I've been riding my bike quite a bit lately, but I have been finding that the fact that it's only seven speeds limits my ability to use it how I want to. So I have been looking at mountain bikes with more speeds to get as a "second" bike to use when I want to go a bit harder than I can on the Giant hybrid that I have right now.
At the end of the day at work on Sunday I checked out SearchTempest.com, which is a search engine that searches all of the Craig's List sites within a distance that you select.
I found a mountain bike in Lansing that looked promising. It was a Giant Boulder 21 speed with the step through frame. A step through frame is what might commonly be known as a "woman's frame," but more and more bikes are considered unisex, and are more often than not any more classified as a woman's bike based on the colors. This one is navy blue and chrome. Not really woman's colors at all.
It's a $400 bike, the guy wanted $85 for it. I e-mailed him, and right before I left work he responded and I called him. As luck would have it, he lived about a minute out of the way on our drive home from work, so I asked him if he was going to be around that evening. He said he was, so I went to the ATM at work and got out some money just in case it looked promising.
When I got there, the bike was in pretty good condition. It shows signs of use, but nothing that I wouldn't expect for a mountain bike that was a couple of years old. It is a 21 speed with the trigger style shifters...which are nice shifters. Just flip a switch and the gear is changed.
The brakes and every component on it seemed to be solid. Maybe a bit of adjustment might be needed, but overall I felt the bike was a good deal at $85.
So I gave the guy the money and brought it home. When I got it home I was playing around with it a bit. I adjusted the brakes to work the way I wanted them to, and started trying to adjust the front derailleur because it wasn't shifting as quickly as I wanted it to. Unfortunately, I have never done this before and I wasn't very good at it. Fairly quickly I had it working worse than it was before I started.
I called the bike shop here in Jackson today, On 2 Wheels, to ask if they work on brands that they don't sell. The guy at the shop told me that they work on everything, and they have two mechanics that have been to schools to learn how to fix everything on any bike. I told him the issue I was having and he said it was something they could definitely fix, and that they should be able to get it done in one day if I dropped it shortly after they opened. I asked him if he could give me a rough estimate of what the damage to my wallet would be, and he told me if it just needed to be adjusted (which I think it does) it would cost about $8. If it needs a new cable, it would probably be about $15.
So I'm planning on it being $15, which means that for a total of $100 I'll have a solid functioning Giant mountain bike...with all the bells and whistles that I was looking for.
I guess I got lucky...the bike had been listed that afternoon, I e-mailed him at 7:15 PM, he got home from work at 7:45 and e-mailed me back, I called him at 7:55 and had the bike by about 8:15. It all seemed like it was meant to be!!