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I want to buy my first road bike. On craigslist I found two bikes that seem good deals, but they are pretty different so I'd like some advice. One is a Klein Quantum, I believe 1990, with Dura-Ace components. The other one is a Raleigh Revenio Carbon 2.0 from 2 years ago. This has Sora components but it is a newer bike and it is 50$ more expensive. I am a bit worried because I found people saying that the Sora brakes are not really good and feel unsafe. I would you the bike for commuting and weekend bike rides. Thoughts?

Thanks!

closed as primarily opinion-based by RoboKaren, andy256, Neil Fein, Batman, jimchristie Dec 3 '15 at 21:30

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  • Ride the bikes. See which one "feels" better. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 30 '15 at 22:07
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    There is possibly more risk with a 25yo bike, for example worst case you may buy it and find that every part of the groupset, or even the wheels, needs replacing or servicing. I mean, this is still a risk with a 2yo bike if its been well-ridden/badly treated, but probably less of a risk. Just be aware that by buying the bike, you may not have finished spending... – PeteH Nov 30 '15 at 22:40
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The Klein is a classic. For commuting, I'd pick the Raleigh and leave Klein for someone who appreciates it and is willing to deal with 25 year old parts. Also, if someone's selling it for price of an used Sora bike, I'd expect there's something wrong with it.

If the low end brakes worry you, swapping the pads doesn't cost much and improves them a lot.

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    I don't think you'd ever find Sora on a carbon frame, but there's not necessarily something wrong with it. Could be the previous owner replaced the higher grade group set with Sora before selling it. – Carey Gregory Dec 1 '15 at 2:10
  • I think Revenio with Sora components isn't a carbon frame but has carbon fork: raleighusa.com/2015-bikes-road-open-road-revenio-2 – ojs Dec 1 '15 at 17:45
  • Oh, I see. Yeah, even low-end road bikes come with carbon forks these days. – Carey Gregory Dec 1 '15 at 17:56
  • Revenio Carbon is a completely different high end bike, not sure if the seller is making the mistake on purpose. – ojs Dec 1 '15 at 17:56
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How's your mechanical skills? What's your budget for ongoing maintenance (both time and money)

The Dura-Ace of 20+ years ago will be 6-7 speeds at best, with a double chainring, and will be a lower technical level than the more recent but lower specced Sora. Depending on how the bikes have been ridden and cared for, either could be a clear winner.

BTW brifters are much more fun to ride than thumb shifters or downtube shifters.

As for brakes, dual pivot Dura Ace should be better than single pivot Sora. Three major things that cause bad braking are non-true wheels meaning the calipers have to rest further apart, dried out brake pads (replace them with Kool-Stop ones) and mucky cables/housings. If you're mechanically inclined this is all stuff you can do.

Frames - if the Raleigh is truly a carbon frame, inspect it up close all over before buying. You're looking for any damage or cracks or chips that aren't simple paint cracks. Use a bright torch and a magnifying glass, and don't be afraid to walk away.

Source: I recently bought a 1997 aluminium Mongoose road bike for $123, and then spent over $200 on replacing the worn and dodgy bits. But its awesome fun to ride fast.

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