Classic & Vintage - buying a used bike
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I'm looking to buy a used bike for commuting from home to school. I don't need anything fancy or flashy (although I'm not against it of course), and I'm looking to spend less than $200. Everything on criagslist is pretty pricey (I'm in the SF-Bay Area), and I really don't know much about bikes in the first place. I was originally just going to get something from target or walmart, but everyone on this forum advises to stay away from those. This forum has been so useful in getting information about different bikes, so I thought it is worth asking if anyone could go on SF-Bay Area craigslist and help me navigate through some of the used bikes. Thanks.
09-04-10, 07:42 AM
Before anyone could help you find a bike, you're going to need to know what size bike you are looking for (and share that information with us). There are plenty of fit calculators online, but as you are looking for vintage (and presumably vintage sizing) you might be better served reading Rivendale's article on sizing http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_fit/choosing_a_frame_size
Additional note: I've never checked the SF CL before today, and I while I expected the prices to be high, I was still shocked. Any great deal will be gone before word got to you about it, but I'd guess there are still fair (relatively speaking) deals to be had.
09-04-10, 08:00 AM
SF Bay area? Under $200?
Pay someone $150 to steal what you need.
09-04-10, 09:35 AM
It's too early for me to be looking at craigslist right now. But if any of you heavy craigslisters want a little tip, there's something called greasemonkey. It's an addon for firefox and it allows you to download and install scripts that work in your browser for little (or big) things that modify how a certain website works. And if you hate working through tabs in craigslist then there's a script that shows a preview of the listing when you hover over it. Try it out.
Here is a site to help you be informed.
09-04-10, 10:10 AM
Your best value for a commuter is a “mountain bike,” AKA MTB or hybrid. These are rugged, ubiquitous, and reliable. They weren't overpriced when people bought them originally, and left them to languish in the garage for years -- now they've decided to get rid of all that old junk, which will be a great deal for you. I live in NYC, almost as expensive, bike-wise, as SF. I bought a Trek that had very little use, hybrid 7200 model, for $140 a couple years ago. Aluminum frame, 24-speeds, shifts and rides great (not mine, I ride classic steel only). Same sort of stuff still appears. If the tires are knobby, and you mainly ride on the street, then I'd switch those out for something with smoother tread. Trek and Specialized make all sorts of these bikes, they're well-equipped, moderately-priced, and a bargain even new in a bike shop ($300-400). You should be able to find one in tip-top condition for $200.
09-04-10, 10:41 AM
FWIW, I just bought my son a new Fuji Palisade 1.0 at Performance Bike for the grand sum of $199 +tax (I used a $50 coupon that they mailed to me. If you have a high volume bike shop in your area you can probably find a pretty good deal on a decent new bike this time of year.
That said, if you go the vintage route, you will probably get more out of it due to the maintenance & customization aspects, if you are of that bent.
I think my ideal size would be 56cm. I'm about 5'7 or 5'8. In the past, 54cm has also worked fine.
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