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The Best Bang For Your Buck Thread.

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The Best Bang For Your Buck Thread.

Old 04-01-20, 08:25 PM
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sloar 
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The Best Bang For Your Buck Thread.

I was out this morning riding my Trek 420, I was amazed how smooth the ride was. Then I started thinking what a great bike for the very small amount of money I paid. There’s no way you can buy a new bike for $100 and totally enjoy the ride. What are your guys opinion of a best bang for your buck bike? I think any vintage Trek especially the 300-400 series bikes. All I did to mine was a new set of Pasela 32’s and a Brooks, it’s my new go to bike.




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Old 04-01-20, 08:30 PM
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Centurion Ironman
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Old 04-01-20, 08:58 PM
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A '70s era Raleigh Super Course, close second a '78 Peugeot PR10.
I have 2 SCs, one a '73 found, free, frame, and a '78, found incomplete, but only $20, on Craigslist. Both great rides.

My '73 SC, found the frame in a scrap metal pile. My first ever build.

'78 SC, as found for $20 on CL.

'78 SC, turned into a great ride, completed with mostly spare parts.

Another fave, a '78 Peugeot PR10.

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Old 04-01-20, 09:17 PM
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Bang like beauty can be in the eye of the beholder, I realize that the buck part implies good deal, low price, cost etc.

I have gotten plenty of smokin deals but some of the best bang are the spendy ones I probably paid too much for but am all in with for the bang they provide.

Sometimes the bang justifies the bucks.
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Old 04-01-20, 09:19 PM
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One hundred percent, Sloar!

The 80's Trek 4xx and 5xx series are super values. I'll usually come across 3 to 4 a year in near new condition, $150-200 or best offer----- from bike shops!

I only pass on them because of already having too many bikes, including a nice variety of early Treks (760, 520 and Japan made 4xx).

With what's happening to the economy and narrowing down to the bicycle market, who knows how cheap some will be selling for. Though if I was scouting my usual bike shops for 4xx or 5xx series and the nicest ones, $100 could likely be a sale. Amazing bike and value over the garbage at Wal-Mart or Dicks.
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Old 04-01-20, 09:47 PM
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I agree, can’t beat a Trek 400, for the price. One of my favorite rides, yet the lowest on my CV hierarchy. Of course I also have a 78 Raleigh SC too.
Tim


1988 Trek 400t

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Old 04-01-20, 09:51 PM
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Have I got to say it again?

Vitus 979. Naturally!
I bought mine for about $250 (other green anodized bits extra), and it's noticeably faster than anything else I've ridden, except possibly a '70s Alex Singer racing bike. It weighs less than 20lbs. It made me faster than my riding buddy. ...Until he bought one (also for $250 or so)!!
I can, and do, regularly pass all sorts of expensive carbon on my rides with this thing. They're thick on the ground and they're world-class. You can get one on EvilBay or Craigs for $250 with a little looking and waiting, and then you'll be riding the same thing Sean Kelly rode to two wins at Roubaix, a victory in the Vuelta, and triumphs in too many other races to name. How can you beat that?!


To be fair, I did once have a Trek 400, which I paid $25 for and rode for 4 years, including once in a race. I loved it dearly and it got me back into cycling after a five year hiatus. So I agree, that's right up there as well.

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Old 04-01-20, 09:58 PM
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PreWar Hercules that continues to serve my wife year round, with aplomb for over 2 decades. Sally Ann purchase, $25.

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Old 04-02-20, 04:59 AM
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Tenax Schwinns fall in this category for me. Can usually obtain for less than $200 and they build and ride as nice as most anything. Already mentioned, Centurion Ironman in this same category.
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Old 04-02-20, 06:47 AM
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I agree... lugged steel Treks, Tenax Schwinns and Centurions. However The Ironman prices have been creeping up a bit. Maybe from the enthusiastic endorsement here on BF? As a result the "non-Ironman" Centurions are often a great buy.
My only complaint with the Tenax Schwinns is that you can't cram anything bigger than a 25mm tire under em.
Here's another great model that flies under the radar. Got this one as shown for a Franklin.
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Old 04-02-20, 07:10 AM
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Some really nice old road bikes have come my way, over the years. Top of the line Italian, French, Canadian, Japanese and British. Such bikes tend to cost anywhere between $0.00 to acquire but always consume dollars and cents during street restoration. All except one, that is...


I found the Legnano at the dump, one day, and brought it (the bike) home. I decided to see what I had without spending one single cent on the bike. I did use this and that, from a spare parts bin, though. As nearly as I can recall, only things like grease, chain lube and cables might have needed replacement attention. If so, used was used - nothing new at all.

So, not a cent spent and an old bike that, believe it or not, offered me one of the most memorable rides in my life...
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Old 04-02-20, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Love the patina on that one, Randy!
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Old 04-02-20, 07:59 AM
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Laugh all you want, but I bought an old Raleigh M30 ATB for $25 bucks a while ago and it has turned out to be one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever ridden. Yes, it’s bottom-of-the-barrel, the graphics are stickers instead of paint, the rear wheel is bolt-on, but it’s quick, super nimble, in a perfect state of tune with crisp shifting and the geometry fits me perfectly. It’s simply a joy to ride. Bought to flip but I’m keeping it and will do a light refurb over time instead.
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Old 04-02-20, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
I was out this morning riding my Trek 420, I was amazed how smooth the ride was. Then I started thinking what a great bike for the very small amount of money I paid. There’s no way you can buy a new bike for $100 and totally enjoy the ride. What are your guys opinion of a best bang for your buck bike? I think any vintage Trek especially the 300-400 series bikes. All I did to mine was a new set of Pasela 32’s and a Brooks, it’s my new go to bike.
I picked up a decent 420 myself last fall for $100 too. Great bike.
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Old 04-02-20, 08:33 AM
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I just sold what was my daily rider last week, the red 400. I'm have a few withdrawal symptoms from the sale, but I'll be ok I've had a 716 in the stash to help me cope.

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Old 04-02-20, 08:57 AM
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I would say it's these, or cap gun caps.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/250-Bang-...aker/789321007

Oh, you meant bikes? Most lower level French or Japanese bikes from a reputable company ride way above their level. Same for early Treks, but their lower level bikes generally used better tubing than straight Hi-Ten, correct? They should ride better.
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Old 04-02-20, 09:11 AM
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32s at the right pressure make any road bike a smooth ride. Even the stiff as crap 80s-90s aluminum bikes, if they would fit.
So if smoothness tops the priorities, 32/35/38s (soft) are the solution to the Bang for Buck question for every bike, every time.

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Old 04-02-20, 09:17 AM
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Perhaps a bit more expensive ($700-1000 in my experience) than most in this thread, but titanium Serotta Schwinn Paramounts are generally extremely undervalued compared to either "real" Waterford/P-10-era Paramounts, or titanium Serottas branded as "Serotta"

The other high-end GT-era Schwinn road bikes (the steel Paramount and steel Reynolds 853 Peloton) are also frequently great buys. People already mentioned the 80s high-end Schwinns (the Columbus Tenax bikes) as well.

Trek-era Lemonds with high-end (853/OX Platinum) steel, Trek-era Bontrager mountain bikes, high end Cannondales/ high-end vintage aluminum in general.

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Old 04-02-20, 09:59 AM
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I’m talking about great riders that can be bought for under $200.
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Old 04-02-20, 10:06 AM
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cheap

Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Centurion Ironman
..and worthy of an Ultegra upgrade!
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Old 04-02-20, 10:17 AM
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Love the patina on that one, Randy!
I must love the Legnano patina too. This one is one of the two vintage road bikes that I kept when I sold my collection last summer...
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Old 04-02-20, 10:25 AM
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my 84 team miyata bought it from a neighbor for $125 (and his significant other still said he should have given it to me) I spend a few bucks with forum members to get parts to put it back to close to original condition (and have crank length that works for me )

it is simply the best riding bike I have ridden...super smooth, just wants to go...... to be noted that it was good with clinchers (but not great tires) but totally came alive with tubies....and the tubies are not super high end.

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Old 04-02-20, 11:51 AM
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I have a Trek 410 and a Tenax Schwinn Prelude. Both competent bikes. The one that blows me away is the Maruishi. The quad-butted Ishiwata tubing is both lighter and more comfortable than the Columbus and the True Temper tubes. The paint is better applied and the CroMo fork tops it all off. Flexible but not noodley. According to T-Mar, the Excellence that I have retailed for $365; the same as the Trek and the Schwinn. I had never heard of the brand before I bought it. I'm sure the Nashbar frames from the same era (built by Maruishi) would ride similarly well. But you didn't hear it here.

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Old 04-02-20, 12:20 PM
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$300 for a 79 Trek 930

Edit: I saw the criteria after the fact. In that case it would be the Centurion Ironman, for $50. Framesets the both of them.
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Old 04-02-20, 12:52 PM
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I'll go with cycling in general. When compared to other silly hobbies, it is downright cheap.
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