I have an Easy Racers Gold Rush, Greenspeed GTO and my wife has a TI-GRR and we have a Burly Nomad trailer for hauling the big shopping loads. However, I found that unless either my wife or my son could accompany me or my wife to the store to stand guard while shopping, we would take the car. In order to allow shopping alone, without undue anxiety, I purchased a couple of cheap older bikes with the goal to keep the cost of each under $200 to limit the loss if stolen. These are mainly shopping bikes so I wanted step through frames due to the big loads we would have in the rear baskets as can be seen in the photographs that were take after a recent trip to the grocery store. I could not bring my self to get really ugly bikes so I purchased a couple of older Raleighs thinking they would not be much of a target for theft. We still always use a hefty cable lock in hopes of discouraging theft.
The Raleigh for my wife is a 1974 LTD-3, a classic 3 speed, $180 from a local used bike shop, with the addition of a rear rack, basket and bungee net from Rivendell, $50, plus a replacement seat, $30. Oddly the crank arm length on this bike was 140mm, so I found a replacement on eBay with 165mm arms for $26. The tires and tubes were replaced with new Kenda tires, $20, and thorn resistant tubes, $20. The total cost for this bike so far is $326.
The Raleigh for me is a 1979 Record Ace 10-speed with a mixte frame, $150 found on craigslist. The handle bars and stem were replaced with a Nitto Periscopa, $30, Nitto Dove handle bar, $28, and cork grips, $15, all from Rivendell. I also added a rear rack and folding wire baskets from parts on hand, so I am not counting the cost. The racing style seat was replaced with the stock Brooks seat from my wife’s 1974 Raleigh. The total so far for this bike is $223.
I went a bit over budget but, these bikes have worked out great and we make many of our shopping trips using them. We will continue to use the baskets mounted on the bikes for shopping loads, but the Burley Nomad trailer is IMHO a much better way to haul a load with a bike. —Russ