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  1. #1
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    On a $400, should I be looking at new or used?

    I have a $400 budget to purchase a new commuter this week. I was thinking of either a Motobecane road bike from BD for $400, or I could always buy used in the Davis, CA area or South Bay Area (going home in 2 weeks from UC Davis), specifically Mountain View. I am 5'9".

    With this budget should I be looking at new or used bikes? I have been looking on CG and haven't found much. I tried out a few older stem shifters earlier today as well and for some reason I found it extremely difficult to shift. Like the pressure I had to apply was almost beyond what my thumb could handle.

    I'm looking for something with drop bars but a straight bar isn't necessarily a turn off.

    How does something like this look: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...s/mirage_s.htm

    I especially like the drop brakes as well as the other breaks closer to the body.

    What would you guys recommend?

  2. #2
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    The Bay Area is a high priced market for used bikes. For $400 you can still get a better bike used than what you showed, but it will take some looking, you'll need to know about bikes, and be ready to jump in the car and drive to snag the deal immediately cash in hand, and then you'll need to do any maintenance yourself as even a basic tune at a bike shop will cost $80-100.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Save a bit more and get this.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ane/turino.htm

    The Disc brakes are worth it, IMO.

  4. #4
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    If this is for riding around Davis, I'd say look used and look cheap. Unless you are going more than 10 miles each way, you don't need much of a bike to get around there: it's flat everywhere. Bike theft is rampant, and if you are going to be riding around and locking it up, you don't want any nice parts or your liable to come out of Shields missing your shifters. Look for something used with character and go to the Collective and get it humming along. Ask around when you get back home for old bikes in friends' garages or probe craigslist...get yourself something functional and inexpensive. Then, down the line when n+1 strikes and finances allow, get yourself something nice for dirt or road that you wouldn't leave locked on the streets of Davis and you'll be set-
    Class of '97
    Last edited by mtndragon; 05-30-13 at 12:27 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtndragon View Post
    If this is for riding around Davis, I'd say look used and look cheap. Unless you are going more than 10 miles each way, you don't need much of a bike to get around there: it's flat everywhere. Bike theft is rampant, and if you are going to be riding around and locking it up, you don't want any nice parts or your liable to come out of Shields missing your shifters. Look for something used with character, go to the Collective and get it humming along, and you'll be set. Ask around when you get back home for old bikes in friend's garages or probe craigslist...get yourself something functional and inexpensive. Then, down the line when n+1 strikes and finances allow, get yourself something nice for dirt or road that you wouldn't leave locked on the streets of Davis and you'll be set-
    Class of '97
    Haha, yeah so true. Bike theft here is extremely common. My friend double U-locked his Trek FX 7.2 outside of Scilec like he always does at noon for Chemistry (for those who don't go to Davis that is the biggest lecture hall, and always has TONS of people arround) and even that didn't stop a thief from jacking it on a Wednesday.

    I guess I will look around some more. It's just that stem shift bikes are so hard to shift with IMO. Maybe I have just had bad experiences with them.

    Also, that is actually why I was going for Motobecane. They look "older" and I thought people might think its an old bike with no value.

    Is there something specific I should look for when buying a bike off of Craigslist? Like certain brands? Or just any old road bike with stem shifters?

  6. #6
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    I guess here is something nice I found: Atala Road bike for $180. Has Shimano 600 levers and 700x23 wheels. What do you guys think?


  7. #7
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    It's difficult to tell from that picture. It doesn't look horribly filthy. Someone probably took reasonably good care of it. If it fits, doesn't have any rust (chains rust easily and can be replaced), shifts well, brakes work, grab it. I don't think you can do much better at that price. A coworker of mine bought a $200 CL bike with downtube shifters and the paint was all scratched, the seat torn and it had the dirtiest yellow bar tape.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  8. #8
    slow and steady
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    If you can look for a week or two, and get a feel for what's available, you might find something you really like. I would look for a bike that has eyelets for a rear rack-handy for commuting when it's 100 F and you don't want to wear a backpack.

    Anything new is flashy. We had a buddy who had a nice, new Specialized, and he was always having parts taken-I still have my Davis bike and it is now reborn as a grocery grabber. Find something cool...beater cool, and make it your own. Keep it mechanically sound and try not to crash in the traffic circles whilst ogling the amazing Aggie coeds~

  9. #9
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Buy used and add rack, lights, helmet, ulock........

    SPECIALIZED SIRRUS - $100 (sacramento)



    Med. / Tall Univega 21spd. 700c road / hybrid..5'6-5'10 - $175 (Roseville)



    Miyata 310 Road bike - $275 (Elk grove)



    Novara Forza - $250 (Sacramento)



    Novara Forza 6061 Aluminum Road/Hybrid Bike

    mens univega hybrid bike 18 spd nice! - $95 (midtown)






    Classic Bianchi Roadbike - $200 (Roseville, California)



    Trek Antelop 850 Mountain Bike Mens 21 Speed - $70 (Roseville)


  10. #10
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    looks like you have some good selection on CL in your area. I guess you can look at those first. BD is always going to be there for you and they usually do not run out/restock quickly entry level bikes.

    I like BD. They deliver incredible value for your money and helped me get back on a bike in a long time. But the more I get into bicycling, the more their offering seem to lack a "soul" (no heritage, storied past or anything worth chattering about). but they definitely work as well as any bikes, even probably better than the bikes on CL since they have modern components.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    The Novara Forza is the best pick.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the posts above, but I don't have a car so I can't leave Davis to pick anything up! I will have access to a car in 2 weeks though, when I am in Mountain View.

    But wow, the bikes posted all look very nice. I guess I could wait a little before purchasing.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Go to UCD? being nearly dead flat there , a commuting bike can be really simple.

    want to tackle the Davis Double Century , you'd need a nicer roadie bike.

    that climb up out of the valley will test your legs.

  14. #14
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Out of those posts, I'd go for the Bianchi, it looks pretty nice.

    However, red flags go off whenever I see a CL posting with only one picture of a bike, from the left side. The poster either knows nothing about bikes, and is selling the kind of crap bike that people who don't know about bikes own, OR, they know nothing about bikes, and have no idea they're selling a good bike for a low price. Caveat emptor.

  15. #15
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    I think that Trek 850 for $70 looks great. It would probably be my pick for riding around a college campus. I have a Trek 850 with street-oriented tires (some can be had cheap) and it's great.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    walk right in and punch the first guy you meet in the head
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  16. #16
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AusTexMurf View Post
    Buy used and add rack, lights, helmet, ulock........
    Some worthy bikes there. I think I'd start out with a used bike just to get a feeling for what I'd really like. Although I've been doing it a while and that Miyata 310 looks pretty sweet.

  17. #17
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    There is a website about 'stealthing' your bike. They mention things like spray painting it in rainbow colors and putting duct tape over the seats to make it look as unattractive as possible. I'm kinda torn, I ride an old 90's mountain bike ($45 off CL, but $400 in component and wheel upgrades). It looks pretty crappy as is, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to terms with purposely spray painting it, etc. Maybe if I hadn't built it up myself, I would not feel the same

  18. #18
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byrd48 View Post
    There is a website about 'stealthing' your bike. They mention things like spray painting it in rainbow colors and putting duct tape over the seats to make it look as unattractive as possible. I'm kinda torn, I ride an old 90's mountain bike ($45 off CL, but $400 in component and wheel upgrades). It looks pretty crappy as is, but I'm not sure I could bring myself to terms with purposely spray painting it, etc. Maybe if I hadn't built it up myself, I would not feel the same
    A $45 mountain bike doesn't need 'stealthing'. Put your paint money into a good lock.

  19. #19
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    $400 = rather low end BD or used.

    You will probably want to sell the low end BD in 3 months.

    Answer: buy higher end BD bikes or just buy used now.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CenturionIM View Post
    $400 = rather low end BD or used.

    You will probably want to sell the low end BD in 3 months.

    Answer: buy higher end BD bikes or just buy used now.
    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    A $45 mountain bike doesn't need 'stealthing'. Put your paint money into a good lock.
    What they said.

  21. #21
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    I had the same dilemma after my beloved royal prince was stolen. After weeks of pondering I decided CL was the way to go. I was patient and found a beautiful 80's Benotto with campy record group for $175. That specialized looks like a steal for $100.

  22. #22
    Cabrőnista™ dprayvd's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeNF View Post
    Haha, yeah so true. Bike theft here is extremely common. My friend double U-locked his Trek FX 7.2 outside of Scilec like he always does at noon for Chemistry (for those who don't go to Davis that is the biggest lecture hall, and always has TONS of people arround) and even that didn't stop a thief from jacking it on a Wednesday.
    And this is why I have always said that if you're locking a bike up in a high risk area, and colleges are very high risk areas, to get either a used bike for about $250-$350 range or a Walmart type of bike in that price range if you want a new bike. And if you have a nice bike you leave it at home and ride it for training rides etc. when you know you won't need to be locking it up.

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