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Bike for sprint triathlon on the cheap - help picking on Craigslist

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Bike for sprint triathlon on the cheap - help picking on Craigslist

Old 05-16-19, 09:43 PM
  #1  
Ericfox
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Bike for sprint triathlon on the cheap - help picking on Craigslist

Hey guys - Iím trying to get a cheap bike to ride on a sprint triathlon this fall. Iíve never had a road bike and donít know much about them

Hoping someone can help me pick something on Craigslist. Hoping to find something thatís the least junk of the bunch that will hopefully be a decent starter bike - $250 is the limit

its Akron Canton Craigslist in Ohio - I had direct link but it wonít let me post until I have 10 posts on here sorry

if none of the options there are any good Iíll keep looking

thanks guys for any help - Eric
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Old 05-16-19, 11:35 PM
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Check with @texaspandj on the C&V forum. He's done triathlons, mostly using 1980s vintage Centurion Ironman bikes with clip-on aero bars.

He sent me a set of 1980s Scott aero bars to try on my Ironman and they work fine. Improved my time and speed with less effort on a familiar 5 mile loop circuit. Same basic model Greg LeMond used to come from behind in the 1989 Tour de France and win in the final time trial stage, making up a deficit of several minutes in a single short stage to win the TdF by less than a minute.

Takes a little practice to get used to the change in balance, but the knack comes more easily to some folks. I've needed several practice rides on a loop with little traffic and I'm still not entirely confident in my balance on the aero bars. But a friend recently bought a good Specialized dedicated time trial/tri bike and got the knack on the first ride, easily passing me on downhills (which I still lack to confidence to do) and flat terrain. I can out climb him, but only because I'm in better shape. I suspect my balance is hindered by chronic sinus inflammation and congestion (which also affects the inner ear) and an old neck injury. Most healthy folks won't have those issues.

Look for a good deal locally on pretty much any 1980s-'90s road bike with aero brake levers/hoods (brake cables partially hidden under hoods and bar wrap, rather than looped over the top of the bar). The market was practically flooded with good road bikes then and you'll find something from Trek, Centurion, Panasonic, Diamondback, Specialized, etc., etc., within your budget. Don't get too hung up on a particular brand or model. They were all very comparable. As long as the frame is a good lightweight chromoly or aluminum with decent mid-range components, it'll be fine.

But expect the itch for something "better" to need scratching immediately. Happens to most folks. It's all part of the fun.
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Old 05-17-19, 05:10 AM
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When a single sport is not enough pain or when you want to Stroke, Ride, and Pound....a triathlon is what you need. In all seriousness, any bike will do if your goal is to simply participate in a triathlon.

As for helping you find one, It's difficult to find you one that is inexpensive, quality and yet get your money's worth without knowing your size needed. Start off by letting us know your height and inseam length. Also experience in riding a bike.
C-Cat is right, any of the name brands he mentioned will be good and also fairly easy to find. Let us know your height and budget.
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Old 05-17-19, 05:37 AM
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If you're starting off I wouldn't worry about aero bars too much. I did my first (and only so far) sprint tri on a borrowed specialized allez with normal road bars. The sprint is only ~12 miles (?) so just learn bike handling and how to tuck in. Save the money for clip in shoes. Also you can buy clip on aero bars for cheap.

I have seen Tri bikes go for cheaper then I would've thought on Craig's though, but that's like $500 and not $250.

I welcome all rebuttals to my comment
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Old 05-17-19, 06:00 AM
  #5  
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It will be hard to find a usable bike for $250. Much better to just use the bike you own now. Maybe add some cheap aero bars.

If you like tris and want to keep doing them, save up some more money for upcoming races. You can buy nice, nearly-new carbon tri bikes in the $1100-1500 range.
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Old 05-17-19, 06:22 AM
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I participated in my first sprint tri last month and the amount of Walmart bikes there was amazing to me. Of course there were some folks with 5-10k TT bikes but it was definitely mixed in with all styles of bikes.

I used my Trek Domane SL5 with no aero bars and still beat out more than half of the field on the bike portion. I wouldnít go crazy trying to find a tri bike. Just get something that is comfortable and that you will want to ride after the event. The bike portion of a sprint tri is a single 12 mile ride, you may find yourself really liking cycling and wanting to continue. A seriously cheap tri bike will hinder your options post event.

One piece of advice I could give, train your butt off until a week or two before the event then taper down the training to just recovery rides and swims. I wish I had another month just to train the swim portion more since that was my worst performance of the whole day. I averaged on both my ride and run after what felt like an hour in the water (really it was 12 mins but thatís terrible for a 500m swim). I recommend you look up swim videos on YT if you donít have much swim experience (I donít mean casually floating around in a pool). Check the GTN channel on YT (global triathlon network, yes affiliated with GCN). They have some great tips and tricks for beginners and a few videos on how to get started with the swim. Itís by far the hardest sport of the three if you have little to no experience (like my wife I did).

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-19, 07:04 AM
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I did a quick look at Akron/Canton. Here is one from Ernie's Bike shop that seems reasonable. If this isn't your size maybe you should go to Ernie's and see if he has something else for you.

https://akroncanton.craigslist.org/b...884130626.html
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Old 05-17-19, 07:58 AM
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Hey guys - I am a decent swimmer and can run OK - but my biking experience has been using my mountain bike riding around the neighborhood with my kids - so this part will be new for me.

Iím 5í9Ē with 30Ē inseam if that helps. Iíll check back later after work and Iíll check out that Trek on Craigslist

thank you all for the good advice so far!

Eric
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Old 05-17-19, 08:22 AM
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If you're really into it, attempt to find an old tri bike. The fit is worth it if you're into multisport. So, expand your search radius and up the budget. Wait it out for now and use what you have the first event and see how much you enjoy it.

The frame is the least important aero part, the most important is your position. Long term this means owning a tri/TT geometry bike even if it is older round tubes. Up the budget to around $1000 and you might score a 10spd P2 or something if you really like the racing.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ericfox View Post
Hey guys - I am a decent swimmer and can run OK - but my biking experience has been using my mountain bike riding around the neighborhood with my kids - so this part will be new for me.

Iím 5í9Ē with 30Ē inseam if that helps. Iíll check back later after work and Iíll check out that Trek on Craigslist

thank you all for the good advice so far!

Eric
Cool Eric, sounds good. But what about budget?
Once again, any bike will get you through it, even your mountain bike. But kinda sounds like you want to get a little more out of the bike ride portion. Can't blame you for that! So, a Road Bike (not a triathlon specific bike) sounds like the perfect setup for you. As you get more experienced with the handling, you can add accessories and such to make you more aero, providing it becomes your thing. Or maybe pure cycling will be your thing and you will have they covered as well with a Road Bike.
So budget and a 54cm to 56cm is your main factors when test riding your prospective bikes ...so go from there.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:37 AM
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Lots of 54's out there lately, seems to be about the most common size for used bikes on CL these days.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:37 AM
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For one race you should rent or borrow.

Dan
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Old 05-17-19, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Cool Eric, sounds good. But what about budget?
Once again, any bike will get you through it, even your mountain bike. But kinda sounds like you want to get a little more out of the bike ride portion. Can't blame you for that! So, a Road Bike (not a triathlon specific bike) sounds like the perfect setup for you. As you get more experienced with the handling, you can add accessories and such to make you more aero, providing it becomes your thing. Or maybe pure cycling will be your thing and you will have they covered as well with a Road Bike.
So budget and a 54cm to 56cm is your main factors when test riding your prospective bikes ...so go from there.
Budget is $250 which I know isnít much - just hoping to find bike that is best bang for that buck.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:35 AM
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There is a Bridgestone 700 (Might be a hair big) and a Soma Smoothie in your price range in the Akron Craigslist. They were on the first page a few minutes ago.

Personally I would go with the Bridgestone, buts that is more because I'm an old bike fan. The Soma is probably a better choice.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:40 AM
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Iíve never had a road bike and donít know much about them

Bring a knowledgeable friend .. You have to be able to judge wear and tear on a used bike..

Because, to bring it back to working well, you may have follow on costs..











..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-19 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:46 AM
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https://akroncanton.craigslist.org/b...865281303.html

Looks to be the size you need.
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Old 05-19-19, 08:46 AM
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Hey guys

Here's what's available today on CL and Facebook. Anything really stand out as a great deal? If not I can hold out and check again in a month or so






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Old 05-19-19, 12:06 PM
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Just got more info on Specialized Sirrus bike - it is 21 inch frame and is about 15 years old
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Old 05-19-19, 12:34 PM
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I'd be looking at the Specialized and the Trek.
While I really like the Trek Elance series that one is a bit overpriced IMO.
Either one is all standard threading, 130mm spacing, etc and easily upgraded in the future if desired. The French bikes not so much.
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Old 05-19-19, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I'd be looking at the Specialized and the Trek.
While I really like the Trek Elance series that one is a bit overpriced IMO.
Either one is all standard threading, 130mm spacing, etc and easily upgraded in the future if desired. The French bikes not so much.
I asked if they'd consider $200 for the Trek. They asked if I'd come up to $250. what do you guys think?

Is $200 still too high? Thanks. Eric
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Old 05-19-19, 04:39 PM
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Depends on your market. I paid $150 for the exact same bike.
But.... No shortage of old Treks in the $200-300 range around here.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...892409388.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...892194539.html

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...892063327.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...891728760.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...889283900.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...883538498.html
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...853356281.html
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Old 05-19-19, 05:15 PM
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a couple new ones on Facebook today - any winners compared to the Trek 400 Elance?



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Old 05-19-19, 06:35 PM
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Assuming the brifters work the Trek 1000 or the Cannondale would both make fine budget riders. The Cannondale in particular seems to be popular with people who like older bikes.
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Old 05-19-19, 07:48 PM
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54 is probably the most common size in the used market.
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Old 05-20-19, 05:34 AM
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Hey guys - Found out that the Cannondale is a Saeco 3.

I got the Trek Elance owner to come down to $200

Cannondale owner will also come down to $200

If nobody thinks the Cannondale is better for some reason Iím going to go look at the Trek this week and get it if thereís no issues with it
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