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  1. #1
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    What can I get for $300-$350

    I'm starting to look for a road bike. I've read all the reviews of the big box store bikes like Schwinn, etc. My question is what is the best deal for the budget I listed in the subject line? Can I buy a $250 Schwinn from Walmart and then pay a bike shop for an hour or so labor to "tune" the bike and if so is this a good idea if not please name some of the higher end bikes that I can watch for on CL or Ebay used. In my research I've read names such as Giant and others but some advice with names an model numbers from the veteran bike riders on here would be appreciated. I'm 5'-11" and 175 if that helps as I've also read where some bikes are more suited to taller or shorter people.

    Thank you in advance, Charlie

  2. #2
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    For 300-350 you can get a very nice older used bike that will be worlds better than any Wally World bike.

    A used 350 dollar bike would probably have been around 1000-1200 or so new so you will end up with a much better bike. Might not be the prettiest thing (scratches, dirty) but overall the quality should be much better.

    I am not a proponent of buying a cheap Wally WOrld bike and having it tuned up by a LBS> I know people do that but if you start out with a better base, you will be much happier in the long run.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  3. #3
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    http://www.bikesdirect.com
    Windsor Wellington 2.0 is the one I'd recommend but it is out of stock.

  4. #4
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    Post your location and what you are looking for and maybe someone close by can give you more help or point you to CL ads that might be suited to you.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    If you know what size bike you need then either craigslist.org for good quality used or bikesdirect.com for new. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/road_bikes.htm
    If you don't know what size bike, ask a cycling friend to help you or visit a bike shop.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

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  6. #6
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I don't have a recommendation to make, but thought someone should point out that if you go the Wally World route, check your LBSs first to see if they'll even work on a BSO (Bicycle Shaped Object). Some may well decline to, and it would be good to know that before you buy.
    Craig in Indy

  7. #7
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    Let's keep it simple -- EVERY bike sold by Wally and the like are mass-produced in China, at the lesser factories, with little regard for quality control. They are a 'one-size-fits-most' deal, with marginal parts; so your thought of taking one to the LBS for a tune-up is, essentially, "polishing a turd". Works for buffalo-chip sculpture, but not for a bike.

    BikesDirect.com is a viable choice. So is BikeIsland.com -- their offerings overlap sometimes. You MIGHT also get lucky on Craigslist or eBay.

  8. #8
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    You can sometimes find a deal on a last year's model at an LBS for $350 to $400 that would be a low end bike of a decent brand. My LBS often has one or two new Fuji or Raleigh bikes that are year or two old models they're trying to get rid of. If you can find a deal like that, it would be an order of magnitude better than a Wal Mart Schwinn. If you really want new. (But I concur that you'll get more bike for your money going the used route. Look for something in the $200 - $250 range as you'll usually need to take it in and get it overhauled to get it in top condition. But once you've done that, it will last as long as anything new and likely will give you a lot less trouble than a new POS from Wal Mart).

  9. #9
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    You're better off buying whatever cheap fuji mountain bike is $400 on bikesdirect and putting slick tires than you are buying a "road bike" from walmart or target.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies. What are some of the brand names of the used bikes I should be looking for?

    Charlie

  11. #11
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Here are bikes I've gotten from Craigslist:

    $380:



    $350:



    $150 (IIRC):



    And the prize winner, my current bike, from a garage sale, $65:

    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  12. #12
    Member squeakyschwinn's Avatar
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    Go used. I had the above mentioned Windsor Wellington and hated that bike. You can get a decent bike on Craigslist for that budget.
    '13 Fuji Roubaix 3.0 LE
    '83 Schwinn (Pending SS Conversion)

  13. #13
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    @ Bobotech, I live in Calera, OK which is about 90 miles north of Dallas but I'm probably a month or two away from having funds to purchase.
    @TromboneAl, those are some nice finds. Who makes the bikes with "Specialized" on the frame? I found some what seemed to me like good prices on a bikes made by Cannondale and others this morning.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbourbeau View Post
    @ Bobotech, I live in Calera, OK which is about 90 miles north of Dallas but I'm probably a month or two away from having funds to purchase.
    @TromboneAl, those are some nice finds. Who makes the bikes with "Specialized" on the frame? I found some what seemed to me like good prices on a bikes made by Cannondale and others this morning.
    Specialized is one of the major quality bike brands in the world. Search these forums and you will get a sense of what to look for.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Here are bikes I've gotten from Craigslist:

    $380:



    $350:



    $150 (IIRC):



    And the prize winner, my current bike, from a garage sale, $65:

    NIce bikes, and Clist can find you gems if you know how to look,

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