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Buying Used - Advice Needed

March 27, 2016, 12:07 p.m.
Posts: 1670
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

The last mountain bike I bought was a rigid, 7-speed, Mongoose IBOC in 1993. That bike has morphed into a skinny tire commuter [HTML_REMOVED] kid hauler. I'm looking around for a used bike for taking my daughter out on some easy XC trails, and that I could use for XC, climbing workouts, and easy descents.

My budget is $1,000. From browsing various buy/sells, it looks like that'll get me a decent, 4-5 year old, hard tail, or a well used, 8-10 year old, full suspension.

I've got a good handle on drive train components, but I know nothing about suspension or disc brakes. What warning signs should I be looking for to know if a fork, shock or brakes is in need of repairs?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

March 27, 2016, 5:01 p.m.
Posts: 14415
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

Can you hold off a month? Usually a large number of bikes at the NSMBa gear swap.

March 27, 2016, 7:06 p.m.
Posts: 11914
Joined: June 4, 2008

I've got a good handle on drive train components, but I know nothing about suspension or disc brakes. What warning signs should I be looking for to know if a fork, shock or brakes is in need of repairs?

Forks: look for wear on the stanchions (worn out anodization).. that means they didn't change the oil in the lowers enough and the bushings are probably toast too. The damper probably needs some love from our friends on Hunter St.
Shock: it's probably fucked a little bit at the very least, likely in need of a full rebuild
Brakes: I go through a set of calipers/levers a year..
Bottom bracket: They're cheap, just get a new one
Headset bearings probably need to be replaced, again relatively cheap.
Rear derailleur: It's probably bent and shifting a bit weird. The jockey wheels that guide the chain onto the cassette are probably completely siezed or the bushing is worn. Again, get an SLX or similar from bike-discount.de for the price of the bearings above.

If the frame is dirty, tell them to wash the fucking thing because there's no way you'd be able to see any hairline cracks in it. Maintain eye contact to assert dominance.

I think those are the big ones.

March 27, 2016, 8:07 p.m.
Posts: 704
Joined: March 15, 2004

http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1929820/?directtofirstphoto

pinkbike is a good source. set the limit at $1000 and search - above bike on the first page. loads more i'm sure.

climbs and descents are improved with decent suspension. Look for lighter and xc specific.

post your choice for people consider. Can you perform the repairs? Most bikes need a few.

March 27, 2016, 8:43 p.m.
Posts: 11914
Joined: June 4, 2008

Forks: look for wear on the stanchions (worn out anodization).. that means they didn't change the oil in the lowers enough and the bushings are probably toast too. The damper probably needs some love from our friends on Hunter St.
Shock: it's probably fucked a little bit at the very least, likely in need of a full rebuild
Brakes: I go through a set of calipers/levers a year..
Bottom bracket: They're cheap, just get a new one
Headset bearings probably need to be replaced, again relatively cheap.
Rear derailleur: It's probably bent and shifting a bit weird. The jockey wheels that guide the chain onto the cassette are probably completely siezed or the bushing is worn. Again, get an SLX or similar from bike-discount.de for the price of the bearings above.

If the frame is dirty, tell them to wash the fucking thing because there's no way you'd be able to see any hairline cracks in it. Maintain eye contact to assert dominance.

I think those are the big ones.

I forgot to mention the linkage bearings. Chances are you should be replacing those too, but again, probably not that expensive.

March 27, 2016, 9:17 p.m.
Posts: 1485
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

How about looking for a lower end used model that's not so old? Less likely to have problems and plenty of bike for just piddling around.

http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/van/bik/5491219517.html

http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/bnc/bik/5413685133.html

https://nsmba.ca/product-category/memberships/

March 27, 2016, 10:45 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 12, 2007

^I went to see that Stylus with someone around 4 years ago! I can't believe it's still for sale. Nice bike but tiny.

A hardtail would certainly be the safer bet at that pricepoint. A steel one would be even safer as it's not going to have suffered from metal fatigue. If you are not looking to do anything gnarly then maybe you don't need the suspension. The problem with many of the full sussers in that price range is that many of them could sink a warship. Old Norcos, Konas and the like. You could look for some of the less 'cool' brands like KHS or Mongoose (not the Walmart ones…) which would get you more value for money. I'd buy something like this over a Norco 6 at the same price:

http://whistler.craigslist.ca/bik/5500472234.html

Check for cracks and check for crackheads…. If the person doesn't know anything about the bike then walk away. If they can tell you about it, they may still rip you off but you might at least get a feel for how honest they are.
I bought a 1998 Santa Cruz Super 8 with 2003 Monster T fork for 350 bucks today. The guy had a seriously raised Tacoma and several moto bikes ("I just like big suspension!") but could tell me roughly when he got it, and he had hardly ridden it since putting the forks on many moons ago. He told me that the frame was all good. I took a punt as the fork was probably worth what he wanted for the bike and I assumed I'd find a crack somewhere but amazingly no. So yeah, hope for the best but prepare for the worst and don't blow all your money on the bike without budgeting for repairs.

treezz
wow you are a ass

March 29, 2016, 8:10 a.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Maintain eye contact to assert dominance.

:lol:

And generally speaking, everything should function smoothly without play or rattles. Ride it around. Bounce on the suspension. Brake hard. And maybe take a friend along who knows whats what. Or post the ad links or pics here and we'll critique.

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

March 29, 2016, 11:18 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Hope it works out.
Unfortunately it seems that used bikes are priced way higher than what they are worth in this part of the world.

I personally would buy new to avoid replacement part costs. Bikes rode in this local get worked over pretty fast.

http://bspbikes.com/product/trek-x-caliber-8-212988-1.htm

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

March 29, 2016, 4:57 p.m.
Posts: 1670
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

Can you hold off a month? Usually a large number of bikes at the NSMBa gear swap.

Definitely, thanks for the heads up. Being able to swing a leg over a bunch of different bikes would help me figure out what size I need. At 6', I seem to be right on the line between M and L frames.

Can you perform the repairs? Most bikes need a few.

I can handle drive train stuff, BB, anything that is mechanically obvious. How easy is it to get brand / model specific parts (e.g. bushings, linkage bearings) for older bikes? Through a dealer for the specific brand, or is there a lot of after market stuff available?

I personally would buy new to avoid replacement part costs. Bikes rode in this local get worked over pretty fast.

I have definitely been considering that option. It seems like for $1200-1400, I can get a pretty decent hard tail which would suit my needs.

April 18, 2016, 7:41 a.m.
Posts: 1670
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

Third time trying to get this post to stick…

Thoughts/opinions on this 2008 Spec Epic Comp?

http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1772969/

Is that "Brain" shock inertia valve system a technology that worked out long term?

April 18, 2016, 5 p.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

Unfortunately it seems that used bikes are priced way higher than what they are worth in this part of the world.

No fucking kidding. Having spent the last few months stalking Pinkbike and when ever I look at the UK part. I keep shaking my head.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

April 19, 2016, 10:48 a.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Third time trying to get this post to stick…

Thoughts/opinions on this 2008 Spec Epic Comp?

http://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1772969/

Is that "Brain" shock inertia valve system a technology that worked out long term?

Id prolly hold out for something with a little more travel for local riding. Maybe a norco fluid, giant reign, something like that. Fairly cheap and plentiful. Also remember that 26 really is dying out so you can prolly lowball people if youre ok with that. Many of those 26 prices are just pipe dreams.

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

April 19, 2016, 5 p.m.
Posts: 1885
Joined: Oct. 16, 2005

Lots of good advice.

I'd also encourage you to buy from someone in your sphere of relationships (friend, friend-of-a-friend) or to be extremely diligent about making sure the bike you are buying isn't stolen.

There are a lot of stolen bikes on the market (I've been watching Craigslist trying to recover two of mine and it is disheartening how much obviously stolen shit is on there) and the last thing you want to do is go out for a good rip and come home with no bike and your teeth in a bag. Not to mention the bad karma of riding a stolen bike in general.

Someone is obviously buying these high-end bikes from the junkies that steal them, or the douchebags that buy them from the junkies, or etc -- creating the market for stolen bikes -- and you want to do everything in your power not to be that guy.

Mean People SUCK! Nice People SHOVEL!

Trails For All; Trails For Weather

April 19, 2016, 5:49 p.m.
Posts: 1670
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

After some extensive reading on MTBR.com, it seems that the 08 era Brain shocks like the one on that Epic Comp were problematic for many people, and parts are impossible to get these days. Apparently, because of the frame design, there's no way to substitute a different shock either.

I'm leaning heavily towards a new hardtail in the $1,500 range, rather than deal with potential problems with used gear. FS would be nice, but I doubt it would make a huge difference for the riding I'll likely be doing.

Time to take some 27.5" and 29" bikes out for test rides and find out how much things have changed in 23 years.

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