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  1. #1
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    Join (and help) me on my journey as I buy my very first bike on Craigslist (<$300)

    hey all, 31 years old. haven't had a bike since maybe 16. living in NJ and NY, i have ridden a bunch of beach cruisers and such since but now it's time to splash out for my own.

    what i am hoping to find is a versatile bike that can handle street/urban just as well as some basic trails native to NY and NJ all for <$300.

    my preliminary search has led me to the following brands:
    • Specialized
    • Trek
    • Giant


    the thing is, i really have no idea what i am looking for/at. i would have no idea if a bike was in otherwise crap condition and just shined up nice.

    i also don't really know my size - i probably should get professional fitted but i am just super busy of late. i am 5'11 with ~30" inseam which seems to put me in the realm of ~17-19" frame.

    i plan on using this thread to post my finds, gather your input and advice and buy something within the next couple weeks.

    i hope you enjoy my journey.

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  4. #4
    Bikesexual
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    Sizing will be tough on-line - for reference I'm 5'11''+ but a longer inseam and I ride 19'' but these 26'' even that feels a bit small but better than an 18'' frame.

    From the list, if it was me I would pick a rigid (no front suspension) that 930 is nice but 17.5 you will need to see if it fits. (the green one) The 920 might be a bit big, but again only you can decide that.

    I'm sure you will get more feedback from more experienced riders. Have fun! I'll be following along.

    Also maybe have a mod move this to the beginners corner? You might get more traffic there.

    Edit: I was referencing your first selection.
    The Orange Fleet:

    '16 SC Heckler
    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Sizing will be tough on-line - for reference I'm 5'11''+ but a longer inseam and I ride 19'' but these 26'' even that feels a bit small but better than an 18'' frame.

    From the list, if it was me I would pick a rigid (no front suspension) that 930 is nice but 17.5 you will need to see if it fits. (the green one) The 920 might be a bit big, but again only you can decide that.

    I'm sure you will get more feedback from more experienced riders. Have fun! I'll be following along.

    Also maybe have a mod move this to the beginners corner? You might get more traffic there.

    Edit: I was referencing your first selection.
    you rock, thanks man! i appreciate the insight.

    and damn - i didn't even notice a beginners forum. hopefully a mod can move it!

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Bikesexual
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    wow! that looks nice!
    The Orange Fleet:

    '16 SC Heckler
    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid

  9. #9
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    If your under 180 that Raleigh should be a killer bike for commuting, xc riding, and trail riding.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    If your under 180 that Raleigh should be a killer bike for commuting, xc riding, and trail riding.
    such a sick looking bike but i typically hover closer to 185-195. so i guess too small?

  11. #11
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    You can still ride it for XC riding and riding around the street. For trail riding the fork stanchions are 32mm and you would probaly want 34mm for trail riding at your weight. It will flex some.

  12. #12
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    Idk, it's a 26er and way over forked; I think it was around $300 new; though most of the parts have been upgraded. Pretty sure it came with a 100mm fork. May not pedal too well and could stress the head tube if pushed. Sorry, I'm just a bit wary of it.

    OP, some other brands to consider:

    Cannondale
    Jamis
    Canyon
    Kona
    Marin
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  13. #13
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    This is a pretty sweet bike for $300. Steel single speed 29er with a reba. As long as the fork feels fine you should be set.https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/har...614328101.html Every few years forks need to be rebuilt and that will normally cost about $200. That redline bike with the rigid fork is basicly the same bike but doesn't have the upgraded fork. It will also be cheaper in the long run. A rigid single speed 29er can be set up to get you around at 15 mph and make most of the climbs on the trail. You never have to worry about a tune up or servicing a fork.

  14. #14
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    I have no idea what your terrain is like, if it's not a lot of big hills, this looks nice (it's a single speed):

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/har...614328101.html

    It was originally geared so you could add a shifter, cassette and rear derailleur at some point if you wanted. It's an 18" so kinda between a medium and a large. I like the color!
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  15. #15
    Bikesexual
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I have no idea what your terrain is like, if it's not a lot of big hills, this looks nice (it's a single speed):

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/har...614328101.html

    It was originally geared so you could add a shifter, cassette and rear derailleur at some point if you wanted.
    You guys found the same bike

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
    The Orange Fleet:

    '16 SC Heckler
    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid

  16. #16
    Bikesexual
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    Since singlespeeds are being suggested, I will throw this in for $349 no tax/free shipping/brand new. I have one and its a great little bike, I did do a few upgrades to mine but its a fun bike.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...SAAEgIfivD_BwE

    Just a suggestion.


    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
    The Orange Fleet:

    '16 SC Heckler
    '14 All City MMD
    '12 Kona Unit Rigid

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    You guys found the same bike

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
    lol, we sure did! That's a pretty sweet bike!
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  18. #18
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    I would go with this. Jamis Dragon steel frame full-rigid commuter bike (Large) - MTBR Classifieds It's a great bike to upgrade down the road if you want to and it doesn't have a fork or anything that you have to service. This was a top of the line cross country bike like 10 years ago. It looks like it is completely ready to go. Manitou is now offering a nice fork for refurbishing older XC bikes for $200 so it should be pretty easy to get it set up for XC racing too.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    This is a pretty sweet bike for $300. Steel single speed 29er with a reba. As long as the fork feels fine you should be set.https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/har...614328101.html Every few years forks need to be rebuilt and that will normally cost about $200. That redline bike with the rigid fork is basicly the same bike but doesn't have the upgraded fork. It will also be cheaper in the long run. A rigid single speed 29er can be set up to get you around at 15 mph and make most of the climbs on the trail. You never have to worry about a tune up or servicing a fork.
    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I have no idea what your terrain is like, if it's not a lot of big hills, this looks nice (it's a single speed):

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/har...614328101.html

    It was originally geared so you could add a shifter, cassette and rear derailleur at some point if you wanted. It's an 18" so kinda between a medium and a large. I like the color!
    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    You guys found the same bike

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
    are HARO's still good? HARO was my last bike actually, a Dave Mirra model when i was 16.

    was there anything in particular "wrong" or not a good fit with these:

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/tre...594754843.html

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/spe...607188768.html

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    I would go with this. Jamis Dragon steel frame full-rigid commuter bike (Large) - MTBR Classifieds It's a great bike to upgrade down the road if you want to and it doesn't have a fork or anything that you have to service. This was a top of the line cross country bike like 10 years ago. It looks like it is completely ready to go. Manitou is now offering a nice fork for refurbishing older XC bikes for $200 so it should be pretty easy to get it set up for XC racing too.
    Hmm, interesting. I have a 2005 Dragon.

    It's been for sale since April so if it is still available, can probably get it for a good bit less.

    I also have a 2003 Jamis Dakota which is pretty much the same bike but Reynolds 631 instead of 853 and I had it powder coated a similar orange. It's my SS.

    Join (and help) me on my journey as I buy my very first bike on Craigslist (&lt;0)-dakota.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  21. #21
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  22. #22
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    That haro would have been like a $1400 bike in 2009 with that fork on it. It has a pretty nice frame that got good reviews and a premium fork on it. Most of the time when you purchase a used 29er with a premium fork your spending a minimum of $550. The frame and fork are pretty much the two most important parts of a bike. You are better off with a rigid fork than a low end fork.

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