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Used bike, should I buy it?

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Used bike, should I buy it?

Old 08-21-14, 01:43 PM
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Used bike, should I buy it?

I've been riding my 2014 Cannondale Quick CX 5 since I started riding in May.

As the distances go up and I ride more and more with cycling clubs, going faster and faster, it Is becoming increasingly obvious I need a road bike. Not that there is anything wrong with my current hybrid, and I intend to keep riding it solo and on weekday fitness rides.

I have been looking at road bikes, but frankly, I don't have much cash to spend, and wife will kill me if I spend too much having just bought my hybrid a few months ago.

I have been resigned to waiting till after xmas and getting a roadie next year.

However, today, into my lap fell an opportunity to buy a 2004 Raleigh Grand Sport. It looks to be just slightly too large for me, but not by much, and not having ridden it yet I don't know how much of an obstacle that is.

The thing is that the guy Is unloading it for a hundred bucks. It's in ridable condition, nothing broken, well taken care of, with clipless pedals, wedge bag, and simple wired cyclocomputer thrown in to the deal.

I did some research on the bike, and its all steel, fork included, and not light, around 25-26 lbs. Still about 10 lbs less than my hybrid

My question is, should I consider this purchase? It's not ideal, heavy, no carbon fork, low end components, but its STI equipped, and in my price range for an immediate purchase. Will this bike serve me better than my suspended fork knobby tire hybrid on 40+ mile rides? Honest question, I'm not sure its an upgrade or not.

My thought is ride this bike for a few months to get used to riding a roadie, and then buy a new bike after xmas, either flipping this Raleigh or keeping it as a rain bike.
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Old 08-21-14, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mindcrime
It looks to be just slightly too large for me, but not by much, and not having ridden it yet I don't know how much of an obstacle that is.
Free is a bad deal if it's at all too big for you...IMHO. I would go ride it and see. And don't let the great deal talk you into convincing yourself that it fits.
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Old 08-21-14, 02:31 PM
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I'd wait and just get what you want, ESPECIALLY if it's too large.
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Old 08-21-14, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mindcrime
It looks to be just slightly too large for me, but not by much, and not having ridden it yet I don't know how much of an obstacle that is.
Till you try it out, there is no way to tell if it is too big. If it fits, jump on it. It is a low-end bike but will be more suited to distance than your hybrid. It will help you see what is important to you in a road bike so you'll know better what to shoot for next time and it will make a great back-up bike once you upgrade. As long as it fits!
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Old 08-21-14, 03:42 PM
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Is there any danger in buying used carbon bikes? Safer to buy aluminum used?

An LBS told me that carbon frames are built to last 5 years where the metal-based frames will last much longer. Any truth to that?
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Old 08-21-14, 04:00 PM
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None at all^^^
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Old 08-21-14, 04:48 PM
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I would probably pass and put some money aside until I can get something just good enough that you can add onto or build on that's less than 8 years old.
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Old 08-21-14, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
Is there any danger in buying used carbon bikes? Safer to buy aluminum used?

An LBS told me that carbon frames are built to last 5 years where the metal-based frames will last much longer. Any truth to that?
I personally would not buy a used carbon bike.... not because they only last 5 years which is not true, but because you would not have a warranty should there be any issues like cracks or recall issues. (I know a person who had 3 trek high end frames replaced under warranty before he got tired of the hassle and moved to leopard bikes)

Any used bike should be carefully inspected, but carbon bikes even more so.
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Old 08-21-14, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
I personally would not buy a used carbon bike.... not because they only last 5 years which is not true, but because you would not have a warranty should there be any issues like cracks or recall issues. (I know a person who had 3 trek high end frames replaced under warranty before he got tired of the hassle and moved to leopard bikes)

Any used bike should be carefully inspected, but carbon bikes even more so.
You don't get a warranty with any used bike, carbon, aluminum or other.

Personally, my last two bikes were built up from used carbon frames - for the amount of money I saved vs buying the frame new I can buy a new frame from a shop if I do ever have problems. I'm self-insuring vs paying a huge premium for a warranty that the company may decide not to honor. YMMV.
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Old 08-21-14, 06:32 PM
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Personally, I think it sounds like a great deal. You may even learn that you like a steel frame! I just picked up an old Ross with a 25 inch frame, I normally ride a 56 cm (yeah, I really don't feel like doing that conversion, something like a 22 or 23 inch?), and on a test ride the larger frame felt fine to me. Have to watch the dismounts, that's all. I believe super big frames were all the rage back in the 70s.
I haven't taken it on a ride of any distance (yeah, it needs new cables, tires and the brakes are not quite up to scratch for leaving the neighborhood). I would try riding it and see what you think! You can usually find a buyer willing to pay 100 for it, or your LBS might even offer you a trade in value on it when you do go to buy a new one. Plus you'll get a pair of clipless pedals
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Old 08-22-14, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for the input. Waiting on a response to set a time to test ride it. I'm going in with a mindset that if the bike is comfortable, even if it is a little too large, I'm going to grab it. If its WAY off, I'll take a pass. The cyclocomputer, wedge bag, and pedals are worth almost the hundred alone, so if I decide I hate it after riding for a while, I'll strip those off, sell the bike, and come out none the worse in the end.
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Old 08-22-14, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mindcrime
Thanks for the input. Waiting on a response to set a time to test ride it. I'm going in with a mindset that if the bike is comfortable, even if it is a little too large, I'm going to grab it. If its WAY off, I'll take a pass. The cyclocomputer, wedge bag, and pedals are worth almost the hundred alone, so if I decide I hate it after riding for a while, I'll strip those off, sell the bike, and come out none the worse in the end.
I was thinking the same thing, that the stuff that comes with the bike is almost worth the $100. If the bike is anywhere near fitting then getting it is pretty low risk for that price.
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Old 08-22-14, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
Is there any danger in buying used carbon bikes? Safer to buy aluminum used?

An LBS told me that carbon frames are built to last 5 years where the metal-based frames will last much longer. Any truth to that?
Your LBS is full of crap. Five years ago I sold a 15-year old carbon fiber Trek. As far as the new owner and I could tell, the frame was just as solid as the day Trek sold it to me in 1994. My current carbon fiber frame is six years old and still going strong. It is much better built than my 15-year old Trek frame so I would expect that it will last even longer...

That said, buying any used frame is a bit of a crap shoot. I've seen more reports of aluminum parts and frames breaking that carbon fiber, so I would be extremely cautious about buying a used frame made from either material.
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Old 08-22-14, 10:26 AM
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Don't buy anything you plan on riding because it is a good deal. Only buy it if it fits you and you love it.
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Old 08-27-14, 09:00 AM
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I wound up buying this bike last night. It looked to have been stored for a few years, and needed a good cleaning up, a ton of dirt and old grease came off, but has no obvious mechanical problems. The wheels are very close to perfectly true, though I need to tweak the front just a bit. Crank is in great shape, only about 1k miles ever put on the bike. The pedals are nicer than the ones I have on my main hybrid! The wedge bag also came full of tools, inflator, CO2, and a patch kit.

The frame fits me, though I had to drop the seat tube quite a ways, and I just ordered a new stem as the bike came with an adjustable stem I hate, that was also too long as well as noisy. Also ordered a new saddle, as the one on the bike is way too soft, comfort type saddle, won't cut it on longer rides. Ordered Bar tape too, but that's to be expected.

Shifting is crisper than I expected with 10 year old Sora parts. I don't love the thumb shift on the inside of the hoods though, wish the 2nd lever was integrated better, but what can you do for 100 bucks. Cant really reach the upshift from the drops at all, only from the hoods, and its a long reach to hit the downshift though I can do it.

Can you replace old sora hoods/levers with something better without replacing other parts of the groupset? I could maybe pick up a better 8 speed set of levers on the cheap from ebay, but I am trying to do everything on this bike myself to keep costs down. How hard is replacing the levers/hoods? I am not super familiar with wrenching beyond basic adjustments, but that's part of the appeal/goal of this bike.

Also, the brakes are a bit odd. Tektro, so low end, but I didn't have to release the front brake to pull the wheel out. They stop just fine but it seems like a very long pull. Pads are obviously fairly new though, so I am guessing I just need to tighten them.

Don't have a pic yet, I'll try and post one later this week, especially after I replace the saddle
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