Inexpensive bicycle goods and services. Maintenance and repairs done cheaply, etc.

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34
votes
5answers
6k views

What's the real difference between cheap and expensive helmets?

Is there any real difference between the cheap and expensive cycling helmets? Is it really worth buying a helmet at say 3 or 4 times the price of a cheap helmet? Will that helmet really give you 3 or ...
29
votes
6answers
32k views

At what time of year can I buy a bicycle for the best price?

Is there a month when new models come out and dealers discount stock like with cars? Do they raise prices in the spring and lower them in the winter?
27
votes
11answers
2k views

Alternatives to buying a repair stand?

I'd like to buy a repair stand, but I can never seem to convince myself to drop the $100 minimum it seems I'd need to spend. Has anybody had any success building a stand themselves, or is it worth it ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

How to know when to change a chain?

A bike shop employee used a tool he said would check the wear on the chain, and said that it should be changed. He said it took a measurement that meant the chain had expanded, but it is still hard ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there something particularly wrong with exclusively riding a mountain bike in a city setting?

I live in Davis, and I ride bikes simply for commuting around the university and around town. My last bike is a hand-me-down from my sister's friend over 6 years ago; it's pretty much on it's last ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Repairing a bent bike frame, is it worth it?

I have a bike with an incredibly bent frame. The bike itself I have tried to replace with other inexpensive bixes, but this one just had a certain geometry that I keep wanting to resurrect it. It is ...
13
votes
11answers
2k views

Recommended budget waterproof jacket

I'm a bit baffled by the large choice of cycling waterproof jackets. Could someone recommend me a good budget waterproof jacket? A bit more information: I mostly ride off road About £70 (approx 112 ...
11
votes
10answers
10k views

Vegetable oil to oil a bike?

Is vegetable oil as good as motor oil to oil a bike?
11
votes
1answer
924 views

Do I need to change my cassette if I can't see any wear?

I bought a new road bike with Campag Athena 11 speed in March last year. To the end of Jan it had covered 9000km. In all that time I hadn't changed the chain because I don't have the Campag tool, and ...
11
votes
5answers
865 views

What's the cheapest way to get into training with power?

I used to train with a stopwatch, and later on, heart-rate. Both required relatively inexpensive tools. Now I'm interested in training with power (measuring the watts produced) and I'm finding that ...
10
votes
4answers
945 views

Are bicycle helmets repairable or disposable?

Suppose I wear a bicycle helmet, and I fall hard and my helmet cracks. Do I buy a new helmet or can I try repair the old one with some glue?
10
votes
5answers
641 views

How do you know if you can trust your LBS?

I've visited a lot of bike shops in my time. There have been great ones, and scary ones. One thing I've noticed is that they all seem to have the best intentions. I've never had one deliberately rip ...
10
votes
6answers
670 views

Need advice on choosing the right folding bike

I'm looking for a bike for about half an hour of use a day in town. Don't have room in my flat so it will be a folding bike, and it has to cost less than £200. I consider buying this one Is it a ...
8
votes
4answers
361 views

How to know a good pump?

It's painful to pay the local price of 15-30€ for a pump that is "very good, durable and small". To me, it is just consumable that I will use until it breaks, so I have no interest in investing ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I get started riding without spending a fortune (too much)?

I've just recently moved to a city (Seattle) where owning a car seems less appropriate than it has to me in the past. Before, I lived in a far more suburban environment where biking was more-or-less ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I choose a bicycle fork?

I'm putting together a bicycle on a budget from a frame I was given and various parts from a bike with a broken frame. The only part of any expense that I really need is the fork, and I want to get ...
7
votes
3answers
318 views

What is the cheapest option to fetch a person over a long-distance with bicycles?

I need to fetch an outsider from about 20km far away and I want to use my bicycles. I have used roller skaters with a bicycle to fetch my friend, I let my friend to use the bike while I will stuck to ...
7
votes
3answers
394 views

Do wider tires wear better?

I'm interested in road bike tires and how width affects how long they last. It seems common-sense that a wider tire would wear better, as there's simply more of it to "spread" the wear, but I'd like ...
6
votes
4answers
989 views

How much should I spend on my helmet?

I'm finally going to buy a bike next month. And a helmet. I'm wondering how much I should budget for buying a helmet. I'll be riding around New York City, so I want good visibility around me. And ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to select an inexpensive road bike for a heavier rider?

I want to start riding a bike from home to work so I need to buy a bike. I don't want to spend a lot on the bike and also I'm not interested in bikes that Target and Walmart sells. I want something ...
6
votes
2answers
312 views

Quality to/from work bike

I want a bike that will take me to and from work quickly, but not make it too easy. To get to work, I have to ride a quarter mile up a steep hill, which will be difficult on a bike. I want to spend ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the most secure type of bike lock that costs less than $30?

I already have the cable cable kind with the combination lock. It just seems cheap and easy to break into. Is that sufficient or are the U shaped ones better?
6
votes
2answers
736 views

Cleaning Cable Housing?

I commute about 3600 miles a year and I am able to keep my gears adjusted pretty well. I do find that I get a lot of grime from rainy, muddy conditions, and I think I might be replacing my shift ...
6
votes
1answer
626 views

Quick release wheels on kids bikes?

Currently trying to find larger bikes for our kids aged 5 & 7. Oldest's next bike is going to be a struggle to fit in the back of the car (for various reasons they cycle to school in the morning ...
5
votes
8answers
10k views

Are there substitutes for chain lubricant?

With long journeys and particularly during winter I have noticed that the salt erodes the chain very quickly, even when I have lubricated the chain beforehand. When you are missing proper chain ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

What initial improvements can I make to a Schwinn Sidewinder?

I bought a Schwinn Sidewinder from Walmart last night in a desperate attempt to get some exercise. I took it home and rode intensely for an hour, it was fantastic! I may be wrong, but I see bicycles ...
5
votes
2answers
739 views

Are lighter chains worth the cost?

I'm replacing chains on a number of bicycles, and trying to decide what chains to purchase. I'm a fan of Sram's master links, so I'm comparing the Sram PC-971 to the PC-991. The PC-991 is ...
5
votes
7answers
505 views

What brands of repair stands are sturdy?

I'm considering getting a repair stand, used if I can find one. Aside from the obvious (Park Tool stands), which ones are well-made? I'd like to try and snag a good one on an eBay auction if I can for ...
5
votes
2answers
295 views

Recommended inexpensive heart-rate monitors?

Since I last used a heart rate monitor (about eight years ago), wrist-watch only monitors seem to have increased in popularity (based on the offerings at Amazon) update apparently these watches come ...
5
votes
3answers
403 views

Where can I buy a wide range of used bike parts online?

Does anyone know of a reputable website that sells a wide range of used and second hand bike parts and components? I'm helping a friend rebuild an older commuter bike and we are having trouble ...
4
votes
5answers
417 views

Self-made studded tyre with glue?

Can I glue circular pieces of some sort of uneven tiny metal heads, on every other knob of my mountain bike tyre, to bike in winter with snow and ice? If glue sounds too naive to some, there are some ...
4
votes
4answers
848 views

When is Cyclometer useful?

Some call it speedometer or odometer but I mean the thing to measure velocity, trip distance and such things. When you come up with a usage-case, please, point out the function which you use. The only ...
4
votes
6answers
4k views

Securing sliding bar grips without hair spray?

I have some Bell anatomic handlebar grips that tend to slide (rotate) on the bar. I've read that using hair spray is useful, but tends to be rather permanent. I'd like to make the grip tackier but not ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Switching from 3x9 Gears to Cheaper Ones?

Alert I am unsure of the right terminology for gear-wheel but I mean the round things near pedals such as 3x9 or typically with 3x7 (3 front, 7 back) mix in commuting bikes. My current gears are 3x9 ...
4
votes
1answer
796 views

What is the technical name for this nut-bolt thing with inner hubs?

Its size is 2.2cm times 1.5cm. The width of axle is 0.92 cm (measured on the curved area, not probably the right way to measure) for axle in the hub Shimano Nexus SG 8R20 (12mm stop washer but cannot ...
3
votes
3answers
376 views

Need a well-fitted bike for urban commuting

I started cycling to work every day. The bike I'm currently using is a mountain bike with a tiny frame and has begun to hurt my back. So, I'm looking to purchase something new. I'll be cycling around ...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

cheap bike tools or “can I just use generic hardware store tools instead?”

I want to maintain my bike. There a number of tools which are very specific, which also cost a lot of money. I have an old road bike which uses a freewheel. The freewheel remover cost me something ...
3
votes
1answer
473 views

Good 9-speed cog configuration for touring and which low-cost quality cassettes?

Alert: this cassette conf cannot be used in all touring locations because of poor support. I use it only in 1st world countries. The largest cog at the back is about 12-14cm. The length from ...
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Should I use an already master-linked chain or add a masterlink to a plain chain?

Trying to find moderately-priced 9-speed chain is a pain, particularly with a master/missing link already installed. I can only find PC-971 master-linked chains from US market but shipping and ...
3
votes
2answers
650 views

What is the difference between Spray lubricants and non-spray lubricants?

Some images about lubrication to which I am referring to here and image about parafin usage here. Spray lubricant (like green bottle 450ml TF2) can be awkward to carry, not the case with black tiny ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Are all 9 speed chains compatible with all 9 speed systems?

My current chain is x9, but it's expensive in eBay. Can I use any 9 speed chain like on this page?
2
votes
7answers
179 views

1980's bike vs New(er) Models? (Should one stay with an ancient bike?)

I have been cycling on a Centurion Pro Tour that was constructed sometimes in the 1980's - probably late 1980's, but still. It works great. It coasts downhill far faster than my hybrid, it doesn't ...
2
votes
2answers
698 views

How to clean consumable metallic parts cheaply while touring?

By the term consumable metallic parts I mean things such as derailleur pulleys, chains and cassettes. I have met tourers that suggested me cooking oil for cleaning the metallic parts, more here. The ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

What should I look for when buying a bike from an auction?

I'm going to an auction to look for cheap gems. Each bike is shown only very briefly and the bidding starts immediately. No hands-on inspection is allowed. What should I pay attention to when trying ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Buying from AliExpress

I've notice that the business to business site AliBaba and it's more consumer friendly AliExpress website have a number of bike components for sale. They tend to be complete component groupsets and ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Cheap, effective degreaser recommendations?

Maybe it's just me, but most of the commercial degreasers sold in bike shops seem pretty expensive for what they do. While they work well for lightweight grime, especially when used regularly, they ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

Looking for a commuter bike, What should I look for?

I have to travel medium distances on country highways with high speeds and narrow shoulders and need a sturdy inexpensive bicycle that works well off-road and on. I also plan to attach a large basket. ...
1
vote
2answers
718 views

Are Merino cycling boxers/cycling pants worth the cost?

I can find boxers of various materials such as latex, spandex, nylon, cotton, merino -- now I am totally lost for the reasons to pay about 30 times more for Merino boxers. I am more interested in the ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Cheap energy sources for electronics during touring with low amount of sun energy?

My goal is to find a cheap energy sources for touring. I cannot use solar all the time so I am planning to get Reelights outlined here, for lights, because they are cheaper than installing a hub ...
0
votes
6answers
475 views

Long-lasting price-worthy fenders?

My bought-as-2nd-hand bikes have plastic fender-attachements which tend to break. When they break, the fender starts to make a lot of annoying high-pitched sound. So which fenders do you recommend to ...