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where to buy a good cheap bike?(4 posts)

where to buy a good cheap bike?jrain
Aug 7, 2001 11:07 PM
hey yall,

i'm in the market for a road bike, except my budget is kinda limited. we're talking only maybe 400-600 bucks. so i think i gotta buy a used bike, but i'm not quite sure where to go around looking for used bikes. any suggestions? am i just stuck looking through the classifieds? i live in the SF Bay area if that helps any...
eBay (nm)Rusty McNasty
Aug 8, 2001 4:13 AM
A short guide to used bikes ...bianchi boy
Aug 8, 2001 6:18 AM
You can get some incredible deals on used bikes, but you need to do your homework. First, you need to have a bike fitting and find out the correct size frame for you. Seat tube lengths, top tube lengths and standover height are most critical. Make sure you get this information in cms (centimeters) and keep the measurements consistent, eg, center to center.

Second, find several brands that have the correct geometry, frame material and components for you. Then start following the bike ads on roadbikereview and eBay. You'll make your job much easier if you can do searches for particular brands, such as Bianchi or Trek, rather than scrolling through all the ads. Keep an open mind and be patient. You might have your heart set on a Celeste Bianchi, but remember that you have to take what you can find when buying used.

Third, know what the bikes cost new (approximate retail value) and expect to pay about half the retail cost for a good used bike. Lots of folks try to sell used bikes for near retail cost, but there's no point in doing that. Why buy a used bike, with no warranty or service deals from the bike shop, for close to retail?

Fourth, remember that you will probably have to pay shipping when you buy the bike over the internet, and you will probably have to replace some parts to make it fit you just right. You probably will have to replace the stem and the saddle, for example, to get the right fit for you when buying used, unless you get lucky. You also may need a new chain, cassette, tires, etc. Factor that into your price when making an offer on a used bike.

Five, if you find a bike on the internet that looks promising, send the owner an email asking lots of questions -- like exact seat and top tube measurements, mileage on bike, components, etc. Also insist in getting at least one good photo, preferably several, of the actual bike.

Six, it may be cheaper in the long run to buy a new bike set up exactly right for you. You can spend a lot of money on a used bike buying components to make it fit. Trust me, I've been there.
re: where to buy a good cheap bike?GregJ
Aug 8, 2001 6:58 AM
Don't forget to do a circuit of the local shops. Check the For Sale boards and ask the shop employees if they know of anything. If that fails, start checking eBay and online classifieds. Hardly anyone sells nice bikes in the local paper, but you never know.