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  1. #1
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    Noobie Looking for a Bike. Few questions between these two bikes.

    I wanted to purchase a road bike for short commutes and possibly start cycling as a hobby. I'm a student, so Id like to save as much as possible. I started browsing craigslist. I'm around 5'9 to 5'10 and through some searching I found two road bikes that I have some interest in. Now, I was wondering whether or not I should go with an older bike or one that is well maintained with a higher price tag? These are the two bikes I am interested in:

    An old peugeot road bike requires new cables (I have no idea how to do/maintain a bike yet) - seller is asking for $100:



    and a Kuwahara titan well kept, great condition, rides smoothly - seller is asking for $240



    Now, as a noobie, I like the look of the Kuwahara titan a lot better and I really don't know what else to look at/consider besides that. Would you more experienced riders recommend to buy an older bike that may not be in a rideable condition (old peugeot) at the moment or would you rather recommend something that is well maintained (kuwahara)? Would I be saving much on tuneups, maintenance, etc if I go with the second option? Lastly, do you guys think these are fair prices for these bikes or are they overpriced?
    Last edited by PapaGanoosh; 06-11-12 at 11:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, PapaGaNoosh!

    First of all, when you say, "rides smoothly", I'm assuming that you have ridden it personally and are not going by what you've been told by the seller or a second party. I say that because, the most important aspect about a bicycle purchase of any kind, is the fit. That is to say, the comfort level involved in actually riding the bicycle. If you've already ridden the Titan, it feels good, and does not have any rust or weld issues, then I'd say yes indeed, buy it!

    However, I think that before you actually shell out the cash, you should bring someone with you who "knows bikes", who might give you a second opinion. Bring $240 but offer $200, for your first offer. Use your skills to bargain down.

    * That Titan is definitely worth the money *

    Good Luck!

    PS.

    Look for a bicycle co-op in your area. If there is one in your area, join it, so that you can learn how to both maintain and repair your bicycle. A co-op will teach you bicycle mechanics.

  3. #3
    Member ramuntxo's Avatar
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    I am a noob myself and also a student with a restricting budget but I would suggest that if you are serious about getting into cycling as a long term activity, I would save up and get a more updated bicycle. I ended up cruising the LBS spots around my house and found my bike for under $600. The same bike I used just this past Saturday to complete my first century.

    But if you are just looking for a commuter for now then make sure you will not spend more on repairs than you did purchasing it.
    Aupa Samu eta aupa Euskaltel Euskadi!

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    Thanks for help and warm welcome SlimRider!

    I'm afraid none of my friends know too much about bicycles. Will I be ok reading online on how to spot whether or not a bike is well maintained?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Thanks for help and warm welcome SlimRider!

    I'm afraid none of my friends know too much about bicycles. Will I be ok reading online on how to spot whether or not a bike is well maintained?
    No! You will not be alright online spotting a bad used bike that someone claims has been well-maintained. There are all kinds of scams going on. However, if you first of all, test ride the bike after a thorough inspection for rust and skeptical welded joints, it should be alright to purchase. Most people are not going to spend much cash attempting to scam someone just to sell a bike for say $200 - $300. However, the more expensive the used bike, the more you should beware of scams or tricks.

    Have you actually ridden the Titan?

    Is there a bicycle co-op nearby somewhere?

    Will you be climbing any serious hills or inclines wth your bike?
    Last edited by SlimRider; 06-22-12 at 05:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Google around for tips on how to purchase a used bike. I like the look of the Kuwahara. It looks used, but not too icky. The pick is not quite large enough to see. For $240, if it fits and rides well, it's probably a decent choice. I can't tell if the tires look soft and rubbery or dried and cracked. Are the cogs on the cassette and chain ring all worn or nice and square and new looking? There are probably other things to look at when purchasing a used bike, so start reading :-)
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  7. #7
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    No one has pointed out that the Titan is too small for the OP, it's a 49-50cm.

    Peugeot: Correct size ~ 55-56cm. Needs tires, bar tape, hoods, brake pads, chain, cabling. $80 at least - if you're frugal - and OP can't do the installs/adjustment.

    Conclusion: Neither is right.

    Test ride the Titan to verify. It'll feel scrunched. You need about 2 inches more top tube to be properly stretched out. Keep looking...

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    Thanks for all the input guys, did a bit more browsing the last couple of days and saw a pretty decent bike (56cm) for $250. It's a bit late here so I'll shoot them a message tomorrow morning, but what do you guys think of this? Would $250 be too much for a bike like this?



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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Thanks for all the input guys, did a bit more browsing the last couple of days and saw a pretty decent bike (56cm) for $250. It's a bit late here so I'll shoot them a message tomorrow morning, but what do you guys think of this? Would $250 be too much for a bike like this?


    Hey! That virtually looks pretty good from here! However, you really need to go over that Miyata with a fine toothed comb. What's that on the chain stay? Make certain that you look for fine cracks near the bottom bracket and on the stays. Also, check the joints where the welds are located. All welds should look smooth, continuous, and uninterrupted, with no breaks. Of course, as you already know, there should be almost no visible rust at all.

    If it doesn't fit, don't buy it! If you suspect that it might be a little too large, it most probably is too large, don't buy it!

    If I were you, I'd bring $250, but offer $200. Use your skills to drive the bargain into your court.

    * Miyata use to make excellent chromoly steel road bikes!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 06-22-12 at 05:31 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    It does look pretty clean. Or let's say it doesn't look all dirty/rusty/icky. You can google for help with used bikes. This site had some good hints: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transp...t-used-bicycle. You might also ask in the Vintage forum.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Factors to consider, IN ORDER, when buying a used bike:

    1. Is it the right size? That's a yes/no question. Would you buy shoes that were a size too big or a size too small?
    2. Is it rideable now? No = basket case. Price should be REAL low because owner obviously doesn't care about it. It'll always cost more to make rideable than you're thinking.
    3. Everything else. Not even worth talking about until 1 & 2 are right.

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    I'd have to know more about both bikes, including whether they fit you, before recommending one. It's pretty easy to evaluate a used bike once you know what to look for, but it is confusing for a novice.
    One thing to check on the Peugeot (or any French bike): until some point about the mid-'80s, I think, they used odd-sized components in several places. The stems, for instance, were 22.0 mm diameter instead of the standard 22.2, and the bottom bracket threading was different from Italian, Japanese and English/American. A lot of it isn't interchangeable, and it's hard to find those old French parts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Thanks for all the input guys, did a bit more browsing the last couple of days and saw a pretty decent bike (56cm) for $250. It's a bit late here so I'll shoot them a message tomorrow morning, but what do you guys think of this? Would $250 be too much for a bike like this?


    That bike probably cost $250.00 brand new 35 years ago.

  14. #14
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    Yea back when 250 was actually a decent amount of money not a drop in the bucket.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    My point is that it was an entry level bike when it was new. Cheap saddle, looks like a steel crankset, bolt-on wheels, front rim is so shiny I'm thinking chromed steel, Weinmann or DiaCompe brakes that are marginal at best and zero on wet chromed rims. Can't tell anything about the drive train.

    It does look really clean like somebody spent some time getting it ready to sell. On a bike that old that hasn't been ridden much, the grease in the bearings will either be hard or will have been washed away. If the seller claims a recent overhaul of all the bearings, I'd think $200 might be a reasonable price. Otherwise, I'm thinking $100 would be more fair.

  16. #16
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    Ok guys, looking at another bike and need some more first look impressions (eg., what you guys did with the miyata bike). This one has downtube shifters (I was wondering whats so bad about stem shifters anyways?). Asking price is $220 and the frame size is 54cm (exactly what I need). Is this a fair price or is it overpriced? This is the bike in question:



  17. #17
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    Appreciate all the great input guys. You have really helped me out. I just went to go test ride a bike yesterday. The bike itself was in decent condition aside from looking a bit old. It was a 58cm and the seat was adjusted way too high for me but it can be adjusted. Now my question is about the fit. I was wondering about how much standover clearance I should have. I read that you should look for 1-2" of standover clearance but when I stood over this bike I basically had close to none (the top tube was right against my crotch) but when I rode the bike my legs were basically extended fully (if I adjust the seat I think I can get the extension that is described for a good fit). Is this 58cm bike a good fit for me or should I look for something smaller?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaGanoosh View Post
    Appreciate all the great input guys. You have really helped me out. I just went to go test ride a bike yesterday. The bike itself was in decent condition aside from looking a bit old. It was a 58cm and the seat was adjusted way too high for me but it can be adjusted. Now my question is about the fit. I was wondering about how much standover clearance I should have. I read that you should look for 1-2" of standover clearance but when I stood over this bike I basically had close to none (the top tube was right against my crotch) but when I rode the bike my legs were basically extended fully (if I adjust the seat I think I can get the extension that is described for a good fit). Is this 58cm bike a good fit for me or should I look for something smaller?
    How low can the seat be adjusted? If your legs are fully extended as you pedal, that's a bit too long.

    Also, did you feel too stretched out and low, too cramped inside, or were you stretched until you were comfortable enough?

    Top tube length is a much more important factor to consider when it comes to your positioning and body comfort while riding. I've ridden bikes where "the top tube was right against my crotch" as you put it, but some of those bikes still felt just right for me because they had the correct top tube length and stem length for the type of riding that I prefer to do.

    Edit: sorry, I should have read all the posts in this thread before responding. Okay, so it sounds like you're around my height or maybe a bit taller even (5'9" or thereabouts). My main bike is a 54cm size, and the old 10-speed I used to ride was a 54cm size. For most road bikes, I find my comfort level is in frame sizes between 52cm and 56cm (depending on the top tube length). I'd actually look at test-riding 54-56cm size frames if I were you. But if the 58cm feels comfortable, I wouldn't worry too much about the stand-over on it. I'm used to just tilting my bike to the side whenever I come to a stop and put a foot down in order to get off the bike without hitting the top tube.
    Last edited by fat_bike_nut; 07-04-12 at 04:06 PM. Reason: I did not read all posts before responding.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    That bike is too big for the previous owner. I can tell because the saddle is pushed so far forward. If you have to lower that saddle from where it is in the picture, it's too big for you too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    That bike is too big for the previous owner. I can tell because the saddle is pushed so far forward. If you have to lower that saddle from where it is in the picture, it's too big for you too.
    I think he might be talking about a different bike from the one pictured. The bike in the picture is a 54 cm size, and PapaGanoosh mentioned that he test rode a 58 cm size.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut View Post
    I think he might be talking about a different bike from the one pictured. The bike in the picture is a 54 cm size, and PapaGanoosh mentioned that he test rode a 58 cm size.
    Good catch! FWIW, I'm betting the bike in the picture was previously owned by a woman because of the small frame size and having the saddle pushed so far forward.

  22. #22
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    So after looking around, I'm considering the Nishiki. However, it comes with a kickstand. I have read on Randy Jawa's bicycle site that adding a kickstand to a bike may compromise the frame's integrity. I'm not sure if this is stock to the bike. If this is not stock and was added on by the owner, how worried should I be about this? Should this be a deal breaker or something minute?

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