Used Bike for cheap?
March 31, 2012 4:42 PM   Subscribe

How much to spend on a used Bike? (Chicago)

I've moved to an area of Chicago near LSD (lake shore drive), and I wanted to start biking there as well as around the city to save money on gas and also to get some cardio as well. I'm a novice when it comes to these things and don't want to spend 300+ and so I'm looking for advice to get a bike on the cheap. I figure I'll be using it for recreation/exercise, not to commute to work or anything so I don't need the latest and greatest, but something reliable and cheap if possible, not sure where to start. I may just go into one of the bike stores and ask around, etc to get a good idea of what to possibly purchase. Now I just have to hope that the drivers here in Chicago honor the bike lane and get a helmet!
posted by HonestAsian to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I got a very nice road bike for $80 at Working Bikes coop. It seems like they were only open on Saturdays or something like that when I went there, so I'm not sure if it's still necessary to get there a little while before they open in order to have a chance at getting the bike you want.
posted by cmoj at 4:52 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

What neighborhood are you in? Working Bikes is a city-wide destination, but many neighborhoods have their own favorite used bike spot. (In Hyde Park, for example, a lot of people go to the Blackstone Bicycle Works for affordable bikes and bike repairs).
posted by bubukaba at 4:58 PM on March 31, 2012

Don't forget pawnshops. I bought my son a pretty nice bike at a pawn shop last summer for $60. Typical Craigslist price on the same model ( which I can't recall offhand) was north of $200.
posted by chazlarson at 5:46 PM on March 31, 2012

oo in Chicago bikes are like a dime a dozen. Working Bikes rocks so much. You can definitely get one for under $100.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 6:28 PM on March 31, 2012

If you go to Working Bikes, note that they usually sell out within the first hour or two. People often start queuing up as long as an hour before they open. If possible, you should bring someone who knows what he's looking for, because during that initial rush it may be hard to get a mechanic's attention.

Blackstone just got a massive donation, which they are now fixing up to sell, so pickings should be good by next Saturday.
posted by d. z. wang at 10:43 PM on March 31, 2012

I would also plug Blackstone Bicycle Works. Between $50 and $100 is a good price. While you're there you can pick up a helmet, lock, rack, and even vegan food at the cafe next door.

Wherever you go, do it before it gets too warm and everybody decides they need a bicycle!
posted by halonine at 12:02 AM on April 1, 2012

If you're up on the north side, another used-bike collective is the Recyclery in Rogers Park.
posted by hydrophonic at 1:43 PM on April 1, 2012

Working Bikes is awesome. The Recyclery is awesome. You should keep a close eye on CraigsList.

And keep in mind you need to also have a good u-lock (so you don't have to replace the bike), and you SHOULD have a helmet and lights.

You should also join The Chainlink to meet other local, rad bike people.
posted by bibliogrrl at 5:03 PM on April 1, 2012

So, there's this dude Kevin who sells used bikes out of his garage near Belmont and Damen. I got a decent used bike from him for $60 as a "beater" bike last summer, and it was awesome for the price I paid. He has a huge selection of bikes, at a variety of price ranges.
posted by baniak at 5:04 PM on April 1, 2012

Other good north side destinations for used bikes: Uptown Bikes and A Nearly New Shop. Picked up an old Schwinn for under $100 at the latter, and though it's a little heavy to lug up the steps to the El, it does the trick.
posted by hal incandenza at 11:06 AM on April 2, 2012

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