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  1. #1
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    NewB Looking For Advice

    So I have a chance to pick up a Mercedes Benz mountain bike (appears to be an Amp Research B-4 from what I can tell). From the pics it looks to be in great shape, tires almost look like they still have the nibs on them.



    Shimano Deore components.

    I have been riding my road bikes for the last 20 years, but really know nothing about MTN bikes. I am looking for a decent all-around bike that can take the occasional abuse.

    I don't really give a crap about the M-B logo on the bike, just looking for a good deal.

    With all that said, what is the most I should pay for this bike?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2
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    $50.

    It's got a weird, proprietary fork and you probably can't find service parts for the linkage. The components aren't terrible, but IMO when people who haven't already built a few of their bikes, buying a bike for parts results in having more garage art.

    What's your goal here? Are you planning on mountain biking? If not, just build a road bike with a sensible spec and it ought to take abuse fine.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    I am planning on riding trails with it with a couple of friends from work. I have arthritis in the shoulders so I am looking for a FS ride.

    From what I can tell, Amp Research still offers parts support even though they are no longer building bikes.

    Edit to add: Is a couple hundred an unreasonable amount to pay for this bike? Seems that if the proprietary fork breaks down beyond repair it could be replaced with a conventional FS fork and still be ahead of the game.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Do you really want to trust them?

    Decide on a budget. Give it some thought and don't lowball. Let us know what it is and people will have some ideas. Probably more than you really want to read. Do you have the other stuff you need to ride bikes? Helmet, gloves, riding clothes, a couple tools, etc?

    While my shoulder problems are minor and exercise-induced, I can't help wondering - what does arthritis in your shoulders have to do with having a bike with a rear linkage? I find bangs to the front and back of a hardtail to be pretty well decoupled... Since I don't know your number, I don't know if I need to talk you out of a FS anyway - maybe you're going to bust out with the sticker price of my last car, and I'll say, "Epic, and Godspeed."
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    This is being sold at a police auction, that is why I asked if a couple hundred (say $300 max) was a reasonable price for this bike. I don't put much stock in the original M-B sticker price, but I just am looking for a good deal.

    I do have shorts/shoes/helmet/gloves/tools/pump/etc. I typically put a couple hundred miles/month on my road bike.

    As far as the shoulders, you're right in that a hardtail would fill the bill, but if I can get a deal on this FS bike then that seems the way to go.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    A couple hundred is definitely too much. And, a deal is only a deal when you come out with something you actually want.

    Buying a mountain bike is not all that different from buying a road bike. If you want to stretch a buck, IMO the best way to go is either to use a personal connection or go to some used bike shops and ride a bunch of bikes. This time of year, dealers who still have '12 inventory are trying to get rid of it, but I don't know how much they'd still have. So that's another way to do it. There's always Craig's List and the catalog web sites if you're really striking out locally.

    Does the police auction have any more conventional mountain bikes?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    OK, thanks for the advice. I will pass on this and keep looking.

  8. #8
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    Agree with $300 is way too much. Be patient keep asking questions.

  9. #9
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    Found this one on the same website:



    Obviously needs a new seat and at least one tire. Thoughts on this one? Listed as a KHS Pro.

  10. #10
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    Actually would that one be too small? It is listed as a 17.5" frame. I am 6' 2 and ride a 58cm road bike. No idea how to size a MTB other than going to the LBS, which I can't do until Thursday at the earliest.

  11. #11
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    My guess is too small - your probably in the 19"+ frame size.

  12. #12
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    Thanks. I will keep on looking.

  13. #13
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    This one just closed for $278 in 21.5". Didn't bid on this one because I didn't have time to do any research on it.


  14. #14
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    They also have a GT Karakoram 4.0 29er in a 20" frame. What would a reasonable price be on that one?

    Thanks for all the help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CT-Mike View Post
    This one just closed for $278 in 21.5". Didn't bid on this one because I didn't have time to do any research on it.
    Wanna buy my old Klein Mantra? I have more bikes than I need right now and trying to find a good home for this classic Klein.

    (old pic - parts have been upgraded since).


    -S

  16. #16
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    If you are 6'2" then a 19 inch frame, center of bottom bracket to top of seat tube, is too small for you. You'll probably want something in the 21 or 22 inch range depending on the terrain in your area. I'd focus on Craigslist, lots of bikes in larger markets, and unlike eBay your budget isn't eaten up in shipping costs. If you're in a small market and there isn't much used stock then consider buying a basic hardtail at a local shop for 650. It won't have the sex appeal of a 1000 bike, but you'd have a basic ride.

  17. #17
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    Man, those bikes are REALLY old and roached - they must have been in evidence lockup for quite a while. i really think you could do better on craigslist or pinkbike. Also check out what your bike shop may have in used stock.

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    If you want to avoid buying a junk show then when shopping for a full suspension bike buy one made in this century unless you know exactly what you're buying.

    Knowing your budget would help; knowing what terrain you're hoping to ride would help as well. For almost everyone, a decent quality hardtail will be a better value for your money than any FS bike. Unless you can spend at least $1500 (or an amount for a used bike of equivalent quality that you can ensure that isn't clapped out) avoid full suspension bikes. Older FS bikes and FS bikes of lower quality will come equipped with cheap suspension parts which may not be able to be replaced and if they can be replaced it will often be at a great cost to you.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    If you want to avoid buying a junk show then when shopping for a full suspension bike buy one made in this century unless you know exactly what you're buying.
    Oh, snap! Not that I disagree, mind you.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    :d .
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    2008 GT Force
    Go Veg

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by natzx7 View Post
    :d .
    That business cat, he's a versatile fellow.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    Wanna buy my old Klein Mantra? I have more bikes than I need right now and trying to find a good home for this classic Klein.


    -S
    That's a sweet SS project. I'm doing my URT Szabo SS. As soon I can get around to it.

  23. #23
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    Try Looking on pinkbikes buy sell and trade, or go into all your LBS tell them what your looking for and they can show you a few things. Many take trade ins and you may be able to pick up a gem that someone has put some miles on, many people will only ride a bike for 1 or 2 years before trading it in and a two thousand dollar bike becomes a eleven hundred bike after a years worth of millage and scratches.

    Craigslist can also be a good place, but if your really really looking for the best deal you need to take half a year watching the buysells and researching components and bike reviews to find out what good deals are. Also dont be afraid to offer someone less then listed, i mean dont insult them but offering a few hundred on something they want 2 grand for but usually 10-20% less is int he same haggling zone.

    If you find something good dont be afraid to ask a pro and offer to buy some of their time for that opinion, they will be able to notice things you may not. ever try finding a wiggle in a hub?.

    The other option maybe a little higher end department store bike, if not not planning to go out and shred it may be enough to handle 90% what your planning to ride. On the other hand once you get bitten by the bike bug you just keep upgrading until the wife makes you sleep on the couch and the kids are wondering what happened to their collage funds. ha! (please dont do that).

    TL;DR

    take time to educate yourself, hit the local shops that do trade ins and sell used. And plan to spend 6 months to find a real quality used gem.

    hope this helps.

    ps. 8 months and still looking for a great cheap DH bike park sled, but maybe i will get lucky next year.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

  24. #24
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    Thanks for all the advice folks, I really appreciate it. I won't be buying a dept store bike, I want something with a good gruppo that will last me.

    My road bike is a Specialized Secteur Elite, no where near a high end machine, but at $1200 I felt it was a good value for the money. Of course now I am pining for a full carbon frame, someday.

    Anyhow, I would say my budget for a MTB is $1K max.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    That's a sweet SS project. I'm doing my URT Szabo SS. As soon I can get around to it.
    It was a project - I pretty much restored it and then some.

    ....but I'm curious - why would you go SS on a great all-round bike?

    -S

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    It was a project - I pretty much restored it and then some.

    ....but I'm curious - why would you go SS on a great all-round bike?

    -S
    Because it is possible would be a good enough reason for me.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  27. #27
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    Ride Then Buy

    Rule #1 when buying bikes, don't buy it without riding it. I have bought police and state auction bikes before and 98% of the time you don't look you get screwed. By the way the first two bikes were cheap and old components and barely worth 50 bucks. The Cannondale was a decent bike assuming everything was working on it. Although it was also at the top of its price range (used).

    Also you may not need a full suspension bike for your arthritis in your shoulders. (my condolences also, my dad has bad RA) Try a few hardtails at your local bike shop find some bumps and see if they aggravate your shoulder. You can get a much better deal on most hardtails. Also hardtails have a higher peddling efficiency (less motion lost to shocks)

    Craigslist, Online suppliers and auctions can have some good deals, just keep looking. You should also check bike stores and manufacturers clearances for lower end name brands. A new lower end but still name brand bike is generally better than a 10 year old mid end bike.

  28. #28
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    Size

    Quote Originally Posted by CT-Mike View Post
    Actually would that one be too small? It is listed as a 17.5" frame. I am 6' 2 and ride a 58cm road bike. No idea how to size a MTB other than going to the LBS, which I can't do until Thursday at the earliest.
    58 cm is around 22 inches so yes that would be far too small. I'm 5' 11" and I like a 21" road bike (I like my bikes a little bigger) and a 19.5" mountain bike so your probably in around those sizes.

    Also be aware of crank length and overall bike length (upright vs stretched) the latter especially with arthritis in you shoulder, a stretched bike will probably not be fun while standing to maneuver while riding.

    PS I forgot to mention in my last post, rather than a full suspension bike why not just pick up a front suspension and get a shock seat post aftermarket?

  29. #29
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    I didn't think mountain bikers had to call it a "gruppo." As long as I don't have to put on scarpas to go for a run, I guess things aren't too bad yet...

    OP, for $1200 you're in an awkward place on retail bikes. They're mostly into "real" drivetrains, but the forks and brakes are often not there yet. To me, any bike that someone reviews as, "it's awesome, it really came alive when I bolted x, y and z onto it for another 50% of the initial purchase" is actually a pretty crappy value. At least, unless you're really in it for the hobby. Closeout bikes may come with nice brakes and a "real" fork. In used bikes, on the other hand... Every time one of my friends spends $600 on a used bike, I kick myself in the ass. Phone around to a bunch of shops and find out what they've got. I don't know if you live in a big enough city to support a decent used shop, but if you do, I think that's one of the best ways to do it - you still get to test ride a bunch of bikes, but you don't pay for ad time during the Tour de France, or for the guy who comes up with Bold New Graphics for 2013. (Can I have a bike with all the technology and none of the industrial design?) At $1200, you also have a good chance at getting a late-model full-suspension bike built on a nice frame and with a good build, doing used.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CT-Mike View Post
    Anyhow, I would say my budget for a MTB is $1K max.
    I would start looking on Craigslist and leave that police auction alone.
    Seems like a lot of junk be sold for too much.
    Also, you have no idea what you are getting since you can't ride it before buying it.
    I seriously doubt the guys who stole the bikes took good care of them. lol

  31. #31
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    This one worth looking at?

    http://newlondon.craigslist.org/bik/3332553540.html

    Thanks again.

  32. #32
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    Cannondale SL4
    I'm not sure where in ct your from, but this looks like a good deal

  33. #33
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    Hi all,
    Just wanting to get some advice on what bike I should start off this hobby with.
    To start off, my aim with this bike is a weekend trail rider for a start. If I enjoy it as much as I think I will, I will be looking at different disciplines and events.
    Having not been into MTB for sometime, I'm a bit behind on eveything (I wasn't into it that much 12 or so years ago).
    SOOOOO..... for bike options, it's been suggested that I go with a 29er because it will be better with the bumps and lumps. Also, I'm looking at hardtail for cost reasons mostly.
    I've been looking at different models in my price range and have narrowed it down to 5 different bikes. They are: Merida Big-nine TFS 100; Scott Aspect 940; Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29; GT Karakoram 3; and finaly the Giant Boulder 29er0. Al of the bikes are running some form of Suntour forks XCM's and SF13-XCT. I know these arent that great, but they will do for a start.
    The first 4 bikes are running Shimano and Tektro gear, but the Giant has mostly SRAM x5 gear. My main dilemma is that I don't quite know what gear is better and also that all the other bikes are hydraulic discs(the boulder is mechanical).
    Please help, so I can get a good start in this sport.

  34. #34
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    Ride them all, choose the one you like the most.

    There is absolutely no reason you should ignore which one of those bikes feels the best to you and choose another one. There aren't large differences between any of them which would set one apart enough to ignore which one you like riding the most. In the end, it doesn't matter what shifters or any other part is attached to the bike because once you get it out on the trail that all is supposed to fade into the background. Any bike will work pretty well if you take good care of it, keep it adjusted, and keep all the nuts and bolts tight.

    Don't forget to try out a couple of 26" wheel bikes, they're pretty awesome too. Us 26" riders would like to remind everyone that we're not weird even though the industry is pushing 29" or 650b these days. Well, not weird due to our wheel size choice anyway. I would take everything in your price range for a spin around the parking lot; there's some people out there who say there is no value to a pavement test ride but they're wrong. You can learn a lot about the way a bike fits and feels any time you ride one.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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