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New and Confused

Old 05-02-15, 07:54 PM
  #1  
turbomangt
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New and Confused

Greetings all from Chicago!!!
Ok..........I apologize if this gets long but I need to vent...........in the old days the biggest decision one had to make when buying a bike was it going to be 3? 5? or 10 speed.........that was it.......now that I'm in the market for a road bike my head is spinning. First right from the Gecko I'm at a disadvantage at 6 foot 3.........on top of that the guy asks me do you want a comfort bike? road? mountain? hybrid? cross road? fitness? on and on and on. so I tell him I want a road bike, since this is my fist road bike (at age 63 LOL) he asked me what I want to spend, (as little as possible LOL) he tells me what do you want to use it for (legitimate question) will be on paved roads and crushed lime stone paths. so he trys to sell me a fitness bike....straight up bars, I told him I have a fitness bike of sorts (trek 7300) and my friends who are in no where near the shape I'm in blow by me in their road bikes. so we settle on that issue. then he sizes me (just having me sit on a bike) he says yep extra large is your size, so I take it for a test ride. (this was a Giant bike) it felt cramped on me, keep in mind I have a 36" inseam so my height in from my waist down, then he raised the seat up, so it looked liked a camel back. so I left.
sitting at home I'm looking at local ads, and see tons of vintage bikes (with huge frames) some fully restored for a couple hundred bucks, so I'm thinking do I get one of those and see how this road bike thing feels, or get an new entry level bike for $800 or so and regret in 2 years not getting a better one. the I saw these Motobecane? on line in my price range, and they come in 64cm (most other brands I see do ont come that big) is that a decent bike.........sorry all for the long winded words. time to rest now, all feedback welcome
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Old 05-02-15, 08:08 PM
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It appears you're shopping for 64ish sized frame when you're looking for used bikes. That might be a little larger than you need. I'm 6'4" with a 36" inseam and ride a 61 size Specialized and it's plenty roomy. I actually put a shorter stem on my bike to make it a bit smaller feeling. The point I'm trying to make with all of this is that there are a lot of 61 sized bikes on the used market that might be worthy of your consideration. At least worth throwing a leg over and evaluating for yourself.

Its hard to spend another man's money, but if you're seeing viable used bikes for a couple of hundred dollars that seems a very modest cash outlay to make to get your feet wet. Worst case you buy a used bike and ride it a while figuring out what works best for you. Maybe you do feel it could be smaller or larger to suit you after putting some miles on it. In that case you sell it and don't lose much money since the bikes' value is about as low as it's ever gonna go right now. And then you're more knowledgable to shop for a new bike and not as liable to make an expensive mistake when you do buy one
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Old 05-02-15, 08:26 PM
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Moved from Introductions to General Cycling.
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Old 05-02-15, 09:03 PM
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Fuji and Schwinn made a lot of 64cm and 68cm (25 and 27 inch) frames back in the 70's-90's, Raleigh too. Here's an old 27 inch Fuji I had several years ago. I'm 6' 1-1/2" with a 34" inseam and normally ride a 25, I wasn't uncomfortable on this although I probably would be today. You'll certainly wanting something a bit more high end but they're out there and you can pick up some pretty nice ones for a fraction of the price of a new bike.

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Old 05-03-15, 07:00 AM
  #5  
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So any ol' damn POS road bike will do for you, so long as it doesn't look like a "camel back?" Awsome, man.
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Old 05-03-15, 09:22 AM
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Buy the coolest looking bike that makes you want to ride a lot. Think like you did when you were 10 years old. The bright shiny red bike with lots of chrome bits was the bomb. There are no bad bikes. Get the size you feel comfortable on. Jump on and go have fun.
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Old 05-03-15, 09:25 AM
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I'll start by checking this forum also to see whats out there, ideally someone in chi town selling would be great
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Old 05-03-15, 01:05 PM
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For a first time road bike buyer, I would stick to a bike shop. I'm sure Chicago has plenty of them to choose from. You probably are thinking maybe the bike should "feel" a certain way when maybe it is supposed to feel a completely different way. I don't know you and your experiences other than this being your first road bike. If you didn't like the Giantx check out the other major brands l, they should all make an XL sized frame.
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Old 05-03-15, 01:29 PM
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Why don't plan a trip to the Netherlands and see what a typical bike store has to offer in country where there are more bikes than people. When I lived in the US I bought a racing bike, one with dropped handlebars.

I only used it a few times. I would have neck pain from biking and lost interest in biking until I moved to the Netherlands. All of the bikes I have owned since moving here 20 years ago have upright handlebars and mud flaps. I'm not into racing per se, I'm into biking, biking for pleasure, and biking for basic transportation.

I'm 5'9" with a 31.5 inseam and use 54cm frame.
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Old 05-03-15, 01:49 PM
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You asked about Motobecane, a brand sold online by Bikesdirect. It is made by Kinesis, maker of a lot of different brands according to Wikepedia. That doesn't mean they are good or bad, just made in the same Chinese factory as all the rest.

Brands also manufactured by Kinesis include Diamondback Bicycles, Felt Bicycles, GT Bicycles, Schwinn, Jamis, K2, Raleigh, Trek, Kross and Kona plus those sold by Bikesdirect Motobecane USA, Dawes USA, Cycles Mercier, Windsor America.

I would certainly take issue with the idea that there are no bad bikes. There is a lot of trash out there among the entry level department store bikes and some of the lowest priced bike store bikes aren't much better. Before you buy an older used bike do you know enough about bikes and components to recognize a good bike from a mediocre bike. One way is by weight. The lightest bikes had the best components. If you are looking at an older road bike, I wouldn't buy anything weighing over 25 pounds. I owned a mid-1970s vintage Motobecane Le Champion. It weighed 21 pounds in the way I had it configured. I finally gave it away. It fit me fine when I was in my 20s but got very uncomfortable as I got older and didn't like being bent over so much. If you haven't ridden a road bike with narrow, high pressure tires in a long while you might try renting one at a bike shop for a couple hours ride before buying an older one.
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Old 05-04-15, 07:21 AM
  #11  
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A decent quality used bike will blow away any new entry-level bike.

I'm adding this OP to my mental collection of LBS horror stories! (And yet people are telling you that you can't get a first road bike without the "expert assistance of an LBS" LOL!)

You should be able to get quite a nice old bike at a low price, used, because big bikes are generally hard to sell. And don't let people fool you- my 18 year-old Klein (bought 2 years ago) is every bit as good as my late-model carbon fancy-pants Venge.
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Old 05-04-15, 07:43 PM
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going to look at this bike tomorrow, can anyone comment on this bike?

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/5005130597.html
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Old 05-04-15, 09:48 PM
  #13  
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No way I would consider buying a 40 year old bike that needs work just to get it on the road for $150. JMHO.

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Old 05-05-15, 01:00 AM
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Some questions to ask yourself if considering used old bikes:
1. Can/will I tinker? Will the necessity of working on brakes, and adjusting shifters discourage me from riding?
2. Can I be happy with down-tube shifters, or do I really want modern-style brifters (brake/shifter combos). If the latter, you're immediately jumping your price range over 500 for almost anything.
3. Do I know what size/type of bike I need? (right now, it sounds like that answer is no...So i would go to several shops, test ride a few bikes, respond to SEVERAL craigslist ads and go test ride those old cheap road bikes...take a tape measure and figure out what size you really need...Until you know that, you shouldn't buy anyting online you haven't ridden, because nobody on here is going to be able to tell you what size you need. One further thing to consider with sizing is that modern threadless stems allow you to adjust your reach by replacing the stem...older bikes that distance is pretty much fixed.
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Old 05-05-15, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by turbomangt View Post
going to look at this bike tomorrow, can anyone comment on this bike?

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/5005130597.html
I'm not familiar with those- but for $150, if it doesn't weigh 35 lbs. it'll do!

It seems to have bar-end shifters- which are fine (Nothing wrong with downtube shifters, either- I actually prefer them to the modern brifters- and many on this forum still ride them- no big deal; most of us even had them when we were kids)

If you're looking for just a cheap bike to get started and see how you like cycling, there's nothing wrong with a bike like that- or you could keep looking, and hold out for something of higher quality, in the $350-$500 range.
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Old 05-05-15, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
I'm not familiar with those- but for $150, if it doesn't weigh 35 lbs. it'll do!

It seems to have bar-end shifters- which are fine (Nothing wrong with downtube shifters, either- I actually prefer them to the modern brifters- and many on this forum still ride them- no big deal; most of us even had them when we were kids)

If you're looking for just a cheap bike to get started and see how you like cycling, there's nothing wrong with a bike like that- or you could keep looking, and hold out for something of higher quality, in the $350-$500 range.
+1 You'll do better with a good vintage bike than something new. That Fuji is at the low end of the spectrum but is a decent bike. Make an offer as $150 is a little steep unless it's pristine. Check over at the Classic and Vintage forum- lots of good stuff there.

Check standover height first. You can always get longer or shorter stems off the 'bay.

Some to check out: Varying qualities and weights- look for something light

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/5009949235.html

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/5000726323.html

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/4989078713.html

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/4980515880.html
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Old 05-05-15, 12:22 PM
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Thanks for the posts, and links, I will look into those....that fuji I just looked at weight around 175 pounds LOL a tank
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Old 05-05-15, 02:21 PM
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You're welcome.
The TREK looks nice.(if more pricey)

Another Fuji:
https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/5000252215.html

A mid-grade Schwinn:
https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/5010117824.html

Putting in a frame size on CL (61cm or 63cm) will narrow down your search.

Good hunting!
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Old 05-05-15, 03:03 PM
  #19  
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If you're going to be riding on crushed limestone paths you are going to want a wider tire (I'd guess 700x32 or wider). Many bikes don't have clearance for tires that wide. If you look at used bikes check to see if you can fit a 1 1/2 inch wide tire between the fork blades and under the fork crown, and between the chain stays and under the rear brake bridge.
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Old 05-05-15, 05:01 PM
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what do you think of this one?


Aluminium/carbon fiber Cannondale R-600!! Xtra large frame!!
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Old 05-05-15, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by turbomangt View Post
Looks pretty sweet to me! I'd be perfectly happy to ride that'un myself!
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Old 05-05-15, 09:09 PM
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I'm going to look at that Trek that delcrossv posted here.........I talked to the owner, seems pretty honest and trust worthy, turns out he is a bike mechanic, according to him every aspect of the bike has been cleaned, refurbished and or replaced with period correct parts, he says the bike is stunning in person and mint. it if fits, this one looks like it will work for me.

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/5009949235.html
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Old 05-05-15, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by turbomangt View Post
I'm going to look at that Trek that delcrossv posted here.........I talked to the owner, seems pretty honest and trust worthy, turns out he is a bike mechanic, according to him every aspect of the bike has been cleaned, refurbished and or replaced with period correct parts, he says the bike is stunning in person and mint. it if fits, this one looks like it will work for me.

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/5009949235.html
This is a nice bike but I think the Cannondale is actually a significantly better deal. It's newer and as such has modern integrated brakes and shifters, it looks like better wheels, and modern-style dual-pivot brakes which have better stopping power than the older style on the Trek. It's also a 16 speed vs the 12 of the Trek. I imagine it will be lighter (and feel "faster") as well.

Also, I'm not sure why he's calling this Trek a "semi-pro" model. It's the third from the bottom of the "chromoly" line according to the 1988 catalog: https://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/Trek88_1.pdf
I'm not sure what year the Cannondale is but I think it's mid-to-late 90s and that would make it around third from the top of Cannondale's lineup and it has nicer components to boot.

I like the older Treks, but I think the Cannondale is the best deal of the bunch in this thread -- if it fits. I think it completely would blow away a current entry level road bike.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-05-15, 09:33 PM
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To tell you the truth (and bear in mind, I love vintage bikes) I think the C'dale is a much better value for the money. From the way the guy is hyping the Trek in the ad, I think he's somewhat of a BS artist. "All Shimano components"? Even Walmart bikes have Shimano components....what LEVEL Shimano components? (Looks like a mix on that bike, and they they look quite old....); It is way over-priced (They weren't very expensive bikes, new), and the components he mentions are pretty low quality. Haha.....he mentions racing.... Believe me, no one's gonna race on that bike. The C'dale is 4 times the bike for just a few dollars more, and can probably be had for even less than what the guy is asking.

If you can, go ride both of 'em and see which you like better. I'll bet that you'll pick the C'dale. The differences will be quite noticeable. But watch out, that C'dale will probably go quick. (Don't worry about the Trek...that's gonna be around for a while).
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Old 05-05-15, 09:36 PM
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Ha, Stucky I think we responded at the same time.

Honestly, I'd pay the asking price of the Cannondale if it was local. I think the Trek is about $150 high for my market. It has cheap aftermarket wheels and tires. Bummer.


If it helps the OP I had a 2002ish Cannondale R3000 which was a couple models higher but basically the same bike and it was a speed demon. I really liked that bike. I also have a 1984 Trek 610 right next to me, and I love it, but it is like an old car compared to a modern sports car and honestly there is a massive technology gap between the two bikes. I think the Trek might take slightly wider tires than the Cannondale, but I don't think either will take tires wide enough to make gravel riding comfortable.

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