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Advice on a beginner bike. (Read 1533 times)

    This is an interesting thread. What's the advice from experienced cyclists on buying a used bike. I would imagine their are a lot of cyclists out there that upgrade from beginner bikes. But aside from Craig's List, where would you go to buy a gently used bike to save some $$. And would you want to?

     


    Needs more cowbell!

      Some shops sell used bikes, but I don't think it's common.  If you have a good idea what size you need you might luck out and find one on CL or eBay to work.  But most new riders don't know what size they need and, for example, a 48cm in one brand won't be a 48cm in another.  My Cannondale is a 48, but in most other brands I'd require a 50-51cm frame.  

       

      The benefit of buying new is that you will have a fitting and be able to test several bikes in your size (well, unless you are a shorty or exceptionally tall--I have never actually test-ridden a bike, since a lot of shops don't carry small sizes, especially in men's frames, which is what I'm on).  You'll generally have a period of free adjustments, too, since cables stretch in the first few hundred miles and will require tweaking.  You'll also have a full factory warranty on the frame and components.

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        This is an interesting thread. What's the advice from experienced cyclists on buying a used bike. I would imagine their are a lot of cyclists out there that upgrade from beginner bikes. But aside from Craig's List, where would you go to buy a gently used bike to save some $$. And would you want to?

         

        Yes, if you're a beginner (and testing out cycling), buy a used bike.

        The new "beginner" bikes may have components on them (shifters, deraillers, brakes, etc) that are lower quality (ie. Sora), but if you only ride 5 times / year then the components don't go through wear and tear that an experienced biker with many miles and many gear shifts and many braking attempts goes through.  So, a new "beginner" bike is good for somebody who wants to see if they want to bike a lot.

         

        A used "high quality" bike is great for somebody that KNOWS they want to bike a lot, and may have biked a lot in the past (with a beginners bike).  The components need less servicing and adjustments that make bike ownership (for this type of rider) more enjoyable.  Whether it's a road bike, a triathlon bike, or whatever other type of bike you're looking at, the components and the wear and tear should be considered if you're a high user.

         

        My bike history (from 2009 to present)

        #1. "huffy" (or something from walmart) mountain bike to ride around the neighborhoods and ride the bike trails with the family

        #2. Javelin Triathlon bike (built in early to mid 2000's).  Bought used for $300 from Craigslist.  Rode 500+ miles on it, and eventually, the derailler tab on the frame broke, and the frame needed to be trashed.  Stripped the bike of all components and accessories, and sold them for about $200.  Owned the bike for 1 biking season.

        #3. Cannondale R300 (early 2000s) - aluminum frame.  Used, $300 from Craigslist.  Bought this bike to replace my broken Javelin in early 2010.  Rode it for about 400 miles, and did about 3 triathlons in it riding 20mph.  Decent bike.  But, the components were crappy and old, and the bike wasn't triathlon geometry.  Kept the bike in the garage without riding it for the last year of my ownership.  Sold it to a buddy for the price I paid for it.

        #4. Cannondale Synapse5.  Bought it new in Fall 2010.  Mid level components.  Bike was not a triathlon specific bike, so I rode it about 500 miles.  I lend it out to friends that are looking to get into biking.  I don't ride it often.  I like the bike, but it was a waste of money.

        #5. Cannondale Slice5.  Bought the bike in January 2011 when I decided to do longer distance triathlons.  Bike is great and I ride it frequently.  It's a "keeper" until I decide to upgrade for better components.

         

        MTA: I didn't test ride either of the new bikes that I bought.  I trusted my brother in law and had them shipped from Michigan to Texas.  Worked great.

         

        All 4 of those "better" bikes fit well, and were comfortable and enjoyable to ride.  Before I bought my the Javelin, I went to the local bike shop and got fitted for a bike and educated regarding what I was looking at.  So, when I started shopping for used bikes, it became easier to see what it had and what it didn't have.

         

        Basically, it might take people 2 or 3 times to get the good bike.

        A buddy of mine went from the "Huffy" to a $7,000 bike with the best components and the best frame from the best manufacturer.  He wasn't wealthy, and he happens to be pretty smart with his money.  But, from my perspective, he was crazy!  He's had the bike for over a year, and rides a lot (even in this HOT Texas heat he's enjoying 80+ mile rides). 

         

        Other than CraigsList, I don't know.  But, yes, you might want to look into used bikes.


        Brian

        2014 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

        #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

         

          The benefit of buying new is that you will have a fitting and be able to test several bikes in your size .

           That's kinda what I thought. Thanks. I may be in the market for a beginner bike soon. I can hope for a deal on a 2012 this or next month. 

           


          Needs more cowbell!

             That's kinda what I thought. Thanks. I may be in the market for a beginner bike soon. I can hope for a deal on a 2012 this or next month. 

             

            I think most shops have their 2012s on sale NOW!  If you wait too long you risk having your size sold out, if you're a relatively common size.  Quite a few manufacturers are already taking orders for and delivering on 2013s.

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              This is an interesting thread. What's the advice from experienced cyclists on buying a used bike. I would imagine their are a lot of cyclists out there that upgrade from beginner bikes. But aside from Craig's List, where would you go to buy a gently used bike to save some $$. And would you want to?

               

              I've known lots of people to get great deals on used bikes. The one thing they had in common was that they knew what they wanted and were looking at.

               

              We have some Boston area shops that sell used bikes. Try Bikes Not Bombs, Bikeboom, Cambridge BicycleFerris... for starters. They will help fit you to the right bike and protect you from buying a bike with a problem that would take a more experienced eye to catch. I would call around before driving. Try some regular shops too. You never know what they have in the back that they are trying to get rid of.

               

              Be careful. A new bike isn't going to help you at Philly!

                 That's kinda what I thought. Thanks. I may be in the market for a beginner bike soon. I can hope for a deal on a 2012 this or next month. 

                 

                Left over deals can be great. I just got a $1000 off a 2011 bike at Cycle Loft, which I think must be close to you. The only change for the 2012 model was color.

                  I think most shops have their 2012s on sale NOW!  If you wait too long you risk having your size sold out, if you're a relatively common size.  Quite a few manufacturers are already taking orders for and delivering on 2013s.

                   Thanks, good to know. Not to threadjack but I was recently diagnosed with moderate to severe lumbar spinal stenosis. I find out next week if my running career will be short-lived. But cycling is OK since your back is in flexion as opposed to running when it's in extension (and high impact). So this has been a timely and useful thread. 

                   

                    Left over deals can be great. I just got a $1000 off a 2011 bike at Cycle Loft, which I think must be close to you. The only change for the 2012 model was color.

                     I may check them out this weekend since they're a mile from my house. Love the service there. 

                     

                       I may check them out this weekend since they're a mile from my house. Love the service there. 

                       

                      That really sucks about your back and I hope it ends up not being as bad as feared.

                       

                      I'm guessing stretched over on a performance bike won't be the best way to get started considering your back. You might want to consider something more on the "comfort" side. My brother in law recently got a Specialized Secteur, a comfort road bike, and is happy with it (despite the fact that I wanted him to get the Allez, a performance road bike). I saw a couple 2012s on sale there this week.

                       

                      If you see a bike you like put it on layaway until next weekend so you don't have to pay tax.


                      Needs more cowbell!

                         Thanks, good to know. Not to threadjack but I was recently diagnosed with moderate to severe lumbar spinal stenosis. I find out next week if my running career will be short-lived. But cycling is OK since your back is in flexion as opposed to running when it's in extension (and high impact). So this has been a timely and useful thread. 

                         

                        I know a woman who is in her mid-60s and walks with a built-up shoe and a cane and has pretty severe back issues.  But she has already ridden >4k miles this year and rode 6k miles last year (on a regular bike, not a recumbent).  Depending upon the back issues it can definitely be done.

                        I shoot pretty things! ~

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          Yup. The thing with stenosis is it feels better to be in flexion - bent over. Being stretched over a racing bike would actually be the most comfortable position. Time to go shopping. 

                           


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            Heh, there are a LOT of great cyclists who took to the sport when injury or physical issues made running difficult/impossible.  My left ankle pushed me to the bike 2 years ago.  Now it's my emphasis, in large part because I'm a better cyclist than I am a runner (which, sadly, says very little since I really suck at running). Blush

                            I shoot pretty things! ~

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              There are definitely "summer sales" now on with 20% discounts in my area, and I found a few 2011 leftovers though of course choice of frame size is limited.

                              My son bought a used KHS two years ago, a carbon composite bike, brand I had never heard of but it seems fine. He also did not want to pay motorcycle prices for a bicycle- has recently added a commuter with panniers for shopping as he does not own a car.

                               

                              Thanks to all for your advice!

                              PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                                  10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

                               

                                Yup. The thing with stenosis is it feels better to be in flexion - bent over. Being stretched over a racing bike would actually be the most comfortable position. Time to go shopping. 

                                 

                                In that case I reccomend Tom Boonen's bike.

                                 

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