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  1. #1
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    Help a smaller Clyde find his first real bike!

    Hello all! I have been lurking around this forum for a little while gathering information and enjoying the informative topics, but it is finally time for me to put my money where my mouth is. I am looking to get an all-around bike that I can use on roads and easy trails, so a mountain bike it is! Here are my measurements:

    - 5'-11"
    - ~215lbs

    I live in the Phoenix, AZ area and have been browsing craigslist for a good used starter bike and have come across a few listings that have piqued my interest. I was hoping the good folks here could help me determine whether these listings are good deals, or whether I am making a poor decision in the type of bike I am looking at in the first place (advice wanted)! Thanks so much in advance

    - http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/3142676870.html
    - http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3134827108.html
    - http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3148694270.html
    - http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/bik/3143543819.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    What sort of trails are you looking to ride? Are you planning to do single track? If not, maybe look for a bike without a suspension. If you have concluded you do need a suspension, the Trek and the Gary Fisher look nice. Try to keep the price down as you never know what repairs it may need down the road, or even immediately.

    I was at my LBS the other day and the owner mentioned something I hadn't even thought of. A guy came in and said he was looking for a new bike, as he just bought a used bike off CL, and it needed more work than he had anticipated. Bike shop guy said he sees bikes on CL that had been in his shop just a few days earlier, where the customer refused the repair and just took the bike back. So, buyer beware.
    Last edited by MRT2; 07-21-12 at 10:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hey Blocker, in addition to welcoming you to the sport, as well as being a smaller clyde myself (220 pounds from tons of weightlifting over the years), I would advise you that choosing the right type of bike is not the only important decision for a new cyclist. You must also choose the right size bike. Do you know if any of the bikes on the links you posted have the correct frame size?

    Also, roads & trails does not necessarily mean a mountain bike. Trails alone means a mountain bike. Roads & trails usually means a cross bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
    You must also choose the right size bike. .
    by far the most important factor. if the bike isnt comfortable you wont ride it.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the advice so far! After reading the comment by MRT2, I stopped into a LBS this afternoon and talked with one of the guys there about sizing, bike types, etc. After that conversation I feel pretty confident that the bike I am looking for is a large frame (19") 29er mountain bike with a hybrid style tire for road/trail use. That shop sold Cannondale and Trek, but I know there are comparable models available from Specialized, Giant, etc. Before going into the shop I thought I would want an XL, but that large 29er felt really big. I'm glad I went in.

  6. #6
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    After that conversation I feel pretty confident that the bike I am looking for is a large frame (19") 29er mountain bike with a hybrid style tire for road/trail use.
    Good call on the 29er, I forgot about that. I ride a fat bike with a size L frame (19") and it fits me (6' 0") great. Technically, a fat bike isn't a 29er because the rims are 26 inches, however, the tires are so insanely big they add 3 inches to the wheel height, effectively making it a 29er. The bigger wheel size really smooths out the roads, too.

  7. #7
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    Alright everyone, I was hoping I could get an opinion on this listing here. It looks pretty clean (will be seeing it today) and the price (if the condition is what the seller says it is) seems good. I've negotiated it down to $500. Also, the bike is under warranty for another year (I need to find out if that is through Trek or a LBS). Let me know your thoughts!

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/3162353760.html

  8. #8
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Looks like a sweet bike. look into the warranty thing, it may only cover the frame, and it may only cover the original owner

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Find someone locally, with a bit of Bicycle mechanical background,
    to go with you to inspect the condition of those CL 'deals' ..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    Looks like a sweet bike. look into the warranty thing, it may only cover the frame, and it may only cover the original owner
    Thanks for the feedback! I will make sure to look at the paperwork to ensure I can take advantage of the warranty.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blocker85 View Post
    Thanks for the feedback! I will make sure to look at the paperwork to ensure I can take advantage of the warranty.
    you can google trek warranty or go to treks site. also email the guy and ask what shop he bought it from and call the shop before you go.

  12. #12
    Pedal Pusher/Pundit mcrow's Avatar
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    I would suggest buying new if at all possible. Fot the price range of bikes you are posting here ($300-$600) you can get quite a nice new bike.

    If you are looking for a budget MTB that is good on paved trails and decent off, the Raleigh Talus series is good and starts at ~$320. If you like more the hybrid/cross bike I would check out the Raleigh Misceo series or the Specialized Crosstrail. I have ridden all three bikes and they all ride great. The two cross bikes are 29ers I believe and much faster but the Talus is an actual MTB. The Misceo and Crosstrails go fro $500-$600 depending on model.

  13. #13
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    Ok, so I bought the bike in the ad above. As it turns out, the guy selling the bike was an Army vet who was both out of work and recently homeless (his vet benefits had just stopped about 2 months ago). I felt really bad for the guy and despite the fact that it appeared that the bike is probably due for a tune up, I negotiated the price down to $450 and just bought it. It was clear he needed the money more than I did and even if I have to put a little money into it, I think it was still worth it.

    It's a pretty gorgeous bike. I'm dropping it off at a LBS for a tune up and hope to be riding it by next week!

  14. #14
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blocker85 View Post
    It's a pretty gorgeous bike. I'm dropping it off at a LBS for a tune up and hope to be riding it by next week!
    we will be expecting pics soon

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    we will be expecting pics soon
    Absolutely! Dropped it off at my LBS about two hours ago for a tune up and will post picks after I pick it up tomorrow

    From what I can tell, the bike only needs a good tune up and a set of hybrid tires for primarily road use (but can go on trails). Any suggestions?

    EDIT: I'm looking at something like this: http://goo.gl/UmNdP (Kenda Small Block 8)

    Anyone have experience with these?
    Last edited by blocker85; 07-27-12 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Added tires I'm looking at...

  16. #16
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    Last edited by blocker85; 07-28-12 at 07:49 PM.

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