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Old 06-18-2016, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Buying a Bike

I want to buy a vintage roadbike and use it for recreational riding. Can you help me with some buying tips?
I live in the road bike neighborhood of KC. Packs of riders do laps through the neighborhood on weekends, and the neighborhood hosts the Tour of KC bike race. It would be nice to tap into the biking opportunity here without participating in the bicycle arms race. I don't want to draft with the serious bikers, but it is a nice little circuit that is already setup. What should I be looking for, and where should I be looking? There is a local bike shop that tunes for $65 and could really refurbish most of a bike for $200. I would like to spend around $300ish.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Craigslist is where its at for vintage bikes, usually by the time it hits any other outlet like a shop or eBay the prices are through the roof.

Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information this is an excellent website to learn about types and repairs of vintage bikes if you haven't found it yet.

The holy grail of craigslist vintage bike finds are the old Schwinn Paramounts. If you get lucky you can find one.

Depending on the bike you want some of the 80's and 90s big name brand mountain bikes are a great find in vintage bikes. Most household MB name brands were small volume hand built in the USA bikes in the 80s and 90s. Fixed tail mountain bikes with road tires make fantastic around town bikes.

Raleighs are also some nice vintage bikes. As a sign of quality look for lugs and chromoly frames on any vintage bike, that's how you know its good.

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Old 06-18-2016, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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@ angry dragon.
I was just looking at Schwinn paramounts on ebay when you posted.
I hope you don't mind if I ask some really dumb questions.
I am thinking about buying off craigslist taking it to my local shop to have it tuned and/or refurbished. What is the most expensive part of the bike to have replaced? On some older bikes, do I have to worry about parts availability?

I care about simple functionality and "coolness." Are italian bikes a good buy for a rebuild (they look really cool)?
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lightweight steel frames -which brands/models to look out for?
^one of the many good threads to read on bikeforums.net vintage area. When a bike on craigslist catches my eye I usually head there to look up value and quality, it's like coming to mcb for info on brass. My dream find is a Bridgestone RB-1 or RB-2 for a good price.

like angrydragon said, look for double or triple butted chromoly frames, Reynolds 753 or Columbus SLX will be higher end metals so keep an eye out for that too. A couple good groupsets to look for are Shimano 105, even old versions are nice, and older Campagnolo record.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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After taking your advice and gleening forums, here are the interesting bikes currently listed on my local CL. After researching prices, they all need bargained down a bit.

56cm Evans Columbus EL steel tubeset Road Bike Dura Ace

Panasonic DX 3000

Bianchi Premio 56 cm
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That first one is really nice.

That Sheldon Brown website is awesome for interchange and compatibility info. Most of the non mainstream and custom bikes are going to have universal components like bottom brackets and head tubes. The main brands like Schwinn and Raleigh have proprietary stuff. The good news is they are so abundant people have made adapters, aftermarket parts, and your supply of used parts is endless, sometimes as close as a dumpster.

The first one you listed probably needs nothing but a tune up. Its probably going to have pretty top notch parts.

For most bikes wheels is going to be the best upgrade. You don't have to be a weight weenie to appreciate the huge weight difference a newer set of wheels make.

Bikes are super simple to work on. Replace the cables, get some new brake pads, clean, oil, and adjust the detailers' (watch your fingers), and grab a new/lightly used set of wheels off eBay. All those parts are pretty universal.

Just remember, frames come in a number of sizes on road bikes so size yourself up. Maybe go to a new bikeshop and put a few sizes between your legs. Figure out what you want and get it, don't settle for anything because like any project once you start putting money into it you'll never get it back.

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Old 06-19-2016, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am confused about bike sizing. I can be reasonably comfortable on a bike in the range of 48-55 cm. I am 6 feet tall, and that seems to be on the high side of average male height. I am seeing a ton of bikes above 56cm, and some are way above 56cm. Are these the bikes that never sell because they are huge, or do people measure bikes in different ways?
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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https://parisbikeco.com/wp-content/up...ing-chart2.png
Depending on your inseam, 56-60cm is common for 6'.

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Old 06-19-2016, 03:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've always heard for a road bike the top tube should come to your inseam. Although the high end bike shops measure you like they're fitting a suit.

When the seat height is adjusted and your pedals are at 6 and 12 your knees should be at a greater then 90 degree angle when your body is upright |_ at the 12 o'clock position and your knee should be less then locking at the 6 o'clock position (just enough bend where your calf is pointing straight up and your thigh is angled to your seat.
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Guides are one thing, but you really want to adjust the seat and sit on the bike to know 100%. Or get fitted for a frame at a fancy bike shop.
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i roadbike, but on the more modern side of things, My cyclocross bike is a 58, and my full up road bike is a 61 with a 90mm stem as opposed to the stock 110

im also 6"2 and 230-ish

key point of self fitting, you don't want to be able to straighten your leg when you're on the pedal (if your al full down and drop you heel as far as you can you should be able to straighten your leg though. and if you rock your hips when you pedal, you need to lower your seat. stem should be long enough to be able to keep your anms slightly bent when you're in position, locking your elbows will cause you a lot of tension in your shoulder muscles

seat should be far enough forward that your knee doesnt go beyond the pedal then your pedals are parallel to the ground

the plenty of other good pointers out there for self fitting, but those are a few ive picked up in the last year
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