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Old 05-26-2017, 11:00 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,821,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahsez View Post
Buy a better bike. We bought our two boys adult size TREK bikes in the last couple of years. I think they were around $650 or so. Better quality does make a difference. You could probably buy a used bike that is a better brand from Craigslist or even check with a bike shop. I know a couple of the the bike shops we used would do a buy back if you upgrade with them. They may be able to work with you for something pretty decent or older for the price you are able to pay. If not, I'd save up a little longer.

If I want to buy an upscale bike, I would do a lot of research and figure out what I needed. Then, I would look at one of the police auctions where I could get the exact or similar bike for $200 or so.

I don't want to by something of cheap quality, I want to buy something of quality ... cheap. And there is a difference.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:49 PM
 
8,768 posts, read 10,329,110 times
Reputation: 13822
The key is knowing what you are buying and buy for your needs. This goes for a penny candy to a Rolls Royce.

Should you buy 5% or 8% bleach?
Is the lower priced cut beans the same as the high price brand name?
Do you need an expensive bike to ride the path or is lower cost one just fine?
Can the cheap paint cover the old pain ion one coat or will I need triple as much as the higher priced one?
I can buy 5 manufactured ink cartridges for the price of 1 new one, so what if two end up going bad?
Is the 70% rubbing alcohol what you need or the 90%?
How does the cheaper toilet paper compare to the expensive one and is ti really worth spending more?

Everything depends on your needs, just make sure you understand the savings. Of course the $1.00 all you can eat Sushi Bar out of the back of Edna's Oldsmobile may be questionable!
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:00 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,875,631 times
Reputation: 25110
I buy bikes on Craigslist. Trek, Giant, Cannondale, GT, Raleigh are all good brands. Diamondback is usually decent quality while being a little less expensive than the others I mentioned, but they've started selling Diamondback at Academy which is usually an indication that the quality is declining.

You might spend as much on a good used bike as you would on a cheap new bike, but you'll spend less on repairs and get more use out of the bike. My first bike as an adult was a Huffy. It was comfortable but once a week it needed something. The pedals broke off, the brake cables frayed, the hubs came apart, the shifting was off, and this was all when I'd had the bike less than six months. I was riding 6 miles a day on paved trails, so nothing too major. It just wasn't designed to hold up to daily use. It was expensive to keep fixing it and it meant days of riding missed until it was repaired. I replaced it with a more expensive bike ($600 from the bike shop, but I knew exactly what I wanted and that's what I got) and I've had to have one repair on it in the four years I've been riding it.

The most important thing other than quality is fit. If you're a very average height, 5'5 for a female or 5'8 for a man, the bikes at Target or Walmart are going to fit you. If you're shorter or taller, you're going to get very uncomfortable when you ride more than a block or two. Bike shop bikes have different sizes of frame to fit different heights.

Anyhow, there's nothing wrong with buying used bikes on Craigslist. Just get one of the good brands. Try riding it. Your toes should be able to reach the ground when you're stopped. If you can't adjust the seat lower to reach the ground, the bike is too tall for you. If you've got the seat as high up as it can go and your leg isn't fully extended when the pedal is closest to the ground, the bike is too short for you.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:54 AM
 
64,526 posts, read 66,075,955 times
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as they say "the poor man pays twice "

first they buy cheap and when it does not work for them or last they buy what they should have bought the first time .

i found this out the hard way when i bought my photography tripods .
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:09 AM
 
4,328 posts, read 4,425,337 times
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I've recently started buying cheaper dress shoes and just buying more often. In the past I would buy $3-$400 Cole Haan's because of the quality. They do last a long time, but I found them getting scuffed no matter what I did. So now I just buy $40-$50 shoes that look just like them (Groupon is a great place to get nice looking dress shoes for cheap) and just replace them every year. This way they always look nice.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:24 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
2,477 posts, read 1,706,852 times
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I just went through this while I was looking for a bike. The best alternative to finding a used bike is to purchase a bike online. I work with avid bicyclists and they talk about buying used $7k bikes which I cannot understand since one of my motorcycles could be purchased for that amount.

Ultimately, I decided to purchase a "nashbar flat bar" bike for around $225 on sale but it needs to be assembled before you can ride it. It compared favorably with an $800 bike that a local bike store let me ride for a ride and try event last year and I can tell the components are much more high quality than the stuff at the big box stores.

The thing you need to be aware of is the big box bikes have lots of features like front and rear suspensions, disk brakes and other features that you normally find on more expensive bikes but the quality of all those components as well as the ability of the people assembling them is questionable. I've seen stories where bigbox bike assemblers were required to assemble a bike in just a few minutes, basically no time to make sure the bike is actually safe to ride.

Most people who intend to ride only on the street or paved roads will not need any of those features and can save money by not getting those fancy addons and use the money towards higher quality components. Case in point: bikes with a rear suspension will make the rider bounce up and down while trying to pedal and use up the extra energy that could be used for pedaling.

I own 3 walmart/target bikes for the kids that I purchased before I knew any better, but since I'm a competent bike setup person I was able to change a few parts and straighten the wheels so they work as best as they can.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Central IL
13,341 posts, read 7,115,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
I've recently started buying cheaper dress shoes and just buying more often. In the past I would buy $3-$400 Cole Haan's because of the quality. They do last a long time, but I found them getting scuffed no matter what I did. So now I just buy $40-$50 shoes that look just like them (Groupon is a great place to get nice looking dress shoes for cheap) and just replace them every year. This way they always look nice.
So this may be a matter of the cost of maintenance. Good shoes absolutely require several good coats of wax before wearing them and then ongoing wax as needed to both keep them shiny and protected against the elements. I have shoes that I've literally worn for DECADES. I keep them polished and occasionally replace the heels as they get worn down.

In general, if you buy quality, it may not break down, per se but it's worth putting a few dollars into keeping it in top shape - whether it's your car and getting oil changes, your bike, or your shoes. Of course only you know the balance you want to keep.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:32 AM
 
9,082 posts, read 3,697,658 times
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i bought a $50 good quality bike from craigslist

it had the old tire sizing so I modified it to 700cc ones for about $100

another $100 to upgrade/tune/etc (seat/basket/misc)

so I could have spent $300 for a more modern bike, but so what? I like the old bike designs

bike technology hasn't changed much over the last 100 years, outside of racing that is. For everyday riding, an old steel frame bike is marginally slower than a carbon bike but a lot stronger, slightly heavier (15 vs 30 lbs, but 30 lbs isn't that heavy to begin with)
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:25 AM
 
11,605 posts, read 5,449,768 times
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I agree that going cheap on everything isn't even frugal. If it has to be replaced sooner, you're out more money. If it's something that is energy inefficient, one isn't saving money. The list goes on! 'you get what you pay for'.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,704 posts, read 9,094,038 times
Reputation: 4068
I bought a cheap bike at Walmart and regret it immensely. My husband bought a $400 Raleigh bike about 15 years ago and it's holding up great. Unfortunately the new equivalent Raleighs are about $800. If you have a strong craigslist market in your area, that would be a good way to grab a higher quality bike at a good price. Around here, you can take your bike to a bike shop and they'll do a tune up for about $50 so finding one that may need a little work might be cheaper in the long run.
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