Where can I get a halfway decent road bicycle in West Los Angeles for around $400?
I've looked in a few stores. I've checked out Performance Bicycles, REI, Bike Attack, Coco's Variety Shop, and Helen's Cycles. I wouldn't mind a used bicycle, but don't want to resort to looking at pictures on Craigslist and trying to decide what will fit me and ride well, or what is about to fall apart.
I want to use it for the occasional ride to work. To get there, I ride about 16 miles each way. It's not everyday, but often enough that I want something somewhat reliable and comfortable. Right now, I'm riding a mid-70s road bicycle that feels like it's about 600 pounds of steel. It was given to me for free a couple of months ago, but I've so far paid about $200 over that time for new tires, tubes, a poorly done overhaul at Bicycle Ambulance in Santa Monica, other various parts, etc. So the cost of my free bike is approaching that of a NEW, LIGHTER low-end road bicycle.
I dislike the attitudes I've seen in many of the local bike shops. If you're not spending $2000 on a bicycle, they act like they have better things to do; I don't want to buy a bicycle from a dickhead. And when I tell them where I want to be in terms of price, they generally point out one or two bicycles and then walk away. I'm a college student for Chrissake. I can't afford everything to be carbon fiber.
Should I just buy something inexpensive online (such as this one from Performance Bicycle
) or is that just a bad idea?
By the way, here's what I already know:
* Don't buy a bicycle from department/discount store (ie. Walmart)
* Yes, there are cheap used bicycles on Craigslist
* Spending a bit more on a bicycle may indeed yield a better bike (but let's stay in the $400 neighborhood)
* Hybrids are sometimes a good compromise, but I'm not too crazy about them.
If you know of a great bicycle shop in LA (preferably West LA or the Valley), let me know. If there's someone you recommend, let me know that too. Advice? Know of a place online that has great deals? Any valuable advice?