Questions tagged [frugal]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
47
votes
6answers
26k 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 ...
40
votes
7answers
117k 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?
39
votes
17answers
24k 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 ...
34
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
9k 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 leg....
19
votes
6answers
24k views

Putting pin(s) back into chain

While trying to put a new chain on a bike, I rather stupidly removed the "wrong" link in the chain, and it's already very short, so I can't simply remove yet another link in order to get the "correct" ...
16
votes
9answers
56k views

Vegetable oil to oil a bike?

Is vegetable oil as good as motor oil to oil a bike?
16
votes
11answers
7k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
46k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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?
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Are there sirens/horns that are like a car horn?

I am going to start commuting on my bike, but I often use busy roads that are not cycle friendly and cyclists are not often noticed. I need a horn to be noticed. (and to vent my anger without losing ...
11
votes
4answers
478 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
69k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
7k views

How good or bad would chainsaw bar lubricant be as a bicycle chain lube?

A former coworker asked me this today, and I don't have a good answer. He has access to plentiful quantities of chainsaw bar lubricant, the stuff that helps a chainsaw's chain move around the metal ...
10
votes
6answers
967 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
715 views

Internally-geared hub and chain case: running away from maintenance chores and grit damage

First off, the context of my question is 80% urban commuting and 20% weekend road trips of up to 70km, with a bit of casual trail riding mixed in. I ride my bicycle for transport and I value minimal ...
9
votes
5answers
27k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
843 views

Are there any sub $100 gps devices that can export a gpx file

I am looking to ride with strava, however as a teenager I receive very little to no money regularly and I do not have a smart phone. I would like a device that tracks my ride via gps and exports a gpx ...
8
votes
9answers
17k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Homemade Tubeless Tires

As I was browsing Youtube for cycling related videos, this one on making your own tubeless setup caught my eye. The procedure is essentially as follows: Clean a standard rim (not for tubeless tires, ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
16k 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
398 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
720 views

Multiple master links on the same chain

Not so long ago I put a new PYC SP1101 chain on my bike, but several rides in I managed to snap the rear derailleur off, which also bent a bunch of chain links. No way I'm throwing a perfectly good, ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

I sit real far back on my saddle

Asked this on diaspora, but was urged to come here, so, here's my question: I tend to slide BACK on my saddle really far, to the point where my sit bones are very near to the edge. If I try to scoot ...
6
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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?
5
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
350 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
240 views

Why are bicycles priced the way they are?

This question may not fit the criteria here. Feel free to close or edit it. I spent six hundred dollars Canadian funds on a Norco Yorkville Hybrid. The rationale being that for that price I would get ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
670 views

Why do low-quality bikes have horizontal dropouts, even though they aren't fixed speed?

Though convenient vertical dropouts and standard derailleur mounting are appearing on low-end bicycles, a lot still use horizontal dropouts, without any fittings for trim to return the wheel axle to ...
4
votes
3answers
320 views

Am I freeloading at my LBS?

I try to make all my bicycle-related purchases (parts, tools, accessories, etc) at my LBS, but I have never bought a new bike at a LBS, and I (very) rarely take my bikes in for service. On average, I ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Restoring/modernizing an old cheap(ish) bike

tl;dr;? Just see bullet points below... My mom recently gave my wife her old Raleigh Horizon bike. She must have gotten it around the year 1990, and there's no way she spent much on it (she's kinda ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
486 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 ...