Used bikes in Chicago
June 20, 2012 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Where can I get a used bike for cheap on the north side of Chicago?

I am in need of a bike. It doesn't have to be amazing; it just needs to carry me from place to place at bike speed and not break. I'd love to spend under $120, if that's at all possible; price is more important than convenience.
posted by LSK to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
All my bike friends recommend Nearly New Bikes in Lakeview. When I went it was more road bikes than cruisers, and I was looking for the latter, so that was a downside, but if you don't mind road bikes then I definitely recommend it.

I think I ended up at around $200 for an old Raleigh, but that was with helmet, lights, and lock purchased separately--if you have some of that stuff you might be able to get out cheaper.

I think the only place where you'll find anything cheaper is Craigslist.
posted by enn at 9:16 AM on June 20, 2012

Working Bikes is a cooperative that provides bikes to charitable organizations overseas and funds itself by rehabbing old bikes and selling them. They used to have a place in Wicker Park/Bucktown but now they're in Pilsen. Still, they do good work and prices start at $100.
posted by Oktober at 9:17 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

When we lived in Chicago we always got our bikes from the Working Bikes Cooperative. They were lovely, serviceable bikes with character, and each served me well (until each was stolen).

It isn't on the north side, but you can call ahead, use Chicago's enviable public transport system, and ride home along the glorious lakefront trail.

posted by feral_goldfish at 9:19 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is a really, really tall order for this time of year. I just sold four used bikes in Chicago, ranging in price from $40-$150, all in working order. I listed them on Craig's List and all were sold in less than a week. Some in less than a day! I think your best option is just going to be to troll Craig's List or set up an alert and be the first person to email and test ride anything that's listed in your price range.

Also, try asking around with friends and co-workers. Maybe someone has an old bike sitting in a garage you can get running that they've been too lazy to sell?
posted by booknerd at 9:29 AM on June 20, 2012

Chicago has two other used-bike co-ops/collectives: The Recyclery in Rogers Park and Blackstone Bicycle Works in Woodlawn.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:24 AM on June 20, 2012

Blackstone Bicycle Works! My apologies -- they were the ones I meant.
posted by feral_goldfish at 11:43 AM on June 20, 2012

I'd check out Kevin Thornton Bikes - he sells them out of his garage near Damen and Belmont. I got a decent 70s Huffy (back when Huffys were good!) for about $60 last summer. Give him a call to see when he is selling bikes next, since he only sells every few weekends.
posted by baniak at 6:04 PM on June 20, 2012

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