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  1. #1
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    Opinion on bike choice/price for a Clyde

    Hello everyone - I am a Clyde looking to get my first bike and have been searching for a month now. In the interest of saving some money, I've been watching craigslist religiously waiting for a good deal or the right bike to pop up. I think I have settled on the Trek 7100 (tested out at a LBS) and 2 of them have been put up for sale finally in the last day or so.

    Here are my 2 options - can you give some advice here?

    Option #1) 17.5" frame, ridden for ~200 miles, bike is upgraded with Shimano Rapid Fire shifters and Ritchey handlebars. Asking price is 325 OBO. This frame size is the one I tried out at the LBS and seemed to be a good fit. Not sure how to check to make sure the shifters and bars were installed and working properly.

    Option #2) 20" frame, college bike used to ride around campus. Bike is stock. Asking price is $200 or BO. Obviously this has a more attractive price, but the frame is a bit bigger than I think I need, although I've ridden a friend's bike with a 20" frame recently and it isn't uncomfortable at all.

    What do you guys think? Would knocking 50 bucks off the asking price of either bike be reasonable, especially for the one that has been upgraded? Thanks for any help!

    There are also lots of old bikes for sale on there, and I have no idea which older models of road bikes would be Clyde-approved - don't want to break it! Any advice here might be nice as well.

    -Brett

  2. #2
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    We really need more information to help out. First of all, what are you going to use the bike for? Trail riding, downhill, commuting, roads, etc... If you are planning on doing exclusively road riding, then consider a road bike. Depending on your weight, you would probably be fine on just about any road bike. I would avoid carbon fiber frames (expensive and unforgiving when they fail).

    As far as sizing, the bike shop should be able to help you determine the appropriate size for you. Probably the biggest consideration is, when you stand over the frame, what is your clearance? For a road bike, you should have 1" - 2" of clearance. If you are going to be mountain biking, then you probably want more like 4-5".

    When I was buying my first "real" bike, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do most with it, so I ended up getting a hybrid. While I still like that bike, it isn't truly an all-around bike. It isn't good (at all) at mountain biking, it is great at trails (packed dirt, small gravel, etc), average at paved trails, and poor at road/distance riding. The key is to determine what you will realistically be doing most, and gear your equipment toward that.
    2002 Lemond Tourmalet
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  3. #3
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    I am using the bike primarily for the road, and to get some exercise and pleasure riding in. I am about 280 lbs. When I went to the LBS the first time I was on a 20" frame and I have very little clearance. When I rode the 17.5" frame the guy said that it looked pretty good once he adjusted the frame.

    I had thought more recently about road bikes, but I have not looked to see if there are any in the $300 range.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    If the bike doesn't fit you, it doesn't matter how cheap you buy it, you won't ride it. Get what fits.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    "...the first time I was on a 20" frame and I have very little clearance."
    That's how I actually prefer my bike. I ride strictly pavement, so I can "anticipate" my stops and lean to the side a bit when the bike stops moving.
    I have to ride in a very upright position because of a bad back. I do like to be up high. It just seems to give much better visibility in an urban setting when you are trying to look over/around cars. It seems like an extra inch or 2 REALLY helps.

  6. #6
    Huge Memeber fifthcircle's Avatar
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    Your height and inseam would help. I would guess that you are somewhere around 6' to about 6'3" if you are ok on a 17.5 but a bit short on a 20. If the 17.5 felt better, get that one. If you are unhappy with it down the road, put it back on Craigslist.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
    Your height and inseam would help. I would guess that you are somewhere around 6' to about 6'3" if you are ok on a 17.5 but a bit short on a 20. If the 17.5 felt better, get that one. If you are unhappy with it down the road, put it back on Craigslist.
    I ride a 20" Trek 7.2FX and I'm 5'9". There is about an inch of standover clearance too.

  8. #8
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    While i have not formally introduced myself, i have been researching the heck out of Bikes.

    a Specialized rockhopper or hardrock has been very popular among large people. because they are a bit better than entry and can take a beating. Just my 2 cents.

    i guess ill formally introduce myself now... look for me LOL

  9. #9
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    Just another data point -

    I am 5'9" with a 29" or so inseam. I recently rode a couple of Trek 820s and a couple of Specialized Hardrock Sports. On the Trek, I prefered the 18" frame over the 16", and on the Specialized I prefered the Medium over the Small. In both cases, the standover height would have pushed me towards the smaller frame. However, by the time I adjusted the seat correctly so that my knees/legs were in the right position for pedalling, the seat posts were too high. I mean they were extended too far out of the seat tube to be very reliable or safe. I went up to the next size frame and had nearly zero standover clearance. However, with the seat height properly adjusted, I was much more comfortable while riding.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    There are often good local options -- like here in Boston, Bikes Not Bombs is a great source of good, reliable, inexpensive city-commuting bikes. Depending on where you live, there may be something like that.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the input so far.

    Unfortunately, none of the LBS's around here sell used bikes from what I can tell. I am not uncomfortable on the 20" frame on my friend's bike, but it seemed more natural on the 17.5" I tried out. I am going to maybe head back to the LBS and try out the 20" frame and adjust the seat and see how it feels.

    The 17.5" bike is the one I'm actively working on picking up though, I just don't want to lowball the guy if I offer him less. I'm honestly not overly interested in the upgraded parts on Option 1 and can get a new Trek 7100 for $299. Hopefully he'll see my point and give me a good deal

  12. #12
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledbetter10 View Post
    Unfortunately, none of the LBS's around here sell used bikes from what I can tell. I am not uncomfortable on the 20" frame on my friend's bike, but it seemed more natural on the 17.5" I tried out. I am going to maybe head back to the LBS and try out the 20" frame and adjust the seat and see how it feels.
    Ya know...maybe you might reconsider using the lbs as some kind of free sizing service if you have no intention of buying a bike from them. After all, the only reason they're able to keep the doors open so that you can cruise in the door and try out bikes is because people spend money there. Seems if you're benefiting from the service, you ought to not simply say, "Thanks!" and walk out the door, and then turn around and be prowling craigslist for the deal of the century.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    Ya know...maybe you might reconsider using the lbs as some kind of free sizing service if you have no intention of buying a bike from them. After all, the only reason they're able to keep the doors open so that you can cruise in the door and try out bikes is because people spend money there. Seems if you're benefiting from the service, you ought to not simply say, "Thanks!" and walk out the door, and then turn around and be prowling craigslist for the deal of the century.
    Easy there - wasn't trying to imply that I was using the LBS as my sizing spot and then going elsewhere. As I am NEW to biking, I didn't want to go out and spend a lot of money on a bike and find that I did not use it, so I thought I would try to find a bike on craigslist.

    To get an idea of what I needed, I talked to the guys at the LBS and tried their bike, and might go back to try a 20". If I can find the same bike slightly used on craigslist and spend a lot less money, then I am all for that. When I become more committed to cycling and learn more, then I could head to the LBS to make my next purchase, slightly wiser and with more money in hand.

    If I cannot find one there, I am going to buy it at the LBS, simple as that. Thought I could get some good advice here on what people opinion's were on the two bikes I listed, that is all.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    Ya know...maybe you might reconsider using the lbs as some kind of free sizing service if you have no intention of buying a bike from them. After all, the only reason they're able to keep the doors open so that you can cruise in the door and try out bikes is because people spend money there. Seems if you're benefiting from the service, you ought to not simply say, "Thanks!" and walk out the door, and then turn around and be prowling craigslist for the deal of the century.

    This mis-conception seems to run ramped in bike forums. I'm currently working on my bachelors degree in business managed. No I'm not a young college punk, I'm a 31 year old working stiff that went back to college. One of the big things that I've learned from my studies is the mis-conception regarding using b&m stores to do your research when purchasing online/uses. Myself and pretty much my entire class though this was an unethical practice. We've since been taught that it is not, even to my dis-belief(remember that I said that). The LBS has a right to make a profit because it provide goods and or services, but it is THEIR responsibility to prove to the customer that they disserve your money. They must size you(not a full on pro fitting) in order to let you test ride their bikes. This is a process they must go through to sell their product. It's not different than test driving many different cars from various car lots when the dealer are paying for the gas. Just like the car dealers, the LBS must put this indicial investment into every customer in order to sell their product. After that it is their responsibility to prove to you that you should spend your money with them and not else where. And no you don't have to tell them, that you are looking else where, that not your responsibility, just like you don't have to tell every car salesman that you are shopping around. I'm sure some don't agree with this, but ultimately the LBS are not entitled to your money.

    It's also a good thing I'm a business major and not a English major, cuz I would have failed a long time ago.
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