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Kestrel SCI 200 Road Bike/Carbon Fiber Bikes for Downtown City Cycling

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Kestrel SCI 200 Road Bike/Carbon Fiber Bikes for Downtown City Cycling

Old 08-18-17, 11:51 AM
  #1  
mjoy
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Kestrel SCI 200 Road Bike/Carbon Fiber Bikes for Downtown City Cycling

Hi all!

I am new to this forum and new to carbon fiber bikes so was looking for some advice - I am looking at buying a Kestrel SCI 200 Road Bike used for $400 Canadian Dollars (CAD) and was wondering your thoughts on this bike. I am wondering:

1 - Is this a good price for this old a bike?
2 - Is this bike ok for downtown streets/city riding?

Just a background - I live in downtown Toronto and ride around the city primarily for transportation. The streets here are pretty bad in most (not all) but A LOT of areas downtown. They are very bumpy from repairs, have a lot of potholes etc. which can make for a rocky ride. There are tracks from the streetcars (which I have gotten caught in and fallen a few times - though I am good at avoiding them there have been times where a car cuts me off and I have to swerve quicky and have gotten caught and fallen so it's definitely a hazard). Also if I am running errands or going to and from places I have to lock my bike up outside and it can easily get bumped on the bike racks by other bikes or fall to the ground or bang against the rack when other riders are locking up. It can also be exposed to the elements (rain, sun, snow - though I would not ride this one in the winter).

Soooo my question is about carbon fiber bikes (specifically this model) and if they are ok to ride in these conditions. I currently ride a Fuji Feather and love it's lightness and speed. I have never owned a carbon fiber bike before and have read that they are super fragile so I'm unsure if I should just stick with steel bikes given the chances of this possibly being vulnerable to bumps and bangs from the road, the elements and other bikes when locked up downtown.
Also, aside from visible cracks what should I look for when inspecting this bike?

Any insight you can offer would be greatly appreciated - THANKS SO MUCH!

BIKE DETAILS FROM THE SELLER:
Carbon fiber frame, aluminum forks, full shimano 105 components with clipless pedals. 54 inch frame. Shifter is a bit stiff and there is a tiny hole there where repairs were made.
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Old 08-18-17, 06:30 PM
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Thread moved to Classic & Vintage Appraisals forum.
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Old 08-18-17, 07:53 PM
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All those conditions you mentioned would be hard on any bike. Not sure about the aluminum fork, or if that would have been original. The frame will hold up, but scratch like any other bike. Had a recent thread about the Kestral bottom bracket cable guides having the rivets rust out, so that could be a problem in winter conditions. You're limited on the size tires you can put on it, but it would make a fancy utility bike...
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Old 08-18-17, 08:43 PM
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As a fellow Torontonian, I wouldn't buy that bike for what you want to do with it. If it was your weekend bike down the Martin Goodman Trail, then sure. My concern is the beating it will get when you lock it to the parking rings. The carbon is going to get dinged, other bikes are are going to bang into it.

The issue of street car tracks is something I can't understand. I have been riding in this city for over thirty years and have never had a problem with the tracks. You have fallen a few times causes concern about your skill set riding near the tracks. The Kestrel is neither good or bad and won't help or hinder you in anyway.

Bottom line, it's not the right bike for your purposes. Can't put fenders or a rack on it even if you wanted to. It will be a magnet for thieves and the carbon fiber is not the best material for what you want. Price wise it is alright for a Toronto market as long as everything works.
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Old 08-18-17, 09:24 PM
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Not the best choice for a City/commuter bike....
From the conditions you described, it sounds like a hybrid or MTB would be a much better choice...... plus a Kestrel will attract the bike theives like bees to honey.....
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Old 08-18-17, 09:55 PM
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I used to have one of these and I think that the original forks were carbon fiber as well. At least mine were.
I wouldn't recommend this for "city" riding as I found the frame quite stiff and didn't take vibration well at all.
It's a great light and strong frame but for city transit, ...I'd keep looking.
-M>
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Old 08-19-17, 08:35 AM
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I think the earliest Kestrel 200 SCis came with an aluminum fork, but I could be wrong. My biggest concern with this bike, for your usage, would tire clearance. I have one (with the CF EMS fork), and it can barely handle 25mm tires. When I get it built up I'll need to run 23mm tires on narrow, vintage rims. I suggest you look for a road bike that can take 28mm tires. Also, these are very well built frames, but if the bike falls on it's side and hits hard on the saddle, it can damage the seat tube if the seat post isn't fully seated down into the seat tube (this has been discussed in previous threads on this bike, which you can find if you search).

Basically, this is a great bike for fast rides. If you're thinking of getting it for that use, there are a couple of long previous threads on these bikes. Here's one, and here's mine. Lots of good info there.
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Old 08-21-17, 09:28 PM
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I would echo the concerns about the maximum size of tires. I live in the burbs and usually ride my steel bike in the country - with Mavic Aksion 700x25 tires, though mine have a wider profile than many other 25s.

But I do visit friends in Toronto, and yes if you keep to the trails narrow tires are fine, but if you are crossing tracks, riding on wet streets, going over the odd curb, you would be happier with 28mm, and that might be tight on that frame.

If you aren't a light person, I would be even more emphatic.
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