I haven't ridden a bike since I was a kid, but have been thinking about getting a bike for commuting and running errands around town (Ann Arbor). I live in a co-op, and recently, there was a lottery for abandoned bikes. I ended up with a Kuwahara Carrera UL that had been left out in the rain and snow for a long time. I haven't been able to find any information on Kuwahara road bikes, but it looks to have been made in 1985, with Dia-Compe brakes (not sure what model), Suntour LePree derailleurs, Sugino VT crank, and a Tange Infinity frame.
I haven't actually taken it to a bike shop, but I talked with a guy at Two Wheel Tango a bit, and he said it'll cost close to $200 to get it into rideable shape -- it needs new tires, tubes, chain, cables, and handlebar tape, plus intensive tuning-up. A new Trek 7000 is $240, so I'm wondering whether I should just give up on fixing the Kuwahara and shell out a little more to have a brand-new bike.
What would you recommend? Most of my rides will be 5 miles or less each way, in town. The Kuwahara frame doesn't have obvious attachment points for panniers, so if the Trek is designed to accommodate panniers, that's a plus for it.
I also have a certain concern that the Kuwahara is the wrong size for me, but don't know how much that'll matter. It's 19" center-to-top, with the saddle rather firmly stuck at about 27"; according to the bike-sizing guidelines Google brought up, the saddle is around the right height (though it seems too high to me -- am I just not used to road bikes?), but I should be looking for a 21" or so frame.