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Old 05-07-06, 08:25 AM   #1
JayhawKen
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Used Bike FYI's

After 30 years of running and some nagging knee pain, I'm thinking of switching to biking. Have made the rounds of the LBS' and (after recovering from sticker shock) was considering going with a used bike to start with. If the knees don't hurt and everything goes okay, then I would be in a position to know more of what to look for in a new bike.

Was wondering what I should keep in mind as I shop the Craig's list, classifieds, etc. Any components to stay away from? Are some brands known to be more durable than others? Would appreciate any advice and suggestions. My thinking was if I'm going to spend $700 ~ $800 (kind of the new bike entry level price from what I've seen), I'd rather ride a 2 year old higher end bike for the same money.

Also, for someone 5'9" and 31" inseam, based on some searching around here it looks like something around a 55 to 56cm frame size would be in the ballpark? Since I'm just getting into this I'm not sure I'll know what a correct fit feels like, so I need some kind of a reference for the right size range.

TIA for any & all help.

Cheers
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Old 05-07-06, 09:55 AM   #2
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It's impossible to give a simple answer to this question. How much and what kind of riding are you thinking about doing?


What you should do is post links to various things you see on ebay and CL, people here will tell you yea or nay and why. And about half of the advice you get you'll want to take with a grain of salt. The problem will be figuring out what half.
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Old 05-07-06, 11:44 AM   #3
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Like Zach says. Think first in terms of what you'll be doing with the bike. Long distance road riding? Cruising the multi-use trails at the local park? Flogging through the unforgiving woods and deserts?

Regardless of purpose, you should be able to pick up a good, rideable machine with quality components for the money you mention; I just sold a Trek 2120 roadster for 450.00.
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Old 05-07-06, 12:56 PM   #4
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If everything works out I would probably be riding 8 to 10 hours a week, all road, and would ultimately want to do some long rides/races on weekends.

Basically, it would take the place of running and give me a healthy outlet for a hyper-competitive gene.
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Old 05-07-06, 01:09 PM   #5
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for a used road bike in your price range, I wouldn't worry too much - there are plenty of people here who swear by the latest and greatest equipment, but for what you want to pay you'll be able to get a great starter bike that will meet your needs for years to come. just keep your eye out for ads and show 'em to us.
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Old 05-07-06, 02:19 PM   #6
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I can give you some things to watch out for when buying used:
Where did they store the bike? Does it have rust anywhere? How worn are the chainrings and cassette? When did they last replace the chain? Make sure the cranks don't wiggle or make noise when you ride or you may need to replace the bottom bracket. Make sure the wheels are very close to true. If it seems fairly new, check to see if they have a receipt because there unfortunately are a lot of thieves who sell using eBay and CL.

As far as components, you can search these forums or Trek's website has a good/better/best comparison of them. It's not comprehensive, but it's a place to start. Good luck.
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