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Old 06-14-08, 12:16 PM   #1
MissTiff629
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Did I screw up majorly?!

I am new to road biking and just bought a bike on craigslist. I think I was ripped off because when I went to the local place to have it tuned up, they told me I needed a new fork, brake, pedals, and back wheel. I paid $100 for the bike, and the repairs are $110. I tested it out but not very far and I feel like such an idiot right now and want to cry, but I didn't know what i was looking for as far as damage. I am fine with spending $200 for a decent, entry-level, first road bike, I guess I am just looking for a response from experienced people about this. It is a panasonic sport 500 17" (i am a small woman). Do I need to bury my head in shame for this!?! It almost turned me off of trying to start biking altogether.
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Old 06-14-08, 12:24 PM   #2
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You haven't made a mistake at all. Getting in to cycling is never a mistake.

Post some pics of the parts the local shop says need to be replaced so you can get a second opinion.
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Old 06-14-08, 12:34 PM   #3
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It can't be that bad. A bent fork is not good, so I wonder what is up with that. THe fork is bent, but the wheels are OK?

Also, what is wrong with the brakes that they have to be replaced? That is an unusual thing. I can imagine that the brake PADS would need to be replaced - that would be very prudent, but the whole brake assembly replacement would be rare.

Tell us what kind of bike you bought. Show some pics. Who knows, you might have a real bargain even with the repair costs.
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Old 06-14-08, 12:37 PM   #4
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It's going to be hard to judge the issues without a lot of closeup and highly detailed pictures.

A new fork implies that the old one is bent from a crash or has a crack if it is aluminium or carbon. Again such fork damage indicates a crash or severe abuse.

Very little goes wrong with brakes unless the caliper was bent in a crash from the impact or crushing but likely the bike would not survive such a crash. Unless it's the center mount bolt on the front caliper that bent when the forks were damaged. That would strongly imply a big crash into a fixed object which would be consistent with the fork being bent or cracked.

Pedals may just need some rebuilding and lube but for a shop to do that the labour will often match the price for mid level pedals so that is likely a fair call.

The rear wheel is an odd one. Again unless it was taco'ed and then snapped back and the spokes tweaked to hide the damage it's hard to say why they want to replace the wheel rather than just tune the spokes. Unless the braking area is highly worn from huge amounts of riding. Over time the rims wear out from all the braking and this may be your situation. In that case the cost of a new rim and installing it may well match what they can sell you a whole new machine built wheel for.

Did the shop show you what's the issues with these things? A good one would have taken the time to indicate why they are recomending these items rather than just hand you a bill. Did you ask them?
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Old 06-14-08, 12:44 PM   #5
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even if after spending the money on the repairs, if you now have a bike for $200 that lets you get into road biking then you are still doing pretty good. Compared to new bikes, $200 is still very inexpensive.
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Old 06-14-08, 12:53 PM   #6
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thanks for the feedback

I just left the bike there at the shop, didn't take pictures. I had the horrible moment of realization as they were showing me, in the store, all the things I should have known were wrong when I looked at the bike (hence the feeling of shame I am dealing with right now). They say it appears to have been crashed- the fork is bent, and i think it was the bolt on the front that bent as you suggested, BCRider, so brake caliper sounds right. One pedal is bent, one side of the handlebar is bent as well. The rear wheel was wobbly and I am not sure what they will do to fix that. So, yeah, putting it all together now, it sounds like it was in a bad crash. I went to a small shop and the prices seemed very reasonable for repairs and I was just so embarrassed...the owner came out and first he just shook his head, but as I was on the verge of tears the other guy gave me this look like "don't worry, it's gonna be fine now, just expensive" as I was leaving and I think I pretty much cried all the way (on my walk) home. I am sure it will be worth it to be a cyclist and skip the subway and ride to work every day, and I am kinda laughing at this all now, but what a crappy first experience trying to do this on my own.

THANK YOU for even suggesting that I will be fine. It is a Panasonic Sport 500, 17" and for the record, not that it excuses my decision-making, the ad said it was "like new" and "no problems". I was just the perfect sucker because I didn't do my homework!
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Old 06-14-08, 12:54 PM   #7
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I have bought several used bikes and they always need $100 spent on them. Don't sweat it - a new $200 bike would be the absolute worst bike, if there even are any at that price.

Panasonic made decent bikes. I rode a used Panasonic as my main commuter for about 12 years.
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Old 06-14-08, 01:16 PM   #8
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You're getting a new fork, brake, pedals and back wheel for $110?
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Old 06-14-08, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MissTiff629 View Post
.....I was just the perfect sucker because I didn't do my homework!
It's very common for the ol' Shiney Object Syndrome to blind a prospective buyer. It's also a hard thing to steer your mind away from and look at something objectively. You're hardly the first to fall for this built in personal buying pressure and you sure won't be the last. So don't beat yourself up about it.

All in all I'd say if they can fix all this for only $110 then you're lucky and should just go ahead with it. Ending up with a $230 or so bike is not going to be a bad deal in the end.

It's just a shame that there's such lowlife charlatans out there that would misrepresent their stuff like this guy did.

Next time you try buying a used bike or other complex mechanical object see if you can find a friend that has no intrest in it and has at least a little knowledge to take along to act as your "buyer's objectivity" and hopefully they can point out stuff like this.

Or even show up at the shop with a 6 pack about 20 minutes before closing and in exchange for sharing some suds ask the shop mechanic to give you a 10 minute crash course of stuff to look for. We could type up such a list here and some may well have done so already but seeing a finger pointing to examples is by far a better way to learn. Or if you don't believe in using wobbly pops for bribing then bring chocolates or home baked cookies or some other offering.
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Old 06-14-08, 02:58 PM   #10
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You need to find a local shop with the heart of a teacher. They should be able to explain why you need these parts changed until you fully understand and agree with them. Sounds like you may have already found that.

If you end up having $200 to $300 into the bike, that still is not a lot of money.

It does sound like the bike had some kind of accident to cause that damage. At the same time, once it is fixed it should be fine.
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Old 06-14-08, 03:17 PM   #11
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In a perfect world you would be able to go back and say to the seller that you want your money back since the condition was grossly distorted. However since he took your money in the first place I think we all know how THAT conversation would go.
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Old 06-14-08, 03:51 PM   #12
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Put it back on Craigslist for $150
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Old 06-14-08, 03:56 PM   #13
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Yeah, if the frame's not bent, this is going to come out net positive. Shame on the seller for being a doosh though.

Google showed me this picture:




My recommendation to the owner of that bike is to trim some weight by taking off the remains of the kickstand.

Also, given the diagonal dropouts on the back, there's good modification potential — you could make it a fixed gear or a 3-speed at some point. It's got a nice modern bottom bracket so you can screw with the BB, cranks, and front gears, you'll have a new fork for a 700c wheel up front and you can probably fit one in the back when you want to change the number of gears.

I think you're gonna get set up with a nice bike, and you have no reason to not mess with it when you want to hotrod stuff.
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Old 06-14-08, 06:11 PM   #14
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Does it have chrome steel wheels? If it does, then definately spring for alloy rims instead. Much better braking.
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Old 06-14-08, 08:44 PM   #15
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You're getting a new fork, brake, pedals and back wheel for $110?
Seriously. Either they are bull****ting you or you are getting the deal of the century. $110 might just cover the fork + labour around here.

New wheel, brakes and pedals for $110 and labour? Wow.
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Old 06-14-08, 10:51 PM   #16
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That is a nice frame on that bike. If I could find a 27"/68 cm bike (big enough for me) with everything trashed except for a frame like that, I would be happy to give $100 for it.

So the seller was lying with the "like new" stuff, but if the frame is straight, I'd say you got your money's worth. You could strip the frame down and sell it as "LOOK Great frame for fixie!!!" on CL for probably more than you gave for it.

The ONLY issue you will have is that vintage of bike will have a 1" steerer tube. Newer bikes mostly use 1.125". This will limit your options if you want to upgrade to a gee-whiz carbon fork at some point...but you can still find some offerings in the 1" size.
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Old 06-15-08, 07:41 AM   #17
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Seriously. Either they are bull****ting you or you are getting the deal of the century. $110 might just cover the fork + labour around here.

New wheel, brakes and pedals for $110 and labour? Wow.
It could be done as long as you don't mind the generic stuff (which would be just fine on a $100 bike IMO)
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