Bicycle Mechanics - used road bike frame
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I'm going to check out a frame advertised on craigslist. The ad and my subsequent email convos with the advertiser hasn't given me much info except that it is the right size, is a road frame, is made from easton aluminum, and was at one point been attached to a bike by KHS. I like it because it's aluminum, relatively new (5 yrs old), comes with a fork and headset, and well priced ($80). I had a terribly hard time finding any acceptable frames on CL or ebay; everyone seems to think that their old, neglected, 2 ton bike can be sold as *vintage*. My question is: is there anything I can look for when I go that can tell me whether or not my money is being well spent? What I mean is, as there is so little information on the frame, are there any visible indicators of a good frame? Obviously I can look for dings and scratches, check to see if the bottom bracket threads are in good shape, etc, but apart from that I have no idea what to look for.
IMO just about the ONLY time it makes sense to buy a used road frame, of any quality is if you have most of the necessary components to build it out, for example, if you have a crashed bike, with nice components.
Otherwise the cost of building will negate any savings on a used frame vs. a complete used or new bike. There might be an excdption for a real bargain on a fairly high end frame, but here again only if building up with "B" or "C" level components, or if you found a deal on a build kit.
It's not my intention to tell you how to spend your dough, but I stronly suggest you estimate your total cost of what this will be as a built bike, and compare that to your other options.
I'd look for stress cracks if aluminum. $80 is a good price if sound.
I am not interested in saving money; I am only disinterested in wasting it. I am far enough into the build for half a dozen people to tell me not to do it. They deal in money; I deal in fun. My original question still stands.
Thank you Juls. I take it then that the best I can do is make sure that the frame is not damaged in any way?
04-23-11, 02:52 PM
I take it you are doing the build yourself, in which case that is a huge part of the fun you are dealing with. I just finished (well I still do have to wrap the handle bars) building up an old steel Bianchi frame I bought on ebay with an Ultegra Group, and not only did I have fun, but will probably never take another bike of mine into a shop for work. I feel competent enough to do just about any work on the bikes I own, and enjoy doing it also. As far as what to look for, a visual is about all you can do unless you have the frame checked professionally. That would cost you more than you are paying for the frame , so it makes no sense. For $80, buy it, build it, ride it. If it goes bad, try another one. You won't be out much money and will have gained experience.:50:
Perfect, I'll just go for it then! Thanks much, have fun with the Bianchi.
04-23-11, 04:11 PM
just look cloeselt at the drops, make sure they ar not all buggered up and straight. is the TD hanger in good shape? check the bottle mounts (take a good screw and wrench with you) to be sure the threading is good along with another threaded areas. . why does it have a newer fork? what happened to the old one? check the headtube area real close.
FUN and Enjoyment has to be part of the equasion, if it was all about money we would all be cruising around on home built SSs.
t.del, Take a rear wheel with you and make sure it is aligned in the frame.
04-23-11, 04:30 PM
Nashbar has frames for 100$ all the time. If the frame you are looking at is straight then it's not a bad deal. If any thing is wrong (bad threads, cracked head tube, RD hanger bent/stripped) pass or go for real cheap. Less then 50$ because a heli-coil kit is 40$ to fix threads. Other things can be fixed too but they all cost money. It doesn't sound like you have a tap set or tig welder. Clean grease off the bottom of the head tube so you can check for cracks.
Well the craigslist didn't pull through... address brought me to an empty house in the middle of nowhere. Alan, a couple people have recommended nashbar to me already so I am thinking about it. My issue (and I know absolutely nothing about the company or their frames) is that I would be paying extra to buy a cheap new frame, as opposed to paying less for a used, but at one point nicer frame. Are the nashbar frames exceptionally good for their price? They look very straightforward and industrial, which is good. Otherwise I've found a Davis Phinney frame on ebay for a starting bid of $50. A little old, probably quite heavy, but I'm not too big of a biker for that to be a deciding factor. Anyone know anything about this brand?
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