I need a road bike for my daily commute. I live in Philadelphia and am looking on Craigslist and found a couple options. Let me know what you guys think. Feel free to suggest anything else you find around my area as well!


Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Any ideas on on the the first three I selected?
    – Sachin
    Oct 9, 2012 at 19:18
  • 1
    They're all overpriced. The Nishiki is the only one besides the Lotus that would be worth considering, and is probably the newest of the lot. That Huffy didn't cost that much new. Oct 10, 2012 at 1:21
  • 2
    That Schwinn Traveler has a Biopace crankset-that's pretty neat. Also, these bikes are wildly different sizes! Figure out what fits and go from there.
    – WTHarper
    Oct 10, 2012 at 4:08
  • I'm looking at a 21speed Nishiki Sport: philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3322740436.html
    – Sachin
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:39

4 Answers 4


Any medium quality bike in good condition should hold up to 10 years of light commuting, with proper maintenance. (But proper maintenance is key -- you need a new chain about every 2000 miles, new rear cluster about every 5000, new tires somewhere in there. Chain needs to be cleaned and lubed occasionally, and everything adjusted about once a year.)

There are several threads here that cover buying a used bike, such as this one: What can I do to be sure I'm getting a fair deal when buying a used bike?

(And be sure you read up on checking bike FIT.)

  • Is this a good deal? philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3310937160.html
    – Sachin
    Oct 9, 2012 at 23:37
  • It looks nice in the picture. Note that it's OLD -- lugged steel frame, 27" wheels, non-indexed shifters. And note that it's sized for a fairly short person. Maybe a little high priced, though Lotus was supposedly a premier brand at the time. Might be a little difficult getting parts for it. (If you're not into old bikes I'd recommend something a little newer, from an ease of service standpoint.) Oct 10, 2012 at 1:13
  • How about this: philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3322740436.html Thanks again for all your help!
    – Sachin
    Oct 12, 2012 at 15:38
  • @Sachin -- Like I said, it's overpriced (and ugly). Nishiki isn't a premium brand but is generally decent quality. (I notice you've picked a lot of different style bikes. Probably you're better off buying a serviceable $25 bike at a garage sale and riding it a bit to learn what style you'd really like.) Oct 12, 2012 at 17:10

I commute 13 miles each way on a mix of road and paved trails (poorly maintained), I started off using my old mountain bike but wanted something more road friendly. After a lot of forum blog reading and asking on twitter I finally settled on a Surly Cross Check. I've used it four days a week for the past five months and love it. I swapped out the knobby tires for slicks and added a rack and fenders.


How long is your commute? If it is not very long, a road bike may not be the best choice. A mountain bike or a hybrid is cheaper.

What is the pavement like? If the roads are rough, a road bike will not be as comfortable or as stable.

The most important thing is bike fit. Try on the bike before buying it. If you want to use it for 10 years, you want it to be comfortable.


Any used ten speed that fits should work for a commuter. Just examine the frame for cracks, and also for exposed rust or bubbles under the paint job. I think you would benefit from a steel frame, both for longevity and smoothing out the potholes. If its' longer than 10 miles or so one way a lighter weight bike might be a higher priority depending on your level of fitness.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.