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Old 01-26-12, 01:09 AM   #1
gtm604
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Buying first bike please advise.

long time looker at this wonderful site. Looking for some advice and tips. Not sure if this is the right place or not. Sorry in advance as I know these threads are probably posted all the time. I'm new to biking. I have a $200 - $250 dollar budget. At first It will be used for longer rides (22 miles at first then up) recreational use only not for transportation (work use) Though I might eventually.

I live in Vancouver BC so i'd like the bike to be geared no single or fixie. Willing and able to do mechanical work and have tools and some knowledge. Not sure if I will like biking which is the reason for a lower budget. Obviously the budget means used only.

The market for buying such bikes in Vancouver is craigslist. If anyone know's a better place please recommend it to me. Unfortunately this is Where Supercycles and Free Spirits tend to sell for 150 plus. I have to make do with what's given to me. Other info that might be useful. I weight 200 Ibs and i'm 5'9. my pant leg or inseam is 30 inch If there's any info I've missed out please ask and of course Any advice is much appreciated.

Willing to buy a Mountain bike or hybrid or build one if need be as long as it will suit my budget and purposes more appropreitly.

As well it's Hard to say as all bicycle makes fit differently but I think it's safe to say no smaller then 52cm and no bigger then 56 cm would be my sizing.

As quality seems to vary so much even within brands I feel a little lost to say the least. Is there a used quality bike that fits within my budget that I should only consider and forget the rest. I have patience and don't need the bike tomorrow so to speak.

Just a few bikes i've been considering.

BRC $250
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...811699411.html

Nishiki
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...753009312.html

Nishiki
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/bn...804811388.html

Bridgestone $150
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...787209312.html
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Old 01-26-12, 02:16 AM   #2
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you're on the right track but those bikes you listed are all low to mid level.
i did a few quick searches on BRC CL.
these are nice quality / good bang for the buck bicycles in your size for decent prices:

53cm Diamond Back centurion interval road bike - $325 (51&Fraser, vancouver)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...775762590.html

53 cm Gitane Champion - $200 (Fairview)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...789914554.html

Pugeot 54cm classic. Rd bike. - $240 (Yaletown)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...746509204.html

Maruishi Hilite touring / racing bicycle - $220 (Port Coquitlam)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...801670626.html
^ no photos but sounds decent and in your size / price range

56cm cannondale road bike - $300 (richmond)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...778842774.html

Specialized Rock Hopper - $150 (Commercial)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...816917420.html

Vintage Tom Ritchey Mountain Bike - $150 (Kitsilano)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...816381657.html
^ not sure if fork is original

Miyata Triplecross - $300 (Langley)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...762540118.html

Last edited by brooklyn_bike; 01-26-12 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 01-26-12, 08:07 AM   #3
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Try using some of these procedures and learn How To Find a Vintage Bicycle. I have found hundreds, and perhaps thousands. This old Nishiki, shipped to BC, would fit into your budget. You are welcome to send me an email through Bike Forums or my website, if you wish.

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Old 01-26-12, 09:32 AM   #4
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Brooklyn gave you some good examples, but I wil say this: Give your situation, I wouldn't worry too much about the "high end" / "low end" argument. While I wouldn't recommend some behemoth, there are plenty of decent bikes that would fit your needs but many would consider "low end". All things being equal, obviously you'll want the best bang for your buck, but don't feel like you need to spend at the top of your price range for fear of getting a "low end" bike.

I think any bike that fits, weighs < 30 lbs, and is mechanically sound would be a fine choice for you - that mentality could easily save you $100+. Personally, I like road bikes with drop bars and DT shifters, but that doesn't mean that you do.
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Old 01-26-12, 09:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Try using some of these procedures and learn How To Find a Vintage Bicycle. I have found hundreds, and perhaps thousands. This old Nishiki, shipped to BC, would fit into your budget. You are welcome to send me an email through Bike Forums or my website, if you wish.
Oh sure. Another "shameless" plug for MY TEN SPEEDS
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Old 01-26-12, 10:27 AM   #6
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I like low-end bikes as I can wrench on them without concern that I may damage something 'too' nice. Also cause they're cheap Good value for money in that range for a daily riding bike.

Also, I learned a bunch from "MY TEN SPEEDS" good site, sound advice.
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Old 01-26-12, 11:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input so far by everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Try using some of these procedures and learn How To Find a Vintage Bicycle. I have found hundreds, and perhaps thousands.
Very interesting site. Just read through all the methods of search some amazing suggestions. there a lot of good info in it. much appreciated.
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Old 01-26-12, 01:21 PM   #8
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I could be wrong, but the fork on the Peugeot from Brooklyn's list looks iffy. Frame and/or fork damage should be your #1 concern. Most mechanical things can be fixed fairly easily, but I would at least buy a bike with a sound frame/fork and wheels with alloy rims that are reasonably true.
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Old 01-26-12, 01:28 PM   #9
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Randy- keep plugging away, your site has helped many.
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Old 01-26-12, 05:10 PM   #10
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Step 1 when you live in an overpriced/high price market: Unless you have the ability to pounce on a deal, and want to make looking for a bike a full time job, look OUTSIDE your area. Have friends/family/whatever that live outside your area look as well (or better yet, LOOK for them, and ask them to pick up the bike for you).

If you do spot a local bike that is a deal, you need to move really fast, like get in the car immediately and go get it. Can't tell a good deal from a bad deal? Get educated first. Realize there are plenty of people in your area that can (they are the competition).

I heard a great quote on the radio today: when someone with money meets someone with experience, the person with experience ends up with the money, and the person with money ends up with experience.

A lot of red hot markets are relatively close to sane or even affordable markets: example: Seattle is hot, but Spokane and other markets in WA state are not.

Convenience = pay top dollar = need to raise that budget. Its that old dilemma, you really can't have it all. Trade distance, time and effort for a lower price. Your choice.

Another "trick" I use, is any time I go on a car vacation, I pick up bikes. I can't remember the last time I did not come home with at least a couple. And I look at cities along the way. So on my last trip to Florida, I picked up a bike in Hilton Head on the way down (seller met me at a convenience store off I-95), scouted out several more on the way, picked another up in Lakeland, Florida, wheels in Orlando, etc.

Last edited by wrk101; 01-26-12 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 01-27-12, 07:32 PM   #11
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I Found a 1980's Panasonic Sport 1000 12 speed for a $100 21 inch (within my size). Sounds like a decent deal ? I did a little bit of research seems like a half way decent. what do you guys think about this particular type of bike. will be checking it out today or tomorrow, hopefully.
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Old 01-27-12, 08:03 PM   #12
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Should be a good solid bike for your use. Price is good too. Panasonic made good, lighter, lower end bikes...MUCH lighter than the Schwinns of the day. Does it have chrome or alloy rims? If chrome, I would suggest you watch CL for a new set of wheels, chrome does NOT stop in the wet very well.
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Old 01-27-12, 08:36 PM   #13
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The word "Sport" in almost any Japanese model name = entry level, or near entry level. Again, education is the key, and Google is your friend. And at the $100 price point, without really aggressive looking, entry level is about what you will find. Now Panasonic built nice bikes, so entry level is still pretty decent.

The best deals do not last til tomorrow. There are just way too many educated (about bike values) people looking for deals. In my area, the best deals typically last 15 to 30 minutes, particularly at the less than $150 price point. Then you will see them reposted a few days later for twice the price. The higher end stuff, even when priced well below market, lasts a lot longer (particularly vintage). Everyone is looking for a good, but cheap bike. Not too many are looking for a great, but much higher priced bike.

The harder you look, the further your budget will go (Randy has good suggestions on finding bikes on his site). But please note, the best deals tend to be neglected bikes, that need significant work. The best deals become lousy deals if you do not have the tools/time/aptitude/interest in rehabbing the bike. Around here, a thorough rehab at a bike shop will cost as much or more than most bikes are worth after the work is completed. So in that case, even a "free" bike can be a lousy deal.

Last edited by wrk101; 01-27-12 at 09:21 PM.
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