Southern California - Need help with buying a bike. Please help!
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05-22-12, 05:44 PM
I'm not very bike-savvy, but want something that's not too cheap. My budget is under 1000. I hear that getting a used bike is probably the best way to go for that price. Is this true. I've been looking on places such as craigslist, but are there other good sites to go to? What kind of questions should I ask? Also, do any of these look like a good deal to you?...
Any help would be great. Thank you!
If you are not very bike saavy, then I would NOT go used the first time around. I understand "not too cheap" but then for a first-time bike or if you really don't know what you're doing going the "not too expensive" route is also very important. We need to understand what you want to do with the bike. Do you plan to use it for leisurely rides, commuting, utility (quick errands, shopping, etc.), exercise, racing?
There are two routes I'd go with this one. Something really cheap used - like under $100 used mountain bike off of craigslist and then spend another $50 on narrower road type tires. Or something in a good value new - but not from Wally World but a reputable bike shop or REI. If you shop really hard you can get a new shimano 105 equipped road bike for under $1k. Most new townies and hybrids are well under that amount.
05-22-12, 05:59 PM
I've had several bike before, but they were mountain bikes and hybrids. I use it as alternative transportation and as exercise. My last bike was stolen and when I was using it I would typically go on 20 mile bike rides about 3 or 4 times a week just for exercise while also using it for getting around quicker. I don't do anything too hardcore like racing or actually take it to the mountains. No rough terrain. I really like having bikes with full suspension, though, however that is not THAT important to me.
05-22-12, 06:00 PM
I'll probably get about 100 miles/week out of it and I just know how expensive it can be on the upkeep of bikes and I heard to just go ahead with something a little better quality if I'm getting that much use out of it and to avoid a lot of repairs later.
05-22-12, 07:00 PM
Please help, anyone...
First of all really decide what style of bike you want. The two on Craigs List are road bikes. Do you know how a road bike rides? If that's what you want then these might be nice for you. I'm no expert but these look like decent deals. However, if you're not a harcore roadie, and just want to run errands and get exercise, you could get something like my 90's era Trek 1100. Very nice bike, and they go for 200-300 dollars. I am a hardcore roadie, and I have a DeRosa Idol ($7000) for serious rides and the old Trek for banging around town. Plus the older bikes are cheaper upkeep.
05-22-12, 08:45 PM
Take a deep breath. I know this is the internet, and you're in the LA area, and instant gratification is all the rage these days, but Lesiz's post warrants your consideration and your needs deserve a little more reflection (by you) & time. Road bike are fun, and they have their place, but if hybrids worked so well for you before, why do you want to change?
You can get a lot of bike for very little money, but only if you're patient. If you're in a hurry, you might as well go to a Trek or Specialized dealership and get screwed. Quick, yes; but quick & cheap are like opposing wings of an airplane: when one goes up, the other goes down. Good luck.
05-22-12, 09:19 PM
More information would be helpful. How tall, how much do you weigh, roughly how old are you, etc.
05-22-12, 10:04 PM
Here you go, try this out - http://incycle.com/product/11specialized-allez-elite-compact-17564.htm
Going used is fine but those two you listed were really over priced.
$1,000 is a pretty fair bike budget - make sure you save some cashola for bike clothes, pump, tubes helmet etc.
05-23-12, 10:53 AM
Do you have any friends that know anything about bikes? If you don't they expect to get hosed either by a bike shop and definitely from CL.
My best advice from you is to research what you want and need. Need is a big issue. What type of riding do you plan? What sorts of bikes are best for that type of riding. Then study "fit" - the right size of bike to buy. Just because a bike is a great deal, if it doesn't fit, you won't be able to ride it. After that, learn something about components. Just recently I helped a friend buy a road bike. She was first looking at bikes sold by Specialized. First, great company, but in her price range, the components were extremely low end. I was able to help her find a bike at a Trek dealer for the same price but with very good components.
Although I believe it morally wrong to waste a shop's time and energy if you plan on buying through the internet, I do think you need to go in and at least sit on bikes to get a feel for style and fit. Then once you understand all that, start looking for internet deals.
One word about CL's bikes... only buy local. Ask about the pedigree on the bike - does the seller have the receipt or can they verify what shop the bike was purchased from? Can they show the bike has been maintained? If not, don't bother... the bike may be ready to fall apart and cost you more money than you are willing to invest. Always conduct your transaction in a public place. In front of a local LBS is usually a great spot. Someone said before they do it at the local police department; that's even better. Make sure you ride the bike. A woman I know recently purchased bikes off CL for her kids. None of them worked. She ended up buying new ones from Wallyworld.
But really find someone that knows bikes and is willing to help you out. The experience is invaluable especially for a first time purchase.
As to shops - I highly recommend REI as they have a goodly amount of entry level bikes to choose from. BTW to me, entry level is $1000 on down.
05-23-12, 10:55 AM
....You can get a lot of bike for very little money, but only if you're patient. If you're in a hurry, you might as well go to a Trek or Specialized dealership and get screwed. Quick, yes; but quick & cheap are like opposing wings of an airplane: when one goes up, the other goes down. Good luck.
Wise words, heed them!
FYI - I checked out the CL bikes... each is very overpriced. Check out new on the Trek 1.5. And the 2006 bike, not enough description. I suspect the bike is stolen and well again... just know what you are looking at. The description says "lots of carbon" but this is an aluminum road bike. Carbon seat stays? OK... so what? components are low end. Not certain Tiagra at the time came in a 10 speed. so again, the seller doesn't appear to know what he has. Retail new around $1500. If the seller was asking around $400- 450, it would make more sense. The 1.5 was only $1200 new. Very low end components (unless the seller upgraded). Maybe $700 would be a good price... the size on the 1.5 is 56 cm - are you 5'10 - 6'?
The bike Trojan listed is a good buy. I would definately stick with a shop and find a good, last year's, deal.
Play it Again Sports Sometimes has great deals on used bikes. It's consignment but I got a RockHopper for $35.00 there.
If you can wait until November, the bike swap meet at the Velodrome in San Diego is a great place to find good deals on used bikes. Try before you buy in a safe environment; stay for the party!
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