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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been a long time lurker and appreciate all of your input and advice.

A little about me:
I’m 34 and need to get back into shape. I’ve lifted weights for a number of years but have been out of the gym for the last 2 years. I NEED to do something. I lived on my bike up until I got my drivers license. Since then, I’ve infrequently ridden my mountain bike. There are a number of guys from church who ride and I see road riding as a good opportunity to be physically active and enjoy the camaraderie of group rides.

I’ve checked out a few bikes in stores, but I’m not sure when I’ll have the disposable income to put towards a nice, new ride. In the mean time, I’ve found a bike on line I’m interested in checking out. It’s a 2005 Felt F80 with a few upgrades like Dura Ace hubs, Sram 53-39 crank, Bontrager Race bars.

So, assuming that fit and feel is good, what should I look for in a used bike? I know to look for cracks and creeks, but what may be some specific points of concern?

Thank you for your input.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Here's a recent thread with some info that should help answer your question on what to look for in a used bike:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=223104&highlight=buying+used

One word of caution regarding the Felt F series bikes. I'm not suggesting that they're a poor choice, but when shopping for bikes the two most important questions that need to be answered are 1) does it suite my intended purposes and 2) does it fit.

Considering you're basically starting over road riding, the Felt may be a slightly aggressive geometry for your tastes/ purposes. Simply put, it's a race bike, pure and simple. And while there are others in that same general category (Trek Madone, Specialized Tarmac, among others) the Felt is at least as aggressive as those mentioned.

They've since moved their geo towards slightly less aggressive, but in '05 that wasn't the case, so something to be aware of. Conversely, that might be the type of bike you're looking for, but you have to decide that. You certainly don't need a race bike to go on group rides, just like I don't need a race bike to go on training rides, but that's what I choose to ride.
 

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AFTER you've decided fit and function are appropriate for you and your planned riding style...

particularly aluminum bikes you need to closely examine the frame, examine around the main welds---the bottom of the bottom bracket used to be the most common, but they've beefed up those areas a lot. If the fork is also aluminum, check it also for hairline fractures. Riding the bike would expose a hairline fracture or torqued fork. ride the bike---it should track straight ahead without any sort of wandering under neutral steering input.

Check the shifting, should be smooth with normal effort and not over/undershifting or the chain should not be skipping. Could be just an alignment/adjustment issue, but if your area is as hilly as you say and the bike has a lot of miles, could be a worn out spring in the RD or time for a new chain/new rear cassette. Check to make sure the brake releases are in the "closed" position before riding too....brake rub or a "thump-thump-thump" may indicate an out-of-true wheel or warped/damaged rim.
While riding, look down at the crank to make sure the chainrings are straight.

Better yet...take one of your riding buddies with you and have him give a second opinion of the bike. Make sure he knows your budget too but also let him know that you're in for a fair deal.

Usually better bikes, unlike department store bikes, hold up better over time and are better taken care and maintained, or at least their owners will admit the faults with the bike or explain how the bike has been used. However, as always, the buyer beware and proceed cautiously.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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Take the bike to a shop to have them check it out, that's the simplest way. It'll cost you a little bit, but you'll have the peace of mind knowing you got a solid bike.
 

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Peanya said:
Take the bike to a shop to have them check it out, that's the simplest way. It'll cost you a little bit, but you'll have the peace of mind knowing you got a solid bike.
I don't think the owner/seller would want you to take the bike anywhere without payment though.
 
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