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Can anyone help me? New or Used?

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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

Can anyone help me? New or Used?

Old 04-30-12, 08:21 AM
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Can anyone help me? New or Used?

I'm new to the sport road biking and I don't know what to do. Should I buy new or used. I'm getting some knowledge on components but still don't feel completely secure as to what is a good buy or not on a used bike. That makes me think about getting new because you at least have a relationship with the bike shop. I can afford a new bike, even carbon, but being a novice, would it be wise to do that? Also....carbon vs aluminum in general? Another issue is e-bay. It seems that that site makes it difficult to impossible to test a bike before buying. Would love some knowledgable feedback. Thanks
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Old 04-30-12, 08:29 AM
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Most people here will tell you to buy new, get fitted, buy the best bike you can afford.

I had very good luck buying used, found a bike that fit well, as saved enough money to get the pedals and saddle I want, new wider handle bars and compact crank on the way. All of this for hundreds of dollars less than I wouldve spent on a comparably equipped new bike.

Also, the real value of buying used for a first bike is that a good chunk of the depreciation has already hit the bike. Knowing myself, and how much I've enjoyed road biking, I'll probably sell my current bike in a year or two and buy a higher end new bike, hopefully taking no more than a $100-$200 dollar loss.

That said, there are some clear advantages to buying new if you have the extra cash to burn.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:29 AM
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used, craigslist. don't waste your money if you're new and don't even know if you are going to keep riding or not. most people I know buy bikes and never use them.
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Old 04-30-12, 09:20 AM
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the value of getting a bike that fits you well should outweigh all other concerns. it does not matter how great of a deal you get if the bike doesn't fit you.

that being said, if you have a skilled and trusted ally who can help you make sure they used bikes you are looking at are actually the right size for you, then look at used bikes that you can see/testride in person.

if you don't have such an ally, or even if you do, give your LBS a shot as well. you have much to learn, and most LBS's have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom you can benefit from.
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Old 04-30-12, 09:35 AM
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It brings up a quandary that isn't often addressed here. Imagine yourself in the shoes of someone for whom "should I buy new or second hand" really is a difficult question. Given the extensive knowledge and experience of the typical forum member it would be obvious: buy the best bike, snag a bargain on Craigs List or a garage sale. But if you have no knowledge of bicycles? It's not hard for me to imagine, since I've been there not so long ago. If you said to me, "Cannondale vs Trek, look for 105" or anything like that you'd have gotten a blank look in return. Remember, it's only possible to find these great deals because the vast majority of people can't spot one so easily.

So snagging a bargain on CL is completely out of the picture without an expert helper, and that only leaves new from the LBS, a big box store, and mail order off the internet. The safest of these is the local bike store, the others may be preferable depending on your situation.
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Old 04-30-12, 09:40 AM
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Thanks wphamilton. That was really informative and kind of what I was thinking. I appreciate it!
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Old 04-30-12, 09:46 AM
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Go used if you know what size and type of riding you will do.

I know riders that bought New and quit riding after 500 miles, then sold the bike and equipment for 1/2 price.

Your First bike is Learning Bike. Much cheaper to learn on a used one.
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Old 04-30-12, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Go used if you know what size and type of riding you will do.

I know riders that bought New and quit riding after 500 miles, then sold the bike and equipment for 1/2 price.

Your First bike is Learning Bike. Much cheaper to learn on a used one.
This is the best advice IMO. Obviously if a bike is grossly unfit for the rider, it will be uncomfortable. However, subtle misalignment's in fit and geometry may only present themselves when he moves from 10-15 mile rides to centuries and he's on the bike for 4-5 hours at a time.

But if OP is anything like me, by the time you've realized you love the sport, and have progressed enough where exact fit is an issue, you'll be ready to invest big bucks in a brand new, perfectly fitted bike.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:15 PM
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The cheapest way to do this is buy a nice new bike out of the gate. However you risk not enjoy biking as hobby and loosing a lot of money.

The least risky way to do this is to buy a used bike that you know you fit on and use it as a test to see if you like cycling. With the plan that you will be buying a new ride in the fall or spring, if you dont like the hobby, you're out only a used bike.

The hybrid option is to spend a lot of time researching a new bike, learn your size, options and buying used. This takes time, effort and you dont have a bike in the meantime.
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Old 04-30-12, 02:12 PM
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This may sound silly, but your first bike purchase will most likely be wrong.

If you get a bike and don't ride it, as others mention, it is wasted cash.

If you get a bike and do like it, you have a high likelihood of getting the bug "upgraditis", and piece meal improvements that hemorrhage money. Or you will find that you bought a racier geometry than you want, or you got aluminum and wanted carbon. Or you want to race and bought a touring bike. In which case you wasted money on your first bike.

All of these things are unknowable to you and us, so bite the bullet and jump in the pool. Don't buy a bike in lieu of feeding your family. Anything you buy will be wrong, embrace it, lose no sleep and jump in.
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