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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    What defects to look for when purchasing a used mountain bike

    I am looking at purchasing a used 2011 cobia. I am new to mountain biking so don't know a lot about what breaks or what would fail first on bikes. So I am wanting to know when looking at a used bike does anyone have any suggestions for key things to watch for or look for when checking out the bike before I buy it. Obviously i need to ride it and check the shifting and all out but what other things should i really look at to make sure I am not getting screwed over.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I've bought a lot of used bikes and the first thing I look at is the condition of the chain and sprockets. If a measurement of the chain shows that it's in good condition and the chain rings and cassette are in similarly good shape then that is usually a pretty fair indicator of the rest of the bike. Conversely, if the chain is really stretched and the teeth on the chain rings look like you could saw wood with them then you are very likely to find other issues. New drivetrain parts can be $100+.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    ^ This and This v

    1. Look at the frame closely, every inch for cracks. Stand next to the bike and place your foot on the petal in a down position with one hand on the stem and one on the seat. Apply pressure to flex the frame. If there is any creaking, examine closer.

    2. Take to a LBS to do a safety check, most will do this for $0.

    3. If there are reflectors on the wheels, you are probably good to go.(kidding)


  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Re: What defects to look for when purchasing a used mountain bike

    ^ YouTube check chain wear. You can do it with a decent ruler or measuring tape.

    print out a list of specs, make sure the parts match what was stock on the bike. check shock, derailleurs, shifters, brakes, handlebard, stem, saddle. If they swapped any parts out to cheaper versions, make sure the price reflects that.

    read this thread for a hierarchy of tiers of components:
    Is this a good deal for a First Bike?

    Looking for a similar bike on ebay.
    trek cobia | eBay

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's
    Last edited by bob13bob; 03-16-2013 at 05:35 PM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Not necessarily a tip on what to look for on the bike itself but ask the seller questions. When did you buy it, why are you selling it, what sort of riding have you done etc.

    I can tell you every detail of my bikes; why I've got the various bits and pieces on them, where they've been ridden, how long I've had them etc.

    Do the answers seem genuine, is the seller holding a fluent conversation with you or does it seem like they're making stuff up. If you're unsure - walk away.


    Danny B

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