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Looking to get a used bike - appreciate 2nd opinions

Old 03-22-22, 04:45 PM
  #1  
arimnestos
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Looking to get a used bike - appreciate 2nd opinions

Hi all, I apologize if this is posted in the wrong forum. I'm looking to get a new (used) bike and would appreciate some wisdom/second opinions etc.

A little about me: I'm young, 6' tall, enjoy biking, but not an expert in buying bikes at all. The last two bikes I rode were hand-me-downs given for free with lots of issues, e.g. one gear/7 working, rear brakes not working, flat tires etc. I fixed what I could, but it would be nice to get a bike relatively problem free.

I recently moved to Toronto, so I'm not planning to do any crazy mountain biking anytime soon, but do enjoy going on trails where possible, so I'm interested in a hybrid or mountain bike.

I'm young and with student loans, so I have a low budget (Ideally under $250 CAD) and just want something low maintenance I can ride around the city and on trails. Like a Toyota Corolla - reliable, affordable, not fancy.

I'm not quite sure exactly what to look for in getting a used bike, although I've gathered from some past posts to avoid retail store bikes and some preferred budget brands (e.g. Giant).

As a result - here's some postings I've seen, please let me know your thoughts if you think any are a good buy! Thanks in advance for your help and hope you have a great night!

$150 - Giant Sedona - looks relatively new and medium-large size, but not sure. Nor does the lady who posted when I asked her.

$160 Giant Iguana - 18in frame, 26in tire. Looks older. Maybe 90s?

$120 Raleigh Ambush - medium frame, 26in tires. Looks 5-10 years old?


$65 Raleigh Portage - 22in frame, 26in tires. Looks older - 90s?


$120 Raleigh Summit - maybe 5-10 years old? 21in frame, 26in tires
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Old 03-22-22, 04:46 PM
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arimnestos
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The website won't let me post any links to the Kijiji ads for these bikes until I've made 10 posts. Any ideas how I can provide them for context?
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Old 03-22-22, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post
I'm young and with student loans, so I have a low budget (Ideally under $250 CAD) and just want something low maintenance I can ride around the city and on trails. Like a Toyota Corolla - reliable, affordable, not fancy.
The problem here is that you think the initial purchase price of a used bike will be your only and final cost.

Just like some used beater Corolla with 300000kms for $1000, I promise you will be spending a lot more sooner than later.

If it were me, I'd skip $20 lunches and $5 coffees for a good new bike from a LBS (Local Bike Shop) recommended by locals.

There's always Costco. Yes, big box stores sell crap bikes, but their return policy is awesome.

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Old 03-22-22, 09:10 PM
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arimnestos
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Just like some used beater Corolla with 300000kms for $1000, I promise you will be spending a lot more sooner than later.

If it were me, I'd skip $20 lunches and $5 coffees for a good new bike from a LBS (Local Bike Shop) recommended by locals.
You know not all young people are the same right? Thanks for your reply, but if it's just to be condescending, please try not to make a bunch of assumptions.

I have an 07 Honda Accord with 210,000km on it. I understand the additional maintenance costs, however, there is still an upfront cost. You pay a lot more for the maintenance of a Ferrari anyways. And I spend $4 a month on coffee and $250 a month on food(about $3/meal).

The cheapest bikes sold at my LBS are ~$650. Hence, I'm looking for used.

Don't have a Costco membership and even their cheapest bike is $500.

Please let me know if you have any comments on the bikes I mentioned above.
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Old 03-22-22, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post
You know not all young people are the same right? Thanks for your reply, but if it's just to be condescending, please try not to make a bunch of assumptions.
I didn't assume anything.

I clearly said if it were me and what I myself would do.

You asked for advice and I am trying to give what I believe is helpful advice.

Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post
I have an 07 Honda Accord
Again, it if were me, I would sell the car so I could afford the $650 bike from the LBS or a $500 one from Costco.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:42 PM
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Look for old rigid (no suspension) mountain bikes from the 90s. Try to find ones with "Deore" in the name on the components (Deore, Deore LX, Deore XT, etc...). With those parts you'll likely find a mid level or better bike.

They are good, cheap all arounders which are easy and cheap to maintain. Mainly look for any major damage to the frame, fork or wheels as those are the most expensive parts. Also be sure the move the saddle to be sure it's not seized.

At 6ft, you are going to want a 20-22in frame. Different bikes have different feel, but that's your ballpark.

Once you hit 10 posts you can link your ads and we can look at the bikes you have in mind.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post

$150 - Giant Sedona - looks relatively new and medium-large size, but not sure. Nor does the lady who posted when I asked her.

$160 Giant Iguana - 18in frame, 26in tire. Looks older. Maybe 90s?

$120 Raleigh Ambush - medium frame, 26in tires. Looks 5-10 years old?


$65 Raleigh Portage - 22in frame, 26in tires. Looks older - 90s?


$120 Raleigh Summit - maybe 5-10 years old? 21in frame, 26in tires
Your sizing appears to be inconsistent. No bike, at any price, would be a good choice if it doesnít fit. Private party ads are notoriously bad with accurate size info, so Iíll give you that, but you need to be looking at bikes youíre sure will fit. Next, youíll want to scrutinize every available photo for signs of deal-breakers. Deal-breakers being things you cannot fix or adjust to a state of safe operation. Careful examination of photos will save you a lot of wasted time and energy from arranging to check out irreparable junk. In fact, if pics donít exist, move on to the next because itís that important.

At the price point youíre considering, condition of the components is more important than brand, age, frame material, etc... A 25 year old bike could be rolling on a set of 1 year old tires. The better branded bike could be sporting a bent or otherwise trashed derailleur. Budget bikes can be a total crap-shoot. One can be a Garage Queen thatís been collecting dust from 3 months after purchase (by a little old lady/man) and the next can be an absolutely trashed beater from a serial bike abuser who never saw a jump he didnít like.

I cannot make any meaningful recommendations based upon the information you provided. 22 - 18Ē frames are an eyebrow raising range of sizes for one person to be considering. The real difference between a good choice and a frustrating life lesson is in the details.

I can give you a bit of advice thatís worked for me over decades of buying and selling; the quality of the ad itself can often be a good indicator of the quality of the bicycle. If the seller is mindful and motivated enough to create a well prepared ad to sell something they no longer value, theyíve probably valued the item during the time they owned it. The person who canít be bothered to take a decent photo or provide more than a three word description probably didnít give a damn about the item when they owned it. A good ad is a fair indicator of pride of ownership.

And finally, all things being equal, you should always go for the red one. Theyíre faster. Itís science.
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Old 03-22-22, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Ö.And finally, all things being equal, you should always go for the red one. Theyíre faster. Itís science.
And blue is slowerÖ

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshift
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Old 03-23-22, 12:20 AM
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were it me, I would sell the car so I could afford the $650 bike from the LBS or a $500 one from Costco.
I would sell the car and buy a $200-$400 vintage road bike (at least mid-level*), $100 in new consumables, and $100 in tools (to keep it in like-new condition for the duration).

* A mid-level vintage bike from the '70s or '80s includes:
- chromoly frame or better
- cotterless double crankset
- on-frame rear derailleur hanger
- aluminum rims
- down tube shifters.
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Old 03-23-22, 06:49 AM
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Check with the co-ops in your area. They often sell refurbished bicycles at a reasonable price and/or offer used parts/repair assistance& tools to maintain something you purchase. Don't discount co-ops in Detroit/Buffalo.

https://www.google.com/search?q=toro...hrome&ie=UTF-8


To the "sell your car people", OP is in Toronto. They have a thing called "winter". Yes, people go carless in winter places, but it's a small percentage of the bike crowd, and even smaller of the population. His Honda has 130K miles, just broken in.

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Old 03-23-22, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
I didn't assume anything.

I clearly said if it were me and what I myself would do.

You asked for advice and I am trying to give what I believe is helpful advice.
"If it were me, I'd skip $20 lunches and $5 coffees for a good new bike from a LBS (Local Bike Shop) recommended by locals."

I am confused. So you eat $20 lunches and drink $5 coffees? And how is the advice helpful if the OP does not?
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Old 03-23-22, 07:38 AM
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With used bikes it's about 2 things:

1. Fit. If the bike doesn't actually fit you then everything else is irrelevant. You're 6' so looking at a large or 20-22" frame. You may be able to make an 18" frame work but it still needs to be comfortable. The only way to find out is to go sit on the bikes and ideally give them a quick ride. You shouldn't feel bad about declining to buy a bike because it's too small. Don't take the owners word on how it fits too because some people have horrible setups.
2. Condition. The bike should be in a useable or easily fixable condition. Check that the rust isn't too bad, that the gears all shift, it pedals smoothly and the brakes work (pro tip: test the brakes before you go on the test ride). Good condition tyres is a bonus, but you can get tyres and tubes pretty cheaply if needed.

Ask at your local bike shop if they know of or can help you get a bike in budget, they may have or know something.

And finally, it might be worth seeing if you can get credit to buy a new one, something like a Giant Escape 3 would do everything you need without the risk/maintenance of buying something that's 10+ years old.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:39 AM
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First thing you should do is figure out what frame size you need. I could see right away that the 18" frame bike is never going to be suitable for anyone who is 6 feet tall. My 18" frame 1993 Cannondale MTB fits me well and I am much shorter than you. If the seller does not know how to measure the frame, ask them to measure the difference between the center of the crank and the top of the seat tube. That's where the frame meets the seatpost. One way to instantly separate the decent bikes from pure junk is to weigh the bike. My Cannondale weighs 26 pounds. I found it in a second hand store, dusty and with deflated tires. All it took was for me to pick it up to know it was a keeper. Best $20 I ever spent on a bike.
If you know the make and model for a bike you can use bicyclebluebook to get information on when the bike was made, how much it cost new, and most times a list of components. It may not be as good for a realistic price guide though.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I would sell the car and buy a $200-$400 vintage road bike (at least mid-level*), $100 in new consumables, and $100 in tools (to keep it in like-new condition for the duration).
A vintage road bike with 23 or 25mm tyres and down shifters for casual use on trails? That's brave.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I am confused. So you eat $20 lunches and drink $5 coffees? And how is the advice helpful if the OP does not?
Like all forum replies from strangers, it's FWIW.

Likewise, telling someone that overhaulling Cannondale Headshok bearings is easy as pie doesn't help the poster if they are totally incapable of DIY.

The internets isn't really a fun place for those that get irked easily when they see something they don't like.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:42 AM
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@arimnestos, most of us are not deliberately being unhelpful, but we really don't have enough information to make helpful comments. @Kedosto's fit recommendation is spot on, as is @dedhed's coop recommendation. Since it appears you don't know what size bike you need, I'd go with finding a coop and look for a bike there. Tuesday-Thursday mornings seem to be the dead time at most bike shops, so if you can go then, they'll have time to talk with you, size you up, and get you a bike that'll work for you.

Alternatively, perhaps one of your friends rides bikes enough to be a resource. If you can talk to him/her to narrow down sizes, take him with you to look at the bikes that might fit. He can help you assess the bike -- frame, wheels, tires -- and figure out if it's rideable, or what it would take to make it rideable. If you find a $250 bike that's been sitting in a garage for 30 years, and need to take it to a shop to replace cables, brake pads, open up all the bearings and repack them with fresh grease, then reassemble and adjust everything, and put some fresh tires on to replace the dry-rotted rubber-ish things on the wheels, you could be looking at some money. Buy a bike for $250, spend another $250 getting it ready to ride, and you still have a 30 year old bike. Maybe the $650 new bike, with a warranty, a shop that you know will work with you and explain how to shift and brake, a staff that tells you what to look out for and what kind of service or replacement parts you may need, mechanics who'll adjust your cables after a month or two -- maybe it's not that expensive after all?

Re: $20 lunches, all of those were a mistake. I only remember one, and all I could taste was the grease off the steak sandwich. If I've had more than one $20 lunch, it/they was/were mistakes too, since they were forgettable and obviously overpriced.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:44 AM
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I'd look for a Large Trek FX, any model, any year but one of these might work. go test ride some bikes & see what condition they are in
I just spotted these that might work for you

Trek 700 - $160

link Like NEW large Evo touring hybrid bike/city commuter - $500 (Downtown West End)

link CCM Ice Hybrid Bike (21 speed with 26 inch tires) - $260 (Whitby at Brock Street and 401 (exit 410)))

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Old 03-23-22, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post
, so I have a low budget (Ideally under $250 CAD) and just want something low maintenance I can ride around the city and on trails. Like a Toyota Corolla - reliable, affordable, not fancy.
With that low of a budget you are talking more like a Chevy S-10 or a Ford Taurus. A Toyota Corrolla would be more comparable to a bike over $1000.

At the price range you are looking those bikes would be just like your hand me downs.
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Old 03-23-22, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post
Giant Sedona - this is a comfort bike. you'll want this when you're 60+ yrs old
Giant Iguana - go test ride it & see what condition it is in & how it feels
Raleigh Ambush - go test ride it & see what condition it is in & how it feels
Raleigh Portage - pass
Raleigh Summit - - go test ride it & see what condition it is in & how it feels
I put my guesses within your quote. I have no 1st hand knowledge or experience w/ any of them. good luck!
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Old 03-23-22, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
Like all forum replies from strangers, it's FWIW.

Likewise, telling someone that overhaulling Cannondale Headshok bearings is easy as pie doesn't help the poster if they are totally incapable of DIY.

The internets isn't really a fun place for those that get irked easily when they see something they don't like.
Dude, you're assuming that this guy spends an inordinate amount of money on coffee and food and telling him to sell his car to buy a bike when he is talking about casual cycling. You have not been remotely helpful.
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Old 03-23-22, 08:03 AM
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To the OP. Search like crazy for something in your side. If your not sure head to a LBS to sit on a few and try them out. Otherwise you are looking for a 19 or larger in a mountain bike frame. Probably closer to 20 inch. A hybrid would work too and have easier to maintain components. I would stay away from anything with a suspension because that is more maintenance than you want.

I liked the above suggestion of Shimano Deore components as anything in that line will work for you as well as a well worded ad and a bike that doesn't look trashed. Flat tires, rusty chain, bald tires , shifters that don't work ... stay away. It will all be frustrating in the end. Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-23-22, 08:06 AM
  #22  
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Look for old rigid (no suspension) mountain bikes from the 90s. Try to find ones with "Deore" in the name on the components (Deore, Deore LX, Deore XT, etc...). With those parts you'll likely find a mid level or better bike.

They are good, cheap all arounders which are easy and cheap to maintain. Mainly look for any major damage to the frame, fork or wheels as those are the most expensive parts. Also be sure the move the saddle to be sure it's not seized.

At 6ft, you are going to want a 20-22in frame. Different bikes have different feel, but that's your ballpark.

Once you hit 10 posts you can link your ads and we can look at the bikes you have in mind.
This is super helpful advice, thank you very much!
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Old 03-23-22, 08:43 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
@arimnestos, most of us are not deliberately being unhelpful, but we really don't have enough information to make helpful comments. @Kedosto's fit recommendation is spot on, as is @dedhed's coop recommendation. Since it appears you don't know what size bike you need, I'd go with finding a coop and look for a bike there. Tuesday-Thursday mornings seem to be the dead time at most bike shops, so if you can go then, they'll have time to talk with you, size you up, and get you a bike that'll work for you.

Alternatively, perhaps one of your friends rides bikes enough to be a resource. If you can talk to him/her to narrow down sizes, take him with you to look at the bikes that might fit. He can help you assess the bike -- frame, wheels, tires -- and figure out if it's rideable, or what it would take to make it rideable. If you find a $250 bike that's been sitting in a garage for 30 years, and need to take it to a shop to replace cables, brake pads, open up all the bearings and repack them with fresh grease, then reassemble and adjust everything, and put some fresh tires on to replace the dry-rotted rubber-ish things on the wheels, you could be looking at some money. Buy a bike for $250, spend another $250 getting it ready to ride, and you still have a 30 year old bike. Maybe the $650 new bike, with a warranty, a shop that you know will work with you and explain how to shift and brake, a staff that tells you what to look out for and what kind of service or replacement parts you may need, mechanics who'll adjust your cables after a month or two -- maybe it's not that expensive after all?

Re: $20 lunches, all of those were a mistake. I only remember one, and all I could taste was the grease off the steak sandwich. If I've had more than one $20 lunch, it/they was/were mistakes too, since they were forgettable and obviously overpriced.
Thank you, this is a good summary of everyone's helpful suggestions. I'll look for a co-op near me and try a few 20-22in size bikes out
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Old 03-23-22, 08:59 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by arimnestos View Post
You know not all young people are the same right? Thanks for your reply, but if it's just to be condescending, please try not to make a bunch of assumptions.
I have an 07 Honda Accord with 210,000km on it. I understand the additional maintenance costs, however, there is still an upfront cost. You pay a lot more for the maintenance of a Ferrari anyways. And I spend $4 a month on coffee and $250 a month on food(about $3/meal).
The cheapest bikes sold at my LBS are ~$650. Hence, I'm looking for used.
Don't have a Costco membership and even their cheapest bike is $500.
Please let me know if you have any comments on the bikes I mentioned above.
Welcome arimnestos,
A thing about any internet forum is that one has to develop a bit of a strong skin - because there are plenty of posters who find these places great for pissing contests... LOL!
Filter the 'noise' from 'signal'.
It's a tough time to be bike shopping, because supplies in new and used are in short supply. The bikes which stay for sale for a while are usually way over-priced. We have the same around here.
People who think they have a "treasure' (as opposed to the abused piece of old gas pipe it is...) think others will pay for their neglected stuff....
I also did a quick look on Craigslist Toronto for what was on there. What an Education ! A lot of old crappage at incredibly high prices !!! knowing full well that this is all CAN dollars, most of the stuff needs crushing, not selling.
But there are a few options - assuming you're not needing wanting anything more than a decent basic bike...
Go to a COOP - great idea!
On Craigslist - this listing is from a local bike shop which seems to offer a stock of 'used' bikes - might be good to contact and see what they have for you. Given it's a retail shop, the stuff might be expected to be in decent working condition, with no surprises here's the Link : Sam's Bike Shop
I'm not recommending any particular bike/listing they have, but speak with them and maybe go see what they have in stock, available...
Also, noting CCM bikes... Most US doesn't really know the Brand, but my own experience with CCM bikes is that they are solid bikes, with decent components, usually better than most BigBox bikes.
So if the bike fits, and is a decent price, in good working order - it'll prolly be a reliable basic machine.
rumrunn6 posted a CCM Ice listed on CL for $260...
This seems to be the same bike, listed on CL for $200... If it's working ok, and doesn't need much work - it might be worth $150 CAN...
visually seems to be about an 18"-19" frame (26" wheels) and should fit a rider from 5' 8" to just over 6' (1.73m to 1.81m - ish).
Don't rush, something will come up... But if a bike looks/seems well kept, and the seller seems up front and honest.
Don;t sweat the little things, like grips... make sure the wheels turn well without 'crunchy' sounds, are round without hops or wobbles, brakes are steady and relaible, the bike shifts smoothly and consistently, and the fork/steering turns smoothly without feeling Tight or 'notchy'.
Keep us updated on your search. Most of us can give some decent advise without the need to be negative or snarky... LOL
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 03-23-22, 09:17 AM
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70sSanO
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To cut to the chase. A lot of your success depends on the research you do. As a novice buyer Giant and Trek make decent bikes and really don’t offer junk.

That said, you should become somewhat familiar with the models and components. Shimano Tourney is the bottom of the barrel among “named” components. As you move from 7 speed cassettes to 8 and 9, quality tends to go up.

You should figure out before hand what models fit your criteria and do a bit of research so you’ll be ready when one pops up.

Condition is key. You need to be able to look at a chainring and get an idea how much use it has had. It someone says hardly ridden, the teeth on a black chainring should still be black with maybe a few scrapes, original tires should still have nubs, brake pads not worn, etc.

For your use, the age of a pretty much unridden bike doesn’t matter. You may have to tune it up, and if too old, replace the tires. No bike is maintenance free, but the key is to find one not worn out.

John
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