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  1. #1
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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

  2. #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.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo734 View Post
    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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    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.

  5. #5
    Super Newbie Shawn Gossman's Avatar
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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.
    Shawn Gossman - My personal Blog | Illinois Storm Chaser - My personal storm chasing blog

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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.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-01-12 at 04:16 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    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?

  8. #8
    Senior Member WickedThump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GratedWasabi View Post
    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.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedThump View Post
    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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    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.

  11. #11
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    What bicycle brands are sold in your favorite local bike shop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GratedWasabi View Post
    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!
    Shawn Gossman - My personal Blog | Illinois Storm Chaser - My personal storm chasing blog

  13. #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
    Last edited by SlimRider; 04-30-12 at 01:24 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    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.
    Last edited by GratedWasabi; 04-30-12 at 07:55 PM.

  15. #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
    Last edited by SlimRider; 04-30-12 at 09:56 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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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.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    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.

  18. #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?
    Last edited by GratedWasabi; 05-01-12 at 12:35 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GratedWasabi View Post
    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!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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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.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    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...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    +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?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GratedWasabi View Post
    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...
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-02-12 at 02:25 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    . 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. .
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  25. #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
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-02-12 at 06:13 PM.

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