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  1. #1
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    New Rider Advice on inexpensive used bikes - considering these 4 options

    New to the site and looking to get into mountain bike riding. I need to start out on the cheap with something around $400.

    Would be mostly riding trails, so probably better off with a hardtail but full suspension might be nice.

    Considering these bikes, all of which are 20 + years old:

    98 Diamondback DBR V6 full suspension. Very good condition. $350
    Klein Pinnacle - Good. $300
    Trek 9.8 OCLV full carbon - Good. $400
    Marin Rift Zone full suspension - Shimano stx - $450

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
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    All are way overpriced. IDK, maybe the Klein has a cult following that drives up the price but for a beginner bike, way overpriced for one that old. You can get something much newer for around $400. If you're going for something old, stick with a hardtail.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  3. #3
    tire to rim ratio tester
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    All are way overpriced. IDK, maybe the Klein has a cult following that drives up the price but for a beginner bike, way overpriced for one that old. You can get something much newer for around $400. If you're going for something old, stick with a hardtail.

    In the spirit of not extrapolating from incomplete data, BHD108 can you answer the following questions below?

    Your height and weight

    What kind of trails you want to ride and riding style (casual/fun, or more aggressive like taking bigger jumps and going down the hill 20+ mph)


    Then we will have some data to work with, right Dr. Chazpat?
    Pierced from below, souls of my treacherous past

  4. #4
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHD108 View Post
    New to the site and looking to get into mountain bike riding. I need to start out on the cheap with something around $400.

    Would be mostly riding trails, so probably better off with a hardtail but full suspension might be nice.

    Considering these bikes, all of which are 20 + years old:

    98 Diamondback DBR V6 full suspension. Very good condition. $350
    Klein Pinnacle - Good. $300
    Trek 9.8 OCLV full carbon - Good. $400
    Marin Rift Zone full suspension - Shimano stx - $450

    Any advice is appreciated.
    I agree with chaz's advice. Keep looking and don't be afraid to offer less than the asking price. In the interest of saving time, maybe half what they're asking is more than fair. If they won't take it keep looking as there are plenty of bikes out there.

    Or just pick this one up from Nashbar for ~$380 shipped brand new. It's not top of the line and won't handle the rougher trails but would be great for easier trails to get started. And assuming you don't wreck it you should be able to get back at least half when you go to sell/upgrade later.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    In the spirit of...right Dr. Chazpat?
    What exactly is the point of this personal attack? To make yourself feel more important/smarter? Good luck with that.

  5. #5
    Cycologist
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    Yes. Looks like he/she is from Cali so depending on what part, rich may have a good idea of what the trails are like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I'm 6'1" 175 lbs. I'm just getting into riding, done some casual street/urban riding when I lived in the bay area. Now I'm living in a more rural mountainous area and want to do a bit of offroad, trail riding. I have not ridden in about 6 years so I'd say I'll be starting out doing casual riding, not so much flying down mountain trails at 20+ mph at this point. but I can see myself getting into that a bit down the road perhaps, and at that point would look for a better bike anyway.

    I wasn't targeting old bikes particularly. However, my reasoning in those choices was that with my limited budget there are generally two types of bikes I could get, a newer but really low end bike, or a higher end bike that is much older, with high miles, and therefore cheaper. The newer bike will have much lesser components and be heavier, and the older bike will be a lighter frame with better components, etc.

    This brings up an interesting question, do you guys/girls recommend buying a newer lower end bike or an older higher end bike? The Trek carbon bike for example was probably $2000+ new, has a lighter, better geometry, and more durable frame, with some XTR/XT components. Obviously it will not ride like it did out of the factory. But will it be a better ride, even with the high miles, than an excellent condition bike that was $500 new?

  7. #7
    Cycologist
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    I would consider going somewhere in the middle, a used bike but not one so old. The thing about an old full suspension is that you may not be able to get bearings and other wear parts for replacement. So unless you find one in very good condition at a good price with the plan to just ride it until those parts wear out, you may get stuck with a poorly performing suspension. I would worry that over 20 years, a carbon frame may have been crashed and damaged but the damage may not be obvious. Even a 20 year old hardtail is going to probably have a worn out fork, and even if it isn't, it probably has not been maintained. Same thing with the drivetrain.

    Newer lower end components will usually perform better than older, worn high end components. Bikes have changed a lot over the last twenty years. I would go with maybe a five year or newer used hardtail if you are comfortable in your ability to check out a used bike or something along the lines that noapathy posted if you aren't.


    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post

    What exactly is the point of this personal attack? To make yourself feel more important/smarter? Good luck with that.
    I took it to just be referencing my username tagline, Cycologist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  8. #8
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    Good advice. Yes, something in the middle would probably be best. I saw a Giant Talon 3 on CL yesterday for only $200 ($540 new) that was less than a year old and in excellent condition. It sold in one day, so those kind of deals are rare and hard to get but there are other Talon 3 bikes for $300 - $400 currently. So finding something that was $700 new that is between 1-3 years old and in excellent condition for about $400-$500 is very possible.

    I'm starting to focus on Giant bikes, as they have lower cost bikes (as well as high end) and seem to sell a lot. Also Trek is like this I feel. No point in trying to find a high end make like Yeti or Santa Cruz, etc.

    Do you feel Giant and Trek are good brands? Any other that make in the 600-700ish dollar range that you recommend?

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