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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    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
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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
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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.

  15. #15
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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.

  18. #18
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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
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by natzx7 View Post
    :d .
    That business cat, he's a versatile fellow.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  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

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