How to Make Sure a Bike is Legit and Other Noob Questions
Hi guys 1st post. I started riding last year on an old Schwinn LeTour III that my roommate gave me after he graduated. I put over 2000 miles on it last season and after only a few rides this season she died. Busted spokes, damaged rear hub..... ended up falling over on a dismount due to the spokes and that damaged the handle bars. LBS wanted close to $400 to repair everything RIP.
I enjoy riding fairly long distances for a casual, ~30mi per day as my city has lots of old railroad that they paved over into a network of trails. I have made the decision to get a nice used Mountain or XC bike; the reason being that even though the trails are paved over the pavement is broken by tree roots in places along the trail and most of my local roads look like a war has taken place on them.
I have been scouring CList to find a decent used Stumpjumper, FSR XC, or Carve type ride. I have also been looking at Bikepedia, a Blue Book site, and the Specialized archives looking at pics and trying to soak up as much info as quickly as possible. Ever since I have found out that counterfeit frames exist, I have been afraid that I will get ripped off. I have 2 specific examples, if you guys could help me out I would appreciate it.
The first is the welding of the top tube and the down tube to the head tube, in this case on a 2010 Specialized FSR XC Comp look at the official site picture:
And then the same model being offered in an ad:
I have looked at every model year and type but on the Specialized site ALL of the ones they show show basically no daylight in between the top tube and the down tube..... most pictures on the internet of this bike also show it that way. However on the one in an ad I was looking at and some (very few) results in google images show clear daylight because the top and downtube arent welded together. Why is there a variance in that weld spot? Are those factory duds that are sold at a cheaper cost? a knock off, or is it just normal variance in the way the bikes are constructed?
Another specific example I need help with is a bike being sold as a 2005 SWorks Epic Disc:
Again the top/down/head tube weld does not look like the ones on the official site for any of the years I looked at. Likewise the little brace that connects the top tube and the seat tube looks nothing like any of the official ones. I asked for a picture of the serial#, he sent back a reply saying it was specially built for a racer so it might looks slightly different.......but didnt give me the serial# I requested
Sorry for the long post, I know I am probably over thinking this stuff because I am a noob, but I am not what I would consider an enthusiast. I just like to ride my bike for exercise, and I want a nice used bike with quality components that is worth replacing parts on. Thanks for any help you guys can give me.
Not sure I can help you identify a fake frame, but the areas you're indicating do vary somewhat by size and model year. I have a large-sized Stumpy frame, and I can spot a Medium or XL by looking at the size of the toptube/seattube triangle you circled in that last photo. I suspect it's similar with the headtube weld.
Salt Lake City
2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
2006 Specialized Allez Expert Double
I checked google images and i saw some other gap tubed examples for that model. I think the frames with the gaps are extra large sized frames. the gap works for the longer headtube? I could be wrong, but that may be the answer.
RAM speed: UP, UP, and away....!
As far as fake/vs real, the best way would be to talk to a Specialized rep(ie calling their ph number). You might be surprised how approachable they are in particular on this topic.
IMHO, the larger sized frame having the gap is the most plausible answer. In my experience counterfiet aluminum rigs are not terribly common.
'93 Giant Sedona ATX custom
'93 Giant Sedona AtX aero-edition
'73 Schwinn Suburban
'95 Fuji Suncrest
ITs just a size difference. Different length in head tubes.
Thank you for explaining the difference in the head tube length because of the bike sizes, I figured it was something simple I was overlooking. Again I am very new to biking, I know essentially nothing about the machine, I just like to ride
If you guys could chime in on something else I would appreciate it: pricing. I see a lot of bikes that have been on CList for a while, obviously because they are overpriced. For example on that 2010 FSR XC Comp the guy was originally asking like $1100 for it a few weeks ago, now he has it down at $950 but the blue book price on it is $700. The bike is in good shape but its bone stock. I want to offer him $600 for it and go no higher than $700 if he counters.
How accurate do you guys feel that Blue Book pricing is? I want to get a good deal but I dont want to offend the seller and prevent a sale from even happening. Again, I am not an expert so I dont want to just spout off "well the Blue Book says, blah, blah, blah". I know that obviously I have nothing to lose by simply making an offer, but I assume most people on this site have an opinion about pricing and I would like to hear it.
Keep in mind most of these sellers live a considerable distance from me ($40-100 in gas alone) so I cant just do a bunch of fruitless meet and greets to "kick tires", and "take a look at it" if you know what I mean. I am trying to get a feel for if Blue Book pricing is considered low balls, or pretty reasonable, etc.
Thanks again guys for the help, I truly appreciate it ^__^
If you can get the original price from online. Basicly 25% for a year old and 50% off 3-5 years old.. over 5 years old the price stabalizes at 500-200 dollars. Dont know about blue book.. but for your needs 500 bucks could get you a brand new bike......
Thanks for the advice on pricing.
Do you really think I should get a new Rockhopper or Hardrock instead of a higher end used bike?
I think that at 500 bucks what you find used isnt all that much nicer (for the most part-) ... look at airborne bicycles or on one bikes for really good deals. They sell direct to buyer so no distributer or shop mark ups
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