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Help Needed - 2 Options on 1st Bike-Decent Deals?(5 posts)

Help Needed - 2 Options on 1st Bike-Decent Deals?Jim Lukens
Apr 7, 2001 5:21 AM
I'm finally getting a chance to test some bikes. I've got 2 used bikes I'm checking out:
1. 1996 GT Force, STI shifters, 24 speeds, 3 or 4 extra sets of tires (Michelin, I think) and a higher quality cyclocomputer for $300. Sounds as if the bike's in good shape and has been well maintained. No clipless pedals.

2. 1999 Diamondback Expert - the guy said it had a frame that was partly carbon fiber, partly steel. STI shifters, clipless pedals. 24 speed. Also well maintained. Would do some kinda deal on the shoes, don't know what kinda deal yet, though. $350 for the bike, firm.

Given that I've only ridden a couple good road bikes, I probably won't have the experience to detect nuances in ride feel. Any opinions on whether or not one sounds to be a better deal than the other? I'll be checking them both out this weekend.

Thanks for any help.
Jim Lukens
re: Help Needed - 2 Options on 1st Bike-Decent Deals?Mel Erickson
Apr 7, 2001 6:45 AM
To answer your question directly, 300-350 is not expensive for almost anything equipped with 8spd STI, even low end Shimano groups, as long as they aren't beat to death, but, (and I'm sure you'll hear this alot) it ain't a good buy unless it fits! You seem to be concerned about the "best deal", meaning low price for something that sounds like a good bike. I would suggest two things. Start to learn more about bike design, materials, fit, etc. and then think about what will fit the type of riding, amount of riding, style of riding, etc. you want to do. Figure out what might fit you and then start looking for a used bike that fits. Unless you're somewhat experienced don't buy it unless you can ride it. Is there a local bike club? If so, go to a meeting or a ride. Pick some brains. Look at some bikes. Ride some bikes!
re: Help Needed - 2 Options on 1st Bike-Decent Deals?GregJ
Apr 7, 2001 7:28 AM
Get an idea on what size frame you need. You can read up on this at the Colorado Cyclist site or Rivendell or Harris Cycling. You need to measure your actual inseam, don't go by your pant size. If the frames are the right size you can custom fit them later by changing out the stem if desired. If you can ride the bike to a local shop, they can give you a quick assesment of fit, they will see future sales in shoes, pedals, helmet etc. Also, take a tape measure to measure the actual size of the frame and set your seat height, keep in mind that the listed size of the frames are kind of arbitrary as frames are measured in different ways, i.e. some are measured from the center of bottom bracket to the center of top tube(c-c) and other brands are measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat collar(c-t). The prices sound OK for these bikes if they are in clean condition. Good luck!
re: Help Needed - 2 Options on 1st Bike-Decent Deals?DaveG
Apr 7, 2001 10:21 AM
Jim, if these bikes can be checked out in person, perhaps you could bring along a more experienced bicycling friend to help assess the bikes and whether they fit you. Prices sound OK although its not clear what components you have there. According to the review section here at roadbikereview, the Diamondback MSRP was $699 and had RXS components. The Force is also an entry level model, I believe
re: Help Needed - 2 Options on 1st Bike-Decent Deals?screamingbunny
Apr 9, 2001 10:26 AM
sorry if this is to late for you. I also have a 99 expert for sale $300 but I live in germany, and will say there is absolutly no carbon fiber in this bike. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice SOLID bike with relaxed geometry but this ain't no race horse more like a thourolead