OK, so last year’s $80 Wal-Mart bicycle idea turned into a fiasco. I tore the Kent 700c single speed apart, used the brakes on my trusty old Trek 7000, and set the other parts aside for any later use that might come up.

I’m really enjoying riding the Trek again. I’ve been getting out almost daily for rides ranging from 5 miles to 12 miles. But its days really are numbered. The sprockets and shifters/derailleur are showing their age. The handlebars are starting to have a little give to them that can’t be tightened out. The rear wheel is out of true — not terribly, but noticeably — and it will need new tires long before I’ve put in the minimum of 1,000 miles I am committed to riding this year.

As much as I’d love to take the Trek frame in to my favorite bike shop and tell them to hang all the new stuff it needs on it, my guess is that would set me back at least $300-400. That’s not happening any time in the foreseeable future.

$80 didn’t work out. Now I’m thinking more like $180 including tax:

Good reviews for both the brand (Critical) and the specific bike. 57cm frame size available. Single speed with flip-flop hub. I’d rather have quick release for the wheels, and I’ll probably want to put a rack on it, but otherwise I’m sold. And I think I can save up the dough for it by spring.

Imported from the original KN@PPSTER