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Kuwahara pulse? is it worth the money?

Old 04-07-11, 11:56 PM
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Kuwahara pulse? is it worth the money?

I saw a posting on craigslist for a kuwahara pulse bicycle for $499, the price is pretty steep but i really like the bike. Is it worth it or for that kind of money should i just buy a cheap new bike from bikesdirect?

I'm a beginning rider and don't need anything special, but i do want something reliable and smooth

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Old 04-08-11, 03:27 AM
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After years of riding used bikes I bought a 2010 CAAD 9 and had a professional fit. It's amazing how different the bike feels and rides because it was tuned to my body. My enjoyment went up 100% and I ride more. If you are a new rider I can't stress enough what everyone says on this forum. Go to a good bike shop and buy a bike that is customized to your riding.
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Old 04-08-11, 06:35 AM
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"I am a beginning rider and don't need anything special" = a price point much lower than $499. More like half that amount.

This is actually the first time I have seen this advice on the C & V forum: "I can't stress enough what everyone says on this forum. Go to a good bike shop and buy a bike". Huh? You will see an endless number of folks on this forum enjoying their riding tremendously on 30 and 40 year old bikes.

Good reliable Japanese bikes from the 1980s start around here at about $200, the really, really nice ones might go for $250. At the $250 mark, you get a better, lighter weight frame, higher end components, 700c wheels, in pristine, ready to ride condition. And these are what I would call "market" prices. Do some leg work, be ready to pounce, and you should be able to find a nice bike under market.

Why do I recommend Japanese bikes? They have standardized parts (so finding repair/replacement parts are easy). In addition, the Japanese built some great bikes back then. Third, they do not get the respect (yet) of some other bikes, so you get a lot of value for the $$.

$499 gets you either something really, really special, or a good, modern STI bike. This bike is neither of those.

The nice thing about buying a good used bike, is as long as you don't get screwed on the price, you will be able to resell it for what you paid for it if you want to upgrade, get a different type of bike, different size, or whatever. I rehab bikes and sell them in my local market. I attempt to get full market price for them. Most of the ones I have sold, I would gladly buy back for what I sold them for.

How to make sure you don't get screwed? Spend a little time getting educated, or have an educated friend assist you, or get some personal references on local bike rehabbers. I routinely sell bikes to prior buyers' friends, family, or whatever. One family has bought six bikes from me in the last two years. They have learned to let me know what they are looking for, and if I don't have it, I will find one. And they get a nice discount, under market for sure.

As you get in a hotter market, ebay starts making sense. I bought a bike off ebay myself yesterday (I picked it up). Guy would have shipped it for $48 anywhere in the continental US. So even with shipping, for well under $200, you could have picked up a really nice Japanese touring bike.

When facing a nosebleed high priced market, looking outside that individual market, whether on C/L or ebay, starts making more and more sense.

When I see a new poster, with no indication of location, I really can't guess where you are located.

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Old 04-08-11, 08:12 AM
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I think it is a great looking bike (yes despite my love of Bianchis I secretly love those those late '80s 'disco' paint schemes) but a 20yo one. personally unless it is something special to you I may say pass. this Kuwahara is a rather small frame, are you petite?

I am not sure I agree with jmehalick's advise. getting fitted or ensuring the bike fits is always important, however I don't think you need to shellout a ton of money to get a nice bike that fits. I would almost bet there is a C&Ver, like Work101, near you who would love to help you find a nice bike that fits. there are lots of great girls and guys here who would be willing to help. alot of them buy used bikes and clean, repair, tune and resell them as a fun hobby and to fund their own bikes. they like the sport and enjoy helping new people get into it.
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Old 04-08-11, 10:06 AM
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Welcome. I saw this bike as well and almost went to look at except I was looking at this De Rosa.....

I actually started a thread on it. Do a search on Kuwahara pulse

A couple of things to add:

Watch the price advice you get on this forum. If you saw this bike you probably live in he SF Bay Area. Everything is more expensive here and bikes are no exception. I watch prices all over of the country and I see bikes that remain unsold that would fly off the shelves here.

And small bikes sometimes cost more. Don't make the mistake of comparing the price of 56cm bike to a smaller one. I just did a Craigslist search for 49cm bike under 250. 13 bikes total, half of them single speeds the other quarter mixte's. None had STI shifters and none were anywhere the quality of this Pulse. Bike companies usually make fewer small bikes than big bikes and although they may be the same price when they are first sold in the used market the law of supply and demand comes into play. There is a big market here in the bay area for smaller bikes.

You wrote you don''t need anything special but then you show us one of the neatest looking bikes on craigslist!! LOL. I think you do want something special.

I will echo everyone's concern about getting fitted. However, I am assuming you are pretty short if you are looking at this bike so it maybe in the ball park. I don't recommend a bike from BikesDirect. You are paying new prices but not getting any help on sizing.

But keep this in mind; If this bike gets you out riding it more and when you are done you look at it and get that "I got a cool bike" feeling then it is worth what you want to pay. I bought my first bicycle, a Bridgestone RB-1, partly because of the color scheme. Still have it and still love the way it looks.

Go look at the bike, ride it. If you have someone you know who can help you determine the fit is in ballpark bring them along. I would be happy to help is you like.

Is this bike worth $499? Maybe not but it is an unusual bike from a very well respected maker in what appears to be in great condition. If it isn't worth 499 it surely is worth more than 250 here. The seller may be open to offers. This is the second time it has been listed on craigslist.
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Old 04-08-11, 10:19 AM
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Kuwahara made beautiful bikes in the 80's and that Pulse looks to be all original and in fairly pristine condition so should fetch top dollar for the market it is in.

$500.00 is a pretty steep price regardless of the bike's condition as it is a mid level road bike but think that if everything was 100%, and it appears to have very few miles, it should be worth at least $250.00 - $300.00 in any good market.

It is a bike that could give you decades of good service and bikes like this are a far better deal than anything you could buy for $300.00 - $400.00

Some markets are insane... in PDX this would probably be a $400.00 - $500.00 bike and the fact it is a Kuwahara makes it a little rarer there than it would be here where we see lots of nice Kuwaharas as they were very popular here.

I have 2... will never part with them unless I can't ride anymore.
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