Carl apparently is a runner who plans to do a triathlon this year but who doesn't love cycling yet and doesn't know if he ever will and so is (quite reasonably) cautious about what he wants to spend on a bike.
On 29/01/2013 10:28 AM, Carl wrote:
Peter, it's good to meet you.
I'm looking at getting started on triathlons this summer. I have a decent Trek MTB at the moment but am open to the idea of an (used) entry level road bike. The longest ride I need to cover off is 30K, so I don't believe I need anything over the top. Would also like to keep my budget on this at $300-$400. Will also be shelling out for a wetsuit and other miscellaneous gear so I'd rather not spend a fortune and find out that it's really not my thing. Suggestions?
Good to know you.
Frankly, $400 is not a lot of money for a quality bike. But, if you have the patience and are willing to drive all over town checking stuff out, you will find something.
There is nothing wrong per se with Sora components [ ed. a bike Carl was considering from Craigslist had Sora components, the lowest end of Shimano's lineup]. They will easily get you through this ride and this season. But, just like in cars, there's also nothing wrong with a KIA. It gets you from Point A to Point B. I just doesn't act and feel like a Mercedes.
That said, there is a lot of bluster out there about bikes and components. Most people feel a little bit intimidated and influenced by what their friends and competitors are using. It's largely bullshit if you are comfortable in your own skin. Cycling is more about turning your legs over and over and over and far less about gear.
Fit though is most crucial. It has to be comfortable.
My little hobby website has a section on fitting .
more detail here.
Have a look, do the measurements (twice) and tell me what you discover.
If your budget is $400 or less, you could do perfectly pretty well with that Trek 1000 [aluminum with Sora listed at $500]. (and you can probably beat the seller down by $100). He describes it as suitable for a 32" inseam. But standover height means nothing. That frame looks pretty small (but I can't be sure.)
A bike is measured by dimension A in that picture. (How tall are you? which is also a bad proxy for frame size as peoples legs and torso are often disproportionate.)
But ultimately your search should really all depend on how much biking you plan to do - not only the triathlon but also your training and then once you get hooked (or your knees start to complain about your running) just for recreation.
If you just need a bike to jump on the week before your race, I'd be happy too to rent you one for not a lot of money.
Then, you just turn it back over when you are done.
I don't have anything that would sell for $400. I have a couple that start in the $600 to $800 range.
And I also offer a 75% buy back policy. Use a bike for a season, don't like it or want it, I'll take it back at 75% of the sale price.
So, I am happy to guide you as best I can through you search on CL.
Oh and I suggest you read my tips on buying a 2nd Hand Bike.
But send me your inseam measurement first will you?