Originally Posted by chetney
Looks to be the newer ones
I have not personally seen one of the new Dawes. It seems to be the consensus that it is not the same quality as the English Dawes. Some came with really high end components for pretty cheap. You really need to know what you are looking at. A Shimano 105 group is $700, and a low end group is 50 bucks.
Look at Bikesdirect.com, they have about the best prices I have seen. You can get an idea what components to look for. That is a large part of how well a bike will function and last.
Frames are a bit subjective. One person may love a frame and another hate it. I personally like Chrome-moly frames. A lot of people like aluminum. I try and stay away from plain steel bikes, unless it's an old fillet brazed Schwinn light-weight.
Just look over whatever you are thinking of buying and take it for a ride. If the welds and seams look good and it doesn't flex all over the place, the frame will probably last.
In my opinion, the best bike deals out there right now are 80s mountain bikes. They are easily converted to something more comfortable. They have decent components. And as a bonus, some have some really crazy paint jobs.. lol.. I have a Trek with a purple to green fade theme..