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  1. #1
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    Need help picking a bike ($200 max)

    Hello bikers,

    Before I know this forum I was trying to search through Amazon by customers review but it seems that the general consensus here is to go used if you have such a low budget. So I searched on Craiglist and come up with these (I live in San Francisco)
    GT Timberline FS
    1986/87 Miyata Ridge Runner 20-1/2 inch frame
    Trek 6500 SLR Bike
    TREK 720 Hybrid Bike - EXCELLENT cond. - Well Equipped - 16.5"
    Diamondback Insight hybrid bike, size M
    19" Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike

    I'm 5'6" and would probably only use my bike to commute to school (1 mile away) and drive around the city recreationally. Which bike would you guys think is best for me? I appreciate all input. Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Miyata, 6500 and Rockhopper are probably too big for ya.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  3. #3
    Dead Fly AbsurdChalk's Avatar
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    COMMUTER BIKE IN GREAT CONDITION for 5.4-5.7 tall ready to ride. Alright looking, bad pictures.

    Red Bicycle Bike. This one looks lugged, it is a univega.

    17" Specialized Rockhopper 21sp with saddlebags. This one has a panniers already ready and looks to be in good shape. Also, biopace crank.


    Personally, the second one is lugged which I like, but the last link looks ready to go without much investment.
    Last edited by AbsurdChalk; 10-24-14 at 02:43 AM.
    X makes me feel Y

  4. #4
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Yikes they're motorcycle saddlebags! Rack doesn't fit bike well, may be heelstrike.

    I like the olde blue Rockhopper though.

    I like the not quite as old pink rockhopper better. Stem might be a little long for a beginner but GREAT bike.

    Time to ride them all and see what you like.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-24-14 at 02:45 AM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  5. #5
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I doubt that Univega is lugged. Looks like it has pre - plus Rapidfires, which I'm no fan of.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Yikes they're motorcycle saddlebags! Rack doesn't fit bike well, may be heelstrike.

    I like the olde blue Rockhopper though.

    I like the not quite as old pink rockhopper better. Stem might be a little long for a beginner but GREAT bike.

    Time to ride them all and see what you like.
    Which one is that sir?

    I'm leaning toward this the most at the moment. What do you guys think of it? GT Timberline FS

  7. #7
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    Oops never mind I know what you meant now. So it comes down to these two for me: COMMUTER BIKE IN GREAT CONDITION for 5.4-5.7 tall ready to ride and GT Timberline FS

  8. #8
    Dead Fly AbsurdChalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductrung3993 View Post
    Which one is that sir?

    I'm leaning toward this the most at the moment. What do you guys think of it? GT Timberline FS
    The pink one is the first link I posted which I said has "bad pictures".

    It looks nice, but I have heard that old shocks sent too good for commuting. Give or take on want you want to do with the bike.
    X makes me feel Y

  9. #9
    Dead Fly AbsurdChalk's Avatar
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    My vote goes to the blue specialized with the biopace crank

    I figure, if he put new tires on there, that already saves you 30$
    X makes me feel Y

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbsurdChalk View Post
    The pink one is the first link I posted which I said has "bad pictures".

    It looks nice, but I have heard that old shocks sent too good for commuting. Give or take on want you want to do with the bike.
    Pardon my ignorance as I dont know what that means. Could you please elaborate?

  11. #11
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that pink rockhopper might be too big. 18" frame is gonna stretch you out, especially with that stem. For a hundred you should check it out though.

    That era shimano thumbshifters are pretty much the best 7-speed shifters around. I'm guessing those are Deore II. Maybe DX if yer lucky.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-24-14 at 03:17 AM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  12. #12
    Dead Fly AbsurdChalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductrung3993 View Post
    Pardon my ignorance as I dont know what that means. Could you please elaborate?
    It was supposed to say "are not". I am not really sure, but I remember reading that the shocks could be toasted and not work correctly. A rigid fork is just a safer bet for commuting.
    X makes me feel Y

  13. #13
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductrung3993 View Post
    Pardon my ignorance as I dont know what that means. Could you please elaborate?
    Shock forks get worse and worse as they age (unless kept in a vacuum). Rigid forks remain the same throughout their life unless crashed badly. Those forks are almost 20 years old.

    Don't write off that Trek hybrid either. Go try a few bikes out. It's slow season so they probably won't sell fast. Try, then get back to your favorite
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I have a feeling that pink rockhopper might be too big. 18" frame is gonna stretch you out, especially with that stem. For a hundred you should check it out though.

    That era shimano thumbshifters are pretty much the best 7-speed shifters around. I'm guessing those are Deore II. Maybe DX if yer lucky.
    If 18" is too much, what is a good size for someone my height? I did this and got a 19.5"...

    bike2_zps7c10a85c.png

  15. #15
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    That's a road bike chart, they fit differently than MTBs. I don't even pay attention to frame size that much because effective top tube measure us more important than seat tube measure (which is how bike size is given)

    My guess is that pink rockhopper has approx 22" top tube. Pretty long stem too. I can only guess by pics, you need to try out the bikes.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    That's a road bike chart, they fit differently than MTBs. I don't even pay attention to frame size that much because effective top tube measure us more important than seat tube measure (which is how bike size is given)

    My guess is that pink rockhopper has approx 22" top tube. Pretty long stem too. I can only guess by pics, you need to try out the bikes.
    Thank you, I thought "top tube" is more important too (I didnt know how to call "that part" before). I will definitely try that and the 720 Hybrid out and pick between those two (the one AbsurdChalk vouhces for is in South City so that maybe difficult). One last question, what do you think about this one?

    Stowabike 26" Folding Dual-Suspension 18 Speed Shimano Mountain Bike - Newegg.com

  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Stowabike probably weighs 50 lbs. No fun.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    That Trek 720 might be doable and they make excellent commuters.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Clyde1820's Avatar
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  20. #20
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    I don't know if this is any good but someone's having a sale. Be quick:

    6KU Fixie Single-Speed Fixed Gear Bike Barcelona Grey

  21. #21
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    Thank you all so much for the help, I truly appreciate all of them. I just found one that might suit me best:

    00L0L_2XvYqkAbYNd_600x450.jpg

    It's a Trek 3500 with 13" frame, $175. What do you guys think?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Corben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ductrung3993 View Post
    Thank you all so much for the help, I truly appreciate all of them. I just found one that might suit me best:

    00L0L_2XvYqkAbYNd_600x450.jpg

    It's a Trek 3500 with 13" frame, $175. What do you guys think?
    Well one of the hardest things about shopping on CL is connecting with the sellers. It can be very frustrating.
    Hopefully that goes smooth.

  23. #23
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    I know you are probably frustrated by now with all of the choices that don't seem to be working out. I'd suggest you skip the latest one as well. A 13" frame is way too small for you. As others have suggested you should look for a 17" frame in an MTB or a 21" frame in a road bike. Too small is just as bad as too big when it comes to a frame size.

    It takes a little detective work to figure out what a bike is worth. Sometimes if you google on the brand and model you can come up with a year it might have been made and then go to www.bikepedia and look it up. They list the MSRP which is the MOST anyone should have paid for it new. The Trek 3500 in the picture matches the color and equipment for a 2004 model costing $240 brand new. 2004 Trek 3500 - BikePedia The newer models all have front suspension so it couldn't be newer than 2006. It is not worth $175!

    The last bike I bought was a few weeks ago at a garage sale. I bought a 1993 Diamondback Acente which the owner had paid $580 for new. It needed tires and a thorough going through to lubricate and adjust bearing cones. By the time I am done I will have about $60 in it and it will be a far better bike than the cheap Schwinn he bought to replace it. Garage sales are a possible source for a bike but most garage sale bikes are low end and not worth buying. You just have to be lucky and find a good one. Stay away from anything that has suspension. Suspension on an inexpensive bike is practically worthless and just adds weight. I wouldn't touch any bike weighing more than 30 pounds. The weight of a bike is a good indicator of quality. Lighter bikes have better components. You can weigh one using a bathroom scale. Weigh yourself and then repeat holding the bike steady. The difference is the weight of the bike.

    .

  24. #24
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    1 mile isn't too far to walk, and that'd be the cheapest option...
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  25. #25
    Senior Member Corben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    1 mile isn't too far to walk, and that'd be the cheapest option...
    Well that's not very fun at all.

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