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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm just starting out with biking and training for triathlons and I'm looking to get my first bike. Being a college student, I'm on a tight budget so I'm looking in the $300-$500 range. I've been checking on sites craigslist and other used gear sites but haven't found any good ones as of yet.

What are some good beginner bikes that are relatively cheap?

Thanks
 

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At that price point, you'd be better off getting a single speed just for training purposes, unless you buy used. If you don't have many steep hills, a single speed would work just great! That goes double for college campus travel.

Meanwhile, just save your money until you get close to $1200. Then get a really decent road bike. You can always sell your single speed, once you get close to your road bike price point.

Checkout www.bikesdirect.com and your local craigslist. REI has the Buzz One single speed going for about $450.
 

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Thanks for the response. I'm mainly looking for used bikes. Do you recommend any specific brands to go with?

Thanks
For used bikes, I'd only consider major brands. Don't buy used carbon. Lean towards steel, unless the aluminum frame looks too good to pass up. Avoid dented frames at all costs.

Surly, Raleigh, Specialized, Trek, Giant, and Jamis are all great brands. Of course, there's also Bianchi, Masi, Cervelo, Pinarello, and others too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advice! I've emailed a few people about their ads on a few Treks, Fuji's and a 2009 Schwinn Le Tour but haven't gotten any responses as of yet.
 

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In that price range, I would think aluminum frames from major makers in the last decade are the best deals. Trek and Cannondale are good choices. Then there is Jamis, or Specialized or Giant. Good solid bikes. Cannondale CAAD's are particularly good choices for your purposes.
 

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Thanks for all the advice! I've emailed a few people about their ads on a few Treks, Fuji's and a 2009 Schwinn Le Tour but haven't gotten any responses as of yet.
Looks like you're headed in the right direction there, Danny. I plum forgot about Fuji and Schwinn! They both make excellent bikes too. The main thing though, is to make certain that your next bike is a perfect fit and that it rides nicely. You should test ride it for about 5 miles or so, before you actually buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice/tips! I got a bike yesterday and am very pleased!

I'm sorry, I didn't even see the "Beginners Corner" section before posting or I probably would've put this there.
 

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At that price point, you'd be better off getting a single speed just for training purposes, unless you buy used. If you don't have many steep hills, a single speed would work just great! That goes double for college campus travel.

Meanwhile, just save your money until you get close to $1200. Then get a really decent road bike. You can always sell your single speed, once you get close to your road bike price point.

Checkout www.bikesdirect.com and your local craigslist. REI has the Buzz One single speed going for about $450.
Nonsense.

Buy used. It's a bike, not a set of bath towels.

Saw a Trek 1000 on CL recently for $100. Saw a CAAD 8 with tiagra for $675. Paid $575 for my brand new Trek 1.1.

I see OP already found a bike but wanted to respond as a counter point to the attitude that unless you're dropping $1k+ on a road bike you are wasting your money.

Not only did I get a great bike I also started a relationship with a local shop that employs local people. Maybe that shop will be a client of mine in the future. Maybe an employee there will get a raise for developing a new customer and do something nice for his kids.
Maybe none of that will happen but there's a chance. Buy from some internet site that invests exactly $0 in your community and you get what you deserve.
 

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Nonsense.

Buy used. It's a bike, not a set of bath towels.

Saw a Trek 1000 on CL recently for $100. Saw a CAAD 8 with tiagra for $675. Paid $575 for my brand new Trek 1.1.

I see OP already found a bike but wanted to respond as a counter point to the attitude that unless you're dropping $1k+ on a road bike you are wasting your money.

Nobody said anything about wasting any money. However, you are taking a substantial risk whenever you buy used. The bike might have been involved in an accident. It may have been subjected to physcial abuse. It may already have way too much mileage on its frame. It most certainly will come without a warranty of any kind.

Now OTOH, if your gamble pays off, you stand to save mucho dinero!

Of course, if you've read through the thread, I think that I've already commented about buying used and have given a few pointers about it. Therefore, I never ruled out buying used as an option.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In response to jacksdad, Zeet was very helpful in my bike search. I sent him multiple private messages and he was helpful and sincere. I sent him ads that I found on craigslist and he told me which ones were good and which ones weren't which was exactly what I needed.

When I found a bike he was very encouraging about it and happy I found one. He's a nice guy and no need to bash him.
 

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Not only did I get a great bike I also started a relationship with a local shop that employs local people. ..........
........ Buy from some internet site that invests exactly $0 in your community and you get what you deserve.
Why do people assume the Internet is anything other than a marketing tool? Countless numbers of people are working from their homes... or local offices and have nothing to do with local "shops".

The old butcher, baker, candle stick maker... is a great little child's rhyme... but has nothing to do with modern marketing. If you buy products via the Internet... doesn't money change hands? Doesn't a truck drive to your house and unload the product? Do you think the driver drove to your house from cyber-space? Or from China?

One popular Internet Site [Nashbar] does all its sales via their Web Site. But it has a decent sized warehouse and shipping facility not far from the job starved area where my wife is from. And somewhere... there are servers serviced by tech people, and
HTML:
 code writers, bankers, lawyers... and so on that make the on line stores work.

The LBS's are nice! I wish we had more. But they don't need my patronage. I need them to become more marketable. Maybe they could have a hot pot of coffee on cold days. Or maybe they could organize some group rides... or a race or two. 

Successful businesses are the result of vision and EFFORT. Often years of effort. But hard work with no vision isn't enough. I don't want to lose the LBS's in my area ether. But the patronage of die-hard cyclist won't keep their doors open.

Sorry for the rant.
 

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Why do people assume the Internet is anything other than a marketing tool? Countless numbers of people are working from their homes... or local offices and have nothing to do with local "shops".

The old butcher, baker, candle stick maker... is a great little child's rhyme... but has nothing to do with modern marketing. If you buy products via the Internet... doesn't money change hands? Doesn't a truck drive to your house and unload the product? Do you think the driver drove to your house from cyber-space? Or from China?

One popular Internet Site [Nashbar] does all its sales via their Web Site. But it has a decent sized warehouse and shipping facility not far from the job starved area where my wife is from. And somewhere... there are servers serviced by tech people, and
HTML:
 code writers, bankers, lawyers... and so on that make the on line stores work.

The LBS's are nice! I wish we had more. But they don't need my patronage. I need them to become more marketable. Maybe they could have a hot pot of coffee on cold days. Or maybe they could organize some group rides... or a race or two. 

Successful businesses are the result of vision and EFFORT. Often years of effort. But hard work with no vision isn't enough. I don't want to lose the LBS's in my area ether. But the patronage of die-hard cyclist won't keep their doors open.

Sorry for the rant.[/QUOTE]

I don't know.  Yes the shops on the internet do employ people.  

But the local shops need patronage too.  That is why I like to do the occasional ride with them. Buy some thongs there.  

Sure they cost more than the net.  But i can't test ride a bike on the net.  I can't try on shoes.  I can't get my bike tuned.  So maybe O buy those things at the lbs.  And maybe I buy the occasional pair of clears or what not even if it costs 20% more than amazon or pricepoint.
 

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But the local shops need patronage too. That is why I like to do the occasional ride with them. Buy some thongs there.
Interesting example of product-diversification on the part of a bike-shop...:blush2:
 

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You can definitely find a quality bike for $500. I'd look for a good used bike.

When I was a broke undergrad I found a used Specialized cyclocross bike with an ultrgra drivetrain for $400. It was about 4 years old when I got it. Slapped some road tires on it and ride the snot out of it for 8 years. Only "upgrade" was a cycle computer. It served me well.

Bought myself a caad10 as a graduation present when I finished my phd. Gave the specialized to my brother who is riding it.

Moral of story is you can definitely find a good bike in your price range that will serve you well for a long time. Just be patient and find one that will work for you.
 

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Why do people assume the Internet is anything other than a marketing tool? Countless numbers of people are working from their homes... or local offices and have nothing to do with local "shops".

The old butcher, baker, candle stick maker... is a great little child's rhyme... but has nothing to do with modern marketing. If you buy products via the Internet... doesn't money change hands? Doesn't a truck drive to your house and unload the product? Do you think the driver drove to your house from cyber-space? Or from China?

One popular Internet Site [Nashbar] does all its sales via their Web Site. But it has a decent sized warehouse and shipping facility not far from the job starved area where my wife is from. And somewhere... there are servers serviced by tech people, and
HTML:
 code writers, bankers, lawyers... and so on that make the on line stores work.

The LBS's are nice! I wish we had more. But they don't need my patronage. I need them to become more marketable. Maybe they could have a hot pot of coffee on cold days. Or maybe they could organize some group rides... or a race or two. 

Successful businesses are the result of vision and EFFORT. Often years of effort. But hard work with no vision isn't enough. I don't want to lose the LBS's in my area ether. But the patronage of die-hard cyclist won't keep their doors open.

Sorry for the rant.[/QUOTE]

Shops run by local entrepreneurs put money back into my local community. They employ people who spend their wages in the other shops in my city. If unemployment is low, then the normal blights of society are minimized. There have been 5 murders in my SOCAL city in the last 10 years.

I'm not above saving a few hundred bucks for major purchases but if the difference is $5 to $10 then I will gladly suck it up and put it back into my local economy.
 
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