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Do Quality Used Bikes Exist???

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

Do Quality Used Bikes Exist???

Old 09-09-04, 06:23 PM
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Corinnex99
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Do Quality Used Bikes Exist???

Okay, so recently I started a post about a potention used bike I was going to buy (for $45), and I was told by many that I can find a better used bike for a bit more (which is great since I want to spend up to $150). Many people were super informative about what to watch out for when buying used and what the advantage is to buying new - which unfortunately for me isn't an option since 1) it's my first bike and I don't want to spend tons of $$$$ and not actually use it and 2) I can't afford to anyways. For a first-time road bike, I want a good starter bike that can get me introduced to the sport, with a possible upgrade in the future.
Anyways, I got a ton of advice to try to find a better, bit more expensive bike. I'm all for that... however, I don't know where to look! I posted an ad in the newspaper and got no response, I've been looking in the local paper and LBS, but everything is $300 and up unfortunately (for me).
So here's my question: where do I look to find a quality used bike for up to $150? I keep hearing they're out there, I just don't get the advice as to where to find them. Being that I don't know anything and this would be my first bike, I really don't know what to look for either. Can anybody help me? I know that this isn't the ideal situally (ideally I'd like to spend $600-$1000, but to me that's just not realistic. I'm a recent college grad - with a teaching degree - with debt higher then I can even begin to imagine yet! ).
Can anyone help guide me to a place to find good used bikes? All input is welcome!!
Thanks!!
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Old 09-09-04, 06:32 PM
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e bay
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Old 09-09-04, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sizmaters
e bay
I could look on ebay, but I don't know what I'm looking for
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Old 09-09-04, 06:37 PM
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that's not a lot of money. if you can test ride some new stuff to find out what size you are (in centimeters) then you'll at least know when you see something in the paper. but without even having a few hundred bucks to spend you'll be looking at antique or "vintage" bikes.

once you find your size the eBay bike catagory can be fun to poke through just to see what's out there (even though $50 or more for shipping on a bike that cheap is pushing it).

http://sporting-goods.listings.ebay....istingItemList

there's some fun old classics out there though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
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Old 09-09-04, 06:45 PM
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Guys,

she can't ebay, look on craigslist, or newspapers cos she has no idea what ahe is looking for...& apparently no friend or family that can assist with this issue.....so she needs your help!...I would....but I'm in Oz & have very little knowledge of your 'comfort' bike scene (which is what i gather to be the appropriate bike she is looking for)...so please...someone in her area....show the lady the 'fraternity' of cyclists & help her out...she's had about 3 or 4 threads on this & appears to be getting nowhere.....C'mon guys...

cheers,

hitchy
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Old 09-09-04, 09:17 PM
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thanks hitchy, you see why I'm so frustrated then, huh?
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Old 09-09-04, 09:20 PM
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Okay, new question...
What is the cheapest quality bike i can get through ebay that is still a good price? How much would i absolutely have to spend to get a good bike? Just curious. It's looking like I'm just not going to be able to get a bike since i can't afford a ton of money towards it (and it makes me sad! )
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Old 09-09-04, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Corinnex99
thanks hitchy, you see why I'm so frustrated then, huh?
As I suggested in the other thread.What's the chance of working with the guy that answered your ad and submitted the first bike? Sounds like he has access to other stuff and may know enough to be of value.
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Old 09-09-04, 09:26 PM
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Are there any thrift or Goodwill or Salvation Army stores close by? Check them all. Take a note pad and write down brand names and sizes (check the tires for sizes) and see if you feel that fits are right...then come ask. Sometimes you find a treasure, a bike that is not only adequate but has real value...there's a Nishiki in one of the stores here that they want $35 for. I need to get some details on it and see what folks here think. They often stay for a little while so you'll have some time to consult. How about bike shops close by? Many take trade ins and offer them for sale relatively cheap, especially if they are in the 10-15 year old range...not old enough to be considered "classic" in most cases.

What's your (approximate) location? Maybe someone here can assist.
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Old 09-09-04, 09:35 PM
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I've talked to a few LBS around here and asked about trade ins. They said that they don't get much, and the few they get really aren't anything special since most people can get better money for them by selling them on their own (unfortunately, I don't know where to look, that's my prob).
I live in the Twin Cities. There is a bike co-op here, but I call every now and then and the lowest-priced bikes they generally have when I ask is roughly $350 and up. Is that about what I'm looking at spending?

Sydney-
as I said in the other post, I'm kinda worried about the guy that contacted me because he's acting fishy all of a sudden, telling me now that I have to buy it asap or i'll lose it... it's almost like he's forcing me into buying without letting me see it first. Well thanks but no thanks. I'm not buying without seeing first. That's also what worries me about Ebay. :-/
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Old 09-09-04, 09:38 PM
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like I just said in your other thread, you need to go to a local bike shop and get fitted so you know what size your are in a bike. after you know your size go to www.ebay.com and click on "sporting goods" then "cycling." in the search field type in your size such as 54 or 56 and click search. then list the items from lowest price up and check out what is available, after that post the models you are interested in here in this thread (such as giant, trek whatever catches your eye) and I'm sure everyone will chip in to tell what is a good deal or what is basically a japanese huffy.
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Old 09-09-04, 09:39 PM
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Don't be afraid to go to your local bike shop and ask for thier advice too. Just 'cause you're not buying a new bike from them does not mean you're not a customer. They can help you with size questions and maybe steer you in the right direction...

At our shop we have a website where we encourage our customers to post their old "treasures" for sale since we do not have a shop big enough to have used bikes on site. There is a huge demand in my area for used bikes because of the college scene - we have at least 3 campuses within 10 miles of my shop.

Hey! Why not check out the bulletin boards around your local college and also coffee shops near there and telephone poles also get ads stapled to them around here...you won't know what you're looking at until you go look at it. Ride it, see if it is even close to being the right size for you by trying it out. If you think it might be a contender, ask to take it to the local shop for inspection.

There may even be some local bike clubs in your area that might have classifieds sections in their newslewtters or on their website. Ask you shop guys about clubs that can help you with inexpensive bikes.

Otherwise you can search your local dept.of transportation's website and see if they list bike clubs in the pedestrian/cycling section. In NC the dot's site has info on clubs and bike shops across the state as well as free maps to help you tour the state on bikes...

Again, good luck!

<edit> good decision with the fishy guy. If you have to buy it right now, beware.
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Old 09-09-04, 09:44 PM
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Thanks for all the good bike, EC Mojo! One thing I think I'm going to do is go in to the local co-op (i know it's ran by locals and volunteers, so hopefully they'll be really helpful and won't try to swindle me... not that any LBS around here have done that to me, but I have gone in and talked with a few and I could tell they were disappointed to know that I wouldn't buy from them. One was pushing me to buy from them since i'd "get a good relationship with that LBS and i'd get a discount on accessories for the first month." While that all sounded really good, I just can't afford the prices. He seemed really disappointed that i didn't buy from him and was more interested in used. that makes me feel bad ). Anyways, maybe the co-op will have more answers for me. Tha's one avenue I think I can take. Like I said, I've talked to a few LBS and they didn't help much. However, maybe I'm not asking the right questions...
I dunno....
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Old 09-09-04, 10:34 PM
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We have some peopel here from the twin cities, maybe they could help or maybe they know of a deal?
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Old 09-09-04, 11:24 PM
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Hi Cori,

I read your other post and wanted to put my $0.02 in. Background: I'm a new cyclist, and researched ALOT before spending a dime on anything. I thankfully had $500 to work with from a replacement/pitty action over my stolen 1990 era MTB, and really really looked long and hard into New vs. Used. I ended up getting a new Lemond for $585 out the door(I did this because I have a 100 mile Century comming up in Spring for a fundraiser). Needless to say, after a few weeks of posting and reading here, along with my girlfriends new interest in riding a cycle with me I've been looking into the USED scene...just as you are doing. Here's my advice, and I hope it helps being a n00b myself:

#1 Be patient, and ride as many used/new bikes as possible to understand what "fits" your body.

#2 LBS...I have a great selection of LBS here, and at first I was really affraid to ask questions, because my knowledge was limited. Now I ask them just about everything about bikes...new ones, frames, USED ones, old school components, etc. I look at the used bikes they have, the components, the prices. It gives me a good idea on what it would take to get a USED bike up to par when I find the right frame. Ask questions to as many staff members at your LBS...your bound to find a bike geek that likes/knows old bikes/commponents and has preferances on them. Knowledge and opinions are priceless when it comes to used/oldschool bikes.

#3 Keep up on the threads here. Read the Vintage section, and look at what people have done with older bikes(some of this amazes me...$45 dollar 10 year old bikes turned into awesome commuting machines for $200 for example). Post questions(as you've done) about specific bikes/frames you come across. Search the net for bikes you find in your price range, and look at the component info.

#4 Dig, search, scavange. Most Police, mass transit, road companies have auctions. For example, I know a guy who got a great used road bike, 10 years old, from the local bus company auction for $10. $150 dollars later, and this bike is as fast as mine!
Also, do the thrift store and yardsale runs. Bikes are like any excercise equipment...people buy them, never use them, let them sit in the garage for years, and sell them cheap. Read the forums, and you'll see people find them all the time. This is my personal hope for a cool bike for my GF and perhaops for me that I can learn some mechanics on at a affordable yet fun price.

Hope this helps...and good luck! Kepp us informed on your search! Many bike folks here are really helpfull...they helped me!

Cheers,
Lufty
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Old 09-09-04, 11:42 PM
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Try craigslist.org....

You won't be dissappointed. Everyday there are hundreds of LOCAL bikes for sale with pictures!!! Of course, I live in the SF bay area (where it stated), but other major metropolitian areas have it also.

P.S. People sell more than bikes on craigslist...It's kind of like a local ebay, but without bidding.

Definitely try that site and tell me what you think of it.
 
Old 09-09-04, 11:48 PM
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You could look for police auctions. They don't happen all the time but you can get some good deals. First you need to find out what size you are. Eary '90s bikes that have not been ridden much would work well. 12 year old Trek 1200, 1500's might do the ticket. Specialized Allez? Older bikes with Shimano 105 components would work. Check to see that the rims don't have deep grooves on the braking surface, the handle bars should rotate smoothly. Spin the wheels to make sure the are straight. Just make sure everything works or the repair cost could exceed your original budget.
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Old 09-10-04, 12:20 AM
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Another good place to look is http://freecycle.org. It's collection of mailing lists (usually on Yahoo! Groups) where people post stuff they're looking to give away. Just tonight I gave away a big box of books and another box of blankets and sweaters. Yesturday someone dropped off a very nifty 61mm Fuji Espree that they had been trying to GIVE AWAY since May. I happened to join and do a search for "bicycle" and found her posting from 4 months ago. She was about to throw it away since it's "all rusted up." All it needs is a new chain, freewheel and pedals. Everything else is in mint condition. (Except for the shifters, but they're not so bad they need to be replaced. (see attached picture!)

Just remember your karma. If you get something, be sure to offer something on the list!

The freecycle group for the Twin Cities is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freecycleTC/

If there's no bikes being listed, try posting a message with something like: WANTED: 54mm "10-speed" style Bicycle

A lot of people will also use the height from the ground to the top bar, so know your inseam as well.

Almost all cities have a freecycle group. Try it out. You could get something.. FREE!
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Old 09-10-04, 12:55 AM
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Cori - You do not need to buy an expensive bike for it to be reliable and durable. Sure, a new bike has its advantages (free repair & servicing from the bike shop, etc), but I bought a 50$ (Canadian) used bike that has yet to require any repairs (even flat tire!) in about 1500 km's. I bought mine from a retired bike mechanic who fixes up and resells used bikes, and I'm sure if you ask around or snoop around garage sales you might find this type of person selling used bikes in your neighborhood.
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Old 09-10-04, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildcard
Cori - You do not need to buy an expensive bike for it to be reliable and durable. Sure, a new bike has its advantages (free repair & servicing from the bike shop, etc), but I bought a 50$ (Canadian) used bike that has yet to require any repairs (even flat tire!) in about 1500 km's. I bought mine from a retired bike mechanic who fixes up and resells used bikes, and I'm sure if you ask around or snoop around garage sales you might find this type of person selling used bikes in your neighborhood.
Right on! Yeah, right down the street from me is a retail store, where the owner is a fixed-gear guy, and he and his buddies have lots of knowledge, bikes, and info. Keep your eyes open...more then likely, there are bikegeeks just around the corner that can help with a multitude of bike issues.

BTW Canada rocks!
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Old 09-10-04, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rj987652003
Try craigslist.org....

You won't be dissappointed. Everyday there are hundreds of LOCAL bikes for sale with pictures!!! Of course, I live in the SF bay area (where it stated), but other major metropolitian areas have it also.

P.S. People sell more than bikes on craigslist...It's kind of like a local ebay, but without bidding.

Definitely try that site and tell me what you think of it.
I've look daily at the craigslist for Minneapolis... there are a few things for sale, but either really old/cheap bikes, or $350 and up bikes. I actually posted an ad myslef (wanted: women's bike). I talked to one guy on there about buying a bike for $45, but after emailing him a few times and trying to see the bike in person, he started to get pushy with me saying I had to buy it and that if i didn't he had another buyer lined up... then the same day he posted the bike for sale anyways. Just seems fishy.
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Old 09-10-04, 05:07 PM
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You should get a bike you can stand over, one foot on each side, no contact with the top tube.

It is very possible you could waste money on the wrong bike. My $38 E bay had $38 shipping cost, for just a frame.

A new steel Trek for less than $250.00, in womens sizes. Warranty and support. Get the best deal you can.

http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/...avigator50.jsp

You may be able to get it for $200.00 if you bargain. Don't get paranoid, and don't give up. Leave and go back, if you have to.
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Old 09-10-04, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Corinnex99
I've look daily at the craigslist for Minneapolis... there are a few things for sale, but either really old/cheap bikes, or $350 and up bikes. I actually posted an ad myslef (wanted: women's bike). I talked to one guy on there about buying a bike for $45, but after emailing him a few times and trying to see the bike in person, he started to get pushy with me saying I had to buy it and that if i didn't he had another buyer lined up... then the same day he posted the bike for sale anyways. Just seems fishy.
Try the Sibley Depot. http://www.bikeped.org/Depot.html
Not only do they have bikes, but they also have repair classes.

The Minneapolis police auction list is here (including one on the 16th): http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/poli....asp#TopOfPage

You can also ask to look at used bikes at one on one studio (they might have something in the junkyard too): http://www.oneononebike.com/

Your biggest problem is that you don't seem know what you really need. What kind of riding do you plan on doing? If you are you just going to do a few miles around town, you should be able to find a reasonable, affordable, bike that will suit fine. As long as it fits reasonably well and is in good repair, you'll be fine. It doesn't have to be an ultralight high -performance machine.

Minneapolis is full of bikes.
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Old 09-10-04, 05:15 PM
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Oh yeah, don't let the general grubiness of the Sibley Depot intimidate you. They're nice people who are really trying to get affordable bikes in the hands of more people.
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Old 09-10-04, 05:25 PM
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Don't worry about age so long as it's ben well maintained. IMO, if a bike rquires moer than new cables/chain/tires/tubes/brake pads, and just minor tune-up work, then it's no good. The above listed are a bi over $100 parts & labor, but that's how it goes, almsot all older used bikes need some maintenance done to them.

I got a 15 year old Trek for $100, threw about anohter $100 in fixing it up...but then the road cycling bug hit an I'm now playing with custom gearing sets and such.
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