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What (used) bikes should i be looking for?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

What (used) bikes should i be looking for?

Old 09-23-17, 09:17 PM
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What (used) bikes should i be looking for?

Hi guys - I am primarily an mtb guy but I just sold my road bike in hopes of picking up a cross or gravel bike. I am looking in the used market for A rig that is under 2K. I will be using this bike once in a while for commuting (which is 90% gravel), riding paved and gravel trails, and some road riding. I would also like to try bikepacking. Oh, and I will not be racing CX but gravel ride/race (maybe).

Has to have:
-- disk brakes
-- take at least 40c tires

Good to have:
-- Shimano 105 / Sram equivalent or better
-- thru axles
-- tubeless ready wheels

At this point I dont even have a frame material pref. So what bikes should be on my list to look out for?
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Old 09-23-17, 10:16 PM
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Looking for specific used bike models in your needed size is often times not just a needle in a haystack, but trying to find that needle in a needlestsck.

Instead, be open to all models that are your size abd evaluate from there as a larger net will be cast this way.

At the same time- why used with a 2k budget when there are a ton of new options that fit your needs for 2k or less?
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Old 09-24-17, 06:39 AM
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The very reason i posted this was to open my eyes to other bikes i may not have considered based on others recommendations - to cast a larger net. I am trying to stay away from looking for a needle in a haystack. Budget wise i would prefer not to spend 2K but i dont really want a bike that is more than 2 years old either.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Looking for specific used bike models in your needed size is often times not just a needle in a haystack, but trying to find that needle in a needlestsck.

Instead, be open to all models that are your size abd evaluate from there as a larger net will be cast this way.

At the same time- why used with a 2k budget when there are a ton of new options that fit your needs for 2k or less?
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Old 09-26-17, 08:47 AM
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Giant TCX, Cannondale SuperX, Niner RLT, Jamis Renegade, any Raleigh/Diamondback adventure bike, any Bikesdirect.com gravel bike, Specialized Crux, Ribble CGR, GT Grade, Norco Search, Surly Straggler, All-City Macho Man, Salsa Warbird, Trek Boone, Cannondale Slate, Marin Gestalt, Fuji Jari, and the list goes on and on and on....


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Old 09-26-17, 08:59 AM
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Check out a Giant Revolt 1. Comes with hydros and can take up to a 50mm tire and runs about $1300. It 'only' has Tiagra 10sp tho', but I also have a Giant TCR and Defy, both with 105 11sp, and the Revolt has become my favorite 'all arounder' for commuting, 'just riding' and of course gravel.

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Old 09-26-17, 09:45 AM
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If you're at all tall, I'm going to add that finding a used bike to fit a particular purpose beyond general mountain bike or general road bike or general commuter is going to be pretty tough. I'm a little over 6ft, and I rarely see bikes in the 58-60cm (road) or 21 (mtb) sizes come up for sale. Even in stores, most of the bikes are M/55/56/17/19 sizes.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:16 AM
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OP, have you checked out www.bikesdirect.com?

I've never done business with them and I'm certainly not their shill, but I've been checking out their site over the last couple of years as people post here about their bikes, business model, etc.

They have quite a few bikes that meet all your requirements for under $2K new.

Save Up To 60% Off New Gravel and Cyclocross and Gravel Bicycles from bikesdirect.com. Great for commuting, racing or just having fun riding most anywhere.


Originally Posted by bcpriess
If you're at all tall, I'm going to add that finding a used bike to fit a particular purpose beyond general mountain bike or general road bike or general commuter is going to be pretty tough. I'm a little over 6ft, and I rarely see bikes in the 58-60cm (road) or 21 (mtb) sizes come up for sale...
I agree. I'm a little over 6'1" and check craigslist pretty much daily, looking for a '90s steel 700c hybrid such as a Trek Multitrack or similar with a 23" frame to do a drop bar conversion on. There are lots of them in medium sizes, but darn few large ones. Old, rigid 26"-wheel MTBs in that size are rare as well.
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Old 09-26-17, 11:50 AM
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You're looking for the hot 'Bike du Jour' that everyone wants right now. Don't mean to seem unhelpful, but since these bikes are in high demand, be careful about buying used, both in terms of price and possible problems. You have to meticulously inspect every part of a used bike in this category.

10 years from now, when this class of bikes are are as popular as fixies are now (not), then you'll find bargains galore. I find 80's vintage (no suspension) mountain bikes when fitted with high-pressure slicks, make great all-round gravel bikes, and they cost almost nothing.

My last extended experience with a current gravel / endurance bike was with a Giant Defy Advanced. My impression was was that it was heavy and slow.

But I'm used to riding a 17 pound bike with 22mm tubular tires, so the fat (32mm) tires and heavy wheels on the Defy made it ride like a farm tractor.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 09-26-17 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 09-26-17, 11:57 AM
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I think it's going to be a tiny needle in that haystack to find a used gravel bike with thru axles on the used market but you can find lots of new options that will hit your $2K price point. Shoota gave you a bunch. You can also look at the All-City Spacehorse, All-City Cosmic Stallion, Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross and Diamondback Haanjo
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Old 09-26-17, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
10 years from now, when this class of bikes are are as popular as fixies are now (not), then you'll find bargains galore. I find 80's vintage (no suspension) mountain bikes when fitted with high-pressure slicks, make great all-round gravel bikes, and they cost almost nothing.

My last extended experience with a current gravel / endurance bike was with a Giant Defy Advanced. My impression was was that it was heavy and slow.

But I'm used to riding a 17 pound bike with 22mm tubular tires, so the fat (32mm) tires and heavy wheels on the Defy made it ride like a farm tractor.
80s MTBs make great gravel bikes, but a Giant Defy Advanced that weighs 19-21# depending on model, is too heavy and slow?
You would positively hate my gravel bike then...though itd almost for sure weigh less than any 80s MTB.
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Old 09-26-17, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
... a Giant Defy Advanced that weighs 19-21# depending on model, is too heavy and slow?
I'm saying that the current gravel / endurance bikes ride noticeably slower than road race bikes. The extra ballast of disks doesn't help, but the biggest downside is the weight of the wheels and tires.

A (good) 80's vintage MTB with light wheels and narrow slicks will weight 25 pounds, but it will cost you $200 - or less. Our local bike Co-op is stuffed with them.
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Old 09-26-17, 12:19 PM
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If I were in your boat I would be looking at quality used cyclocross bikes.

I ride a cyclocross bike for a gravel bike and find it to be fine, exactly what I like, and now that I have upgraded the wheelset I have a killer cross bike too. In fact, my current bike (Kona Jake the Snake CR) only cost 2300 new. You could buy a 2017 Private Jake for two grand (would make a great one bike only stable). The 2018 Kona Jakes slackened the head tubes and dropped the bottom brackets which would make the bike handle just gravel much better. You could look for those.
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Old 09-26-17, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
10 years from now, when this class of bikes are are as popular as fixies are now (not), then you'll find bargains galore.
Is your advice that he should get fat watching TV for a decade to save $200 on a frame he might be too old to use at that point?
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Old 09-26-17, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
At the same time- why used with a 2k budget when there are a ton of new options that fit your needs for 2k or less?
Performance has the GT Grade in carbon fiber with SRAM Force 22 and hydraulic disc brakes for I think $1,750. I had one, it's a fine bike, except for the SRAM.

I would hesitate to buy a used carbon frame (although just about every used bike sold anymore has a used carbon fork and there hasn't been an apocalypse from it) but I agree with @mstateglfr. Why go used if you can get everything you want new with a warranty and come in under budget?
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Old 09-26-17, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
A (good) 80's vintage MTB with light wheels and narrow slicks will weight 25 pounds, but it will cost you $200 - or less. Our local bike Co-op is stuffed with them.
The perk to vintage MTBs is that they're rigid frames made versatile by huge clearances. If you're going to run narrow slicks, I don't understand why you wouldn't get a bike that was designed from the ground up to be a ~road bike, such as a CX bike. A vintage MTB with narrow slicks will just be heavier and handle a bit strange, and if we're going to use drop bars then it'll also require a lot of rework.

I've got a vintage MTB drop-bar conversion gravel bike of sorts, but I'm running 53mm tires with full-length fenders.
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Old 09-26-17, 07:08 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions so far.
I would ride a 54 cm so not much of a problem finding bikes my size. Also I really don't want to go up to 2K but if I found the "perfect bike" maybe.
Like I said I am not looking for anything more than 2-3 years old so def not any vintage mtbs for me.
Bikes Direct appear to deal mostly in Motobecane (which I no nothing about).
So far I am liking Niner RLT and Salsa Warbird and the Diamondback Haanjo looks pretty cool too. I will have to look up a few of the others mentioned. All City gives me a bike messanger vibe (which is fine) but they don't seem to carry a bike that can take a 40c tire or maybe I missed it.
And yes, I know this is the genre of bike that everybody is looking into these days (probably a good reason for that).
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Old 09-26-17, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
I agree. I'm a little over 6'1" and check craigslist pretty much daily, looking for a '90s steel 700c hybrid such as a Trek Multitrack or similar with a 23" frame to do a drop bar conversion on. There are lots of them in medium sizes, but darn few large ones. Old, rigid 26"-wheel MTBs in that size are rare as well.
I was looking for a 90s 26er for the same purpose. It took me almost a year to find what I was looking for, which I did finally do in April. In that timeframe, in a large metro, I only saw maybe 3-4 contenders (that would fit me well) over the course of a year.
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Old 09-26-17, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tdilf
Thanks for the suggestions so far.
I would ride a 54 cm so not much of a problem finding bikes my size. Also I really don't want to go up to 2K but if I found the "perfect bike" maybe.
Like I said I am not looking for anything more than 2-3 years old so def not any vintage mtbs for me.
Bikes Direct appear to deal mostly in Motobecane (which I no nothing about).
So far I am liking Niner RLT and Salsa Warbird and the Diamondback Haanjo looks pretty cool too. I will have to look up a few of the others mentioned. All City gives me a bike messanger vibe (which is fine) but they don't seem to carry a bike that can take a 40c tire or maybe I missed it.
And yes, I know this is the genre of bike that everybody is looking into these days (probably a good reason for that).

I know you aren't looking for a vintage MTB, but hear me out on this. My plan originally had been to find a nice 90s MTB to build up into a gravel machine but I got tired of searching for something my size and bought a Masi Giramondo 700c because it had exactly the feature set I wanted. I eventually found a '90s beater Trek 830 back in April for about $50 (and in great condition) and figured it would still make a fun project. I have spent a total of $250 on the bike and upgrades (mostly carefully chosen used parts from ebay) to transform it into a gravel-worthy machine. It's a nice bike now and it fits well. Those frames are bulletproof and have a very comfortable geometry, and can easily and cheaply be adapted into something suitable for CX or gravel. I love my Masi, but if I didn't have it and only had the old Trek 830, I'd still be almost as happy, plus it's been kind of fun to source and build it. Anyway, there's a lot of room between $250 and $2k....

Last edited by bcpriess; 09-27-17 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 10-03-17, 10:14 AM
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Anybody know what the difference between the 2015 and 2016 Raleigh Roker comp is? (please don't say 1 year)
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Old 10-03-17, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tdilf
Anybody know what the difference between the 2015 and 2016 Raleigh Roker comp is? (please don't say 1 year)
Was there a 2015 Comp? I can't find anything about one online.
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Old 10-03-17, 11:42 AM
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Oh, you might be right. I was looking at a used Roker Comp ad and thought it was a 2015 but indeed it is a 2016 (after looking at the ad again). Looks like a nice bike - anybody own or tried the Roker?
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Old 10-05-17, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tdilf
Oh, you might be right. I was looking at a used Roker Comp ad and thought it was a 2015 but indeed it is a 2016 (after looking at the ad again). Looks like a nice bike - anybody own or tried the Roker?
Yep, they like them.
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Old 10-05-17, 06:56 PM
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A 2016 Diamondback Haanjo Trail , XL 59cm, came and went on Chicago CL last weekend for $600.

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Old 10-05-17, 08:45 PM
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RED LINE CONQUEST PRO > solid CX + allarounder ... recent used @ $700 (+ or - )
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Old 11-12-17, 08:50 AM
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I found a good deal on a Salsa Warbird alum - should be here in a week or so.
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