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  1. #1
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    Finding good Value

    Hi. I am looking to buy decent quality Road Bike for under $500. What are my best options?
    I am looking for bike brands that offer good value. I don't race, just looking to cruise around paved paths and a few roads in my neighborhood. Also, I am not interested in fixed gear.

    Good Value brands, used bike websites would all be very helpful.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by MaccaRider; 07-05-13 at 08:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    That's a pretty low price point to hit. Deals can be found on Craigslist. However, if you don't have any friends who know bikes pretty well, then I'd try to stay away from used bikes on the open market. You might want to check local bike shops for used.

    In the new bike category, I'd look at the KHS Flite 150 or Urban Extreme (higher than your price range). You mentioned road bikes specifically but you riding description would lead more to a hybrid (flat bars but 700c wheels). In that category, I'd check out the KHS Urban Xcape or the Giant Escape 2.

    Good deals can be had online but bike fit and a bike appropriate for your expected riding style which are paramount concerns require knowledge. For online, I'd check out Bike Nashbar and BikesDirect.

    Sounds like you would be best served by finding a local dealer you can trust. Don't forget to include money for a helmet, water bottles, lock, etc.

  3. #3
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    Separating the gems from the trash

    There's an awful lot of overpriced crap on my local CL. The vast majority of the used bikes are junky mass-merchandiser bikes. Even though the names may be familiar, the bikes sold by box stores are mediocre new so they will be mediocre or worse used. You can screen out many of them by listing a low and high limit in the search.

    Most of the worthwhile road bikes on CL are high end and the asking prices are far above what you have budgeted. If you know the make, model, and year of the bike, you can go to www.bikepedia.com and look up the list of components and original MSRP. You get no warranty with a used bike so the seller should give a good discount (many don't!). The used bike price should be significantly off the MSRP and be greater as the bike gets older. Doing a search will give you an idea if the price is reasonable. Often you can easily find online reviews by simply searching on the brand and model. You might do better with a decent quality older bike.

    The best used bikes I have found are located in thrift stores and garage sales. I know what is good and what is not, so that makes choosing easier. I qualify for the geezer discount that a lot of thrift stores give so that makes it even sweeter

  4. #4
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    Hi

    The first thing you need to do, is figure out what size bike you need.

    You have a few choices, one (as mentioned above) find a used bike. This isn't as simple as it sounds. Craigslist, Ebay, bike clubs websites are some options.

    Another option is Walmart or other big box stores. I wouldn't recommend this and neither will most members on these forums.

    A final option, a internet retailer (again mentioned above), Nashbar, Performance, Bikes direct, JensonUSA, to name a few. With most of these, you will have to put it together yourself or go to a bike shop for a build.

    My wife got back into riding last year, she had an old 7 speed road bike, with no climbing gear and shifters on the down tube. I wanted to upgrade her bike but didn't want to spend a lot. She is an occasional/casual rider, She rides with me for one 20 mile ride per week or per two weeks and does one charity ride per year. Not a lot of riding, compared to me.

    I bought her this http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_543054_-1___202613
    It was $499 and I bought it at 20% off. It is a very good bike for the money and sounds like it would be perfect for you. About once a month, they have that 20% off sale. You could get it for $400 and if you are not able to assemble it, use the other $100 for a bike shop to build it/tune it up.

    No matter what you decide, good luck and welcome to the forums.

  5. #5
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    All:
    Thank you for the very good advice and information. This is exactly what I was looking for.
    I went to a local shop this weekend and they had a GIANT Defy 5 2012 and a 2011 Specialized Allez for $585 and $549 respectively (both new). Giant was a touch small, Spec was a touch big. I liked he Spec more, but it has the shifters on the down tube. I plan on calling a few more shops to see what they have in the same range. Also, I will take a look at some of he online retailers (any to stay away from?). As FYI, I am not a fan on flat bars, I prefer drop bar.
    Anyway, thanks again-I really appreciate the responses.

  6. #6
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    One more question-how is the quality of the Motobecane bikes (mirage)?

  7. #7
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    One more question-how is the quality of the Motobecane bikes (mirage)?

    Is it new or old? The Mirage was the low end of the Motobecane line in the 1970s when the bikes were made in France. I owned their top-of-the-line production bike, a 1973 Le Champion and was horrified when Motobecane used the exact same color scheme on the 1974 Mirage. I still haven't forgiven that one! One problem with the older Motobecane bikes is that they used French threads on all of the components so some French threaded replacement parts may be hard to find. I actually owned a Motobecane Mirage too. I bought it a decade ago when I needed a beater bike that could be left at my workplace. I think I paid $20 for it so if it got stolen, I wouldn't get really upset. It was fine for riding a few miles at a time. The 70's version of the Mirage sold for around $100. I see a few listed on CL at prices north of $150. Remember this was a low-end bike so the components are nothing to brag about.

    This is the color scheme that matches my Le Champion: http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bik/3898699943.html
    Last edited by VegasTriker; 07-11-13 at 03:00 PM. Reason: extra words removed

  8. #8
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaccaRider View Post
    One more question-how is the quality of the Motobecane bikes (mirage)?
    If you're asking about the Motobecanes on BikesDirect (which is the only place you can buy a new Moto these days), a lot of them are really good. There was a thread on the current Mirage within the last year. You might play around with the search function and see if you can find it. I think people generally had favorable experiences with them, taking into account that components just aren't going to be that good on a bike that sells for $349. Still, probably much better than whatever you might find in a big box store for a similar price.

    Edit: I think this was the one I was remembering: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ge+bikesdirect

    If you search on "motobecane mirage bikesdirect" it filters out most of the vintage mirage threads.
    Last edited by Spld cyclist; 07-11-13 at 09:06 PM.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like that might not be a bad option for me then.
    Thank you.

  10. #10
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaccaRider View Post
    Hi. I am looking to buy decent quality Road Bike for under $500. What are my best options?
    I am looking for bike brands that offer good value. I don't race, just looking to cruise around paved paths and a few roads in my neighborhood. Also, I am not interested in fixed gear.

    Good Value brands, used bike websites would all be very helpful. Thank you.
    Based on your request, you can find a great value on-line ... no tax and free shipping

    SHIMANO 24Spd Cyclocross/Commuter Bike 2013 Gravity Liberty CX $399
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...liberty_cx.htm



    SHIMANO 27Spd Carbon Fork Road Bikes 2013 Gravity Liberty 2 $549
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_2.htm

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  11. #11
    Avid Cyclist MickeyMaguire's Avatar
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    I just bought my wife a bike at Performance Bike in Columbus, Ohio. I noticed that they had a "Sportif" at $479, which is a nice bike at that price. A little more money gets you better components, but, Fuji makes a broad range of bikes with several price strata before you get into the really expensive stuff. Because of short torso body-types, a lot of women are more likely to enjoy more upright postures. My wife is in that camp, so, I bought her the Absolute LE ($399). She loves it and she'll be riding with me a lot more.
    If you can't do great things, do small things in a great way. ~Napoleon Hill
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  12. #12
    Avid Cyclist MickeyMaguire's Avatar
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    Here is the Performance Bike sale page for the Fuji Sportif... I guess it was $489, not $479...

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400784__400784
    If you can't do great things, do small things in a great way. ~Napoleon Hill
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Divtos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMaguire View Post
    Here is the Performance Bike sale page for the Fuji Sportif... I guess it was $489, not $479...

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400784__400784
    Nice find there. I'm gonna keep those in mind as my daughter is growing out of her Ace 24.

    Update: After looking at the Sportif I found a Newest WSD on sale for 500 with a 20% back sale for Labor Day http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...e#.UiZJo7ya0bE

    Thanks again Mickey
    Last edited by Divtos; 09-03-13 at 02:44 PM.

  14. #14
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    The nice thing about Fuji's womens' bikes is that they are really designed for women, rather than just a "shrink it and pink it" version of a men's bike, even at the bottom of their price range. I also bought my wife a Fuji from Performance in Columbus, and it's the first bike that she's ever been able to ride any distance comfortably (she rode a 2-day 150 mile tour with me this summer.) She's 4'10" and hard to fit.

    The Bikes Direct bikes are decent componentry, and the price is right, but the assembly is unrealiable. I would spend the money to have a competent mechanic go over the bike thoroughly if you go that route.
    Last edited by Kotts; 09-16-13 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Additiona thought
    Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.

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