1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    1999 GT Aggressor - Get it or Don't sweat it?

    No response in the GT thread so as a "beginner" I thought it might be better to post here.

    I've wanted to get into biking for awhile just haven't found the time but it's something my wife and I agree would be nice to try together. I used to have a GT BMX bike when I was younger and raced but haven't been on a bike since. I'm now stationed near Pensacola and am looking to try new hobbies and before I go out and buy an expensive high quality bike or I'd prefer to try it out first so I went looking and found this:


    1999 GT Aggressor Mountain Bike

    A 1999 GT Aggressor that appears to be in fairly good shape. Anyone have experience with this bike? I managed to talk him down in price to $125 and will be going to look at it this weekend. Is it worth the money or should I avoid it and purchase a newer model? I don't intend on doing any serious trailing but just enough to test the water and see how much I like the sport.

    Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
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    $125 seems fair. how tall are you? a 20" frame would be classified as a "large" frame. make sure the rim braking surface (the sides of the rim where the brake pads touch them) are flat and not worn out. this is a VERY entry-level bike and your skills will probably out-grow the bike's capabilities very quickly.

  3. #3
    rebmem rbtm
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    Look it up: http://www.bicyclebluebook.com/

    That frame looks a lot bigger then a 20"

  4. #4
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    I just went through the process of buying used, for similar reasons. That GT was a low-end bike in 1999 with an MSRP of $387 according to the Bicycle Blue Book. The current blue-book value for the bike in "like-new" condition is only $99, or $63 in "fair" condition.

    1999 GT Aggressor - New and Used Bike Value

    Prices can vary locally, but this gives you an idea of what you should pay. Judging by the condition of the tires, the bike was not ridden much. Doesn't look like the cassette is worn either. There can definitely be surprises with used bike, but if this one has just sat in someone's garage, it may show little wear. However, you will almost certainly want to replace the shift cables and housing right away ($15 of supplies + $40-50 in labor if you don't do it yourself). You should also check that the wheels are true, and the spokes are still well-tensioned.

    Personally, I would pass on that bike (thumb shifters + low-end components + heavy) but it may be okay for your purposes of testing out the sport if you can get it for under $100, and replace the cables/housing yourself. Go ride it, test how it shifts under some pressure. Hop off some curbs to see if the suspension fork will be adequate. If you feel comfortable and confident on it, then perhaps it will make an OK tester bike. If you change your mind you can probably sell it for close to what you paid.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice, I am 6'0" so I think a 20" or 21" would fit nicely. I saw the bicycle blue book before I posted but from a noobs perspective...all that info is gibberish to me. I figured it would likely need a tune up and a look over at the bike shop nearby and once I feel comfortable dropping more money into a new bike I could sell it again.

    Decisions...decisions...

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    After a certain age, bikes stop depreciating. A bike that was inexpensive in 1999 would definitely fit that description for me.

    I think "goes, stops and shifts" is worth $100 so long as the bike doesn't need immediate mechanical work, like a new drivetrain or wheel or something.

    The next thing to look at is maintainability. That bike's going to be kind of a pain - the crank is an older standard and integrated shift/brake pods are kind of annoying.

    Can you find out the number of cogs?

    At the end of the day, it's also going to come down to what your market is like. Whatever we say and BBB claims, if everything else on your local CL is department store bikes or a lot more expensive, this could be about as good as you're getting.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I recently picked up a 2002 Trek 820 for $100 off craigslist. It needed a bit more work than that GT, but nothing I couldn't get done myself, and it was otherwise fairly similar to the bike you're looking at.

    Having only ridden a grip-shift bike previously, I really like those shifter/brake assemblies (I have the same units on my Trek). The shifters work great, and I like the two-finger brake levers. They may not be up to modern spec, but they work fine, and realistically, this isn't a bike you're going to spend a lot of money upgrading in the future (it will be more cost effective to simply buy a newer bike).

    Do keep in mind that certain things need to be maintained/replaced after time, even if the bike was garaged (which it appears to have been). Tire rubber doesn't last forever, definitely not 14 years. Even if the tread looks good, a little bit of use can quickly sprout some hazardous cracks in the casing. So unless the owner replaced the tires recently (with the exact same tires the bike came with), expect to have to replace them yourself.

    Grease is another thing that doesn't last forever. While most bearings are easily serviceable, having a bike shop tear apart every bearing component probably isn't going to be cheap, so if it squeaks everywhere, or if the hubs or BB feel rough, pass. On the upside, it's a cheap bike, and if you don't feel like fixing something, it's really not the end of the world Run it until it dies, or you "outgrow" it.

  8. #8
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    I'm 6'also the biggest frame I ride is a large 18" or so, a 20 or 21 would most likely be a extra large. You need to test ride to see.

  9. #9
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    That frame looks a lot bigger then a 20"
    Remember that GT measured their frames from the CL of the bottom bracket to the CL of the top tube where it meets the seat tube, and not to the top of the seat tube like most of the other manufacturers. A 22" GT looks even taller.

  10. #10
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    5'11" w/ 32" inseam and I like 18-19, or 'mediums'. I think coming from a BMX background, I'd lean towards less-than-large frames, or at least something with a sloping toptube if given the choice.

    Besides being a little tall, the bike you posted doesn't seem bad for $125. Specially to get your feet wet. You can get out riding really cheap, see if you dig it, then ride that bike til it's worn out while you save up for something that works better for your personal riding style and local terrain.


    And if there's any way you can stretch the budget some and do a little negotiating, this might be a decent deal:

    Specialized stumpjumper

    And this could be a whole lot of fun in the dirt:

    Giant nrs

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