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Thread: new bike?

  1. #1
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    help me pick a bike/shop

    hi,
    I've been lurking the forums for a few days.. i'm looking for a new bike.
    mostly for going to school and some small errands, and just going places with friends.

    I'm not sure what a good bike is, i've done a bunch of searches but i'm still not sure..

    my budget is around 500,
    could go higher or lower. I've looked at craigslist for bikes, but i'm not that tall at 5'4-5 ish so pretty much all the bikes were too big.

    I'm located in vancouver, bc canada and i've visited bike doctor and sports junkies. but i see many reviews that bike doctor is not good..

    Are there any good places that can be recommended?

    I think i want a hybrid bike, with straight handlebars, not single speed or fixed gear.
    Last edited by cluu1; 12-21-10 at 02:45 AM.

  2. #2
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    There is no perfect bike so you won't find a definitive answer. What bike works for people is very subjective. Find what you like and ride it.

    I would also consider a regular mountain bike and just get smoother tires. I really like that set up. That might be easier to find something in your size on Craiglist. Here is something thats pretty interesting. Its a mountain bike with alot of goodies on it already for a commuter. It might be a good deal depending on condition and what all lights and other accessories are on that bike. Their are a couple posters that have Kuwahara bikes and really love them. Used can be a great way to go, but if you go that route ask some advice here on what to look for when looking. Sometimes New might be a better way to go for your first bike if you have the money.

    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...122995590.html

    If what you want is a hybrid bike which is a fine way to go, you should be able to get a pretty solid bike for $500 at a bike shop. If you are not sure what to do keep asking questions many people here will give you lots of great info. The key is to get something and ride. =)
    My SUV is a bicycle

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    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    I saw this while browsing the Performance website yesterday. Seems like a pretty good setup for the money --
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400296

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    comin' in hot James1:17's Avatar
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    http://www.bikesdirect.com plenty of good choices in your price range...some light assembly required. peruse the whole site...good variety.
    smooth and fast?

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    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Have you looked into Jamis bikes? Pretty decent hybrid selection, steel, braze-ons for racks and eyelets for fenders.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

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    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Look around at local bike shops. Ask if they sell used. Otherwise check out craigslist. It seems like finding a bike in your size would be the most difficult problem.

    $500 can get you a very nice bike. Just test ride as many as you can.
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    OP is in Canada he will have to consider import duties I think or did NAFTA take care of all that?
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    hi,
    I've been lurking the forums for a few days.. i'm looking for a new bike.
    mostly for going to school and some small errands, and just going places with friends.

    I'm not sure what a good bike is, i've done a bunch of searches but i'm still not sure..

    my budget is around 500,
    could go higher or lower. I've looked at craigslist for bikes, but i'm not that tall at 5'4-5 ish so pretty much all the bikes were too big.

    I'm located in vancouver, bc canada and i've visited bike doctor and sports junkies. but i see many reviews that bike doctor is not good..

    Are there any good places that can be recommended?

    I think i want a hybrid bike, with straight handlebars, not single speed or fixed gear.
    Bike Doctor? Sports Junkies? You Canadians are weird. That first CL link with the Kuwahara looks like a good buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
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    Internal gear hubs like shimano's Nexus 8 speed a good feature ,
    not sure what price point those are coming on .

    add a dynamo hub to the front wheel so the lights will work in the wet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    I think i want a hybrid bike, with straight handlebars, not single speed or fixed gear.
    be brave, go the shops in your town, whatever the reviews say, and test ride them. Tell them the same thing you're specifying here, under $500 etc.

    That is the beginning, not a bunch of strangers recomendations of shops. Find out what they offer for servicing in the first few months of ownership. Learn how to recognize sufficient air pressure in the tires. Some shops forget to put air in the tire, some might put the same amount of pressure for a 120lb person as a 220lb person. Your impression of the ride can be affected by tire pressure. If a shop gives you a bike to ride and the brakes squeal horribly mention it to them, if they blow off your impression, "oh that's easily fixed" or can't correct it that's a clue how they will service your bike after you buy it.

    Personally if I was looking for a bike with some kind of upright bars I'd prefer old fashioned 3spd/swept back bars and not straight/mtn bike type bars. The former put your hands/wrist in a natural position while straight/mtn bike bars put them in a torqued in position that's pretty poor for resting weight on hands.
    Last edited by LeeG; 12-21-10 at 08:00 PM.

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    hi, thanks for all your suggestions!

    I had looked at bikesdirect and was about to buy there, until i realized that shipping is going to be kind of hard.. i live close to the border, but the times that the number can be called are times that my parents are at work so that cannot be done.. and the import fees too, so i'll see..
    i looked at craigslist some more and found http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...122882745.html
    i did a search on this bike and this seems to be a pretty good price.
    so i emailed the guy and the guy told me that he had sold this bike.
    but he says he is a large bike broker?
    and he'd call me back tomorrow because he had a new shipment of bikes coming in..
    told him i have a price range or 3-400, and he told me i'd get at least 105 components or better..
    so i'll just wait for this guy and see what happens..



    is there any possibility of fake bikes?
    I know there are fake watches and clothes and electronics, but are there fake bikes? or fake bike components?
    Last edited by cluu1; 12-22-10 at 02:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    is there any possibility of fake bikes?
    I know there are fake watches and clothes and electronics, but are there fake bikes? or fake bike components?
    not really. I get the impression that you're avoiding bike shops. If you are considering CL , Bikesdirect or used bikes you really should know more about bikes to assess whether what you're getting is in good shape and adjusted correctly. I just googled shops up there and found some perfectly good Norco and Trek bikes for under $500. In this price range you will find some bikes weighing 5lbs more so keep in mind how important weight is for lifting the bike. I woudn't get a bike with a front shock for your intended use and price range.

    the Norco VFR Forma2 and Indie3 look like they're worth trying out. I would strongly suggest riding some bikes from a shop instead of educating yourself after buying some bike off of Craigslist.
    Last edited by LeeG; 12-22-10 at 07:36 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ScottStr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    ... he told me i'd get at least 105 components or better..
    so i'll just wait for this guy and see what happens...

    is there any possibility of fake bikes?
    I know there are fake watches and clothes and electronics, but are there fake bikes? or fake bike components?
    It would be possible to fake bike components, but probably not cost-effective. You shouldn't have to worry about fake 105s. If I were going to fake a component group, it woud be Dura-Ace or Super Record. Then I'd just take a lower end component group from the same manufacturer and change the graphics and maybe do a little paint of polish job to make it look more like the high-end stuff. I would never do this of course; just postulating.

    I bigger concern when buying used is components that have been ridden thousands of miles and/or not maintained properly. To learn the difference in looks, sounds, and feel between worn out components and stuff that still has a lot of life left, you have to check out lots of used bikes. Going to swap meets is a lot of help in that regard. It would be a good idea to have somebody who rides a lot and works on his/her own bikes go with you to check out a used bike if you are going to make a serious investment. Kind-of like having a mechanic check over a used car before you buy it. What you consider a real investment is up to you. For some folks, $3000 for a bike is no big deal; for me $300 is a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    i looked at craigslist some more and found http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...122882745.html
    i did a search on this bike and this seems to be a pretty good price.
    ?
    that is a good bike and good price, it's also a racing bike that can't take tires bigger than 28mm, it's not a hybrid and it has drop bars. In this one thread you're considering a bike totally different than your initial criteria except for price. You need to test ride some bikes because you're basically willing to buy something blind. It's not clear that you know what size of bike to get or what your prefered standover height and handlebar reach is. The odd part about that ad is the bike size isn't mentioned. That's like trying to sell a "Ford" car without specifying the model. People fit on particular sized bikes so it makes no sense to buy a screaming deal if it doesn't fit.
    Last edited by LeeG; 12-22-10 at 07:45 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    Look around at local bike shops. Ask if they sell used. Otherwise check out craigslist. It seems like finding a bike in your size would be the most difficult problem.

    $500 can get you a very nice bike. Just test ride as many as you can.
    Buy used. You can get some kick ass bikes if you are patient.
    I didn't pay $500 for any one of those bikes in my sig. I have broke $500 on a couple doing upgrades.
    Whats not in my sig is the bike I picked up yesterday for $180. 54cm Cannon dale R1000si that was $2200 new in 2001. Campy wheels, Utegra brifters and deruailuer. Missing one par from seat post but otherwise a rider.

    For a hybrid you can usually pick up a VERY nice relatively new one for under $200 used. They have crappy resale unless it is something like a Cannondale Badboy. Older ridged (no suspension) mountains were based on touring bike geometry. You can ofter pick them up for around $100, throw a set of slicks on it and bee good to go. Ols Specialized Stump jumpers are good to look for.
    Look in the commuter bike pic thread for ideas of what you can do.

    Despite the front suspension this would be a good start and you could probably get it for around $110.
    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...124952816.html

    This is the perfect bike to make a commuter but I think it will be a little tall for you.
    If you can flat foot this bike I'd snatch it up.
    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rd...124687293.html Those bull bars are making a come back are worth $30-40 these days. Already has decent road tires. It needs nothing but a rack and fenders and it would be good to go.
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  16. #16
    comin' in hot James1:17's Avatar
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    that specialized allez elite ad seems kinda shady
    smooth and fast?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    Here is another even has fenders and really good parts on it. offer $150
    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rd...124166833.html

    Uhhh 5'4" is pretty short of an adult male. Are you male or female? youR nick gives no hint. Are you wanting a step through frame?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    so i emailed the guy and the guy told me that he had sold this bike.
    but he says he is a large bike broker?
    and he'd call me back tomorrow because he had a new shipment of bikes coming in..
    told him i have a price range or 3-400, and he told me i'd get at least 105 components or better..
    I hate to say it, but it sounds to me like the guy is selling stolen bikes. Generally, I don't see bikes with 105 components selling for $400. Also, as a rule, people don't get "a new shipment" of used bikes.


    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    is there any possibility of fake bikes?
    I know there are fake watches and clothes and electronics, but are there fake bikes? or fake bike components?
    I've never seen "fake" components, but there are various ages of components sold under the same name. For instance, Shimano has made parts under the 105 name for about 20 years. The old stuff bears almost no resemblance to the new stuff other than the name. What you need to know is the group number.

    The latest 105 parts are designated 5700. You won't find that cheap as it's brand new. The 105 components from the previous 3-5 years are designated 5600. Before that, there was a 5500 group, which is easily distinguishable because it's a 9-speed group. Older 105 groups may be 6-speed or 7-speed.

    Of course, there's a similar lineage for other Shimano groups.

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    Hi, thanks for the suggestions

    I'm not avoiding bike shops. Just hasn't had time to go out to see them.
    They're all pretty far and my bike its broken so I don't really have a way to get there
    I'll try to go out to done today and se e what they have


    I am male and I am 16

    The guy is supposed to call today. I'll ask if he has a shop our something. Cause he says he's the forth largest bike broker in western canada.. Must have a shop our something for him to know that
    Last edited by cluu1; 12-22-10 at 12:09 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    Well I'm the largest bike broker In the universe, Just ask me I'll tell you so.

    Be carefull!

    Meet in a public place with lots of people in case they try to roll you.
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    cluu1, get a small pocket tape measure and carry it with you when you go to try out bikes. You should know within 1/2" what your seat height adjustment should be. Measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of your seat along the length of the seat tube.
    You don't want to go testing bikes with whatever position they've got the seat at. As you're comparing bikes go ahead and measure the seat and handlebar height (from the ground). This will give you something to remember when comparing bikes. If you try one bike out and the handlebars are 4" above the seat it's going to ride a lot differently than another bike that has bars 2" below the seat. After that measure the seat to bar distance, you can do that with the tape measure or your forearm to fingertip as a rough guide.

    I bought my first bike at age 17 and took it on a 40day tour after highschool. The shop took me through the basics of fitting.
    That's why I'm recomending you check out the bike shops offerings given your initial post that you're not sure what to get and your willingness to buy a road racing bike when you stated a preference for a hybrid. Unfortunately you won't find any new drop bar bikes for $500 but you should at least get the basics of seat/bar position established before you let a Craigslist purchase pick that out for you.

  22. #22
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Have you ever heard the saying "if it's to good to be true...it probably is" cluu1? Something just doesn't sit right with me about the add you posted about the Specialized Allez for that price.

    I also wouldn't have told him what your price range is. If I were you I would bring someone with me if you do decide to go look at a bike. He might be expecting you to show up with that amount of money in cash. Next time just say "hey, when you get something in give me a call". "I'll have some friends bring me over to look at what you got."
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    k so, the guy called back.
    and yes it does seem a big good but i don't know..
    this guy told me to do all the checks and stuff for stolen bikes on the rcmp stolen bike site thing. so seems he's pretty confident his bikes aren't stolen.
    says he buys them when people are moving away or have no money.. something like a pawn shop. except he has no shop. so he can keep his prices low.

    he does have a rocky mountain soul for 150
    doesn't know what year it is, but says it should be 2008 ish, 1-2 years old but in very good condition..
    i'll go see what's happening tonight, i'll be going with my parents so that should be fine..

    I think i'll be going out to see some bike shops later. they seem to be all along the same road so it'll be easy to go to a few of them.
    i'll keep the measuring tape in mind. thanks a lot

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluu1 View Post
    I think i'll be going out to see some bike shops later. they seem to be all along the same road so it'll be easy to go to a few of them.
    i'll keep the measuring tape in mind. thanks a lot
    the reason I say that is that I was given a rough rule of thumb on seat height placement when I got my bike and incrementally raised it by 1/8" about three times and that's where it's been for 35yrs. When I joined a racing club we had an Olympic coach check us out for fit and out of about ten guys in their early 20's who rode a lot and were cat 4 racers six had their seats too low. This may not be critical if you're riding w. street shoes and hopping on/off the bike but if you start riding for speed and spinning it helps to have the seat at the right place. Don't pick a bike because it's a good deal if it's the wrong size.

  25. #25
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Just check him out the best you can cluu1 (he has an actual address in a residential area, drive by the area and/or house to get a feel for the neighborhood, etc.)

    I am not from that area so I can only guess about price ranges, but a bike that originally sells for $800 and up going for $350 pretty much brand new seemed odd. Unfortunately not every one is legitimate. I've looked at many things using craigslist and walked away from a sale because the story the guy was giving me wasn't matching up.

    For instance, one guy was selling a pretty decent car for not a lot of money. I told him I would get back to him after I did a VIN search. He questioned my motives and I told him I do that for all the cars I look at. He seemed perplexed and stated that if he didn't sell the car he was going to drive it down to North Carolina and leave it at his other house. Granted I am looking at this car in a run down shack of a home with 3 other vehicles littering the lot. I walked away with no intentions of doing a search
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