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.
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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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    Need advice with buying a bike

    Hello. This guy is selling a 2008 giant reign x1 for 1400. I sent him another ad and it was posted for 1000. So he agreed to sell it for 1000.
    Should I try to offer him even less (my budget was 600 for a bike)?


    Also, another bike, 2010 GT force 3.0 for 750(first price was 850)
    Let me know what should I do, thanks.

  2. #2
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    I am not sure if anyone can answer this for you without a way to examine the bikes. The prices you mention seem in line but the condition of the bikes is really a big factor. A 3-5 year old full suspension bike could be ready to be taken out for a 30 mile fun ride on the day you pick it up or could be ready to go into the shop emerging with a $500+ overhaul bill. It depends how it has been ridden and maintained.
    I think the best scenario is a bike that was purchased and ridden very little because the owner lost interest. Second best scenario is a bike that was ridden a lot but also maintained by the owner. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    1st and foremost, does the bike fit you?

  4. #4
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    1st and foremost, does the bike fit you?
    This should be your #1 consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    I am not sure if anyone can answer this for you without a way to examine the bikes.
    If you (or someone knowledgeable you trust) can determine the condition and it is "Excellent", then this price is probably reasonable. Should you try to get if for less? It never hurts to try. You can always get a ballpark sense at this website 2008 Giant Reign X1 - New and Used Bike Value. Its not the "beat all - end all", but I've found it helpful.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Don't drag your feet and nickel-and-dime too long. Owners are likely just to sell to the first person who'll actually show up with the money.

    Imagine yourself in the position of a seller. You have a number you'd like to get back out of the bike. You know that people are going to bargain you down. So you advertise for a bit more than you want in order to let other people feel like they've won. It's a little game we all play, especially when there's no objective value to go back to.

    You've probably already found the seller's "real" number, or close to it.

    If you want a bike for $600, you can still do fine. In your shoes, I'd probably set the upper limit on my filter to about $800. I don't think I'd filter out any bikes I could get for $600, and even if I filtered out some that should be worth that, the sellers aren't likely to be ready to go lower until they have to relist.

    Take some time to think about your real number too. It sounds like you may not be too solid on it.

    Will this be your first mountain bike? What kind of riding do you want to do?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Don't drag your feet and nickel-and-dime too long. Owners are likely just to sell to the first person who'll actually show up with the money.

    Imagine yourself in the position of a seller. You have a number you'd like to get back out of the bike. You know that people are going to bargain you down. So you advertise for a bit more than you want in order to let other people feel like they've won. It's a little game we all play, especially when there's no objective value to go back to.

    You've probably already found the seller's "real" number, or close to it.

    If you want a bike for $600, you can still do fine. In your shoes, I'd probably set the upper limit on my filter to about $800. I don't think I'd filter out any bikes I could get for $600, and even if I filtered out some that should be worth that, the sellers aren't likely to be ready to go lower until they have to relist.

    Take some time to think about your real number too. It sounds like you may not be too solid on it.

    Will this be your first mountain bike? What kind of riding do you want to do?
    Well the Giant reign x1 is out of the question since the guy wants 1000 and won't come down.

    I've found other 2 bikes. 1 is a 2010 GT force 3.0 and the guy wants 725$ as his lowest and final price (new on bikesdirect 1000$ no tax freeshipping)

    Then I found 2010 gt force 2.0, guy wants 900$ and came down to 850, but I could probably get it for 800.

    The force 2.0 is size XL and force 3.0 I think is large.

    My current bike is a 2005 mongoose impasse.. so it's somewhat enough but I'm afraid it will break cuz it's a walmart bike.
    I ride at fountainhead park in northern virginia, but after getting a better bike I would certainly look for other more advanced trails.

  7. #7
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    I know guys who ride there. Nice trails, and some structures/skinnies/etc. You could use a good bike. A hard tail will be cheaper and less potential problems, but then again I love FS rides. Just more to go wrong on a used bike.

    I would measure the chain on the bike you look at, take a tape measure or ruler, each link supposed to be 1". Or buy a chain stretch tool (Park tool). If it measures as worn out - not only the chain, but all the other gears are likely worn out - and be prepared to open your wallet quite a bit just for parts even if you do the work. That is one of the biggest "gotchas", along with wheels being out of true, damaged frames, leaking or blow suspension forks/shocks. Sometimes people sell for a reason.

    I am not trying to dissuade you, I buy mostly used myself but factor in some expenses if you are buying sight unseen.

    The Reign is a great bike BTW, and its probably worth $1k if in working order, but its more "play" than endurance XC or race - has a lot of travel and is beefed up to take a beating. I have the more XC Trance X with 5" travel and its lighter, but has enough for me. If you are doing drops of 3' or more you may want something like the Reighn. Just don't get a 2010, that year the bottom link breaks a LOT, was a redesign that did not work.

  8. #8
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    I have seen some deals on ebay where bikes sell for 5-600 range if they are not some "in demand" style or color/size, etc. Wife has me cut off but I was watching a Canndonale Rush with a lefty that sold for less than 600 26". a lot of 26" wheel bikes are selling at a big discount compared to other wheel sizes, and since you are on a budget I'd look at those like the Reighn.

  9. #9
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    Well now I'm deciding between 2010 gt force 3.0 and 2010 gt force 2.0. The guy selling the 2.0 said he rode it 20 times and that it would need a the up... Not sure what a tune up is but I think oiling the chain and adjusting things like I would on my mongoose.so you guys are saying I should look at the bike and look all over it and if there's anything funny looking I shouldn't buy it.also can enlighten me what maintenance full suspension bikes require?

    Edit: the guy selling gt force 2.0 said that the bike will come with free check ups and tune ups at performancebike store.
    I chatted with performancebike rep and he said as long as you have the receipt that you bought the bike you're considired the original owner and can get tune ups and etc for the bike. (can anybody confirm that though)?

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Set up your filters and create a saved search. This can take a little time, but I don't think you need to raise your budget.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Sorry, not sure what you mean about the filters and saved search..

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    You're using some kind of a listing service, right? Craig's List? Something else? Does it have a built in search?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Oh yeah I'm mostly searching on craislist for bikes, but the reign I found on pinkbike.
    I'll go check out the force 2.0 this week.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armislt View Post
    Oh yeah I'm mostly searching on craislist for bikes, but the reign I found on pinkbike.
    I'll go check out the force 2.0 this week.
    Don't forget to check out eBay as well. There are some pretty good deals there sometimes...

  15. #15
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    Might be a long shot here, but I was wanting to get into mountain biking for a long time, but only had $300 I could spare because I'm married with childen. I play guitar and I had an old guitar that's hung on the wall for the last 2 years that I never played. I searched craigslist for brand name mountain bikes in my general area offering the guitar in trade for a bike and after a month or so found a guy selling a bike that was also into guitars.

    He was asking for $600 originally, and I ended up trading the guitar that I never played (which would have gone for around $200 - $250 on ebay because it had a few repairs done to it and some other issues) plus $100 cash. I ended up with an old 2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara disc in nearly mint condition that I absolutely love and use a few times a week, even in this crappy PA weather.

    I guess the moral of the story is if you have a limited budget as I do and a little patience you can look around your house for something decent you're willing to trade and chances are some other dude will be into the same type of thing. It took me awhile to find a guy that had a bike that was my size that was willing to trade, but it worked out great. And I hade an extra $200 to swap out the grips and pedals with.

    Good luck in your search! Merry Christmas.

  16. #16
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    I'm not too fond of buying stuff on ebay.. what if it comes broken, or has problems...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armislt View Post
    I'm not too fond of buying stuff on ebay.. what if it comes broken, or has problems...
    I always ask a lot of questions if its not specifically noted that say, fork works normally and does not leak, that wheels are true, etc. A lot of bikes are only listed with build parts but if you ask on ebay it becomes part of the transaction records, and if they lied, then the buyer protection or vendor will typically straighten things out. I got a snowboard on Ebay that had some odd under the top sheet defect, I took pictures of it and after showing to the seller nearly got it for free (more than I expected). I got a bike off CL that I did not do this sort of due dilligance with, and it was thrashed to the hilt. The fork adjusters were bent, it was dirty and needed nearly a complete rebuild. But, I got two Ti road bikes one on Ebay and one from RoadBikeReview.com (the MTBR site has classifieds too), both road bikes were nearly Showroom condition! My wife's even had new tires. I stuck a new chain on it and its like a new bike. So it requires a bit of effort on your part and careful shopping, but you can score a bike. Good luck. Also, I'd sent a note to the guy with the Reign and tell him you were looking over your budget, sorry, its not necessary but nice to do.

    If you don't say anything and take bike back to performance for tunes it might work. But I'd sure buy a lot of stuff there to clear your conscious! The GT I am not familiar with but the image search it looked like a great first bike.

  18. #18
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    I looked at the force 2.0 and it seems like a good bike. I'll go meet with the guy thursday to check out the bike, probably gonna offer like 700, if he doesn't agree I'll offer 750 as my last price.

    He sent me a few more pics.
    Need advice with buying a bike-20131223_170648_resized.jpg
    Need advice with buying a bike-20131223_170624_resized.jpg
    He's selling the stand as well, might ask him to throw that in


    I read online that the suspension could be leaking and disc brakes could be leaking... how would I check for the leaks or Is there no way to?

  19. #19
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    I am not an expert on buying used bikes. I am sure there must be guidelines on the internet on what to check, ask and the recommended process.

    Looks like a nice clean bike. Ask if he knows of any problems. Have the shocks been serviced? Have the brakes been serviced? What type of riding did he do? How many miles on the bike, the current tires and on the chain and the cassette? Any upgrades from stock? Why is he selling?

    Look for leaks and test that the brakes can easily lock each wheel and don't appear squishy. Make sure the shocks appear to work and don't leak. Ask the owner if the bike came with a shock pump or what type of pump did he use to pump up the shocks?

    Examine all welds for cracks and tubes for bends and hard impact marks. Check out all the pivots points to be in good order, clean and moving freely.

    Most "hard-core" mountain bikers will remove their reflectors from their bike so others don't poke fun at them :-). But there are exceptions when people also ride in traffic and of course it's possible that the owner put them back on for selling the bike. But chances are that the bike was not ridden very hard. On the other hand the fact that he owns a stand he may have been more serious but hopefully also maintained the bike properly.

    And, of course as mentioned before, make sure the bike fits you and you can be comfortable on it.

    Good luck!

  20. #20
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    Even when people don't remove them or ride trails, reflectors tend to get ejected, or removed if the wheels ever have to be trued.

    I'd add measuring the chain for "stretch." This is easy to do and if a bike goes, stops and shifts, there aren't any weird clunks, and the chain's not stretched, well, it can't be too screwed up.

    You can also check the rims for lateral play. Depending on hub type, a correctly adjusted hub may have play when it's not mounted, but it should never have play when it's in a frame and the quick release (or whatever) is tight.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    I asked him if he brought the bike over to performance bike to have it check and if he had anything fixed on it, but he hasn't responded yet, it's acceptable since it's christmas. He said we'd meet tomorrow so I can check it out.
    Last edited by Armislt; 12-27-2013 at 03:06 PM.

  22. #22
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    So I just bought the GT force 2.0.
    It needs a tune up, so I might bring it to performance bike shop to have them do the tune up. It has the performance bike sticker on the frame and he said they'll work on it.
    Now need to adjust the brakes cuz there's some rubbing.

  23. #23
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If Performance won't give you a free tuneup, check out your local shop.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    Well tomorrow I'm gonna go on the trails so I'll have to adjust the front derailleur on my own.
    Performance bike shop is 45 min away from me, but there are 2 within 5 miles from me.

  25. #25
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    So Performance's tuneup costs you on the order of $30.

    Check out parktool.com for really well illustrated tuning instructions.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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