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  1. #1
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    New to trail riding- is this bike worth fixing?

    I've found this old bike on craigslist and the guy is willing to take anything for it, so im assuming i can get the bike for cheap. The chain looks rusted and the tires probably need replacement, but from what i can see it looks like a decent light trail bike. Of course, I have no idea what im doing, so advice would be appreciated, but bottom line is im trying to find a cheap bike to get started on and is this one worth investing in and fixing up?New to trail riding- is this bike worth fixing?-00b0b_8yt8hipikef_600x450.jpg

  2. #2
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    look it over for cracks or things that might need replacing. 2 tires and a chain will cost $50 or more

    see how it shifts, if the brakes and fork works and if the wheels spin smoothly and straight
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  3. #3
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    If you are brand new to biking and have never worked on bikes, I would suggest finding something in rideable, maintained, condition if you can afford it. Investing in tools and parts to diy is great if you are mechanical and patient, but will add quite a bit to the cost.

    Do you have a local bike shop that sells used bikes? That would be a good resource and they could answer questions for you. You may pay a little more up front but would likely have less maintenance and long term costs on your hands if it's a good shop. Craigslist is great if you know what you are looking for.

    If you do look at that bike, grab the crank arms and see if there is any play in the bottom bracket, grab the wheels at the top and move side to side to look for worn hubs, spin the wheels to look for true rims, see if there is any play in the headset, check the fork for signs of lots of leakage or dried out/cracked seals. If all of that looks good, you don't see any frame issues, and the shifting seems functional (which will be hard to tell with that chain obviously), offer a low ball price. Then prepare to read and learn how to tinker on your own bike. This can be very rewarding, but also very frustrating if you are anxious to get out and ride right away.

    My 2 cents.

  4. #4
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    I mean, im an auto mechanic as a hobby and im just guessing that working on mustangs can't be that much harder than bikes? And i kind of wanted something i could fix up on my own, especially since i can name my price on it. The guy says it was a gift and he has no knowledge of biking, so my guess is he just let it sit and rot in his garage.
    As for USED bike shops, the best thing we have is our local thrift shop. All other shops sell new bikes only, starting at around $350 a piece :/
    Bottom line is, if i put the effort into restoring it, would this Trek pay for itself in quality if I brought it back as close as possible to its original condition?

  5. #5
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    how tall are you? that bike looks small.

  6. #6
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    5'9"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by new_trail_blazer View Post
    I mean, im an auto mechanic as a hobby and im just guessing that working on mustangs can't be that much harder than bikes? And i kind of wanted something i could fix up on my own, especially since i can name my price on it. The guy says it was a gift and he has no knowledge of biking, so my guess is he just let it sit and rot in his garage.
    As for USED bike shops, the best thing we have is our local thrift shop. All other shops sell new bikes only, starting at around $350 a piece :/
    Bottom line is, if i put the effort into restoring it, would this Trek pay for itself in quality if I brought it back as close as possible to its original condition?

    Well, if it checks out and the frame fits, go for it! It might be a great find and just need a little sprucing up. Sounds like it might be a score if the guy's story is accurate. That's a lot more bike than you could get for $350 if it only needs a little work.

    I agree with ElwoodT, the frame does look a bit on the small side, but hard to tell. Don't get overly anxious and buy it anyway if it is too small, you will regret it.

  8. #8
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    Yeah. I had an old 24" mtb my friend gave me, and I learned my lesson with that. My ideal bike would be a 29", but I can't afford even a used one right now. We can all dream, can't we? anyways, thanks for the advice! Hopefully I'll get it!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by new_trail_blazer View Post
    Yeah. I had an old 24" mtb my friend gave me, and I learned my lesson with that. My ideal bike would be a 29", but I can't afford even a used one right now. We can all dream, can't we? anyways, thanks for the advice! Hopefully I'll get it!
    If you are somewhat normal proportions, at your height, a medium frame would probably fit you well. In case the size isn't noted on the frame, take a tape measure and measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube (point where the seat post is inserted into the frame). That should be somewhere in the 17" - 18" range.

  10. #10
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    Okay, sounds good.

  11. #11
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    Unless you find something major wrong with the frame/fork/wheels, then the main issue is the fit. A frame that doesn't fit is a bummer, it looks like a longer stem with riser bars already, so if it feels small, it's likely too small for you.

    You sound mechanically inclined so installing a new chain and new tires are no brainers, you'll just have to check the drive train, e.g., 9 speeds then don't buy a 10 speed chain.

  12. #12
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    I texted the guy and he said he had sold it, just hadn't taken the ad down
    Oh well- the search continues...

  13. #13
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    Well, the pointers still apply, something will turn up. Shouldn't be too hard to find a reasonably priced 26" hardtail. Good luck!

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    Upgrading almost always costs more than buying a better complete bike up front. If you want to build a really specific/dream bike or enjoy the process then go for it but I'd advocate waiting/saving and buying something better up front. Going into it with the intention of upgrading will almost assuredly cost more.

    Example:

    The Specialized Enduro is $3,500

    Pike fork - $1k
    X9 group - $800
    Formula brakes - $400 (levers/calipers/discs)
    Roval wheels - $650

    That's almost $3k and doesn't even include the FRAME or any cockpit stuff, saddle, seat post, tires, etc. Those were the first prices I found and you could probably do better but that's the point I'm trying to make.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Upgrading almost always costs more than buying a better complete bike up front. If you want to build a really specific/dream bike or enjoy the process then go for it but I'd advocate waiting/saving and buying something better up front. Going into it with the intention of upgrading will almost assuredly cost more.

    Example:

    The Specialized Enduro is $3,500

    Pike fork - $1k
    X9 group - $800
    Formula brakes - $400 (levers/calipers/discs)
    Roval wheels - $650

    That's almost $3k and doesn't even include the FRAME or any cockpit stuff, saddle, seat post, tires, etc. Those were the first prices I found and you could probably do better but that's the point I'm trying to make.
    Yes, but that's a lot different than finding a bike that has sat in a garage for a few years and just needs a few minor things to get up and running.

    There are some real deals out there, BUT you really have to know what you are looking for which is why it can be a tough game for beginners. I have bought several used bikes over the years, got them in great running condition, and never spent anywhere near what they would have been new. I'm not one to chase the latest technology though.

    A lot of people don't have the desire, or ability, to do much work on their own bikes. What you advocate is definitely better for that segment. And I still caution against someone new to the game trying to find a fixer upper. However, if you are willing to learn the repair side of things, it will save you a lot of money over the years that can go toward bikes/parts instead of to a mechanic. I always hear people talking about saving money on stuff, then they take it to someone else to install and blow whatever they saved. I do, however, support my local LBS and buy parts, tools, lube, etc.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Yes, but that's a lot different than finding a bike that has sat in a garage for a few years and just needs a few minor things to get up and running.

    There are some real deals out there, BUT you really have to know what you are looking for which is why it can be a tough game for beginners. I have bought several used bikes over the years, got them in great running condition, and never spent anywhere near what they would have been new. I'm not one to chase the latest technology though.

    A lot of people don't have the desire, or ability, to do much work on their own bikes. What you advocate is definitely better for that segment. And I still caution against someone new to the game trying to find a fixer upper. However, if you are willing to learn the repair side of things, it will save you a lot of money over the years that can go toward bikes/parts instead of to a mechanic. I always hear people talking about saving money on stuff, then they take it to someone else to install and blow whatever they saved. I do, however, support my local LBS and buy parts, tools, lube, etc.
    Yeah I'm just telling him not to buy it and do MORE than just those couple things to get it up and running. If he wants to, he should get a different bike.

    Getting a bike for cheap and putting $100 into it is one thing, but if he wants to throw a fork on it and a wheelset (common mods a lot of people do), he's better off buying a better bike to begin with is all I was saying.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yeah I'm just telling him not to buy it and do MORE than just those couple things to get it up and running. If he wants to, he should get a different bike.

    Getting a bike for cheap and putting $100 into it is one thing, but if he wants to throw a fork on it and a wheelset (common mods a lot of people do), he's better off buying a better bike to begin with is all I was saying.
    Agreed and that is good advice.

  18. #18
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    Honestly, considering how terrible I am at saving money, I'd probably end up doing better on investing the same large amount of money on a fixer-upper over a long period of time rather than blowing $400 bucks in one sale.
    While we're still talking about bikes, anyone know about a Schwinn Moab? Its my second choice and a guy is selling it in pretty good condition for $125

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