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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZephyr View Post
    Instead, it was being there in person and getting some advice from people who were there in person.
    and that's what pstephens won't get here.

    thinking about this it seems you're pretty sure you won't find what you want at a bike shop. This looks a bit big but it's the kind of thing you should be able to find for $100 at a yard sale.

    http://syracuse.craigslist.org/bik/2967201533.html, it'll work.

    http://syracuse.craigslist.org/bik/2958784055.html

    I'd be inclined to put drop bars on this one, with the seat raised up 6" I bet it'll fit.
    Last edited by LeeG; 04-20-12 at 07:01 AM.

  2. #77
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    This guy leaves Sunday and I don't have time to go to a bike shop and go out to see him before then. So I don't know what I should do.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    This guy leaves Sunday and I don't have time to go to a bike shop and go out to see him before then. So I don't know what I should do.
    You should know what configuration of seat/handlebar height is preferable to you and how to check if a used bike needs work or not. For some reason you are more trusting of people selling used bikes for $300 than you are shops selling bikes for $500.
    That road bike is a nice one but it was set up for a person who is 5'6" with a short torso. The stem is short and the existing owner just raised the seat and tilted the bars back a bit to fit him. If you aren't familiar with a deep drop that might not be to your taste.

    You could adapt it to you just as you could the mtn. bikes I posted.

    the reason people recomend old mtn. bikes is that 26" wheels are pretty bombproof and with 1.5" tires you aren't going to be riding much slower than a "touring bike" with skinnier ties. Also the older touring bike is more likely to need a new rear wheel when loaded down than the mtn. bike wheel. Also if you toss your bike in the back of a truck the wheels are less likely to be bent from abuse than road wheels. The Schwinn road bike you posted won't have as low gears as the street stomper.

    Your whole focus on old used road bikes rests on the assumption the bike doesn't need work. You have to judge that. So far it appears you're ready to buy the bike not knowing that.
    Last edited by LeeG; 04-20-12 at 08:56 AM.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Your whole focus on old used road bikes rests on the assumption the bike doesn't need work. You have to judge that. So far it appears you're ready to buy the bike not knowing that.
    I'm not assuming that. If the used bike needs a small number of adjustments, that's less money spent than on a new bike. And I also figure if I get a bike on craigslist and it sucks I can just go resell it back on craigslist.

    The number the gut left was wrong, so I couldn't contact him when I was at work today. I'll go into the bike shop instead today. I don't think I have time to go test riding bikes though.

  5. #80
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    This bike is pretty dang cheap: http://www.ebay.com/itm/56cm-mens-ro...#ht_500wt_1055

    What is your opinion of this bike from the specs?
    I agree, it's not even a touring bike. I can see from the photo that the brakes are junk. It does not have the smaller third front sprocket (chain ring) that a touring bike needs.

    That's two people responding so far that can tell it's not even a touring bike. Just from the photo, and the price. Don't even think about that one.

    There is nothing wrong with a bike shop touring bike, except the price. I have one and have seen quite a few. They may be out of your price range new, but you can still read about them to learn.
    I have three friends that have bike shop touring bikes. They were all purchased a few years ago, so the prices may be higher. The most recent friends purchase was about $800.oo and that was a deal.
    Go on line to bike manufacturers sites and read up about touring bikes. I've seen a few Fuji touring bikes at the Local Bike Shop (LBS). Try the Fuji web site, just to read the details, and learn.
    Try to find on line articles about touring to read. Forum member "Machka" has some books for sale on her web pages about long distance riding.
    If there is a magazine store near you try and find cycling magazines with articles about touring or touring bikes. There may be free library books on the subject. I have not looked hard to see what's on line about touring, there may be a lot. Years ago I bought every cycling magazine I could find. I subscribed to "Cycing Plus". It was excellent.

    Yeah, I know ...................." What the heck is a library?"............................."What the heck is a magazine?"............ I know.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    I'm not assuming that. If the used bike needs a small number of adjustments, that's less money spent than on a new bike. And I also figure if I get a bike on craigslist and it sucks I can just go resell it back on craigslist.

    .
    It's not adjustments I'm talking about, new bikes need adjustments, it's 25 yr old. road wheels where the rear wheel hasn't ever been tight and true and your extra 25lb dead load starts breaking spokes. While a mechanic can't predict how long they'll last he can check to see if the spoke tension is adequate and even. Your basic wheel from 20yrs lightly used could be up for it or it could have never been maintained and what it takes to bring it right might be half the cost of a replacement wheel or needing replacement 400 miles later. When you check out a used bike check to see if the brakes don't rub when you pick up one end and spin the tire. Squeeze the brake lever then release. If it grabs see how much the rim wobbles side to side or if it has a low spot(out of round). The basic idea is that if the wheel is so out of true that the brake adjustment puts the pads far from the rim to not rub braking will be weak so you've gotta fix that.

  7. #82
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    I went into the bike shop after work and talked to some older guy there for maybe 20-30 minutes. He showed me some bike over $1000. He said I should get steel and he brought me upstairs to a commuter bike for like $600 I think. They don't sell used bikes. I asked about converting a mountain bike and he said that could work, but the frames on the modern ones are aluminum. I asked about fitting and apparently he can look at me and tell me I'm 58cm. And he said if I buy a bike from them, they'll spend about an hour fitting the bike for me for free I think. Generally though, I don't feel like I learned much more than what I've learned online except what that specific bike shop can offer me.

    That commuter bike marked down might be a possibility if I'd have to spend a couple hundred tuning an old used one and getting new parts anyway. He kept talking about the aluminum not being good and that that's what that commuter bike is made of. Then we talked about saddles and he said I could get some leather one that, when it breaks in, will fit you perfectly and can make up in comfort for riding a cheaper bike. Then I asked about clothes and he said I should get these tiny little shorts to keep my butt from getting raw.

    Since I've started budgeting my money and selling just my playstation 3, I've gone from about $800 or $900 I think to now $1300 in a couple weeks. If I keep at this pace, I could probably get at least up to $4000-$5000 probably in a few months. Maybe? If I get a bike soon, I can bike to work and save on gas. If I really work at this, this is doable. Watch out doubful friends and family.

  8. #83
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    I went into the bike shop after work and talked to some older guy there for maybe 20-30 minutes. He showed me some bike over $1000. He said I should get steel and he brought me upstairs to a commuter bike for like $600 I think. They don't sell used bikes. I asked about converting a mountain bike and he said that could work, but the frames on the modern ones are aluminum. I asked about fitting and apparently he can look at me and tell me I'm 58cm. And he said if I buy a bike from them, they'll spend about an hour fitting the bike for me for free I think. Generally though, I don't feel like I learned much more than what I've learned online except what that specific bike shop can offer me.

    That commuter bike marked down might be a possibility if I'd have to spend a couple hundred tuning an old used one and getting new parts anyway. He kept talking about the aluminum not being good and that that's what that commuter bike is made of. Then we talked about saddles and he said I could get some leather one that, when it breaks in, will fit you perfectly and can make up in comfort for riding a cheaper bike. Then I asked about clothes and he said I should get these tiny little shorts to keep my butt from getting raw.

    Since I've started budgeting my money and selling just my playstation 3, I've gone from about $800 or $900 I think to now $1300 in a couple weeks. If I keep at this pace, I could probably get at least up to $4000-$5000 probably in a few months. Maybe? If I get a bike soon, I can bike to work and save on gas. If I really work at this, this is doable. Watch out doubful friends and family.
    He was right about everything. The right bike shorts could be the difference between success and failure. I've learned that I like that shop. No bike shorts might kill an all day ride. Not having them is more likely to cause a problem than having them.

    That sounds like a good place to buy a bike. In case he did not tell you, on the road a crashed, bent, steel bike can be bent or welded relatively easily. That is why a true touring bike is made from steel. Also a true touring bike will handle better with a heavy load, it is stiff enough to take the weight properly.

    You bend aluminum back and it may break. That's not great in the middle of nowhere. I don't expect you would have any problems unless you crash, with any modern aluminum bike.
    If you are alone you might even be able to bend back a steel bike a little on you own. With a huge stick or a pipe etc.

    The fitting could also be the success or failure of a trip like yours. The offer of the shop to fit you is a very good thing.

    Getting fitted and riding a lot would help you find things that would be very uncomfortable on a long ride. One thing to know is something that is comfortable for 10 miles may not work after 100 miles. You might be fine without this, but you might not be able to ride long enough with a bad fit. It's better to know for sure.
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  9. #84
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    He told me that I probably wouldn't have to worry about what kind of tire to have because I'm so light anyways. So I don't know if the same could be said of an aluminum frame. I don't weigh very much. I took a welding class in high school and I do remember that we couldn't weld aluminum. I spent that whole class making a skeleton looking hand out of metal.

  10. #85
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    PStephens, this is a good process, getting information, opinions and sifting through them. As long as you aren't in a hurry to get something NOW you can get closer to what you're looking for without spending $1000+ and have that money for the trip.

    The idea about converting a mtb with straight bars to drop bars applies mostly to old used bikes since old used mtn. bikes are the most common bike around and that the 26" wheels are incredibly overbuilt compared to old 27"/700c road wheels. The drawback about conversions is that they will cost money if you have to buy the parts retail. The idea of conversions comes from folks who already have accumulated a pile of parts and skills so that the cost is low. The problem with conversions is that there are many different sizes of stem diameters, handlebar diameters, rear wheel drop-out widths that if you don't have those parts, or pile of junk bikes you can go a bit crazy hunting around for them.

    My $.02 is that aluminum frames can work fine, the argument that steel is better is a mishmash of ideas about specific bikes in specific situations that really doesn't apply across the board. An old steel sport/road bike suitable for touring might be a whippy unstable bike compared to a used aluminum mtn bike. The fact aluminum is used so much for now is a clue it's strong enough. The touring bike market is such a tiny slice of retail that most folks only carry steel, which is funny given that Cannondale used to make a very good aluminum touring bike as do other manufacturers. When I had a shop there were some low end steel bikes from Motobecane I wouldn't want for a touring bike.



    Regarding commuter bikes, some might have lightly built wheels with low spoke count for fashion reasons. If you're light and not carrying the kitchen sink (two sets of panniers loaded to the gills) you can get away with 32 spokes although 36 for the rear wheel would be preferable.

    Be patient, you're getting there. It may be a bother going to the shops but this is where you'll get more good ideas and more importantly you might run across someone who has been exactly where you are and might have something in a pile "you're welcome to try and make something out of this".

    Try another shop and stick to the $500 budget and same description of your trip. If you can pick a time when the shop isn't about to close and isn't busy you'll get more info. btw, the whole bit about Brooks or leather saddles doesn't work for everyone. I'm 56 and have tried leather saddles at different times in my life and gave up as I wasn't up for the break in period, the expense of them cuts into your budget significantly that I would set that decision on the back shelf. I've known many folks who had old leather seats but when I was racing no one did, and racers ride a lot. That there are people who have comfortable leather saddles or didn't suffer during the break in period is great, it's just not a universal experience and for the $150 for a Brooks I'd rather have a new rear wheel and a cast off production saddle.

  11. #86
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    He told me that I probably wouldn't have to worry about what kind of tire to have because I'm so light anyways. So I don't know if the same could be said of an aluminum frame. I don't weigh very much. I took a welding class in high school and I do remember that we couldn't weld aluminum. I spent that whole class making a skeleton looking hand out of metal.
    Aluminum frames are strong enough and durable enough, don't worry about that. The only problem would be if you crash and bend or damage something. It's not likely to happen. Steel is best, but everything does not have to be ideal to do this. It's important that you know, but, the decision is up to you. I have bent back steel forks on a couple of old bikes I have found, but I have never damaged any frames in 40 years. It is a good point that lightweight steel road bikes might be more flexible than you want for a heavy load when touring. A true steel touring bike is built to be stiff and handle well with a load.
    Any decent MTB frame would be OK. A lightweight road racing frame would probably be a mistake, unless you know enough about the bike design, or get help selecting it.
    So far you seem to be doing good research, and understanding good advice. That's a good start.
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  12. #87
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    That guy on craigslist offered me the bike for $100 and he'd have to sell it tonight. Should I say no? I hate time limits. Ride out 20 minutes to get a bike that may or may not be good and if not, drive back and waste all that gas? I feel though that I can easily afford that commuter bike at the shop and get the free fitting and adjusting and not have to worry about replacing old parts and then I can probably afford to change the wheels and seat (as long as those things aren't too expensive). So I'm telling the guy no. :/ He'll probably be disappointed.

  13. #88
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    That guy on craigslist offered me the bike for $100 and he'd have to sell it tonight. Should I say no? I hate time limits. Ride out 20 minutes to get a bike that may or may not be good and if not, drive back and waste all that gas? I feel though that I can easily afford that commuter bike at the shop and get the free fitting and adjusting and not have to worry about replacing old parts and then I can probably afford to change the wheels and seat (as long as those things aren't too expensive). So I'm telling the guy no. :/ He'll probably be disappointed.
    Dropping the price and putting a time limit on it is a classic sales pitch. I would not want to buy from that person.
    I suggest a new bike. I totally agree about the new parts, etc. You should get some kind of warranty too, or at least small adjustments, for maybe a year. Maybe not for a bike that is going that far right away. It's a good idea to ask. At the very least you have someone to go back to if there is a problem.

    A commuter bike might be fine if you don't want to, or can't afford, the steel touring bike. Exactly, (Brand and Model) what commuter bike did you see? The guy is still right about the steel bike, if you can afford it. You will need to spend money on a rack, panniers (bags), a lock, a helmet and at least a minimal tool kit. On a long trip like that you should carry an extra tire, and some tubes. Don't forget a patch kit. Two bottle cages, and at least two large bottles. You might get one bottle cage and a bottle thrown in if you ask. Asking for something thrown in is more likely to work better than trying to get a lower price. There is a larger mark up on small accessories.
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 04-21-12 at 06:04 PM.
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  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by PStephens View Post
    That guy on craigslist offered me the bike for $100 and he'd have to sell it tonight. Should I say no?
    if it was free it would still be too small. The Streetstomper would be a better touring bike and you could probably get it cheaper than their asking price.

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