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February 20, 2012
by Erin B

When I dropped of Unnamed to get disassembled for painting, I got the distinct impression that the mechanic thinks I’m nuts for spending that kind of money on an old bike when you can get a perfectly junky bike at mega mart for less than the cost of powder coating.  I have to agree that, yes, I could get shiny and new for less…. but THAT ISN’T THE POINT.

I have yet for find a new bike for …  I was going to say less than $500, but really I have yet to find a new bike at any price that is as comfortable on the test ride as my vintage Raleighs are.  I hear that new build bikes that are comfortable are out there and you can import them from Europe for as little as $700ish dollars.  But there aren’t any around here to test drive and $700 is a big gamble when I might not like it anyway.

That is one of my concerns about C’s bike.  It isn’t the cheapo price tag that bothers me.  I seriously wonder if she would ever be able to rack up the miles on a bike with that geometry.  I will never know because C isn’t that in to biking and it is now a “chicken and the egg” scenario as to does the crappy bike keeps her from riding, or does she not like riding and there for only needs a crappy bike.  Either way, she insists on her seat being so low that it is really hard on her knees, but she wants to be able to put her feet on the ground with her butt in the saddle.  In my limited experience, that is always a recipe for sore knees, because you aren’t getting full leg extension as you peddle.  Think of it this way, how far could you walk with bent knees?  I mean continuously bent knees, never straightening them all the way for your whole walk.  For me, it wouldn’t be very far at all.

If you really want to be able to put your feet down, get a recumbent.  I hear good things about them.

Anyway, finding a bike that fits, and that I enjoy riding is more than half the battle in my personal “I want to be more active” war.  And those Raleighs are the bike that does it for me.  Here is an inspiration post from Cycler over at Biking In Heels:

She did the same thing.  Old bike, new powder coating, new components.  The thing is, you could easily spend $7000+ to get a custom frame builder to build you a bike tailored to your body type and riding style….. but if you can find a bike at a city auction for less that $40 that fits so very well and just spend a few hundred dollars get the paint and components upgraded, it is a HUGE saving compared to the custom build.

Sorry, but I’m not going to trade that for a mega mart special.

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