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Old 12-29-10, 10:03 PM   #1
Reach
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Checking for problems - used bike on CL

I've been using my beaten up mtb at college for a while now, and its time to transition to a cheap road bike. What should I be checking for when test riding a road bike found on craigslist? I have little technical knowledge of a bike besides checking if the brakes are functioning...
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Old 12-29-10, 10:08 PM   #2
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Honestly? If you have little technical knowledge CL may not be the place to buy a bike unless you take someone a little bit more knowledgeable with you. There are some great deals out there, but a lot of turkeys too.
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Old 12-30-10, 12:53 AM   #3
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Couple of things straight away.

Check the gears all work under pressure.
Check that the teeth on the Cassette and chainrings are not badly worn but this does require an eye to see if they are worn
I would expect the wheels to require retensioning of the spokes and trueing but also check to see if sideways movement from loose bearings on the Hub. Both these things I would expect to find but it will be a shop job for you to correct.

And finally does it fit.
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Old 12-30-10, 09:32 AM   #4
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As said above make sure it fits. Road bikes are more critical than mountain bikes for fitting. If you feel you lack the experience to evaluate a used bike, it might be in your best interest to meet the seller at a LBS. You can have them check it over for a few $. This can be used as a negotiating tool if the bike needs work.
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Old 12-30-10, 09:42 AM   #5
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Also, look over the welds on the frame. I've went to look at a bike once where there was a nice crack on the down tube going into the bottom bracket. Guy wasn't going to tell me about it....
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