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  1. #1
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    Help With Panasonic Sport Road Bike Pricing

    Hi all,

    New to the cycling world/forum here. With gas prices spiking and being a poor med student, I'm looking to commute to school/hospital by bike rather than car. Unfortunately I can't afford much (<200 dollars) and was wondering if I could get some help. I live pretty close to the hospital (around 2 miles) but it is fairly hilly. I'm also in the Northeast so I would need something fairly durable that could handle being rained/snowed on a bit. I'd also like to use it in my free time to do bike paths and such.

    I found this decent looking bike on craigslist and was wondering if the craigslist ad is asking a fair price bike.jpg

    The description is that it is a Panasonic Sport (no model number or anything) made in the mid to late 80's. 61 cm frame with "cro-molly forks and high end shimano gears."

    I'm going to go give the bike a test ride on Sunday but was wondering what these bikes usually run. Did some searching and found that people said for similar bikes they were paying around 100 or less. Poster is asking 175 obo. Thanks in advance everyone!

  2. #2
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    A good deal on CL would not last til Sunday.

    Sport model was at or near tHe bottom of their product line. Depending on the market and condition, might be worth it. Here in Hooterville, no way.

    Anyone that can handle med school can quickly educate himself on bikes. Given a low budget and the description of your riding, a nice vintage rigid frame mtb would make a nice choice.
    Last edited by wrk101; 04-29-11 at 01:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    A good deal on CL would not last til Sunday.
    Fair point. What do you think would be a starting point price to negotiate with the seller assuming bike is in good condition? I'm never good at bargaining and I don't want to make anyone angry by thinking I'm trying to lowball them.

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    First you need to ascertain if it's in the ballpark of fitting you. A 61cm frame is pretty big. I could ride it and I am 6'1". I might be able to sell that bike for $175 where I live, (more like $150) but I don't know your market. Northeast covers a lot of ground.

    As Bill says it looks pretty low end. If you are patient, and educate yourself on what to look for you will most likely find a higher end bike for your $200 budget if you want a "10 speed".

    Also +1 on Bill's suggestion of rigid frame MTB. Those are plentiful, cheap, rugged and not so likely to get stolen from wherever you lock it up.
    Last edited by tmh657; 04-29-11 at 01:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
    First you need to ascertain if it's in the ballpark of fitting you. A 61cm frame is pretty big. I could ride it and I am 6'1". I might be able to sell that bike for $175 where I live, (more like $150) but I don't know your market. Northeast covers a lot of ground.

    As Bill says it looks pretty low end. If you are patient, and educate yourself on what to look for you will most likely find a higher end bike for your $200 budget if you want a "10 speed".

    Also +1 on Bill's suggestion of rigid frame MTB. Those are plentiful, cheap, rugged and not so likely to get stolen from wherever you lock it up.
    Thanks for the help everyone. I'm a bit taller than 6'1" so from what I've read online 61 cm seems to be around the right size for me. Also, I'm in Providence, RI so the market may be a bit tighter here due to colleges and the relatively bike-friendly environment.

    The only reason I was seeking out a road bike with road tires is because of the hills around here. From what I understand road bikes are a lot lighter with less rolling resistance compared to a big mountain bike frame and tires.

    Also, any suggestions on where to read up about buying a used bike? I've done a few google searches and read a few websites but they were all pretty nonspecific like check brakes, brake pads, chain, dents, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hurley81388 View Post
    The only reason I was seeking out a road bike with road tires is because of the hills around here. From what I understand road bikes are a lot lighter with less rolling resistance compared to a big mountain bike frame and tires.
    Yep, a mountain bike will be heavier unless you find a very high end frame and put slicks on it.

    Check it, compliments of BF member randyjawa>>> http://www.mytenspeeds.com/My_TenSpe...TRODUCTION.htm

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    I have a taller panosonic sport... that has shimano 600 front and rear derailleurs... that might be the "highend shimano gears" the add is talking about.

    Price depends on condition and location... Where are you?

    Condition... if you can ride it as is and it requires no work... I would offer $150 cash... if it needs new tubes, tires, cables you might want to look for a different bike unless you can do the work your self. Make sure you spin the wheels and see if they are true as well as look at the tires an see if they are dry rotted. Other thing to listen for are any grinding, rubbing, strange noises while riding. Most vintage bikes need to have all the bearing re-greased

    I'm selling mine that has new tubes, tires, and cables, and bar tape for $150 to $175...

    good luck

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    A higher end vintage mtb will eat hills. They have the easier gearing, and with slick tires, run well. Now some low end old mtb, forget it. The goods at least around here is that the high end mtbs tend to sell for $25 to$50 of the low end stuff.

    The Panasonic Sport will not be a light bike, by road bike standards.

    In a good market, you eitherneedto. Launch on a deal, or be prepared to pay full price, maybe higher tha full price. CL is a public outlet, and there're scoopers in just abouteverymarket pouncing on the deals.

    I picked up a bike off CL last week, probably 80% under market. Guys phone was ringing off the hook, I got it about 15 minutes after thead was posted. I'll probably add it to the keeper fleet.
    Last edited by wrk101; 04-29-11 at 04:58 PM.

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    Thanks everyone for all the input. I read parts of that guide that were posted up earlier and had a question about tires. The author says he would stay away from the "sewn in" tires because they are more maintenance but doesn't describe how to tell what type of tires they are. How would I tell if the tubes are "sewn in"? Also, is this something I need to worry about? The rest about dents in the frames and forks are pretty clear.

    Also, another ad popped up this afternoon on CL advertising a 1984 Trek 420 for 150 firm. It's a 57 cm frame (maybe too small for me?) with 18 speeds and a triple crank ring. Ad says new tires were put on last spring and hardly used. Here is a picture below:

    bike2.jpg

    Does this seem like a better deal than the Panasonic?

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    If that Trek 420 was for sale where I live it would have lasted about 12 minutes on CL. Trek touring bikes are in high demand. In good shape they bring premium prices. I have sold a couple of 420's for $300 or more. 57cm would be too small for me and you as well if you are taller than 6'1".

    Don't be concerned about sew up tires as you will not likely run across them on a low to mid level bike.

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 420 is a deal but too small for you.

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    Dang, I already e-mailed the poster of the CL ad to see if I could take the 420 for a spin tomorrow. He replied and told me I was the first replier and I have first dibs if I want it.

    Should I even go bother to check it out at 6'1" or am I just wasting my time?

    FWIW when I buy pants I buy 32" x 32"

    Thanks for all the help!!!!!!
    Last edited by hurley81388; 04-29-11 at 07:52 PM.

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    Your small market may allow that 420 to last until tomorrow,(doubtful) and could also prevent you from flipping it which is too bad.

    You can see how much seat post is showing on the Trek 420 so the rider was tall as well. IMO you could ride it but it just won't feel right. I rode a 57cm Trek 660 for awhile just because it was such a sweet bike but in the end it just didn't fit, much too cramped no matter how much seat post or how long the stem.

    When you get on a 60 or 61cm bike with the right top tube length it will just feel right.. If it's REALLY close you could go ride the bike but being a med student and all it could be a waste of precious time, the sellers time as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
    Your small market may allow that 420 to last until tomorrow,(doubtful) and could also prevent you from flipping it which is too bad.

    You can see how much seat post is showing on the Trek 420 so the rider was tall as well. IMO you could ride it but it just won't feel right. I rode a 57cm Trek 660 for awhile just because it was such a sweet bike but in the end it just didn't fit, much too cramped no matter how much seat post or how long the stem.

    When you get on a 60 or 61cm bike with the right top tube length it will just feel right.. If it's REALLY close you could go ride the bike but being a med student and all it could be a waste of precious time, the sellers time as well.
    Yeah I contacted the seller- he's really close to me (<10 minute drive). Assuming the bike doesn't fit, is this a risky flip? Or is it very likely I could break even?

    In terms of time (at least for me).... med school sucks but you can always make time for things.
    Last edited by hurley81388; 04-29-11 at 08:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hurley81388 View Post
    Yeah I contacted the seller- he's really close to me (<10 minute drive). Assuming the bike doesn't fit, is this a risky flip? Or is it very likely I could break even?
    You are thinking like all good bike hoarders would. Buy the bike, ride it and if it doesn't fit sell for profit or break even. Chances are another Trek 420 won't come up in Providence or RI for awhile so it's a safe bet to at least break even.

    Personally I would not buy a bike to flip if I could break even. There is the $100 profit margin that is a guide for most flips. That bike looks very clean and ready to ride so there is probably no room to add value to it. Perhaps you can't make a decision unless you go and see it.
    Good luck.

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurley81388 View Post
    Assuming the bike doesn't fit, is this a risky flip? Or is it very likely I could break even?
    There are risks to every flip. Risk is controlled by:

    1. Your ability to spot serious problems (and pass on the bike).

    2. Buying right (well below market, which means a clear understanding of the market in your area).

    3. Controlling repair/rehab costs by doing all of the work yourself.

    4. Your ability to market the bike when you sell it (often underestimated in importance IMHO).

    5. And every once in a while, despite all of these steps, a flip doesn't work out. But by following these steps, risk is minimal.

    The number one way I minimize risk is paying low prices for bikes, often I base offers on what the parts can bring by themselves. This means I pass on a lot of bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    There are risks to every flip. Risk is controlled by:

    1. Your ability to spot serious problems (and pass on the bike).

    2. Buying right (well below market, which means a clear understanding of the market in your area).

    3. Controlling repair/rehab costs by doing all of the work yourself.

    4. Your ability to market the bike when you sell it (often underestimated in importance IMHO).

    5. And every once in a while, despite all of these steps, a flip doesn't work out. But by following these steps, risk is minimal.

    The number one way I minimize risk is paying low prices for bikes, often I base offers on what the parts can bring by themselves. This means I pass on a lot of bikes.
    Thanks for the advice. I've thought about it and I've decided I'm definitely not experienced enough with bikes nor can I really afford to take on risk like this so if the bike doesn't fit I'll pass.

    Question about handlebars on a road bike however. If you notice in the picture of the trek, it looks like the grip tape (or foam?) goes around the brakes. On other bikes I've seen though, such as this trek 520, the grip goes all the way down the handlebars.bike3.jpg

    Is this simply a style or is it a sign of quality? Thanks

  18. #18
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    The 420 Trek has the old style foam grips, not tape, popular in the late 1970s to early 1980s. So it did not go around the brake levers. Grip tape is cheap if you shop around a bit.

    Note, that 420 is a good deal! But since it is the wrong size, not so much.
    Last edited by wrk101; 04-30-11 at 02:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    The 420 Trek has the old style foam grips, not tape, popular in the late 1970s to early 1980s. So it did not go around the brake levers. Grip tape is cheap if you shop around a bit.

    Note, that 420 is a good deal! But since it is the wrong size, not so much.
    I'm probably going to catch some flak here for doing it, but I bought the 420.

    It's in perfect condition and (in my opinion) thought it fit well. I watched the REI video online last night on how to fit a road bike and felt that the 420 met all the requirements. About an inch and a half between the top bar (probably not the technical term) and my well let's just say groin region. I felt my arms were not too bent or too straight either.

    Right now the post is too high (a little more than an inch) and I just have to find an allen wrench so I can bring it down. Can I grab one of these at Wal-Mart or do I have to get massively overcharged at a bike shop?

    Also, I'm planning to one day add clip on pedals to the bike but for now I just need to find a good bike lock. Any suggestions? The bike will be left in high-theft areas (college campus and hospital) so I'm willing to pay for quality.

    Any other things a new (used) bike would need? Maybe I should get some blinkies if I ride at night...
    Last edited by hurley81388; 04-30-11 at 04:10 PM.

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    No need to be over charged at a bike shop but there can be a big difference in pricing from one to another. Just check around. Maybe get a tool with several allens in it. Probably a 5mm for the seat post. It's a very common size for a bunch of bolts on the bike. Or just get the 5mm at Wally world.

    In general when buying tools get the best the first time or you will buy the same crappy ones over and over. They break.
    http://www.parktool.com/product/fold...nch-set-aws-10
    http://www.parktool.com/product/fold...nch-set-aws-11
    Last edited by tmh657; 04-30-11 at 04:15 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
    No need to be over charged at a bike shop but there can be a big difference in pricing from one to another. Just check around. Maybe get a tool with several allens in it. Probably a 5mm for the seat post. It's a very common size for a bunch of bolts on the bike. Or just get the 5mm at Wally world.

    In general when buying tools get the best the first time or you will buy the same crappy ones over and over. They break.
    http://www.parktool.com/product/fold...nch-set-aws-10
    http://www.parktool.com/product/fold...nch-set-aws-11
    Does the multi-tool get in the way when doing other work on the bike? I'm hoping to have some free time this summer to learn how to maintain my own bike rather than getting everything done at the shop so I'd like to get a wrench set that can be used for everything

    The only reason I ask is that it's impossible to use my swiss army knife screwdriver in tight spots. not sure if there are any on a bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by hurley81388 View Post
    Does the multi-tool get in the way when doing other work on the bike?
    Yes it does. It's to put in your seat bag on your commute. It's best to have the same tool like a 5mm allen in several different configurations. Just like you have 9 different phillips screwdrivers. I have a few loose 5mm allens and this one http://www.parktool.com/product/3-way-hex-wrench-aws-1 so you can get some leverage on it.

    There are gobs of threads on, "what should I get for my basic shop tools?". A few bike specific tools that get used over and over by folks that like to wrench.. chain tool, bottom bracket tool, cone wrenches, crank puller, chain whip/lock ring tool. YMMV of course.

    PS. Do you like the way the bike rides? And maybe use more than 1 lock. I don't really know since I don't lock my bikes up, they might get stolen.
    Last edited by tmh657; 05-01-11 at 03:06 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmh657 View Post
    Yes it does. It's to put in your seat bag on your commute. It's best to have the same tool like a 5mm allen in several different configurations. Just like you have 9 different phillips screwdrivers. I have a few loose 5mm allens and this one http://www.parktool.com/product/3-way-hex-wrench-aws-1 so you can get some leverage on it.

    There are gobs of threads on, "what should I get for my basic shop tools?". A few bike specific tools that get used over and over by folks that like to wrench.. chain tool, bottom bracket tool, cone wrenches, crank puller, chain whip/lock ring tool. YMMV of course.

    PS. Do you like the way the bike rides? And maybe use more than 1 lock. I don't really know since I don't lock my bikes up, they might get stolen.
    I went ahead and bought a hex wrench multi-tool from home depot today and adjusted the seat post. Have been ridiculously busy so I was only able to take the bike out for a short spin up and down the block a few times to try to get used to friction shifting.

    I've never used friction shifters before and often found myself in between gears. Am I damaging the shifting mechanism by learning through trial and error? Is there any other way to learn?

    Also, I did some searching but couldn't really find a thread on friction shifting. Is there any routine maintenance I have to do on it? Also, I've been reading up on other things that can possibly go wrong including flats. Are these a common occurrence? Should I be investing in extra tubes? In terms of tube sizing, do I just match the tube size with the tire size that's marked on the tire itself? Thanks!

    And I absolutely love the bike. It's super fast and smooth. Other than my shifting
    Last edited by hurley81388; 05-01-11 at 05:29 PM.

  24. #24
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Typically, if bike has been sitting for a while, it. Is good to replace the cables and housings, flush the freewheel, make sure the RD is moving smoothly, lube the chain and go.

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