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Advice on buying used road bike



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 5th 03, 09:31 PM
Michael S. Moorhead
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Default Advice on buying used road bike

Hello,

A friend and I have been taking longer and longer weekend rides on our
hybrid and mountain bikes and have been contemplating buying used road bikes
during the off-season.

When is the best time of year and where should we be looking for used bikes?

How old is old? Does quality fade off dramatically after 5 years or so?

About what could one ask for ~$300?

I know these are very general questions, but your advice and any suggestions
are welcome.

Thanks,

Mike Moorhead



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  #2  
Old August 5th 03, 10:56 PM
Boyd Speerschneider
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Default Advice on buying used road bike

"Michael S. Moorhead" wrote in
:

Hello,

A friend and I have been taking longer and longer weekend rides on our
hybrid and mountain bikes and have been contemplating buying used road
bikes during the off-season.

When is the best time of year and where should we be looking for used
bikes?


I would say during the Fall / Winter.
This is when most bike stores and racers are trying to unload last year's
inventory.
Try www.eBay.com or www.roadbikereview.com.
Also rec.bicycles.marketplace
You could also try the LBSs in your area and scope the classified ads in
your local newspaper.

How old is old? Does quality fade off dramatically after 5 years or so?


Its not about age, but mileage.
If its been sitting in a garage for 5 years, than the only thing old is the
technology.
If its been ridden 50+ miles a day for 5 years, odds are (unless very well
cared for, worn out parts replaced, etc.) its *old*.

About what could one ask for ~$300?


That depends on how good of a bike wrench you are
$300 won't get you much... unless you enjoy wrenching a lot.
With road bikes, up until around $1200 you pretty much get what you pay
for.

I know these are very general questions, but your advice and any
suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,

Mike Moorhead


Your welcome,

- Boyd S.

  #3  
Old August 6th 03, 12:01 AM
Rick Onanian
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Default Advice on buying used road bike

On Tue, 5 Aug 2003 16:31:52 -0400, Michael S. Moorhead
wrote:
When is the best time of year and where should we be looking for used
bikes?


At stores, end of season is coming up, or maybe here already.

Better: people's garbage. I found a very good Peugeot that
needed a little work and is now a rather nice road bike.

Of course, you have to be not embarassed to pull a bicycle
from somebody's garbage on garbage day, and it's hard to
find one when you want one. When I wanted one, I could not
find one for months. Since I've gotten it, I see them all
the time [and salvage some].

How old is old? Does quality fade off dramatically after 5 years or so?


Technology becomes obsolete. However, you can replace parts
whose technology isn't to your liking easily enough.

About what could one ask for ~$300?


That should get a moderately nice used road bike, if you buy
from the owner. I get the feeling that you won't find many
used road bikes at LBSs.

Consider, also, that you can get new low-end road bikes for
about $500 at LBSs; and if you have a Dick's Sporting Goods
near you, they have a Diamondback road bike that seems to be
better quality than you'd expect from a seemingly department
store bike, and it goes for about $300.

Thanks,

Mike Moorhead

--
Rick Onanian
  #4  
Old August 6th 03, 01:16 AM
Pete Hickey
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Default Advice on buying used road bike

In article ,
Boyd Speerschneider wrote:

How old is old? Does quality fade off dramatically after 5 years or so?


Its not about age, but mileage.
If its been sitting in a garage for 5 years, than the only thing old is the
technology.


This can be important. Not as new as 5 years, though. I
have an old thing, and things like my 6 speed cogssets
(not freewheel) are not easy to find.


--
--
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Did you know that 86% of North Americans cannot
taste the difference between fried dog and fried cat?

  #5  
Old August 6th 03, 04:06 AM
Mike Kruger
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Default Advice on buying used road bike

"Michael S. Moorhead" wrote in message
...

A friend and I have been taking longer and longer weekend rides on our
hybrid and mountain bikes and have been contemplating buying used road

bikes
during the off-season.

When is the best time of year and where should we be looking for used

bikes?

Garage sale time is a pretty good time, if you are looking for something
modest.
There's a bunch of things to look for; Jon Isaacs has a writeup he will send
on request giving a lot of tips about looking for a used bike (search up his
e-mail address using Google on this newsgroup.)

Beyond size, the main thing to look for is wheels. If they are steel, you
will need to get the bike very cheaply, because you are probably going to
want to replace those steel rims with aluminum alloy wheels, and that will
be about $130+.
That's not necessarily bad (because a bike with new wheels is a good thing),
but something you should prepare for.
Also, you should know that 27 inch wheels are an obsolete size; you can
still get replacement parts, but there are no new ones made (700mm replaced
it).

How old is old? Does quality fade off dramatically after 5 years or so?


Not really quality. The two road bikes I have were made in 1976 and 1980.
HOWEVER, newer bikes will have better shifting (e.g. STI rather than those
downtube friction shifters).
If you grew up with friction shifters, these are OK, but if you really like
the grip-shift type of shifting on modern hybrids and mountain bikes, you
will find friction shifting an adjustment.

About what could one ask for ~$300?


You can certainly get a moderate original quality road bike you can put
thousands of miles on, if you are patient.
However, it may be wise to look for something in the ~$200 range, with the
idea of spending ~$100 overhauling the bearings, replacing some of the
rubber parts, and just generally getting it in tune.

When I returned to riding a road bike, I bought one for $40 at a rummage
sale -- then spent $40 on an upgraded saddle, and $140 for new wheels and
$40 for one new tire and new tubes. So, the $40 bike cost $260 to get
outfitted -- on the other hand I now have over 7000 miles on this bike.

Some of the best garage sale values are bikes that have not been ridden in a
decade or more, and the owner just wants the garage space back. However, 10
year old tires that have been sitting in a garage are not tires you will
want, and bearings that haven't moved in 10 years will greatly benefit from
cleaning and new grease.

None of this contradicts what the other posters said; there was good advice
there, also.


 




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