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  1. #1
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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

  2. #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.
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GrandaddyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote 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”.
    When I ride my destination is the ride itself. So I always get to where I am going.

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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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.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  5. #5
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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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.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandaddyBiker View Post
    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.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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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.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    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!

  8. #8
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  9. #9
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    ^ Skip the Continental -- not light.

    Nishiki looks like a winner, tho.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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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.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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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 ?
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 09-19-12 at 12:04 PM.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  12. #12
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Last edited by dedhed; 09-23-12 at 09:09 AM.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  13. #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!

  14. #14
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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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.
    '07 Trek Pilot 1.2
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  15. #15
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    Search on [chicago bike coop] or similar for people that might help you.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    Casually Deliberate
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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.)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Did anyone read post # 13?
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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