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  1. #1
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    Newbie just getting into road bikes

    Hey guys, I've been doing a few hours or research on several different types of bikes, from fixed to road bikes. I've got a bit of a budget as well. I'm looking to spend only $200 on preferably a good used bike over a cheap walmart/target bike.

    I wasn't sure if this was the right place to post, but here's what I've currently got my eye on. Here is the link to what I'm looking at: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...410025871.html

    It's the Schwinn Traveler 57cm. I'll probably be going to check it out tomorrow if I've the chance to.

    So now, here are my intentions for the bike. I'm not looking to do really long rides, more of just meeting up with friends to go for some runs and stay fit. Also, it would be to commute around my school campus. It's a huge campus with lots of hills and sometimes 10 minutes between classes isn't enough when getting there on foot.

    So for my purposes, do you guys think that bike is decent enough? I'll probably be doing some more searching again, and I've been on the Intro sticky all day going through the different links (great resource btw).

    Thanks guys

    -edit-

    Link changed
    Last edited by trdsupragt; 06-02-11 at 03:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Still a newb. Bioluminescence's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd keep looking for something with basic STI shifters (the shifting system is incorporated into the brakes). Those things make a huge difference on hills than downtube shifters (what that bike has, slightly below the handlebars, and a bit further back).

    I picked up my almost entirely Sora bike (minus the brakes) for about $235 off CL.

  3. #3
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    Oh I was under the impression that they're stem shifters, rather than DT shifters.

    But yeah, I'm also trying to find bikes with STI shifters as well. But can that bike, or any bike, be converted to STI shifters? I've searched that up and read that it might be expensive and probably not worth doing?

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    not worth doing... save that cash and use it to buy a nicer bike up front with them already installed
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  5. #5
    Still a newb. Bioluminescence's Avatar
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    That's more or less what stem shifters look like. The ones on the other bike are on the actual downtube, thus the name.

    It's better to find a bike with them already installed. Browse CL and eBay for a while, I've run across some incredible deals in your price range.

  6. #6
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Hello Trdsupragt, welcoem to the forums. if you decided on a road bike with a budget of 200 you likely won't get the STI or 'brifter' style shifter Bio is talking about.

    as for your link the Schwinn looks OK but that replacement fork likely means the bike was wrecked. look real close at the head tube area for signs of cracking peeling paint as the frame may be damaged. if that bike fits you and you can ride it away it might be a good deal by California standards.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  7. #7
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    lol well just to clarify, the guy posted on CL as well, and this is the bike in question. The link I previously posted I guess showed a different Schwinn.

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...410025871.html

    But yeah, I may keep looking for bikes with STI shifters. Otherwise, I'm considering this bike for my purposes =p
    Last edited by trdsupragt; 06-02-11 at 03:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Still a newb. Bioluminescence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    if you decided on a road bike with a budget of 200 you likely won't get the STI or 'brifter' style shifter Bio is talking about.
    That's basically what I got mine for. He might have to wait, but in the long run, it would probably be worth it.

    By the way, use that piece of advice Bianchigirll mentioned for ANY AND ALL bikes you come across. Getting a screwed up frame isn't fun at all (you sacrifice the structural integrity of the frame).

  9. #9
    Still a newb. Bioluminescence's Avatar
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    That's probably a great area for road bike sales. I'd say check CL once or twice a day, and you'd probably do best to staying away from 'vintage' style bikes. Good luck though!

  10. #10
    back in the saddle bent-not-broken's Avatar
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    Ask this question on the Classic and vintage value forum and you would get a different answer. Those are stem shifters, and it looks like an original fork to me. That is a reasonable price for a sturdy, commuter capable bike in your market. Believe it or not we don't all prefer Brifters. In your price range Brifters will be junk. Many people are happily cummuting on steel frames from the 1980's.
    Bent

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  11. #11
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    I think the bike is decent enough. How tall are you? 57cm frames are for riders around 5'10 to 6'1 (+/-2 in either direction).
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  12. #12
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    If it fits thats not a bad deal assuming your market is more expensive than here. Ther are a couple concerns with it though.

    1. That waterbottle cage looks totally mashed. Why did the seller even leave it on the bike?
    2. Maybe the seller wants to avaoid looking like he polished up turds, by not cleaning the bike, but why not at least at least wipe it down. It makes me think he doesn't have that much pride in his work.
    3. It looks like the seller put new brake cables or housings, but the routing isn't the best. I am bad about that at times so I shouldn't complain. =P

    The upside is I don't think its rusty and it has good brake hoods plus new tires and cables. I would ask if the seller regreased the hubs and bottom bracket. If so its probably worth what he is asking, but I think you could possibly hold out for something better. Its not a killer deal. Keep looking and you will find something exciting.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    I'm about 5'10", so the bike would probably be just right, if not a bit tall depending on inseam and such?

    In any case, I think I will have a look tomorrow, but will also keep searching. Are there things I should keep an eye out for when looking for a used bike in my price range?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    But yeah, I'm also trying to find bikes with STI shifters as well. But can that bike, or any bike, be converted to STI shifters? I've searched that up and read that it might be expensive and probably not worth doing?
    It can be done, but it'll cost more than the bike, so forget it. But ... for $200, you might have a hard time finding a bike that comes with them. Sooner or later one will show up, so it's maybe a question of how long you want to wait?

    Test ride the bike. Take it up a hill. If you haven't been cycling lately, know that you're likely to be out of shape in the ways that are important to cyclists, and that hills will feel a little bit easier in a week or two. But you'll still need to shift to climb some of them. You should be able to leave a watch or something to test ride a $200 bike.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    Thanks for the input guys.

    I'm about 5'10", so the bike would probably be just right, if not a bit tall depending on inseam and such?

    In any case, I think I will have a look tomorrow, but will also keep searching. Are there things I should keep an eye out for when looking for a used bike in my price range?
    In a vintage bike, 57cm is probably right for you. I was commuting on a 62cm '77 Schwinn Le Tour II for over a year and I'm just over 6'.

    Signs of a lower end vintage bike include: chrome rims, stem shifters & suicide levers (the lever that allows you to brake from the tops of the bars). The market in SoCal can be tough and decent priced stuff goes quick. Check CL often and keep trying. Might even find a newer bike with brifters if you are lucky.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    In a vintage bike, 57cm is probably right for you. I was commuting on a 62cm '77 Schwinn Le Tour II for over a year and I'm just over 6'.

    Signs of a lower end vintage bike include: chrome rims, stem shifters & suicide levers (the lever that allows you to brake from the tops of the bars). The market in SoCal can be tough and decent priced stuff goes quick. Check CL often and keep trying. Might even find a newer bike with brifters if you are lucky.

    My dad just brought back a 62cm Motobecane that his co worker is willing to sell for $50 with that exact description. On top of being way too tall for me, I now see why they call them suicide levers. I took it for a test ride, and holy crap that was scary. Perhaps I can pick up the bike and sell for a little over $50 on CL?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    For the record, suicide levers and cross brakes both let you (try to) brake from the tops, but cross brakes are just as safe as any other brake lever. Suicide levers aren't really brakes.



    Don't believe everything you think.

  18. #18
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    I do like those...

    I'm guessing I'd be trading off the conventional brakes in order to have those cross brakes? How much would the ballpark be for the LBS to have them installed?

    -update-

    Well guys.. I'm afraid someone else beat me to the bike. I guess that just means that a better one will be coming my way!
    Last edited by trdsupragt; 06-02-11 at 07:12 PM.

  19. #19
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    My dad just brought back a 62cm Motobecane that his co worker is willing to sell for $50 with that exact description. On top of being way too tall for me, I now see why they call them suicide levers. I took it for a test ride, and holy crap that was scary. Perhaps I can pick up the bike and sell for a little over $50 on CL?
    Post a pic of that Motobecane and we will tell you if its worth trying to mess around with it. It could be a worthwhile bike. Some people want big frames so you might be able to trade for something your size. $50 for a vintage road bike thats complete sounds pretty decent.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    I'm guessing I'd be trading off the conventional brakes in order to have those cross brakes?
    They install in-line so you have the regular brake levers on the drops and these on the tops.

  21. #21
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    This was a photo that was forwarded to me by my dad's coworker. What do you guys think?

    -edit-
    Would a 54cm be okay for me also?
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    Last edited by trdsupragt; 06-02-11 at 09:10 PM.

  22. #22
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    This was a photo that was forwarded to me by my dad's coworker. What do you guys think?
    You could post that pic over in C&V appraisals thread and they can let you know what hey think, but for $50 I think its well worth it. You might even be able to ride that bike as I had a similar sized late 70's Panasonic that fit pretty good and the only reason I sold it was I wanted indexed downtube shifters instead of friction.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    Would a 54cm be okay for me also?
    Yes, should be fine. I'm 5' 10" as well (inseam 33 inches) and my bikes are all 54cm.

    Quote Originally Posted by trdsupragt View Post
    This was a photo that was forwarded to me by my dad's coworker. What do you guys think?
    Hard to tell from the photo but based on the head tube I'd say that bike is considerably larger than 54cm.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehsiung View Post
    Yes, should be fine. I'm 5' 10" as well (inseam 33 inches) and my bikes are all 54cm.



    Hard to tell from the photo but based on the head tube I'd say that bike is considerably larger than 54cm.
    Yeah I measured and it was roughly 60-62cm.

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    Last edited by trdsupragt; 06-03-11 at 02:24 AM.

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