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  1. #1
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    Buying a used MTB - looking for advice

    I am looking at buying my second serious mountain bike, pretty inexperienced. Just sold my 2001 GT iDrive 3.0 that I really liked, and want to upgrade a little. My budget is under 1000, looking used on Craigslist and such. I am leaning towards this one: 2007 specialized stumpjumper fsr
    Any advice and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am 6'1'' and my last frame was a medium - I think i like a little smaller frame than normal. I am looking to ride my local singletrack and some downhill as well. Just looking for a quality bike that will kind of be a jack of all trades. THANKS

  2. #2
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    If that bike fits and it is in good shape, I would jump on it at that price.

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    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  3. #3
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    I can tell you from what I have learned being 6' on a fs bike. You will want some travel. I have 100mm all the way around on a hodgepodge specialized enduro from 2003 or so and I need a good bit more travel. 150-160 would be my idea....but I haven't ridden another bike yet so I can't say for sure.

    Also I wouldn't pay less than 1000 for another fs bike. Don't get me wrong I actually love my bike and love riding it but I have had to learn several skills like rebuilding front and rear shocks, brake setup and replacement, and many other items that usually you don't have to learn within a couple of months of buying it. Its still a solid bike though. Just didn't anticipate the extra $$ I had to shell out just a short time later.

    What I have been saving for is a Santa Cruz Heckler. Good amount of travel with a very sturdy and maintenance free design. Enough travel to do that little bit of downhill you want to do. Besides its got some sweet looks to it as well. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Rod
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    ^^ No idea where that guy is coming from. I disagree because I'm 6'0 or 6'1 and I loved my short travel 100 mm anthem. My bike was designed for cross country racing and it worked perfectly for that. He may just ride more technical trails or more downhill orientated. I do agree that I wouldn't pay less than 1k retail for a full suspension bike, but 1k for a used bike is a very good budget.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  5. #5
    Rod
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    On the topic of the bike in the pic. If it doesn't have any structural damage, frame cracks, dents, etc. or even if there was a small dent, I would jump on it. Most importantly, just make sure it fits. That's an amazing bike for that money.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  6. #6
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    Yes

    Yup, that's a good deal. You could probably even talk the seller down a bit if you have cash in hand. Just make sure it fits! We can't stress that enough. At 6'1, medium is usually going to be too small.
    The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates
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  7. #7
    Two Wheeled Terror
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    Re: Buying a used MTB - looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    ^^ No idea where that guy is coming from. I disagree because I'm 6'0 or 6'1 and I loved my short travel 100 mm anthem. My bike was designed for cross country racing and it worked perfectly for that. He may just ride more technical trails or more downhill orientated. I do agree that I wouldn't pay less than 1k retail for a full suspension bike, but 1k for a used bike is a very good budget.
    100mm is perfect for xc. Its even fine for most of the trails I ride most weekends.....but it is too short for downhill or really technical riding.

    For perspective I bottomed out several times going down cruiser and miracle mile. Two black diamond trails at snow summit big bear.

    I also have an aging bike. I have bomber z1 bam forks up front with the heavy springs. Rear is an older fox float r. So there might be the issue as well.

    Hand typed and Telegraphed

  8. #8
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    From my post in the beginners forum:
    Noob Guide to Buying a used MTB

    Many people when shopping for an entry level bike like to consider used options, but if you don't know what to look for you might not catch issues or problems. A used bike can be a great way to get a nicer bike at the same price as a new entry level bike, and it can also be a huge headache... This post is assuming that the bike is within your budget.

    Here is a Checklist for when checking out a used bike:

    Get a feel for how the owner kept the bike

    Talk to owner about the history
    Check for signs of maintenance (dry rot, rust, frayed cables, dirt/grease)

    Wheels
    No loose, broken or missing spokes
    Wheels bearings have no play and rotate smoothly
    Wheels are true

    Frame
    Does the frame fit me? If it doesn't fit, its not worth it
    No major bends, cracks, huge dents, rust through frame
    No dings or gouges through the resin on Carbon frame
    Push against the cranks to check frame integrity
    Check the dropouts on Carbon frames

    Suspension
    No major dents or breaks
    Compression and rebound is smooth
    Seals are good (holds are pressure, no oil leakage during compression or rebound)
    All the controls function properly

    Drive Train
    No major damage, bent front der. cage, or damaged shifters
    No broken, or otherwise damaged teeth on the chainrings or cassette
    Shifts through all gears smoothly
    Rear derailleur tension springs work fine

    Brakes
    Brake levers have no major damage
    No damage to cable housing or hydraulic lines
    Disc rotors have minimal to no warp
    Brakes actuate and return properly and without hesitation

    Other Parts
    Quick releases function properly
    No tears in the seat and seat rails are straight
    Handlebars and stem have no damage and pass stress test
    Pedal bearings are good and no major damage
    Headset bearings are smooth
    No play in the headset

    MOST IMPORTANT!
    If something feels sketch, just walk away. There are plenty of bikes out there.

    Best of luck!

    -Moe

  9. #9
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    Go with a frame sized for you. I used to think I liked smaller frames as well until I actually put some saddle time on correctly sized frames. It felt awkward at first but as I got used to it I was riding faster. They provided more stability at speed and I kept them responsive by running a short stem.

  10. #10
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    I ended up buying the one I had a link to. The frame size felt fine to me and I went for a ride tonight - couldn't be happier. Thanks for the list of things to look for when I was looking at it. Everything about the purchase assured me I was making the right decision. The guy had an immaculate house, has raced road bikes for 20 years, just bought a new carbon stumpjumper (older guy), and the bike was in almost perfect condition. He has an "in" with a local bike shop since he raced for them and had everything taken care of as it needed to be when things went wrong. I figure that even if I end up unhappy with the frame size I can always resell it and make a good profit. It does need a new back tire soon, has a 2.35 up front, should I get the same size tire for the back? Didn't know it, but it had a thomson elite seatpost that has a little bit of a bend so I sit a little farther back.

  11. #11
    It's about showing up.
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    I like a 2.35 in front and a 2.10 in back.
    I don't rattle.

  12. #12
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    Sounds like you got a steal then!! Enjoy it.

    Hand typed and Telegraphed

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