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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, as a total newbie, still riding a mountain bike with drop ends :mad2: I'm looking around to get an idea of what's out there.
Let's say you had a 200$ budget (only for the bike, leave everything else out) (and I know your wheels probably cost more than that, but hey, we do what we can), which route would you go?
1 - Superbudget roadbike, thinking a base Vilano in this case, or maybe a Denali bike?? (Please take it easy on me)
2 - older better bike, talking around 10 years older, I see some Cannondales in the 200$ range, might need minor work, and even if I don't know much about bike, I can handle mechanical work on my Harley and even car, so I could probably do most of it myself
3 - Go vintage. I saw a few 80s Schwinns that fit, especially a super sweet 83 Schwinn Le Tour 27 locally for under 200$, all original minus the tires.

Opened to other options as well, unfortunately this is the situation at the moment. I am a "weekend" rider, might start going out on a daily basis, but it would always be for short rides, maybe an hour a day only for fun/exercise.

Not sure this matters, but I'm at 184lbs and I'm 511.

Thank you all!!
 

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For very low budget, option #2 is the best IMO. However, you really should scrimp and save and up that budget a couple hundred bucks. Then at ~$500 you could actually end up with quite a bit of bike from 10 years ago that will still be a great bike. Say you end up with Ultegra 6600 or something on it, smooth shifting stuff.

Back in 2011, I got a 2007 bike with Dura-Ace 7800 for about $700-800. Used deals are out there.
 

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$200? Did you forget a zero? Pretty hard to get a decent set of wheels for $200. I think what Mr. Jetdog advised would be the best option. The difference between a $200 Schwinn boat anchor with six speed down tube shifting and a more modern, even 10+ year old used bike would be huge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
$200? Did you forget a zero? Pretty hard to get a decent set of wheels for $200. I think what Mr. Jetdog advised would be the best option. The difference between a $200 Schwinn boat anchor with six speed down tube shifting and a more modern, even 10+ year old used bike would be huge.
Love the "boat anchor" part... Lmao..


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Agree with jetdog9. Of the listed options, #2 is the best. But I suggest continuing with your present ride and save another $200 or so. The difference in the bike will be appreciable. Plus, you'll find that low end/ sub-par bikes can be money pits, so long term, waiting and spending a bit more could save you some $$.

As an example of what $400 (+ -) could get you, my '08 Spec Tarmac with 105 is worth around that, and still runs great. Solid bike. So, save a bit, I think you'll be glad you did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Best deal I found so far ( I think) is a Cannondale R600 for 325$ with very little use

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Best deal I found so far ( I think) is a Cannondale R600 for 325$ with very little use

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Might be worth a look. Just make sure it fits before purchasing. Ideally, have a LBS check it over mechanically and for fit.
 

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I agree with everyone so far. In that price range, the best bang for the buck by far is the 10-15 year old used bike, IF you shop carefully and don't overpay, and get a bike that fits you. It's a big plus that you're mechanically adept and not afraid to learn to do stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree with everyone so far. In that price range, the best bang for the buck by far is the 10-15 year old used bike, IF you shop carefully and don't overpay, and get a bike that fits you. It's a big plus that you're mechanically adept and not afraid to learn to do stuff.
I have a 1988 Harley that the dealerships wouldn't touch even if their lives depended on it..

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$200? Did you forget a zero? Pretty hard to get a decent set of wheels for $200. I think what Mr. Jetdog advised would be the best option. The difference between a $200 Schwinn boat anchor with six speed down tube shifting and a more modern, even 10+ year old used bike would be huge.
Yeah, even the crappiest schwinn on CL is for sale for $200. You'd have to double (or triple) your budget to have any reasonable chance of getting something worthwhile unless you score the deal of the century.
 

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Yeah, even the crappiest schwinn on CL is for sale for $200. You'd have to double (or triple) your budget to have any reasonable chance of getting something worthwhile unless you score the deal of the century.
Snobbish nonsense, IMHO. Yes the crappiest Schwinn will often be $200, but so often will be a pretty good entry-level road bike that sold for 500-600 bucks ten years ago, and is going cheap because it needs work that would cost $100 at a shop, but that a clever home mechanic can do for $20.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, even the crappiest schwinn on CL is for sale for $200. You'd have to double (or triple) your budget to have any reasonable chance of getting something worthwhile unless you score the deal of the century.
I also found a 10 years old Cannondale R300 for 220$. It was a bit rough but in working condition. I would also love to have a project, unless is not rideable..

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Snobbish nonsense, IMHO. Yes the crappiest Schwinn will often be $200, but so often will be a pretty good entry-level road bike that sold for 500-600 bucks ten years ago, and is going cheap because it needs work that would cost $100 at a shop, but that a clever home mechanic can do for $20.
I do understand the point of view. I would also rather spend more upfront and have a better product, but it just won't happen right now. If a 200 $ one will even last 2 years (remember I don't do heavy riding) I would be happy.

I'm also the kind of guy that is happy with what he can afford 😊😊

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I do understand the point of view. I would also rather spend more upfront and have a better product, but it just won't happen right now. If a 200 $ one will even last 2 years (remember I don't do heavy riding) I would be happy.

I'm also the kind of guy that is happy with what he can afford 😊😊

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You sound very sensible. Happy shopping, and happy riding to you.

I have a pretty good road bike (nowhere the latest-and-greatest top-of-the-line, but decent), but the bike I ride most is a fixed gear that I built up from a variety of parts, some old and some new, on a frame that I bought for $5 at a garage sale. I may have ultimately spent $200 on it, but I commute on it probably 150 days a year, and I've probably ridden 20,000 miles on it. It still rides great. I like fixing up old stuff and keeping it working.

Working on bikes will be a piece of cake for you. There are lots of resources online to learn the details (including this forum). You might have to buy a couple of special tools, but that's a small investment. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You sound very sensible. Happy shopping, and happy riding to you.

I have a pretty good road bike (nowhere the latest-and-greatest top-of-the-line, but decent), but the bike I ride most is a fixed gear that I built up from a variety of parts, some old and some new, on a frame that I bought for $5 at a garage sale. I may have ultimately spent $200 on it, but I commute on it probably 150 days a year, and I've probably ridden 20,000 miles on it. It still rides great. I like fixing up old stuff and keeping it working.

Working on bikes will be a piece of cake for you. There are lots of resources online to learn the details (including this forum). You might have to buy a couple of special tools, but that's a small investment. Have fun.
Thank you.
I never thought about a fixed gear, I wonder if it could be good for me..

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I also found a 10 years old Cannondale R300 for 220$. It was a bit rough but in working condition. I would also love to have a project, unless is not rideable..

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A Cannondale R300 is a lot older than 10 years. Weren't they making the CAAD 17 10 years ago? I bought a R400 new in 1992 and that was when their top level bike was an R600 I believe. I always hated that bike. It was aluminum and had a really rough ride. At the time, it seemed light. Is it the dreaded 3.0 frame? It's going to be 7 speed. If you buy something like that, and think you're going to fix it up, you'll end up spending a lot more than if you bought something better in the first place. There's this term that applies -- I think its 'polishing a turd'.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A Cannondale R300 is a lot older than 10 years. Weren't they making the CAAD 17 10 years ago? I bought a R400 new in 1992 and that was when their top level bike was an R600 I believe. I always hated that bike. It was aluminum and had a really rough ride. At the time, it seemed light. Is it the dreaded 3.0 frame? It's going to be 7 speed. If you buy something like that, and think you're going to fix it up, you'll end up spending a lot more than if you bought something better in the first place. There's this term that applies -- I think its 'polishing a turd'.

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Caad 2 actually.
I underestimated the age... LoL

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I have a 1988 Harley that the dealerships wouldn't touch even if their lives depended on it..

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... then you'll have NO problem working on bikes. BUT... as someone else alluded to, get something already dated (7 spd, for example) and you're pretty much stuck with the bike 'as is', replacing parts one for one - little or no upgrades.

Just something to keep in mind.
 

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I never thought about a fixed gear, I wonder if it could be good for me..
Depends, on many things, especially the terrain you'll be riding in, and your experience and desires.

Specifically, if it's not pretty flat where you'll be riding, you probably won't be happy with a fixed gear or single speed. Fixed-gear riding is also kind of an acquired taste, and many people don't like it at all. But it's easy to change a FG to a freewheeling SS if you don't like the never-coasting thing.

But the hills, or lack thereof, are the first question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Depends, on many things, especially the terrain you'll be riding in, and your experience and desires.

Specifically, if it's not pretty flat where you'll be riding, you probably won't be happy with a fixed gear or single speed. Fixed-gear riding is also kind of an acquired taste, and many people don't like it at all. But it's easy to change a FG to a freewheeling SS if you don't like the never-coasting thing.

But the hills, or lack thereof, are the first question.
Got it.
Like using a prime lens in photography, I love it but nobody else can use my camera to take pictures which means I'm never in any pictures... LoL

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