Kijiji vs. bike shop - where should I buy?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by polysynthetic, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    I want to buy a seriously good road bike but unsure whether I should get one in a bike shop or find a good used one on Kijiji. Rip-off artists and freaks on Kijiji notwithstanding, I figure there must be people willing to part with a good quality bike on there for a lower price than I would find in a job.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Define "seriously good". Yes - generally you will find a pre-owned bike to be less than the same bike through a retail business. Just like cars or most anything else. And, yes, you will have to negotiate the "freak factor" on your own. Some owners are honest and some are not. Forest Gump... Never know what you're gunna get. Unless someone is feeling overly benevolent or is hard up for cash, owners often have an unreasonable expectation of market value until a bike has languished on eBay, CL, or other. You need to do your home work so you don't waste your time or theirs.
     
  3. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    btw idk why i typed "job"...i mean shop!
     
  4. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    so sitzmark, you're telling me its better to go thru a shop?

    what im really looking for is a really good road bike. ive been told that $2000 CND is a reasonable starting range for high quality road bike. i want something light, durable and fast. ive been riding a good Norco mountain bike for 6 months. its great and i take it on long-distance rides, but im getting jealous seeing so many road bikers going faster than me.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    There are many excellent bikes to be had for $2000 CDN. You can get even more out of your money by buying new bikes from past years at a bike shop. Quite often those bikes will have better components and may be lighter than current year models of the same price.
     
  6. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    yes, actually thats what i did for my current Norco. its a 2012 model. great bike and a little discounted cuz the new ones were going to come in soon
     
  7. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    No - just answering a very generic question with a generic response.

    A new bike (with a warranty) through an authorized dealer is the safest bet for "no surprises". The next best option would be to narrow the huge market of pre-owned bicycles by identifying key desires (starting with proper fit), then take prospective bikes to a shop to be inspected before purchase. Alternately, if you're skilled mechanically and know what to look for you can inspect them yourself. With each step away from an experienced shop, the responsibility becomes yours to make sure you get what you expect. Getting a refund or a problem resolved when buying used from an owner (especially long distance) can be a problem if something about the bike is misrepresented.

    My suggestion is that $2,000 cdn starting point is high for a good quality road bike. "Seriously good" is a relative term, which to some might mean a $6,000+ cdn starting price with high end components and wheels. So without more defined objectives it is hard to get specific. You should be able to find a relatively light, well made, and durable bike for $1,000 - $1,200 cdn. It will probably be an aluminum frame with carbon fork, but obviously won't have $2,500 wheels or a $2,500 groupset at that price. "Relatively light" is another generic term.

    As for how much faster you'll go on a road bike, the search function will bring up many threads on that. Speed depends on many things. As a rule of thumb, probably not as much faster as you would hope for after spending $1,000+. General estimate: 2-3 mph higher average over same terrain.

    For comparison, take your Norco with you when you test ride a prospective bike and ride both over the same route. Not a fair comparison because any bike requires some adjustment and saddle time to become fully familiar with it, but you'll get a pretty good idea.

    Happy hunting!
     
  8. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    "High Quality" bikes can certainly be found for under $1000. Once you get out of the big box, department store bikes price range, generally all of the reputable brands offerings are pretty high quality. Higher prices get you lighter weight, more bling, more gears, newer tech, more customization, better aerodynamics and perhaps crisper operation. Entry level bikes and most of the mid level bikes I have seen come with cheap and poorly built wheelsets - but they can be brought up to snuff with a little tlc, cone wrenches and a truing wrench.

    Its pretty hard to quantify the performance difference between a properly adjusted $500 bike and $2000 bike with similar geometry. Plenty of my riding buddies have upgraded in the past year, DI2 systems, full carbon, tubless tires, etc. I am still riding my cheap craigslist bike with cheap wheels, I am a bit envious - but they are really not any faster.
     
  9. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    maydog, are there any brands and models you recommend? my budget is $500-$2000
     
  10. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    In the past few years, my new bike purchases have been for friends and family. They include:

    Specalized Sequoia - one for my brother in law and another for his friend
    Trek 1.2 WSD - for the wife
    Specialized Allez - Rented for myself for a week and half in Hawaii
    All were/are fine bicycles.

    I suspect that all the major brands have decent offerings: Giant, Trek, Specalized, Cannondale, etc.

    In the entry and intermediate levels, a lot of the components for the bicycles are shared across brands. Unless you are competent in maintenance, the safest bet is to find one you like that has a dealer and support nearby.
     
  11. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    If you shop at an LBS, you're unlikely to find a bad bike.
     
  12. polysynthetic

    polysynthetic New Member

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    what are DI2 systems and tubless (tubeless?) tires?
     
  13. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    DI2 and tubless are some of the latest technological fads in road biking. Di2 is shimano's electronic shifting and tubless tires forgo the traditional tube for special rims and sealant to be able to run at lower pressures.
     
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