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need help....

Old 03-27-11, 07:51 PM
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espejo09
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need help....

Not sure if this is the best place to post but i am lookin to get a road bike and start riding and have read lots of reviews on ****ty bikes from walmart and to not get them and the fall apart. ive also read in the reviews that i should go to craigslist and but 100-200 dollar bike. so i went on craigslist and have narrowed it down to 4 bikes and cant decide which is best. i thought id leave it up to people here who are a little more expierenced in biking. thank you! here are the links

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/2288386341.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/2289207589.html

https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/2286215077.html

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/2285675492.html

let me know what you all think is better or goo for the price. thank you again
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Old 03-27-11, 07:58 PM
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You need to get educated on bikes first. Start with sizing, the bikes you have posted have sizes all over the map. Google is your friend, there are endless amounts of info out there on bike sizing.

Any really good deals are gone before you will get an answer to "Is this a good deal?". Free Spirit, forget it, that's a vintage XMart bike (Sears). And back then, X Mart bikes were not as decent as the stuff now for sale in department stores.

In any transaction, the person with the most knowledge wins. That will either be you, or the seller. Education first (bicycle knowledge), buy second. Or find an educated friend to help.
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Old 03-27-11, 08:02 PM
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espejo09
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yeah im trying to learn...dont have anyone who rides really. can you give me what to look for. Im 5'8 and 160lbs. i know i want a frame 54-56cm i believe. but from there im lost. dont know much about bikes
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Old 03-27-11, 08:28 PM
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+ 10 , Regarding acquiring that education on what to buy.

When it comes to sizing, take the Internet charts with a big grain of salt. They can be right for some, and grossly misleading for others, which is why you should ride first and then decide what is right for you.
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Old 03-27-11, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by espejo09 View Post
yeah im trying to learn...dont have anyone who rides really. can you give me what to look for. Im 5'8 and 160lbs. i know i want a frame 54-56cm i believe. but from there im lost. dont know much about bikes
wrk101 is giving good advice, but sometimes you have to buy first to learn! The trick is to buy as low as you can, so that if the bike doesn't suit you, you can recoup your money, or at the very least your investment isn't a huge hit on your finances.

I think you've got the right frame size range in mind. Problem is, lots of sellers don't know the frame size, so you have to guess based on a photo, or persuade them to measure (and teach them how to measure: center of bottom bracket to center of top tube where it joins the seat tube). Not all sellers can be bothered with that, though!

A few others questions you need to answer:

1) What type riding do you plan? Commuting? Touring? Fast group rides? Endurance? Recreational trails?
2) How much do you know about maintenance? Do you have tools or access to tools? Or do you need to buy a completely ready-to-ride bike? You should expect with any bicycle (or any mechanical system of any sort) that regular maintenance is a must to keep it running properly. Factor that into your budget.

A good way to learn, however, is to do exactly what you are here. Offer up some options and hope some people will provide helpful hints. You might try posting them in the main Classic & Vintage forum, however, as it gets more traffic. Also expect that waiting for our opinion on a good find might result in you missing out on a good deal. All just a part of the learning curve.
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Old 03-27-11, 08:41 PM
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thank you so much for your input! what i will be riding for is commuting, group rides, cross training because i am a runner. I do have access to tools but honestly have no clue about bike maintence. in boston theres a million bike shops but are so dang expensive and dont wanna spend even 300-400 bucks for my first bike. anything under 200 is what im lookig for. another bike someone found for me in this forum is this bike right here....thoughts? comments?

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/2289488828.html
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Old 03-27-11, 09:38 PM
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You can find a decent ride for under $200, but it's likely going to need a little work and some money invested to get it in top shape. The other thing you'll need is time, because in the Boston market you're up against some competition.

I'm not sure about your financial situation, but buying quality the first time will prevent you having to go through the process multiple times and spending more than you might have originally. If you can swing $300-$400, you can find a very nice, fully tuned and ready-to-ride bike. For your purposes, I wouldn't choose any of the bikes you've linked. They are fine leisure, city, or short commute bikes, but I wouldn't consider them good for competitive group riding. As a general rule, avoid bikes with those 'turkey' auxiliary brake levers and stem shifters. Look for a mid 80's Japanese road bike with Shimano 105 or 600 or even Dura Ace components (or Suntour Cyclone, Superbe, and others).

On any bike, however, you have to expect you will probably swap out the saddle, stem, and pedals once you dial in your fit.

Looking through Boston CL, nothing in your size really appeals to me. You should watch this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...art-II/page370

Rocket-Sauce posts virtually all C&V bikes from Boston CL! On second thought, you might ask him not to so there's something left for you. Anyway, he did post this one which is a good example of what I mean by quality Japanese bike, though it appears too small for you: https://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/bik/2289108642.html

This is pretty decent, too, but probably needs at least a little work: https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/2284821505.html

If you want to ride a bike, you're going to want to learn to use the tools. It will save you money in the long run and headaches out on the road if you ever have a mechanical failure.
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Old 03-27-11, 09:42 PM
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Here's another. Looks like it might be close to your size. Suntour Sprint are pretty nice components, so this was probably a few steps below the top model at the time: https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/2281453909.html
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Old 03-27-11, 10:00 PM
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thanks alot man...ill keep the shwinn in mind. im going to contact him tomorrow and get sizes and maybe go for a test ride. thanks again! im learning a bunch already from the people on here
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Old 03-28-11, 05:55 AM
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I don't think you can go too far wrong with the $100.00 Prelude. It is a very nice bike, Columbus Tenax tubing, I believe and has decent components. Unless it is in much worse condition than the photos show, I would snap it up in a heartbeat.

The Gran Premio, although more spendy, is also a nice bike.

Lots of good advice here. Just keep on looking and learning. There is more information out there than you can imagine. I was looking at an Austro Daimler Inter-10 the other day and found a guy that has a webpage devoted to the bike! Go figure!

Seriously, hang out here and search and read and then search and read some more and you will be amazed how fast you become an expert too.
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Old 03-28-11, 07:05 AM
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this is nice looking. dump those aero bars, put a rack on the back and you got a great commuter.

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Old 03-28-11, 09:42 AM
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The good deals on vintage bikes are often neglected bikes, bikes that were pretty nice in their time, but have sat idle for 10, 20 years or longer. If stored inside, these bikes tend to have everything original, and little or no rust. (Stored poorly and they will tend to be rusty, and should be avoided unless they are super cheap, and you are ready to do a lot of work). Everything original is not as great as it sounds. Parts degrade over time, even if the bike is not ridden. I wouldn't drive a car that hadn't had an oil change in 20 years. So tires, cables, bearings and grease usually need attention.

So the nicer neglected bikes will need a complete service, which unfortunately, if done at your LBS, will cost more than the bike is worth. So buyers of such bikes need to have the time/tools/aptitude/space/interest to work on them. Most of us on this list fall in this category. Such bikes do not last long on C/L. There are scoopers everywhere, people like me, that will pounce on these bikes, refurbish them, and resell them at market price. The best deals tend to have lousy ads, poor descriptions, lousy or no pictures, etc. Such a "best deal" is only a good deal if you are ready to do all the work yourself. Otherwise, it can be a lousy deal.

Lousy deals are either overpriced entry level bikes or even junk, where the seller wants to convince someone that a Free Spirit is some rare, awesome bike, or that a 1970s Raleigh Grand Prix is some super light weight racing bike, or some entry level Peugeot UO8 is a super high end PX10. Sure, right. Or lousy deals are nice bikes, that are grossly overpriced (the $250 bike for $500).

So where does someone that wants a good quality vintage bike, in ready to ride condition go? They find a reputable refurbisher, someone who found the great deal, went through the bike thoroughly, and has it ready to go. Such a buyer should expect to pay market price for these bikes.

Bikes that last long enough for a "Hey is this a good deal?" response, or for a "Hey, I am working all week, but I can come look at it Saturday" are not great deals. Some may be fair deals, and some will be lousy deals.

That $100 Prelude is a really good deal, but will need work. It should be sold already to a scooper, and you will see it back on in a week or two, at a much higher price. Either it will be bought by a DKO flipper (knocks off the dirt, but that is it), or someone who rehabs it thoroughly, and gets it in ride ready condition. The DKO will make it appear ready to go, but the bike will need that expensive service. I have bought several bikes from a DKO flipper. But I did the service/rehab work myself, so they were good deals IMHO.

The Univega is not a bad deal either, and will require full service as well. This service will cost $200 to $250 at a local shop (assuming they are thorough), or $50 if you do it yourself.

Five seconds on Google and you will find all you need to know about a Free Spirit or a Raleigh Grand Prix, the information is out there. Bikes that don't show up on google tend to be private label/department store bikes from the bike boom. Almost all of them are bottom of the barrel.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-28-11 at 02:44 PM.
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