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  1. #1
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    Newbie returning to biking - need hybrid advice

    Hi, I apologize in advance for the wall of text, but I'm trying to give as much detail as possible so you all can help me!

    I'm a 21 year old college student looking to get back into biking after many years off. I used to love tearing up the trails on my kids Trek mountain bike, but about 8 years and 14 inches later, I need some new wheels.

    I'm 6'2", mostly leg, and I'm on a "little-as-possible" college budget. I'm attracted to hybrids because while I'll mostly be commuting/riding recreationally on paved roads, I would really love to get back on the trails. Right now seems like an odd time to buy a bike, what with winter coming. I've been looking at/drooling over the Trek DS 8.x series and contemplating buying one in the spring, but I've also been scouring my local craigslist for something to hold me over until then.

    In addition to general bike buying advice, I'd like to hear your opinions on this bike: http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/bik/4150034868.html

    I'm guessing it's a late 90s/early 2000s model. I believe Raleigh built the 2005 model with front suspension rather than the solid fork. Is this bike worth the price? Could it possibly be used for something bumpier than paved trails even without shocks? I've seen a lot of people on these forums cautioning people to stay away from shocks unless absolutely needed because they slow you down, but I'm not really concerned about that. I've only ever had experience with mountain bikes and I'll enjoy the workout anyway. Any advice you all could give me would be wonderful!

    Thanks so much and let me know if you need any more information from me!

  2. #2
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Seems a little overpriced, and looks like it might be too small for you............................. unless your upper body is really short.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Seems a little overpriced, and looks like it might be too small for you............................. unless your upper body is really short.
    Thanks Wanderer. I have mild scoliosis, so my upper body is a little bit shorter than my height would suggest, although my arms are quite long. Ultimately I would have to try the bike to see if it fits. Assuming it did fit and is in great condition, what do you think is the most I should pay for it? I agree that the seller is asking too much and I'd like to try to talk him down.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Given it's age, and original cost, I'd lean more toward 150 being the high end. High end, would be in almost pristine condition. Tires are consumables, as well as brake blocks, but I'd look very hard at them for cracking, hardness, as a reason to pay less...... MHO

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Given it's age, and original cost, I'd lean more toward 150 being the high end. High end, would be in almost pristine condition. Tires are consumables, as well as brake blocks, but I'd look very hard at them for cracking, hardness, as a reason to pay less...... MHO
    Thanks again Wanderer. I'll have to give the guy a call and maybe go take a look. I'll report back after I get around to seeing it - who knows maybe he's just trying to unload and he'll go for something less.

  6. #6
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    If I were you, I'd save up a little more cash and get a 29er mtb (with lockout) from www.bikesdirect.com, if the Raleigh deal falls through. Make sure it's a good fit!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 10-28-13 at 06:57 PM.

  7. #7
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    Hey all, I went to check it out and managed to haggle the guy down to $100! I don't think he really needed the money, he was just happy to see it go to someone who would ride it. It looks like he rode it about 5 times and gave up. No rust, rides and shifts great, tires look brand new and the brakes feel great.

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Now, go out and put some miles on it - good job!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Given it's age, and original cost, I'd lean more toward 150 being the high end. High end, would be in almost pristine condition. Tires are consumables, as well as brake blocks, but I'd look very hard at them for cracking, hardness, as a reason to pay less...... MHO
    Cables too, especially if they're not stainless.

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