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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    Looking to buy a cheap bike, is this a good deal?

    Hey

    I found this used diamondback 17inch mountain bike that I imagine would offer me a good fit, considering I'm 5'8. It has 15 speeds, 26" wheels, and everything else should be in good working condition.

    The sellers wants 80 dollars, do you think this is fair? I do not know the model, however here is a photo. I've seen used department store bikes go for 40-50 dollars so maybe that's the price I should ask? I understand this bike must be very old, considering it's 15 speed?

    I understand department store bikes aren't ideal but I'm not sure whether I want a serious mountain bike. The trails around me are light, and it would serve as a good bike for communting to places (saves gas and gets some exercise!). I'd rather save up for a better one in the future, and I'm also interested in getting a road bike so I'll eventually have to choose between the two :/

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    Im no expert, but assuming it fits ok, it's going to be a LOT cheaper than most anything else that isn't absolute crap. Looks like it's in decent shape. Can't go wrong. Diamondback seems to make a respectable bike. That one appears to be old and a women's model??

    However, looking at the pic, it appears the shifters are mounted "upside down" and the rear innertube has slipped (the Schrader valve is tilted). It may have been monkeyed with a bit. Probably want to air down that rear wheel, inspect the valve and straighten up the tube and valve it if isn't damages.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Old isn't really an issue, but I imagine that results in the bike being cheaper? What makes you say it's a woman's model? Haha.

  4. #4
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    That's not a bad price for a bike to be used around town and mellow trails. Consider that it may need a pretty thorough tune-up, which could be pretty expensive if you do not have the experience & tools to do it yourself. Ask the seller to come down a bit to allow you to budget for a few necessary repairs.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zealex View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    Old isn't really an issue, but I imagine that results in the bike being cheaper? What makes you say it's a woman's model? Haha.
    Because the way the top tube drops down on the seat tube.
    Yes, It is a girls bike.

    What it is worth depends on what it needs before riding.

    Could seem ready to ride from an untrained eye but then you realize you need new tires, tubes, adjustments, lube, hubs repacked, chain, gears,etc. Things we can't see in the picture and by the time your done you have a couple hundred dollars more in it.

    The bike is probably about 20 years old and wasn't a high end bike even in its day. I would offer $50 if I was going to offer anything at all.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  6. #6
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    if you want a bike just for tooling around on mellow trails and streets, and you're a guy and don't mind being seen on a girl's bike, and you are willing to shell out a bunch more money for new parts, and you accept that, if you become interested in riding trails enough that that bike will become useless to you after a month and you will want to drop $$$ on a decent bike... that should be fine. I think there are better options out there. you can get a decent hardtail used for $200 or so. I would not pay more than $50 for that DB. it's awfully flimsy looking and might not work very well when you push it on the trails. from the components on it, I can tell that it was never meant to be a "real" mountain bike. more of a casual trail cruiser for weekend enthusiasts who want to piddle around the park for 30 minutes.

    at 5'8", a 17" frame is probably the largest frame size you would want to get. there is no standard for sizing bicycle frames, so those numbers are somewhat subjective from one manufacturer and model to the next, but 15-17" frames should be about right for you.

  7. #7
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    It's kind of funny. What was once top-line (20 years ago) now resembles a junk bike today. Things like frame weld and basic component quality don't really change and are hard to detect visually. Sometimes what looks like quality may be just the latest, cheapest implementation of something (trigger shifters, disc brakes, etc.). Even so, I'm guessing that that wasnt a top line DB 20 years ago or whenever it was new. But it will probably get you going to the point where you can decide what you want in your more expensive (orders of magnitude) bike.

    If the cranks and wheels turn freely and without noise, the brakes, shifters and derailleurs work (cables aren't rusty or stretched out and neither is the chain), then you can get away without a big overhaul, although it may need it.

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