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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    New LBS Vs Used Bikes. Which is better value.

    I purchased a new Schwinn Sid 3 speed automatic coaster bike last week, and am thinking of adding a 21+ speed mountain bike to use on hills. Never knew we had so many hills until I bought my 3 speed.

    I'm not too handy with tools. Translation - will be paying for adjustments.

    In checking Craigslist, the prices are very tempting. But my LBS offers free lifetime adjustments on their bikes. They say it's equivalent to their $65 basic tune-up.

    I'm not handy, and I will be buying a bike in the $ 500 price range, when new. I can buy an equivalent used one for $150-$200. I'm trying to decide if my true cost in the long run will be less with the new LBS bike. It seems frequent adjustments can eat up cash.

    I am retired, and will be using my bikes daily in good weather.

  2. #2
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    I don't know about your shop but one of mine will tweek the fd/rd a little to compensate for cable strech. Anything needing significant work (more than 5 minutes) and they still want to charge for it. Now, I can completely understand charging people for services performed BUT if you claim that you do lifetime adjustments you'd better explain what that means AND do what you say you will do.

    I'd buy used if you can find a bike in good condition - and if it means saving $300.

  3. #3
    Aquaman
    Reputation: G_Blanco's Avatar
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    A bike in that price range is going to need frequent adjustments. I would go with the new bike from your LBS with lifetime service policy.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies to date: There are

    Two conflicting replies so far.

    The first answer made a good point. What will really be included in the lifetime offered by LBS?

    If anyone has experience buying from LBS's that offer free lifetime adjustments, what does that mean and how satisfied are you? I am dealing with Performance Bike.

  5. #5
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    Don't get me wrong...

    the lifetime adjustments policy can save you some coin. Also, I was not attempting to bash your, or anyone elses, LBS' services/policies/ethics. What I was saying is to ask the bike shop what types of "adjustments" are included. Then, make sure that when you decide to bring your bike into the shop you'll know if the "adjustment" you need is covered.

    FWIW - I have brought my bike to the shop about an issue that I was having. After multiple trips in for the same issue, the repair was never made. The last trip I was told that it would cost me money to have it inspected to identify the cause/remedy because it wasn't something that could be fixed in 3 to 5 minutes on the stand. BTW, my chain was constantly falling off of the front chain rings during my rides. IF the adjustment policy covers tweaking the derailuers a little bit you can buy a repair book for $25 and just learn to do that type of adjustment yourself.

    If you need advice on choosing a bike based on fit, bike capabilities, etc. I will be the first person to tell you to buy from your LBS. Don't be one of those people that go into a bike store to get educated and then buy your bike somewhere else. Just keep in mind that the "sales" associates main job is to sell a bike to you.

  6. #6
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    I answered in the other post about the liftime adjustments and LBS I didn't realize two were going on so just look at my post to see how i liked the LBS compared to others
    What does: Free Lifetime Adjustments, really mean.

  7. #7
    Singletrack +1
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    It's sad, but the LBS "Free lifetime adjustments" don't usually go beyond what an owners manual covers. My entry level Trek Owners Guide covers derailleurs, brakes, cables, chains, tires, and a few other things that a guy with next to NO technical knowledge can accomplish. All with a screwdriver and a multi-tool, at most. Not to mention, if you DO take your bike in for every little blessed thing you don't like, what happens when 6 miles out, your Rear der. starts acting up. Or your brakes get bumped and unadjusted? Then you've spent the last year letting "greasy bob mcgee" tighten one simple screw, and you have no idea where it is. If you're able to inspect a bike, you can get a heck of a deal on a decent used bike. And looking at ANY manufacturers site, you can find related material on bike adjustments. Not to mention sites on the internet. Take the time to learn, and do the things you need to be able to do. Major stuff, LBS can be okay.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  8. #8
    not really an mtbr member
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    You're stereotyping- it really depends on the shop. In the one I work in, the free tune-ups are a lot of things I wouldn't recommend touching unless you really know what you're doing- truing wheels, checking hub/BB/headset bearings, etc. We only charge for new parts/things that require extra labor- for example, if your shifter needed to be replaced, we'd charge labor for that since it is above and beyond.

  9. #9
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    Well, thats great for your shop. It is definately above and beyond what most will do, as general "tune-ups" run around $40 here. That's just to adjust everything, tweak it, and have the customer come in and ride a bit to make sure its good. If not, they'll tweak it again while you're there. But a majority of the time, and yes i am/was stereotyping, the level of service you offer doesn't get performed at no charge. Checking a bearing and replacing are two different things. And you are the FIRST and ONLY shop i've ever seen that will sit down a true an effed up wheel for no charge what-so-ever. Kudos. Its better, if you ARE going to purchase from your LBS, to ask for a copy of their contract. Any shop that offers that service should (as it is a contract you're entering into at the time of purchase) to have it stated what work they will/will not be doing free of charge. If they don't, i'd suggest finding one that does. Or just learn.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  10. #10
    What could go wrong ...
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    If you are retired then buy a good book on bike repairs and check the parktools website and take some time and learn how to work on your bike ... it can be fun and save time and money and yep if you are out on the trails and something needs service the LBS wont do you much good anyway
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

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