<span style=”color: #333333; font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif;”>I’m kind of a “ride what you got” guy and use my mountain bike to get to work when it works out. But this is the state of repair that it is in:</span>
The flats are easy enough to repair but that is no optical illusion on the front wheel and the rear wheel is not true-able either. When I fix this up, it will have knobbier tires that I will not want to ride to work on.
So the question then becomes, if I want to ride to work; what bike? Found two bikes that have piqued my interest but not sure if I would happy with either:
Anyone else buy a cheap or oddball bike? Happy with purchase or gathering dust?
Bonus question: for fixing my mountain bike what is a good cheap trail tire (ideally available in 29×2.4, 27.5×2.4 and 26×2.4)? Haven’t decided on rear wheel size yet been riding with 27.5 on rear and sometimes front. Pedal strikes have been bad but considering shorter cranks too. Goal is fix bike on the cheap but still end up with a better bike than it came from the store.
If you’re really just looking for an inexpensive commuter in the two examples you have… I’d initially lean toward the Vantage only because it has front and rear brakes (although we don’t know how well they’ll actually work). The Torker only has a rear brake. Having just a rear break on a commuter, assuming auto and pedestrian traffic may be involved, would concern me. Also, having more than one gear to choose from on the Vantage is a plus. The negative for me on the Vantage would be commuting comfort… or lack of… with the roadie bars. Easy fix though.
As for the tire question… man, in today’s MTB world where a decent bike trail tire can cost more than a cheap car tire, “good” and “cheap” just doesn’t exist. But, tire model closeouts happen all the time. Not too uncommon to see last year’s model, rubber compound version, tread version, etc., go for a fraction of the original price. You’re obviously focused on cost, so I would look for deals on common, mainstream, brand names with a tread design that suits the trails you’re riding. Also, some manufacturers produce a wire bead version of their leading tires with less grippy rubber, but with the same tread design. You might find a deal there as well, as they are going to cost less.
Moondog Cruiser. I believe the brand name was kuno. Bought it at walmart for 80bucks. 26in whitewall tires, big seat with springs, and fenders, big beautiful fenders. 7 speed. Decent little cruiser, as long as you kept it on the pavement and didnt try any tricks. Rode 2.5 miles one way to work, downhill. Then shift her into granny gear and switchback the city blocks back home. Honestly, that bike was one of the best purchases I ever made. Yea, i still had my rockhopper for when i really wanted to ride, but that cruiser was always needing some tuning. I learned more keeping that bike riding smooth than from any other bike ive ever owned. Put alot of miles, and even more smiles on that bike. Given the chance, id do it all over again.