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  1. #1
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    First road bike - No idea if it's a good deal

    I did a 185km bike tour last weekend on a mountain bike, and never again. I need a road bike!

    I found one for sale, but can't seem to find much that can help me date the bike or whether it's a good deal. It's being sold by a younger woman who can no longer ride due to back issues. She just bought the bike a year ago from someone who had several expensive road bikes and who took great care of it.

    This is what I know about it:
    - Piuma model

    - Columbia Genius Tubing
    - carbon front fork
    - full Shimano Ultegra group
    - new tires, just tuned up

    They want $750 for it. Is this a good deal? Will I be able to find parts for it if I ever need to? Any and all input is appreciated

    First road bike - No idea if it's a good deal-2nt8nbs.jpg

    First road bike - No idea if it's a good deal-110m3rm.jpg

    First road bike - No idea if it's a good deal-an2as7.jpg

  2. #2
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    Nice specs. It looks like a pretty big bike. Do you know what you're doing with sizing? It won't make you much more comfortable, if at all, if the bike is too big.

    See if you can get the year. My instinct is the price is a bit high, but I'm not sure.

  3. #3
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    I really know nothing about the bike, but I bet you can find info here.

    Cycles Marinoni

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    Marinoni is a Canadian based company that's put out top quality framesets for decades. In '91 Columbus introduced Nivachrom steel and the first tubing using it was Genius, so the bike is at least a '91. Being a quality built frame using quality tubing, IMO the real value here is in the frame - assuming (at minimum) good condition and little or no rust, inside and out.

    Still, the bike is overpriced. It was originally spec'd with a steel fork and d/ tube shifters (can't assess the wheelset from the pics), so the previous seller and this current seller are likely basing the inflated price on 'upgrades'. I put that in quotes because what constitutes 'upgrades' is oftentimes subjective with used bike sales. For example, if the Ultegra groupset has 10 years of use, it's not worth much.

    Making a general statement, I wouldn't fret about parts availability. That shouldn't pose much of a problem with bikes of this era.

    All that said, this is a larger frame, so unless it fits you, assuming you don't buy on speculation, the other points covered are moot. If you're unsure of your sizing requirements, ask the seller to bring the bike to your LBS for fit assessment. It may cost a nominal fee, but (long term) far less than if you buy an ill fitting bike.

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    deleted - triple post!!

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    deleted - triple post!!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for replying. I'm 5'8 but my leg length is 33". I've gone onto several sizing websites and all put me on a 56cm+ frame. But I keep getting pushed towards 54cm bikes because I'm a woman. I'm finding it very confusing.

    If this bike is 22 years old, I see why it's over-priced. I want something that's going to last me a long time, but if the shifters are very used, the cost of replacing them makes this bike even less of a good deal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post
    Thanks for replying. I'm 5'8 but my leg length is 33". I've gone onto several sizing websites and all put me on a 56cm+ frame. But I keep getting pushed towards 54cm bikes because I'm a woman. I'm finding it very confusing.

    If this bike is 22 years old, I see why it's over-priced. I want something that's going to last me a long time, but if the shifters are very used, the cost of replacing them makes this bike even less of a good deal.
    I agree with you re: the shifters and potential cost of replacement - along with other assorted mechanical issues. Those types of questions should be posed to the seller. Problem is, after the bikes been bought and resold a number of times, no one knows the answers. You can tell some things by the model numbers on the components. for example, if the Ultegra RD is labeled 6600, it's maybe 4 years old. But that just tells age, not use, which matters more.

    Again, depending on condition, the frame is where the value is. At some point it will stabilize (in value), then possibly increase, but that takes time... more than 22 years.

    I can't size you over the internet, nor can I tell you if the bike in the pic would fit (although, I suspect it's a bit too large). I can tell you that online fit calculators will do little more than confuse you, especially since you're proportioned long legs/ short torso.

    Best bet when just starting out looking for used road bikes is to visit a reputable shop and opt for a standard fitting. Armed with the geo numbers of the test bike (NOT the frame size) you'll then compare bike of interest with that geo chart. You may be a good candidate for WSD bikes - bikes with shorter reach and a more upright position, designed for women proportioned as you seem to be.

    Better yet, if your budget allows, shop some LBS's, find one you're comfortable with and confident in and buy from them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post
    Thanks for replying. I'm 5'8 but my leg length is 33". I've gone onto several sizing websites and all put me on a 56cm+ frame. But I keep getting pushed towards 54cm bikes because I'm a woman. I'm finding it very confusing.
    I think you may be plugging bad numbers into whatever you're using to find a size on the internet.

    I'm a 5' 8" male with much shotter legs than you, thus a much longer upper body, and 56cm would be way to big for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    I agree with you re: the shifters and potential cost of replacement - along with other assorted mechanical issues. Those types of questions should be posed to the seller. Problem is, after the bikes been bought and resold a number of times, no one knows the answers. You can tell some things by the model numbers on the components. for example, if the Ultegra RD is labeled 6600, it's maybe 4 years old. But that just tells age, not use, which matters more.

    Again, depending on condition, the frame is where the value is. At some point it will stabilize (in value), then possibly increase, but that takes time... more than 22 years.

    I can't size you over the internet, nor can I tell you if the bike in the pic would fit (although, I suspect it's a bit too large). I can tell you that online fit calculators will do little more than confuse you, especially since you're proportioned long legs/ short torso.

    Best bet when just starting out looking for used road bikes is to visit a reputable shop and opt for a standard fitting. Armed with the geo numbers of the test bike (NOT the frame size) you'll then compare bike of interest with that geo chart. You may be a good candidate for WSD bikes - bikes with shorter reach and a more upright position, designed for women proportioned as you seem to be.

    Better yet, if your budget allows, shop some LBS's, find one you're comfortable with and confident in and buy from them.
    Thank you! I've been to one LBS and had the Avail 1 or Avail Composite 3 recommended to me. Those seemed to be the only 2 he wanted to show me. I know that there are far fewer choices with women's bikes, so maybe those were the only ones they had to show me. There are 2 other LBS that I'm going to visit this week, and hopefully I find the right bike for me. I called the guy selling this one and declined seeing it this afternoon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I think you may be plugging bad numbers into whatever you're using to find a size on the internet.

    I'm a 5' 8" male with much shotter legs than you, thus a much longer upper body, and 56cm would be way to big for me.
    the 56cm refers to the length, seat to pedal, right? if that's the length from the seat to the handlebar post, maybe this is why I'm so confused.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post
    Thank you! I've been to one LBS and had the Avail 1 or Avail Composite 3 recommended to me. Those seemed to be the only 2 he wanted to show me. I know that there are far fewer choices with women's bikes, so maybe those were the only ones they had to show me. There are 2 other LBS that I'm going to visit this week, and hopefully I find the right bike for me. I called the guy selling this one and declined seeing it this afternoon.
    Among the larger brands, there are actually a fair number of choices for WSD bikes. If you go to a shop that doesn't want to show you their WSD offerings, go to another shop (and another) till you find one that will.

    The only way you'll know if they work for you, is to get set up on them and go for test rides .Reputable shops see the value in doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post
    the 56cm refers to the length, seat to pedal, right? if that's the length from the seat to the handlebar post, maybe this is why I'm so confused.
    Since there are no standards for measuring to determine frame size, the 56cm refers to pretty much nothing. You were swayed towards that 'size' because of your 33 inch inseam. Problem is, with non-WSD bikes, that puts you on frames too long in reach.

    You're confused because you're not yet working with a knowledgeable fitter. Once you find one, you'll be surprised at how easy the sizing process is.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post
    the 56cm refers to the length, seat to pedal, right? if that's the length from the seat to the handlebar post, maybe this is why I'm so confused.
    The 56 refers to seat tube; usually from center of BB to top of top tube. That has been the standard forever but often isn't as important to fit as the Effective Top Tube dimension.

    I can see why you've been steered to a 54cm because your torso is short compared to an average man; on a 56 the top tube would be too long and you'd be too stretched out.

    You're doing the right thing by visiting multiple shops and trying many bikes.
    If you're like me you'll find one that fits and go online to get the geometry chart to compare to other models you're considering.

    For example; I'm also 5'8" and my touring bike was 21" so I'd normally fit a 53-54cm frame. But the model I wanted is built with a longer top tube and the 50cm turned out to be the right size for me.
    The dealer first recommended the 54 but I did the research at home and ordered the 50. Once it was fitted to me it turned out to be perfect. The saddle is in the middle of its' travel and the stem and bar height are just right.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  13. #13
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    If you can afford $750 for a bicycle, then I would suggest that you purchase a brand new bicycle. Also, if you'd like to invest in a bicycle that will last for much longer than a decade or so, then I would further suggest that you seriously consider steel as a frame material. Additionally, hybrid bicycles generally are less expensive than the standard road bike. Therefore, with a hybrid, you'd get more bang for your buck. Since you're a female, I'd recommend the Jamis Satellite Sport Femme, or the Giant Avail 5 (not offered in Canada), in road bikes. The Jamis Coda Comp Femme, or the Giant Escape, are hybrids that I'd recommend. Aluminum frames are fine. Just don't expect for them to provide as much service life as steel framed bikes. They should all last for at least a decade or so.
    Last edited by Zeet; 06-17-2013 at 04:59 PM.
    A chromoly steel bicycle will last just as long as titanium, if kept dry.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    The 56 refers to seat tube; usually from center of BB to top of top tube. That has been the standard forever but often isn't as important to fit as the Effective Top Tube dimension.
    If you believe that, go look at Specialized Tarmacs/ Roubaix's, Secteurs, Allez's (to name a few, but there are a slew of others from Trek, Giant, Fuji, Jamis...), then come back and tell me why their ST lengths never match their stated (frame) size.

    What you're stated used to be true back in the 'traditional' geo days with horizontal TT's and 'squared' geo (~56cm STL, ~56cm TT), but compact geo has changed all that.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post

    the 56cm refers to the length, seat to pedal, right? if that's the length from the seat to the handlebar post, maybe this is why I'm so confused.
    My previous answer was given as if 56 was referring to the top tube.
    You do, in a round about way, bring up a point though. Some makers do advertize the 'size' of their frame based on it's seat tube length.

    But you'll never see a frame size based on the "seat to pedal". The seat can be moved up or down and the seat post isn't part of the frame so wouldn't be considered in any frame measurment. Not to mention different crank arm lengths could have the pedal just about anywhere.

    No offence but based on what I'm reading here do-it-yourself frame sizing isn't a very good idea for you if you're looking to get a bike anytime soon. And honestly I'm not trying to insult you. It is complicated and even people with tons of experience and confidence about it are riding bikes that are a horrible size for them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    If you believe that, go look at Specialized Tarmacs/ Roubaix's, Secteurs, Allez's (to name a few, but there are a slew of others from Trek, Giant, Fuji, Jamis...), then come back and tell me why their ST lengths never match their stated (frame) size.
    What you're stated used to be true back in the 'traditional' geo days with horizontal TT's and 'squared' geo (~56cm STL, ~56cm TT), but compact geo has changed all that.
    I do understand all that.

    I should have said that the ST dimension is only accurate on diamond, not compact frames.

    So yes, with a compact frame the better reference is Effective Seat Tube length.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    No offence but based on what I'm reading here do-it-yourself frame sizing isn't a very good idea for you if you're looking to get a bike anytime soon. And honestly I'm not trying to insult you. It is complicated and even people with tons of experience and confidence about it are riding bikes that are a horrible size for them.
    Very true. I've been riding since the mid-80's and am now considering a bike that (for the life of me) I can't decide between two 'sizes'.

    The right way to determine this is to get set up and test ride both, back to back. But in reality, that's not always an option.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    I do understand all that.

    I should have said that the ST dimension is only accurate on diamond, not compact frames.

    So yes, with a compact frame the better reference is Effective Seat Tube length.
    Correct, but in your defense (as Jay noted) there are some manufacturers that do 'size' by ST length. Rocky Mountains being one.

    Their prerogative, but it further serves to confuse - and affirm the belief that methods to determine frame size are somewhat arbitrary.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Correct, but in your defense (as Jay noted) there are some manufacturers that do 'size' by ST length. Rocky Mountains being one.
    Their prerogative, but it further serves to confuse - and affirm the belief that methods to determine frame size are somewhat arbitrary.
    I just measured my 50cm size Trek CrossRip and the center of BB to top of top tube is 43cm.
    On the geo chart for that model they list no seat tube length at all.

    But the Effective Top Tube length is 54.6cm and that's why I bought the 50.

    CrossRip Geometry
    50cm
    A Seat tube
    B Seat tube angle 74.5
    C Head tube length 13.0 cm
    D Head angle 71.0
    E Effective top tube 54.6 cm
    Frame rise 56.1 cm
    G Bottom bracket drop 27.9 cm
    H Chainstay length 43.5 cm
    I Offset 4.5 cm
    J Trail 7.5 cm
    K Wheelbase 103.6 cm
    L Standover 76.1 cm
    Standover in Inches 30
    M Frame reach 39.1 cm
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    I just measured my 50cm size Trek CrossRip and the center of BB to top of top tube is 43cm.
    On the geo chart for that model they list no seat tube length at all.

    But the Effective Top Tube length is 54.6cm and that's why I bought the 50.
    Not listing STL is a bit unusual, but the bold statement is why I always advise that frame size be disregarded, with the focus being on the geo numbers, the two important ones being effective top tube and head tube length.

    Trouble is, you have to know reach/ drop requirements for either of those values to have real meaning, so for noob and others unfamiliar with geo, it's back to finding a reputable fitter.

    You'd think that adding frame stack and reach numbers to geo charts would help (and it should), but I've seen variables in how those measurements are taken as well.

  21. #21
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    That bike looks like it came from an era where if I whipped out an Android I'd be burned at the stake. If the seller moves the decimal point on that price one spot to the left, then you'll have gotten an adequate deal. Besides, if you can spare $750 on a bike, there are sites where you can buy new ones way better than that.

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    Wow, I've learned so much from the replies here, thank you!

    I'm opting to visit the other 2 LBS on Thursday afternoon when I can go without kids. It sounds like I'm going to end up likely buying the wrong size bike if I buy second hand, so I'd rather pay more and get the right bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by raelynn View Post
    Wow, I've learned so much from the replies here, thank you!

    I'm opting to visit the other 2 LBS on Thursday afternoon when I can go without kids. It sounds like I'm going to end up likely buying the wrong size bike if I buy second hand, so I'd rather pay more and get the right bike.
    That's the safest route, IMO/E. And buying from a reputable LBS gets you more than just sizing/ fit assistance. A warranty (and warranty assistance), tune ups (probably for a year) and many offer discounts on accessories, post-purchase.

    Let us know how it goes Thursday, and good luck!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    That bike looks like it came from an era where if I whipped out an Android I'd be burned at the stake. If the seller moves the decimal point on that price one spot to the left, then you'll have gotten an adequate deal. Besides, if you can spare $750 on a bike, there are sites where you can buy new ones way better than that.
    I concur....lol. Run from that CL bike....$750??? LOL Try a couple more LBS who will take time to show you all the bikes that you want and then test ride the ones that are in your budget. I would avoid hybrids, they are not really great at anything...I had one for a couple weeks that I got free, it needed tubes and tune up. I tuned it and fixed flats rode it up and down the street couple times and promptly sold it. It had an odd fit and handling imo...not like my mtb and not like my roadbike.
    Hey you, Whitehouse, ha ha charade you are.

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