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  1. #1
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    Is this a mistake to buy? Need help

    I found on craigslist a road bike, it is a Panasonic sport 500. I don't know what year, and the pictures I was given, it has been used a lot. The guy was asking $250, and is now asking $175 when I said I won't go for $250.

    I haven't made an offer myself cause I have no idea what this bike is worth. It looks really old and has those old lever shifting bits, not like the ones the bike shop bikes have. The guy is the same height as me (5'7"), so i think it would be a good fit, or close enough. Should I even bother with this particular bike, what should I pay for it? Or should I move along and find a different bike?

    My situation is that I need a bike to replace my now broken mountain bike that I was using to get to class. I ride only on roads now, so I would like to get something that is a bit faster and more suited for roads than my mountain bike was. My budget is $300 for the most part.

    I'm not too sure what to avoid or look for. When I look up several of the bikes I have found on craigslist they all seem to be several hundred dollars over their worth. Are their just that many people trying to flip old bikes or am I looking in the wrong place for a used bike?

  2. #2
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    I'm no expert on such matters, so take what I offer with a grain of salt.

    I'd put the year at early to mid 80's and as far as I can tell, the bike was low end made with hi tensile steel. Off the top of my head I was going to suggest offering $75, going no higher than $100, and from the attached, I'd say that's a fair offer. This (IMO) assumes the bike is rideable 'as is'.

    Here's more info and a quote specific to the Sport 500 line:
    The Sport Model Lineup | Panasonic Bicycles Virtual Museum

    Quote:
    Iím here to set the record straight. For those of you looking to buy or sell a lower end Panasonic bicycle, please read carefully.
    The Panasonic Sport 500, Sport LX etc. was literally at the bottom of the Panasonic food chain as far as their ten speed bike like was concerned. Collectors like myself are not scrambling to snap them up for $200 plus as they arenít exactly hard to find. In fact, Iím not a buyer of ANY Sport series bike for my collection. I see them offered all over the country on Craigslist often for $100 or less, and honestly, that is how it should be. Iíd have a hard time paying more than $150 for one unless it was in darn near NOS condition.
    End quote.

    Regarding CL, I agree with your assessment. Success or lack thereof is, to a large extent, dependent on region, but generally speaking the sellers either don't know what they're selling, over price it, or both. You might want to check out LBS's for used offerings. That way you'll get some level of sizing/ fit assistance and (sometimes) a 30 day warranty.

    Unfortunately, in your price range options are limited. If you could determine your sizing requirements, buying online is an option, but you run the risk of ordering an ill sized bike. Even if you get sizing right, you're still left to do the final assembly, tuning and fit yourself - or pay a LBS to assist, which raises costs.

    I think your best option is to locate a LBS selling used bikes. Next would be CL, because you could at least test ride the bike, checking for a decent fit and mechanical condition. Last would be online, for the aforementioned reasons.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I'm starting to think about breaking my budget and got for the novara divano bike 2011 that REI has for sell. They are asking about $600 for it, but I know REI does sell things at an inflated price much of the time, so I'm not sure if I can't do better elsewhere.

    I'm going to go look at it today, but does anyone have an opinion on the Divano? $600 is a whole lot of money for me right now as a college student without a job.

  4. #4
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    The pricing on the Divano looks appropriate.

    What do you want to use the bike for? Depending on your purpose, a $100 beater bike may be the way to go (like, for short commutes and leaving locked outside when you get to your destination) or you may be a lot happier with something nicer.

    I finally killed my most recent beater bike - broken frame, but the components were mostly pretty trashed too - and am riding something nicer to school. It's more reliable, which is nice, but I worry more about theft.

  5. #5
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by myufox View Post
    Thanks for the info. I'm starting to think about breaking my budget and got for the novara divano bike 2011 that REI has for sell. They are asking about $600 for it, but I know REI does sell things at an inflated price much of the time, so I'm not sure if I can't do better elsewhere.

    I'm going to go look at it today, but does anyone have an opinion on the Divano? $600 is a whole lot of money for me right now as a college student without a job.
    Concerns re: theft aside, I think the Divano offers a pretty good package for the price. As always, fit matters most and the bike only cones in three sizes, but at least this option gets you some sizing/ fit assistance, the ability to test ride, a warranty and (presumably) some post purchase services.

    Just keep in mind that a bike is only a decent deal if it fits.

  6. #6
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    Mostly commuting to school, and riding around the city (20+ miles for the places I want to go).

    I ended up just getting the Divano. I need a bike asap to get to school during the week. Walking for an hour to get there is a long time. Plus REI has a return policy that can't be beat if it turns out that it won't workout for me.

    As for theft I bought a steel U-Lock and cable paring with a rating of 8 on it. Not sure what that means, but I really hope it would keep my bike safe.

  7. #7
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by myufox View Post
    I ended up just getting the Divano.
    Congrats! Looks to be a nice bike, so I hope you share many happy and safe miles with it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by myufox View Post
    Mostly commuting to school, and riding around the city (20+ miles for the places I want to go).

    I ended up just getting the Divano. I need a bike asap to get to school during the week. Walking for an hour to get there is a long time. Plus REI has a return policy that can't be beat if it turns out that it won't workout for me.

    As for theft I bought a steel U-Lock and cable paring with a rating of 8 on it. Not sure what that means, but I really hope it would keep my bike safe.
    It's an arbitrary numbering system. If you bought what I think you did - as in, the cable attaches to the U-lock, it's not actually redundant - it's about as safe as the U-lock alone, but heavier. I bought a cable that has its own locking system, so I'm using two locks on my bike. Annoying, but it's more expensive than the beaters I've been using. I'm hoping that over time I spend less money keeping it rolling than those bikes tended to cost. I also like the bike a lot better, and can imagine dialing in the fit a little more, installing clipless pedals, and using it as a training bike if circumstances didn't make a bike I can ride in normal shoes desirable.

  9. #9
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    I'm glad you didn't get the Panasonic, that would have been a waste of money at any price for that model! The Divano looks to be a good bike for the price...hopefully you got it at the sale price listed on the web site and not the retail price they sold it for. I like the red and white color scheme.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  10. #10
    Carless
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    Looks like a nice ride man Hope it works well for you!

  11. #11
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    I own a Panasonic 500 Sport that I bought new in 86 when I was in college. I still have the bike it is in mint condition but rarely ride it anymore, I believe I still have the owners manual. I've never had a problem with it, shifts smooth. It has the original tires and they look to be in good shape, not dry rotted, still hold air. I'm looking to sell it and get into mountain biking. If you are interested let me know.

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