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Buying a good used road bike

Old 05-20-22, 07:51 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
Weight never used to bother me and the Univega seemed better in that regard than the standard competitors in the 70s and 80s. I checked out a bunch of bikes on Amazon, the ones with the good reviews started around $700. I was thinking of going up to areas where used bikes seemed to be a lot more common than in sw CT, such as Greenfield Mass.

I was able to go from southern Fairfield county to southern VT in a day with fully loaded panniers once.

If you don't mind the question, how long has it been since the last time you did any riding?
I grew up riding the type of bikes you're describing, and I found out by riding one a few years ago that I really hate the way they feel now. I love road bikes from the 1990s, but no earlier for the reasons discussed above.
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Old 05-20-22, 08:44 AM
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I've been more of a hiker the last 20 or more years.

The problem is going to be to find a good used, extra large bike, I'm 6 6 that fits my needs.
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Old 05-20-22, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
I've been more of a hiker the last 20 or more years.

The problem is going to be to find a good used, extra large bike, I'm 6 6 that fits my needs.
They're out there, but I won't say they'll be easy to find. Because they may be a hard sell, though, you may get yourself a bargain.

I wouldn't worry what the naysayers say about older bikes. They're fine and a lot of fun. While a lot of the new tech is really cool, it comes with its own share of drawbacks.

Seriously, head over to the C&V section--you're likely to find an audience more receptive to your style.
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Old 05-20-22, 08:58 AM
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I've been checking CL, ebay, a bike shop recommended pink bike, still nothing in my price range for extra large.
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Old 05-20-22, 09:07 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
I've been checking CL, ebay, a bike shop recommended pink bike, still nothing in my price range for extra large.
Older bikes don't come in "Small," Large," or "Extra Large." They're measured in centimeters or inches--the length of the seat tube. Maybe your terminology is hindering your searches?

I can't say what size frame you need. A lot of guides use your inseam to get something close. I'm sure there are guides on the internet. Once you figure out what size frame you need in cm's or inches, then you can narrow your searches.
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Old 05-20-22, 09:18 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
They're out there, but I won't say they'll be easy to find. Because they may be a hard sell, though, you may get yourself a bargain.

I wouldn't worry what the naysayers say about older bikes. They're fine and a lot of fun. While a lot of the new tech is really cool, it comes with its own share of drawbacks.

Seriously, head over to the C&V section--you're likely to find an audience more receptive to your style.
OP really doesn't sound like they've ridden any significant amount in 20 years, so not clear that OP is sure of their "style" at this point.

This really isn't a matter of naysaying, OP asked if developments were significant improvements, and that's obviously going to be an individual matter. I used to love to ride bikes like OP described 35 years ago, when I've tried them recently, not so much, they really sucked for my current "style".

My only contribution to this discussion is to suggest that OP try some newer and older bikes before deciding. I also think assuming they have a shop nearby with older mechanics and a big parts bin is not a safe thing to do.
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Old 05-20-22, 10:44 AM
  #32  
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Also don't confuse wheel size with frame size, two different things.
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Old 05-20-22, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
Also don't confuse wheel size with frame size, two different things.
Very good point.
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Old 05-20-22, 12:11 PM
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Good suggestion; I will stop at a bike shop again and see what size would be right for me and then look around for a used bike as none of the local ones sell those.
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Old 05-20-22, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
So Motobecane and Cannondale just are not popular anymore?
Modern Motobecanes are not the same as the French bikes made before the 80's, although they make some decent bikes as well. Cannondale is still huge as far as I can tell.

As for the older/outdated bikes, there's nothing wrong with riding them if they make you happy. Some of us are just technology snobs.
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Old 05-20-22, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post

As for the older/outdated bikes, there's nothing wrong with riding them if they make you happy.
Absolutely agree with that, but also think it's a good idea to try other stuff to see if it makes you happier or not.

I don't think anyone could have told me how much I'd hate going back to down tube shifting until I tried it. I remembered using them joyfully when I was younger, now it was the bicycle equivalent of working the TV without a remote.. Sometimes getting on the old things is the best cure for nostalgia.

BTW, if anyone had the opposite reaction and loved going back to DT shifting, there's nothing wrong with that. I just don't think not sharing that feeling makes one a snob.
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Old 05-20-22, 02:19 PM
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I've never had any other shifter, myself. Although I do see the benefits of integrated shifters/brake levers. They're just too complicated for my taste; too many other things to go wrong.
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Old 05-20-22, 03:03 PM
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I would not go back to down tube shifters again either. Any old bike I was to buy would be bought with the idea that the old stuff is coming off and the new stuff which would include Shimano STI's or the equivalent in Campy, SRAM or which brand components I'm installing.

No complication at all. Very little goes wrong with them. They might not last 40 years or more as have some of my older bikes with downtube shifters. But the safety aspect of not having to take my hand off the bars to shift is more than compelling to me for saying yes to STI's and their like brethren.

It's nice to be able to shift with both hands on the bars while sprinting up a winding hill.
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Old 05-20-22, 04:13 PM
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I stopped at a bike shop today that sells mainly Giant and Motobecane road bikes and he looked through the online inventory options and said that he didn't see much in my size. He said I might find something used.

On the old shifters I was generally quite content with the lever-based shifting. I did not micromanage my shifting, going for maximum torque, a middle one and then the least going up steep hills. I fail to see how having dozens of gears would be advantageous.

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Old 05-20-22, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I've never had any other shifter, myself. Although I do see the benefits of integrated shifters/brake levers. They're just too complicated for my taste; too many other things to go wrong.
Half the fun of biking is figuring out what we do or don't like. There's nothing wrong here either way, you don't want to futz with anything else, and I respect that. I just don't think it's naysaying to suggest that a person try stuff out.
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Old 05-20-22, 05:37 PM
  #41  
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Every 'Old'/used bike will come with it's own 'issues' (same as old humans...)
getting a 'wife' / husband off ebay would be a very risky thing, where returns are never an option. Not liking what you receive, and wanting to throw the 'wife/husband'/bike into Lon-Gisland Sound is prolly not a good option also...
with that in mind here are 3 options which will come with their own baggage, but 'seeing' and touching is always better than 'sight un-seen'...

https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...480726128.html
https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...471761420.html
https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...478671567.html
seatposts, pedals and stems are relatively cheap and easy to change/adapt for these bikes
saddles will also be readily available
good wheels (run well) and gearing is always a bit more problematic.
... my advise is to not order a a 'mail-order bride'... you'll find something closer and get a chance to get up close and personal and see if there's a connection...
Ride On
Yuri
Hiking and Biking are eminently compatible... and unless you live next to a trailhead, biking usually needs no travel to/from and only the desire to jump on the bike for a ride...
EDIT: the Torpado is a very, very nice bike - well worth the attention by someone who can fit and ride this. And also a conversation/cup of coffee worthy bike at any Sunday gathering...
EDIT2: ... and a very much more modern bike, nice, plenty tall enough - https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...475500060.html
prolly worth $700- maybe $750 ish ???

Last edited by cyclezen; 05-20-22 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 05-20-22, 06:22 PM
  #42  
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Iíve setup STI shifters and flatbar triggers on a number of bikes and there is no mystery to them.

On my primary road bike I ran Retrofriction until 2015, when I finally decided I didnít want less than perfect shifts in critical situations. I went to 7401 index shifters, then 6401 when I went to 3x8.

A year ago I decided no more downtube shifters, but most 8 speed STIís are far from high quality. As a temporary fix I installed some Kelly Take-offs that I tried a number of years ago for an afternoon; hated them. This time around, I pushed through the initial dislike and have gotten used to them. I wonít go back to downtube.

One day I might pick up some Tiagra 4703/4700 and run it as a 3x8 with my RD-M910; and yes Iíve done the mathÖ hopefully correctly.

The one thing I will miss is immediately knowing exactly what gear Iím in. That has always been a benefit of levers, but I have a work around.

John
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Old 05-21-22, 01:00 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Absolutely agree with that, but also think it's a good idea to try other stuff to see if it makes you happier or not.

I don't think anyone could have told me how much I'd hate going back to down tube shifting until I tried it. I remembered using them joyfully when I was younger, now it was the bicycle equivalent of working the TV without a remote.. Sometimes getting on the old things is the best cure for nostalgia.

BTW, if anyone had the opposite reaction and loved going back to DT shifting, there's nothing wrong with that. I just don't think not sharing that feeling makes one a snob.
I burned my hand on the tire when riding with DT shifters after getting comfortable with brifters. That soured me for life.

Agreed on trying stuff to see if you like it better, but I think some people prefer to not know what they're missing.
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Old 05-21-22, 05:03 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Every 'Old'/used bike will come with it's own 'issues' (same as old humans...)
getting a 'wife' / husband off ebay would be a very risky thing, where returns are never an option. Not liking what you receive, and wanting to throw the 'wife/husband'/bike into Lon-Gisland Sound is prolly not a good option also...
with that in mind here are 3 options which will come with their own baggage, but 'seeing' and touching is always better than 'sight un-seen'...

https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...480726128.html
https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...471761420.html
https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...478671567.html
seatposts, pedals and stems are relatively cheap and easy to change/adapt for these bikes
saddles will also be readily available
good wheels (run well) and gearing is always a bit more problematic.
... my advise is to not order a a 'mail-order bride'... you'll find something closer and get a chance to get up close and personal and see if there's a connection...
Ride On
Yuri
Hiking and Biking are eminently compatible... and unless you live next to a trailhead, biking usually needs no travel to/from and only the desire to jump on the bike for a ride...
EDIT: the Torpado is a very, very nice bike - well worth the attention by someone who can fit and ride this. And also a conversation/cup of coffee worthy bike at any Sunday gathering...
EDIT2: ... and a very much more modern bike, nice, plenty tall enough - https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...475500060.html
prolly worth $700- maybe $750 ish ???
Thanks, I did my CL search in the NY area as I'm in Fairfield county and it came up with one of those with no response to queries. Will try to follow up with the others. Torpado may be a little small for me, what's the big attraction of that one, does it usually sell for a lot more?
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Old 05-21-22, 10:46 AM
  #45  
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What are giveaways on possibly stolen bikes? You ask how long they owned it, or if they did any work on it?

Also this looks like a quality bike, but I've never heard of the make:

J. Delcroix Road Bike - Extra Large 61 cm - Just Tuned - bicycles -... (craigslist.org)

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Old 05-21-22, 11:33 AM
  #46  
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Since you are interested in getting a vintage bike, my advice is to ask in the Classic & Vintage sub-forum.

Nothing wrong with asking here, but as you move earlier than the 80’s and 90’s, there might be fewer responses.

People who actively participate the collecting old bikes will be able to point out good aspects and bad aspects of a certain bike; what to pursue and what to avoid.

John
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Old 05-21-22, 01:56 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
No complication at all. Very little goes wrong with them. They might not last 40 years or more as have some of my older bikes with downtube shifters. But the safety aspect of not having to take my hand off the bars to shift is more than compelling to me for saying yes to STI's and their like brethren.

It's nice to be able to shift with both hands on the bars while sprinting up a winding hill.
I do see the benefits, but integrated brakes/shifters, by definition, are far more complicated mechanisms, with far more chances for failure, than downtube shifters. My setup is also lighter.
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Old 05-21-22, 02:00 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I burned my hand on the tire when riding with DT shifters after getting comfortable with brifters.
It's commendable that you are able to admit this in public.

Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Agreed on trying stuff to see if you like it better, but I think some people prefer to not know what they're missing.
I hear adult tricycles are pretty great. Maybe you don't know what you're missing?

Last edited by smd4; 05-21-22 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 05-21-22, 03:15 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
Thanks, I did my CL search in the NY area as I'm in Fairfield county and it came up with one of those with no response to queries. Will try to follow up with the others. Torpado may be a little small for me, what's the big attraction of that one, does it usually sell for a lot more?
The Torpado and likely the Cannondale are prolly not what you're looking for. The torpado comes from a renowned shop/frame builder, known for the highest quality and performance - for 'race' type riding. In this case this bike was prolly intended for the beginner/intermediate racer looking for much of the performance of the high-end racing bikes, at a lower price. But still retain the quality.
But it is not a bike well intended to have racks put on and weight carried. Can be done, but the results would be disappointing. Prolly same for the Cannondale listing I noted.
I think that $100 Motobecane fits better to what your expectations might be. Certainly could use a new saddle, and needs good inspection of the bearing areas (wheel hubs, Bottom Bracket, Headset, freewheel), and other aspects of function, like wheel trueness, hub and brake adjustment, overall frame condition, and 'consumables' like tires, tubes, chain, brake pads, bar tape, etc.
If you're not able to do much of the usual maintenance, then you'll have reliance on a bike shop - at whatever pricing they have.
Once one includes 'equipment' into any activity, there will be a cost. But there are very few activities where the equipment, which might already be 40+ years old, will continue to provide great service, as do bicycles. If one enjoys riding the bike, then the cost of admission can be reasonable and amortized over many rides and years.
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 05-21-22, 03:21 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
The Torpado and likely the Cannondale are prolly not what you're looking for. The torpado comes from a renowned shop/frame builder, known for the highest quality and performance - for 'race' type riding. In this case this bike was prolly intended for the beginner/intermediate racer looking for much of the performance of the high-end racing bikes, at a lower price. But still retain the quality.
But it is not a bike well intended to have racks put on and weight carried. Can be done, but the results would be disappointing. Prolly same for the Cannondale listing I noted.
I think that $100 Motobecane fits better to what your expectations might be. Certainly could use a new saddle, and needs good inspection of the bearing areas (wheel hubs, Bottom Bracket, Headset, freewheel), and other aspects of function, like wheel trueness, hub and brake adjustment, overall frame condition, and 'consumables' like tires, tubes, chain, brake pads, bar tape, etc.
If you're not able to do much of the usual maintenance, then you'll have reliance on a bike shop - at whatever pricing they have.
Once one includes 'equipment' into any activity, there will be a cost. But there are very few activities where the equipment, which might already be 40+ years old, will continue to provide great service, as do bicycles. If one enjoys riding the bike, then the cost of admission can be reasonable and amortized over many rides and years.
Ride On
Yuri
Ok, thanks for the overview; I checked online how to translate the 35 inch distance to crossbar and could not find the right metric. It looked better than another with a 32 inch measure.
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