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  1. #1
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    Rebuild existing bike or buy?

    So I started a new job last week and for a number of reasons commuting has been possible again (I used to do it at a previous job but really only occasionally). Anyway, want to start again..... But don't really have a logical bike for a commuter right now! So I took my wife's old mtn bike and decided to try that for now (early 90's rigid 3x7). It's too small for me though and even though the commute is less than 4 miles each way it's just uncomfortable in general and I worry I'll get bad/weird habits riding a bike that's too small.

    Like I said commute is just under 4 miles, one short but steep uphill on the way home.

    I used to use my On One Scandal (rigid 29er) but that commute was like 2 miles! And it was setup 2x9 at the time. Now that I converted it to SS it would be a SLOW commute with 32x20! I'm gonna ride the route this weekend just to see how annoying it would be.

    My other bike is my good bike and FS, it doesn't feel like a good choice due to not having a good secure location and I just hate to put the wear and tear on it.

    Option #1: I recently sold my 6" bike that I never rode anymore so I could probably get away with spending approx $850 and justify it to the wife. I wouldn't mind having a road or cross bike around. I'd really rather only spend approx $600 (since I just bought a bunch of new hockey gear). That pretty much leaves used or Bikes direct. I've been watching craigslist for weeks and nothing good in my size (61) ever shows up. There are a couple used bike places and pawn shops in town but we are not a big city, so pickings are probably slim. I think I'm gonna go look around tomorrow.

    Option #2: keep riding her old bike. Not ideal due to fit.

    Option #3: rebuild the Scandal as a commuter. Maybe a 1x9 setup, some slicks and it's ready. This makes great sense but I still wanna ride it on the trails and I'd miss the SS and don't wanna fart around with swapping tires if I was jonesing to ride it. I suppose I could pick up a cheap second wheel set.

    Obviously realistically it's gonna be option 1 or 3. I think I'm leaning towards #1 due to not wanting to change my scandal. But I don't wanna drop a bunch of cash so used is gonna be necessary to pull off #1. Maybe I could even trade in the wife's old bike (if I go to a pawn shop or used bike place)?

    Any thoughts . Something I'm not considering or thinking of?
    Last edited by cobi; 05-09-2014 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you go the new route there are bikes that would work in your price range. Look at some of Jamis's offerings or something like the Trek FX series. The big problem you will probably run into is not having much to test ride in your size.

    In the meantime it seems like putting slicks on the SS would be your best bet.

  3. #3
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    Commuter series from Jamis I assume you are referring to? Or are you suggesting the road bikes like Ventura? Alegro? Quest?

    Thanks. FX looks promising to!

    Jensen has some close outs on 2013 GT road bikes...... Interesting.

  4. #4
    jrm
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    option 1: $600 will get you complete kona dr dew bike off sellwoodcycle.com or maybe something different.
    option 3: it worked the 1st time. Save your cash for more hockey stuff or bike upgrades.

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    The coda series is what I was originally thinking since the sport is under 600. Most brands seem to have something similar. Just make sure it can take rack and fenders if you want them or think you might in the future. If you want a road bike and commuter the quest would get you that. But I was mostly pointing out that you can easily get something that would work in either your upper or lower price range.

  6. #6
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    Found a perfect used commuter today, but turned out it was a bit small too. Dammit! Tried two other pawn shops and a used bike place. Nothing big enough. Might go check out another couple pawn shops today.

    Also checked out the Jamis commuters and a Jamis SS/fixie road bike and saw the Coda. Also saw the FX Trek today. Not bad if I don't find something used I like.

  7. #7
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    I ride a 7.3FX as my commuter/car replacement. I really like it, you might not, but mine has held up to some pretty rough abuse.

  8. #8
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    You could get a second set of wheels with road tires for the 29er and set it up 1x9. You would still be able to mtn bike with it but it would be better on the road.

    I would go the used route personally. There's classifieds on here and pinkbike. Also, consider one of Nashbar's bikes. Check out their CX bike, you would just need some road tires for it:

    Nashbar CX1 Cyclocross Bike - Commuter Bikes

    And there's the Nashbar SS CX bike. $399 and an additional 25% off today. That would give you $300 leftover for upgrades or more hockey gear.

    Nashbar Single-Speed Cyclocross Bike - Cyclocross Bikes

  9. #9
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    Test rode the SS yesterday afternoon, it's certainly doable but kind of brutal with 32/20. Spin, spin,spin,spin,spin, coast, spin, coast. Felt like I rode 15 miles (it's only 4). Went to a few more pawn shops and bike shops to see what they had as well. Looks like everyone has some sort of geared hybrid commuter in the $600 dollar range if I decide to go that route.

    Anyway I ended up last at my usual shop and got to talking to one of the mechanics. Turns out he had a complete bike that he was gonna rebuild but it was too big for him. Then he thought he'd get it running and sell it but didn't wanna tie up any cash in it, so I bought it (for $0). He's gonna get the parts together and do the work over the next week or two and if it works good for a commuter great, if not I'll throw it on Craigslist and just try and get my $$ back. At least we'll save a vintage bike that was headed for a dumpster when he found it.

    I think it will work though after measuring against a 61cm bike they had on the floor. It's all original except for the seat. We're not gonna "restore" it per say, just get it rideable and in good working order. Basically needs a seat (grabbed a take off from their bin already) tires, tubes, handlebar tape, maybe new cables and housings, possibly a chain if he can't save it. He thinks he can get it ready for about $100-$150 including labor. Hard to image I couldn't recoup that if I don't keep it.

    Appears to be a 1977 Schwinn Le Tour II. Was Red like in the picture at the link below, but is pretty much pink now!
    Rebuild existing bike or buy?-1000x1000.jpg

    Catalog w/ info
    1977 Schwinn Catalog

    After I ride it and figure out if it will work for commuting duties, we'll look at adding a rack, etc. Downside is 27" wheels since I image tire selection will be a little more limited? He showed me some tires that he thought would work good though, so we'll try em'.

    Bonus is that now I'll match my daughter who rocks a 1975 Shwinn Pixie that grandpa restored (it was my wife's first bike when she learned how to ride). Coolest bike in the neighborhood!

  10. #10
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    A Schwinn World Sport 63 cm:

    Got the bike for free (bent wheels, front fork). Cold set rear to 132.5 mm, converted to 1 x 9 & 700C using a crankset I had, new seat post, used Brooks saddle, DIY porteur rack, DIY dyno light for the Sturmey Archer dyno with 90 mm drum brake.

    The stock brakes will fit 700c rims and allow 35 mm tires with fenders. I replaced the front fork and got room for 38 mm up front and by lifting the fender over the brake, in the rear too.

    My grocery getter.



    A 2 x 10 1980 Mercian 61 cm:



    Custom English frame to my size and a sentimental repurposing to a 3 x 10 with the Campagnolo components I could not afford when it was first built up. Could have kept it as is and bought a new bike for the cost, but I though that no riding it anymore would be a shame.

  11. #11
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    Cool bikes! I'll post Up a before/after.

    Hopefully it fits properly, as I suspect it is a 23" frame. Not sure what that equates to in cm but the measurements of the seat tube (23" from middle of crank to top of collar) and the top tube (21.5") was the same as a 61cm Specialized they had on the floor. I sat over it a bit but with no tires I couldn't really sit on it properly. Had two mechanics look at it and say they thought I was fine on it, also sat on the 61cm and they felt close to the same.

    He said the chain is ok after a good soak and that he doesn't expect any surprises on the BB or hubs. He said he thinks they are open bearings and easy to rebuild. I'll just have to take his word for it.

  12. #12
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    If you're liking ss for trails, it might be an idea to covert the scwhinn over too with an ss freewheel.

  13. #13
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    I'm considering that at some point but since the bike was so complete I didn't want to start with that. Also if it doesn't fit properly, it's easier to sell it geared I think. Even has original pedals and reflectors from the looks of it.

    Assuming it fits I'll just ride it as a 10 speed until I start having any major issues with the shifty bits. At that time I may single speed it. It doesn't appear it's anything rare or particularly collectible and the paint is really faded so I wouldn't feel too bad about changing it.

  14. #14
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    Looks like it does measure out to be approx a 59CM. Hope it fits! I think my inseam is 34 and I'm kind of a tweener on L/XL if I remember right.

    Here's what it looks like for now. Not a great pic though and he had already pulled the wheels.
    Rebuild existing bike or buy?-20140512_081255.jpg

  15. #15
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    It's done. Gonna pick it up tomorrow. Once I determine if it fits I'm gonna probably try to figure out how to add a rack (doesn't have the top holes). Came out looking pretty good, not bad for a free bike anyway.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/co_big_cheese/14009151997" title="schwinn by Kevin Sperle, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5479/14009151997_9be5faf311_z.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="schwinn"></a>

  16. #16
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    Well, its ready for it's maiden commute tomorrow. $88.48 out the door (tires, tubes, wrap, new cables & housing). Felt bad so I gave him a $20 tip and spent another $100 on stuff I probably didn't really need.

    Rebuild existing bike or buy?-resized2.jpg
    Rebuild existing bike or buy?-20140518_135742.jpgRebuild existing bike or buy?-20140518_135752.jpgRebuild existing bike or buy?-20140518_135808.jpg

  17. #17
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    Wow $88 what's the price break down on that. Sounds very cheap. Guess not a lot for labor.
    Can you say Full XO #22.68 salsa moto rapido

  18. #18
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    $40 for the tires - Specialized Roadsport.
    $15 for the bar wrap
    $20 - labor TOTAL
    Then another $25 or so on tubes and cables/housing
    $0 - Used seat from the takeoff bin

    Then he gave me a discount which got it down to $88ish! Not to mention he gave me the bike free in the first place (too big for him).

    Like I said I felt bad enough to spend some extra $$

    2nd commute today, loving it! Might have to drive in the next two days though due to having to go back and forth between work and a conference and some other locations though.

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