Buying a used bike for a beginner (Advice much appreciated)

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by XCcycler, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. XCcycler

    XCcycler New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I'm new to this forum and relatively new to cycling. I'm looking to purchase a used bicycle off of craigslist for what I think is a pretty reasonable price. It's an old Trek 1000 (not sure what year) and I was wondering what you guys thought of the deal. Also, I was wondering if you would recommend any immediate upgrades and what they might cost. Thanks. Here is the link: http://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/bik/2445006796.html

    -c
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    If you look through the other posts here, you will see that the first bit of advice is to get fitted. The Trek that you are looking at will fit you only if you have a 30" - 32.5" inseam. A bike that does not fit correctly will normally be very uncomfortable to ride for any appreciable distance. Unless the fit is off by a large amount, the bike will feel OK for a test spin around the block, but when you have been at it for a couple of miles, the ride would be unbearable. If you continue to ride an improperly fitted bike, you can cause permanent damage to your knees and back.

    This website can help you determine your fit, but unless you know what you are doing, I suggest that you go to your local bike shop and have them fit you. There is a charge for that service, but it is better than buying a bike that is useless.
    http://veloweb.ca/bike-fit/

    But to answer your question about the bike, it is around a 1987 or 1988 bike. It looks pretty in the picture, but a photograph won't tell you much about the bike. The brakes are single pivot side pull brakes, so the first upgrade that I would make would be to get the brakes replaced with dual pivot brakes. Single Pivot brakes have to be re-centered frequently while dual pivot brakes pretty much stay centered once they have been set and have much more stopping power than single pivot brakes. Dual pivot brakes also apply more even pressure on the rims so that the braking action is more balanced and predictable..

    I think the price of that bike is a little high to begin with, considering it is over 20 years old. Without knowing the condition of the bike's components, it is impossible to try to place a figure on it. If it needs a new freewheel, chain, and chainrings, you would be spending nearly half of what you paid for the bike to get them replaced, providing a 7 cog freewheel can even be sourced.
     
  3. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    1) Is a 22" (56cm) frame the right size for you?

    2) It's a 1991 model. At $275 for a twenty year old (entry level) road bike, I would expect everything to work perfectly and the bike to be exceptionally clean. Even then, I would still haggle the price (notice the seller states "ASKING $275").

    3) If everything works OK, I would not recommend any costly upgrades. If you need to spend a few hundred dollars on upgrades, you might as well buy a newer (used) entry level road bike with up-to-date components.
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    I would not recommend this bike. It is a great bike for someone who is looking for a bike to tinker around with upgrading or restoring.

    Find something newer with more modern components like Brifters which are brake lever and shifter lever combinations. Brakes as has been previously pointed out are much better than 20 years ago.

    Upgrades are very costly and compatabily of components make upgrading even more costly seeing as you may need to replace more than one item to complete the upgrade.

    If this is your cup of tea then by all means go for it and make your offer. But if you are looking to buy a bike that you can just go out and ride and enjoy yourself you will be better off looking around for something newer.
     
  5. XCcycler

    XCcycler New Member

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    Thank you so much for the advice guys. I decided to pass up the offer, especially given the braking situation, which I wasn't yet aware of. Thanks again.
     
  6. bikonator

    bikonator New Member

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    I would not spend time on craigslist when there are sites like http://www.slickbikes.com
    It's a site that tells you were the best deal is on a specific bike. You will always know that you didn't overpay.
    Good luck.
     
  7. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    I don't really see what slickbikes has to do with Craigslist... slick bikes is a bunch of new bikes... and from what I've seen looking at it.... some of the prices aren't even that good.

    **Example** they advertise a Specialized Allez Triple for $859... I saw that same bike in a shop last week for $50+ LESS than that. slickbikes has nothing to do with Craigslist what so ever. If you are looking for a less expensive bike and are willing to do due dilligence in your search and are open to buying a used bike at a bargain.

    Some people may have not had much luck with Craigs... In terms of bike parts search I've been lucky. I've found a Dura Ace 7400 STI lever set with cables, stops and shipping for $113... I don't think you can beat that price. I also got a pair of brand (in box) new Scott Drop In handle bars for $40.00 (I was willing to pay more because they were out of production). Those are just a couple examples... but that is the type of thing you're not going to find on slickbikes.
     
  8. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Craig's List varies a lot in different areas. A lot of it has to do with the size of the population of the area being searched in and how bicycle savvy they are. Here in SW Ohio, if you look on Craig's List. Right now there are 20 listings, mostly for BMX or childrens bikes. There is one ladies Huffy and a 1970's Schwinn. The most recent is a 2009 Fuji hybrid. Nothing that I would be interested in. So for me, it is usually eBay for used bikes and parts.
     
  9. ProdigalCyclist

    ProdigalCyclist New Member

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    In know what ya mean about maybe not being able to find things local. But if you make a point to have good communication, and you are careful, you can get deals on things from well out of your area. I'm in California... I got those STI levers from a guy in Wisconsin. I got those handlebars from a guy in Texas. I got a wheelset local from a guy in Sacramento. A frame and Fork from a guy in Virginia. Now I realize that I'm taking a risk dealing with people out of the area but I'm obviously a pretty good judge of character and, so far, I havn't had any problems (knock on wood)
     
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