Fast cheap and...not out of control, hopefully
August 23, 2017 4:02 AM   Subscribe

Trying to find a fast, light, cheap road bike for commuting. Looking for something that is single speed and can get me from here to there, can take a beating, and that's about it. The lighter the better!
posted by to sir with millipedes to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I had great luck buying a cheap single-speed road bike from a few years ago. I was looking for basically the same thing you were, and ended up with an aluminum framed bike with a carbon fiber fork for something like $299. It served me well through 4 years of year-round commuting in NYC. If I'm remembering right it was listed as a "track bike" (due to being single speed but road-bike-shaped) if that helps narrow down your search.
posted by saladin at 5:03 AM on August 23, 2017

I've also had a good experience with BikesDirect. Here is their list of "track bikes," which mostly (if not entirely) seem to have freewheels and brakes so they really aren't track bikes but just single speed bikes. The brakes at least are a good thing if you are using it to commute rather than race on a track.

Shipping takes a while and the bike will need to be assembled, which isn't too tricky. I'd look for something with an aluminum frame to save weight.
posted by exogenous at 7:41 AM on August 23, 2017

You're familiar with the adage "Strong, Cheap, Light: Pick Two"? It applies to bikes. But Bikes Direct is going to get you as close as you're going to get.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:53 AM on August 23, 2017

I found an SE Draft Lite on CL for $100 that I like a lot - commuted with it five or six miles a day. Granted, I then put in hours and hours in taking it apart, cleaning it, greasing it, swapping out the handlebar, pedals, fenders from my old bike ... I respond to askmes like this one but I generally figure that my situation isn't really relevant because all of the expensive time and effort I put into buying cheap.

Anyway, they're on Amazon right now for less than $300. I don't know how the recent model stacks up against the older one I've got.
posted by turkeybrain at 7:11 AM on August 24, 2017

A used Fuji Feather.
posted by leeloo minai at 4:34 PM on August 24, 2017

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