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Thread: go used or new

  1. #1
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    go used or new

    Iím in the market for a new touring bike. I have been a heavy commuter for the past two years putting well over a 100 miles on every week. I have never done any real touring, but am planning a coast to coast next summer. I will be moving back to the states in a couple weeks and need to start my traning. The max I have to spend is around $1000. My questions are: Should I just get the best used touring bike for around $500 for training and try and save up for new bike next year? Would a $1000 dollar bike get me 3,500+ miles (but on top of that I would still need to buy all the gadgets needed for touring)? And any other suggestions on the style, brand of bike/tires/panniers for this kind of trip.

  2. #2
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Allow me to start by saying i am not an expert- but you might check the sticky at the top of the foum. there is all kinds of great info about what type of bikes, equipment, training, and everything. your questions are pretty general but the short answer is- if the mind is willing- you can tour on almost any bike. from a freebie dumpster find to an $8000 custom rig.

    check out
    this- The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes
    and this- Tips and Tricks

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    Senior Member NeezyDeezy's Avatar
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    Used is good as long as it's a newer bike and it fits you PERFECTLY. I say that based on my recent experience of spending more than I wanted overhauling a 25 year old bike.

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    I have read a lot of the info on the on the forum (all great), but my real question is will a less than $1000 bike, new or used, get me across the country without more than the standard maintenance problems? Really, am I asking four trouble or a hell of a time?

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    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    Bianchi Vlope is still less than $900 and will hold up.

    Have a good trip.
    Joe

  6. #6
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doni
    I’m in the market for a new touring bike. I have been a heavy commuter for the past two years putting well over a 100 miles on every week. I have never done any real touring, but am planning a coast to coast next summer. I will be moving back to the states in a couple weeks and need to start my traning. The max I have to spend is around $1000. My questions are: Should I just get the best used touring bike for around $500 for training and try and save up for new bike next year? Would a $1000 dollar bike get me 3,500+ miles (but on top of that I would still need to buy all the gadgets needed for touring)? And any other suggestions on the style, brand of bike/tires/panniers for this kind of trip.
    There are a lot of archived threads that cover some of this.

    It also depends on how mechanically inclined or adept you are, and whether you are interested in learning more. A mechanically adept person can keep an old bike going fine for well over 4000 miles. A mechanically neglectful person might experience multiple failures with the same bike.

    3500 miles is not so long that you need some kind of superbike made for round the world tours and ultimate reliability in third world countries.

    You can certainly find a number of bikes priced under $1000 that will hold up well:

    IF you have a good, experienced wheel builder hand tune the wheels before you leave.

    ***
    Used bikes: you can get burned if you don't know what you're doing. Sometimes the bearings are shot, or have gotten wet. There are many other potential problems.

    New, recent-vintage bikes also have the advantage of newer componentry. Often the designs are better. (The seals, for example, on many recent-vintage bearings are much better than the designs of twenty or thirty years ago.)

    That said, even a (good-quality, high-end) bike from the 70s or 80s could hold up just fine for 4000 miles, if it is in good shape, well-adjusted and tuned before leaving.

    ***
    Some of the better touring bikes under $1000 include REI's, Fuji's, Jamis', and others mentioned elsewhere in these forums. Jamis bikes tend to be very well spec'd, and are a better value than most of the others.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-03-07 at 02:58 PM.

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    Senior Member NeezyDeezy's Avatar
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    There are many options that total less than $1,000 that are ideal for cross country riding. The LHT complete comes to mind.

  8. #8
    eternalvoyage
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    If you feel like trading up in a year or two, you can probably get a decent price for your original touring bike, if you treat it well and it's in good condition....
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-03-07 at 02:43 PM.

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
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    I just wanted to add that any of the bikes mentioned are not 'just barely' up to the task of a cross-country tour -- they are much more than up to it. They could easily do multiple cross-country tours.

    ***
    There seems to be an idea (that a number of people seem to pick up from somewhere), that you need to go to something much more expensive to get a serious touring bike. These are all serious touring bikes.

    John Schubert's reviews of these bikes in Adventure Cyclist might be worth a read. He has reviewed many different touring bikes, including the very expensive ones. He makes it clear that some of these less expensive bikes are absolutely fine.

    ***
    For truly heavy-duty, rough, 20,000-mile tours, some heavier-duty componentry (Phil Wood hubs, for example) might be in order. Then again, there are people who have gone around the world, and put more than 20,000 miles on these same bikes (the under-$1000 bikes from REI, Fuji and Jamis).

    ***
    +1 on the LHT -- it is also a great bike, and more than enough.

    ***
    If you check out the REI bikes, the Safari is worth a test ride. It is often underrated. It's one of the best and most reasonably priced touring bikes out there, especially for rough conditions.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-03-07 at 03:41 PM.

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    Hey guys thanks for the info. And yes I am one who has fallen into the trap of thinking a less than grand bike is not truly tour worthy. Not sure if that comes from the fact that everything else needed apart from the bike can run over $500, or if the all the people who say that ďany one who has a bike that cost under a $1000 is an obvious newbie.Ē
    Good call Niles, your right the problem is not the bike is that I donít know enough about bikes, yet that is.

  11. #11
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    Used bikes have a few hidden advantages over their newer counterparts.

    ~Used bikes, when leaning against a tree in the pouring rain while you are comfortable in your tent do not cry out, "You paid $4000 for me. Get me out of the rain this instant. Right now. I mean it!"

    ~Used older bikes are fixable. Newer bikes have employed the remove and replace theory of bike maintenance. Anyone have an extra shifting brake lever handy?

    ~Used bikes come with built in scratches, gouges, dings, dents and maybe, if you are lucky, a bit of rust. These flaws cause the bike to lack perfection and adds character.

    ~Used bikes are lock and forget. You can use it to get the groceries without that new-bike owner isle sprintathon.

    ~On tour a new expensive bike makes you feel vulnerable, paranoid, rich, fragile...

    ~On tour a used bike makes you fell good, thrifty, handy, happy-go-lucky...

    Here are our second-hand touring bikes. They cost a total of $43.99 at Southern California thrift stores and have carried us for almost a year now.

    www.VWVagabonds.com
    Mexico, Central America, South America & Africa in a Volkswagen

    By bicycle West Coast of the U.S., Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia

    India by Royal Enfield

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Most of my frames have been bought used and retro fitted with newer components. Good used frames can be bought for cheap.

    Invest what you will save on the frame in a good wheelset, that's what I do and it hasn't let me down yet.

  13. #13
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    +1 Surly LHT!

  14. #14
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    with a LHT you can do the world much less 3500 mi.

  15. #15
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doni
    Iím in the market for a new touring bike. I have been a heavy commuter for the past two years putting well over a 100 miles on every week. I have never done any real touring, but am planning a coast to coast next summer. I will be moving back to the states in a couple weeks and need to start my traning. The max I have to spend is around $1000. My questions are: Should I just get the best used touring bike for around $500 for training and try and save up for new bike next year? Would a $1000 dollar bike get me 3,500+ miles (but on top of that I would still need to buy all the gadgets needed for touring)? And any other suggestions on the style, brand of bike/tires/panniers for this kind of trip.
    There are some postings that emphasize the new bike possibility; others emphasize the used bike possibility.

    It would be interesting to list all the pros and cons that one can, and then step back and look at it again.

    ***
    If you list only the advantages of a buying a used bike, then it can look like the way to go. But there are some disadvantages, and potential disadvantages as well.

    Some people are very happy going this route.

    Others are not.

    Luck plays a certain role. Knowledge of bikes also plays a role.

    If you (or someone you know)(or this forum) can help you pick or evaluate a used bike, it could help increase your odds of ending up with a good bike.

    ***
    The time factor spent searching for a bike (in your size, in good condition, in a color that is agreeable, etc., etc.) can be significant.

    Also, it is often difficult to do a test ride.

    New bikes are better in these areas.

    ***
    Still, you can sometimes find great used bikes. It is something of a gamble, and some people even enjoy the hunt.

    ***
    There are many other factors, some in favor of new, some in favor of used.

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