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Caféman's Blog - Bike Riding


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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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