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Old 02-20-14, 11:54 PM   #1
raccoonio
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Need help, buying my first road bike on craiglist (Motobecane Jubilee Sport)

I've only ridden on mountain bikes, so I need you help. I want to buy this Motobecane Jubilee Sport bike for $125. I did research on this and it seems like it's a nice vintage bike for a poor college student, aka me.
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/bik/4341356187.html
One of the concerns that I have is that the bike frame is 19". I am 5'4''. According to this site
(http://simplybike.wordpress.com/2010...ght-size-bike/),
this bike should fit me. However, I stumble this post (http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in...p/t-60005.html) where the rider who is 5'10'' says that the bike is too big for him. So I'm confused right now, I need to buy the bike fast since I can't handle walking to classes anymore. Also, is this a good deal?
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Old 02-21-14, 12:25 AM   #2
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Moved to Appraisals from (the main) C & V.
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Old 02-21-14, 12:34 AM   #3
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Looks more to be a 21-22 frame too small for a 5'10" IMO. I am old school fist full of seatpost fit person. If its really a 19" way to small. For example I am a long legged 5'11, short torso and I like a 24.5" frame.
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Old 02-21-14, 01:25 AM   #4
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It's a pretty bike. My less-than-expert opinions, though:

1) It's French, which isn't a bad thing, but depending on the bike's age, it means some parts may be sized differently than today's common standards. For example, many French bikes used to come with different-sized bottom brackets (where the cranks attach) and headsets. If you need to replace these parts, new ones in the right size could be hard to find or expensive. I don't know Motobecanes too well, but there are plenty of guys here who can probably help you determine whether or not French sizing would be a problem for this particular bike.

2) I'm a little over 5'9" and usually fit on bikes in the 53-55 cm range, which converts to roughly 21". Eyeballing it, this bike appears to be about my size. I'm guessing it would be too big for you. But really, especially if you don't know from experience what size you're looking for, you've got to try riding a bike to be sure.

As for whether it's a good deal... If it fits, it's in good mechanical shape, and you like it, I wouldn't object. But if it doesn't fit you well, it's not a good deal at any price.
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Old 02-21-14, 02:56 AM   #5
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That's a mid 1980's graphics scheme. Don't worry about Skydog75's Frenchiness concern. It applies to earlier Motobecanes.

He's right about fit though. You won't know till you ride it.

good luck!
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Old 02-21-14, 07:34 AM   #6
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Good advice here, all around. But I would suggest going to see the bike anyway.

It probably is NOT a 19" frame but maybe there's some peculiarity about this frame and it is. As you are new to this: frames are generally measured up the seat tube, from the center of the crank up to *either* the middle of the top tube, or the top of the top tube. Whether it's 'center to center' or 'center to top' can obviously make a difference. In this case though, we are looking at the head tube for an estimate. Generally on a steel road bike, on a 19" (or 49cm) frame, there is very little gap between the top tube and bottom tube where they join the head tube. As you can see, on this one there's a couple of fingers' gap. The next size up from 19"/49cm is usually 52cm, and this looks like even more than that. BUT maybe there is something in this bike's geometry that makes it different. (The seller seems to know SOMETHING about bikes so it's surprising he'd get the size so wrong.)

I will say that given the special hook the bike is hanging from, the shiny paint, the accessories on it and the updating, with a newish (if ugly) saddle, etc, the current owner has evidently taken some care and spent some money on it, so it seems likely that it is well maintained and will really be ready to ride. That's unusual.

Even if chances are this bike is too big for you, go see it anyway, you'll learn something.

BTW 19 1/2" (more accurately) or 49cm is probably right for you; I am 5' 6" with fairly stubby legs and I am best on a 52cm.
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Old 02-21-14, 07:58 AM   #7
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The bike is likely already gone. If it is not , BUY it. It is worth way more than $125 and can easily be resold.

It is very hard to get the size right even with a short test ride. I spent over a year dialing in the "right" fit not to mention the months of online research I did first.
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Old 02-21-14, 06:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by digger531 View Post
The bike is likely already gone. If it is not , BUY it. It is worth way more than $125 and can easily be resold.

It is very hard to get the size right even with a short test ride. I spent over a year dialing in the "right" fit not to mention the months of online research I did first.
+1
I'm around 5'8"-5'9" and I ride anything up to 23" no problem. If I were you I'd grab that cherry Moto while you have the chance. The fit can be adjusted with a stem change if necessary; but if you're 5'-4" and of typical proportions that frame is certainly in your ballpark.
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Old 02-21-14, 06:54 PM   #9
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Agree with Oldscool , you will be ok size wise with a few adjustments. Thats a lot of bike for $125 , go get it !
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Old 02-21-14, 07:23 PM   #10
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I'm 5'7" and that frame appears a little too tall for me. I normally ride a 50-51cm frame, which on a traditionally styled road frame has enough room at the headtube to fit one or two fingjers in the gap between the toptube and downtube. Being 3" shorter than me, I would expect that bike to be quite a bit too tall for you.
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Old 02-21-14, 09:38 PM   #11
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Did you get it?
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Old 02-23-14, 06:19 PM   #12
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Thank you for all your replies. It's great to be able to consult with such a knowledgeable bikers. I contacted the seller, and asked to meet up. If it fits, I will be riding my first road bike soon.
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Old 02-25-14, 01:59 PM   #13
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...If it fits, I will be riding my first road bike soon.
Let us know whether you decided to get it - there's been a few other decent options on San Diego CL in your size.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:33 PM   #14
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Let us know whether you decided to get it - there's been a few other decent options on San Diego CL in your size.
The bike is sold, could you send me the offers that you found. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-14, 12:31 PM   #15
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The bike is sold, could you send me the offers that you found. Thanks.
Sorry for the delay. Here's a couple options for small frames on a college student budget:

Univega for $70: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/bik/4344275828.html
Can't tell the model - the stem shifters imply it's not all that high in their line up, but Univegas are generally considered to be pretty nice riders even in their lower models. Mismatched tires, and scratched/scuffed paint (top tube especially), but nothing looks bent. A tune up is probably all you'll need.

Univega mixte for $125: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/bik/4349779909.html
Right at your price point, if you don't mind a mixte frame. Might not be worth it if you have to go all the way to Ramona, but maybe the seller would be willing to meet you part way. But it does come with new tires.

Nishiki for $150: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/bik/4331955590.html
Slightly more expensive than the Motobecane, but looks like a decent Nishiki... (a Sport, maybe?). Even smaller than the first Univega.

I'll keep my eyes open.
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