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  1. #1
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    Giant MCM SE Composite? With crack pic?

    This bike is nearby, and I'm wondering what it's worth, and whether I should bother.. I know component upgrades add up fast. This bike has been listed locally before.

    Giant mcm dr composite

    I mostly ride Michigan singletracks and trails, and train on road bikes. I am currently getting by with an entry level K2 Zed that I picked up used. I am saving for a new or used hard tail, and researching what I should buy (26 or 29er, etc) and how much I should spend.

    I'm not sure this bike can take discs. I've generally eliminated non-disc bikes from consideration. I might be much further ahead just spending $350-$600 on a more modern used bike, or springing for a new bike? I'm still on the 26 vs 29er fence. Good used bikes seem scarce up here.

    I'm thinking I'll go look at it, but I want to be somewhat informed before I do. From my searches it isn't clear what model or year it is. It's a 19.5, and I am 6'. Fwiw, my mechanical skills are excellent.

    So... Stay away? Consider?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by GlugGlug; 06-20-2013 at 04:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Is that a crack?

    I went over and took a look. It was getting dark, but I took some photos.

    The bike was very dirty. Deore LX. Unknown crank, with a bit of BB play. Leaking Manitou Spyder forks. V-brakes with rusty springs. And a flat rear tire that failed as they were pumping it up for my visit.

    They are fixing the tire this evening, and I will be returning to ride it and further examine the frame.

    I see great reviews of this bike - even from people who had cracking issues.

    I was just looking over the photos again and see what might be a horizontal crack. Think so? Or is that just paint cracking?


  3. #3
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    Regardless of price, that looks like a completely abused/non-maintained bike. Skip it. Too many potential problems. You'd be better off getting a budget frame and building your own from existing parts off yer Zed plus whatever new parts required to fit the new frame. That Giant looks nasty.

  4. #4
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    Don't buy it, just walk away and look for something else.
    Abused and put away wet. it's not worth it.
    Good luck in your search.....
    Climb into the sky, never wonder why - Tailgunner
    You're a Tailgunner

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, just *filthy*, isn't it? My LBS has a big ultrasonic cleaner and it's so bad that I'd be tempted to pay them to throw it all in (except the frame), rather than spend the countless hours cleaning it.

    I rode it last night. The tires were under-inflated, so the bike felt very sluggish. Rule 1 selling a bike: have the tires fully inflated or it will feel like a pig! It totally killed any wow factor of an extremely light bike. It felt more sluggish than my rather heavy K2.

    Also... It had a somewhat noodly feel. That was hard to isolate with the under-inflation. But when riding on the road, on the seat, and laterally flexing the bars side to side, it seemed to have a lot of flex. I'm not talking hard torquing like you'd do when pedaling hard - just gentle efforts produced the feeling of flex. I am inexperienced with carbon frames, so I'm not sure if that is typical.

    Anyway, I figured the dirt in those photos would inspire a major negative reaction. It is painful to look at that. That's stuff that could have been hosed off. The thing about dirt like that is it traps moisture day in, day out with the humidity changes in a garage while the bike is stored through the seasons. That trapped moisture leads to corrosion, and corrosion tends to progress. And if there is any road salt in there, oh boy.

    The bike was described as "great shape". The rear shifter was gunked up to the point the lever wouldn't return - you had to move it back with your fingers. The bike was only 10 minutes away, so it was no big deal and well worth looking at. It was a good learning experience. Just like used cars - if you don't go and look, you'll never learn what to look for. A friend and I would go look at cars at lunch, and we made a game of who would spot the evidence of major collision damage first - and they almost all do.

    I have very different definitions of "great" and "excellent". A "great shape" bike should obviously be ready to be ridden, and well cared for.. and no hub slop (rear hub also had significant play), or BB play, or forks covered with oil (the manual says they leak if the bike is hung, so that wasn't necessarily a huge deal - they felt okay).

    Anyway, after the ride I laid out a large piece of cardbord to sit on and started inspecting the frame with a light and a magnifier. I wiped it down to get a good look. I noticed a straight line around the BB. Probably where the BB lug ends. It was fairly smooth.

    More concerning were the apparent cracks on the top tube near the seat post. Those seemed to have some depth to them - the paint was flaking and the gap in the paint growing larger. If you look at the detail in the large photo, those look quite bad to my novice eyes. The quarter test was uncertain - there was some dullness to the sound on the crack itself, possibly due to the paint flaking.

    I did not flake the paint away, since it was not my bike. But at that point I was done. I did not continue the inspection to other areas. The anxiety over those apparent cracks would take the fun out of the bike, and I don't think I'd be able to enjoy it. Maybe they are a non-issue, but it was not for me. I'm 190-200 lbs, so not huge but not light.

    The k2 isn't a bad bike and it was a decent buy for $90. I've rebuilt the bearings, new brake cables, pads, and chain. But when I "launch" off a 1' drop, oh it feels like a very big deal to those forks and wheels. It is not the KDX 250 that I once raced and jumped with abandon.

    So my plan is to ride the k2 for now, trying to not sink any money into it, and keep my eyes open for good used bikes. I'm in the process of growing a business, so money is tight.

    There is a Trek demo event this weekend, so I'm going to check that out and get some experience with modern bikes and 29er's. I'm expecting it will be a hugely useful learning experience and help me narrow my focus and plan. I have a lot of questions right now over sport, trail, freeride types of tradeoffs vs. weight. And also frame material.


  6. #6
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    Just remembered something from looking at the exposed cloth in the photos. I think I remember reading that this bike uses some kevlar. Kevlar is incredibly strong but much more flexible than CF. So perhaps that has something to do with the feel.

  7. #7
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    Glad to see you didn't buy it, ride what you have
    and wait.
    Climb into the sky, never wonder why - Tailgunner
    You're a Tailgunner

  8. #8
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    I did what may have been a stupid thing today.... I went to a local Trek demo event and rode a Fuel 9.8, Superly 100, and Superfly.

    Really love that Fuel, and the Superfly. Well, it gives me a point of reference

    And needless to say those CF bikes did not have the noodly feeling of the mcm.

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