Maybe BD would have something similar for a bit less, but it doesn't sound like the guy in question has much for mechanical skills.
    Nate the reason i would steer anybody away from a bike like that is because unless you have a flat road to travel to the shops imo they are good for nothing girls bikes.
    For 5-600 bucks you can buy a Giant Revel thats a bit versitile, you can ride it up gutters, stand up and put the pedal down if you need to, take it off road if you like.
    The mary poppins bike above is just totally limiting and basically good for nothing, not to mention they feel very average to ride.
    If you throw some slicks/street tyres on a revel you could do 100 times more stuff with it and actually have some fun on it if the time ever came.
    Its the year 2013, the bike above belongs to a female school teacher in the 1920s.
    Infact i see them all the time here in syd city ridden by college girls at about 5km per hour, you cant get any speed up on them, they annoy the shite out of traffic, fair enough if your out in some hick town with a population of 10 people and the roads are flat and bare, but for anything else i recon they are a poor choice for a bike.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  16. #16
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    Help me help a bro out. He's buying an inexpensive commuter(?) bike...

    They go as fast as you can make them. I have something similar set up SS and cruise on it at 14mph. With taller gearing it will go faster and it handles dirt and rough stuff better than you expect.

    It is a utilitarian bike.

  17. #17
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    They go as fast as you can make them. I have something similar set up SS and cruise on it at 14mph. With taller gearing it will go faster and it handles dirt and rough stuff better than you expect.

    It is a utilitarian bike.
    Fair enough, i stand corrected then, the last time i was on a friends it just felt really average to ride after coming off a mountain bike, i suppose i have to get my head around the thought that a well set up bountain bike is the best option for just about most things, cheers Nate
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  18. #18
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    Frankly, a lot of city bikes are not all that different from a mountain bike. The geometry will be more road oriented, but the frames tend to be built more durably like a mtb. The wheelsets tend to be more similar to a basic mtb wheelset than a road wheelset, so they're going to be more durable. And frankly a rigid fork is better for getting around town.

    Mine does have what amounts to a 29er mtb disc wheelset.

    The reason a lot of city riders go so slow is because they want to go so slow. I've seen a lot who are simply not fit enough to consistently hold even 10mph. You have to be fit to go fast.

    Bike setup makes a difference, too. If you ride in a more aggressive position, you can get more speed. A more upright position slows you down. I can't tell you how many ridiculous mods I've seen on bikes to put the rider in the most upright position possible. A person riding that way won't be going fast.

    I've seen that on race geometry road bikes and mountain bikes, too. It's got nothing to do with the type of bike. If you want to play around on your commute then sure, a mtb makes a bit more sense. But if you just need to get around, it really doesn't matter.

  19. #19
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    JERK!

    I've been riding for 700 years in flip flops.
    Heh heh. Now see, I knew you weren't a dick.
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    Information on the trails at New Hogan Lake, Calaveras County, CA.

  20. #20
    AZ
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    That bike has potential. I'd scrap the fenders, rack and brakes, flip the handle bar upside down, swap out the saddle, do a ghetto fixie hub on that and ride the wee out of it.

  21. #21
    Afric Pepperbird
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    It's a commuter, for God's sake. A commuter with fenders and rack is, umm... good for commuting!

  22. #22
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    Believe it or not, that bike with the tan leather seat is a chick magnet. They'll all be borrowing your bike and asking you to take a picture of them on it so they can Instagram it. And if you hit it off, she can ride on the rack using your plaid beret as a cushion. Not gonna happen on a $600 Giant Revel.

    All it needs is a bell or a horn that goes "hoo-hah, hoo-hah" and a front basket for flowers.
    Last edited by Gundam168; 03-31-2013 at 12:38 AM.

  23. #23
    the half breed devil
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    as a longtime city dweller, the best and only advice i have to anybody looking for a commuter/get-around-town bike is the uglier, the better.

    don't forget that crack and meth are two powerful drugs...

  24. #24
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    Help me help a bro out. He's buying an inexpensive commuter(?) bike...

    I don't think ugly is necessarily the only way to go.

    Anything relatively bland or innocuous and well locked should be fine.

    The pictured bike being all black should help a lot. Some good use and it should get nice and grimy and dull. Add good locks and park it next to more attractive/easier targets and it should be fine

  25. #25
    'Tis but a scratch
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    As stated, the repetitive flat problem may be caused by a tire issue. Either there is something in the tire that continues to repuncture the tube or maybe the tire has a weak spot. A rim strip might do it or maybe it needs a new tire.

    If a new bike is really the plan, then I'd suggest looking at the LBS and you are likely to find the big names like Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc.

    Trek also has the 8.1 DS which is priced the same and a little more "manly" in appearance. If he already has a bike with fenders and a rack, they can be moved over to the new bike for free.

    If some suspension is of interest, then maybe the Specialized Cross Trail or Giant Roam 3 might fit the need and budget.

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