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Old 03-03-15, 10:43 PM   #1
Epicurus
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1985 Trek 450 vs Schwinn Continental

I've been riding a cheap cruiser bike to work for the past three years, and the wind and hill leading up to the office is just the worst. So I've decided to give a road bike a try, and decided to go "vintage" since it sounds better than "used".

Here are the two bikes I found recently:



1985 Special Edition Trek 450 bike $80obo

I haven't heard back from the Trek owner yet, but some of the posts I've seen around the internet seem to value them anywhere from sub $100 to about $400. Also I'm not sure what they mean by 24" size.



1971 Schwinn continental

This guy has replied back to me and says he's 6' with 32" inseam and that it fits him well. I'm coincidentally the same size, so yay! I know the older frames are heavier, but a more rugged bike might be a good idea on Tucson roads.



So those are the two prospects I've been able to find so far, any and all help/advice is super welcome.
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Old 03-03-15, 10:51 PM   #2
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I guess I should also mention that the Trek is up near Phoenix, which means the real asking price is $80 plus 2 hour trip each way.
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Old 03-03-15, 10:52 PM   #3
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I think that Trek is a great buy, assuming it's all there. I like old Schwinns, and rode a Continental for years, but that doesn't hold a candle to the Trek IMO.

If the size is right, and if you're willing to tackle the project, go for the Trek. A bike of this vintage most likely needs all the bearings repacked and all the cables & housings replaced. Tires and brake pads are suspect, chain could be shot. You could spend over the asking price in parts alone. OTOH it might not need any of that. Either way, it's worth $80.
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Old 03-03-15, 11:22 PM   #4
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I can replace tires, chains, and all the basic stuff, but that sounds like a lot of work. How much would labor at the LBS add to that? $150?
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Old 03-04-15, 06:01 AM   #5
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If you want to ride a Sheman Tank get the electro forged Schwinn Continental. If you want a sportier ride, pick the Trek. It will be about 8-10 lbs. Lighter than the Continental.

Lots of info on bike maintenance here, Sheldonbrown.com, and mytenspeeds.com.

FWIW, I am not a Trek snob, I have as many Schwinns as I own Treks. Just no Varsities or Continentals.
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Old 03-04-15, 11:48 AM   #6
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The Trek is a way better bike for the price but likely needs a complete overhaul all bearings cables and some parts. I would figure $150-200 if a shop is going to do the work. It would still make sense if you get the bike for under $100 total cost you would break even or gain some value wise. Yet if your not going to be able to do the work yourself and the bike is a couple hours away I would suggest you look for something a little nicer and closer and truly ready to ride even if you end up spending $100-200 more intially you will likely be better off in the end. As for the Schwinn it would basically be a sideways move from the bike you have and wouldn't make much sense.
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Old 03-04-15, 03:21 PM   #7
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The Trek is the better bike, at a better price, BUT both bikes are probably a little big for you if your inseam is 32".

The Schwinn looks to be a 23"/58cm frame with a 33" standover, while a 60cm/24" (the Trek) frame has a standover of 34". Craigslist Sellers often state the size of bike frame incorrectly. Learn t judge the size of bike frames by looking at the photos, and don't rule any bike in (or out) based on the description of the Seller.

You should plan on both bikes needing the some sort of maintenance with the same cost and parts required. Figure on $150-$250 for parts and labor if you are going to pay someone.

If you want to save money, you could buy the parts yourself (less than $100), and learn to do the work yourself.

No bike you are planning on riding is a bargain at any price if it doesn't fit.
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Old 03-04-15, 07:58 PM   #8
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I'd be tempted to do 4 hours of driving if that Trek didn't look rattle-canned black. Here's some more Tuscon stuff to consider.


The kickstand, racks, and saddle cover are making this Fuji look worse than it is. Double butted Cromoly frame, forged dropouts, aluminum rims, ect... catalog page: http://www.classicfuji.com/Flair_1987_Page.htm
[h=2]Fuji Flair Mens 12 Speed Road Bike - $100
Fuji Flair Mens 12 Speed Road Bike[/h]

[h=2]1986 Cannondale SR500 - $150 (Down town)[/h]1986 Cannondale SR500

Up for sale 80's aluminum frame cannondale sr500.
Full Shimano 600 groupset
Mavic Front wheel.
Needs front derailleur.
Rides pretty well needs a nice tuning and the rear wheel needs truing.
Size is around 54cm
Pretty light bike weighs about 20lbs as it sits now.
I bought it with the intentions of "modernizing" it because its aluminum and it fist a 130mm hub in the back, but was not the perfect fit for the investment.
Asking $150 may entertain cycling related trades.
Link to original catalogue : http://www.vintagecannondale.com/year/1986/1986.pdf

[h=2] 1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2 - $270 (Oro Valley)[/h]1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2

1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2 road bicycle
23" (59 cm) frame: 4130 Chrome Moly steel double-butted main tubes
Standover height 33"
Leather saddle (Belt brand)
Araya 27 x 1 1/4 wheels
Shimano hubs "AD" front, "AE" rear
27 x 1 1/8 tires
Shimano crankset 52-38
Suntour freewheel 14-17-20-24-28
Shimano Deer Head insignia derailleurs
Shimano Unishift friction shifters
Kyokuto Top-Run road pedals
Dia Compe sidepull brakes + levers
Head badge - "Schwinn Approved - Japan 1606"
Completely overhauled - Excellent condition
$270 cash
catalog page: Schwinn catalogs, 1971 - 1980 (330 of 579)


This Specialized might give you the least amount of mechanical grief. Tell him he can keep the ugly new saddle and the computer and maybe he'll knock the price into the mid 200's.
[h=2]RB Specialized Sirrus 14 sp - $300 (North)[/h]RB Specialized Sirrus 14 sp

Like-new Red Road Bike Specialized model Sirrus Sport ,14 speed , 22.5" or 57 cm frame fits 5'6 to 6' riders . In excellent working condition , Equipped with Suntour Blaze (Japan): Crank set , Derailleurs , Shifters ,Brakes and Levers . Bar, stem , Head set : Sakae (J). Quick-released Hubs :Joytech (J), Seat post :Bontrager , Brand-new Saddle Felt , New tires (10miles used) :Schwalbe 700 x 23C,thorn-proof tubes .Pedals with strap (J).Extra : 2 bottle holders ,Speedometer. Cash for $300 .Please call only.


I know you said you're looking for a road bike, but I can't resist posting this pristine looking mountain bike.
[h=2]vintage peugeot canyon express atb - $175 (tucson)[/h]vintage peugeot canyon express atb

1984 midnight blue peugeot canyon express
tange mang alloy biplane fork, huret odometer
shimano mx15 alloy pedals, suntour mountech derailers
diacompe center pull brakes, sun tour thumb shifters
araya 26x1.75 alloy rims
sugino super maxy crank
italian ale alloy bottle holders
sr adjustable seat post, ogk grips
2.10 kenda nevergals with thorn resistant tubes. ready to ride
18 speed, stand over height 32" medium size frame fits around a 6' rider.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 00R0R_8lahor1n8c7_600x450.jpg (42.6 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 00Y0Y_fkhV3kYmkxM_600x450.jpg (45.8 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 00l0l_4i6ZGgjyt_600x450.jpg (42.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 00I0I_kzOaT3xIR9C_600x450.jpg (50.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 00m0m_4q1q1T7oXdt_600x450.jpg (56.0 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 00k0k_ialNQoMzi0F_600x450.jpg (41.1 KB, 14 views)
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Old 03-04-15, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clang View Post
I'd be tempted to do 4 hours of driving if that Trek didn't look rattle-canned black. Here's some more Tuscon stuff to consider.


The kickstand, racks, and saddle cover are making this Fuji look worse than it is. Double butted Cromoly frame, forged dropouts, aluminum rims, ect... catalog page: http://www.classicfuji.com/Flair_1987_Page.htm
Fuji Flair Mens 12 Speed Road Bike - $100
Fuji Flair Mens 12 Speed Road Bike




1986 Cannondale SR500 - $150 (Down town)

1986 Cannondale SR500

Up for sale 80's aluminum frame cannondale sr500.
Full Shimano 600 groupset
Mavic Front wheel.
Needs front derailleur.
Rides pretty well needs a nice tuning and the rear wheel needs truing.
Size is around 54cm
Pretty light bike weighs about 20lbs as it sits now.
I bought it with the intentions of "modernizing" it because its aluminum and it fist a 130mm hub in the back, but was not the perfect fit for the investment.
Asking $150 may entertain cycling related trades.
Link to original catalogue : http://www.vintagecannondale.com/year/1986/1986.pdf

1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2 - $270 (Oro Valley)

1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2

1976 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2 road bicycle
23" (59 cm) frame: 4130 Chrome Moly steel double-butted main tubes
Standover height 33"
Leather saddle (Belt brand)
Araya 27 x 1 1/4 wheels
Shimano hubs "AD" front, "AE" rear
27 x 1 1/8 tires
Shimano crankset 52-38
Suntour freewheel 14-17-20-24-28
Shimano Deer Head insignia derailleurs
Shimano Unishift friction shifters
Kyokuto Top-Run road pedals
Dia Compe sidepull brakes + levers
Head badge - "Schwinn Approved - Japan 1606"
Completely overhauled - Excellent condition
$270 cash
catalog page: Schwinn catalogs, 1971 - 1980 (330 of 579)


This Specialized might give you the least amount of mechanical grief. Tell him he can keep the ugly new saddle and the computer and maybe he'll knock the price into the mid 200's.
RB Specialized Sirrus 14 sp - $300 (North)

RB Specialized Sirrus 14 sp

Like-new Red Road Bike Specialized model Sirrus Sport ,14 speed , 22.5" or 57 cm frame fits 5'6 to 6' riders . In excellent working condition , Equipped with Suntour Blaze (Japan): Crank set , Derailleurs , Shifters ,Brakes and Levers . Bar, stem , Head set : Sakae (J). Quick-released Hubs :Joytech (J), Seat post :Bontrager , Brand-new Saddle Felt , New tires (10miles used) :Schwalbe 700 x 23C,thorn-proof tubes .Pedals with strap (J).Extra : 2 bottle holders ,Speedometer. Cash for $300 .Please call only.


I know you said you're looking for a road bike, but I can't resist posting this pristine looking mountain bike.
vintage peugeot canyon express atb - $175 (tucson)

vintage peugeot canyon express atb

1984 midnight blue peugeot canyon express
tange mang alloy biplane fork, huret odometer
shimano mx15 alloy pedals, suntour mountech derailers
diacompe center pull brakes, sun tour thumb shifters
araya 26x1.75 alloy rims
sugino super maxy crank
italian ale alloy bottle holders
sr adjustable seat post, ogk grips
2.10 kenda nevergals with thorn resistant tubes. ready to ride
18 speed, stand over height 32" medium size frame fits around a 6' rider.
Th Fuji does look bad, but it probably needs a new seat, since seatcovers are usually hiding a rotten seat. If it fits, and you could get it for $50-$75, then install new tires, tubes, and modern brakes, it would probably make a good utility bike.

The Cannondale looks like another rattlecan job in an unattractive color. I'm not crazy about the Suntour components, non-matching wheels, and poor stopping sidepull brakes either. It's been advertised for a month at $150, and the market is saying it's overpriced. Worth more like $75-$100, and on the small size for the OP, since it is a 54cm. But if it fits and it could be gotten for $100 or less, it would be worth considering.

The Specialized Sirrus Sports bigger than 22.5"/56cm. It looks like a 58cm or 60cm to me, and too big for the OP. Overpriced at $300 considering the cheap component group. Worth more like $250 tops, if it fits.
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Old 03-04-15, 08:51 PM   #10
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Yeah, understand I'm not working with Craigslist gold here :] There was a Diamondback Master TG that I got excited to see for $200, but it turned out to be a parts bin special (not surprisingly, all horrible downgrades).
[h=2]Diamond Back Master tg Road Bike - $210
Diamond Back Master tg Road Bike[/h]


Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
Th Fuji does look bad, but it probably needs a new seat, since seatcovers are usually hiding a rotten seat. If it fits, and you could get it for $50-$75, then install new tires, tubes, and modern brakes, it would probably make a good utility bike.

The Cannondale looks like another rattlecan job in an unattractive color. I'm not crazy about the Suntour components, non-matching wheels, and poor stopping sidepull brakes either. It's been advertised for a month at $150, and the market is saying it's overpriced. Worth more like $75-$100, and on the small size for the OP, since it is a 54cm. But if it fits and it could be gotten for $100 or less, it would be worth considering.

The Specialized Sirrus Sports bigger than 22.5"/56cm. It looks like a 58cm or 60cm to me, and too big for the OP. Overpriced at $300 considering the cheap component group. Worth more like $250 tops, if it fits.
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Old 03-04-15, 10:02 PM   #11
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Wow, you guys really are awesome. I'm finding that more serious I get about this, nothing is as confusing as sizing. Absolutely every website seems to give different answers about what the right frame for a size is. Thanks so much for all this help.

That Super Le Tour is a gorgeous bike! It's listed at 33" standover, though, which I guess is a little too big?

My only real pause on the Fuji Flair is that I can't really find much info about it online. I know the company is well respected, but I can't seem to figure out what's a fair price for a project bike like that would be (and since Tucson has UofA right downtown, prices seem to be a little inflated compared to other similar markets). Strangely enough, since I'm planning on using it as a commuter the basket might actually be a selling point. Sometimes I have to take a few bags with me there and back again, and it could come in handy.

And the mountain bike, fetching as it may be, is not really what I'm looking for since I'm hoping the drop bars will help with the wind. I don't think the weight of the cruiser is the main problem, but just that I feel like I'm going full sail in the wrong direction.

Oh, and again, I'm pretty comfortable doing all the basic stuff like brakes and chains and tires. Bearings sounds a little scary, but I wouldn't necessarily say no if it's something I can do with basic tools. Shifters and such don't look like they'd be that complicated, but I haven't actually done anything other than small adjustments before.

Here are two more I found today:

I don't know anything about the GT brand, and the poster didn't include any year/model info, so I have no idea what to do with it:
22" GT road bike

This bike looks great but is a little more than I was hoping to pay. Also, maybe too large? Why don't I meet more of these giants who seem to swarm around AZ? You'd think I'd run into them more often, judging by their bikes.
TREK 560 racing bike one owner bicycle
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Old 03-05-15, 06:34 AM   #12
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Hub service - you can also check out youtube.

Overhauling & Repacking Hubs
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Old 03-05-15, 10:43 AM   #13
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I'm probably risking someone snaking this out from under me, but I also don't feel like I know enough to go it on my own:

Beige 1985 Schwinn Tempo s Excellent Condition Fast and Fun | eBay

The super low shipping and "small rust spots" makes me nervous about the shape it would arrive in, but from what I can tell it looks nice. Also the downside that I can't actually go and try it on for size. Also, it's eBay, buyer beware, etc etc.
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Old 03-05-15, 10:44 AM   #14
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Hub service - you can also check out youtube.

Overhauling & Repacking Hubs
Hey, thanks for posting this! With the directions it looks a lot less scary than it sounded originally.
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Old 03-05-15, 11:12 AM   #15
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I'm probably risking someone snaking this out from under me, but I also don't feel like I know enough to go it on my own:

Beige 1985 Schwinn Tempo s Excellent Condition Fast and Fun | eBay

The super low shipping and "small rust spots" makes me nervous about the shape it would arrive in, but from what I can tell it looks nice. Also the downside that I can't actually go and try it on for size. Also, it's eBay, buyer beware, etc etc.

This bike is a mess with a mixed set of components and still needs parts before it could be ridden.

Don't waste your money. The shipping fee is way off, the Seller is never going to honor $11 shipping.
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Old 03-05-15, 11:41 AM   #16
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This bike is a mess with a mixed set of components and still needs parts before it could be ridden.

Don't waste your money. The shipping fee is way off, the Seller is never going to honor $11 shipping.

And it is a 52cm frame, waaaayyy too small
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Old 03-05-15, 11:49 AM   #17
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Your Search Could be Over

Tucson Diamond Back Master - aka a Centurion Iron Man in a suit. Mid 1990's. Looks clean and well priced.

Diamond Back Master tg Road Bike

Phoenix Again - but sweet and clean Trek

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/bik/4917317594.html
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Old 03-05-15, 11:50 AM   #18
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1984 Schwinn Tempo
21" frame, Champagne
Relevant catalog pages: Schwinn catalogs, 1981 - 1990 (222 of 456) , specs: Schwinn catalogs, 1981 - 1990 (233 of 456)

Issues:
"Frankencranks" Drive side is newer Suntour Edge with oval chainrings. Non-drive side is the original Sugino RT
Potential rust issues all over but worst around the bottom bracket, chainstays.
Non-matching tires.
No cable running from the left down tube shifter to the front derailleur.
Peeling bar tape.
Poor cable routing for the rear brake. Note how the cable makes a sharp bend at the top of the lever because it goes underneath the handlebar (which is too high, the stem is probably over the minimum insert point).

Analysis: NOT excellent condition. $250 might be fair if it was, but as is, it's overpriced.

But the most important issue is going to be frame size. For me, a 21" frame is rideable but bordering on too small and I'm 4 inches shorter than you. I think you want to look for larger frames. Start at 23." My advice is to try some out. Bring a pocket sized tape measure. Read about proper bike fit. Some people like an inch or more of top tube clearance, others prefer taller bikes with less seatpost exposed, less drop from the seat to the bars, ect. Once you know what range of sizes you're comfortable with, you'll be able to ignore the ones that aren't going to work, and focus on the ones that do, making your search more efficient!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epicurus View Post
I'm probably risking someone snaking this out from under me, but I also don't feel like I know enough to go it on my own:

Beige 1985 Schwinn Tempo s Excellent Condition Fast and Fun | eBay

The super low shipping and "small rust spots" makes me nervous about the shape it would arrive in, but from what I can tell it looks nice. Also the downside that I can't actually go and try it on for size. Also, it's eBay, buyer beware, etc etc.
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Old 03-05-15, 11:56 AM   #19
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I posted that one in reply #11 . This would surely be the bike to buy if not for the bad parts-bin selections that were made to build up this worthy frame.

Quote:
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Tucson Diamond Back Master - aka a Centurion Iron Man in a suit. Mid 1990's. Looks clean and well priced.

Diamond Back Master tg Road Bike
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Old 03-05-15, 12:04 PM   #20
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^ Sorry to repeat!
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Old 03-06-15, 12:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Tucson Diamond Back Master - aka a Centurion Iron Man in a suit. Mid 1990's. Looks clean and well priced.

Diamond Back Master tg Road Bike

Phoenix Again - but sweet and clean Trek

trek road bike
This Trek looks like a possibility, BUT it's a badly done "Flipper" bike that needs work.

The brake housings need replacement, and are poorly routed (too short, I'm wondering if they are salvaged or were shortened to eliminate bad sections), looks like there may be pieces missing from the tops of the brake levers where the brake cables exit the brake lever hoods. the bar tape/wrap is hideous (who uses that color, unless it was lying around and dirt cheap?), and the cheap seats that are usually thrown on to replace worn-out seat on Flipper bikes are usually a PITA,(fit only for trashcanning). When I see a bike in this condition, I would have serious doubts about the quality of any service that the Seller claims he/she performed on the bike before offering it for sale. It appears to be a cheap/quick Flip Job.

Still, you might try going to see this bike to see if it fits, and if the condition is not any worse than it looks in the photos, offer the seller $125, knowing that you are going to have to spend money on it before riding.

Last edited by RoadGuy; 03-06-15 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 03-06-15, 03:47 PM   #22
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You guys are awesome, and I'm planning to take a look at some of these bikes this weekend. You're helping me notice things that I might not have until I wasted my time going out to see it (and some are really far away!), and maybe not even then.

Again, thanks!

In the mean-time, here's another one that popped up today:

****Shimano 1985 DX-3000 56cm****

I've found posts by people who swear by this bike, but $400 seems pretty steep for a 30 year old bike. Most people seem to value it between 180-300. From what *I* can tell, it all looks to be in pretty good shape, but I'm hoping someone has a more experienced eye.
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Old 03-06-15, 04:00 PM   #23
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DX-3000 is too small for a 6' person. Also, IMHO, more like a $275 ride.
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2017 Additions: Univega Gran Turismo, Peugeot PFN10, Bianchi Alaska MTB.
2017 Deletions: 1985 Trek 560, Dawes Galaxy, Schwinn Prelude (blue), 1981 Schwinn Voyageur-Black/Red, Trek Multitrack 700, 1982 Fuji Royale Tourer, Raleigh Sprite, Raleigh Sprite Mixte, Motobecane GR f+f, Miyata 610, Jamis MTB, Giant Rincon, Univega Activa Hybrid, Nishiki Tri-A f+f
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Old 03-06-15, 11:12 PM   #24
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Nuts, what about this one?

1983 Schwinn Traveler 12 speed



I think I'm still going to look at that Super Le Tour because it looks really great, and just hope that maybe the measurement is a little off.
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Old 03-07-15, 08:03 AM   #25
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I would seriously consider the trek in nw Phoenix for $205. It is most likely Reynolds 531 or at least another quality tubeset. It has a Takagi triple crank, deer head derailleurs, and other quality parts. I wouldn't ever buy a bike and not completely service it, so expect to do that on any bike you buy. If I was paying $200 for a used bike, I would check for worn chainrings, loose crank arms, severely out of true wheels, improperly adjusted bearings that were ridden on, and frozen seatposts/stem. All of these items are somewhat expensive to replace. Expect to have to change cables/housing, chains, freewheels, bar tape, and tires/tubes.
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