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  1. #1
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    Help with used purchase for an old guy who has been out of it for a long time!

    Well I am 48 years young and after a 20+ year hiatus I want to get back into riding. My current ride is (don't laugh) a late 80's Diamond Back Ascent EX.

    I'm looking to do some mild trail/fitness riding on a budget. I'm thinking I want front suspension, a good quality used bike, under $500. I live in the mountains above Denver, CO, most of my riding will be non-technical easier trails, at least till I get into shape for more strenuous stuff.

    I found a 2001 Klein Altitude Comp - thoughts? What would you pay for this bike in very good condition? I was thinking of offering $400 if it is as advertised.

  2. #2
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    What is wrong with your bike you have? For beginning and mild trail/fitness riding, it sounds fine. Ride it for a while to get an idea of what kind of riding you want to do. If you are looking to race or ride really fast, then get a better bike. But for beginning, it sounds fine.

  3. #3
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    My old bike is pretty much worn out. I commuted with it for a few years, it has a bunch of miles on it and is beat down. it needs a bottom bracket, chain rings, etc. I would rather buy a decent used bike than putting money in what I have.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Is the Attitude a full suspension or a hardtail?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    hard tail

  6. #6
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    Here's a breakdown of what that Klein is worth now:
    2001 Klein Attitude Comp - New and Used Bike Value

    If it's in good shape, doesn't need much tune up work, doesn't need anything replaced on it, etc... I would try to get it for $350.

  7. #7
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    owensjs - thanks for the link. That is very helpful for price info.

    Any thoughts on the bike for my intended purpose?

    Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    A hard tail is a good bet for "getting back into it". FS rides are nice but have a lot more to go wrong, typically more weight too. I love my FS, but for your needs, I'd say a hard tail. There are many used rides out there. A park chain stretch tool will be helpful to see how ragged the drivetrain is which as you know can be a huge % of the expense to get bike back up to snuff. If the chain is worn, you can figure the rest is close to worn out as well.

    I have had some good luck on the classifieds here, as well as ebay and craig's. But budget some $ for repairs as you usually need a few things.

    I'd check Cannondale's myself they make a good light frame, but there are tons of others.

    BTW, I am 51 and wife is 50 and I just got her a new Marin Rift Zone and I have a Trance X.

  9. #9
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    That Klein could need as many parts as your DB,at least with the DB you know what you have. Those Klein's were known to ride very harsh ,maybe not the best choice for you.You should be able to get the parts for the DB for under 150$,can you do the work yourself?

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the great replies, since I have been out of the bike world for so long they are all a big help.

    I will check into getting my bike back in order, I can do the work. I'm just not sure If I want to put any money into a dinosaur of a bike.

    I'm going to keep my eyes open for used bikes for sale in my area. I found a FS Gary Fisher bike I might take a look at.

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  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    For $500, you're not going to find a FS worth owning.

    I think you're right to look for a later-model used bike than what you have. Steer tube standards went through a bit of a shuffle-up right around 2000, and suspension changed geometry during the '90s. Look for the Attitude, or any used bike, to have a 1-1/8" threadless headset (or a newer standard.) Disc brakes would be nice too, but I'm typing with my thumbs and way too lazy to research the Attitude's original spec for you.

    I don't really buy into certain mountain bike frames being harsh. The flexiest ones have almost no compliance compared to the tires. I think it's a part of our shared mythology. Sort of like aluminum and fatigue failures, the mystical ride of titanium, etc. etc.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    For $500, you're not going to find a FS worth owning.

    I don't really buy into certain mountain bike frames being harsh. The flexiest ones have almost no compliance compared to the tires. I think it's a part of our shared mythology. Sort of like aluminum and fatigue failures, the mystical ride of titanium, etc. etc.
    As someone that's owned a lot of different frames, I can say that none of these things are myths. There can be a world of difference in the compliance and comfort level across different frames of the same material. Riding an older aluminum Trek back to back with a GT (or Klein) from the same period would give you a clear example. This stuff is all much less noticeable among lower level frames, but when you start getting into the higher end stuff, there's quite a bit of variation. Builders can tweak/buy tubes and angles to deliver quite a range of compliance.

    Also, aluminum absolutely will fatigue and break (I've broken about a dozen frames/sub-frames, all aluminum). I have yet to break a steel frame, though I also haven't put nearly as many (or as harsh) miles on them. Ti definitely has a unique trail feel, and you can build a ton of flex into a bike made of it without fatiguing the material (either on purpose or not). Steel can configured in ways that it closely mimics the ride characteristics of either Ti or Alu (more or less) or anywhere in between, and it also doesn't suffer from fatigue over time. It can also be much more easily repaired.

    From wikipedia : "Ferrous alloys and titanium alloys have a distinct limit, an amplitude below which there appears to be no number of cycles that will cause failure. Other structural metals such as aluminium and copper, do not have a distinct limit and will eventually fail even from small stress amplitudes. "
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  13. #13
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    Re: Help with used purchase for an old guy who has been out of it for a long time!

    People drag out the endurance limit every time this comes up. But steel fatigues too, and the real problem is design mistakes. Done wrong, steel still fails, and done right, an aluminum frame is good for 20+ years.

    The only frame I've ever actually broken, I broke in a steel section. Go figure. I suspect the old Vitus frames were underengineered for their purpose, but aluminum frames have been pretty mature for a good long time. So I still think greater incidence of frame damage to aluminum is mostly that there are more of them.

    I'd dig up some of The Literature on deflection, but my forum time is when I'm a passenger in my carpool and I don't care enough for how much harder it is on a phone.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I don't really sweat the whole frame breakage thing too much. It's part of the game and I've seen it happen to steel and obvously carbon frames too. It's usually a case of one really hard hit that does it for steel though. Most of the aluminum breaks I've had are started with smaller cracks that develop over time. Any frame can break, they just break in different ways. Thin walled aluminum does seem to be the worst culprit.
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  15. #15
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    I'm 62 and just started riding trails last July. I was fortunate to be given an old '93 steel GT mtb which I proceeded to dump a few bucks into. I then built up a '95 Trek 970. I also bought a 2001 Trek 8000 for my wife that still had the nubs on the original tires for $400.

    Even though I love my steel bikes, for what you are doing you just need to find good early 2000's fairly high end hardtail mtb that has had little use. If the Klein is really in good shape and has little miles on it that is as good a choice as any. You just need to look at the condition of the shock, chain ring wear and overall frame condition. Make sure the shock works well and doesn't leak and that it is not beat up as chances are the bike has seen better days. If the chain rings are original and are well worn you'll need to replace them, plus it is a good indicator of the amount of use.

    There is a big difference between a high mileage road bike and mountain bike. You can ride a road bike for years with little maintenance but if you let a mtb go things break pretty easily. Good luck and have fun.

    John

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the continued feedback.

    I'm going to purchase what I feel is the best bang for the buck given my budget.

    The seller with the Klein has not returned my email after my first contact. If I hear from them, I'm still interested. In the mean time I have been looking on CL and have found a Gary Fisher Cake 1 I think I may try and check out tomorrow.

    Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    If you post the links to the CL ads of specific bikes you're interested in, odds are you'll get some good insight.

    FWIW I'm about your age, been riding a long time, and I personally strongly prefer full suspension bike. I find the added comfort and control makes riding more fun for me. though that Klein was a sweet bike BITD, and could be a good deal, I get twinges in my lower back just thinking about riding it. You're at a tough price point for FS, but if you're willing to hunt around, there are some decent deals out there on them.
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  18. #18
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    I've seen some deals, if you look around you'll find something. And if you get a fair deal you could always resell it and try something else if you don't like it.

    Here's something I saw in a 20" frame, Santa Cruz Superlight

    Santa Cruz Mountain Bike 26 inch Wheel 20 inch Frame Super Light Make OFFER | eBay

  19. #19
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    If you live in Denver, you might want to check out the REI store. (Recreational Equipment Incorporated) They have a store in Denver, and their advertisement is everywhere, and they have a good website.
    They have a line of bikes called "Novara". I have their 'Safari' that cost $800, but they have one called a 'Novara Buzz" for about $500, and also some others.
    I bought mine because it was rated as a great bike for the money. Good components, strong wheels, good shimano accessories.
    I bought mine 2 years ago and have nothing but good stuff to say about it. They have a spring 20% off sale that usually starts in April. I bought mine for 20% off and with the shipping right to my cabin in Alaska, it came to $800.
    But like I said, they have a couple of similar quality for $500ish.
    Im 56. I ride mine everywhere.
    I like having a NEW bike instead of somebodies used and clunky junker. My 2 cents worth

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskadude View Post
    I like having a NEW bike instead of somebodies used and clunky junker. My 2 cents worth
    I've bought and sold decent used bikes for under $1000 a number of times that would have originally sold for 3,4 or 5 times that. A higher end used bike in good shape can be a WAY better purchase than an entry level new bike. If I was going to spend my own money, I would never even consider paying MSRP, for any bike.

    FWIW, I've been riding and buying MTBs since the late '80s.
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  21. #21
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    Here is what I have been considering off of craigs list;

    Klein
    Klein Attitude Comp 2001 Mountain Bike

    Gary Fisher
    Gary Fisher Cake 1 Medium 17.5"

    I have not touched base with the seller in this one yet, but it looks interesting;
    Newer 17" Jamis Dakar XC

  22. #22
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    wow does that old Descent have slots for spare spokes on the chainstay perchance ?

    I had the same bike, then went to Trek 7000 which I railed on hard till it broke from chainsuck

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    wow does that old Descent have slots for spare spokes on the chainstay perchance ?

    I had the same bike, then went to Trek 7000 which I railed on hard till it broke from chainsuck
    Yes it has the spokes for chain stay guards. It is a cool old bike, just completely worn out.

  24. #24
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    I think a spoke holder chainstay guard would be a neat addition to my fargo. Someone build it and I'm sure you'd sell them.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I had the same bike, then went to Trek 7000 which I railed on hard till it broke from chainsuck
    Lemme guess - 1993 or so?
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  26. #26
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    A friend of mine has a totally redone Richie Ascent, thumbies, period correct gumwall tires, its a bike you could hang on a wall. He's selling it as he discovered its a tad large for him frame wise (DOH!). If interested maybe $250 or $300 not sure what he's asking.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Lemme guess - 1993 or so?
    hmmm...round about that time yes....

  28. #28
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    I'll take someone's chewed up old high-end bike over a new and junky clunker any day. Low-end bikes enter the constant broken equipment phase of their lifecycle shockingly quickly. Since the OP already owns a bike, anything with a suspension fork that rides worse than just staying rigid would be a pointless use of money, IMO.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  29. #29
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    I'm looking at the Cake 1 I posted the link to tomorrow afternoon. We will see how it goes.

  30. #30
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    I picked up the Cake 1 today. I'm excited to get out and ride, supposed to snow tomorrow though.

  31. #31
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    Awesome! Enjoy the new bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Awesome! Enjoy the new bike.
    Heck ya. It's always a treat to get a new bike. Kinda like being a kid on your birthday.

  33. #33
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    Congrats. And don't let a little snow keep you off it. I've had a lot of great rides in wintry conditions, long as it's not too deep and soft.
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  34. #34
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    Thanks for all of the well wishes. I can't ride today, work and family commitments. I am going to go out tomorrow regardless of the weather. I will post a couple of pics from my ride.

    I'm really excited to gel back into riding. The bike looks really nice, a few scratches and a very small dent in the top tube, otherwise really clean. It was just tuned, front shock rebuilt, new brake pads, new bottom bracket and a new rear tire. I took it for a short ride around my neighborhood last night, all dirt roads, it feels great!

    Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

  35. #35
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    And I have to dig out my old bike and take my clipless pedals off of it and put them on the new one. I can't deal with the baskets or whatever you call the shoe holder things

  36. #36
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    LOL, I think clipless pedals make more of a difference on the trails than the road for that very reason.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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