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This a good deal?

Old 12-04-15, 12:04 PM
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This a good deal?

Real newbie here.
69, planning a first time cross country.
Treke vintage bike tall
Seller doesn't seem to know much about the bike.
Seeking advice from those who may know.
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Old 12-04-15, 12:21 PM
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it is an early 90's mountain/hybrid type bike. It looks like the fork is not original and has been replaced.

To give you an idea, I picked up a brand new, still in the box, Trek 820 a couple of years ago for $250.

Without seeing the bike it is hard to tell. I will make a guess that by the time you get this "touring ready", you will have several times your initial investment into it.

However, that era of bike can make a nice touring bike.

This was a good deal!
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Old 12-04-15, 12:38 PM
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Can't tell you anything about the 720, although that would have been a low end model for Trek at the time. However, Doug64 is correct that those old "mountain" bikes can make decent touring bikes when they are set up with the right wheels, racks, and so on. You could easily build something for, say, 300-400 bucks that might not be the lightest or greatest but would do the job.
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Old 12-04-15, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlupy View Post
Real newbie here.
69, planning a first time cross country.
Treke vintage bike tall
Seller doesn't seem to know much about the bike.
Seeking advice from those who may know.
The bike is possibly and likely stolen. I would stay away from that particular bike. If they don't have info on the bike and cannot even spell it correctly yet they took pictures of it spelled correctly I would just stay away in general stolen or not unless you really know what you are looking at and you can snag it for super super cheap and know it is not stolen.

However an older mountain bike can make for a decent touring bike though you want to make sure you budget money to get it tuned up and replace wear parts as well as make the bike comfortable and usable for what you plan on doing with it. That can take a good chunk of money sometimes but in the end can be worth it though sometimes buying a new bike is easier and less hassle plus you might get some free tune ups or discounts at time of purchase or something like that. You can also make sure that bike will fit you and your shop might be able to at least do some minor fit adjustments if not give you a more full fitting.
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Old 12-04-15, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The bike is possibly and likely stolen. I would stay away from that particular bike. If they don't have info on the bike and cannot even spell it correctly yet they took pictures of it spelled correctly I would just stay away in general stolen or not unless you really know what you are looking at and you can snag it for super super cheap and know it is not stolen.
While I share your concern on the possibility of it being stolen, I wouldn't exactly discount it as being stolen off the bat. It could be that the seller is just clueless. I've seen many a clueless and bad CL ad.

The Trek 720 is a decent 700C hybrid from the early 90's. As doug64 points out, they can make good touring bikes, if you are willing to put the time/money into it. However, looking at the bad photos in the ad, I wouldn't call it a "tall" bike, but a small to medium sized bike with a tall stem installed for a taller rider. It's probably better fitting for someone up to 5'8". But hard to tell if it will fit you until you test it.
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Old 12-04-15, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The bike is possibly and likely stolen. I would stay away from that particular bike. If they don't have info on the bike and cannot even spell it correctly yet they took pictures of it spelled correctly I would just stay away in general stolen or not unless you really know what you are looking at and you can snag it for super super cheap and know it is not stolen.

However an older mountain bike can make for a decent touring bike though you want to make sure you budget money to get it tuned up and replace wear parts as well as make the bike comfortable and usable for what you plan on doing with it. That can take a good chunk of money sometimes but in the end can be worth it though sometimes buying a new bike is easier and less hassle plus you might get some free tune ups or discounts at time of purchase or something like that. You can also make sure that bike will fit you and your shop might be able to at least do some minor fit adjustments if not give you a more full fitting.

As an older cyclist planning on returning to touring, I will offer the other side of the coin. Buy the best quality you can afford, and then a little more. Blah! Blah! you get what you pay for. Talk to folks about types of pedals, bars etc. decide what's best for you. This might be a decent around town for you, but across country? When your bicycle is busted in the middle of nowhere, you will wish you had a better bicycle. As our Vegan friend said sometimes it's to go to a shop, for all his reasons. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-04-15, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the responses.
Seller claims to be doing it for someone else.
And yes, I did notice what I considered to be an abnormally tall stem, which is why I questioned it.
Eh, think I'll pass on it. They don't know what eyelets are either and I don't see them on it.
We only have 2 shops in the area and no one with touring knowledge. Sure want to sell bikes though.
Thanks again.
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Old 12-04-15, 01:36 PM
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I do not know if that bike is aluminum or steel frame. If I wanted to convert a old mountain bike to touring I would look for steel.

I am not saying aluminum is bad, there have been some good touring bikes made of aluminum. But, the older mountain bikes that are converted to touring are usually steel.

If you are interested in it because it says it is a Trek 720, the model number 720 has been applied to many different types of models. At one time there was a very good Trek 720 that would be good for a cross country tour, but this is not that particular 720.
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Old 12-04-15, 01:51 PM
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I'd pass too. Just adding pedals could double the price or more! Additionally, your better off getting a larger frame if you need a taller bike (as opposed to just setting the stem higher) because that smaller frame may be too short across the top tube.

There are so many decent bikes being sold new for under $500 that I'd ride across the country before I'd ride that one across the county.
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Old 12-04-15, 02:45 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx View Post
While I share your concern on the possibility of it being stolen, I wouldn't exactly discount it as being stolen off the bat. It could be that the seller is just clueless. I've seen many a clueless and bad CL ad.

The Trek 720 is a decent 700C hybrid from the early 90's. As doug64 points out, they can make good touring bikes, if you are willing to put the time/money into it. However, looking at the bad photos in the ad, I wouldn't call it a "tall" bike, but a small to medium sized bike with a tall stem installed for a taller rider. It's probably better fitting for someone up to 5'8". But hard to tell if it will fit you until you test it.
True, but I am always super cautious about CL and in cases of little info, misspellings and someone saying simply it is a good bike, I would rather err on the side of it is likely stolen.

Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
As an older cyclist planning on returning to touring, I will offer the other side of the coin. Buy the best quality you can afford, and then a little more. Blah! Blah! you get what you pay for. Talk to folks about types of pedals, bars etc. decide what's best for you. This might be a decent around town for you, but across country? When your bicycle is busted in the middle of nowhere, you will wish you had a better bicycle. As our Vegan friend said sometimes it's to go to a shop, for all his reasons. Just my opinion.
Well said! Bike shops can be a ton of fun, I love just going into random shops and seeing what they have and what they do differently and talking to people with a similar interest. We had customers that we could chat with for hours and waste an entire day with and it was nice because it was all mutually beneficial we could help them with their bike or bikes and they would buy stuff from us and get a lot of great advice. I know I was always super excited when a tourist or future tourist came in because I could impart knowledge and get them more excited about it and it got me more excited about my next one. Plus who doesn't like to look at random bike stuff?
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Old 12-04-15, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlupy View Post
Thanks for the responses.
Seller claims to be doing it for someone else.
And yes, I did notice what I considered to be an abnormally tall stem, which is why I questioned it.
Eh, think I'll pass on it. They don't know what eyelets are either and I don't see them on it.
We only have 2 shops in the area and no one with touring knowledge. Sure want to sell bikes though.
Thanks again.
That sucks they don't have touring knowledge but if you can swing a Long Haul Trucker or Disc Trucker those are great options for touring bikes and most shops can order them through QBP easily. What I would recommend is test riding some bikes and get a feel for size and then you can order one through the shop. That is kind of what I did (after a ton of research)

Most shops do want to sell bikes, some honestly because they want to get you out riding and having a good time and want to build that relationship and some are just selling because they are a retail store.
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Old 12-04-15, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
True, but I am always super cautious about CL and in cases of little info, misspellings and someone saying simply it is a good bike, I would rather err on the side of it is likely stolen.
And I think one should be cautious with CL. But there are plenty of folks who have had a bike sitting in a garage for twenty years that they need gone, and have horrible selling skills: Bad spelling, worse photos, "works good" as a descrip. And these folks are legit.

But when they say that they're "selling for someone else", like the OP mentions, that's a big red flag.

But
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Old 12-04-15, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlupy View Post
Eh, think I'll pass on it. They don't know what eyelets are either and I don't see them on it.
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I do not know if that bike is aluminum or steel frame. If I wanted to convert a old mountain bike to touring I would look for steel. I am not saying aluminum is bad, there have been some good touring bikes made of aluminum. But, the older mountain bikes that are converted to touring are usually steel. If you are interested in it because it says it is a Trek 720, the model number 720 has been applied to many different types of models. At one time there was a very good Trek 720 that would be good for a cross country tour, but this is not that particular 720.
That Trek 720 is an early 90's hybrid, which would have been steel. If I have my Trek numbering scheme correct, the 700 series of that era is their "Multi-Track" which is hybrid. And if it was aluminum, it would be four digits rather than three.

Those early 90's steel hybrids can make decent tourers. I used a '92 Bridgestone XO-3 as my touring bike. The pros of those old hybrids is they aren't desirable, so they don't command the price that vintage touring bikes do. The cons are that the componentry is OK not great. They typically came with 50-40-30 triples, which are a bit high geared for loaded touring. And they typically came with flat bars, which isn't a deal breaker, but if you wanted to convert to drop bars, you'd be investing in new brake levers and possibly shifters too.

As for eyelets, those hybrids should all have eyelets for fenders and for a rear rack, but they wouldn't have a mid-fork eyelet for a front rack. I think only the highest-end touring bikes of that era even have that. But that's not a big deal, you can always mount a front rack with a P-clamp around the fork blade. That's what I did on that XO-3.

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Old 12-04-15, 05:24 PM
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You also want to know if it has been crashed or not. Look for cracked paint, "bubbled" tubes. Does it pull to 1 side or track straight. But there's ways to measure a frame that might add info. As I said before go for quality.
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Old 12-04-15, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlupy View Post
Thanks for the responses.
Seller claims to be doing it for someone else.
And yes, I did notice what I considered to be an abnormally tall stem, which is why I questioned it.
Eh, think I'll pass on it. They don't know what eyelets are either and I don't see them on it.
We only have 2 shops in the area and no one with touring knowledge. Sure want to sell bikes though.
Thanks again.
BTW- you said 2 local shops without much touring assistance. You may not be far from Bikes and More Gainesville | Gainesville's Bike Shop and they are excellent. I bought a Salsa from them and they really know what they are doing and have a good inventory.
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Old 12-04-15, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The bike is possibly and likely stolen.
so what? probably stolen from a dairy parking lot. and they steal from cows everyday.

Originally Posted by Phlupy View Post
This a good deal?
yes, IF the frame fits you just right, and IF you have a couple boxes of bike parts
and wheels sitting around.

not if you plan to ride that bike as is.
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Old 12-04-15, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
so what? probably stolen from a dairy parking lot. and they steal from cows everyday.
Cute one!
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Old 12-04-15, 10:01 PM
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The chrome fork on that bike is a replacement; the stock fork was painted the same color as the rest of the frame. I would be concerned about other damage, and if I did not know a lot about bikes would pass on that one. $75 is a good price for it IF it is in good shape and if it fits you, but otherwise not.

I had a Trek 720 that I used as a commuter and would not have hesitated to use it for touring, but by choice I would have fitted drop bars that would have required different shifters, brake levers, bar wrap and new cables. That stuff runs into some money unless you can just trade for the parts you need, and more if you have to pay someone to do the work for you. My 720 had eyelets and I installed rear rack and fenders. Entirely serviceable for touring just like that, if you like the upright riding position. I'd still be riding it but it was stolen while I was in class one day.

I'm 65 and have better bikes for touring but I'm not bike proud and I sort of revel in the anti-prestige aspect of things sometimes. Good on you for wanting to get into touring. Keep in mind that in addition to the cost of the bicycle you will also be fitting it out and will be buying camping gear. Then there is the cost of being on the road. A man's gotta eat.

Too bad your local shops are not touring oriented, but perhaps they can refer you to someone local who can advise you. And you can always ask your questions here, but you should probably have a trusted local who can advise you on bike sizing, fitting, and maybe some coaching on what you'll need to know. Are there any bike clubs around? Don't be afraid to ask questions, but be aware than any three cyclists will give you five or more opinions, so be prepared to wade through some flak. Good luck!

Last edited by thumpism; 12-04-15 at 10:10 PM.
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