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Need Some Advice on Buying a Used/Vintage Road Bike

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Need Some Advice on Buying a Used/Vintage Road Bike

Old 01-31-14, 10:28 PM
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weirdpancake
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Need Some Advice on Buying a Used/Vintage Road Bike

Hi! I'm looking to buy a road bike off of Craigslist, and I'm very new to biking in general.

I'm wondering what you guys would pay for these bikes or what you'd look for. I'm in San Francisco.. I know prices are a bit higher here than other areas, so I guess I need to take that into consideration. I've tried to google frame brand names/tires/etc but solid info seems to be really hard to come by.

Miyata
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/bik/4310751459.html

SR. They are asking for an offer, so I'm assuming it's not actually worth $350.
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/bik/4289822219.html

Bianchi Forza
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bid/4304041592.html

Nishiki
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/4309511753.html

Fuji Spree (Photo 7; with light blue handlebar tape)
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/bik/4294714704.html

(: Thanks.
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Old 01-31-14, 10:37 PM
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Hard to beat a Miyata. That one looks particularly nice. Good price too. Wouldn't hesitate on that one.
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Old 01-31-14, 10:49 PM
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Moved to C & V Appraisals from C & V.
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Old 01-31-14, 10:57 PM
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I'd be on my way to see Miyata if it was my size and for sale here (Toronto, seller's market as well)
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Old 01-31-14, 11:58 PM
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At that price point I like the Miyata as well, but I think the Nishiki is worth a look too.
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Old 02-01-14, 12:14 AM
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Miyata, followed by the Nishiki probably. I have a 312, different year, but it is amazing.
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Old 02-01-14, 04:25 AM
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That Miyata is really clean... I meanreally clean...
The Nishiki also seems like a good deal.

The Fuji is my favorite of the bunch, it is really classy looking.
The SR is a really good bike, but that one isn't worth what the seller is asking for.
A Bianchi is a Bianchi, but looks a bit rough as well.

They are all good bikes, you really can't go wrong with any of them.
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Old 02-01-14, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by CustomSteel View Post
That Miyata is really clean... I meanreally clean...

Agree with that! The Miyata is the first bike of the lot I would check out.
I like well taken care of or practically new looking when I look for a C&V bike.
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Old 02-01-14, 08:56 AM
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All solid. The Bianchi and Nishiki caught my eye. Others like the Miyata, but that is kind of meeeh to me. It's a lower end one.

Really, you can't go wrong with any of them, particularly the Bianchi, Nishiki, or Miyata.
The Fuji is the lowest quality, and the SR is the oldest. SR's are underrated. If that SR is a high end model (can't tell from the pics) it could be very good.

Go ride one or two, and make an offer.
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Old 02-01-14, 10:33 AM
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I own 2 Miyatas, and had two others but sold one and gave another to friends. The 310 is probably the best choice, but I think the price is too high, however I don't live in SF area so not familiar with the going prices, but the Miyata looks be in better condition than the others too. So that would be the one I would chose after offering a lower price of $200 and see what they counter with.

Once you get the bike, or a bike, do a complete overhaul unless the owner can prove he had it done. If he did have it done in the last couple of months it may be worth the $250. Old oil and grease will destroy bearings fast if not cleaned and replaced.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:12 AM
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I have a 1987 Miyata 312 purchased last year that is identical to the one linked, except for frame size, and I'm quite pleased with it. The asking price was also $250 and I walked away with it for $180, but it wasn't quite as clean as the one linked.
Whichever bike you get, just make sure it fits you OK.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:30 AM
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Thanks guys! I'm going to check out the Miyata today. I really do like that it's so clean and rust free.

I have a friend here who has refurbished bikes in Illinois and San Francisco. He said that they tend to be $30-40 more here, if that helps price-wise.

Last edited by weirdpancake; 02-01-14 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:48 AM
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I just want to congratulate you on offering up several bikes in the same size for consideration. Looks like you've done some early homework, which puts you ahead of many when just starting out. And yeah, that Miyata is a good looking ride.
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Old 02-01-14, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by weirdpancake View Post
Thanks guys! I'm going to check out the Miyata today. I really do like that it's so clean and rust free.

I have a friend here who has refurbished bikes in Illinois and San Francisco. He said that they tend to be $30-40 more here, if that helps price-wise.
I hope you get it. Just remember do very little riding with it until you can get it overhauled, it may look good on the outside but it sat in storage for long time anyone can clean it up and make it look good, but if you ride it with old grease you'll soon wish you hadn't. Unless like I said earlier the seller has a receipt showing the bike and been gone through recently.
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Old 02-01-14, 02:12 PM
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I also like the fact that the OP is looking at similar decent road bikes the same size in basically ready to ride condition. This does tell us they have done some homework and actually have a good idea of the size and type bike they want which really helps when looking for bike. Because of the size and location the OP is looking at the prices aren't bad, one should expcet to pay $100-150 premium over bikes in more common sizes and average market. Of the ones presented the Miyata looks the best mainly based on condition and presentation.

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Old 02-01-14, 04:17 PM
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There must be such a thing as a bad Miyata.
But I have not seen one.
Or heard of one.

Not only are they well made, they seem to stand up to the ravages of time especially well.
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Old 02-01-14, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for all of the compliments. I really, really wanted to be happy with whatever bike I bought, so I did try to narrow it down to only bikes that would fit me and didn't need any work.

I did buy the Miyata. The seller was super nice and helpful. He adjusted the bike to fit me (seat and handlebars) when I was there. It shifts and brakes very smoothly. He also used to work as a bike mechanic and guaranteed that he gave it a very thorough going over before posting it for sale. He also gave me the original tires as back ups just in case something happens to the new tires and will drop off the manual himself when he digs it out of 'the secure place that he left it but has since forgotten'.

Very happy!
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Old 02-01-14, 06:59 PM
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Congratulations - great choice! When I buy bike as a rider - price usually comes 2nd to fit. It looks like from your description that it fits you. Pricewise I think you did very good - not every purchase supposed to be a smoking deal.
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Old 02-01-14, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by weirdpancake View Post
Thanks for all of the compliments. I really, really wanted to be happy with whatever bike I bought, so I did try to narrow it down to only bikes that would fit me and didn't need any work.

I did buy the Miyata. The seller was super nice and helpful. He adjusted the bike to fit me (seat and handlebars) when I was there. It shifts and brakes very smoothly. He also used to work as a bike mechanic and guaranteed that he gave it a very thorough going over before posting it for sale. He also gave me the original tires as back ups just in case something happens to the new tires and will drop off the manual himself when he digs it out of 'the secure place that he left it but has since forgotten'.

Very happy!
Wow, congrats, the seller did sound like a great person and a person who took care of his bikes, and a rare surprise...he has the manual, that's really cool to have. Enjoy your new bike.
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Old 02-01-14, 09:09 PM
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I couldn't see the miyata... I liked the SR... I'd offer $200 and see if he goes for it.
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Old 02-01-14, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by xkjzix View Post
I couldn't see the miyata... I liked the SR... I'd offer $200 and see if he goes for it.
Just curious - did you read the thread? OP bought the bike, Miyata - that's why you couldn't see the ad
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Old 02-01-14, 09:35 PM
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Huh. I did, it all updated at once. Didn't mean to spam. I'd like to see it though. Post up a pic!
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Old 02-02-14, 03:36 PM
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It's really rainy and gloomy today, so when it's sunny again tomorrow or Tuesday I'll take it out and post a decent photo.

Seller also gave me his phone number and personal email in case I ever have questions or problems with my new bike.

Oh, I downloaded one of the ad photos before it disappeared.

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00505_2TNPTr0RZvA_600x4504.jpg (32.9 KB, 87 views)

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Old 02-02-14, 03:44 PM
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definitely nice and clean
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Old 02-02-14, 04:17 PM
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After reading the thread on this forum about Garage Queens I would still, even though the guy sounded very nice, take that bike to the LBS and pay to have the rear hub opened up and checked out if you do not know how to do it yourself. Telling you it was checked out is not the same as telling you fully cleaned & lubed. If the LBS opens it up and the grease is dirty, pay to have the rest lubed. If it is clean, you have piece of mind.
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