Hi, I was looking for some advice on buying a TT bike with limited means.
I've been on my road bike for about 5+ years but I'm looking to purchase a TT bike since I usually do 3-4 tris per year including oly and half-IM distance. I am curious whether anyone has a strong opinion on buying new versus used?
I don't have much money to spend. The cervelo P2 is about $2,800 and there isn't much in the TT category that is cheaper than that and full carbon. I was curious if it were worth checking out used bike and what you think I should be looking for when buying used?
I ride a 52cm frame. Thanks for any advice!!!
it will be tough but you can find a good used full carbon bike probabaly and older p2 for less than 2800.
buying a used bike is like buying a used car, you check all the same thing.
service history (was the bike ever overhauled or serviced by a reputable bike shop, and overhaul is a good thing) /tires/transmission (cable and shifting works properly quietly and wihtout problems)/brakes (how worn are the brake pads and how well does the bike/car stop)/aesthetically does it look in good condition or not (same goes with a car and a bicycle).
good news is that a 52 is a common size sorta like the corolla of bicycle sizes.
Check online for closeouts. Or if you want to buy locally, go shopping with a friend. If you are both serious about buying bikes, some shops will give you an additional discount. I recently got 10% off a 2010 P2 instead of the usual club discount of 5% because the shop was eager to close two sales.
Felt Carbon is $2,000 MSRP but can be had a bit cheaper at a LBS ... especially with a DCTri club discount.
I think that if you have limited means then it's a no brainer ... get a used one. Perhaps you can go another season with the road bike and save up for a new one next year? New TT bikes can be had for a bit cheaper at the end of the year when stores are getting rid of the old inventories for the next year's models.
I think that every triathletes out there want a new TT bikes no matter their predictament. People who bought a new one last year, want a new one this year but you have to pick and choose your battle. It's an expensive sport ... no need to break the bank when there are better alternatives.
If I were to buy a used carbon bike, the one thing that I would go over with a fine tooth comb is the frame. Make sure that there are no cracks or fractures. Walk away if there any ... no matter the size of the crack.
+1 on the previous comments. Be careful buying used (inspect 2x), but deals can be had.
Also, new Quintana Roo Seduza $2k.
And must it be a carbon frame? I know it's the sexy way to go, but there are several aluminum bikes that are very good. Try a P1 and P2 side by side. You might be surprised and save a few hundred $$.
Thank you everyone. You gave me a lot to consider. I will definitely check out the other bikes that were suggested and/or see if I can find a used bike in my size. I wanted to see what my options were and now I have a lot of ideas. Thanks!!!
Last year I was dead set that a P2 would be mine. It fit my budget and they look sexy. The only problem was, I didn't love how it felt on test rides.
I happened to be at the mall one day and wandered into Hudson Trail Outfitters. They sell Giant bikes and they had a Trinity TT bike on sale for a wicked discount. The bike comes in both aluminum frame and a carbon composite (mostly carbon but aluminum near bottom bracket for stiffness). I bought the carbon and I've been really happy with this bike.
The deal was so good that I got the bike and a good set of Mavics for ~$2600. The aluminum is the same frame design and I think it retails for $1750.
I'd suggest checking out some of the larger 'big box' bike stores like HTO and Performance. When budget is a concern, they just have more ability to offer a lower price.
Might also be worth asking your LBS to check and see if their distributor has any 2009 bikes kicking around. Won't make you the most popular consumer, but often they are willing to get rid of those for really good deals.
I bought my bike used ('08 Felt B12, all carbon, Dura Ace groupset, Vision carbon base and aero bars, Fizik saddle) and got a great deal on it ($2100). I agree with what everybody's said here about needing to go over it just like you would a used car but the huge savings that can be had by buying used make sense, I think, when you're only racing a half dozen times per year. I bought my road bike new, but I ride that 3-4 days per week commuting to work. I just didn't see the need to spend the extra money on a new TT bike.
Your best bet is probably to find a private seller who is local and willing to let you come by to inspect and test ride it. At the very least, make sure you like the bike before you go looking at used models (in my case, I was able to test ride the same bike locally to make sure the fit was right and then hunted around for a good deal on a used one). It could take some time to find just what you want, but the wait could well be worth it.
remember most triathletes baby their bikes and never ride them in the rain or really abuse them "because they are so expensive" (i'm guilty of this too)and so when you buy a used one, its usually never abused as much as people are making them out to be.
sure go over it and do your due diligence but its sort of like shopping for a jeep wrangler. they are made to do serious off roading so when you look for one look to see if it has had off road abuse, most people never take them offroad so looking for this abuse is really useless.
remember a good quality "serious" triathlon or road bike was engineered for pro athletes to use for probably 1 year or longer and they will put more miles and abuse on a bicycle in 1 year than probably 99% of even "serious hardcore" triathletes will in 5 years.
good luck and have fun in the search.
That's a great point--when I got my used bike, it looked like it was brand new. I literally couldn't find a nick or scratch anywhere. The guy I bought it from had only ridden it about 500 miles and clearly had maintained it meticulously.
Unfortunately I haven't found anything on craiglist in my size. I know there's a bunch of bikes on ebay, but given the cautions about damage, that could be risky. I'll continue to search around. If anyone knows of any other reputable websites for used TT bikes, I'm all ears.
Thanks again! this club rocks.
craigslist is hit or miss. most of the stuff on it is junk.
but sometimes you luck out if you keep looking and find some really good bikes and components on it.
i have sold 2 solid serious racing bikes taht needed nothign but a rider (200-800 price range) on it and bought some parts all top quality (dura ace) from people at fair prices. but you have to sometimes wait and wait to find these deals.
keep looking. and keep watching this site GO to the Happy Hours and other events ask around, you have some triathletes here constantly upgrading bikes and in all likelihood they will be good quality.
also remember its just starting to be spring, the prime time for selling used bicycles is starting next month and goes through the summer, so you will see a lot more people listing bikes for sale in the next 2-3 weeks since you can get a better price fro them then than now.
if all fails start hitting up performance bike or local stores and tell them your budget and just see what they have.
yes the process sucks but in the end i'm sure you will find what you need. good luck.
i would not buy a bike without a closeup inspection, so i limit my ebay searches to he DC area. Craigslist is also an option. if you don't know bike frames, take someone who does. you can get a good deal on a used bike, you just have to be careful
For used bikes, College Park Bikes can't be beat. Their selection of true TT/tri bikes is limited, but they have some. Their inventory can be viewed online.
It's not well known but Conte's sells used bikes. I'd try the Bethesda shop first.
I'm thinking about selling my cervelo TT bike...what size are you looking for? I have a 2007 Cervelo Dual.
On cervelo I fit the 51cm.
if you know your size in cervelo then defintiely hit up contes and ask around the club a lot and see who is selling their older cervelo.
contes seems like the king of cervelo dealers in the dc/nova/md area. i swear practically everyone that walks out of that shop has a cervelo.
also look online at r&a cycles in brooklyn, and sbr shop in nyc.
they are bike shops that have a ton of stock of cervelos and r&a usually has some good deals on previously unsold cervelos from a few years ago.
good luck and use those negotiating and haggling skills.
Just saw this on Craigslist.
Triathlon/TT Bike 51 cm - Cervelo P2 SL- Dura Ace package - $1375 (Eastern Market)