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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    Repair/ Replace torn seals / leaking front shocks?

    Thinking of buying some bikes from online police auction, however most of them are listed as having Torn seals on the front shocks or having leaking shocks. How easy is it to replace front shocks and can they be fixed afforably? Because if it's expensive to fix them, then it's a waste of money buying the bike in the first.

    for example this bike Cannondale F400 Men's Mountain Bike | Property Room

    they state "shocks show sign of leaking"

  2. #2
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    It depends ,a reason forks start leaking is that the the fork tubes are worn it that the case not worth it. If just the seals are bad and you can do it yourself 30 to 50$ Call some shops and ask what they would charge.If you can get the bike cheap enough you could put a different fork on it ,the cheepest would be rigid or used check ebay.

  3. #3
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    When they say "torn seals" they probably mean the boot. I don't see how you could tear a wheel. I would also be surprised if these aren't coil spring shocks. Search around on BikePedia and see what you can find out about it.

    If it is a pogo-stick quality fork, I would just replace it with a rigid fork. The current stem and handlebars put you in too upright a position for mountain biking anyway.

    I can't tell for sure, but it looks like it has a quill stem. Everything nowdays uses a threadless headset. However, a shop that carries a lot of used bikes can probably fix you up with a replacement rigid fork.

    Anyway, you can't go wrong on the price unless you have to pay for shipping. I picked up a similar vintage and quality Schwinn at a thrift shop for $50, and I rode the hell out of it for 2 years. I still have it and it is in working order. Mine had the boots missing, but otherwise was OK, so I got some Lizard Skin brand covers for it. They Velcro on and keep dirt and dust out pretty well. You don't have to disassemble the fork like you would if you were to replace the boots.

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