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  1. #1
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    Trek 400 for $225, worth it????

    I'm looking at a Trek 400 road bike with aero bar. Owner asking $225. Want to use as an introductory tri bike. Have a large family, low $$ funds and a passion to try some sprint triathlon's. If I catch the fever I'll save up for a better tri bike, but I need something to train and ride in my first 4 or 6 races. Would this vintage bike be worth it for the interim?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The "price" of a bike is highly related to its condition. Sometimes I see 1985ish bikes that appear to be "brand new"...probably ridden less than fifty miles in twenty years. I also see twenty year old bikes that are totally trashed out.

    Take the bike to a good shop and have them give you a detailed written estimate of the cost of getting it into "like new" condition (other than the paint). Deduct their estimate from the asking price, and you would probably arrive at a reasonable offer.

  3. #3
    Banned.
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    I believe the 400 series sold new for close to that price! It may have sold for as much as $400 depending on components. What components are on the bike and what frame is being used? There should be a sticker on the frame seat tube near the bottom bracket that would say what the frame material and manufacture is (I think the 400 used Ishiwata 022). The 400 was a sport bike and was Treks introductory (the entire 400 series) line of bikes. Unless the bike was rarely ridden and in new condition that seems way too high; a used 400 series bike today in average condition would sell for around $50, even if it were in new condition $150 would be the max; but only you can decide if spending $225 is worth it to you.

  4. #4
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    Used bikes are tricky and subjective. Check out the "Catch of the Day" thread and you'll see scads of quality bikes found for 50$ or less. Heck, a guy found a Masi and just sold it for $500. However, not all communities have great used bike supplies, mine certainly doesn't. So hearing about all the great $10 bikes doesn't help if you can't find any of them.

    OTOH a clean 400 series Trek is alot better than anything new in that range (I can only think of 1 or 2 ~300$ new bikes). If you buy it and use it as described you'll see a good return on your investment and that's sometimes all you can ask for.

    Definitely negotiate before buying though. That's a top $ price and I doubt people are lining up to buy it. Start substantially lower.



    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the background info and your comments and suggestions. They have given me some new things to look at as I ponder this purchase.

  6. #6
    Newbie bikor's Avatar
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    Hard to say what it's worth as that depends a lot on condition and components; I have an original 86 Trek 400, Reynolds 531 and Trek investment cast lugs. Still rides great, though the components are in need of upgrading.

    Check out www.vintage-trek.com for specs. Probably some good life left in the frame if it's in good shape....

  7. #7
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Early Treks, as a rule, are very nice bikes. Personally, I'd say that 200 plus is a bit high for a 400, especially if it is true temper tubing. 100-150 would be more in line, even lower given factors like condition and frame size. I will say that used bike pricing varies wildly by geographic area, however-- if you're in a (relative) cycling hotbed like San Francisco or Seattle, the price may not be out of line.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  8. #8
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I concur.


    Unless you find sentimental "got to have-itis" in this bike it is a bit pricey. I love the old treks (check my sig). This bike is a good bike and probably the same year as mine...or close to it. If you have the time to visit yardsales before your purchase maybe you can pickup a similar deal to what I did with this 460 which needed the obligatory tires, tubes, tape, pump/tire stuff. The bike was purchased for 35.00 so if you can wait you will likely find a better deal....or wait this seller out until he comes down a good hundred dollars.


    Olds
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

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