Shopping for a used bike - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 11:21 AM - Thead Starter
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I'm in the market for a used road bike. My price range is ~$500. This will be my first road bike - I've been riding a mountain bike for the past few years for fun, training, commuting, and a duathlon. I've gone to one bike store to get a feel for what size fits me (I rode a Specialized). So, I've been perusing Craigslist for something that will meet my needs.

Does anyone have experience with REI's brand Novara? I can hardly find any real reviews on them, and they aren't even listed in Bikepedia for the model year of the one I found for sale.
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#2 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 12:18 PM
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Assuming you're looking at this one (Carema Pro) - it sounds like it has decent components. The frame is probably from one of the big Taiwanese outfits (Giant or Kinesis). The same factories produce frames for a lot of different bicycle brands. Entry-level bikes are fairly similar, and it mostly comes down to preferences in components. This bike is a step-up from the lowest components (Sora/Tiagra), but isn't into the entry race level (ultegra) or pro level (durace) - so a nice medium set that will serve you well. At any rate - go ride it and see what you think. If you like it, make the leap to clipless pedals, and you'd be all set.

Frame: It has a 6061 Aluminum frame with a carbon fork.
All mechanical components (STI shifters, crank, front and rear deraileurs) are 9 speed Shimano 105.
Seatpost, headset, and handlebars are Ritchey
Adjustable stem
Fizik Vitesse saddle
Shimano wheelset with Vittoria Rubino tires
Pedals are generic pedals with plastic toe clips.
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#3 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 12:24 PM - Thead Starter
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Yes, that's the one!

I took a look at this one last weekend and made an offer. The seller is holding out for a better offer for a while.

2002 Raleigh R700 Road Bike
•7005Butted Aluminum Frame, Semi Aero, Zero Stack Head Tube and Replaceable Der. Hanger
•Carbon, OS CroMo Integrated Steerer
•Shimano Ultegra Triple Crankset
•Shimano WH-R535 Wheelset
•Michelin Axial Pro 700 x 23c Tires

That one felt just a smidge too big, but I think that can be fixed with a shorter stem.

Assuming both fit me equally well, is the R700 well above the Carema Pro given it has ultegra?
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#4 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 12:31 PM
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I don't have anything specific to add about the bike at REI or any others, but I will make a general comment - you are likely to get much more for your money spending $500 on a used bike than buying new. If I were you, I would keep scanning Craigs List, e-bay, not sure if it's still there, but roadbikereviews.com used to have a classified (that's where I bought my bike - 1 yr old, great condition, for 1/3 of the price it would sell new).

People upgrade all the time, you will likely get some nice extras (pedals, shoes/cleats, computer, water bottle cages, saddle packs...) for your money. Remember, if the new bike is $500, you have to spend in addition to that for all the necessities you need to actually get out there and ride it!

Good luck!

Edited to add - oops - sounds like you are doing just what I wrote about (sorry, I read your post as comparing looking for used vs. a new one at REI)!
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#5 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 12:39 PM
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Well - unless you're positively set on getting a triple, I'd probably go with the Carema Pro. Triples are - in general - fussier in terms of shifting and harder to maintain, and unless you're in the Himalayas you probably don't need a granny gear - even in moderately hilly country.

Also, googling a bit on the "Pro" shows that that particular model level came out in 2005 and beyond, which means that the bike (and components) are quite a bit newer. Also, by the description of how hard it's been ridden (not very), there's probably quite a bit more life in the CP than the Raleigh.

I know the allure of the high end component line should seem like they would last longer, but a good part of their price is in the shaving of a few grams of weight - and not necessarily in making them any more durable.

Also, doesn't sound like you feel the Raleigh is a great fit to begin with - so why spend money to make the bike have a compromise fit that you may not love (when you could just put it into something useful for a bike that does fit properly to begin with).

My 2 c. Wait for others to chip in ...

Reg
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#6 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 12:49 PM - Thead Starter
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Gah, the Carema Pro is sold. Back to hunting.
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#7 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 12:57 PM
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Might I suggest you check out Bike Source on Sawmill? See what might be in your price range. I'm super happy with my little Ruby. You'd probably be happy with the Dolce. BEST is BS's service. Life time free adjustments. Brakes or shifters not working just right? They'll try adjusting but if that doens't work, they'll just replace the cables.
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#8 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 01:01 PM - Thead Starter
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That's where I rode the Specialized. I'd want at least the Dolce Elite (tiagra), but that was $1200 iirc.
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#9 of 12 Old 05-06-2010, 05:55 PM
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you need to determine the horizontal top tube length of the bike that fits you and use that to shop, not the frame size especially if you are looking at smaller size bike. Buying a bit bike and fixing it with a stem is a lousy idea, so keep on looking. If you don't require a triple for steep hills or because you are heavy, I'd skip it in favor of a compact crank.

Realize some parts like pedals, bars, saddle and stem can end up costing hundreds of dollars if they need to be replaced for fit.

Also, the Shimano wheels of that vintage were never very well regarded, they tended to fail due to the low spoke count.

you will still need accessories too.
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#10 of 12 Old 05-07-2010, 12:20 AM - Thead Starter
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The top tube length on the women-specific Specialized I rode in-store and was told was the correct size was 51.5cm. The R700 was measured by the seller to be "19-20 inches" (<51cm), yet it feels like a longer reach to me. The handlebars seemed maybe only an inch wider on the R700. That's why I thought changing the stem would work for me. Is that incorrect thinking? If so, why? Please educate me.
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#11 of 12 Old 05-07-2010, 03:37 AM
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check slowtwitch classifieds. people sell bike their all the time.

CS
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#12 of 12 Old 05-07-2010, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEye View Post
The top tube length on the women-specific Specialized I rode in-store and was told was the correct size was 51.5cm. The R700 was measured by the seller to be "19-20 inches" (<51cm), yet it feels like a longer reach to me. The handlebars seemed maybe only an inch wider on the R700. That's why I thought changing the stem would work for me. Is that incorrect thinking? If so, why? Please educate me.
the relationship between the saddle and bar height may have been different on the used bike, remember that once the prior owner cuts the steer tube with a hacksaw to set the stack height, the bars cannot be raised. Also, even with the same top tube length, the seat tube angle and the placement of the saddle on the rails (fore-aft) can have an impact on the reach you feel. The bars should be shoulder width, having bars an inch too wide isn't the end of the world. I suspect in that size you will need to narrowest bars.

A measure I use a lot is "cockpit length" which is nose of saddle to bar center, it's practical and fast way to get a sense for that feeling of reach.
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