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Beginner Bike Question

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Beginner Bike Question

Old 09-08-04, 05:54 PM
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Corinnex99
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Beginner Bike Question

Hi all,
I'm a beginner with a budget (like many others I've read about), and recently I found a guy willing to sell me a bike for $45 that he says will fit my needs. The thing is, I don't know anything about the bike. He sent me an attachment with a pic which is titled "1987 sprint." I tried to find information about this bike online and haven't found anything on it (prob becuase it's an older bike). My question is, do you think this would be an okay starter bike, or should I hold out for something better? I know my budget doesnt allow for anything super spectacular right now, so this might be the only oppertunity I get. Thx for your input!
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Old 09-08-04, 06:04 PM
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G'day,

....well it's a girls bike!...you a girl?......If so & the 'fit' is even close to being ok...for $45 you can't go wrong. The less 'newbies' spend on bikes the better, until they get some idea of 'what is what' & what might suit them & whether they actually will get 'into' cycling...hope you enjoy it,

cheers,

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Old 09-08-04, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hitchy
G'day,

......for $45 you can't go wrong.
Yeah ya can. It's just junk.You can do better at garage sales and thrift stores for less.
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Old 09-08-04, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
Yeah ya can. It's just junk.You can do better at garage sales and thrift stores for less.

yeah actually you're right....attention all newbies.....forthwith please go out & spend $10K on a bike, even though you have no idea what you need, what will suit, or what is good. Then when you decide that maybe biking wasn't for you after all, it can sit in the shed & rust....far better than spending $45 to 'experiment'......but hey...at least Sydney will be happy, even if you're not!

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Old 09-08-04, 06:16 PM
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Any bike is better than no bike. For 45 bucks, if everything works and the tires are usable, buy it. Then ride it and if you find you like cycling, you can upgrade at a later date. worse case scenario is you are only out $45.00 if it ends up you don't like cycling.
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Old 09-08-04, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Hitchy
yeah actually you're right....attention all newbies.....forthwith please go out & spend $10K on a bike, even though you have no idea what you need, what will suit, or what is good. Then when you decide that maybe biking wasn't for you after all, it can sit in the shed & rust....far better than spending $45 to 'experiment'......but hey...at least Sydney will be happy, even if you're not!

hitchy
Did ya read it all? Why waste time and money on landfill material when there is better to be had for less?
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Old 09-08-04, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
Did ya read it all? Why waste time and money on landfill material when there is better to be had for less?

........i read it's $45....a slab of 'crownies', a tank of fuel, 2 CD's.....man who cares!...its $45 not $4500.....if ya can ride it, whats it gunna hurt,

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Old 09-08-04, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
Did ya read it all? Why waste time and money on landfill material when there is better to be had for less?
Just curious. What criteria do you use to decide if a bike is landfill material? Is it brand? Components? Color? How can you tell these things from a 2" thumbnail?
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Old 09-08-04, 06:54 PM
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wow, I didn't realize my simple question would bring up such a debate. I have to agree with hitchy over syndey (sorry sydney). I really would like to get into commuting, but I can't justify spending $600+ on a bike that might end up sitting in the garage rusting. So, as for BEGINNER bikes go, I'm just wondering if this is an okay choice. Like I said, I don't know much about it (haven't checked it out yet) and was just wondering what more experienced riders thought.
Sidenote - I have read many posts on this forum about newbies, and have heard a lot of harsh comments about people who don't want to spend a ton of money on a beginner bike. Why the harassment? The way I see it, if people are interested in the sport, why send them away or make them feel stupid or intimidated? Why not share your love of the sport with everyone instead? (this isn't directed towards you sydney, or anyone in specific, just a frustration I've had).
That all being said, I think I'm going to buy this bike! Any more useful advice? thanks all
PS-
I AM a girl, so that's a plus about the bike!
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Old 09-08-04, 06:59 PM
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Buy it and ride it a lot.
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Old 09-08-04, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Corinnex99
wow, I didn't realize my simple question would bring up such a debate. I have to agree with hitchy over syndey (sorry sydney). I really would like to get into commuting, but I can't justify spending $600+ on a bike that might end up sitting in the garage rusting. So, as for BEGINNER bikes go, I'm just wondering if this is an okay choice. Like I said, I don't know much about it (haven't checked it out yet) and was just wondering what more experienced riders thought.
Sidenote - I have read many posts on this forum about newbies, and have heard a lot of harsh comments about people who don't want to spend a ton of money on a beginner bike. Why the harassment? The way I see it, if people are interested in the sport, why send them away or make them feel stupid or intimidated? Why not share your love of the sport with everyone instead? (this isn't directed towards you sydney, or anyone in specific, just a frustration I've had).
That all being said, I think I'm going to buy this bike! Any more useful advice? thanks all
PS-
I AM a girl, so that's a plus about the bike!

g'day,

just enjoy it....it'll be fine for a while, (just check out the tyres etc), once you know whether you actually 'like' cycling or not, then you can worry about maybe getting something better. If you don't get 'into' it, you've 'done' $45...big deal....enjoy yourself & stay safe...don't forget a decent helmet,

cheers,

hitchy
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Old 09-08-04, 07:01 PM
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I've just gotten into road myself. I didn't want to put a whole lot of cash into it until I knew what I wanted, and knew more in general about the sport. I found a 1988 Sprint at the thrift store for $40. It was in great mechanical shape. It just needed a cleanup and tires. It wasn't a Women's Specific Design bike like the one you're showing so unless you're a woman, my recommendation won't help much. I feel like it was $40 very well spent. It's gotten me into the sport and based on my limited experiences, rides fairly well. If it fits you alright, then go for it. Thrift store shopping is pretty undependable as far as that goes, you could be looking through huffies for the next four months instead of riding. It's not like $45 dollars is a fortune, and I'm sure you can recover some of your losses if it turns out to be too bad.

Here's a pic of my Sprint
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Old 09-08-04, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Corinnex99
Sidenote - I have read many posts on this forum about newbies, and have heard a lot of harsh comments about people who don't want to spend a ton of money on a beginner bike. Why the harassment? The way I see it, if people are interested in the sport, why send them away or make them feel stupid or intimidated? Why not share your love of the sport with everyone instead?
One problem I (and a number of other forum members) have run into with spending so little on a first bike is that often times it simply doesn't perform well. Just looking at a picture won't tell whether the bike will perform decently or even fit properly. Then, the newbie gets a bad experience with biking and often blames it on the sport, rather than faulty equipment. I'm not saying you need to go out and spend 3 or 4 grand on a bike when you have no idea whether you'll even like biking. What I'm saying is that you get what you pay for and a $45 bike may unfairly turn you off of biking forever

That said, go ahead and buy the bike. Just realize that if you start getting knee or back pain or your shifting is really picky, etc, it's more likely a function of the bike, and not biking. If you're willing to give it a second go, you've done better than most beginners you have problems at first.
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Old 09-08-04, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Xtrmyorick
One problem I (and a number of other forum members) have run into with spending so little on a first bike is that often times it simply doesn't perform well. Just looking at a picture won't tell whether the bike will perform decently or even fit properly. Then, the newbie gets a bad experience with biking and often blames it on the sport, rather than faulty equipment. I'm not saying you need to go out and spend 3 or 4 grand on a bike when you have no idea whether you'll even like biking. What I'm saying is that you get what you pay for and a $45 bike may unfairly turn you off of biking forever

That said, go ahead and buy the bike. Just realize that if you start getting knee or back pain or your shifting is really picky, etc, it's more likely a function of the bike, and not biking. If you're willing to give it a second go, you've done better than most beginners you have problems at first.

You make many good points, and it is helpful to know these things. That's what I feel these forums are for. I appreciate the info without the attitude others give!
These are things that I haven't considered because most people just look down upon spending so little on a bike but don't explain WHY! So thanks again for the input!
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Old 09-08-04, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Corinnex99
I really would like to get into commuting, but I can't justify spending $600+ on a bike that might end up sitting in the garage rusting. So, as for BEGINNER bikes go, I'm just wondering if this is an okay choice.
I guess ya didn't read it did you?You can Do BETTER For LESS at garage sales and thrift stores. The Gurl 'style' is only good if you ride in skirts.

Last edited by sydney; 09-08-04 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 09-08-04, 07:10 PM
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Since all this discussion about a beginner newbie bike, if this bike is going to cause me such problems, anybody have any advice for good bikes that are less (but more then $45)?
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Old 09-08-04, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Xtrmyorick
One problem I (and a number of other forum members) have run into with spending so little on a first bike is that often times it simply doesn't perform well. Just looking at a picture won't tell whether the bike will perform decently or even fit properly. Then, the newbie gets a bad experience with biking and often blames it on the sport, rather than faulty equipment. I'm not saying you need to go out and spend 3 or 4 grand on a bike when you have no idea whether you'll even like biking. What I'm saying is that you get what you pay for and a $45 bike may unfairly turn you off of biking forever

That said, go ahead and buy the bike. Just realize that if you start getting knee or back pain or your shifting is really picky, etc, it's more likely a function of the bike, and not biking. If you're willing to give it a second go, you've done better than most beginners you have problems at first.

I think that's more of a problem with people who buy brand new Huffy "mountain" bikes and get disappointed than with people who know they've gotten an old bike in need of some TLC. People tend not to expect as much of an old bike.

That said, it would help a lot if we got a better picture and more information.

Here's one that didn't meet reserve on ebay for $20: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...695084642&rd=1

Here's one that didn't sell at all:
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...sPageName=WDVW
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Old 09-08-04, 07:25 PM
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It might be an ok bike to start with but the question lies in the functionality of said bike. Will the seller let you take the bike to a shop and get a trained eye on the mechanical bits? If so then he is probably on the level and not trying to sell you junk. Also you will have some idea how much $$ you will need to invest if it does need work to get it functional before you buy it and that is preferrable to finding out after.

Good luck!
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Old 09-08-04, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by East Coast Mojo
It might be an ok bike to start with but the question lies in the functionality of said bike. Will the seller let you take the bike to a shop and get a trained eye on the mechanical bits? If so then he is probably on the level and not trying to sell you junk. Also you will have some idea how much $$ you will need to invest if it does need work to get it functional before you buy it and that is preferrable to finding out after.

Good luck!
This is some very good advice, and I'll have to ask the seller if this is an option. If it's not, then you know it's prob not in great condition. Thanks any more advice on where else I can find a good starter bike?
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Old 09-08-04, 08:06 PM
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I have said it before and I will say it again,
"If you like the bike and it fits then buy it.. We all have to start somewhere"
You can always upgrade or buy a newer better bike once you decide a roadie is for you
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Old 09-08-04, 08:18 PM
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what you need to do before deciding on whether or not to buy the bike is to get on it and see if it fits. the bike could be free but if it is too big or too small then it's not worth the pain it will cause you to ride it. if the bike looks like it is in decent shape and fits you then spend the $45 on it, if you enjoy riding then you can upgrade to a new bike later. go check out the bike and see what you think.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Corinnex99
Thanks any more advice on where else I can find a good starter bike?
Well, to say it gently...like opinions, you can find them almost anywhere. The hard part is finding a bike that fits you well enough that you will ride it without too much discomfort and therefore get your money's worth out of it. After that it is a matter of finding a person who is not just trying to offload some old junk that is not worth fixing up. This can be frustrating to a new cyclist who is not yet familiar with the ins and outs of proper bicycle maintenance and fit.

I work in a shop and to say the least, I am biased. But since I do have this conversation a lot with my customers I can say this. Go with your gut, if the bike seems comfortable, the shop's mechanic says it's not a money pit, and it fits your budget it's probably a good deal for a starter bike. Obviously I would prefer to sell you a bike that is new, with no wear and tear, a valid warranty, and a proper fit so that you will have a great cycling experience and want to cycle more and come buy more stuff from me. ;D But I know from my own experience getting into the sport ages ago that you won't know if you're gonna like it until you do it some.

Buy the bike that you can afford and go ride. When you find yourself saying, "Gee, I wish I had shifters that were easier to use", or "I would like to go farther/faster but everything goes to sleep", well, then you're ready to upgrade your bike. Hopefully by that point you will have found a shop that you feel comfortable dealing with that you can buy your next bike from.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Xtrmyorick
One problem I (and a number of other forum members) have run into with spending so little on a first bike is that often times it simply doesn't perform well. Just looking at a picture won't tell whether the bike will perform decently or even fit properly. Then, the newbie gets a bad experience with biking and often blames it on the sport, rather than faulty equipment. I'm not saying you need to go out and spend 3 or 4 grand on a bike when you have no idea whether you'll even like biking. What I'm saying is that you get what you pay for and a $45 bike may unfairly turn you off of biking forever

That said, go ahead and buy the bike. Just realize that if you start getting knee or back pain or your shifting is really picky, etc, it's more likely a function of the bike, and not biking. If you're willing to give it a second go, you've done better than most beginners you have problems at first.
I just don't agree with this at all. Whether or not a bike has the latest components/frame/rims/etc. or not isn't going to influence if someone goes out and uses their bike. I think just the opposite, which is, if you can't make due with a bad bike you probably weren't interested anyway. That said, even a cheap, starter bike should probably fit reasonably well. I don't think anyone should get a frame that isn't even close to their size, this is pointless. Other than that though, the bike shouldn't affect one's desire to ride.
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Old 09-08-04, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed
I think that's more of a problem with people who buy brand new Huffy "mountain" bikes and get disappointed than with people who know they've gotten an old bike in need of some TLC. People tend not to expect as much of an old bike.

That said, it would help a lot if we got a better picture and more information.

Here's one that didn't meet reserve on ebay for $20: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...695084642&rd=1

Here's one that didn't sell at all:
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...sPageName=WDVW
There are old bikes,and there is old junk.Old junk is no better and maybe worse than new Huffys. There is a reason they did not sell. They simply aren't worth the shipping cost!
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Old 09-08-04, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bianchi_rider
I have said it before and I will say it again,
"If you like the bike and it fits then buy it.. We all have to start somewhere"
You can always upgrade ....
upgrade junk?
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