Buying a Bike

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Shipley
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Buying a Bike

Postby Shipley » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:13 pm

Where to? I'm looking for a decent bike to commute and for fun in the summer. Don't need anything fancy, but something that won't fall apart when I take it off road would be nice.

its been 10 years since I bought a bike, so I kinda don't know what I'm looking for. last one I got was a Mongoose Hybrid slightly used and I loved it.

I think I'd lean toward a used shop. Sure I can buy a new bike from a department store for $200, but I'd rather spend the same or slightly less on a bike of higher quality thats been used.

So what stores do you reccomend, what makes do you like? Any places and models I should avoid?

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby fennel » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:50 pm

Shipley wrote:Where to? I'm looking for a decent bike to commute and for fun in the summer. Don't need anything fancy, but something that won't fall apart when I take it off road would be nice.

its been 10 years since I bought a bike, so I kinda don't know what I'm looking for. last one I got was a Mongoose Hybrid slightly used and I loved it.

I think I'd lean toward a used shop. Sure I can buy a new bike from a department store for $200, but I'd rather spend the same or slightly less on a bike of higher quality thats been used.

So what stores do you reccomend, what makes do you like? Any places and models I should avoid?


Well, if you anticipate spending less then $200 on a bike, you should temper your expectations. Unless, that is, you're willing to put in a good deal of time restoring an older model. That's a good option if you can find a good steel one, but most of these are a sucked into the fashion market for "fixies."

But if you want a newer bike, you can do well by buying something without goofy add-ons like shocks, and put that saved money into good fenders, lighting, etc. Unless you spend the majority of your time off-road, make sure you can accommodate 700c wheels with tire-pressures of 100+ psi.

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Postby Thusnelda » Thu May 01, 2008 7:57 am

I've always had good luck with Budget. Not only do they have a nice selection in the new bike store, the used store often has new bikes from last season sold at a significant discount. I've been very pleased with my Gary Fisher, and their staff was super helpful both when I bought the bike and when I brought it back in for a start-of-season tuneup.

Or you could just get a Stingray :)

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby awestra » Thu May 01, 2008 8:37 am

Shipley wrote:Where to? I'm looking for a decent bike to commute and for fun in the summer. Don't need anything fancy, but something that won't fall apart when I take it off road would be nice.



Village Peddler in Monona is the best place in the ares. We won't go anywhere else. Prices are better then Budget we have found.

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Postby robbie webber » Thu May 01, 2008 4:26 pm

I used to teach a class on How To Buy a Bike. And no, this isn't an advertisement. Mostly we talked about fit, deciding what type of bike was appropriate, etc.

But people would always ask me, "Where would you recommend I buy a bike." And my answer was always to buy a bike at a place where you feel respected, and where the sales people answer all your questions patiently.

I have been in just about every bike shop in the Madison area, and know most of the owners personally, yet I still sometimes walk in to get supplies or accessories and get bad customer service, usually from a new employee. Needless to say, I walk out and buy somewhere else. I also tell the owner about my experience.

The big shops: Budget, Willy St, Machinery Row (owned by Budget), Erik's and Trek all have huge selections, from a few hundred dollars up to thousands. Simply by the volume they sell, the prices tend to be a bit cheaper. But to me, the bottom line is buying a bike somewhere I feel will take care of me when I go back for repairs and adjustments. And some people really like shopping at a local or small store.

Another piece of advice from years of experience: Don't be too cheap about the price unless you feel confident about doing repairs yourself. If you spend a bit more than you planned, and use it on a regular basis for commuting, your savings in gas alone will pay for the extra cost. If you don't feel comfortable on the bike, or it breaks, it's not worth any savings.

By the way, with the money I save just on gas, not to mention parking, I could buy myself a very nice new bike every year, and still be ahead. The few hundred I paid to buy a new commuter bike (10 years ago) has to be one of the best investments I ever made!

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Postby bluethedog » Thu May 01, 2008 8:49 pm

Budget's owner, Roger Charly, is an asshole.

Google "Roger Charly Primate" to find out at least one reason why (apparently that is the tip of the iceberg).

That is reason enough for me to shop anywhere else.

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Postby Shipley » Tue May 06, 2008 7:40 pm

i did that google search and it turned up this thread. thanks anyway.

I ended up buying a used trek off craigslist. Shopped helmets a number of local places, ended up buying one a Dick's. same helmets as elsewhere, $10 cheaper.

I'll probably have some local tune it up at some point, but I rode for about an hour and a half this morning before work, and its a nice alternative to going to the gym and watching food network on the TV, thus making me more hungry and fatter.

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Postby Genie » Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:21 am

bluethedog wrote:Budget's owner, Roger Charly, is an asshole.

Google "Roger Charly Primate" to find out at least one reason why (apparently that is the tip of the iceberg).

That is reason enough for me to shop anywhere else.


I disagree. He's a nice guy and Budget is a great place. I've always had good service there.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby jeff in monona » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:14 pm

Whatever you do please spare yourself the indignity of buying a bike, hockey equipment or anything related from the Village Peddler in Monona. After repeated efforts to support this local business all I have received is poor service and at best an ugly attitude from the owner of the bike shop. He recently told me off as I was returning a few items that didn't workout for me and my wife. Also he recently, as a member of the Monona city council and as the owner of a bike shop, he chose to vote against a multipurpose bike lane that would have traveled the length of Monona Drive. How that makes since I have no idea. So know as a citizen of Monona who does everything within reason to support small locally owned businesses it pains me to say that I hope no one continues to patronize the Village Peddler, please go to Willy Bikes, Machinery Row, Chronometro, Revolution Cycles or Eric's. I personally am shocked that this guy is still in business. Thank you for reading and I can only hope you heed the advice.

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Re:

Postby rabble » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:38 pm

Shipley wrote:I ended up buying a used trek off craigslist.

That's how I've found all mine since I moved here, except that when I started doing it in 94, I used the kind of Craigslist that was printed in the newspapers. About 2000 I traded the one I had, that felt too small, for a larger one and it fits me so well I've reconditioned it twice. I think the frame and one wheel are the only original parts left.
Shipley wrote:I'll probably have some local tune it up at some point,

I really like Revolution but I'm biased because they're walking distance for me. But then if I didn't like them it wouldn't matter if they were right next door.

I got mad at Budget on Willy when they replaced a broken chain and didn't tell me I should replace the rear cassette which was probably worn down by the old chain. The first hill I got to, the chain kept jumping off and back I went, and THEN he told me about the rear cassette. I had the money and would have sprung for the new gears if he'd mentioned it, instead of blowing the rest of my afternoon getting it fixed when there were other places I wanted to be.

I know, it's the tech's fault, not Budget's and he was new and I should have known anyway, but it was frustrating and I'm still peeved.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby Pogoagogo » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:19 pm

I disagree with Jeff in Monona. I personally find the Village Pedaler a great place to do business. Several months ago I decided that I'd start bike commuting. I checked out Willy, Machinery Row, then walked in to the Village Pedaler. Hands down Village Pedalar wins on price. Mike, the owner, spent a lot of time talking to me about various different options and helped me choose the right bike. He installed accessories I bought, and since then I've been back to purchase a trailer, lights, bar ends, computer, etc. The whole staff treats me well and I look forward to visiting that place.

Of course, every shop can't be everything to everyone, but as long as I'm treated well, I'll make sure and give VP my business.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby dave esmond » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:11 am

As always when this come sup I like to put in a good word for Dream Bikes. Craigslist prices and it's a really good cause.

I've got the skills to work on my own bikes so I'm not as worried about buying off CL, but if you don't know what you're doing there's a lot of junk on there that's gonna need work. "Original tires" aren't a good thing on a bike from the '70's no matter how many times you see people using that as a selling point.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby wilsonobannon » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:14 pm

I have to disagree with Jeff in Monona as well with regard to the Village Pedaler. I've had two wonderful, telling experiences from this place.

The first was when we were buying my son his first bike without training wheels - about 3-4 years ago. The owner bought the current bike we had for 1/2 of what we paid for it (even though we'd bought it at the Trek store on the west side), which I thought was fair, and then, he proceeded to spend about 15 minutes with our son on the new bike we'd picked, showing our boy how to ride without training wheels. There he was, running alongside our son in the parking lot - it was great.

The second experience was two years ago, I brought in my approximately 15 year old bike thinking it was time for a new one. The owner looked at the bike, gave it a quick ride, and advised me not to waste my money. He said he was happy to sell me a new bike, but what I had was in great shape, and anything new would not be much of an upgrade.

I appreciated that honesty.

As for the owner himself, he wasn't your typical salesman - he just told me things like they were. I believe he treated me more than fairly.

Been back twice now - got a baseball glove for my son and a tune up on my wife's bike. Never any issues.

I noticed that people seem to wander in and sort treat the place more like a barbershop - calling out hellos to the owner or the other workers. I liked it. It was far more real than most places you visit.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby CocoaPuffBrown » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:53 pm

I doubt that was Jeff in Monona. It sounded more like Matt 'the shrill bike bureaucrat' Logan, under another one of his many sock puppets, defaming someone who didn't go along with progressive dane's streets agenda.

Get on your bike, ride it, and have fun.

Fuck Matt Logan and Brenda Konkel. At least Mr. Village Peddler is a productive citizen who gives back to his community rather than leaching off of the community while living off of grants like Konkel and Logan.

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Re: Buying a Bike

Postby snoqueen » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:20 pm

I won't go all hostile and political-agenda on this, but I've gotten good helpful service from Village Peddler in Monona several times. And they're nice to kids who come in with kid-questions, I noticed that when I was there. I figure that's a sign of a good community member.


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