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Old 09-30-13, 08:35 PM   #1
Lsudreamer
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Still Searching for my first road bike on Craigslist...

So I took advice here and went to my LBS to ask questions... and basically I am their perfect sales target: new to cycling, needs a road bike, has no clue what to look for, etc

Financially we can not drop a grand on a brand new shiny bike... and after completing two TRIs with my hybrid, it is time for me to make the switch. So I spend each day cruising CL for a bike. I know I should be about a 58cm based on two different people at the same store. So I have been combing thru posts on CL in my area (Houston) and finally a few bikes have popped up that are within my size range.

What I dont know is what i am looking for or looking at. I have been using the bicylebluebook page to check values etc but that doesnt really help when people change out components etc. So here are 3 listings that I found today... all brand new so hopefully they will stay up long enough for me to get some advice here. *The last one I saw that was worth inquiring about sold faster than I could make an offer.*

Bike 1: http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/4101661133.html

Bike 2:http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/4101628171.html

Bike 3: http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/4075729946.html

Basically I am not sure what questions I should be asking when inquiring about the bikes and what information I should be looking for *red flags* that should deter me.

Thanks for the help! *I wish I had a friend local who was in to cycling to help me out, but no such luck!
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Old 09-30-13, 08:45 PM   #2
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I just moved to Houston last month!

Listing #1 I would suspect immediately because they didn't actually post pics of the bike. offering to text pics means the person is either a) too lazy and is probably pretty flaky, or b) the bike is in rough shape and the crappy txt pics won't show that so he's trying to sucker someone over. If it's in decent shape, I'd offer $250-300.

#2 i don't know a lot about carbon bikes at all. someone else might be able to help you with that. if it's truly in good shape, i'd say the price is alright, maybe high for an 8 year old bike.

#3 needs to be cleaned, and to me it looks like the tires are flat. i'd want to know what year it is and see it's real condition before talking about $700 being too high or low.
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Old 09-30-13, 08:59 PM   #3
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I would go #3 . It looks pretty unused. White tape still on, raised stem means someone didn't feel comfortable on it. Has a compact crank and pretty tall gears...(hills in Houston?) I bet they have some extras to give away also.
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Old 09-30-13, 09:28 PM   #4
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I just moved to Houston last month!

Listing #1 I would suspect immediately because they didn't actually post pics of the bike. offering to text pics means the person is either a) too lazy and is probably pretty flaky, or b) the bike is in rough shape and the crappy txt pics won't show that so he's trying to sucker someone over. If it's in decent shape, I'd offer $250-300.

#2 i don't know a lot about carbon bikes at all. someone else might be able to help you with that. if it's truly in good shape, i'd say the price is alright, maybe high for an 8 year old bike.

#3 needs to be cleaned, and to me it looks like the tires are flat. i'd want to know what year it is and see it's real condition before talking about $700 being too high or low.
Stock photo is definitely suspect, ask for a real photo or go look at #1 in person if you're really interested. If it's in decent shape offer $225, maybe go up to $250. That would be a pretty good buy.

Yeah, #2 is too high for carbon frame that old.

#3 has a certain bling factor, but the price is high, and honestly #1 is probably a more comfortable and practical ride.

Those 3 bikes couldn't be more different. I'd first invest some time deciding what you are looking for in a bike, then you can more easily narrow it down to types, years, brands, models, etc.. Bike shop or Craig's List, you either know what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it, or you roll the dice and just hope to get lucky.
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Old 09-30-13, 09:35 PM   #5
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No 1 is a heavy touring bike.

I would pass on all of them.

Here is one for you.
I bought a bike from him.

http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/4044668713.html

Go see it....It is most likely a 57/58
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Old 09-30-13, 10:00 PM   #6
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No 1 is a heavy touring bike.

I would pass on all of them.

Here is one for you.
I bought a bike from him.

http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/4044668713.html

Go see it....It is most likely a 57/58
Definitely would not consider an aluminum frame without riding a few of them first. Aluminum is not for everyone. You won't care if it weighs 16-17 pounds if it gives you back spasms.
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Old 09-30-13, 10:09 PM   #7
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Definitely would not consider an aluminum frame without riding a few of them first. Aluminum is not for everyone. You won't care if it weighs 16-17 pounds if it gives you back spasms.
I have FIVE aluminum bikes..is 57,000 miles enough riding?
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Old 09-30-13, 10:18 PM   #8
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It's not about you. Lsudreamer should know what he/she is buying.
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Old 09-30-13, 10:23 PM   #9
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It's not about you. Lsudreamer should know what he/she is buying.
71 years old, 57,00 miles with No Back spasms...Hummmm.
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Old 10-01-13, 05:36 AM   #10
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71 years old, 57,00 miles with No Back spasms...Hummmm.
Sounds like you should buy the Raleigh for your self

Last edited by sprince; 10-01-13 at 05:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-01-13, 05:48 AM   #11
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I have a trek 5200 and love the ride. Go ride both if you can. Don't hesitate to make an offer, they can only say no.
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Old 10-01-13, 09:16 AM   #12
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new bike? no miles? tons of smiles!

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Old 10-01-13, 09:38 AM   #13
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I think the OP is really asking "What questions should I ask?" and "How should I evaluated a bike?" "What should I be looking for?"
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Old 10-01-13, 11:50 AM   #14
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That bike is also on my list to keep an eye on. I wasnt sure what size it was. May call and go take a look. Is it a fair price for that bike?
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Old 10-01-13, 11:51 AM   #15
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No 1 is a heavy touring bike.

I would pass on all of them.

Here is one for you.
I bought a bike from him.

http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/4044668713.html

Go see it....It is most likely a 57/58
That bike is also on my list to keep an eye on. I wasnt sure what size it was. May call and go take a look. Is it a fair price for that bike?
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Old 10-01-13, 11:55 AM   #16
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I think the OP is really asking "What questions should I ask?" and "How should I evaluated a bike?" "What should I be looking for?"
Yes... I know what I am getting when I walk into the LBS and buy a bike off the rack. They will fit me and adjust the bike so it works for me. Buying of CL always makes me nervous... so I am not sure what I should be looking for, red flags, mixed bag of components. I try to avoid the ads with stock pictures just because that does not show the condition of the bike etc. I am done with my TRI season so I have time to shop either in a LBS or on Craigslist but I feel like I am not asking the right questions..

I ask what size the bike is, how many miles does it have on it, what brand,make,year?

After that I am at a lost of what to ask?
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Old 10-01-13, 12:36 PM   #17
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Yes... I know what I am getting when I walk into the LBS and buy a bike off the rack. They will fit me and adjust the bike so it works for me. Buying of CL always makes me nervous... so I am not sure what I should be looking for, red flags, mixed bag of components. I try to avoid the ads with stock pictures just because that does not show the condition of the bike etc. I am done with my TRI season so I have time to shop either in a LBS or on Craigslist but I feel like I am not asking the right questions..

I ask what size the bike is, how many miles does it have on it, what brand,make,year?

After that I am at a lost of what to ask?
Make sure you ask where they got the bike from and why they're letting it go. Ask about the maintenance history of the bicycle things that have gone wrong or been replaced for example.

Look for any kind of bike registration sticker and run the number through that website. The first bike looks really fishy to me. All that info and no picture? As does the third one. Really they guy has nothing more to say about it? I steadfastly refuse to buy bikes on Craigslist because of how many of them are stolen. It's quite possibly not as bad in Houston as it is in NYC but do you want to risk paying a thief or a fence?

If you're nervous don't buy CL. Keep in mind manly LBS will do free adjustments for the first month or so and many will guarantee the bike for 30 days or something. Will you pay a bit more? Yep. Will you get more peace of mind? You bet!
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Old 10-01-13, 01:18 PM   #18
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reg keeping an eye on a bike you like on CL ... you snooze, you looze
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Old 10-01-13, 06:07 PM   #19
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If you're nervous don't buy CL. Keep in mind manly LBS will do free adjustments for the first month or so and many will guarantee the bike for 30 days or something. Will you pay a bit more? Yep. Will you get more peace of mind? You bet!
Best of both worlds might be getting a used bike from a local shop. New bikes are just like new cars; they have that new bike smell and cost 2-3x as much as the same [used] bike with 20 miles on it. I've seen some good deals on local shops. Usually trade-in's they just want to break even on.
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Old 10-01-13, 08:24 PM   #20
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Thats what I meant. No need to get a new bike unless he wants one.
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Old 10-01-13, 09:03 PM   #21
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Make an offer on the carbon. That's still a nice bike. If you can offer $500, and get it for $550-75 you are in great shape.
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Old 10-03-13, 07:58 AM   #22
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If you have the time, dont overlook garage sales. A woman in the bent club bought a cherry Easy Racer WITH a fairing for $250. A lot of people buy really nice bikes, ride them a dozen times, and then hang them up in the garage. Five years later they sell them for pennies on the dollar.
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