Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
23 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hi there. I am a young mum who is seeking a second hand bike to zoom around with my baby son on the back. My budget is under $100. I have seen some Huffys on ebay going cheap. Are they OK? I would rather spend more and have a quality, robust and long-lasting bike than a piece of tinny crap. Please help! What do you think of Huffy brand and if no good can you recommend a better quality but budget brand for me to search on? Thanks alot!
"K-Mart specials' like the Huffy bikes tend to be a case of "you get what you pay for" - yes they are cheap, but sadly, they're cheap.
It would be best if you let us know your location and we may be able to guide you to a local shop that will be able to provide, albeit at a (hopefully) slightly higher price, a value for money deal.
What sort of riding do you want to be doing? Where are you going to doing most of your riding, on the roads, footpaths or bike paths? Are there any significant hills in the places you want to ride?
If I may make a very general suggestion, you might consider looking for something like an old 10-speed, like the one here:
They're good and strong, simple, and will more than likely stand the test of time... we have one here, a 1973 Bennett Unisex, my mother's bike from University. Two new tyres, a few small adjustments on the derailers (gear change) and it's as good as new.
The advantages are these:
They're on 27x1.25 inch tyres, a good compromise between the ultra thin, modern road bike tyre and the overly fat mountain bike tyres.
As here, they're often fitted with chain guards, making riding in long pants viable without rubber bands/bike clips.
They're very comfortable, relaxed bikes, sitting you very much upright position, meaning you can wear a backpack without it crushing you, unlike on a racer (I know this from personal experience...)
However, there are disadvantages
They were often made on quite a slim budget, so the frame can be overly heavy.
The gearing may be set up for a flat area (like mum's Bennett) and you may encounter issues with bigger hills. This, combined with a heavish frame may impeed some of your planned "zoom".
Because they're that bit older, and they were not desiged to go particularly fast, the brakes may not be all that brilliant.
Have a look around, ride a few and see what fits, what you like and what works for your situation and budget.
I hope my little spiel is useful for you,
The Huffy is the bottom end of the market and its quality reflects it. It is best suited for smaller people who only ride occassionaly. My son has a Huffy, but it only gets ridden down to the local park about once a month.
If you are buying one second hand, I'd recommend that you spend no more than $50 on them as you can get them in Kmart sales for not a lot more than $100 new.
A helmet saved my life
Welcome to the Mad House Bronnie.
I'd spend a few weekends checking out garage sales and the Trading Post/newpapers. I wouldn't buy any new bike for $100, but you can get some very nice second hand bikes for that money, especially from people who bought a bike 'to get fit' and never bothered to ride it much. I just takes a bit of patience. If you're in Sydney, Cludence might be able to help you too (she's usually on the forum at least once a day).
Give a yell when you start looking at baby seats - I've used two different ones for my two kids and there are other parents on the site who might admit to knowing something.
Wow, thanks, everyone, that's really fast and useful. The huffy I was looking at was only $20 and I am a small frame (size , so that looks like it might be a good temporary bike until I come across something better. I am in the blue mountains (springwood) and don't know of any bike shops in the local area but would prefer to buy from a garage sale rather than a shop because I've just bought a house and don't have much spare cash. I often go to Manly and Leichhardt so if anyone knows of any second hand bikes in any of these three areas let me know, thanks!
There is a local bike shop in Springwood town centre, which you might want to visit anyway just to see what they have, and to look at accessories (do you have helmets for both of you?).
It's on the corner of Raymond road and Springwood Ave, which is towards the east end of the shops.
Bear in mind that if you buy a Huffy for $20, anything that breaks is going to cost more than the bike was to fix!
Make sure you have two working brakes, no loose parts especially around the headset and handlebars, tyres correctly inflated. Check the brakes before each ride, and make sure you can stop with either brake in a safe distance.
If you're planning to use the bike path on Hawkesbury road, it's mostly a good path, but beware of cars coming out of driveways and cross streets (they won't see you on the path), and it can be a bit frustrating having to cross the road back and forth to stay on the shared path.
I have spotted a few old shopping bikes of the type mentioned above at garage sales around Springwood/Winamalle, and sometimes with "Free" signs on them. If you can find one of these in decent order it might be worthwhile - just the same warnings as above (be safe, don't ride it if it's falling apart!).
Good info already... late again to this discussion but here are my thoughts.
Huffy WAS a good brand, quite respected in the BMX world a while back however the Huffy bikes that are now on ebay or in Kmart are cheap and nasty.
If you buy on ebay and have bad luck with the bike... ie it breaks or there is something wrong, you may be hard pressed getting it sorted out... may cost time, possibly money and definately nerves.
At Kmart you can't expect much support however at least you should have a guarantee / warantee. I suggest (from experience) that if you do purchase from Kmart... get someone who is 'up to scratch' (a friend) to check the bike and make sure everything is tightened and fitted correctly to avoid injury.
Personally, I would look for a second hand bike, maybe it costs the same but it is a few years old.. good condition and with much better quality. I am a bit unsure what you mean about zooming about with the baby on the back... like in a back pack?? I recommend a properly childs seat (with safety standard). The child needs to be old enough to hold its head up of course. For a BMX a child seat behind the saddle wont work however on the cross bar (infront the saddle) a seat may be able to be mounted. The problem is, compared to a touring style bike (eg MTB, Hybrid,) is that the BMX is quite cramped and you may not fit on the bike.
Depending on the age of your child, you could get an attachment for the back where the child can ride and pedal (pedals are actually inactive)... you steer and pedal (view image). One issue is that these are also usually for larger bicycles and for a small bmx there may be problems, plus it is a money question again.
Let us know how you decide.
Oi, Christopher, how about referring her to MY tag-along article **sulk**
I gained the impression said 'baby' was a tad young for tag-alongs just yet ... something to aspire to. I agree with Christopher about the bike required. Bronnie, look towards buying a hybrid. They have the physical size and strength to carry a baby seat and to tow a tag-along. The upright seating position and wide, flat bars give you good control - a toddler in a baby seat does some really weird things to the bike's handling, mainly because the little brutes won't sit still. My daughter used to go to sleep in her baby seat, and hang like a limp lump over one side - that used to be interesting. My son's baby seat was on the back of the Europa (see avatar) so you can use them on a racer, but a hybrid is a better choice.
Last edited by europa on Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Hi everyone, hope you're still reading this, you're so knowledgable! I'll check out the bike shop in Springwood, thanks! I def want to buy second hand tho! Have decided against Huffy. What about Dunlop? Is that a better brand? When I say zooming with baby on back I mean with my 7 month old baby boy in a proper child's bike seat, yes. Thanks for the info about Hawkesbury road, too. I've just moved to the mtns from the city and am keen to start exploring the area on bike so to hear there are bike paths by the roadside is really exciting. I also hope to find easy forest trails (with hubby). Thanks everyone, keep up the good work and happy riding.
Dunlop is an okay brand, it's somewhere between the low end department store brands and the better bike shop brands like Trek or Giant.
For the price you're looking at the most important thing is the condition of the bike. You also want to check you have appropriate bolts on the frame to attach a rack, which you will probably need for a baby seat.
Check that it's an appropriate size for you too, you don't want to end up with one far too big or small.
This Apollo I think looks okay, older style of bike, I used to have an Apollo MTB, it's a pretty decent brand.
Another apollo, ladies frame. Looks like a smaller frame, you might also prefer the step through frame.
This huffy I think looks okay too. It's an older bike with rigid forks and thinner steel frame by the look of it (thinner steel tubes normally means better quality steel).
Beware of suspension at this price! Cheap new, probably not much chop 2nd hand. Better to have a conventional fork, one less thing to go wrong.
Richard, I read your account about your daughter and her Holstar and it was hilarious! Very good.
I think I'll stick with the baby seat for now cos my baby doesn't sleep anywhere except in his cot, the car or my arms. He is not the type to fall asleep on the back of a bike. In fact, we just got back from Lord Howe Island and cycled round there for two weeks every day and he loved being on the back of me and I didn't find it dodgy balancing him.
I will keep the Holstar in mind for when he gets a bit bigger, tho, thanks!
At seven months, he's way too young for anything but a bike seat, but old enough to enjoy a good bike seat.
There are two basic types of bike seat - ones that mount to your downtube and ones that mount on the rack.
With the ones that mount to your downtube, your bike needs no special mountings - there is a unit that clamps around the bike's downtube and you can remove the seat simply by releasing a catch. Both that I've had used this system and it works well. They probably provide a bit of 'suspension' for the baby too as the rails the seat sits on can flex. As the baby gets heavier, you can find the seat touching the rear tyre but this can be fixed by bending the rails upwards again (not hard).
The second sort clamps onto your bike rack, but the bike has to have the mounting points to take the rack in the first place. Road shock gets fed straight through to the baby and I'm not sure how easily removed they are. If going for this sort, you want the seat to be easily removed AND you want to be able to hang panniers off the rack while the seat is attached.
I think the best setup is a rack mounted to your bike, but with the downtube type seat. As a parent, you always need to carrry stuff so you can hang a pair of panniers off the rack and have the baby seat sitting over the top of it. The rack will stop the baby seat touching the tyre (though it was never a problem - you just hear the occasional scuff).
Thanks. The little monster loves her bike. We ride it a lot, particularly up to the library and/or the playground. She talks all the way, waves and calls out to people, and it gives her something to brag about at the playground I resisted buying one for a long time because I wasn't sure how much it would be used - as it turns out, I just wasted riding time (but not everyone's experiences are the same )
Hi there, in regards to Kmart all i can say is be careful. If and when you purchase you bike from a Kmart store, please get it looked at by someone first! They are put together by a qualified bicycle mechanic...in theory...50% of the time a qualified mechanic puts the bikes together in which case, you're set, however its the other half of the bikes which concern me. Sometimes its your average joe putting them together and more often than not, they cant even use an allen-key. Ive seen some horrible things happen in regards to Kmart bikes, staff are not experts in most area's at large stores and have only vague knowledge. How do i know all this you ask? I work there Im just your average nineteen year old storehand and have been approached quite a few times now to piece together a bike in a hurry, thankfully I am competent, no expert mind due! But the first few times i was asked to put one together no one even knew i rode a bike. It was a female in panic thinking, a guy could fix it nowadays im a regular port of call in regards to urgent bike construction, but Im still not qualified nor do i sign off on the form you recieve saying its being pieced together lovingly by a qualified bicycle mechanic.
So Ive said too much, but hey, I love Kmart
Just to really confuse the issue, the 1986 Tour de France (which I've been watching on dvd actually ) was won by Greg LeMond riding a ... wait for it ... HUFFY I'm guessing it's the old 'rebrand your racing bike with the name of the sponsor' trick, but by cripes it looks odd in this day and age
i think shoguns are quite good bang for your buck... nothing that will have you reallly loving them at first sight, but they seem to put out stuff at about a half spec lvl higher than you'd expect for the price, compared to the other entry lvl hybrids/roadies.
Older Shogun's scrub up quite well too!
Here's Tojo in his 'original' state
I'll have to get a photo of him with his Ultegra gear on. I did 110 kms on him on the weekend (65 on Saturday, then 45 on Sunday) and, while he's heavier than the girlie bike, he smooths out a lot of the 'road chatter' and it very comfortable to ride.
If you are prepared to go to Manly, head up the road to Dee Why.
Dee Why Beach Cyclery have a range of second-hand bikes on display. I go my Trek hybrid from there for a reasonable price, with a 3 month warranty.
I don't know of any other bike shops near manly, which sell second-bikes.
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