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  1. #1
    Junior Member Fiji__speed's Avatar
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    Brand new to road biking: are these bikes worth it?

    Hey guys. I'm really interested in getting into cycling. I'm interested in purchasing a vintage road bicycle for neighborhood rides, park rides, and quick commutes.

    I'm a male, about 5'11, and I've looking for a cheap vintage road bike (no more than $200) that would be good for a beginner. I've been in the search for about a week and a half now.

    I found these bikes on Craigslist and wanted to know what some of you more experienced riders, builders, and traders thought:


    01717_GL8H2pYqr1_600x450.jpg

    00D0D_OgHbTeL3BJ_600x450.jpg


    00Z0Z_5zN80GNRAkA_600x450.jpg

    00I0I_1XJmCvllutm_600x450.jpg

    01717_GL8H2pYqr1_600x450.jpg


    Description: Great vintage road road bike for a great price! Come pick this bike today, it wont last long, Summer is HERE!!! Frame measures 56cm. Bike has fully working 12 gears, new handle bar tape and good tires. Bike has a solid light frame and is very sturdy when riding through potholes. I am asking $199 and willing to negotiate on price for serious buyers, no trade and no low ball offers.

    This one is selling for around $190.00 -- is this a good deal? It's about in my price range, but I'm not sure if I can find a better deal out there. The strange part about the ad, though, is that there is no mention of the maker of the bike!


    Lastly, is there anything that you recommend that I look into before making a purchase?
    Last edited by Fiji__speed; 06-08-14 at 11:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bertinjim's Avatar
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    Hi, Fiji__speed-

    Before you buy, check your inseam measurement from the pubic bone to the ground. Depending on inseam, your 5' 11" height could have you riding frames from 56 to 60 cm. Try any bike for fit. C&V bikes typically need 1 to 2 inches of stand over clearance with a level top tube. Your $200 range should get a decent bike, depending on your market. Look for Trek, Fuji, higher end Schwinn, Norco and Japanese bikes in general to maximize your quality. French bikes are wonderful but weird and unless you know them well, take a pass. And no, do not even consider the bike in the photos. It is low end and will not provide an enjoyable introduction to the kind of riding you intent. If you mention your specific area, other members may be able to comment with specific recommendations. As well, you may want to try Kijiji. In my area of Ontario it has a better selection of used C&V bikes than Craigslist.

  3. #3
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Might want to check the rims for dents and flat spots as the seller says its good for riding through potholes. Never a good sign.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Fiji__speed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bertinjim View Post
    Hi, Fiji__speed-

    Before you buy, check your inseam measurement from the pubic bone to the ground. Depending on inseam, your 5' 11" height could have you riding frames from 56 to 60 cm. Try any bike for fit. C&V bikes typically need 1 to 2 inches of stand over clearance with a level top tube. Your $200 range should get a decent bike, depending on your market. Look for Trek, Fuji, higher end Schwinn, Norco and Japanese bikes in general to maximize your quality. French bikes are wonderful but weird and unless you know them well, take a pass. And no, do not even consider the bike in the photos. It is low end and will not provide an enjoyable introduction to the kind of riding you intent. If you mention your specific area, other members may be able to comment with specific recommendations. As well, you may want to try Kijiji. In my area of Ontario it has a better selection of used C&V bikes than Craigslist.
    Thank you so much for the advice and information, bertinjim! I intend on visiting my local bike shop sometime later this week to get an appropriate sizing/fitting done. Makes that I've currently been eyeing include many of what you've mentioned: Trek, Fuji, Nikishi, Raleigh, Peugeot, and a couple of others. However, I figured that these might be on the higher end considering my budget?

    Thanks for the advice, I'll steer clear from the bikes on the Craigslist ad. I'm in the Chicagoland area and would appreciate any advice on picking up a high quality vintage road bike. After a little over a week of searching, I'd say that this bike -- the Trek 560 seems to be my ideal type of bike. Here's a picture:


    photo 4.jpg

    photo 3.jpg

    photo 5.jpg

    The one pictured above is way above my price range, though -- nearly $450!

  5. #5
    Senior Member bertinjim's Avatar
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    Hi, Fiji___speed-

    A Trek 500 or 400 series would be great. A 1980s Peugeot would e ok because threading was converted to ISO by then. Careful at the bike shop - they tend to measure modern which means small frames which affect comfort.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Lots of good bikes cheap in Chicagoland, so if you're not in a big hurry, go out and test ride a few in your price range and find out what you like. Bring some tools with you, at minimum 5mm and 6mm hex keys so you can make seat posts and stems go up and down to fit your size. (You also want to know that these parts are movable - not rusted in place.) Also, some older seat clamps need a 1/2", 13mm or 14mm wrench to adjust the seat tilt. Bring those if you got 'em.

    Like bertinijim says, 56-60cm is a very reasonable size range for you to be looking at.
    ● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

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