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Old 09-18-12, 09:31 PM   #1
cmbezln
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Could somebody help me find a good bike on craigslist?

Hey guys,

I'm new to cycling, and would like to find a nice, light road bike on craigslist for under 150 dollars (I know, I know...). I've been looking on CL and haven't found anything notable, or don't know enough to judge on vintage bikes.

I'm in Chicago, and I'm 6'0", so I think 59cm is a good place to start, right?

I appreciate any help!
Chris
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Old 09-18-12, 10:19 PM   #2
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I'm 6 foot and ride a 56cm, better go to a bike shop and try a few different bikes out to get an idea of your size. The Specialized I used to have was a 60cm and it was way too big, almost unrideable.
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Old 09-19-12, 01:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cmbezln View Post
Hey guys,

I'm new to cycling, and would like to find a nice, light road bike on craigslist for under 150 dollars (I know, I know...). I've been looking on CL and haven't found anything notable, or don't know enough to judge on vintage bikes.

I'm in Chicago, and I'm 6'0", so I think 59cm is a good place to start, right?

I appreciate any help!
Chris
Everyone’s local Craigslist is flooded with bikes that are “Vintage”. If you look up the word vintage in the dictionary you see that it really has no meaning when applied to bicycles. When I see the word “Vintage” in a bicycle ad to me it means, they have an old piece of junk that they think is valuable just because it is old. Really, what standard is used to determine if a bike is “Vintage” or not? A bicycle is not like a bottle of fine wine, so the word “Vintage” can mean anything you want it to.

You will find a bike for $150.00. Just be patient, keep looking and don’t be influenced by the word “Vintage”.
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Old 09-19-12, 07:40 AM   #4
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I'm 6' and ride a 57 cm and a 56.5 cm. A few years ago I had a 59 cm and always wondered why it felt so big.

+1 on visiting a few bike shops.
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Old 09-19-12, 08:41 AM   #5
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You can also try Ebay, but limit your search to X miles from your zip code. Then you can do local pickup without shipping charges.

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Everyone’s local Craigslist is flooded with bikes that are “Vintage”. If you look up the word vintage in the dictionary you see that it really has no meaning when applied to bicycles. When I see the word “Vintage” in a bicycle ad to me it means, they have an old piece of junk that they think is valuable just because it is old. Really, what standard is used to determine if a bike is “Vintage” or not? A bicycle is not like a bottle of fine wine, so the word “Vintage” can mean anything you want it to.

You will find a bike for $150.00. Just be patient, keep looking and don’t be influenced by the word “Vintage”.
Yes, replace "vintage" with "junk" 99% of the time.
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Old 09-19-12, 09:35 AM   #6
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A quick way to judge the quality of a bike is to see if it has forged or stamped dropouts (the the part of the frame that the rear axle attaches to). Stamped is lower quality and are pretty recognizable in that they are either totally flat, or at least of a constant thickness. A forged dropout looks more like a cast or molded part and will have increased thickness around the spot where the axle goes, and if it has attach points for a rack or fenders, they will likely also be thicker and have threads in the hole.

Not all bikes with forged dropouts are great bikes, and just because it has stamped dropouts doesn't mean it's junk, but it's one indicator.
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Old 09-19-12, 10:59 AM   #7
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A quick way to judge the quality of a bike is to see if it has forged or stamped dropouts (the the part of the frame that the rear axle attaches to). Stamped is lower quality and are pretty recognizable in that they are either totally flat, or at least of a constant thickness. A forged dropout looks more like a cast or molded part and will have increased thickness around the spot where the axle goes, and if it has attach points for a rack or fenders, they will likely also be thicker and have threads in the hole.

Not all bikes with forged dropouts are great bikes, and just because it has stamped dropouts doesn't mean it's junk, but it's one indicator.
Very good to know, thanks!
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Old 09-19-12, 11:08 AM   #8
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6ft 34 inch bike inseam. Ride a 60cm.

http://veloweb.ca/bike-fit/

Offer $200
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3262971951.html

Offer $150

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3281949096.html
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Old 09-19-12, 11:15 AM   #9
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^ Skip the Continental -- not light.

Nishiki looks like a winner, tho.
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Old 09-19-12, 11:34 AM   #10
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As others have said, you'll want to go to a bike store. Two people of the same height can take different bike sizes. It depends on how much is legs and how much is torso.
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Old 09-19-12, 11:56 AM   #11
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Continentals have sentimental value to some, but are heavy, have crappy steel rims for lousy braking, and overall junk parts, obsolete 27" wheels, although it will get you from A to B. Worth $50 max IMHO

The Nishiki looks bigger than a 56 and is double the quality of the Continental. That's worth looking into, but be fast, another buyer may grab it. Worth $200 I would think.

When dealing with sellers that get confused about bike size, ask for "standover height": the distance from the top tube to the ground. (assuming horizontal top tube.)

Another quick "quality test" is the crankset. Does it have a heavy 1 piece Ashtabula steel crank like the Continental, or a decent 3 piece aluminum crank like the Nishiki ?
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Last edited by Homebrew01; 09-19-12 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:36 AM   #12
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Here is a good place to educate yourself.
http://www.mytenspeeds.com/My_TenSpe...TRODUCTION.htm

I'd also suggest you widen your search beyond the overpriced Chicago market and bump your budget up to around $200.
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3273052327.html

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3249751892.html

http://racine.craigslist.org/bik/3289347532.html

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3280472259.html
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3244628513.html


http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3274232078.html

Last edited by dedhed; 09-23-12 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 09-24-12, 11:51 AM   #13
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I actually ended up buying a Raleigh Technium in really good condition for 149 in Milwaukee. These are some amazing finds though, and that first link you sent me has an astonishing amount of information! I spent all morning reading through most of the site and will definitely keep hunting for the sake of it. Thanks for all the awesome links!
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Old 09-24-12, 12:03 PM   #14
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Hit up garage sales. I bought my first "real" road bike for $5. I tried to sell it for like $15 when I upgraded, but had no luck. Finally resorted to marking it "free" and putting by the side of the road, as I had gotten all I could out of it (it was completely worn out). Anything bought this way is likely to be a complete basket case, but if you take it apart and rebuild it you'll be in a great place to maintain it. Or you could ride it as-is and keep your eyes open for the next deal.
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Old 09-24-12, 04:48 PM   #15
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Search on [chicago bike coop] or similar for people that might help you.
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Old 09-24-12, 08:01 PM   #16
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This is nice.
http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3294131034.html
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Old 09-25-12, 02:20 PM   #17
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If it were me, I'd look around town to see if there is a bike shop or shops that refurbish donated bikes to sell. You know you're getting a bike that's fit for the journey, you're supporting a good cause, you know it's not stolen, and you're paying a lot less for all of it. Definitely better than the pig in a poke you may find on craigslist. (Why yes. I *do* volunteer in just such a place.)
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Old 09-25-12, 06:56 PM   #18
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Did anyone read post # 13?
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