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.
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
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    what to look for when buying a used bike

    i am looking to buy a used bike to get me started into mountain biking. and i have been looking on ebay and CL. i was just wondering if there was any buying tips you guys could bestow unto me.
    my dream is to buy an older full suspension bike that has disc brakes. i would be ok with even a nice hardtail but the only stipulations i truly have are disc brakes and a trigger style shifters. if there is any info on buying used bikes or stories on ebay or craigslist you could share with me it would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Do you have a budget ? Do yuo know anything about bikes? It's a lot like buying anything used ,you should check it over with an eye to things whats worn ,how trustworthy the seller seems .Knowing what simular bikes have sold for. Ebay ,bikpedia and the bike blue book can give you a idea on prices . Your local shop might check a bike for you for a small fee .

  3. #3
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    I personally learned the difference in the part rankings for the SRAM and Shimano components. Then I found my fit at a LBS. Then I decided on a wheel size after testing some models I liked at my LBS. Only then did I go on CL and start shopping. I wanted one with low miles, and low wear so I shopped around for close to a whole month before making my purchase. I am glad I waited though because the bike I ended up with was cheaper and much better than several of my first impulse buy attempts.

  4. #4
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    In addition to wear and tear on parts and suspension look for dings, deep scratches, cracks or any sign of abuse.

    Out there you may find a barely used or a very abused well disguised bike and everything in between.

    Take your time, learn the jargon, learn how the type of bike you want looks like and how it works before committing to a purchase.

  5. #5
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    ive been looking on this forum for close to month now and i think that i can make an informed decision about what parts are good. i have a budget of 500. that is the absolute maximum i will to spend to get me started into the sport. i need at least a 20" frame and in my area those are hard to come buy. like i said i am looking to get a bike with disc brakes and trigger shifters that is of decent age.(i dont want an old bike that is just gonna break on me) ive gone and looked at a couple of bikes and have not been too impressed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomy169 View Post
    i am looking to buy a used bike to get me started into mountain biking. and i have been looking on ebay and CL. i was just wondering if there was any buying tips you guys could bestow unto me.
    my dream is to buy an older full suspension bike that has disc brakes. i would be ok with even a nice hardtail but the only stipulations i truly have are disc brakes and a trigger style shifters. if there is any info on buying used bikes or stories on ebay or craigslist you could share with me it would be much appreciated.
    I had a really bad expirience buying a used bike out of CL that I don't even want to hear about used bikes anyomre. Just raise some more $$ and get

  7. #7
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    I've helped several friends buy GREAT bikes off of Craigslist. How could it be bad? Find some bikes you are interested in. Go look at and ride the bikes and if you like it you pay for it and take it home. There really isn't much that can be hidden on a bike so you are paying for what you see (damage and components) and feel (how items on the bike function).

    That being said, I wouldn't buy a bike from someone who has ridden a mountain bike as hard as it can be ridden. If the bike looks like it has had the crap beat out of it, I'd keep looking.

    I would suggest you save a little more money and get a bike you will really enjoy riding.

    A lot of great riding can be done without disc brakes.
    Last edited by alphazz; 04-30-2013 at 05:20 PM.

  8. #8
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    Having disc brakes and trigger shifters doesn't tell you what's bad and what's good, you got to know what brand, what model in order to know if they're good. Now there are tons of other stuff to look for too(geometry,fork, cranks, deraileurs, cassette, rims, hubs, brakes etc... its the overall package that determine if a bike is good or not.

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