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Old 10-25-04, 01:04 PM
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Seeking advice on a USED bike

Hi all,

I'm just looking to riding a bike here in Brooklyn, NYC. I would really like to get a road bike, because mountain bikes are just way too clumsy. I found a used 1990s Trek 1400 in excellent condition, being sold by the original owner. It's got the new style, handlebar shifters and Shimano RX100 components. I test rode the thing; I'm 5'9", it's a 56cm bike, which my hardcore, fixed-gear-riding friend arrived at as my size. I test-drove the bike yesterday, and it was a beautiful ride, seemless shifting, quick and easy up the hills. My question is, this bike will probably cost me about 300 bucks, plus 100/150 more for a helmet and locks, and I'm wondering if this sounds reasonable. Another friend of mine thinks that 300 bucks is way too much to spend on a used bike, but he really has no interest in road bikes. This bike seemed way nicer than any new 300-dollar mountain bike or city bike that I might buy.

The bike is in pristine condition with shiny, clean components and convertible/clipless pedals (I'm not comfortable enough on a road bike to wear clipless shoes right now, but the small pedals seemed fine.)
Also, a brand new Bontrager saddle and tires that he said were about a year old, light wear.

But still, is this too much to spend on a first bike in years? (I used to own a Specialized Rockhopper comp back in the early 90s, but that got stolen. 300 bucks back then.) Should I just go with the 200-dollar or less 'vintage' road bikes that seem to be the easiest to get? The advantages to those are that you worry a bit less about having them stolen.

I read some other posting that said not to have an aluminum frame for city riding; but the aluminum is really nice in terms of carrying it up and down stairs (I live in an apt. 4 storeys up.) Does it really matter that much?

Finally, a bike like this, is it possible to add on practical things like a basket or fenders? Would it be stupid to switch over to straight handlebars for city riding? Is this price too much to pay for a good city riding bike?

Any advice is sincerely appreciated, thanks in advance!
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