Originally Posted by PFULMTL
Budget bike question:
I like the chromoly frame on the current bike I have, but it really needs a new rear wheel because it's slightly bent. I've actually straightened it, but it looks like the bearing in the hub is still bent. The crank looks like it should also be replaced because I can't get it into 1st gear. Should I just buy a cheap used bike and use it for parts or buy a whole new wheel and crank? I'm seeing bikes for under $50 on Craigslist...A new rear wheel and crank is more than that.
I'll try to answer some questions here.
I'm no bike mechanic but have had bikes a long time.
There are bikes used out there for sale that are really really good. Checking garage sales can be amazing. At times people just don't know what they have. If they don't know what they have then also the bike may need maintenance. Craigs list is going to be a super place to find bargains. You should really read a book on simple bike maintenance. They are free at the library. Knowing how to tell if the crank is just loose or needs to be rebuilt, knowing if your hub is the issue with shifting and not the derailleur? Find some friend who can help you. Once your bike is set up, normal maintenance should allow you to use the bike a long time.
All of us have had this learning curve. I always had friends who were good with tools and would overhaul my cheap finds, when I was young with little money. You can learn to do everything yourself but the tools are not always that common for some stuff. Most bikes need a special tool for the crank. Little stuff like a loose head tube can end up being bigger issues later. Someone in the know can also help you with your seat height so your spin is correct.
Your bike actually looks pretty good in the picture. The only question I would have is when you ride is there any flex at the joints where the bike folds. That and if the frame is really straight could be a factor in shifting. Your better finding someone who knows bikes who will look the thing over and give you an honest opinion of what you have. You really need a front brake. At times it is important to stop using both tires. Your rims look alloy and you have great looking tires.
Remember even if you find another bike, the parts may not be as interchangeable as you think. If you buy another used bike it could have it's own new set of issues to contend with. I suggest finding a super cheap bike mechanic who will give you a full rundown on your current bike. They at times have used parts laying around which could bring your bike up to spec. Most of these guys are used to folks not wanting to put a ton of money into a bike but are interested in spending the least to make a bike safe and enjoyable.
Edited by Redcarmoose - 8/29/13 at 9:51am