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  1. #1
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    Selecting a used MTB

    So I saved some money up and I'm actually ready to buy a used, beginner bike.

    I'd like something that I can score for <$400 on craigslist in good condition. I'm mostly going to be using it to commute across campus but I'd also like to immediately start trying some trails on my campus as well as hopping stairs,rocks, people etc.

    I've been doing some reading and it seems like the following bikes are my best bets:

    Ironhorse Maverick
    Trek 3900
    Specialized hardrock sport
    Fezzari kings peak.

    The specialized is easily the most abundant on the market with Fezzari being scarce. Do any of these really stick out amongst the others? I need something with a strong frame and decent stock tires.

  2. #2
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    looks like i can get a rock hopper in my price range which would be a step up from the hardrock.

  3. #3
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    You may miss a good bike if you only search for a few models. Just see what comes available and research everything. Bike sizing varies between brands and models, but someone could suggest what couple of sizes might be good for you if you list your height. That will save you some time if can eliminate some bikes immediately when looking through ads.

  4. #4
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    That's a fair point, considering I could miss a good frame that's been upgraded tremendously.

    I'm 5'9-5'10. I'm planning on getting a 17" frame, since I don't like the feel of larger bikes.

    I might be looking at a rockhopper this weekend for 250$ but it needs a tuneup and grips.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactix23 View Post
    That's a fair point, considering I could miss a good frame that's been upgraded tremendously.

    I'm 5'9-5'10. I'm planning on getting a 17" frame, since I don't like the feel of larger bikes.

    I might be looking at a rockhopper this weekend for 250$ but it needs a tuneup and grips.
    Depending on the condition of the bike and the age, 250 might be a good buy. Assume any bike you get will need a tuneup/safety check (at a bike shop) and probably a few parts.

    Don't be afraid to checkout brands outside your watch list... any reputable bike manufacturer mtb that's in decent shape with decent (shimano/sram etc...) components will be fine IMO, and really, at this price point they're all basically the same.

    Things I would look for...
    disc brakes
    modern type fork (probably coil) from a major manufacturer (Rockshox, Manitou, Marzocchi etc..)
    Shimano Alivio/Deore level components at least
    Basic functionality (shifts, rolls, steers, appears to be in decent shape)

    Don't settle for something that looks like a pile of crap, is the wrong size, or hasn't been maintained. You should be able to get a solid bike for the money if you buy used.
    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    It's good that you already know that you want to avoid larger frames. The problem is that sizes are not consistent. Keep that in mind. I'm your height and own two bikes. One is a large and one is a medium. However, both have the same cockpit length (effective top tube). The Spec. Hardrock you listed will be 2" (or more) longer than the Trek 3900 in the same size.

    ER has some good advice ^^^. I'm anxious to make the purchase when I decide to buy something, but you should be patient -- you can make a big mistake with used bikes. I would only look for recent models bikes unless it's a high-end model that's 5-7 years old. I wouldn't look at anything that isn't ready to ride, either. Since you're asking for advice here, I assume you won't be able to tell if a bike only needs the derailleurs tuned or if it has worn parts. The cost of buying and repairing the latter could exceed the cost of a new bike.

    Good luck and let us know what you find - pics.

  7. #7
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    Thank you very much for the advice guys. I'm going to be patient and rely heavily on what you guys think. Unless a bike is in glaringly bad conditions or it rides like junk, I won't have a very good idea of what's going or even what to look for. For instance, this bike seems to have it all, however I know nothing of giant frames or what this model even is.

    Giant Mountain Bike, Disc Brakes, Deore Components, Serviced

    Here's something look fancy haha. Perhaps I can buy some rugged tires to add

    TREK 7000 ZX Zero Excess Mountain Bike Frame 16.5" 42cm

    Nice looking bike with full suspension, but large frame

    Full Suspension Mountain Bike Specialized FSR Comp 1998

    No picture and I'm not familiar with the brand

    2006 Marin Nail Trail FX

  8. #8
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    Again, I really want something I can ride down stairs and bunny hop. I like to do things to the max. I'm just hoping there is a used bike I can buy that will withstand that riding for a bit.

  9. #9
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    He's not giving you a lot to go on.

    Any mountain bike should be fine with the occasional stairset and bunny hop. However, if you're planning on jumping off loading docks, doing BMX parks, dirt jumps and flow lines, you want a bike that's purpose-built for that and more rugged. You'll still break it, but it should be less frequent and less catastrophic.

    Check out bikepedia.com for specs for bikes going back many years. You can use it to figure out what the original spec and purchase price of a bike were, and if you want to figure out year, it's often helpful for that too. The guy selling the Giant isn't giving much to go on. You can always email him and ask.

    A 16" bike would probably be too small for you. In brands doing even-numbered sizes, someone who rides a 17" is a little more likely to ride an 18". It's not consistent, though. Since you want a small bike, you also might have a different opinion than I do when you try it.

    Another source of used bikes to consider is a bike shop. Get on the phone and make some calls. I think most reasonable-sized cities support a shop or coop carrying used bikes, and that lets you ride a few at once and buy something that's in decent mechanical shape to begin with. IMO, much better than Craig's List if you just want a bike and you're not really in it for the hunt.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    I'm not looking to do anything insane at first, as I don't have a total death wish. I'm just not the type of guy to buy a mountain bike and just ride it to class; i want to have some excitement with it.

    I haven't checked with shops since I figured shops are always going to be more money than private sales. I figured if I'm patient, I can find something really great. I'll skip over the 16" and large frames though (I was tempted by the full suspension on the third bike).

  11. #11
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    Do more research

    Your general description of "I want to use it to ride down stairs and bunny hop" would indicate that you may be doing more urban / dirt jump type riding than trail riding. If this is the case, none of the bikes you mentioed is really suitable.

    Give us some more insight into what type of riding you want to do, and we can better point you in the right direction. From there, you can do some more research on your own on the bikes we recommend, and then narrow your search down.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactix23 View Post
    I'm not looking to do anything insane at first, as I don't have a total death wish. I'm just not the type of guy to buy a mountain bike and just ride it to class; i want to have some excitement with it.

    I haven't checked with shops since I figured shops are always going to be more money than private sales. I figured if I'm patient, I can find something really great. I'll skip over the 16" and large frames though (I was tempted by the full suspension on the third bike).
    Perhaps, but most established shops have a wide client base and will know who is selling and who is buying. If anything, they could point you in the right direction. A lot of shops will have "trade-ins" as well, and might possibly work with you a bit to get a better bike.

    Generally, I'd REALLY recommend you skip full suspension bikes at this price range... they tend to be heavy and the suspension is a step above crap.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde View Post
    Your general description of "I want to use it to ride down stairs and bunny hop" would indicate that you may be doing more urban / dirt jump type riding than trail riding. If this is the case, none of the bikes you mentioed is really suitable.

    Give us some more insight into what type of riding you want to do, and we can better point you in the right direction. From there, you can do some more research on your own on the bikes we recommend, and then narrow your search down.

    Bob
    I live in a dorm on campus, surrounded by an urban environment. Outside and even on my campus I'm surrounded by trails. I'm also surrounded by the classes I have to attend. I would like to ride my bicycle everywhere.

    If you tell me I can't go riding my rig geared for the trails down stairs, then I'll have to skip out on that stuff.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EclipseRoadie View Post

    Generally, I'd REALLY recommend you skip full suspension bikes at this price range... they tend to be heavy and the suspension is a step above crap.
    You're completely right. I just though that one above looked interesting, haha.

  15. #15
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    There are some really good Freeride hardtail bikes. Look at some reviews on this site and then search CL or Pinkbike.com.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” - Plato

  16. #16
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    XC bikes are fine to dive off the occasional stairset, and if they couldn't handle bunny hops they wouldn't be mountain bikes. They'll be a little less forgiving of a messed up landing than a dirt jump bike.

    I'd say if your primary use is riding trails and getting to class, a XC or trail bike is fine. If it gives you trouble, burlier wheels and fork should take care of that. If you're going to spend a lot of time on quads or plazas jumping up and down benches and picnic tables, dropping to flat, or riding down longer stair cases, you should be looking at a dirt jumper or at least a trail bike with more of a dirt jump/North Shore attitude.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    XC bikes are fine to dive off the occasional stairset, and if they couldn't handle bunny hops they wouldn't be mountain bikes. They'll be a little less forgiving of a messed up landing than a dirt jump bike.

    I'd say if your primary use is riding trails and getting to class, a XC or trail bike is fine. If it gives you trouble, burlier wheels and fork should take care of that. If you're going to spend a lot of time on quads or plazas jumping up and down benches and picnic tables, dropping to flat, or riding down longer stair cases, you should be looking at a dirt jumper or at least a trail bike with more of a dirt jump/North Shore attitude.
    Are there specific models that are geared toward those activities? Or frames that have been upgraded for that abuse?

  18. #18
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    Yes. Search "dirt jump bike" and "north shore hardtail." Both genres are going to be pretty heavy compared to a XC bike, and dirt jump bikes can sometimes be problematic to set up geared, and with a saddle high enough for efficient pedaling. North Shore is a style of cross-country riding that's very heavily influenced by freeride and riding on structures. So they're burly bikes but they still have a geared drivetrain and can have the saddle put in a location conducive to pedaling. Other search terms are "freeride hardtail" and "all mountain hardtail."

    I wouldn't call the frames upgraded. They're heavy and a more XC-oriented rider might find the handling a little slow. It's more of a lateral shift.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    Pedal Over It
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    I've seen Norco Bigfoots for $500 on CL. Also check out the Santa Cruz Chameleon. Lil more $.
    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” - Plato

  20. #20
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    I know you said steer away from these but this looks like a fair price for a nice frame.

    dbr x2 racing full suspension frame

    Got pretty good reviews on this site, although I don't know how much I'd end up spending for all of the components.

  21. #21
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    There may be better deals out there. But it won't be by much - these prices are pretty representative.

    Build Kits at Price Point
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    Probably a bit out of my reach at this point. I'd have to wait to the end of the semester, which would defeat the purpose. I really do appreciate the hard work you guys are putting into this thread haha.

    Here's a picture of the aforementioned rockhopper



    It has two wheels, so that's good

  23. #23
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    Honestly, I'd say you're probably best just getting the first hardtail you find that fits you well, is in good mechanical shape, and is priced fairly. This is a surprisingly high bar. And, I really think shops are a good enough resource to be worth a little extra markup.

    So if the price is right on the Rockhopper, do it. The components are pretty trashy, so it should be sub-$200, IMO.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    He wants 250$ but I was going to ask for a reduction since I would immediately need to service the bike.

  25. #25
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    Here's something really close. Looks nice

    Gary Fisher HOO-KOO-E-KOO on/off road 17 in. 21 speed

  26. #26
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    The Fisher is a great value if you like fat chicks stuffed into skinny jeans, wearing over sized non-prescription glasses.

    The Rockhopper would probably have sold for $250 in the shop I used to ride for, but it would have been tuned up and have had worn out parts replaced.

    At least make a few phone calls and see if you've got some shops near you that will sell you something that doesn't suck, at a price you can afford. Your Craig's List is not exactly setting the world on fire with its selection of good deals.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  27. #27
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    Okay, I'll hold off on posting redundantly crappy craigslist deals haha. I'm from New York, but go to school in Mass. There's a whole lot less of well, everything here (except organic food).

    I'll call some shops this weekend. Thanks for your patience.

  28. #28
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    Finally made it out to the local shop that got great reviews. First impression was that 90% of their bikes were Jamis, which I am not familiar with. The next impression was that they weren't as cheap as I thought they were. It was close to 300$ for a less than pristine rock hopper and the last year's model Jamis (not sure exact model) was still 350$. I didn't expect to a store to be cheap though, I mean they have to stay in business.

    Back to craigslist.

  29. #29
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    IMO a new bike that can be fitted to you would fare better than an used bike with better components if it is your first. I had huge trouble on a Craigslist search when finding mine.

  30. #30
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    You have a fair point although I can probably score a pretty decent bike used and still have cash to get it tuned up. At this point I'm thinking of just getting anything respectable and just using it for school. Hitting the woods can always wait but class will not.

  31. #31
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    I just picked up a 2005 Trek 4300 on craigslist for $50. A $75 tune up and after $125 I feel I have got a great deal. So far its doing just fine. Going out tomorrow to hit the trail again.

  32. #32
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    The presence of fancier bikes doesn't mean that the bikes everyone was riding in the '90s don't work anymore.

    What was included with the shop bikes? If you're going to have to pay for a tuneup and maybe replace parts anyway, you may not be looking at such a bad deal.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  33. #33
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    Who doesn't occasionally look at cl? This Felt is a nice bike if it's the right size.

    mens mountain bike

  34. #34
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    darn, I somehow missed your post with the Felt.

    I was looking at this because it's super close. I also have a bike repair shop on campus which is probably cheap. If I bought a quality derailleurr and fixed the shift cables, this seems like a solid bike with great reviews. It would probably cost me 150$ to fix it up?

    Gary Fisher Tassajara Men's Mountain Bike

    Shimano XT M772 Shadow Rear Derailleur - Black | Mid

  35. #35
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    mens felt mountain bike

    Didn't specify model or size but I emailed them. It always amazes me when people put things up on craigslist and leave out some of the most critical details. It's like putting up a car but with no mileage.

  36. #36
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    the Tassehara would be a great 1st bike at 100 bucks. Get it, ride it, wear it out, find another $100 bike in two years, repeat.
    89 and 97 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo.

    http://perpetuairon.com
    http://smallfoundrysupply.com

  37. #37
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    The Tassajara ended up being a nightmare of an ordeal and so I'm still looking. The seller was a great guy but the bike was just thrashed. It needed a lot of money, even just for cheap components, to get it rolling again.

    What about a Gary Fisher Marlin for 400$ if it's in great condition? I'm thinking of picking one up this weekend. It's certainly light years beyond the deals I could find in store.

  38. #38
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    For $400 you might want to go to a LBS and see what they have for around that price range. I was on the same boat as you trying to look at used bikes on CL and realized people are asking way too much for their 10 yr old bikes.

    What you will end up with is a really old bike, with really old suspension, V-brakes and a worn out drivetrain whereas you can get an entry level brand new bike for $400.

  39. #39
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    Depending on which Rockhopper you saw for $300, that might be a better deal.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    For $400 you might want to go to a LBS and see what they have for around that price range. I was on the same boat as you trying to look at used bikes on CL and realized people are asking way too much for their 10 yr old bikes.

    What you will end up with is a really old bike, with really old suspension, V-brakes and a worn out drivetrain whereas you can get an entry level brand new bike for $400.
    I think I read one of your threads, or someone's who had a similar viewpoint. My local bike store was very overpriced and I'm not sure I have the time to be traveling and browsing (premed student).

    Craigslist takes a lot of work but at least it's on my computer.

  41. #41
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    Because I don't care if people figure out I'm "that guy," I'm going to quote myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    At least make a few phone calls and see if you've got some shops near you that will sell you something that doesn't suck, at a price you can afford.
    Did you do this? This time of year, shops are trying to clear things out. Shops that deal in multiple sports especially - they want to sell ski stuff, and if they still have any '11 bikes, they don't want to still be sitting on them in May. Phoning around is not much work, but I notice that a lot of people seem to be allergic to it.

    Find out if the store you visited still has the Rockhopper and Jamis in your price range, and which bikes, exactly, they were. I assume the Rockhopper was used? It's been the middle of Specialized's line for years and years. They sometimes play with where the top and bottom of the Rockhopper spec lands in terms of component level; $300 could be a kickass deal or it could be pretty bad. Jamis makes everything from really cheap bikes to a $4900 racer. So again, you could be getting a lot of bike for $350 or not very much. You really need to get specifics. With the brand, model year and specific model, you can go on bikepedia.com or the manufacturer's web site and get the full spec sheet and usually the MSRP.

    IME, when I deal with shops, I can scope out several bikes in the time it takes me to look at one on Craig's List. When I wanted a $95 beater, I got it on Craig's List - it's just not feasible for shops to carry something that cheap, although a Good Will or a pawnshop might. But my more serious bikes have all been shop purchases, and I got a pretty great deal for the one I've had the longest, which was a previous year's model when I bought it.

    Or if it's just about new and clean, get a fixie. Some of them retail for under $400.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  42. #42
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    I checked out the local shop which is down the street. A relatively large store but mostly carrying Jamis bikes and overpriced used bikes. They wanted 350$ for a hardrock that looked okay. The rockhopper you're talking about was on craigslist and is pictured above from the ad.

    I can call a few more places but it's just not feasible for me to be driving around all the time. Taking organic, physics, calculus and holding 3 positions on campus haha.

  43. #43
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    So make the phone calls! I get not wanting to drive around. I wouldn't either, and haven't. My last two bike purchases were my 'cross bike and my commuter; the commuter is the first CL bike I saw, I decided it was acceptable and went for it, and the 'cross bike is one of three I test rode after figuring out which shops had possible bikes for me.

    Bear in mind that you can make an offer on a bike. The worst the shop will do is say "no."
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  44. #44
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    I think I;'ve leveled it down to 2 bikes that I could potentially pick up this weekend.

    Gary Fisher Marlin- Bontranger edition (sp?) for 400$ OBO

    or

    Felt q520 for 350$

    Assuming they are in the same condition, which is the better prospect? I think I can't go wrong with either bike, so I'm thinking the one in better condition or cheaper

  45. #45
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    bikepedia.com can compare them side-by-side. These things change from model year to model year, so get specifics.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  46. #46
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    I have to find out the year of the Bontranger. Also, I couldn't find that edition on bikepedia when I had looked so I'll have to google that too. I'm leaning towards the felt because it's 2009, which is relatively new.

    The Tassajara I had checked out must have been old because it didn't even have disk breaks (unless they were removed).

  47. #47
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    Okay, talked to the guy with the Marlin. He said he'll take 350$ for it (he admitted he paid 400$, reminiscent of people expecting too much on craigslist haha). Doesn't know the year of the bike, just it says "gold edition".

  48. #48
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    There is no Bontrager Edition. There's also no Gold Edition. Bontrager is a house brand Trek uses to release a lot of parts for their bikes. The seller probably just saw "Bontrager" in big print on the saddle or something. Maybe some other part is the "gold edition" of that part. Probably just means it's a messed up OEM spec. Specialized has a lot of "superlight" versions of things on their bikes. Often it means they asked the OEM to use a lighter steer tube and skip a couple of features, for example.

    On the occasion that there really is a different edition of a mountain bike (for example, the Jetta Trek promotion, some K2 bikes sold through sporting goods stores) it usually just means that someone else wanted to put a little higher gloss on the spec. to make it sound better. So they might have better brakes or something, and sometimes they'll save some money on some other part of the bike to avoid actually paying more for it. Very bikesdirect.

    I think the MSRP for the Marlin is more than $400. (What's up with people putting the $ after a number? It's like sticking % or a unit of measurement before a number... Please tell me you use the right units of measurement, in the right places, in your science classes and don't screw around with the notation in calculus.) Look for the original MSRP to get a sense of what you're looking at. It's nice for the seller that he got a deal when he purchased; he has no reason to pass it along to you. I don't know why he even told you what he paid, except that people have a need to tell strangers how awesome they are at bargaining, even if it's against their own interest.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  49. #49
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    Haha, I completely understand your pet peeve. I know it's the other way around but sometimes when I type online I reverse the order, most likely because I'm thinking in my head "x dollars". I can also assure you that such a typo is pretty trivial in regards to my science classes.

    I might have to go with the Felt then. It's most likely newer and it looks barely used. I appreciate all your help man, even your jabs at my intellectual integrity.

  50. #50
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    You can do better than the marlin. Check out this 2011 felt 620. Probably get it for the same price as the GF.

    like new 2011 mens mountain bike

  51. #51
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    Ended up getting the Feltq520 since the Felt you posted was sold. Got the bike for an okay price and it seems super comfortable and in pretty good condition. Too bad I can't ride it since we got a nice October snow storm.


  52. #52
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    Good look'n bike. People seem to really like those felts.

    You may want to see how it feels with the seat more level. It looks like it's pointed up and adjusted all the way aft. Try some different positions to see what's comfortable for you. Small changes in position may make a noticeable difference.

    Time to get some dirt on it....

  53. #53
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    Thanks for the pointers! I don't have the tools to adjust the seat at the moment, sadly. The seat feels a bit high for my liking (17.5 frame and I'm 5'9) but the previous owner suggested higher seating for conservation of energy; he rides road bikes mostly, however.

    I can already tell that I will want an upgraded seat.

  54. #54
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    If you want to ride off-road as well look at a 29er if you can. It's a sea change in the MTB world and you likely won't regret getting one.

  55. #55
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    Put on some tights and go ride. One of the fun things about mountain bikes is that a little snow doesn't prevent riding. Actually it's a lot of fun.

    Get a multi tool and play around with your saddle before you throw money at a new one. Bicycle saddles are highly sensitive to correct setup and you also need to toughen up a little. If you can't make it work in a couple weeks or it's too narrow to support your sit bones, get a new one. The price of a saddle and its level of comfort have very little relationship.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tactix23 View Post
    Thanks for the pointers! I don't have the tools to adjust the seat at the moment, sadly. The seat feels a bit high for my liking (17.5 frame and I'm 5'9) but the previous owner suggested higher seating for conservation of energy; he rides road bikes mostly, however.

    I can already tell that I will want an upgraded seat.

    I've recently helped a couple of friends buy their first real bikes, and in the beginning they all insisted on riding with their seat settings really low, and they complained of not enough padding on the seats.

    You're not suppose to be able to sit on the seat when the bike isn't moving. Having it high and having a narrow seat makes a huge difference. Initially it's uncomfortable, but as you ride more you'll get use to it.

  57. #57
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    Okay, great. I wasn't sure if higher seating was more geared toward road bikes (for conservation of energy) than having it low and out of the way for mountain biking. I'll probably take the bike out tonight since the streets are clear but the roads are dead- nothing like 10inches of snow while the trees still have leaves to really mess things up.

  58. #58
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    The low saddle thing isn't really for conservation of energy. It's more about biomechanical efficiency. The quadriceps doesn't get great leverage when someone's knee is extremely bent. The hamstring doesn't get great leverage when someone's leg is completely straight. So a good saddle position doesn't make the rider do either of those things. Working the quadriceps hard with a very bent leg also puts a lot of pressure on the knee - not great for those of us who'd like to ride for another forty years or so before hanging up the bikes.

    I'm happiest when I have enough bend in my knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke to engage my hamstring well.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    The low saddle thing isn't really for conservation of energy. It's more about biomechanical efficiency. The quadriceps doesn't get great leverage when someone's knee is extremely bent. The hamstring doesn't get great leverage when someone's leg is completely straight. So a good saddle position doesn't make the rider do either of those things. Working the quadriceps hard with a very bent leg also puts a lot of pressure on the knee - not great for those of us who'd like to ride for another forty years or so before hanging up the bikes.

    I'm happiest when I have enough bend in my knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke to engage my hamstring well.
    ^ Good info. Muscles only contract to put tension on tendons which pull the bone a certain direction. You have muscles surrounding the bone, so different muscles are providing the power to move your limbs certain directions. The big reason for putting your saddle up to get near full leg extension is to make better use of more muscle groups, which includes the gluts and hams. Larger muscles are typically stronger and more efficient. I'm not sure how it all plays out in a cycling motion, but I thought quads straighten out a bent knee, hams bend the leg at the knee, glutes pull the leg back, and abs pull your leg up/forward. With a straighter leg, all 3 seem to work and with it bent, only quads seem to be doing work when pushing down.

    I prefer to think of it this way: you are doing a squat or leg press. Which is easier, pushing a load with your body lower and knees bent more, or higher with knees bent less? When trying to find the max you can leg press on a leg press machine, I bet you can push so much more by "cheating" and not bending your leg as much.

    Of course, all the muscles help and it's not wise to neglect any, instead focusing on a few, but think of your knees. There's soft tissue between your knees that allow it to bend smoothly. They're like bushings. The more range of flex they're subject to, they faster they wear out. You don't want to wear that out so soon and considering the high RPMs of cycling (compared to walking and running) and long crank arms people favor... at the same RPM, if you limit the range of motion, you better preserve them.

    Congrats on the bike. Used is always a good route to go. I bought my first bike used after growing out of bikes (ie. getting a car). I then got serious once I got time to ride, I bought new, going to the Wal-mart of real bikes, Bikesdirect (factory direct bikes), then bought used to try out full suspension, then finally getting an used super high end FS rig with all the latest heavily marketed tech. Don't think I'll ever consider buying new again, considering my experience with used and my mechanical experience.

  60. #60
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    Good stuff, as I am also searching for a used one. thx guys

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