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Thread: Junk bike?

  1. #1
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    Junk bike?

    Just getting back into mtb after several years. Currently riding my dad's old schwinn MOAB 3.

    I'm currently not in a rush to find a bike, so ive been scoping used/closeout/online/ etc for a decent bike. Imagine my surprise when I see this GT Ricochet at *****. Is this thing any good (for an entry level bike.) Its the first bike I've seen sub 450 that has Alivio derailleur and hydro brakes (albeit cheap ones). It seems slightly better than other entry level bikes at considerably less money (compared to the pitch, marlin, revel, trail 5 or 6, etc.)

    I feel my best bang for buck is save more and go airborne or bulls, but I'm only 5'7" so I think I want to stay no bigger than 27.5. Used 27.5 market it slim out here in Indiana.

    So, my actual question.

    Is this any good to build upon? I've been a mechanic for several years, and have built motorcycles from the frame up; I'm not afraid to upgrade when needed.

    This would also leave me about $200 leftover, most likely to upgrade to SR airfork.

  2. #2
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    LOL, forum software has removed the male reproductive part of the address you have linked to...

    Just about any bike below $800 is not going to be considered good to build upon by most here. They almost always have heavier, non-butted tubing of a weaker alloy, so heavier, more flexy, and breaks sooner.

    The biggest beware is most of the bikes in this price range are not designed for XC riding. Paved or very smooth trails, but not your typical XC trail most of us ride. Components and frame will not stand up to regular mtb use, and will end up costing more in replaced parts that starting off with an entry level XC build.

    I do not consider Alivio to be XC level gear. It'll get you by for awhile, but you have to take extra care to keep it away from everything. The rear derailleur is sloppy and requires too much tinkering IMO.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd spend that $400 on a used bike that can take XC use. Should be able to find 2-3 years old and only a few thousand miles for that much. Might need to get a new chain and cassette, but otherwise in good condition. Will take to upgrades much better than the GT.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  3. #3
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    As a junk bike it's as good as anything. It looks to be about equivalent to the GT Avalanche 3.0. I wouldn't upgrade it though, just keep it as is and save up for something better down the road. Hydro brakes are nice, Alivio is the top end of the recreational stuff, obviously not as good as the base level Deore stuff. Only thing I'd really change is losing some weight and putting a 1x drivetrain on it (like all the cool kids these days) but the "upgrade" is really bad in terms of it's really not worth it for such a small incremental change. You'd also probably want a clutch derailleur and that's more $$ to sink into it. The Alivio to the best of my knowledge only comes with Shadow tech (reduced profile) not Shadow+ (reduced profile + clutch) and that's only with the newer M4xxx generation of Alivio components.

    I had a GT Karakoram 29er that I used as a commuter/junk bike, it was alright but half the parts broke because I rode it hard and would take it off curbs, take it out to the municipal park nearby my place and ride it hard on the trails etc. I ended up replacing a couple components then eventually tossing it when parts cost too much (tacoed the rim landing weird off a jump).

    BTW too bad that particular shop doesn't own "RichardsSportingGoods.com" and just redirect to the main site.

  4. #4
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    For your budget, you can get a junky 27.5 bike that has poor suspension, bad brakes, is heavy, and lower end and comes with poor quality wheels.

    Or you could get a top of the line 26er hardtail, likely with a great fork, lightweight, and in good condition. Maybe some custom wheels on it.

    Im not knocking 27.5. I like it, a lot. I prefer it to 26ers actually, but for that budget your choices are junky new bikes, or top of the line 26ers only a few years old.

  5. #5
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    Top of the line 26er on the cheap that is in this list:

    List of 27.5 Compatible 26ers
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  6. #6
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    Or maybe try bikesdirect or fezzari
    2018 Spot Mayhem
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    2016 GT Grade Carbon

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone. I'll let this slide by as well.

    You've all made valid points that I hadn't thought of. General consensus was that at this level the frames are pretty much negligible in terms of advantage, and that I should focus on getting decent components.

    I'm not sure when/if I'll be able to spend big money on a bike, so I figured if I can get one, and replace Alivio with deore or something later down the line, it'd be easier to swallow that way. However, I'd like to enjoy my ride in the meantime.
    AND, I'm maybe a little spoiled now, as my current bike has stx derailleur and rockshox, but is very tired and too small. I expected newer (even cheaper/lower quality) would still ride better, just on technology advanvces. But if I'll have reliability issues with "cheap new" vs. degraded performance of "quality old" then I'll stick it out until I find a nice one... that fits!

    I've looked at bikesdirect, but only at 27.5, and they just seem largely unknown. I've seen people swear by some of the older bikes from there (people on reddit) but since the 27.5 is relatively new, I couldn't get reviews.

    Don't know what fezzari is, but I'll be checking it out, along with Facebook/Craigslist/eBay/pinkbike.

    If anyone knows anywhere else to look I'd love to hear!

    Thanks again everyone!

  8. #8
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    This bike falls into the category of acceptable. It's priced about as good as you're going to get for a cheap bike, so if you want a new bike, it's an OK starting point. As always, you'll get a better deal on a used 26", but you're getting a used bike. Could be great, could be a nightmare.

    And if the parts go out, cheap to upgrade to stuff that'll work with it. It's definitely not as good as your Moab 3, at least when it was new. STX stuff was on the 90's moabs though, so this is a old bike. Technology has come a long way, and alivio 9-speed stuff isn't that bad.

    Until you make up your mind, what about the Moab's size don't you like? too small, too big, to old? I'd make a good bet the fork is toast, and replacing it with a rigid fork would give you a great bike that's fun to ride. Throw on some big old 2.3" tires, and it's good.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    This bike falls into the category of acceptable. It's priced about as good as you're going to get for a cheap bike, so if you want a new bike, it's an OK starting point. As always, you'll get a better deal on a used 26", but you're getting a used bike. Could be great, could be a nightmare.

    And if the parts go out, cheap to upgrade to stuff that'll work with it. It's definitely not as good as your Moab 3, at least when it was new. STX stuff was on the 90's moabs though, so this is a old bike. Technology has come a long way, and alivio 9-speed stuff isn't that bad.

    Until you make up your mind, what about the Moab's size don't you like? too small, too big, to old? I'd make a good bet the fork is toast, and replacing it with a rigid fork would give you a great bike that's fun to ride. Throw on some big old 2.3" tires, and it's good.
    Well darn, it's posts like this that keep me second guessing myself! My bike is a 1999 MOAB, but it was my dad's bike. The STX works well (other than needing a tune-up and making some clicking noises occasionally) but it's also 16 yrs old. The rockshox Judy is very tired, stiff, and not much travel. The rims need trued, and the back brakes especially suck. That being said, I've ridden a local track that has a reputation for being rough without any real issues (some popping out of gear, and I've dropped my chain a few times) last summer.

    So in addition to the rejuvenation that needs to happen, the frame is too small for me. I'm a couple inches taller than my dad, and my legs are definitely longer than his. I've raised the seat post as far as I can, and still can't get a full leg extension. Again, it works, but is far from ideal. My seat is now considerably higher than my bars. The MOAB is a 15" frame, and I have about a 30" inseam.

    As long as Alivio will get me by, I can replace with deore in the future as sales occur.

    I'm comparing the GT to other brands "real mtn bikes" and it's specd equal or slightly better for a lot less.

    I'm still leaning towards looking used. As I can continue to ride what I have until I find the right one.

    Does anyone think bikesdirect bikes are OK?

  10. #10
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    Something more along the lines of
    this or this

  11. #11
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    save up and buy a Kona hardtail

  12. #12
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    Been doing some more looking. For used this time. Really considering these two at the moment.

    2011 Giant Revel 2 disc 27.5 (rebuilt)

    2005 Jamis Dragon Reynolds Steel hardtail 25 pounds For Sale

  13. #13
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    The Giant looks to be in better shape, but the price is near retail msrp for a 4 year old bike regardless of "upgrades" and the rear brake line is floating in the air...

    The Jamis, while hitting upon my preference for steel, is not the best price either. The new cables need to be trimmed, the crankset is the old square taper standard, the large rotor is in the rear?, and the frame looks to be a bit beaten. It has the marks of an enthusiastic owner, but will most likely need some further attention (professional tune-up) upon delivery.

    I always like to see used in person and make my own assessment. Anyway, talk'em down.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  14. #14
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    if your budget is around $400, id get something like this...

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    lifetime frame warranty, dealer support etc. you buy used, youll most likely get none of that and who knows what its been thru/when it will fail

    id personally save up and buy something nicer like a Kona. something with Shimano disc brakes and a RS fork. as someone else mentioned, entry level bikes really cant handle real trail stuff

    in the end, buying the right bike the first time around saves you the most $

  15. #15
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    I found my bike. Local bIke shop has a small Scott scale 770, on a year end closeout. Out the door for $560. Its a 2015. Deore front and rear, and shifters. I stopped by to look at a medium (which was sold) and ended up on the small. At 5'7" this one fit way better than the medium 29er scale I went in to look at.
    And the SR fork with remote lockout is baller!
    Standard black and yellow.

  16. #16
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    With a 30" inseam and 5'7" total height some fit better on a medium (vs large), but a small frame isn't enough for that much leg, and your upper body is cramped, which will keep your center of gravity too high. Am I correct in guessing that you've never had a fitting and haven't done any serious shredding on a large frame?

    My youngest is 5', and he had to move up to a medium frame a year ago.

    Otherwise, good deal on the bike.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  17. #17
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    You had me worried there for a minute. I thought maybe I got wrapped up in new bike fever and just wanted it enough that I decided it would work.
    Alas, no, I REALLY DO fit this bike.

    Even Scott's sizing guide says it should fit me.
    5'7" is roughly 171cm. Body size 165-175cm fits Scale either small or medium.

  18. #18
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    demo it again. i demoed a medium Santa Cruz Heckler (SC recommends i ride a large). the bike felt fine sitting down, but when i stood up and started throwing the bike around, i smacked my knee on the fork crown. HOLY **** that hurt. SC was right, the large fit better

    if i were in between 2 sizes, id go big. you can always put a shorter stem on or move your seat forward, but you cant move your fork further away from you

  19. #19
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    You've already bought it, just ride it. Biggest real concern is if the seatpost is too short. Don't extend it past the minimum insertion depth. Everything else will come with time and experience. Nobody gets their bike perfect the first time, and riding preferences will change.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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