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Old 06-20-12, 03:38 AM   #1
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Noobie's Search for a Road Bike

I wanted to purchase a road bike for short commutes and possibly start cycling as a hobby. I'm a student, so I'd 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 a road bike that is pretty cheap. Price is $40 but poster says it requires "tuning, new tires, etc". Frame size is not specified but I sent an email inquiring him about it. Now, I don't know how to do any of the mechanical work, so I'm wondering if anyone has an estimate of what it would cost for a full tuneup of a bike in this condition. I live in Vancouver btw.

Here is a picture of the bike:

There is also another one that is $80:

Last edited by PapaGanoosh; 06-20-12 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:13 AM   #2
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Welcome To Bike Forums, PapaGanoosh!

This is really not the way to search for a bike. First of all, you should already know your approximate frame size. I mean, if you're 5'8" and the bicycle is either a 58cm or a 60cm frame size, then you're just spinning your wheels, for nothing. Neither would ever fit you....

The next most important thing when buying used, is to either be knowledgeable about bicycles yourself, or to know someone who does possess such information about bicycles. They would need to accompany you when assessing the overall condition of the bike.

Thus far, I can tell you that the bicycles posted appear to have chromoly steel frames, and that's a very good prerequisite for purchasing a used bicycle. Now since, both bikes that you've posted apparently need some level of reconditioning, I would suggest that you find out their sizes, before any further consideration. If they turn out to be more or less the appropriate size, then the next thing to consider would be their condition and riding comfort level. Since neither is in good riding condition, either purchase would be more like a crap shoot at this point. That's to say, that there is some amount of risk involved in making either purchase. However, it is better than buying online, and that's for certain.

Your expert who assists you in assessing the overall condition of your bike, should be looking for the degree of rust accumulation, any weld issues, and any signs of structural damage. He should also be able to detect any mechanical malfunctions.

Finally, he should be able to tell if you look as though the bike fits you. After the expert's intial inspection of the bike, he will do a repeat final inspection after you've taken it on a twenty minute test ride.

If you suspect in the least that the bike is too large, then don't buy it!

Try to locate a bicycle co-op in your area, so that you will be able to repair, upgrade, or otherwise recondition your bike under the watchful eyes of seasoned bicycle mechanics.

Good Luck!


If you don't need tires or wheels, $100 should cover the average tune up with change to spare. Of course, you should always buy a new saddle and new grips, just to make your bike feel 'new'. Therefore, take an extra $100.

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-20-12 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:55 AM   #3
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You just got some very good advice from SlimRider. It was so good in fact until I am not going to add much to it. Size is very important. I passed on what was a very good buy tonight because the bike was too big for me. I found a 10 speed Lotus in fair condition (needed new tires and handlebar tape) for $25.00. I thought about it for about an hour and decided to call the guy back and buy it to flip it. I was too late he sold it to someone else.

I rode a bike that was too big for me for years. I now have a bike that fits and a bike that is the right size is so much more pleasurable to ride. I am so concerned about getting a bike that is too big until I let a good buy get away. Then again if I was going to keep it, it would not have been a great buy even at $25.00.

To me size should be you number one consideration.
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Old 06-20-12, 11:36 AM   #4
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Just be aware that some old bikes have steel "suicide" rims. Learn to distinguish between aluminum and steel rims and don't pay anything for the latter which belong in the recycle bin.
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Old 06-20-12, 11:48 AM   #5
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Find and Join a bike CoOp, and learn to do your own work..
that will save the labor rates at the Bike Shop.

a bike mechanic will triage the bike and estimate cost of having them do the work.

Opinions off the web cannot change what it costs for the work..
you get the costs that it costs ..
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Old 06-22-12, 07:32 AM   #6
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Can't do any of the mechanical work? Then you need to raise your budget and get something ready to ride. 20+ year old bike and shop service done correctly is going to cost you more than the bike is worth. Stay away from the Puegot it's most likely French threaded and parts are harder to find.

Don't dismiss a 90's steel rigid Mt. bike either. They make great commuters.

Last edited by dedhed; 06-22-12 at 07:44 AM.
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