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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

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Old 06-01-12, 11:38 AM   #1
chaunceyd
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Newbie here...

Hi Everyone,
I've been researching bicycles for awhile - basically lots of "Google-ing" of your typical newbie questions, as I've been trying to find my first road bike. The more googling I did, the more I realized most of my searches directed me to BikeForums. So I just began searching the forum here for my answers, and its really been quite helpful!
That all said, I think I've found a bike I like to take a chance on - used on Craigslist. Again, I am a newbie so I don't know much about components but was wondering if you all could take a look and tell me if I should keep looking, or make it bid on it.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/3011775925.html

I wanted a nice bike to start riding again, nothing too over-the-top or expensive. I might use it to commute a little too. Any advice will be very appreciative, thanks!
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Old 06-01-12, 11:43 AM   #2
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Does the bike fit you? At 55cm, the bike is probably good for someone between 5'8' to 5'11" (but your ymmv). If the frame is straight (when you go to see it in person look at the paint and make sure it's smooth everywhere (a bit of rust is OK) and the wheels reasonably true (spin them on the bike and see if they don't rub the brakes and don't look wavy), I'd buy this bike. It is, I think, a reasonable price for a pretty decent quality bike.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:45 AM   #3
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Pass on it.

Needs new wheels and tires.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:51 AM   #4
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Does the bike fit you? At 55cm, the bike is probably good for someone between 5'8' to 5'11" (but your ymmv). If the frame is straight (when you go to see it in person look at the paint and make sure it's smooth everywhere (a bit of rust is OK) and the wheels reasonably true (spin them on the bike and see if they don't rub the brakes and don't look wavy), I'd buy this bike. It is, I think, a reasonable price for a pretty decent quality bike.
Thanks bikmig! This bike would "potentially" fit me as I am 5'8". I'll shoot this guy a call and arrange a time to see the bike, and be sure to check all the things you mentioned. Thanks for the advice, and good to know I am not getting taken on the price!
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Old 06-01-12, 11:52 AM   #5
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A decent starter road bike. 80's era, lower end bike store quality. Might have steel rims instead of aluminum I don't recall at what price level Schwinn started including aluminum rims. If the rims are steel, I'd keep looking, especially at that price. If the wheels are alloy, it is a decent bike, but I'd offer a bit less. I do think you can find much better in the $150-200 range.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:54 AM   #6
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Thanks bikmig! This bike would "potentially" fit me as I am 5'8".
Maybe if you have long legs it will fit. I'm 5"7" with shortish legs and I couldn't swing a leg over that.
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Old 06-01-12, 11:57 AM   #7
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The bike may be big. If you can stand flat footed and have an inch or better of clearance, you're good to go.

@10wheels: how do you know that the wheels are toast? Just curious. New tires and cables, yeah, I figure you always need to do that with an old bike.

The rims look aluminum, it has a chrome moly frame, and shimano 600 drivetrain (at least according to the ad); the bike is fairly priced if it is in good working order I think but not a steal or a deal,
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Old 06-01-12, 12:05 PM   #8
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I have an inseam of about 31" - maybe I'll start looking at something in the 53-54cm range? I just didn't want it to be too short for me. I've planned to go to a local bike shop this weekend and get sized - ask more questions, etc.

Maybe something like this? - http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/3050078895.html

I didn't suggest it earlier even though it was cheaper, I thought the chrome moly frame was something of a plus for one of these older bikes.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:08 PM   #9
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Did some looking up of old Schwinn catalogs. The paint job indicates it is probably an '86 or '87 and came with aluminum alloy rims.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chaunceyd View Post
I have an inseam of about 31" - maybe I'll start looking at something in the 53-54cm range? I just didn't want it to be too short for me. I've planned to go to a local bike shop this weekend and get sized - ask more questions, etc.

Maybe something like this? - http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/3050078895.html

I didn't suggest it earlier even though it was cheaper, I thought the chrome moly frame was something of a plus for one of these older bikes.
I think you should at least test ride the bike right away! Test ride it, so that you can get a good idea about the size of frame that fits you, and to see the comfort level it provides. It looks good to me. If it fits, grab it!

* The bike is priced nicely! However, you could most probably get it for less.

PS.

Join a bicycle co-op near you, so that you can gain access to wheels or any other component you may need.

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-01-12 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chaunceyd View Post
I have an inseam of about 31" - maybe I'll start looking at something in the 53-54cm range? I just didn't want it to be too short for me. I've planned to go to a local bike shop this weekend and get sized - ask more questions, etc.

Maybe something like this? - http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/3050078895.html

I didn't suggest it earlier even though it was cheaper, I thought the chrome moly frame was something of a plus for one of these older bikes.
Everything else being equal, chrome moly is better than a hi tensile steel frame. That said, there were plenty of great bikes made out of high tensile steel. Most importantly the bike has to fit you and the 54 cm may well be a better fit. Also whether the parts are working well esp. the wheels which are expensive to replace.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
The bike may be big. If you can stand flat footed and have an inch or better of clearance, you're good to go.

@10wheels: how do you know that the wheels are toast? Just curious. New tires and cables, yeah, I figure you always need to do that with an old bike.

The rims look aluminum, it has a chrome moly frame, and shimano 600 drivetrain (at least according to the ad); the bike is fairly priced if it is in good working order I think but not a steal or a deal,
They look old and not have had much care over the years.

Pic were not that good. Must see them in the real.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:35 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone! I'll take it all under advisement... and hopefully have something new to ride this weekend!
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