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Old 11-22-08, 06:55 PM   #1
JesusLovesUToo
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Bike Help

Hello! I have biked for years on Target bikes, but I'm wanting to start training for a triathlon now, and I started longer rides this summer (up to 50 miles), and my bike fell apart. Thus, I guess it's time to invest in a nicer bike.

The problem is that I don't have much money.

I have a couple of options, one being to buy a brand new beginners bike for around $900 from a bike store, the other being to spend a little less and get a bike worth more, but used and older.

What do you think? Are there any brands you would reccommend or advise against?

Does it matter if I get a bike built for females, or will a male's bike do?

I'm 5'10" and slender... What size do I need to get?

I don't know anything about bikes, so is there anything in specific I should be looking for?

And finally, I know a guy selling his 1998 TREK 2500 PRO Composite Road Bike for $350. It originally cost $2400, but it's 10 years old... Is that a good deal or should I get something much newer?

Thanks so much for your help!

Last edited by JesusLovesUToo; 11-22-08 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 11-22-08, 07:40 PM   #2
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Go to a bike shop--a real one, not a department store--and start there. That will give you an idea of what's available and what it costs. You can certainly get a good, usable new bike in the $1000 range, and a killer used bike for that (I did my first three centuries on a $350 mountain bike with road tires). You do need a little knowledge to evaluate a used bike, though. It isn't complicated, but it is a little specialized. The Trek you mentioned is a racing bike, I think, which may not be the best choice for a novice rider--the gearing may be too high for you, the geometry too aggressive to be comfortable, at least at first, and it probably won't fit tires larger than about 25mm, which a lot of people use, but in my opinion shouldn't.
Your screen name says only that you're obnoxiously pushy about your religious beliefs, not what your gender is. Assuming you're a woman, you may (probably do, but it's not universal) have different proportions than a male rider of your height and weight. In that case a "women's" bike or adjustments to a men's bike may suit you. That's one of the things a good bike shop will be able to determine.
I'd certainly ride a wide range of bikes, including a hybrid, before making a decision. And unless you're VERY sure you want to get pretty serious about triathlons, I'd stick with an all-around, versatile bike rather than anything resembling a tri bike or wannabe racer.
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Old 11-22-08, 08:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for your help. I am a woman, and using a common screenname I've had since a teenager. And whilst I am religious, very few people who know me would ever call me pushy about my beliefs, but thanks for the judgement.

I know I am serious about riding, but I would rather stick with a basic road bike that a tri bike, mainly because I'm still too novice, I think. I guess my major area of confusion is how to decide which used bike to buy, seeing as a bike store won't be able to help me with that...
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Old 11-22-08, 08:48 PM   #4
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The most important thing will be to get a bike that fits you properly. If that Trek fits you, it would be an inexpensive way to start...you can always upgrade components over time as you see fit.

For a new bike you might consider looking at the Giant OCR3 or OCR2 at the sub $900 price point (it also has a women specific version, so you can compare to the men's version to see which fits you best).

Thing is, even at 10 years old, that Trek is a nice bike, if it hasn't been trashed. It will definitely be lighter than any new entry level bike.

Ignore Velo Dog, I think he needs a hug.
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Last edited by chipcom; 11-22-08 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 11-22-08, 09:04 PM   #5
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Does it matter if I get a bike built for females, or will a male's bike do?
What matters is that the bike fits you. If a women's bike is a better fit, get it. If a men's bike is a better fit, get it. Try both types. You may get different results with different brands, too.
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Old 11-22-08, 09:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JesusLovesUToo View Post
Hello! I have biked for years on Target bikes, but I'm wanting to start training for a triathlon now, and I started longer rides this summer (up to 50 miles), and my bike fell apart. Thus, I guess it's time to invest in a nicer bike.

The problem is that I don't have much money.

I have a couple of options, one being to buy a brand new beginners bike for around $900 from a bike store, the other being to spend a little less and get a bike worth more, but used and older.
Hey you will love a new bike. If you have 900 dollars to spend, that's a good amount to get your started. You can probably get a good deal at a real bike shop on something from the 2008 season. And then you will have the service, fitting and expert advice of the bike shop. Some bike shops have some used, trade-in bikes too.

A regular road bike is a much better choice that a tri-bike. You can always do a tri w/a regular road bike, but you probably won't be very comfortable for long road rides on tri-bike.

A women's specific bike is not necessary for you since you are tall. There are far fewer choices in women specific frames and that would limit your options right off the bat. Besides, female specific sizing tends to be more important for women who are short, which you are not.

There may be some issues related to handlebar reach, or the size of the brake levers, but these can be corrected easily by the shop. On my own bike, I had a hard time getting my smaller hand around the brake levers, so the shop put a shim in and it's fine.....easy problem to solve. You don't need a special "woman's bike" to get a good fit.

If you are 5'10", my guess would be a 54-56cm frame?

BTW, your screen name is lovely and inspiring.

Colleen
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Old 11-23-08, 09:48 AM   #7
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The guy selling the Trek Bike, go for a test ride for a few days. Get that bike adjusted for your body type. Give it a try. I think this would be a good starting point for you now. Pray about it.
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Old 11-23-08, 10:02 AM   #8
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The guy selling the Trek Bike, go for a test ride for a few days. Get that bike adjusted for your body type. Give it a try. I think this would be a good starting point for you now. Pray about it.
The fastest guy in our group rides 92 Trek.
The used Trek would be the best way to go.
Give it a Real Good Test Ride for an hour or more.
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Old 11-23-08, 10:04 PM   #9
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Thanks, all. You really don't think the bike is too old or too advanced? Also, he doesn't know what size it is... Where should I ask him to measure it?

And you think I'd be better off with the really old trek than a brand new intro bike?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-23-08, 10:51 PM   #10
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About bikes sizes...start here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
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Old 11-24-08, 04:12 AM   #11
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You might want to post this in the Classic / Vintage forum also. They know alot about older bikes and how to buy and what to buy.

I like my mixte bikes alot, but that is me.

And since the discussion is on, I must agree with "obnoxiously pushy about your religious beliefs". Sorry.
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Old 11-24-08, 06:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JesusLovesUToo View Post
Thanks, all. You really don't think the bike is too old or too advanced? Also, he doesn't know what size it is... Where should I ask him to measure it?

And you think I'd be better off with the really old trek than a brand new intro bike?

Thanks again!
Numbers mean nothing, go try it out and see how well it fits. 10 years isn't that old for a bike. Components can be replaced if worn, frames last forever. My Bianchi frame is over 20 years old.

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And since the discussion is on, I must agree with "obnoxiously pushy about your religious beliefs". Sorry.
Oh get over it. How can a user name that simply states that some person, real or mythical, loves you, possibly be offensive, obnoxious or pushy unless YOU have an advanced case of butttotightitis?

My avatar is obnoxious, pushy and bad for digestion...her user name, not so much.
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Old 11-24-08, 07:09 AM   #13
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There is nothing wrong with the right used bike. If you go the new bike direction, ask around about the bike shops near you, a bad shop will sell you what they have, rather than what you need.

I love your user name! (Matt 5:11)
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Old 11-27-08, 06:44 AM   #14
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My avatar is obnoxious, pushy and bad for digestion...her user name, not so much.
Your avatar is cute, wery similar to the picture in my drivers lisence

This isa tread about bikes, not religion, and not politics.
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Old 11-27-08, 08:51 AM   #15
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There's a bike shop in Newport Beach "Bike Religion"
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Old 11-27-08, 09:09 AM   #16
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This isa tread about bikes, not religion, and not politics.
Yup, so why did you feel compelled to comment on her username?
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Old 11-27-08, 09:36 AM   #17
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Your avatar is cute, wery similar to the picture in my drivers lisence

This isa tread about bikes, not religion, and not politics.
....and the OP's post was about bikes too. Someone else went off the reservation with the thread.
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Old 11-27-08, 09:37 AM   #18
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Yup, so why did you feel compelled to comment on her username?

Because he's a hypocritical tool.....why else.
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Old 11-27-08, 09:41 AM   #19
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Here's my advice...check out the new bikes in the shops and get an idea what you like and what fits you etc. Then hit Craigslist or Ebay.

You can buy a bike that's a year or two old for half of retail so you can probably buy a decent slightly used bike...especially this time of year.

A 10 year old bike may or may NOT be in good shape. It might need tires and brakes at least and at worst it may be worn out completely.....depends on how much he rode it and how it was maintained. You don't seem all that mechanically inclined so I would pass on the 10 year old bike.

You will be amazed how many people shell out 2k for a bike only to never ride it and then ditch it for whatever they can get for it a couple of years later when they are cleaning out the garage.

Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask.....this place is FULL of tools...but is also full of great people who will freely give advice to someone like you.

What exactly is your budget? That would help us make a better recommendation. It's light years apart from say a 300 dollar budget to a 1k dollar budget.
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