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  1. #1
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    Tips on testing a used bike

    Riding a 2014 Specialized Epic Comp tomorrow, any tips? It has the Fox ‘brain’ dual suspension so am wondering how to test function. Lastly, it’s been ridden 6 times only and looks like new. Is $1200a fair price? Judging by pink bike, eBay and bicyclebluebook, it seems to be a great price. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Check for pivot bearing play, there should be no slop. I wouldn't buy the bike if there is any slop in the pivots, lift the bike up and down gently to determine this. Spin the cranks without the chain on to see if those bearings are good or not. When was the last time the shock was rebuilt? A shock that old NEEDS to be rebuilt and serviced. Same thing with the fork. Does the Brain function as advertised? Does it make any funny sucking noises? Are there any creaks? Make sure suspension holds air and does not do anything weird like top-out or move without damping.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
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    Make sure it fits you.
    Do not focus only on price, are you comfortable on it?
    Is it ready to ride?
    Brakes, transmission, tires cracked?
    Stolen?
    Receipts?
    I go by feel, ask some questions you know the answer to so you know if the person lies.
    Deduct any $ you estimate you will be putting in in the next 2 months.

  4. #4
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    Awesome advice, thanks a bunch!

  5. #5
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    For the Brain, turn the fade knob fully counter clockwise and push down on the saddle. It should be easy to compress the rear suspension. Turn the knob fully clockwise and it should be very difficult to compress the rear suspension. Now, lift the rear wheel off the ground a couple of inches by lifting up on the saddle, then slam the rear wheel down pushing heavily on the saddle. The suspension should initially compress relatively easily, similar to what it did with the knob fully CCW.

    You can test the rebound by turning it fully CW. The rear of the bike should come up relatively slowly after compressing the shock. Turn it CCW a few clicks at a time and the speed the rear shock returns should increase.

    In either case, if there is any free travel before you fell damping kick in, or if there's considerable gurgling or swishing sounds, the shock likely needs work.

    In my experience, Brain shocks have not been as reliable as non-brain shocks. Getting them overhauled/fixed can also be more problematic.
    Do the math.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Sorry to have wasted everyone's time; I went in a different direction. I figured out that I'd be mainly on the pavement and bought a used Salsa Marrakesh instead; wonderful bike. Fits me perfectly and was a total steal.
    Once I get some miles under me, I will revisit and then buy a Mountain Bike. I have a feeling I'll have 2 bikes before long

  8. #8
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    good call, the brain setup on the epic (other then the current generation) is terrible.

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