From the Forum – Advice on Purchasing a Cheap, non-stolen bike?

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Advice on Purchasing a Cheap, non-stolen bike?

“Is it possible to purchase a serviceable used bike in DC for around $100 that wasn’t stolen? I mostly want it to bike to the grocery store or from the Hill to Rosslyn or Georgetown to meet up with my running club. Nothing fancy but not a clunker either.”

Ed. Note: See tips on buying a bike from Craigslist here.

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9 Comment

  • That’s a tight budget. If you’re not afraid of the NoVa cooties, then google/look up Phoenix Bikes in Arlington. They are a non-profit that teaches kids bike maintenance, and has lots of other youth programs. They take donations, and sell tons of refurbished bikes. Also a good source for maintenance and parts for your beater. I think they periodically also have sales at DC locations, Big Bear comes to mind. Great organization.

    • Should be able to get a free beater bike from someone if you’re willing to drive out a bit. I grew up in a semi-rural area and people were always getting rid of old bikes (my parents have a garage full of ’em).

  • I think you are going to have to raise your budget. Even most cheap bikes at Walmart and Target are over $150.

    I went to phoenix bikes in VA, they had an alright selection but everything was still 150 and up for the used bikes.

  • I have a great one for sale for $200

  • Used bikes are such a rip-off nowadays. New bikes, even more so if you don’t want a Wal-Mart clunker.

    I was at William and Mary this last weekend and they had their annual impounded bike sale. All the bikes they impound are sold in September for $25 each – first come first served, one bike per person. Some kids camp out all night to get the nicest bikes. I got a decent Huffy hybrid bike – it had a rusty chain, everything else worked fine.

    Check with some of the local colleges and see if they do a similar sale. It would probably happen right now, as kids have just started school.

  • Yea, id check for ssome of the suggested things earlier

    there are also some local flea markets that have guys selling used bikes at decent prices. doubt you can ever fully guaruntee the origins of the bike you are purchasing though

    or just get into the subculture. if you are REALLY pinched for cash im sure you can find someone who works on tons of bikes and has them all over their house that would be willing to part with a fixxer upper for about 50 bucks

  • Go hand around the dump. People are always dropping off bikes that they are junking and often they are rideable just as they are. If you troll craigs list you will find bikes for $30-100 that are just what you need. Mountain bikes are usually the cheapest and best value, but you see a lot of English 3 speeds that are great utility bikes. People want to get rid of them and don’t really care about how much they get for them. Be prepared to pay cash and don’t dither with them. Timing is everything! The thrift stores often have bikes that are nice. Value Village has 1/2 off days on holidays and 25% of Thursdays. Yard and estate sales are also good for deals.

    • “People want to get rid of them and don’t really care about how much they get for them”

      This hasn’t been my experience at all. People on CL think their old bikes are made of gold. 10 speeds that would be $5 in a garage sale outside of the DMV are usually $200+.

      If you’re new to biking and not particularly mechanical, it’s probably better to just buy new in the $350-$500 range.

  • Go to phoenixbikes in Arlington. They have a bunch of bikes in that range.

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