help on used bike (buying tomorrow)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Ben Gold, Feb 26, 2003.

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  1. Ben Gold

    Ben Gold Guest

    I'm looking for a bike to ride to work in NYC. I haven't been riding much in the last 6-7 years, and
    even then I mostly road mountain bikes.

    I've found a Peugot Triathlon for sale for 89 dollars. The owner says it is good condition, new
    wheels, and is about 5 years old.

    But I haven't been able to find much info on the triathlon online ­ does it go by any other name?

    Is it a decent bike? Is it worth 100 bucks or so?

    How can I tell it's age?

    Also, I'm 6' 200#. The frame size sounds good, but a friend of mine thinks I'll suffer on NYC
    streets and with my weight. I say he's full of it, but I haven't ridden a road bike since I was
    a teenager.

    Any advice or info on the triathlon?

    -Ben
     
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  2. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    Ben:>
    >I'm looking for a bike to ride to work in NYC. I haven't been riding much in the last 6-7 years,
    >and even then I mostly road mountain bikes.

    A decent mountain bike makes a good commuter, more durable than a road bike, sturdier, few flats,
    cheaper to buy and cheaper to fix. If the roads are filled pot holes, you and the bike will
    suffer less.

    >I've found a Peugot Triathlon for sale for 89 dollars. The owner says it is good condition, new
    >wheels, and is about 5 years old.
    >

    From the few references I have found, it seems it is probably a 6 speed (12 speed total) bike from
    about 1989. Owners often honestly believe that their bike is only 5 or 6 years old but often it is 2
    or 3 times that.

    >Is it a decent bike? Is it worth 100 bucks or so?
    >
    >How can I tell it's age?

    You can guess its age by looking at the components, the number of cogs in the back is a good way to
    estimate the age though it takes a good knowledge of the "gruppos" to do so. But if it is 6 speed it
    is most likely either a low end model or from somewhat before 1990.

    >Also, I'm 6' 200#. The frame size sounds good, but a friend of mine thinks I'll suffer on NYC
    >streets and with my weight. I say he's full of it, but I haven't ridden a road bike since I was a
    >teenager.

    Well I am about your height, weigh a bit more. You might suffer on NYC streets but with the right
    bike you will also love riding your bike. Others are more familiar than I with the roads you will be
    riding, but I can say that getting on a bike and riding again can be exhilarating and empowering.

    Don't miss your chance.

    >Any advice or info on the triathlon?
    >
    >

    As far as this bike goes, I would be cautious. Older road bikes should be pretty cheap and a 6 speed
    bike, even a nice one in good shape should be pretty cheap. The condition of the wheels is pretty
    important because if they are trashed or near worn out, you will be spending enough money to buy a
    new MTB when everything is said and done. I have written some pages about evaluating and buying
    bikes, both new and used, I will send them to you privately. They address many of the issues I have
    discovered over the years.

    Peugeots present special problems. Though I doubt this bike is old enough to have a French Threaded
    Bottom Bracket, it is possible that it does. These are essentially unavailable except at a high cost
    and it is best to avoid them. Some Peugeots used a rear hub called a Heliocentric which is non
    standard and should be avoided as well.

    Bottomline is that I don't know your financial situation but I would recommend something a bit more
    sturdy, something you can attach a rack to and fenders if needed. In my view, unless you are
    committed to a road bike, a MTB fitted with road tires or a Hybrid would be your best bet. You
    should be able to get a decent new one for somewhere between $200 and $300.

    A good bike shop would be able to help you not only get properly fit, but help you with an
    appropriate choice and help you with local riding tips.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  3. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Ben wrote:
    > I'm looking for a bike to ride to work in NYC. I haven't been riding much in the last 6-7 years,
    > and even then I mostly road mountain bikes.
    >
    > I've found a Peugot Triathlon for sale for 89 dollars. The owner says it is good condition, new
    > wheels, and is about 5 years old.
    ...
    > Is it a decent bike? Is it worth 100 bucks or so?
    >
    > How can I tell it's age?
    >
    > Also, I'm 6' 200#. The frame size sounds good, but a friend of mine thinks I'll suffer on NYC
    > streets and with my weight. I say he's full of it, but I haven't ridden a road bike since I was a
    > teenager.

    It's probably worth that price. Add in a heavy duty lock and other stuff you'll need, and you're
    up to about $150--200. But... ...for commuting, you ought to look for a hybrid or entry-level
    mountain bike with wide tires. (I commuted on 27 x 1-1/4" wheels forever, then went to those nice
    wide 26" ones and the difference is amazing. Fewer flats, too.) Carbon-dating a bike: a lot
    depends on what its (original) components are. F'instance, if you happen to know that the
    left-handed Veeblefetzer derailleur model MST3K came out in 1995 and was used for just one year,
    that's a pretty narrow time slot. OTOH, its vintage probably doesn't matter much. Bikes don't
    depreciate like cars and mobile homes, and there's no real blue book for used bikes. Also, for
    riding in NYC you should get something that is not pretty or desireable. Depending on your
    commute, you might want a 3-speed. (It is marvelous to be able to set off from a traffic light in
    the gear you want to start in, not the gear you happen to have stopped
    in.) HTH --Karen M.
     
  4. Jon Isaacs <[email protected]> wrote:
    : when everything is said and done. I have written some pages about evaluating and buying bikes,
    : both new and used, I will send them to you privately. They address many of the issues I have
    : discovered over the years.

    Nooo! Post them to the group! Pretty please :) Better yet, gather all on a single set of pages, so
    we can link it to ours... I assume much of it applies to buying used parts?

    I'd think Mr. Brown's site could be quite helpful too, http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  5. Ben Gold

    Ben Gold Guest

    Well I decided not to buy the triathlonŠ mostly because it seems the owner doesn't really know what
    he has (so I don't trust him) and he's an hour away via public transit.

    I'll probably just head to the LBS (I have a few good ones nearby) and see what's available.

    I certainly don't want a mountain bike, thoughŠ a hyrbird or touring bike it probably best.

    -Ben
     
  6. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Ben Gold" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Well I decided not to buy the triathlonS mostly because it seems the owner doesn't really know
    > what he has (so I don't trust him) and he's an hour away via public transit.
    >
    > I'll probably just head to the LBS (I have a few good ones nearby) and see what's available.
    >
    > I certainly don't want a mountain bike, thoughS a hyrbird or touring bike it probably best.

    Hybrids are fine, but remember a main difference you will be seeing will be the tires. With a
    mountain bike, you have lots of tire choices, including narrow slicks at 90 lb of pressure. On a new
    bike purchase, the dealer might be willing to swap out the knobbies for any price difference.
     
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