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  1. #1
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    Buying first older Road bike, please help me choose...

    Hi all,

    I'm a college student and on a budget, but I love riding my hybrid and want to buy my first road bike to ride this season. I need a very large frame as I am 6'4". Here are the links to the 2 that I'd like to go look at.

    Mens Schwinn World Sport 25in frame
    Sawna bike

    The Sanwa is listed incorrectly, and it appears that those were more budget bicycles. The main priority to me is making sure the bike fits properly and has a nice frame, preferably a chromoly frame. I'm not sure on the frame size of the Sanwa but I'm guessing around 63 cm. I'd be fine with a 10 speed, but 12 would be better. I'm looking to ride this bike for 2-3 years religiously, and if I like road bikes, I'll get something newer and better when I graduate. Any input is appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Those are both pretty low-end bikes. Both have suicide levers (the second set of brake levers) and stem shifters which are typically found on low-end bikes.

    Can't tell for sure from the pictures but if either had steel rims (as opposed to alloy), that bike would not make my cut.

    All else being equal (condition, fit, etc.), I'd go for the Schwinn because I like the paint job better.

  3. #3
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    Yes, steel wheels mean I wont be buying it on the spot. Do stem shifters not work as well as down tube shifters? I never really knew much about older shifters, but I just figured they were basically the same thing, with the shifters being in a different location closer to the handlebars.

  4. #4
    Senior Member PatTheSlat's Avatar
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    That age of World Sport (late 80s) was really a pretty decent bike. Alloy rims, indexed shifting, chromoly frame. Fair price on that one for this time of year if it's in good condition. I'd go for that. Stem shifters work fine, they're just not considered stylish.

  5. #5
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    I would guess they're about a horse a piece.

    The Schwinn has the name recognition going for it- hence the extra $40.

    Everything PatTheSlat says is true.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  6. #6
    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    Stem shifters shift fine. When the bike boom in the '70's was happening, all sorts of people, who were new or inexperienced at biking, got on bikes. They often weren't as confident at taking hands off the handlebars to reach down & shift so manufacturers put shifters on the stems as well as those extra brake levers so people riding on the top of the bars didn't have to go to the drops to brake. So....many of these new to cycling folks bought inexpensive bikes, and these features (stem shifters & suicide brake levers) were found on these lower priced bikes. You put your shifters and your brake levers wherever you like. It's your bike. The more comfortable & fun it is to ride he more you'll ride it.

  7. #7
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  8. #8
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    FWIW, assuming you have narrowed it down to those two and they both fit, I'd go for the Schwinn, mainly because it's a known commodity.

    One thing to check on any older bike you look at - does it take 27" tires or 700c tires? The difference in diameter of the bead is 8mm - not so much that the difference is obvious but more than enough to make them not interchangeable. And 700c tires are much easier to find in a much greater variety nowadays.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    My budget doesnt have a limit, as last year i was looking at buying an '09 Trek 1.2 for $600,then realized I could blow that much $ on a bike. I've come to realize that I'd rather get a cheaper road bike and see how I like riding it than to spill a lot of money into a decent bike up front. Lets just say the budget is at $200 or less. I know of the 700c/27" dilemma. That's why i was thinking the Sanwa could have an advantage if it's japanese made and would most likely have 700c wheels. That Raleigh Tri-Lite has my attention though. It seems like it would be worth the extra $ with the added components on it.

    If I bought either of these bikes, the only thing I would change is the brake levers to aero brake levers. I love how older bikes look with integrated brake cables on the bars. The plan is to stay low budget, then save up for something nice if I enjoy riding more than what I've gotten out of my hybrid. But I will say that Raleigh is looking nicer and nicer with the 8 spd in the back. What do you guys think of this price on it? Do you think I could get him to lower the price closer to $200 if I explained that I was a college student on a budget? Better to raise my budget a bit for better componentry then go dirt cheap?

    Raleigh Tri-Lite Extra Large Roadbike

  10. #10
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciche View Post
    But I will say that Raleigh is looking nicer and nicer with the 8 spd in the back. What do you guys think of this price on it? Do you think I could get him to lower the price closer to $200 if I explained that I was a college student on a budget? Better to raise my budget a bit for better componentry then go dirt cheap?

    Raleigh Tri-Lite Extra Large Roadbike
    Price isn't not out of line if all the work has been done as stated. Give a call and see what they say, also mention the fact you have to drive down from WI and don't want to waste time & $ if the price is "firm". If it's more than you want to spend keep an eye on it and see if it languishes for a week or two and try again. I was surprised at all the large frames currently on the local CL.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  11. #11
    Senior Member zazenzach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciche View Post
    My budget doesnt have a limit, as last year i was looking at buying an '09 Trek 1.2 for $600,then realized I could blow that much $ on a bike. I've come to realize that I'd rather get a cheaper road bike and see how I like riding it than to spill a lot of money into a decent bike up front. Lets just say the budget is at $200 or less. I know of the 700c/27" dilemma. That's why i was thinking the Sanwa could have an advantage if it's japanese made and would most likely have 700c wheels. That Raleigh Tri-Lite has my attention though. It seems like it would be worth the extra $ with the added components on it.

    If I bought either of these bikes, the only thing I would change is the brake levers to aero brake levers. I love how older bikes look with integrated brake cables on the bars. The plan is to stay low budget, then save up for something nice if I enjoy riding more than what I've gotten out of my hybrid. But I will say that Raleigh is looking nicer and nicer with the 8 spd in the back. What do you guys think of this price on it? Do you think I could get him to lower the price closer to $200 if I explained that I was a college student on a budget? Better to raise my budget a bit for better componentry then go dirt cheap?

    Raleigh Tri-Lite Extra Large Roadbike

    that raleigh is glued aluminum. i would not recommend that for a taller/heavier rider. tbh i wouldnt recommend that for anyone really.

    if money is not an option i would be looking to spend $250-400 on a nice mid or upper level 80's steel bike. if you decide you dont like cycling, you can alway resell it for about what you put into it. if you buy a cheapo bike, you might have a difficult time reselling it. besides youll probably need to put a bit of money into a cheapo bike in order to replace all the crappy well worn parts.

    id be looking for a centurion ironman, a club or team fuji, a schwinn prelude/premis/tempo/super sport. you have a lot of options there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member crank_addict's Avatar
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    Lots of pickings. Have fun and good luck

    Sharp vintage Trek (1980) 412.
    Vintage 1980 Trek 412 Road Bike


    Description from posting
    Here is an excellent example of Trek's classic entry level lugged steel bicycle with Ishiwata 022 CroMoly tubing.

    This bicycle has a lovely ride-- perfect for touring or riding smartly about town. The paint is in superb condition for its age.

    Bottom bracket & head set have been recently serviced, and we've installed new cables, housings, brake pads, handlebar tape, saddle and tires.

    Top Tube Length = 60cm
    Seat Tube Length = 63cm
    Stand Over Height = 88cm

    Components include:

    Original Suntour VXGT front and rear derailleurs and shift levers.
    SR Apex 170mm crankarms with 52T&42T rings
    14T-30T 6-speed freewheel-
    Dia-Compe sidepull brakes with lever open capability
    NEW ergonomic Cane Creek brake levers.
    SR 100mm stem with Sakae 40cm wide handlebars
    NEW Bontrager saddle and Origin 8 seatpost
    27" Rigida rims with Sunshine GyroMaster hubs.
    NEW Continental Gator 27 x 1 ╝ tires

    Free delivery within 50 miles of Freeport, IL

  13. #13
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    don't rule out ebay either. i found my '76 grand record that way. it has all the stuff i look for in any bike i like to work on:

    - cotterless crank
    - down tube shifters
    - on-frame rear derailleur hanger
    - brake levers free of suicide levers
    - forged dropouts
    - straight and pretty lugged steel frame in my size
    - aluminum rims

    if all that stuff is in place, chances are good the frame is butted or double butted and of a good quality, lightweight steel.

  14. #14
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help so far. What about this trek 400?
    Trek 400T Road Bike
    It has 700c wheels, chromoly frame, alloy wheels. Seems to be everything that I desire as long as it fits...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciche View Post
    Thanks for the help so far. What about this trek 400?
    Trek 400T Road Bike
    It has 700c wheels, chromoly frame, alloy wheels. Seems to be everything that I desire as long as it fits...
    If that fits, and its in reasonable tune, it would work fine. I have a Trek 330 from a couple of years later. Not the lightest road bike out there, but coming from a Hybrid, you will feel a difference. It would seem to have a long cage derailleur and a triple crank so you have lots of gearing options.

    I won't comment on price, it would be much more here in Toronto.

    If it fits, it would be a good starter road bike.

  16. #16
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    The 400's make nice commuters - I'm on my second one, an '87 and '91. They have the bit longer chain stays for pannier clearance, rack mounts, dual bottle mounts, take fenders readily. They are set up for 700's, run all standard threadings, and rear spaced such that they are easily upgraded to modern components with minimum fuss.

    my red '87 that succombed to rust and the white '91 I moved all the 10 speed components over to.

    http://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/Trek88_1.pdf

    The slr brakes work well, had them on my '88 1000. That should be indexed shifting that works pretty good. I would take a look at the Matrix wheels for cracking radially at/between the spokes especially the rear. I've had that on a couple - after many miles of urban commuting. Not a deal breaker, but a negotiation point if cracked, easily replaced.
    $275 is higher than I'd like to pay, but again not out of line for this area in spring, at retail.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dedhed; 04-16-14 at 09:43 AM.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  17. #17
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    Ok, the trek seems to be the best option assuming it fits. Any idea on what I should offer?
    Trek 400T Road Bike

    I'm also considering the world sport, but I know the Trek is a nicer bike with better components
    Mens Schwinn World Sport 25in frame

    I'd appreciate any help on what these are worth and/or what I should offer. Both seem ready to ride, but a test ride will tell me that.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciche View Post
    Ok, the trek seems to be the best option assuming it fits. Any idea on what I should offer?
    Trek 400T Road Bike

    I'm also considering the world sport, but I know the Trek is a nicer bike with better components
    Mens Schwinn World Sport 25in frame

    I'd appreciate any help on what these are worth and/or what I should offer. Both seem ready to ride, but a test ride will tell me that.
    The Schwinn isn't nearly as flexible as it doesn't have the triple, the Trek is a better
    fit.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciche View Post
    Ok, the trek seems to be the best option assuming it fits. Any idea on what I should offer?
    Trek 400T Road Bike

    I'm also considering the world sport, but I know the Trek is a nicer bike with better components
    Mens Schwinn World Sport 25in frame

    I'd appreciate any help on what these are worth and/or what I should offer. Both seem ready to ride, but a test ride will tell me that.
    I owned the same World Sport -- same size and paint. All I can say is that it is very well made frame. Surprisingly light -- as in almost as light as my Trek 620 Reynolds 531 frame. Shifting works fine (I think it is SIS that year -- so indexed.) Alloy wheels. Offer 100, Pay 120.

    The trek is still the better bike. But the Schwinn frame is not a bad one to buy low and upgrade parts on later. Offer 225, Pay 250.

  20. #20
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    Trek should be very available where you live, don't settle for a Schwinn.
    Treks, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  21. #21
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    I met the guy who was selling the trek today. I test rode it, and it was okay, but seemed a little small for me. He also had an '89 schwinn world sport that has a 27" frame. I rode this bike, and it felt much better. He wanted $225 for it, I was thinking no way in hell. I talked him down a bit, but he was difficult, good lord. I paid too much for it, but hey, it fits.


    I have a few questions:

    When lift up the rear and spin the rear wheel, the drivetrain (crank, chain) starts to spin slowly as well. What does this mean? Do the hubs need to be overhauled?

    This bike has a suntour drivetrain. How much worse is it than shimano stuff? I know its pretty base level stuff. It seemed to shift fine during my test ride.

    What would I have to look for on a newer 126mm rear hub to make it work with the current cassette? It's a suntour cassette on there now.
    These caught my attention, would these accept my current cassette?
    Sun M13 Black Road Bike Wheels 126mm Vintage Bike Wheelset 5 6 7 Speed Freewheel | eBay

    As far as upgrades go, I'll get a new saddle. I'll be putting my spd pedals on it after a few rides. The tires are cracking, and they are on 27" wheels. I'm considering getting a wheelset that is 700c with a 126mm rear hub. I WANT TO KEEP THE DRIVETRAIN THE SAME TO AVOID EXPENSIVE UPGRADES. I'd be okay with spending some money on a decent wheelset for it, but I'm fine with the current 12 speed drivetrain. The current 27" wheels on there have seen better days (some spokes are rusting and are bent), and are sort of true. I think I'd "rather just buy a new wheelset than to have these overhauled and trued. There is a lot of room on the brake calipers to accomodate 700c wheels.

  22. #22
    Miyata Cultist Tessou's Avatar
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    There is a misconception that SunTour is bottom-barrel equipment. This is very untrue.

  23. #23
    spondylitis.org kunsunoke's Avatar
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    Your freewheel appears to be binding a little bit. The solution to that problem is to remove the freewheel, soak the crap out of it in WD-40 to get the old oil out, then re-soak in low-viscosity oil with PTFE (ex. Tri-Flow). Should free things up a considerable amount.

    SunTour friction shifting is actually quite good - however, this particular model has AccuShift, mated to a lower-end Alpha 13-28 freewheel. Indexed shifting works best with ramped cogs in back and ramped and pinned chainrings, neither of which you have now. It will index-shift, though - just with a lot more slop and a lot slower than Shimano SIS/HG.

    My recommendation for better shifting is to swap the current freewheel with a Shimano HG 6-speed type. Spacing between the cogs ought to be similar enough so that you can still use the original AccuShift shifters (yes, you can use HG clusters with similar spacing with SunTour shifters - I'm doing that right now on the PX-10, in fact).

    Another option is to bag some used Shimano BS-50 or BS-64 bar-end shifters and the same Shimano HG freewheel in the 7-speed version. Worst case scenario is you'd have to re-dish the rear wheel and/or locate a Shimano HG-compatible rear derailleur if the 3040 SunTour does not work for you. Swapping out your chain will be a must - X8.99 ╗ KMC Chain

    As you suggested, you can swap out the Araya rim / no-name small-flange hubs with the 700c setup from VeloMine. The hubs (Joytech) would have sealed-cartridge bearings, and the rims are double-wall types and theoretically stronger than the single-wall Arayas you have now. The only problem might be brake reach. If it were my bike, though, I'd just swap out the freewheel and run the 27" wheels after servicing the hubs. You'd be able to keep the brake setup intact. Panaracer makes a version of the Pasela tire for 27" rims, in three different carcass sizes - see Panaracer Pasela Road Tire 27 Inch at BikeTiresDirect

    The saddle is an ass-hatchet, so I can see why you want to swap it out. A Brooks B-17 in black should provide years of comfort in replacement. I'd dump the foam grips, too. They look ugly and will crack/split with time and not provide much in the way of comfort or vibration absorption.

    That bike is in pretty good shape for twenty-five-years-old, so it seems like the best approach is to do less rather than more. Any upgrades would have to get rid of the bad stuff without changing the character/charm of the original. World Sports have slack geometry and stable handling, and with fat tires can handle just about any commuting or touring you might throw their way.
    Last edited by kunsunoke; 04-18-14 at 06:55 PM.

  24. #24
    Junior Member jaciche's Avatar
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    Ok thanks. I'm thinking it would make more sense to buy a better shimano freewheel. Can I take the freewheel off without a special tool? Similar to cassettes? I need to get some miles on it to decide about the wheels, but if my LBS says they can true them, I'll probably stick with them and get new 27" tires. Thanks for the help kunsunoke, that was very insightful.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    I think your approach is wise: just change out the basics like you're planning, then get some miles on it to see if/what else might need changing. It's easy to get excited about a purchase and want to start "upgrading" it right away without getting to know the bike. I second the motion on the Brooks B17 - I've got several and like them.

    Please give us the pleasure of more of your bike. Pictures please.

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