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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Need your expertise on buying used bikes


    I don't know what the hell I'm doing, just got a calling for mt. biking a few weeks ago. Actually, It's been in my mind for a couple of years, but I finally am able to throw myself in the sport. I'm 5'4, 135 lbs, female.

    Want to get a used, decent one to play around in for a half a year or so to know my stuff before getting something good. Saw some posts online, can ya look at it and tell me if it's decent or not to get? Would really appreciate it.
    Last edited by Inhale; 07-11-2006 at 08:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Ariolimax columbianus
    Reputation: nativeson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    The first link looks like the nicest parts spec but the frame may be a little too large, to me it looks like the best deal price and parts wise. Just by looking at the ads the Caloi most likely has a better fork, drivetrain, and brake system. It looks like the owner upgraded some parts onthis bike or built the bike up themselves.

    You probably want 2"-3" of standover (standing over top tube) clearance. Shimano LX is a good component group and XT is even better. Just go to mail order sites (like the ones linked to mtbr) and see how much the components cost. With most used bikes the parts are used and some parts are more used than others. If you have time go check them out, ride them and see which one fits/rides best.

  3. #3
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I'll 2nd the first option is the best deal but the knobs on that fork seize & the elastomers are like rocks till warmed. What about a new bike for $399??

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ScottW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    If you already know what sizing, geometry etc. you need then buying used or online is a good way to save money. Since your post begins that you don't know what you're doing (and none of us did at first) I would suggest deciding how much your willing to spend then finding a good local shop that will get you on a good fitting bike.

    I have bought several mt. bike frames online after looking at geometry and reading reviews and all have been just fine. I recently started road riding too and knew that I don't know enough about road fit so I went to a local shop to buy.

    It may cost slightly more initially but getting a bike that fits and having a shop that will help with bike maintenance can more that make up the cost difference.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I think a trip to a reputable local shop is your best bet at this point. Perhaps several shops to get a few independent viewpoints. The most important thing is getting a bike that fits well. You're only going to get this right by trying a few out for yourself.

    Be careful buying used, mountain bike components take a right beating and are usually worn out within 1-2 years, especially at the cheaper end of the market. So don't consider buying anything more than 2 years old, there's a high chance it will be junk.

    Forget about rear suspension in this price range, it will be complete rubbish. That rules out the Giant in your list. Stick to a simple hardtail (front suspension fork, rigid rear) for your first bike.

    My advice, if you're looking at a budget of $250-$300 is to save a little more and buy new from your local shop. It will save money down the line and you're less likely to get ripped off. A colleague of mine recently paid $600 for what was described as a top of the line full suspension bike (over $2000 new). He thought it was a bargain, but nearly everything on it was completely worn out and it was too small for him! He simply didn't have a clue what he was buying.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

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