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Need Help on buying my bike.

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Need Help on buying my bike.

Old 06-13-11, 02:36 AM
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BeefWithRice
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Need Help on buying my bike.

Hey everyone,

I need help with buying a bike for 50-60 mins/day commute as a student and plan to ride around the city for leisure.

I've been looking everywhere online for a guide or at least a good foundation to start. I've tried looking at craigslist, but I'm overwhelmed with all the selections and confused about the pricing. I have never bought a bike before, only ridden hand-me-down ones. So, I don't really know what makes 500 dollar bike different from a 200 dollar one. Is there really a BIG difference? This is an iffy issue with me and my dad.

What's a good sweet spot price for a commuter bike? Which brands should I consider? My budget is around 400 bucks if not less.

These are the ones I have considered:

https://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/comfor...ents-2011.html

https://www.commuterbikestore.com/lom...-100-bike.html

https://www.commuterbikestore.com/bir...port-bike.html

Thank You So much.

Last edited by BeefWithRice; 06-13-11 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 06-13-11, 02:56 AM
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Juha
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Someone more familiar with your local market should be in a better position to comment on individual bikes / brands. I'd steer clear of all kinds of suspension systems (you seem to have the same idea, judging by the bikes you linked to). Good suspension forks cost a lot of money, so the ones available at this price range are likely heavy, not very good and not very durable either.

One point about your budget though: remember to leave something for accessories. You will need a lock, fenders would be nice if you plan to ride in foul weather, possibly rear rack and panniers to carry your stuff, possibly a helmet. A pump, basic tools and tyre patching kit and/or replacement inner tube. If you plan to ride in dark, you'll need lights and reflectors.

Some of the stuff I mentioned can be found readily installed in some bikes (mainly rack, fenders) and you can always try to negotiate some of the cheaper stuff (patch kit, extra tube or two, basic lights) to be included in the purchase "for free".

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Old 06-13-11, 06:40 AM
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ratell
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Instead of shopping for a bike, shop for a bike store. Find the store in town that you like then let them help you buy the best bike for you that they have.
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Old 06-13-11, 09:15 AM
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whatever you get, make sure it fits. a bike you don't fit is one you don't ride and money you've thrown down the drain.
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Old 06-13-11, 09:40 AM
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On the first bike, my recommendation is to go with something affordable. A local bike shop can often get you deals on 'last year's unsold models' for a significant discount.
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Old 06-13-11, 09:59 AM
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and a second hand bike that is functional, not flashy , and locked up solidly when parked ,
will be more likely to still be there to ride home on ..
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Old 06-14-11, 04:14 PM
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I got a Vilano Shadow recently which is almost the same as your first pick. It's okay, it's fast, it's a mix and match of cheapest stuff they could get, unlisted shimano, dnp, etc and you *have* to be mechanically inclined to tune everything up, else you'd hate it and spend another 50 for tune-up. You'll spend another 100 for accessories, maybe 50 if you're careful. Also keep in mind that if shipping is included the bike is probably 50 bucks less in value.

I bet these and walmart bikes are made at the same Chinese factory, just different features, and to think that price of new bike in China is under 30 bucks!
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Old 06-14-11, 04:52 PM
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I'm not at all impressed with the prices of the bikes you linked to. I don't know anything about the brands, but the components are essentially what you'd find on a Walmart bike at a much lower price.

Understanding what sets one bike apart from another can be tricky, and that's one of the best reasons to buy a bike at a bike shop and not a department store or general sporting goods store -- the sales people understand the differences between bikes. The other reasons to buy from a bike shop are that you'll get a bike that is properly sized for you, the bike will be properly assembled and you have some assurance of quality beyond just being able to return it if it's junk. Buying a bike online can get you a quality bike (if you know what to look for), but you don't get the guidance or post-sale service. Buying a used bike is the best way to get value for your dollar, but it's also the most hazardous if you don't know what you're looking for.

The value of a bike is largely a function of the quality of its components. More expensive bikes, in general, have better quality components. The first thing you should do is educate yourself about the different levels of components offered by the primary component makers. For simplicity, you can probably stick to Shimano because they are everywhere, especially in your price range. Shimano offers two main branches of components, road and mountain, plus some specialty variations. For Shimano road components, the order of quality (from worst to best) is 2300, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace. For Shimano mountain components, the order of quality (from worst to best) is C50/C100/C200/Tourney (I'm lumping a bunch together here at the bottom), Altus, Acera, Alivio, Deore, Deore LX, Deore XT, Deore XTR. Comparing between the two, Tiagra and Deore are at roughly the same level of quality, 2300 probably matches up with Alivio. All of these components work, some better than others. I don't have a lot of faith in anything below Acera.

As a general rule, if you are looking for a used bike, if you stick to the major manufacturers (Giant, Trek, Specialized, etc.) you can compare the value of two bikes by comparing their age, condition and component level. For $400 you should be able to find a bike less than 10 years old in very good condition with Deore or better components. You can find a new bike in that price range with a mix of Alivio and Acera components, possibly with a Deore rear derailleur. That's assuming you want something with a flat bar.

As others have said, you should probably avoid suspension forks.

Whatever you get, educate yourself about sizing and be sure the bike you get fits you.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:27 PM
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I'd just like to chime in with the no suspension fork crowd. It seemed like a good idea at the time ... but it wasn't.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:41 PM
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$400 will buy you a NICE used bike or bike like object of lower quality as you have linked.

With the exception of the R300 and T700 I have less then $400 in each of those bikes in my signature. the R300 I built from parts and have $480 with new tires (A R1000 was $2400 new in 2001). The T700 I bought for $350 but had to rebuild the wheels. I have $450 in it now. They are 100 times the quality of what you posted. One of the bikes I picked up for $8 at a garage sale and its still tons better then what you posted.

Where do you live? see what your local www.craigslist.org has.

Last edited by Grim; 06-14-11 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 06-14-11, 06:46 PM
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eBay and Craigslist are good places to look. Find yourself a good fit calculator online then compare measurements until you find something decent that fits.
Or, there's this-----https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mirage_xi_steel.htm

$299 shipped for a steel framed road bike with rack and fender eyelets. That's a cheap price for a good(not great) frame that will last you forever, and you can always upgrade components as needed.
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Old 06-20-11, 12:42 PM
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I'd have to disagree with Andy K, walmart is a different kind of cheap.

Walmart road bikes (with the exception $549 carbon schwinn) don't list components at all, don't specify weight of bike, etc.
A big plus with walmart is that they have to cover at least basic quality, because it's [presumably] easier to return their bike than what you get from an internet shop.

The $549 lists 2200 and Sora, thus you can guess what goes into $199 and $149 ;-)

I also have to disagree with all the "find a bike shop" crowd, I've got 5 bikes shops close to where I live, none of them has anything decent for under 300. Their used bikes are pretty bad and over 300, their single speeds start at 350, their road bikes start at over a grand. They do stock mountain bikes at aroun 300 price point though. I pressed one of the shops on the pirce difference between road and mountain bikes, their responce was "not many buy road bikes, so we only stock entry level competition road bikes."Also you gotta remember that local shops need larger profit margin to survive. Ergo if you're after a road bike LBS is not an option.

Schwinnrider's hint seems decent too, if you can live with shifter positions.
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Old 06-20-11, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dimaqq View Post
The $549 lists 2200 and Sora, thus you can guess what goes into $199 and $149 ;-)
Yeah, Tourney and other non-series Shimano components, which is what is listed for the bikes the OP linked to.
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