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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.
I decided to join the cyclist community to get info on riding, bicycles, wear etc.
I looked at different bikes to get me started, one of them was mongoose blackcomb with disk brakes and full suspension for ~$300 new which I liked alot, getting alot of bang for the buck. However after researching further I got an impression of a heavy, poorly constructed, not the best components and roughly put together bicycle. So I started to look at used bikes. Found a Raleigh C30 2005 21 speed, front shock, aluminum frame on CL. The seller is a long time rider and cycle hobbyist who adjusts and repairs bikes of all types. So his price is $200 for it. For $20 more he will put a 15" seat tube to accommodate my height, new handle grips and handle bar extensions. Plus he will put a new 7 speed cassete in the rear and fully adjust all gears, breaks and everything else needed to be adjusted. Bike itself is 5/10 cosmetically with scratches and some rust here and there but rides great, test drove it yesterday. Is it a good deal? How much was that bike new?
What gear should I get to ride it safely? What clothing is the best for riding?
Thank you.
 

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Just one man's opinion but you likely would be better off at your local bike shop for your first bike. IF you had more experience and knew what to look for in fit and function, used bikes would be a good alternative. So would online, but you are going to need the knowledge base of a bike store to really enjoy your riding. You are going to have problems, and you are going to need somewhere to go where you can ask a question. That's the bike store.

One thing you do NOT want to do is to get a department store bike. They are not the same and the assembly is done by someone making minimum wage that was stocking shelves two hours ago and can't wait till their next break. They have no maintenance department and you are pretty much on your own. Bike stores have at least a year for adjustments (which you will need at least one) and many of them have free lifetime adjustments if you buy the bike from them.

The one caution not all bike stores are created equal. Trust your gut.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^^^
Ok, no dept store bikes for sure. I went to some bike store websites and the cheapest bike is like $700. I cannot and do not want to spend this kind of money on a first bicycle.
Can you tell me anything about that Raleigh c30?
 

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The web is a great tool, but not all bikes in a bike store are in that price range. Some do cater to a higher end crowd, but most have bikes for starting cyclists that should be in your budget. I see several different types of bikes in my bike shop that falls within your budget. You are going to need a brick and mortar bike store. They do maintenance and you can't get a handle on that through a website. You should see the bench where the work is done.

I can't comment on the Raleigh but if its used, Id ask the seller to take that bike to the local bike store to inspect it for its condition and ask them for an opinion based on what they see. A good bike wrench can either ease your mind that its the right way to go for you, or point out problems you are likely to have. Either way its information you need to know.
 

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I think that year was the last one for the C30, sold for about $250 new. Recently, the cheapest bikes I've seen in actual bike shops are around $400-$500 for something like a Globe, Townie or Trek Navigator etc.
 

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I see bikes in my local store starting about $225 for some comfort bikes and I got a mountain bike for about $300 new at a bike store. Where you live though will make a huge difference. In some places you might find some a bit less, but in NY it might be a great deal more.
 

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You could probably get a new Giant Cypress ST (700c tires) or Giant Sedona ST (26 inch "trail-type" tires) for between $250 and $300 from a local bike store. Both seem similar to the Raleigh -- though to get front suspension and aluminum frame (ST is for Steel) you'd be looking at $350 to $400 probably for those.

You also looked at a mountain bike -- do you prefer a "comfort bike" like the Raleigh or would you rather have a mountain bike?
 

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A brand new 2011 Fuji Absolute 4.0 will get you a good aluminum frame and entry level componentry for $399. 700 x 28c tires and very quick for a fitness bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I rode montain bike a long time ago. When I test drove the raleigh I really liked the way it handled and how smooth gears changed. The ride was great. That's why I am strongly leaning toward that used raleigh. For the same or comparative components in a new bike I will pay double.
I think I will stick with a used one for now, I don't really care about scratches and I don't want to pay $400 for a new one and then stress over every new scrape, I already have my car to do that. Plus the bike is going to be kept in the back yard, covered from the elements when not in use.
Do you have any advice on this used raleigh?
 

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Just get one long enough that it can go through the frame and both wheels. As far as which one, its a trade off between how much weight you want to carry vs how secure you want the bike to be. The bigger the cable or chain, the harder it is to cut off but the more it weighs.

Personally in the areas I ride a stolen bike is usually a kid that is given the opportunity. I try to be careful in what I lock the bike to, but if they come with tools the odds are they leave with your bike unless someone happens to see them.

Mine isn't expensive enough to be worried about some bike thief targeting mine, but if they do I want them to at least have to use their tools a bit. Time is your friend and the longer it takes them the more likely they are to be seen. Yet I just don't want to make it easy, tempting a kid to get into trouble.
 
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