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Thread: First Bike

  1. #1
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    First Bike

    Found this listing on my local CL - Takara 12 spd road bike from Japan Tall-Large. Great commuter!

    It is along the lines of the older model bikes that I am looking for to use as a commuter around town, and should be my size as well (I am about 6' or 6'1"). Just wanted to see if anyone could lend any more info about the bike - quality of takaras, what year it might be, thoughts on the stem mounted shifters, its value (which I think is overpriced), etc? Ha really any information at all - thanks!

    More pictures the guy sent me --
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Bike-dsc08263.jpg   First Bike-dsc08264.jpg  

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    I've had road bikes from the '70s and '80s and I've come to the conclusion that, at least for me, they're not worth the trouble. That one was never an especially nice bike anyway.

    Basically, any time you have a mechanical problem, fixing it is more complicated than on a more recent bike. Anywhere a component attaches can have a different standard in some way. Whether that's a funky bottom bracket (been there,) different rear dropout spacing (you're definitely there,) brakes that attach a different way and also suck (you're there too) crappy, worn out stock parts, or something else... expect headaches.

    While I see any bike that goes, stops, shifts and doesn't have any major mechanical problems as being worth $100, I've also come to feel that it's worth more to me to have something that's easier to maintain and hopefully is in a part of its life when things aren't going to be breaking so frequently.

    I don't know what you can spend. I think that $300ish (private party in my region, it would be more at a shop carrying used bikes) for something decent from the mid-90s is probably the best value going in used bikes.

    It's different if you want to restore a classic bike as a project. But that's not a classic, and you said you wanted to commute on it.

  3. #3
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    Looks to be in pretty good shape for its age. I don't know how close I am on the model, but I've included a couple of links - one to (I think) a similar ebay bike and another to the possible tubeset. If there's a label on the frame, that can be verified.

    As you can tell from the ebay listing, if this bike is similar it's over priced, but nothing new there.

    VINTAGE TAKARA TRIBUTE MENS 12-SPEED ROAD BIKE/BICYCLE CRO-MOLY! SAKAE QUALITY! | eBay

    Tange 900 [Archive] - Bike Forums

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Looks to be in pretty good shape for its age. I don't know how close I am on the model, but I've included a couple of links - one to (I think) a similar ebay bike and another to the possible tubeset. If there's a label on the frame, that can be verified.

    As you can tell from the ebay listing, if this bike is similar it's over priced, but nothing new there.

    VINTAGE TAKARA TRIBUTE MENS 12-SPEED ROAD BIKE/BICYCLE CRO-MOLY! SAKAE QUALITY! | eBay

    Tange 900 [Archive] - Bike Forums
    Thanks for the help and links - I think I am going to give it a test ride next week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I've had road bikes from the '70s and '80s and I've come to the conclusion that, at least for me, they're not worth the trouble. That one was never an especially nice bike anyway.

    Basically, any time you have a mechanical problem, fixing it is more complicated than on a more recent bike. Anywhere a component attaches can have a different standard in some way. Whether that's a funky bottom bracket (been there,) different rear dropout spacing (you're definitely there,) brakes that attach a different way and also suck (you're there too) crappy, worn out stock parts, or something else... expect headaches.

    While I see any bike that goes, stops, shifts and doesn't have any major mechanical problems as being worth $100, I've also come to feel that it's worth more to me to have something that's easier to maintain and hopefully is in a part of its life when things aren't going to be breaking so frequently.

    I don't know what you can spend. I think that $300ish (private party in my region, it would be more at a shop carrying used bikes) for something decent from the mid-90s is probably the best value going in used bikes.

    It's different if you want to restore a classic bike as a project. But that's not a classic, and you said you wanted to commute on it.
    Yeah I can definitely see where you're coming from/how I could run into some problems I suppose. I am probably looking to spend less than 300$, and yes my main purpose would be commuting. I live in a college town and would be riding to classes, around downtown, to work, things like that. Basically, the bike will be left unattended and locked outside of building very often - which is why I am looking for just an older used model to ride around on. While they are not extremely long commutes, I think I am looking for a road bike solely because my goal is to just get there as quickly and efficiently as possible with a backpack on. I feel as if a nice working steel framed road bike would be the perfect bike for the job...for now at least.

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    I agree that dealing with compatibility issues can be a pain, but I think for your uses as long as a bike fits, is in decent mechanical condition and you replace parts 'one for one' (in other words, don't upgrade anything), you should be ok. Many more modern components are still compatible and the ones that aren't can usually be hunted down with a little effort. There are bike coops in some cities that can help - as well as LBS's.

    I'm not pushing you to buy this particular bike, but if your max budget is $300, buy a bike in the ~$100 price range and use some of the remaining funds to get it assessed/ tuned, new tubes/ tires, brake pads (as needed) at your LBS.. or do it yourself, if you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbowdoin View Post
    Yeah I can definitely see where you're coming from/how I could run into some problems I suppose. I am probably looking to spend less than 300$, and yes my main purpose would be commuting. I live in a college town and would be riding to classes, around downtown, to work, things like that. Basically, the bike will be left unattended and locked outside of building very often - which is why I am looking for just an older used model to ride around on. While they are not extremely long commutes, I think I am looking for a road bike solely because my goal is to just get there as quickly and efficiently as possible with a backpack on. I feel as if a nice working steel framed road bike would be the perfect bike for the job...for now at least.
    In that budget, I think late '80s with a 6-speed freewheel is the way to go. 7-speed is a transition period and while with some research, I think you could do fine with it, it is some additional stuff to figure out. 700C wheels are nice, but 27" wheels do have some tires available, so for me it's never been a deal-breaker. Steel rims are definitely something to avoid. They're one thing on a bike ridden for sport (still crappy) but if you get caught in the rain, they're terrifying. Personally, I think I lose a lot of the utility from commuting if I have to be paranoid about the weather forecast.

    Try to get a bike with a three-piece crank. Scroll down to the article - either of the ones on the left are fine. The ginormous one on the right is not fine.

    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Glossary Bo--Bz

    For me, maintaining bikes of that vintage has always been a little bit of a balancing act. There are some places where modern versions of things drop right in. There are some things that can be finessed, and there are some things that just don't work. The only thing you're likely to run into that will completely torpedo maintaining one of these as a practical mode of transportation is a funny-sized bottom bracket - they obligate you to stick to one for one replacements, and finding something that's okay to ride in the rain becomes difficult.

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    Andrew -- I definitely agree and am on the lookout for steel wheels because I don't wanna get caught up in that mess. I will also keep the crank situation in mind, that is very good to know - thanks for the help. I do have other modes of transportation though (friends, car, bus) so I am thinking that I will not even both riding in the rain or bad weather. Hopefully I will be able to overcome my compatibility issues with the bike I decide to purchase ha!

    PJ --- I agree, I think it will be easy to handle my parts on for one. As long as my bike is in decent mechanical condition, fits me, and is enjoyable to ride, I'm happy. The guy from this CL listing has been emailing me and noted that he trued the wheels, tightened spokes, and replaced the brake pads. Anyways, yes I think I will end up doing something along the lines of your final paragraph, thanks for the info and help.

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    He emailed to confirm that all of the components are Shimano: 500 brakes, Atlus derailleurs, and Selectra B1 crank --- anyone wanna lend some info about these parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbowdoin View Post
    He emailed to confirm that all of the components are Shimano: 500 brakes, Atlus derailleurs, and Selectra B1 crank --- anyone wanna lend some info about these parts?
    Sure. They're vintage parts bolted to a vintage frame. Put in perspective, here's an e-bay listing for the crankset (with pedals). Notice the winning bid... $5.
    Vintage Shimano Selectra B1 Chainring and Both Crankarms w/ Pedals Crankset | eBay

    What I'm getting at is... in this price range if the bike fits, rolls, shifts, steers and stops (relatively quickly) you might have yourself a decent commuter.

    If you're interested, go check it out, ride it and if it fits consider offering ~$75 assuming 'a lot' doesn't have to be put into the bike to get it ride-able. If the seller keeps emailing you info, there's no line waiting to buy the bike.

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    I joined hoping to ask a similar question about the first bike I get I am a runner looking for a decent bike to do cross training and possibly try a triathlon I don't really want an expensive bike and am hoping to spend less than $300 and I was wondering as far as used bikes go how old is too old?

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    Nice ride, I like vintage road bikes.

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    Funny you should ask.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/ranger.html

    It's more a matter of how old a bike you want to deal with maintaining. Mechanical aspects should be dead easy for bikes from the late '90s forward. They get a little more complicated for some (but not all) early to mid-90s bikes, and then more and more things start to be different from current standards. To be honest, current standards don't match current standards either - a couple parts have been screwed up. I think I may see the early- to mid-2000s as a period of good standards just because that's the ages for most of my bikes.

    Keep in mind that this isn't something you have to throw out a few times a season, like your running shoes. My main road bike is thirteen years old, my mountain bike's a 2007, and I have a couple of bikes I bought used that are 2005ish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runnerlookingtobike View Post
    I joined hoping to ask a similar question about the first bike I get I am a runner looking for a decent bike to do cross training and possibly try a triathlon I don't really want an expensive bike and am hoping to spend less than $300 and I was wondering as far as used bikes go how old is too old?
    Generally speaking and if possible, stay with 8 speed drivetrains and (preferably) steel frames. If not, 7 speed (steel frames) and aluminum frames are acceptable, although IMO 7 speed alu is the last choice.

    For sources, I'd recommend first checking out your LBS's for used bikes. There, you'll get some level of sizing/ fitting assistance, the ability to test ride bikes and possibly a 30 day warranty. In other words, some level of support.

    Not being a fan of ebay, my second suggestion would be CL, but buyer beware applies here, so it's best to take someone along that's knowledgeable of both fit and the mechanical aspects of bikes.

    EDIT: Given your intended uses, all of the above applies to drop bar road bikes, not tri specific bikes.
    Last edited by PJ352; 05-04-2012 at 04:52 AM. Reason: addition/ clarifications..

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    If you are looking for <$300 bikes and know your sizing and how to use a geometry chart, you might check out bikeisland.com. They sell dinged and "gently used" bikes that might help with the "you don't want to steal me" criteria.

    I was wanting to try out a fixed gear bike just to get some experience on it. I went to the Seattle Bike Expo and checked out the used stuff that might fit the bill for a conversion but didn't find anything that looked like it wasn't going to be a lot of work.

    I happened to find a single speed / fixed gear (flip flop) Gravity bike (al frame, cro-mo fork) in my size at BI that was "gently used" for $199. I still can't believe all the new parts I got for that price - a new saddle cost 25% of the entire bike! The "gently used" appeared to be someone put it together, decided it didn't fit, and stuffed it back in the box dinging up the paint a bit in the process).

    After some mods and $100 worth of upgrades (smaller chain ring, Shimano free-wheel cog, bar top brake handles for a chop-n-flop conversion, new bar tape, SPD pedals) it has not only taught me what riding fixed gear is like but made a great "rail trail" bike for Sunday rides with my wife

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    (trying again without the "less than" symbol in the text)
    If you are looking for a bike under $300 and know your sizing and how to use a geometry chart, you might check out bikeisland.com. They sell dinged and "gently used" bikes that might help with the "you don't want to steal me" criteria.

    I was wanting to try out a fixed gear bike just to get some experience on it. I went to the Seattle Bike Expo and checked out the used stuff that might fit the bill for a conversion but didn't find anything that looked like it wasn't going to be a lot of work.

    I happened to find a single speed / fixed gear (flip flop) Gravity bike (al frame, cro-mo fork) in my size at BI that was "gently used" for $199. I still can't believe all the new parts I got for that price - a new saddle cost 25% of the entire bike! The "gently used" appeared to be someone put it together, decided it didn't fit, and stuffed it back in the box dinging up the paint a bit in the process).

    After some mods and $100 worth of upgrades (smaller chain ring, Shimano free-wheel cog, bar top brake handles for a chop-n-flop conversion, new bar tape, SPD pedals) it has not only taught me what riding fixed gear is like but made a great "rail trail" bike for Sunday rides with my wife

  17. #17
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    With respect, posts extolling the catalog sites almost always make me feel more confident in my decisions to buy used bikes. I picked up a track bike for not much more than you recently from a woman who raced it at Marymoor a few times and decided she'd rather use that time for rock climbing. It came with the original brakes and levers and some extra cogs. I did spend a little bit on a set of interrupter levers that can come on and off without removing the bar tape, something that facilitates doing intervals workouts on the road loop around Greenlake, but so far, I'm very happy with the bike. I think my total is under $300, but to be fair, I did already have some pedals sitting around and I cannibalized the old brake runs to set up the interrupters.

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