Road newbie - used bike question
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Road newbie - used bike question

    Sorry in advance for the following newbie question. I've been lurking and searching, but the engine doesn't like the word "used", and I'm not sure I've seen many posts that answer my questions. Also apologies in advance for a "should I buy this bike on ebay sort of post", but you guys seem to be a lot more welcoming, verbose, and forthright than mtbr-ers a lot of the time.

    I'm looking to get into road, and I'm a semi-clyde and tall - 6'5", 225-240 (summer/winter), long torso, ~35.5" inseam. Not super fit, but somewhat, and flexible enough to put my palms on the floor, and I like to be stretched out and aggressive on a mtb. Wrench science wants me on a 64cm bike with a 60cm tt, but when I was on one it felt a teensy bit tall, though the length was good with a shortish stem. I'm on a tight budget, and I'd rather have a nicer old bike (specifically Italian steel) than a brand new entry-level one - I don't know if this applies in road, but in mtb I kill anything less than lx in seconds, so I don't really want to start with less than campy or 105. I'm interested in long distance rides, and will never race, but maybe join club rides here in Montreal if I'm in good shape next spring.

    French Canadians and the mix of Montrealers are generally short, so it's rare to even find a store than stocks 60cm or bigger bikes, so I'm thinking classifieds and ebay are basically my only choices - I've been looking here for a couple of years and not found a single bike besides team riders selling their old sponsor's bike for way more than I could pay, which would be up to about 1K Can, maybe 750-800 US. I got a little excited about an early 90s Colnago Conic on ebay last week, and now I'm extra psyched about a very pretty 62cm Rossin this week (

    I guess my basic question is, how rare is it to find bikes this nice used, especially at this size - 590-5 tt on a 62cm bike seems about perfect? I feel like I should jump whenever I see one, and I almost bought the Conic last week, and then this bike comes along. The wheels seem good (those hubs are the road version of Hugis?), the frame seems very nice, the classic geometry looks like it would fit me good. However, this is a lot of money for me, yet at the same time, I know that paying for quality in bikes is necessary. The seller seems legit, the bike hasn't been tortured, and if I don't get it, I'm sure someone will at the price he's asking. I'm sure I'll be a steel guy; hell, I like the feel of my cheap (but nice) rigid Kona Smoke commuter way more than my expensive aluminum Schwinn hardtail - I swear the cromo has better suspension too!

    That's it I guess - is this a once-in-a-lifetime bike, or a once a week one? Won't be riding it much except maybe on rollers until spring though, so I'm not in a huge rush. I don't want to get fitted at a shop because I'm pretty sure about fit, give or take 10mm of stem or so, even though I've only ridden road bikes for a couple minutes at a time; and even a 105 bike in Canada starts at around two grand new, not to mention that nobody has even a 60cm to sell me here anyway. I haven't been trolling ebay forever, but for a few months anyway, and I haven't seen many bikes that fit what I'm looking for.

    Another aspect is that I'm already pretty obsessed with fixed gear riding already, and I know at some point I'm going to get a fixed. I only test rode a 64cm Fuji track in Toronto, but I was pretty in love from the first revolution of the pedals; would have bought it on impulse too, but student loan payments, weak spec for the price here, blah blah blah. Part of me is telling me to parlay some poker winnings into a special order of an 05 Bianchi Pista before I get a road bike, or maybe save up for a Soma, and just keep my eyes peeled on ebay for an Italian roadie if I win at cards or something. Century on a fixed when I've never gone more than 50 or 60km on my mtb with slicks? Can't wait, but I'd like to try going fast and far too.

    Sorry for the long post - I probably usually say too much. Thanks in advance for any guidance you might have to offer.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    long torso, clyde...

    If your inseam is measured to saddle-like crotch contact in bare feet, then you definitely have a long torso (10.5" taller than me and less than 3" more in the leg). At your weight, your a bonified clydesdale. Whatever you buy, you're going to need some stout wheels. You average machine-built stockers won't last long.

    I always warn folks about buying bikes that are quite old, often with low level and very outdated components. You can spend more money keeping one of these bike running than it's worth.

    The problem that you may encounter at your size is big jumps between the two biggest sizes. Cannondale for instance, make a big 3cm jump between 60 and 63cm. The 63cm has a standover height of 87cm, which is only 3cm less than you inseam, providing minimal standover clearance, but what should be an appropriate 60cm TT length.

    When looking at different brands, remember that there are at least 3 ways to measure frame size, so be sure that you know the method, or at least have the important dimension of seat tube angle, TT length, standover height and head tube length. If you have these diemensions, it doesn't matter what "size" the manufacturer calls the frame, as long as it fits.

  3. #3
    when is it obsession?
    Reputation: Rthur2sheds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    for what it is worth...

    I am just about your size (6/5" 255)...I ride a 63cm Miyata road bike and just ordered a 62cm Raleigh Pro from GVHbikes... It all depends on how the bike is set up, really...a cm one way or the other is workable if fitted properly
    "Oz was wrong: a heart should be judged by how much one loves...not by how much one is loved by others..."

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