Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-01-12, 05:17 PM   #1
ThatDamnCyclist
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Needs immediate help

I'm going to buy another bike because the older one I bought off craigslist about 3 weeks back failed me.

Very tight budget, in chicago and I've been looking and contacting
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3375939128.html

Do you guys think it's a good deal? What should I look out for when I'm there inspecting the bike?
I'm going to see him tomorrow but I won't be able to check this forum tomorrow, please help
ThatDamnCyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 05:36 PM   #2
mrrabbit 
Senior Member
 
mrrabbit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Bikes: 2001 Tommasini Sintesi w/ Campagnolo Daytona 10 Speed
Posts: 3,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why don't you get a BikesDirect bike, and then pay an LBS not to do a simple assembly - but a comprehensive tune-up in which the wheels are stress relieved, trued, tensioned and dished properly on top of dialing in the derailleurs and greasing the parts?

Save a little - but get a lot more in terms of a bike?

=8-)
__________________
4000+ wheels built since 1984...

Disclaimer:

1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
5. My all time favorite book is:

Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life
mrrabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 06:02 PM   #3
CACycling
Senior Member
 
CACycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Bikes: '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX
Posts: 4,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First, what on the previous bike "failed" you?

As for the Le Tour, that is a pretty good deal if the bike is in good shape. The bars and levers have been changed (the Le Tours came with drop bars and suicide levers) but everything else looks pretty stock. It most likely has its original steel wheels which make wet-weather braking less than stellar. The Le Tours are heavy but make pretty much bullet-proof commuters. I had a '77 as a commuter for a while and it did the job very well.

Main things to check are: bearings (hubs, bottom bracket and headset) to see that they are smooth; wheels are true; no obvious signs of being in a crash; no severe rust; tire condition; brake pad condition (not hard); and how it fits and rides. As for size, I'm guessing it is a 23" so would be about right for 5' 10" to a bit over 6' (I'm 6' and had the 25" was a bit on the large size for me but wasn't a problem).

Good luck.
CACycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 06:42 PM   #4
ThatDamnCyclist
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a little bit over 5"11, so it should fit me. Would the changed bars and levers help me or should I check it in to a local bike shop?
If I do buy it, will I be getting my money's worth? ( needs it to go to school with in the summer but friends suggest I get one now since fall is cheaper)
What's a usual Le Tour worth?
ThatDamnCyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 06:45 PM   #5
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
. It most likely has its original steel wheels which make wet-weather braking less than stellar.
That point alone should disqualify it as a worthwhile purchase. Steel rims give poor stopping power in dry conditions and are all but suicidal in wet weather. And, no, there are no brake pads available that will compensate for this.

If the bike has aluminum (aka alloy) rims, it's worth the price they are asking assuming nothing else major is wrong.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 08:40 PM   #6
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail
Posts: 5,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
For a tight budget, I think this is a good deal, but then again, good deals on CL are a dime a dozen.

Higher handlebars are very often preferred for commuting bikes, because it makes for a more upright riding position, so it's easier to keep your eyes on the traffic.

I'd say ride it around the block a few times, make sure the brakes stop you, and the gears change. If it rides as well as the seller describes, you're good to go.

If it doesn't, then buy it if you can see clearly how to wrench it into good shape, otherwise, keep looking. It shouldn't be hard to find very reliable bikes sub-$100 on CL. You could also post your own sob story to CL saying you need a reliable bike for $50 or less, there are lots of people with surplus bikes, maybe somebody will be moved to sell a good bike at your price, or maybe even give it to you!
RubeRad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 08:52 PM   #7
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail
Posts: 5,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Just looking through http://chicago.craigslist.org/search...sk=&maxAsk=100, I see plenty of interesting options:

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3380196073.html Fenders!

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3364177734.html Italian Mixte SS with a rack (but a woman's frame)

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3379972251.html does chicago only have woman's frames? Two for $70, try 'em both, keep the good one, sell the other

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3379557677.html this looks like it would make a great commuter (unless you're set on a road bike)

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3372349300.html some pretty-good looking vintage here (but only 10-spd)

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3343561141.html two sub-$100 Trek's here, one with a rack, one with fenders

Personally, I think most of those options are better than the Le Tour you originally posted. I'm thinking Chicago is pretty flat, right? I'd go for the Chiorda, it would be a sweet ride even though it's a woman's frame, and you could probably sell it for a profit once you save up for bike N+1
RubeRad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 11:43 PM   #8
ThatDamnCyclist
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yea chicago's pretty flat. If I haggle with the guy what would be the magic pricepoint? And woman's frames are really uncomfortable for me, and since i'm pretty damn far from skokie being in Lincoln Park without a car ( which is why I need the bike) because i'm sick of the 5$ train ride every day.

I'll try to haggle with the guy to sell the bike to me for 40$ on the pretense of the steel rims? I feel like i'll miss this deal and won't be able to buy one until the prices are jacked up in the spring. It's hard for my to save up money as a student, but will be working at a target in the summer that I plan to ride a bike to save the 5$ train fare. Where do you guys find great bikes for low prices besides Craigslist?
ThatDamnCyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 11:50 PM   #9
AlphaDogg
I let the dogs out
 
AlphaDogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes: 2011 Fuji Roubaix 1.0, 2003 Ti Merlin Solis, & 1994 Raleigh MT200
Posts: 1,934
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDamnCyclist View Post
Where do you guys find great bikes for low prices besides Craigslist?
As someone said earlier, BikesDirect.
AlphaDogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-12, 11:52 PM   #10
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,841
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 223 Post(s)
inspection for wear and tear an damage is beyond this remote judgement thing.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 08:00 AM   #11
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
As someone said earlier, BikesDirect.
Yes, but Bikes Direct sells only new bikes and certainly nothing costing $50 complete. About $350 is the minimum.

As to Chicago, it's the land of the fixie and single speed. The only hills in the entire city are highway overpasses.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 08:00 AM   #12
ksisler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 1,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDamnCyclist View Post
I'm going to buy another bike because the older one I bought off craigslist about 3 weeks back failed me. Very tight budget, in chicago and I've been looking and contacting
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3375939128.html

Do you guys think it's a good deal? What should I look out for when I'm there inspecting the bike? I'm going to see him tomorrow but I won't be able to check this forum tomorrow, please help
It is a well known quality bike from the era, it looks excellent and the price is good! You should have already jumped on it as great deals on Craigs go fast.

So the main point is... if it looks good + is in good condition + it fits you + is priced cheap = then grab it fast. There is nothing anyone on the forums is going to tell you that trumps that equation!

BTW: It is usually a bad idea to post the actual URL to a bike you are considering. If it is a good bike at a great price, then someone reading the forum can just yank it out from under you while you wait for replies. Better to just copy a bit of the description and a photo or two from the craigs ad and repost that to the forum. I tend to slip in a fake city and state also to delay the snippers for a while.
ksisler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 08:26 AM   #13
ksisler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 1,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDamnCyclist View Post
Yea chicago's pretty flat. If I haggle with the guy what would be the magic pricepoint? And woman's frames are really uncomfortable for me, and since i'm pretty damn far from skokie being in Lincoln Park without a car ( which is why I need the bike) because i'm sick of the 5$ train ride every day.

I'll try to haggle with the guy to sell the bike to me for 40$ on the pretense of the steel rims? I feel like i'll miss this deal and won't be able to buy one until the prices are jacked up in the spring. It's hard for my to save up money as a student, but will be working at a target in the summer that I plan to ride a bike to save the 5$ train fare. Where do you guys find great bikes for low prices besides Craigslist?
Since you asked here goes;

> Word of Mouth; Talk to anyone you know and ask if they or anyone they know has a decent bike they need to sell. I have done well there. Easy to haggle on price too.
> Trash; Figure out when the trash trucks run in the subdivisions near you. Then walk those streets about an hour before trash run and you will find discarded bikes out with the trashcans for the trashman to dispose of. Often they only need a tire replaced or the owners kid just outgrew it, etc. Lots of Sears, Schwinns, Giants, etc., out there. I scored a dirty but mint Colnago once!
> Recycle Yards: Check the phone book for any local metal recycle yards nearby. I have visited many and have never failed to find a huge pile of bikes (like a pile the size of a house). Ask permission to scrounge and they always say ok. Look for a nice branded bike. If it has a bent rear wheel, then just grab another one with a good wheel. When you check out they just weigh them and charge you what they would get for the metal content if they sold it... so maybe 25 pounds x $0.13/pound per bike; so not much. Then do a bit of clean up and tuning and you are riding well. Note that you are extremely unlikely to find a Colnago there but a lower end Trek is very possible. Anything special would be pulled and and set aside for resell and they will probably want too much for it as they have already labeled it as "special". Some yards actually have a high school kid working commission only who digs through the scrap and puts together sellable bikes that he puts up on craigslist.
> LBS; Most bike shops have a few trade-ins, a few returns, and a few repaired bikes setting in the back room. Often the staff also have bikes of their own that they want to get rid of and will know of others who have one for sell. Just visit, be nice, look at a few tags on the new bikes and then look sad, followed by the big question to the sales guy "wow these are nice, but do you have anything for under $XX dollars that I can afford; even a used one?" It is amazing what will pop out of the woodwork for just a bit more that a craigslist bike.
ksisler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 08:37 AM   #14
ksisler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 1,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, but Bikes Direct sells only new bikes and certainly nothing costing $50 complete. About $350 is the minimum. As to Chicago, it's the land of the fixie and single speed. The only hills in the entire city are highway overpasses.
Actually they have quite a few for a little as $249 w/free shipping. I was skeptical too at first so I just bought one of the $249 Motobecanes with O/S aluminum frame, flat bar, and v-brakes w/ brifters. I have now been riding it every day for almost 3 years and it is really a solid bike; even for a bike nut. The quality and value of bikes has really gone up since the good old days.
If one can come up with about $500, then the value is just awesome (like the cafe racer).
ksisler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 09:08 AM   #15
eja_ bottecchia
Senior Member
 
eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
It is a well known quality bike from the era, it looks excellent and the price is good! You should have already jumped on it as great deals on Craigs go fast.

So the main point is... if it looks good + is in good condition + it fits you + is priced cheap = then grab it fast. There is nothing anyone on the forums is going to tell you that trumps that equation!

BTW: It is usually a bad idea to post the actual URL to a bike you are considering. If it is a good bike at a great price, then someone reading the forum can just yank it out from under you while you wait for replies. Better to just copy a bit of the description and a photo or two from the craigs ad and repost that to the forum. I tend to slip in a fake city and state also to delay the snippers for a while.
Why so suspicious?

Actually for $60 it is a good deal. My first roadbike was a LeTour. A damned good bike!
eja_ bottecchia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 09:35 AM   #16
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail
Posts: 5,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDamnCyclist View Post
Where do you guys find great bikes for low prices besides Craigslist?
What ksisler said, and also garage sales and swap meets/flea markets. (Check this guy out: http://www.mrmartinweb.com/bicycle.html; note one of his bikes is a Le Tour he got at a garage sale for $10! His capsule description might be useful for you)

For the very best deals, you usually have to have at least some basic wrenching skills/tools, because the very best deals are bikes that are super-low priced because something simple is wrong that the owner can't deal with. Sometimes even as simple as just pumping up the tires!
RubeRad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 09:43 AM   #17
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail
Posts: 5,269
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDamnCyclist View Post
I'm going to buy another bike because the older one I bought off craigslist about 3 weeks back failed me.
Since this is the Bike Mech forum, can you describe how your other bike failed you? Likely we can help (although depending on the problem, your budget might dictate it's still better to buy another cheap bike)
RubeRad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 11:12 AM   #18
Airburst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: England, currently dividing my time between university in Guildford and home just outside Reading
Bikes: Too many to list here!
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
Some yards actually have a high school kid working commission only who digs through the scrap and puts together sellable bikes
As I recall, the great Sheldon Brown learnt to fix bikes doing that....
Airburst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 04:53 PM   #19
garage sale GT
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, but Bikes Direct sells only new bikes and certainly nothing costing $50 complete. About $350 is the minimum.

As to Chicago, it's the land of the fixie and single speed. The only hills in the entire city are highway overpasses.
Nah, the entire north side gently slopes toward downtown.
garage sale GT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 07:59 PM   #20
ThatDamnCyclist
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought an old Raleigh reliant. At the first week of using bike, it was fine despite cosmetic damages and a front gear that wasn't connected. Then the brakes which were dusty as hell stopped working as the thing connecting to the brakes bar came off and i couldn't reconnect it. Then the cranks, were a little shaky and loose with the screw to the thing being melded so my friend said he couldn't help me tighten it up. All and all, he said it was a lost cause and recommended me to just buy another. Bought it for 40$ originally, because i was dumb and the guy said it was worth it without me even giving it more than a couple glances before paying.
ThatDamnCyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 11:07 PM   #21
cale
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!
Posts: 3,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Regarding the Le Tour. I don't have any problem with the bike but the ad gives me the willies. "My roommate gave his bike to me before he moved out." I wouldn't touch the bike unless I knew the seller personally. Most likely it was "given" to pay a debt, possibly the rent. But then why the smoke screen? Why not just say, "I'm selling my bike." IDK, just don't care for the wording, I guess. Probably nothing to worry about...
cale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-12, 11:26 PM   #22
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Bikes: copy/paste links: http://velospace.org/node/36949 http://velospace.org/node/47746 http://velospace.org/node/47747
Posts: 7,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The bike linked in the OP is not a particularly good deal. IMO $50 for anything with steel rims that isn't some kind of collectable bike is a bit of a rip-off...

Now this is a good deal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3379557677.html this looks like it would make a great commuter (unless you're set on a road bike)
For the same money, ally rims, and even an ally frame (look at the size of the welds). Bargain.
Kimmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-12, 12:45 PM   #23
cale
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!
Posts: 3,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Kimmo, I agree that the Le Tour isn't modern but that's part of the fun. I have a Raleigh C30 from around the same time that C40 was made and can attest to the fact that it will have superior braking, shifting, weight, etc. But it doesn't have much soul.

Cale
cale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-12, 01:39 PM   #24
garage sale GT
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, the braking, shifting, and weight were absolutely good enough unless you get chrome steel rims and ride in the rain.
garage sale GT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-12, 07:36 PM   #25
ThatDamnCyclist
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I decided not to buy the bike after reading some of these and realized that aluminum rims made such a huge difference. Since i'll be going on quite a bit of a journey it'd be wise to get good brakes in the least. Thanks guys, I'll be coming back to ask again
ThatDamnCyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:17 PM.