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Hello all, I am new to biking and just bought my first road bike today (yay!) I found a '99 specialized s-works m4 for $300 off of craigslist and it seemed to be in good shape; all the parts are still in working order and it has never suffered any crashes/damage. Is this worth what I paid for it? Is this a good first bike?

There are so many things involved with biking that it is a bit overwhelming! I have some questions about bike maintenance. What are things I should do for my bike (weekly, monthly, etc).

Also, the bike did not come with pedals (she needed them for her other bike) so what kind/type should I get?

Here is a picture of the "new" bike!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I bought the bike already, sorry for the confusion. My housemates are into biking and they said it looked in really good shape. I guess I was just looking for bike maintenance advice and also what kind of shoes/pedals I should look into getting. Thanks!
 

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Nice looking bike! I have learned my wrenching skills from YouTube and Sheldon Brown's blog. As far as what needs to be done and at what time is all just opinion. I get a professional tune each spring and replace cables and other consumable parts as needed. I get peace of mind knowing a pro has looked my bike over every year. I suggest you get a full tune by a mechanic, that way you can enjoy the bike now while you learn the basics of the sport.
 

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All used bikes need to be inspected with a fine toothed comb. That's especially so, if they have CF frames. However, since the '99 S Works m4 road bike, has an aluminum frame, your primary worry besides any obvious frame damage, should be stress related. For example, how many road vibrations has it endured?...How much force did its rider apply when pedaling along its courses? ...How many stress cycles has it experienced? ...These are all questions to be posed to all aluminum frames (especially the older Al frames)....As all aluminum frames are use-dependent.

Also, whenever buying any kind of used bike, either the buyer should be knowledgeable about bikes, or he should be accompanied by someone who is bicycle savy. If you've purchased this bike on your own without proper knowledge, then it was very risky business.

Judging by the photograph of your beautiful '99 S-Works m4 road bike, I'd say you've thrown Lucky Sevens!

Therefore, Congrats! :thumbsup:
 

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I suggest you get a full tune by a mechanic, that way you can enjoy the bike now while you learn the basics of the sport.
I agree. Get the bike in sound mechanical condition, then start learning the basics (cleaning/ lubing the drivetrain, replacing cables, etc.). Two good resources that should help are Sheldon Brown's and Park Tools websites.

Re: the aluminum frame, this was one of the best in its day, but as was noted, being aluminum, it fatigues with stress cycles and (over time) can fail. Not trying to rain on your parade because (as long as the bike fits) I think you got a good deal, but it is a 14 year old frame. Something to be aware of, and keep an eye on.
 

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Yes, you’ll want someone that knows what they are doing to look over the bike for safety and just to make sure the gears are tuned OK and derailleur functions well and all the rest.

After that, and assuming it fits well, I would just ride. In terms of maintenance you can learn steadily through internet videos and websites and repair books. For the immediate however, learn how to change a tube and care for the chain. For pedals, I would get flat pedals for now until you are more comfortable with the bike and riding.

Sure there are many things involved with the sport and every one of those things can be analyzed and debated for hrs. Or, you can choose to not be overly consumed and just ride. Congratulations and have fun.
 

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if you're a total novice rider, I'd suggest removing those stupid aero bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, all used bikes need to be inspected with a fine toothed comb. That's especially so, if they have CF frames. However, since the '99 S Works m4 road bike, has an aluminum frame, your primary worry besides any obvious frame damage, should be stress related. For example, how many road vibrations has it endured?...How much force did its rider apply when pedaling along its courses? ...How many stress cycles has it experienced? ...These are all questions to be posed to all aluminum frames (especially the older Al frames)....As all aluminum frames are use-dependent.
I did end up test riding it before I bought it and it seemed to be in good working order. The lady who sold it to me really seemed to care about it so that made me feel more confident in buying it.

What are stress cycles, road vibrations, and how can you tell how much force was applied when riding?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree. Get the bike in sound mechanical condition, then start learning the basics (cleaning/ lubing the drivetrain, replacing cables, etc.). Two good resources that should help are Sheldon Brown's and Park Tools websites.

Re: the aluminum frame, this was one of the best in its day, but as was noted, being aluminum, it fatigues with stress cycles and (over time) can fail. Not trying to rain on your parade because (as long as the bike fits) I think you got a good deal, but it is a 14 year old frame. Something to be aware of, and keep an eye on.

What are some signs that all isn't well with the frame?
 

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I did end up test riding it before I bought it and it seemed to be in good working order. The lady who sold it to me really seemed to care about it so that made me feel more confident in buying it.

What are stress cycles, road vibrations, and how can you tell how much force was applied when riding?
Once you stated that pedals did not come with the bicycle, I assumed that you didn't have the benefit of a test ride. Therefore, I humbly extend my apologies....

I leave you the following links for further expansion upon aluminum, fatigue limits, and stress cycles:

www.ibiscycles.com/support/technical_articles/metallurgy_for_cyclists/the_basics/

Fatigue limit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frame Materials
 

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What are some signs that all isn't well with the frame?
The problem with aluminum is when it fails, it tends to fail catastrophically (see the crankarm below), but periodically check for cracks or signs of separation, usually at the joints, but not always. The BB area is most susceptible, but again, not always.

Also, investigate any unusual noises (ex: creaking).
View attachment 279763
 
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