I've just learned to ride a bike for the first time as an adult, and now I'm trying to buy one. Catch: I know nothing about them.
I'm looking for a used women's road bike or possibly hybrid (I plan to ride mostly on paved bike trails, graduating to roads once I get used to dealing with my city's ridiculously aggressive drivers) with a frame size 19" or less (I'm about 5'3 1/2). I'm hoping to spend less than $200 for a ready-to-ride bike, and the less, the better. The used bike stores here don't go below $250, and $350 is standard. Therefore, Craigslist.
The problem is, I don't know enough about bikes to know what I'm getting! I've read enough on the Internet to be able to filter out some of the especially low-quality brands, but I don't know enough to be able to tell anything from a picture, and even in person I know I wouldn't recognize any mechanical flaws or be able to assess overall condition. I'd love to hear any tips you have to offer about how to pick out and assess a used bike -- or any general tips about bikes for the short, inexperienced city rider!
More specifically, I'd really appreciate guidance about the specific bikes below. Are any of them especially good brands, or especially bad? Do any serious faults stand out in the pictures? Any great values I should snap up, or lemons I should keep away from -- or should I just keep looking? If so, what should I be looking for?
Thanks so much for your help!
Saint Tropez LA Sport 421 - $150
Univega 18 speed hybrid - $180
PANASONIC BIKE - $150
Nishiki Hybrid Bike - $180
1980s Univega Mixte Japan 10 speed Silver blue - $200