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Old 04-29-12, 09:05 PM   #1
GratedWasabi
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Help with Buying a Bike!

Hello all!

So I apologize if this is the inappropriate forum but it seemed like the best place to go.

I'm looking to take up commuting via bike to work and just cycling in general. It's only about a 7 mile ride to work so I'd probably be putting in around 100 miles a week total.

One of my friends informed me to look for one with Shimano 105 parts and I found this one on Craigslist, which I assume is an older bike but I wanted to get some input on. I don't have much money at all to put down right now but I could always upgrade, so mainly just want to know if this would be a decent bike to get started with. Obviously I would go test ride it and such first but the seller is a ways away and I wanted to get an idea if it was worthy my time first.

Any input is appeciated.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/bik/2984495646.html
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Old 04-29-12, 09:20 PM   #2
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In my personal opinion there are likely better deals to be had. One thing I would suggest doing is finding out if your local municipality holds bicycle auctions. Here is an example (from my neck of the woods) http://www.denvergov.org/denveraucti...8/default.aspx

I picked up a decent Specialized bike with decent components for $100.00 and replaced the cassette and cables for $60. and the bike is great. I saw a few really nice $1200.00 bikes go for $250-$400. Plus I'm confident that you could find something better on craigslist for around that same price.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:33 PM   #3
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In my personal opinion there are likely better deals to be had. One thing I would suggest doing is finding out if your local municipality holds bicycle auctions. Here is an example (from my neck of the woods) http://www.denvergov.org/denveraucti...8/default.aspx

I picked up a decent Specialized bike with decent components for $100.00 and replaced the cassette and cables for $60. and the bike is great. I saw a few really nice $1200.00 bikes go for $250-$400. Plus I'm confident that you could find something better on craigslist for around that same price.
I know there are tons of places to look for ideas on what to look for in a good used road bike.. but that's also the problem, I'm incredibly overwhelmed!

What are some things I should look for in a sub $500 used bike? Or more specifically, what are some things this bike is lacking on that I should look for better?
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Old 04-29-12, 09:48 PM   #4
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From what I can tell the bike in your ad only has a 105 rear derailleur not all 105 components. The front and rear derailleurs are fairly cheap the bulk of the cost of 105 and all other component groups is in the brifters (brake and shifter) and the cranks. For example a 105 crank new sells for around 250.00 and 105 brifters are $340. While a 105 front derailleur is only $50 and a rear derailleur is only $80. So its important to keep in mind that the drivetrain components and the frame are the two major costs of the bike. Now I realize that $180 isn't a high price but I think if your able to wait you can likely find a nice bike with an overall better component group.
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Old 04-29-12, 10:19 PM   #5
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I picked up a brand new never been used mountain bike from www.bikesdirect.com for under $400 but the bike's official site sells it for about $800. The bike is sent 90% put together but you will have to do some assembling which isn't hard at all Maybe give them a looksie and see if you like anything. So far, I am extremely satisfied with my MTB.
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Old 04-29-12, 10:25 PM   #6
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I always try to encourage cyclists to buy new, whenever possible. However, if you must buy used, then the best investment would be an old ten speed road bike from the 80's era.

Also, when purchasing a used aluminum framed bicycle, it would be very important to know its history.

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Old 04-29-12, 10:31 PM   #7
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I always try to encourage cyclists to buy new, whenever possible. However, if you must buy used, then the best investment would be an old ten speed road bike from the 80's era.

Also, when purchasing a used aluminum framed bicycle, it would be very important to know its history.
Is there anything new that I can buy for under $500 that's pretty good quality for what I'm looking for?
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Old 04-29-12, 10:54 PM   #8
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Is there anything new that I can buy for under $500 that's pretty good quality for what I'm looking for?
Bikes Direct has some good choices in your price range. Check out other online direct sellers.
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Old 04-29-12, 11:42 PM   #9
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Bikes Direct has some good choices in your price range. Check out other online direct sellers.
Which of their categories should I be be looking in? Or more specifically, what are the key parts I should be looking at? My friend said 105s but those seem to be $800 at the lowest, which there's no way I can do right now. What's the lowest part I should reasonably go that I won't regret? I keep reading these horrible things about Sora parts.

And.. it's all.. so.. confusing.... Gah!
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Old 04-30-12, 01:40 AM   #10
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Above sora is Tiagra and Tiagra is considered to be quite decent and is one step below 105. Tiagra is probably more realistic for your price range.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:28 AM   #11
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What bicycle brands are sold in your favorite local bike shop?
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Old 04-30-12, 01:07 PM   #12
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Which of their categories should I be be looking in? Or more specifically, what are the key parts I should be looking at? My friend said 105s but those seem to be $800 at the lowest, which there's no way I can do right now. What's the lowest part I should reasonably go that I won't regret? I keep reading these horrible things about Sora parts.

And.. it's all.. so.. confusing.... Gah!
Your just wanting to commute to work correct? and general cycling around town? If yes, consider the "road bike" category or "hybrid category" if you plan to also consider trail or off road riding. I got a mountain bike from there (2012 Gravity Base Camp 2.0) but I plan to ride a lot of rough trails and MTB. I am a newbie though but so far its a great bike!
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Old 04-30-12, 01:18 PM   #13
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Hey there GratedWasabi!

These are the two new bikes that I would recommend near that pricepoint:

The Schwinn Sporterra ~ $495
www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/hybrid/2012-sporterra-sport-mens-14586

The Jamis Coda Sport ~ $560
www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codasport_rd.html

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Old 04-30-12, 07:19 PM   #14
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What bicycle brands are sold in your favorite local bike shop?
Expensive ones! That was the first place I looked and they don't sell a bike under $750. I literally do not have that money to spend.

I'm going to give Craigslist a few days and see if anything particularly interesting comes up, otherwise going Bikedirect.

Thoughts on http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fe_latte_x.htm or http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ngton3_IX.htm?

Or more specifically, what are the best bikes on bikesdirect for $400 or less for my use? Ie.. commuting, long rides with a decent amount of hills, all paved riding.

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Old 04-30-12, 08:55 PM   #15
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Yes! The Cafe Latte and the Wellington 3 are both great bikes at their pricepoints.

I would also like to recommend the Diamondback Insight from REI:

The Diamondback Insight ~ $390
www.rei.com/product/826110/diamondback-insight-rs-commuter-bike-special-buy

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Old 04-30-12, 09:39 PM   #16
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Here is something I believe in and have used ever since I started cycling, try before you buy. Any online ordering has the major flaw of not getting to try first. If you have whenching skills it might not be a problem but if not if you have a problem with the bike you are on your own. Do you have a bottom bracket tool to check the bottom bracket? Do you have a spoke wrench and know how to true wheels? If not looking at a used bike or finding one on sale is a better option. Do you have a Performance store anywhere near you? They have lots of commuter bikes and you can try before you buy. They have several fitness bikes in your price range. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00316&metaData=

The problem I have is I don't know enough about what you need to make a reasonable reccomendation. Normally I say get a road bike with Shimano 105 or Apex minimum. For a 7 mile commute a Mountain Bike would work, with SRAM or Shimano shifters. I also agree look to a city auction and even garage sales.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:23 PM   #17
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Here is something I believe in and have used ever since I started cycling, try before you buy. Any online ordering has the major flaw of not getting to try first. If you have whenching skills it might not be a problem but if not if you have a problem with the bike you are on your own. Do you have a bottom bracket tool to check the bottom bracket? Do you have a spoke wrench and know how to true wheels? If not looking at a used bike or finding one on sale is a better option. Do you have a Performance store anywhere near you? They have lots of commuter bikes and you can try before you buy. They have several fitness bikes in your price range. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00316&metaData=

The problem I have is I don't know enough about what you need to make a reasonable reccomendation. Normally I say get a road bike with Shimano 105 or Apex minimum. For a 7 mile commute a Mountain Bike would work, with SRAM or Shimano shifters. I also agree look to a city auction and even garage sales.
It's an 8 mile commute 5 days a week (or more realistically 3 or 4) but I'm also likely to ride it around quite a bit on my free time. I'd like something that's decent enough for 40-60 mile rides.

Then again, I used to ride a sub-$200 mountain bike on 50 mile rides without much problem.

Everything is so expensive.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:26 AM   #18
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This one just popped on Craigslist. Might be able to get him to $350.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/2989276744.html

Thoughts?

*edit* I've read some bad reviews on the FSA Gossamer crankset, which I'd figure is kind of the most important part. Bad piece?

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Old 05-01-12, 10:57 AM   #19
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This one just popped on Craigslist. Might be able to get him to $350.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/2989276744.html

Thoughts?


*edit* I've read some bad reviews on the FSA Gossamer crankset, which I'd figure is kind of the most important part. Bad piece?
IMHO that's just way overpriced! I'd be concerned about that fork, too!
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Old 05-01-12, 12:06 PM   #20
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Would you buy a pair of shoes if you didn't know your size? Well, bikes come in sizes too. Forget about 105 components or whatever, you only shift now in then. Size affects your comfort, efficiency and performance every single minute that you're on the bike.

If you are buying a new bike from a bike shop it's just like buying shoes. You can pick out a bike in your selected style and price range and depend on the shop to fit you with the right size.

If you're buying a used bike there's usually only one so you have to know what size you need and have the discipline to reject all of the bikes that aren't the right size. Just like buying shoes, regardless of features and price, if it's not the right size, it's not a good deal.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:29 PM   #21
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Would you buy a pair of shoes if you didn't know your size? Well, bikes come in sizes too. Forget about 105 components or whatever, you only shift now in then. Size affects your comfort, efficiency and performance every single minute that you're on the bike.

If you are buying a new bike from a bike shop it's just like buying shoes. You can pick out a bike in your selected style and price range and depend on the shop to fit you with the right size.

If you're buying a used bike there's usually only one so you have to know what size you need and have the discipline to reject all of the bikes that aren't the right size. Just like buying shoes, regardless of features and price, if it's not the right size, it's not a good deal.
+1 ^ This is so true! That's the major risk with buying online...
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Old 05-02-12, 12:18 PM   #22
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+1 ^ This is so true! That's the major risk with buying online...
Definitely agree. I think I've given up the idea of getting from bikesdirect.

If I could afford it, I'd definitely get from a LBS.. but I simply can't afford it.

Saw this one of Craigslist and emailed him. Says the other components are 105s.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/bik/2989134345.html

I'm worried the size wouldn't be quite right but I'd obviously get to check that and ride it before I bought. Is it worth going to take a look at?
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Old 05-02-12, 02:06 PM   #23
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Definitely agree. I think I've given up the idea of getting from bikesdirect.

If I could afford it, I'd definitely get from a LBS.. but I simply can't afford it.

Saw this one of Craigslist and emailed him. Says the other components are 105s.


http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/bik/2989134345.html

I'm worried the size wouldn't be quite right but I'd obviously get to check that and ride it before I bought. Is it worth going to take a look at?
Whenever possible, try to buy new, if buying an aluminum framed bicycle. That way, you're assured many more years of service. IMHO the following recommendations would be more feasible:

The Windsor Wellington 2 ~ $350
www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/wellington2_IX.htm

The Windsor Wellington 3 ~ $400
www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/wellington3_IX.htm

PS.

Upgrading to Tiagra or 105 isn't really that necessary. Sora works just fine...

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Old 05-02-12, 04:52 PM   #24
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. If you have whenching skills it might not be a problem but if not if you have a problem with the bike you are on your own. .
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Old 05-02-12, 05:55 PM   #25
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Just in case there's a problem with assembly, you could always watch the following video, as many times as you like:

www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm

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