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Buying a used road bike

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

Buying a used road bike

Old 07-22-10, 04:05 PM
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MKIV987
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Buying a used road bike

I'm 23, and my 1980s Univega Supra Sport just isn't doing it for me anymore. I've been doing more 40-60 mile rides lately, and hope to ride a century at the end of September. I'd like to make an upgrade, but stay under $700. Obviously that means I'm looking for a used aluminum road bike. I'm going to get professionally fitted this month to find the right size, but I was wondering what were your first "real" road bikes, and how did you like them? My focus will mainly be endurance riding on paved trails and roads.
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Old 07-22-10, 04:37 PM
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sbxx1985 
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Specialized Allez. Loved it. Bought it on sale for $699 at the LBS.
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Old 07-22-10, 05:38 PM
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lpolliard
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1980s Univega Supra Sport light blue back in the early 80's. I loved this bike until it got stolen right within eye shot while buying a birthday card from a drug store. I leaned it against the front window and could see the seat from where the cards were. I looked down, then up, and it was gone in sixty seconds. Now my bike comes into the store with me. I was riding that bike when the '84 Olympics were in town.

Since you are doing the miles, why don't you continue to use the Univega and build up your budget to where you can get something awesome. Normally I would tell noobies to buy used and cheap until they know that they really will stick with cycling but you are past that point.
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Old 07-22-10, 11:09 PM
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TrojanHorse
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And yet... sometimes you can find something special on craigs list. Keep your eyes open.

Can't disagree with lpolliard's point although "awesome" occurs at different price points for different people. You can get some pretty good bikes new for $1500+ or so.
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Old 07-23-10, 01:14 AM
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I would have to concur on the CL thought. If you do look you can find a sweetheart of a deal on a lighly used bike. I got my first road bike there for $600 a 4-5 year old cannondale(Al w/ carbon fork) with mostly 105 and ultegra components.

For the most part it's the man, not the machine. But the caveat is you can't do much on an old mountain bike. So partly machine up to a point and partly man up to a certain racing level.
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Old 07-23-10, 03:49 AM
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$700 can get you a pretty decent used bike from ebay/CL.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:27 AM
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Newish Specialized Allez sport dbl purchased used from CL.. Upgraded from a 84ish Univega Viva Touring that was somewhat too small... Can honestly say that the Specialized is a nicer bike than the Univega. The Allez is a bit lighter and has a much wider range of gears.. Brifters help as well. Had it fit me better I would have ridden the wheels off the Univega.

as it is I still have the Univega as an extra bike.. and my 70s Schwinn Le-Tour (also too small) and a Trek 7.2 (that I may or may not sell)

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Old 07-23-10, 05:37 AM
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I spent 3 months last year (in the off season) trolling CL for a road bike. It seems that there are a lot of people off-loading their bikes soon after Xmas. People get upgrade fever and want to unload a bike before the roads thaw out (at least here in New England). I picked up a virtually unused CAAD8-1 for under $700. I saw a lot of really nice bikes for under $1500 that were out of my budget at the time. If you go the CL route, take your time and know what you want.

Tip: You can do a search on CL and then click the RSS link at the bottom of the page and save it to a RSS reader. I did this with fame size, make, model, and different component key-words and had them saved seperately. That way, instead of trolling CL, I could simply open my RSS reader (google reader) and see if there were any hits on my searches. Saved a lot of time digging through the chaff.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:47 PM
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Thanks everyone. I have definitely been looking at Craigslist, but I think while I do so I'll be saving up like lpolliard suggested.
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Old 07-24-10, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MKIV987 View Post
I'll be saving up like lpolliard suggested.
Excellent Choice!
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Old 07-24-10, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sbxx1985 View Post
Specialized Allez. Loved it. Bought it on sale for $699 at the LBS.
+1. My LBS has the 2010 Allez for $619.
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Old 07-24-10, 02:06 PM
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My first road bike was a Raleigh I found abandon in a dirt field when I as 13. Both wheels were bent with broken spokes and the drive train was in terrible condition. With money I urned moving lawns, I had the bike fixed and used it until I bought a car at age 16. I love that Raleigh, it was a great riding bike.

At age 21, I bought my first and only new bike. It was Panasonic DX2000 and in 1978, it only cost me $200. I used it to ride to school and work for a couple of years. I wrecked it and although it was still ridable, it never was the same. It now hangs in my garage and is used for a to hold my bike clothes. Even before the bike was wrecked, it was a harsh riding bike that I hated riding.

After a almost a 30 year break, I bought a used Calfee and I enjoy riding now more than ever.
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