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Need help choosing a used road bike

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Need help choosing a used road bike

Old 08-19-14, 11:32 PM
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Oven
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Need help choosing a used road bike

So I'm looking for my first road bike. I may or may not convert to a single gear as I live in a very flat town. I've found a couple of bikes that are strong candidates. All 3 are 23" frames and I am 5'11. Is the Norco the best bike? Is it worth the asking price - and if not what should I offer? I've got a friend willing to help rebuild / tune whichever bike I choose. Wondering what the best deal of the 3 is too. Any help appreciated. Thanks in advance!

1981 Norco Magnum SE. $325
VINTAGE 1981 NORCO MAGNUM SE ROAD & TOURING BICYCLE, RARE, PREM | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji

Nishiki 10 speed (assuming 1980s and looks like it may have the same / similar frame as the Norco). $180
Men's Nishiki 10 speed | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji

Miele 12 speed. $150
Miele Cicli Bicycle | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji
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Old 08-20-14, 03:13 AM
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I am somewhat familiar with the market conditions in Winnipeg but can't comment on the prices of the bikes offered without more information, particularly pictures. That said, I have owned a couple of Norco Magnum SE road bicycles and found them to be of very good quality, offering more than acceptable ride qualities. The other two suggestions could, well be, entry level offerings for all I know.

Anyway, you might want to determine if the bikes are a proper fit, for you, and if so, go for the Norco, but try offering less. The end of the riding season will soon be upon the Winnipeg area and that might help to lower the price.

This is the Norco Magnum SE that I rode for quite some time...

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Old 08-20-14, 03:14 AM
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Working links would help
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Old 08-20-14, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
Working links would help
Weird, they appeared to work when I first posted.

VINTAGE 1981 NORCO MAGNUM SE ROAD & TOURING BICYCLE, RARE, PREM | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji

Men's Nishiki 10 speed | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji

Miele Cicli Bicycle | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji
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Old 08-20-14, 07:39 AM
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The Norco is definitely the nicest, though I don't know if I would pay $325 for it. I simply don't know enough about that marque.

The Nishiki has 600 brakes for some reason, which I thought odd.
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Old 08-20-14, 08:22 AM
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Fit is important. 23 inch implies a 57cm frame which may be right for your height. A couple of ways to check. One is to measure, in stocking feet or no stockings, the distance from the floor to your crotch bone (I use a book that is square with the wall and I can measure to the top). This is different than you inseam when purchasing pants! This will help with t two things. One is the saddle height that you should use, based on the distance from the pedal to the sit surface, and two the maximum height of the top tube when you straddle the bike. You want about 2cm of clearance for the latter. Seat post will allow for adjustment of the former and should be some % of the measurement. I just raise the saddle to the point where my butt rocks and then drop it until it doesn't. At 110 cadence my butt rocks at any height, so don't check at that cadence! Use a normal cadence to check.

I am about 5' 11.5" but a 58 is on the small side for me. I actually need a 59/60 and can tolerate a 61. It is important to know. Some prefer to measure TT length first then ST. I just change the stem to adjust the effective TT. You can only do so much with a production frame.
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Old 08-20-14, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by upthywazzoo View Post
The Norco is definitely the nicest, though I don't know if I would pay $325 for it. I simply don't know enough about that marque.

The Nishiki has 600 brakes for some reason, which I thought odd.
I assume that's 325 CAN/297 USD. But I still agree with your assessment. Looks like a pretty nice bike though, and admittedly I know nothing about that market.
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Old 08-20-14, 09:03 AM
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Very nice bike, randyjawa.

Thanks for the help, all. Appreciate it.

The Norco definitely looks the best to me. I'm going to see it tomorrow night. If it's the right fit I'll try to offer less. Would $225 be insulting?
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Old 08-20-14, 09:10 AM
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If he goes for it, it will be forgotten. Twice I have made lower offers and lowered them again and still got he bike! One was a 50% reduction. It is all in the way you establish the relationship.
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Old 08-20-14, 09:16 AM
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It really depends. What are you willing to pay? If I saw that exact bike, but it said "Zunow" on it instead of Norco, I would snap it up in a heartbeat at $325. I said before, I don't know enough about the Norco brand to value the bike based on the name alone, but given the 600 group, worksmanship and lug painting, and chrome, etc etc--I wouldn't see 250-275 being out of the question. That's certainly what I'd pay for a Centurion Pro Tour.
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Old 08-20-14, 09:29 AM
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Hi oven, I'm in Manitoba too. That Norco Magnum has been for sale for a while, the price has droppd once already. I'd offer the guy $50.00 less than he's asking, see if he bites. It looks to be in very nice condition.
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Old 08-20-14, 01:09 PM
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So, I'm going to go check out the Nishiki tonight because it's really close to my place. The seller has updated the post with some more photos here:

Men's Nishiki 10 speed | road | Winnipeg | Kijiji

The wheels are 27 1-1/4 and not 700c. Is this going to be a problem at all? I've only heard that 700c is better for more tire options?
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Old 08-20-14, 01:34 PM
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I wouldn't spend more than $100 on that Nishiki -

No forged drops
Cheap components
Gas pipes
27" wheels

Make it a single and dress it up the way you like and you'll have put another $50-100 into it.

Here's a Peugeot for less - same bag of crap, less money, and French!

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-road-bike/win...ationFlag=true

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Old 08-20-14, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by colinm View Post
I wouldn't spend more than $100 on that Nishiki -

No forged drops
Cheap components
Gas pipes
27" wheels

Make it a single and dress it up the way you like and you'll have put another $50-100 into it.
How can you tell? All you can see is that it's a Tange frame, it has a claw adapter, mixed components, and downtube shifters. The name of the bike doesn't have the lettering to be "Century" or "International", and looks more like "Olympic." This is actually a decent frame. Don't write it off so easily.
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Old 08-20-14, 02:39 PM
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I didn't write it off. I merely said I wouldn't spend more than $100 on it, why that was so, and offered an alternative with character.

If the Nish *was* $100, I'd buy it and make it a rip-snorting single for rainy days, maybe coaster-brake it. But not at $180.
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Old 08-20-14, 02:50 PM
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Although the Nishiki has stamped dropouts and a claw derailleur hanger, I don't think it's gaspipe. The top tube clearly says "Cro-Moly". I don't know if it's straight gauge or butted, but it's not plain carbon steel gaspipe.

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Old 08-20-14, 02:56 PM
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Yeah, I said gas pipe. Cro-mo is not straight 1020.

I had a Schwinn made with 1020 that rode great. But it cost $20 at a garage sale.

If I had $180 in my pocket it would not go to this bike, not as it sits.

I forgot how nit-picky this place is. Bye.
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Old 08-20-14, 03:03 PM
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The Miele is "plain" steel, versus CroMolly in the other two.
The Nishiki looks lower than the Norco, but that is fair given the price.

As for those who don't know Norco, it is a 50 year old Canadian company. Like most bike makers now, they no longer make their own bikes. But back in the day they made their own brand and several others, had a cycling team, etc.

Norco and Nishiki from this era may have both had frames made by Kawamura in Japan.
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