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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a total newbie, looking for a road bike for recreational riding, and potentially the occasional commute (< 10 miles). I'm hoping to keep the budget under $400-500, so I'm looking to buy used. I need some help determining whether this bike might be worthwhile:
https://grandrapids.craigslist.org/bik/5563978263.html

What should I be looking for? What questions should I ask?

I won't know unless I give it a test ride, but I'm 6'3" with fairly long legs, so it seems like the frame size might be in the vicinity of what I need.

Thanks in advance for the guidance.
 

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I'm a total newbie, looking for a road bike for recreational riding, and potentially the occasional commute (< 10 miles). I'm hoping to keep the budget under $400-500, so I'm looking to buy used. I need some help determining whether this bike might be worthwhile:
https://grandrapids.craigslist.org/bik/5563978263.html

What should I be looking for? What questions should I ask?

I won't know unless I give it a test ride, but I'm 6'3" with fairly long legs, so it seems like the frame size might be in the vicinity of what I need.

Thanks in advance for the guidance.
Like most used bikes, this one's overpriced, IMHO. Bicycle Blue Book is far from perfect, but you can generally use it as a guide for 'ball parking' a bikes value.

2008 Trek 1.2 - New and Used Bike Value

Things to look for/ check when buying used...

- headset (the bars can be turned left/ right with no binding or play)
- crankset (rotates with no binding/ play or noise)
- wheel hubs (rotate smoothly w/ no binding/ play)
- rims - spin to check that they're relatively true
- tires - cracks evident? (if they're original, I'd count on replacing them, along w/ tubes and rim strips).

During your test ride, check for fit (are you comfortable, stretched out, cramped?). Check for functional braking/ shifting, steering and note any noises.

Problems in one or more of these areas aren't necessarily deal breakers, but do indicate that some service will be required - meaning more financial outlay for you, post-purchase. Consider that when making an offer.

If you think the bike fits and you''re interested in it, I would recommend asking the seller to bring it to a reputable LBS to be assessed for mechanical condition as well as fit. While there, you could also ask them for a ballpark estimate of the bikes value.
 

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Like most used bikes, this one's overpriced, IMHO. Bicycle Blue Book is far from perfect, but you can generally use it as a guide for 'ball parking' a bikes value.

2008 Trek 1.2 - New and Used Bike Value

Things to look for/ check when buying used...

- headset (the bars can be turned left/ right with no binding or play)
- crankset (rotates with no binding/ play or noise)
- wheel hubs (rotate smoothly w/ no binding/ play)
- rims - spin to check that they're relatively true
- tires - cracks evident? (if they're original, I'd count on replacing them, along w/ tubes and rim strips).

During your test ride, check for fit (are you comfortable, stretched out, cramped?). Check for functional braking/ shifting, steering and note any noises.

Problems in one or more of these areas aren't necessarily deal breakers, but do indicate that some service will be required - meaning more financial outlay for you, post-purchase. Consider that when making an offer.

If you think the bike fits and you''re interested in it, I would recommend asking the seller to bring it to a reputable LBS to be assessed for mechanical condition as well as fit. While there, you could also ask them for a ballpark estimate of the bikes value.
Yep. Entry level Trek. I'd offer seller $200. for it, if it doesn't need any repairs.

Gearing would make it a good entry level bike for unloaded "sport riding." As a commuter, it would be handicapped by no fender eyelets or clearance, and no rack strut eyelets. You'd have to carry stuff in a backpack and avoid wet roads.
 

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Looking at how that bike is set up, the owner doesn't strike me as a serious cyclist, so it probably was very lightly ridden. IIRC, the 1.2 also has a carbon bladed fork?

The $350 asking price is high, but if you can get him under $300, it might be a good buy. I'm 6'2" and I rode a 60 cm Madone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks very much for the input. At this point I'm changing my approach. I simply don't have enough knowledge and experience to make an adequate assessment of a used bike on my own, and I don't really have anyone else equipped to help make that evaluation in person.

My wife and I went to our LBS to take a look at some hybrid bikes and we're likely going to pick up a pair of new Cannondale Quick 4 bikes which are on sale for about $540 each.
 

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Congrats. This is a good decision. Going to the bike shop costs a little more, but the value of the bike shop experience, and getting the right bike for your riding, the right size, the basic maintenance, etc.. it's all worthwhile, and the best way to go.

As a beginner, starting used is a recipe for making a mistake, and then losing interest.

Enjoy your new bikes and the time with the wife. =)
 
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