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Malne
 
Need bike guru's

So I'm looking to pick up a bike, nominally to get me back and forth from school but also hopefully to get into riding and get a little more cardio in. Found a guy on CL selling a 26" "older" Motobecane road bike for $200, but doesn't have any other info listed. Is there anything important I should ask about it? Bike looks like it's in decent shape, just needs some cleaning but my eyes are untrained so maybe I'm missing something?


Old 03-21-2009, 05:15 PM Malne is offline  
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LegalMaven
 
There's really not much to look for. check the frame and fork for cracks, particularly around the joints. If the paint is cracked, there's a good chance the weld below is as well and that should be a deal breaker. Rust might also be an issue since the frame is steel.

The problem with this bike is that you'll find it very difficult to get parts for it, particularly for the drivetrain. Most modern stuff either won't fit at all or will require you to replace everything as a matching set.

I also can't imagine this bike being worth $200. In fact, I can't even imagine it's worth half that, but I'm not really up on the valuation of these kinds of bikes.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:25 PM LegalMaven is offline  
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laz
 
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The problem with this bike is that you'll find it very difficult to get parts for it, particularly for the drivetrain. Most modern stuff either won't fit at all or will require you to replace everything as a matching set.

I also can't imagine this bike being worth $200. In fact, I can't even imagine it's worth half that, but I'm not really up on the valuation of these kinds of bikes.

QFT!
I have a motobecane moped and it's the biggest pain in the ass when it comes to finding parts for it. I can NOT recommend any older French bike, no matter how good it was in it's day, due to the usage of non-standard metric sizes (i.e. French Metric). Offer him $50 for it and ride it till stuff breaks, then make it fixed geared.
Old 03-21-2009, 08:03 PM laz is offline  
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tad
 
you should figure out if the stuff on the bike is french threaded (bottom bracket, etc). If so, it's going to be really hard to do any maintenance on. Most french bikes sold in the U.S. in the 80s( which is what this looks like) actually weren't french threaded, so you might be OK.

Assuming it's not french-threaded, I'd say it's worth about $150 in a metro area, less if you're in a more rural area. I'd try to get him down in that range.

Other than the retarded handlebar and saddle angles... and the chain slack (which I'm assuming is just b/c it popped off a chainring) the bike looks to be in good condition from those pics.

Edit:
Also, for the love of god, make sure the bike is your size. When you stand over it you should have at least an inch or two of clearance b/w your groin and the top tube.
Old 03-21-2009, 10:09 PM tad is offline  
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Malne
 
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you should figure out if the stuff on the bike is french threaded (bottom bracket, etc). If so, it's going to be really hard to do any maintenance on. Most french bikes sold in the U.S. in the 80s( which is what this looks like) actually weren't french threaded, so you might be OK.

Assuming it's not french-threaded, I'd say it's worth about $150 in a metro area, less if you're in a more rural area. I'd try to get him down in that range.

Other than the retarded handlebar and saddle angles... and the chain slack (which I'm assuming is just b/c it popped off a chainring) the bike looks to be in good condition from those pics.

Edit:
Also, for the love of god, make sure the bike is your size. When you stand over it you should have at least an inch or two of clearance b/w your groin and the top tube.

Well, 26" is apparently pretty large for a frame but I'm 6'4" so hopefully it should fit alright. How would I be able to tell if its french threaded?
Old 03-21-2009, 11:14 PM Malne is offline  
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Malne
 
What's with everyone freaking out over vintage shit? http://boulder.craigslist.org/bik/1086920566.html has a 1975 bike in admittedly great shape, but it's more than 30 years old, I doubt it cost $300 brand new, and he wants $325?
Old 03-22-2009, 03:54 PM Malne is offline  
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isugoat
 
i don't claim to be a bike guru, quite the opposite. but i needed a bike last summer when i was planning on doing a week long 500 mile bike trip (and i didn't want to ride it on my mountain bike). looked around a lot, and had a very hard time finding even a low level starter road bike for under $700 new. i didn't want to invest that much as i wasn't sure i'd like a road bike. found bikesdirect.com and was pretty skeptical with prices so low. however, i did pull the trigger and got this one:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ington3_IX.htm
it was on sale for $350 when i got it. there was a little assembly required, but nothing too hard. took the bike on the trip and have put probably another 1000 miles on it since then (many of those have been on my trainer). i had it in once (after that initial bike trip) for a tuning and checkup. the bike is still in like new shape and i haven't had any issues. highly recommended...and it'll probably be way better than any average 20 year old bike you'll find on craigslist for not a whole lot more.

edit: the sizing chart they have on that site seemed to work pretty well for me. also, maybe someone with more knowledge can point out the flaws in the bike.
Old 03-22-2009, 10:04 PM isugoat is offline  
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Malne
 
thanks for the site, I ended up going for the http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...iragesport.htm Motobecane Mirage Sport, they are out of the wellington in my size but I didn't want to spend the extra money for the next ones up and I'm sure I'll survive with the lesser components. Craigslist = fail, which is really surprising for such an active biking community like Boulder.
Old 03-23-2009, 02:34 AM Malne is offline  
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laz
 
Be careful about those Chinese mail-order bikes, they are not known for their high craftsmanship (and all other woes that go along with Chinese manufacturing) but I'm sure it will work well for you and general riding. Just keep the bike well maintained and you shouldn't have any issues.
Do let us know how you like it! And
Old 03-23-2009, 10:29 AM laz is offline  
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Thresher
 
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Be careful about those Chinese mail-order bikes, they are not known for their high craftsmanship (and all other woes that go along with Chinese manufacturing) but I'm sure it will work well for you and general riding. Just keep the bike well maintained and you shouldn't have any issues.
Do let us know how you like it! And
those are not bad bikes... the one op linked actually got decent components. Some things will break within a month probably but they will be easy to replace since everything is standard on that bike.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:46 PM Thresher is offline  
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steal
you pick up dog turds? suckers!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malne View Post
What's with everyone freaking out over vintage shit? http://boulder.craigslist.org/bik/1086920566.html has a 1975 bike in admittedly great shape, but it's more than 30 years old, I doubt it cost $300 brand new, and he wants $325?

stupid hipsters with too much disposable income driving up the price of used trash

only an idiot will pay that much for that bike, and there are a lot of idiots out there who think anything old with a steel frame is worth a few hundred bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by laz View Post
Be careful about those Chinese mail-order bikes, they are not known for their high craftsmanship (and all other woes that go along with Chinese manufacturing) but I'm sure it will work well for you and general riding. Just keep the bike well maintained and you shouldn't have any issues.
Do let us know how you like it! And

most bikes are made in china and that includes most of the carbon shit you see pro's riding in the tour
Old 03-24-2009, 11:11 PM steal is offline  
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Malne
 
What's going to break on 80 miles/month or less?
Old 03-24-2009, 11:53 PM Malne is offline  
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Malne
 
First impressions: It's definitely cheap. Paint is super thin and I already managed to strip one of the pinch nuts on the stem, which I don't think I've ever done before with an allen wrench. Everything needs adjusting out of the box, and I can't for the life of me get the brakes working right so I'll have to take it into the shop to get looked at, but somebody with more experience might not need to. The front wheel is a bit out of true and has a kink in one of the spokes. Beyond that though, it's a bike, it goes, and that's really all I need.
Old 03-25-2009, 07:00 PM Malne is offline  
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isugoat
 
yeah, i don't know if i would have gone for the cheapest they have. maybe i got lucky, but even just going to their 2nd or 3rd tier, aside from a rare gear slip, my bike really had no problems. i still have no paint chips....despite most of my bike trips being drunken parties.
Old 03-25-2009, 10:23 PM isugoat is offline  
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Thresher
 
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What's going to break on 80 miles/month or less?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malne View Post
First impressions: It's definitely cheap. Paint is super thin and I already managed to strip one of the pinch nuts on the stem, which I don't think I've ever done before with an allen wrench. Everything needs adjusting out of the box, and I can't for the life of me get the brakes working right so I'll have to take it into the shop to get looked at, but somebody with more experience might not need to. The front wheel is a bit out of true and has a kink in one of the spokes. Beyond that though, it's a bike, it goes, and that's really all I need.
looks like now you have a pretty good idea what's going to break Just try to get it into riding condition and ride it and not care much about paint etc. For your second bike I would advice getting some really good used one... you can find amazing deals online on used bikes. But I am more into mountain biking though.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:01 PM Thresher is offline  
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