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  1. #1
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    Ok, how about this sub-$400 bike?

    Hi,

    Still questing for a sub-$400 bike, came across an ad for a Trek 6700 for $300. Here's the description:

    Comes with bottle holder, CicloMaster computer, New Shimano Deore XT rear derailer, Shimano Deore front derailer, Rock Shox Judy C front suspension, and the rest of the parts are Bontrager (cranks, seat and seat post, tires and wheels, handlebars and bar ends). It is a medium (fits someone about 5'8'' to 6'1'').
    He says it's been professionally maintained at a bike shop. Great shape with some scuffs.

    Any thoughts on buying a used bike? Being a newb I wouldn't know what to look for, and the description of the parts mean nothing to me.

    Thanks,

    Paul

  2. #2
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    Is this the bike?

    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...6700&Type=bike

    If so you're looking at a 7 year old bike with original MSRP of $879. Based on your description, doesn't sound like it's had many upgrades except for maybe the rear derailleur.

    I would say $300 is reasonable if it's in good shape, and ready to ride. But you have to be careful with used bikes. If it needs a tune up, that's going to be $50 at a shop. Then the biggest thing to watch out for is a worn out drive train. If the drive train is worn out it'll need a new cassette, chain, and at least new middle front chain ring. That will run you about $100 in parts plus installation. So find out when these parts were last replaced, and if they have never been replaced watch out. If you test ride the bike, and everything isn't perfect, I wouldn't get the bike.

  3. #3
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    How old is it and who is selling it to you?
    If you're not falling, then you're not riding fast enough!
    Ibex Asta Pro SE & Giant XTC-2

  4. #4
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    I e-mailed the guy for more details. Thanks for the tip on what to look for. If I hear back from him I'll post the reply.

    Paul

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by baraant
    How old is it and who is selling it to you?
    Good questions. I wrote the seller (craigslist) and I'll post more info when I hear back.

    Paul

  6. #6
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    Mtn bikes lose their value pretty quick and if that bike is as old as it sounds (Judy C forks are old and not very good) with those specs (which aren't all that great), I can't see it being worth $300 even if in excellent shape.

    You have companies now like bikesdirect.com that are selling new bikes with decent entry-level specs for just a little more than that. For example, if you could go just a little over $400, this bike is specced better than typical entry-level bikes with a Dart 2 fork (better than the Dart 1 on most bikes in that price range and way better than a Judy C) and Deore -level components.
    You don't get a great bike for $400, but some of the new bikes in that price range are actually better than bikes that cost twice that much 5 years ago. There is some real crap in that price range as well, so be careful.

    One of the big things I noticed with this new crop of sub-$500 bikes is that they tend to put on a couple of decent components or brand name components and then hype the quality of the bike based on those components. For example, the bikesdirect bike in the link I provided is promoted as "with Shimano XT 27 Speeds" when in reality all it has is an XT rear derailleur and everything else is deore or non-shimano stuff (all lower quality than XT). I also see a lot of the lower cost bikes pushing brand name components like Rock Shox forks. Well, a Rock Shox Dart 1 is NOT representative of Rock Shox forks. It's basically a cheap fork for entry level bikes that just happens to say Rock Shox on it. Even the Dart 2 and Dart 3 are not what I would consider typical Rock Shox quality forks, but they are a step above the Dart 1.

    I personally don't own a bikesdirect bike so I'm just giving my opinion based on the specs.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, and thanks for the detailed explanation. I appreciate the tutorial on components. Really, $140 is not much above $300 (and still in my target range). No one else seems to sell Windsor, though that's just the name on the frame and everything else is from other manufacturers so I guess that doesn't matter.

    Next question...if I buy online and take it to the local shop will they hate me, or should I just assemble it myself?

    Paul

  8. #8
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    From what I've heard the assembly process is straight forward and it's explained. I'm sure someone else will be able to give you more details though. Also you're going to take it into a lbs eventually so even if you had to take it there you would be dealing with the uncomfortable moment sooner instead of later.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  9. #9
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    My guess is that Windsor may be a brand owned by bikesdirect.com but I'm not sure. You may want to check out the Motocane Forum which is the main brand sold by bikesdirect (and I think is also owned by bikesdirect).

    As to the bike shop issue, if you're even mildly mechanically inclined, you should be able to assemble it yourself and also learn to work on your own bike for most of the stuff. Bike shops will service any bikes and I doubt they would give you attitude over a repair (maybe a little over assembling a mail order bike ). But when you're buying a budget bike, you probalby don't want to be spending a whole lot on bike shop labor for repairs anyway.

    If you don't want to assemble or service your own bike you may just want to buy an entry level bike from your bike shop. Mountain bikes require regular adjustments, re-adjustments and maintenance, and generally some of the initial re-adjustments will be included in the price from your LBS.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  10. #10
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    Great posts... Here's a youtube video someone made. Any bike that's shipped to you will come in about the same stage of assembly. I learned a lot when assembling and tuning my Forge. Plus, I enjoyed it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaJHFAgq7ZI

  11. #11
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    It takes me about 20-30 minutes to build a bike out of a box and have it tuned up, but I do it all day at work.
    If this is your first build, it should take you about 1.5-2 hours if you take your time and are totally meticulous. You could whip it together alot faster, but take your time and enjoy it. You will learn alot about the bike and feel more as "one" with it. If you ever have a problem on the trail, chances are you will be able to fix it.
    Your LBS won't hate you because they will be charging you to build it if you take it to them, but I'd say to do it yourself.
    It's funny, I have a sick set of bike tools at home, but whenever I build a bike for myself, 90% of the time I usually end up using my trusty multi bike tool to do the build. Otherwise I'd end up over torquing bolts if I used my ratchets and stuff. The last tool I need is a good torque wrench, but it isn't a must have unless you are using alot of carbon or titanium parts.
    Build your own, its easy. If you have probs, ask us here or take it to the LBS for them to finish.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  12. #12
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    I don't know about the Windsor mountain bikes, but I met a guy who bought a couple Windsor road bikes from BD and he was pretty happy with them. Nothing fancy, but good value for the price.

  13. #13
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    One thing you may want to check before buying online is the vendor's return policy - just in case you get a bike and find that it's not a good fit. Just a thought...

  14. #14
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    Thanks...doesn't look too bad. What's he adjusting at about 4 minutes in? I assume at about 5 minutes he's tweaking the disc brakes.

    I liked the song too...who is it?

    Paul

  15. #15
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    You might look at at trek 4500 or a trek 4300 with disc brakes.

    The frame is decent for the price, the components are decent (The gila fork is very squishy though and I gotta say this is the downside of the bike), but I've owned two 4300's. I had a 2006 one and just picked up a 2008 model on the cheap last week. I swapped the seat out for a better seat, a new seat post, some bar ends, and added some shimano 520's for clipless pedals and a rear fender. I use the 4300 as a bike path bike and a commuter bike and I think it's a good quality entry level bike on the cheap. I like the piece of mind of having a lifetime warranty on my frame since I weigh almost 300 lbs and am hard on equipment.


    By the way the bike he is adjusting in the video looks to be a 2007 trek 4300 disc brake model I believe? You can still find these bikes for around $400. The new 2008 disc will run you around $479 depending on the shop. It would be a screamer with a new fork and some clipless pedals.
    P.S. the song is "Bicycle Race" by Queen.

    A classic song, not as good as "Fat Bottom Girls" though heheh

    The song at 4-5 minutes is "Bicycle Song" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

    I think the thing you are wondering what he is doing is he is tuning up the rear deraileur to be sure it is shifting smoothly through all the gears and making sure it is adjusted so it doesn't jump the chain rings and have chain suck. I love watching bike workers adjust the rear deraileurs. It looks awesome.
    Last edited by DrNickels; 03-28-2008 at 07:43 PM.

  16. #16
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    http://rstmtbstore.com/index.html

    Contact RST about getting an extra stiff spring for that Gila. I put 1 in my Gila T4 (2004) model. They should have 1 for you.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  17. #17
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    Sweet! Thanks savage! I bottomed it out the other day just doing a drop of about 2 1/2 feet to flat going 10 mph

    Scared the hell out me! hahah

    I tried that jump on my friend's trek 6500 and the rockshart dart didn't squish that hard!

  18. #18
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    Hey Dr. when you bottomed out the Gila did the tire rub the crown and make a buzzing noise? That used to happen with mine and scared the hell outta me.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  19. #19
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    Savage,

    yes it did I thought "oh ****, I just busted the springs or put the bottom brackets out of the fork"

    I am constantly freaking out because I weigh almost 300 lbs and I know the gila is not a strong or high end fork, and well just worried I will destroy it with moderate effort haha.

    Now a rock shox tora. **** I could beat that thing with a sledge on a ride and not worry about wrecking it haha

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the tip on the bike and the music. I knew Bicycle Race but not Bicycle Song.

    As it turns out the used bike is a 2001 so it looks like it's a much better value to go new.

    Paul

  21. #21
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    It's a 2001. I'm going to take a pass since it's clear I can get a good new bike for just a little bit more money.

    Paul

  22. #22
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    Last evaluation I'll ask for (hopefully). I've realized I can go back and forth forever, getting hung up in the minutiae, when I'll easily do fine at my price range and for my expected riding style.

    Dick's Sporting Goods weekly circular came out and they've got the Diamondback 08 Response Sport for $399. I'm also looking at the Windsor Cliff 4900, the exact same price (BD adds $40 for shipping according to their ebay pages). At least at Dick's they have an in-store technician to adjust everything so I'll have to factor a little bit for my labor.

    Thanks again everyone - you've all been very helpful!

    Paul

  23. #23
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    $400 bike

    Check out the Iron Horse Maverick 5.5 for $399.95 at performancebike.com.There are two.One is a gold color and the other is the performance exclusive edition on the second page of MTBs' at performance.This subject was recently discussed.Look in my profile & bring up my posts with Joe Joe & others.I believe the ex clusive model is blue.Both are hard to beat deals.---zarr

  24. #24
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    thats a good bike. if you could go comp it would be a better bike, but i understand the whole spending amount thing. good luck!!!

  25. #25
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    Are you talking abuot the Marzocchi MX comp on the gold bike?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Check out the Iron Horse Maverick 5.5 for $399.95 at performancebike.com.There are two.One is a gold color and the other is the performance exclusive edition on the second page of MTBs' at performance.This subject was recently discussed.Look in my profile & bring up my posts with Joe Joe & others.I believe the ex clusive model is blue.Both are hard to beat deals.---zarr
    I took a look and did a "compare" between the two but I don't know enough to know which fork, frame, derailleur is better, though since they're the same price in the same shop I can't imagine one being a lot better than the other. Maybe I'll take a drive out there...there's a store not hugely far away.

    Paul

  27. #27
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    I compared them to the Windsor at bikes direct,and it was thought the Mav 5.5 was a better deal.I think the guy earlier was talking about the Marzocchi MX comp fork on the gold bike.They both appear to be good for the money.I dare say I can't find anything better.Plus you have the performance bike shop to back you up for any maintenance issues.They will adjust your shifting & brake cables for the life of your bike I think,and give you your first tune up for free.Plus if you join their "team performance deal before you buy the bike,you'll get money points back on future purchases (if you need a helmet or something).If you can't use the team performance deal on your first purchase,buy a powerbar or something just to get you into it so you can save on your bike purchase.(I'm not exactly sure how it works) You need to Private message me so I can tell you more.You may have to change the springs in your fork if they don't match your weight.(ask at the bike shop) Everybody was a beginner once.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radish
    I took a look and did a "compare" between the two but I don't know enough to know which fork, frame, derailleur is better, though since they're the same price in the same shop I can't imagine one being a lot better than the other. Maybe I'll take a drive out there...there's a store not hugely far away.

    Paul
    The Warrior 3.0 is a good bit more bike than the price difference between it and the Maverick. Performance's is advertising some kind of 20% off deal this weekend, so you may be able to work that in under your budget. You may want to check this thread for more possible savings at Performance:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=395057

    I would stear clear of Dicks, personally. Anyway, good luck and happy riding.

  29. #29
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    Stay away from Dicks' and go to Performance.The guy who talked about the Warrior bike.Would you give us more info?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Stay away from Dicks' and go to Performance.The guy who talked about the Warrior bike.Would you give us more info?
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050

    I looked at these, along with Trek, Specialized, Jamis, Haro... before getting a Forge last year.

  31. #31
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    Yeah,you hooked him up,bro.Better brakes, better bike.The Maverick is still a good bike though,if he doesn't take advantage of the Warrior deal.You can't beat that Warrior deal with a baseball bat.

  32. #32
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    Plus don't forget you can put 25% down & lay the bike away if you don't have all the money right away! (for 90 days- or maybe more if you ask!)

  33. #33
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    Whoooa there!

    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Are you talking abuot the Marzocchi MX comp on the gold bike?
    Do not confuse the MX comp (good fork) with the MZ comp (sucky fork). IMO any rigid fork is an improvment over a fork without dampening.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  34. #34
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    Here you go... This bike has a really nice fork, but may be a bit more than Raddish wants to spend.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050

    This site's review's section has a good bit of info on forks. You're not going to get a 400 dollar fork on a 400 dollar bike.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    Here you go... This bike has a really nice fork, but may be a bit more than Raddish wants to spend.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3050

    This site's review's section has a good bit of info on forks. You're not going to get a 400 dollar fork on a 400 dollar bike.
    Yeah, maybe just a tad outside my range...thanks though

    Paul

  36. #36
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    I misread the Z for an x.(my bad) The Maverick5.5 performance exclusive has a Rock Shox Dart2 on it.Is that any improvement over the MZ comp? Keep in mind we are talking about $400 bikes now.Also,do you know if the 2004 Marzocchi MXcomp 29er at jensonusa.com for $174 is any good?(worth the money?)

  37. #37
    Rod
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    The warrior is a good deal. It has much better parts than my 450 dollar bike I bought in 06.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  38. #38
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    Next question...I went with the "none of the above" option and after doing some reading think, geez, maybe I should have gone with the Iron Horse Maverick 5.5 (non-performance). I picked up a GT Avalanche 3.0 disc. Did I screw up?

    On the bright side they had Thule carriers on sale (made in US!) so I picked one up to haul the family's bikes around.

    Paul

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    Yeah,you should have got the Iron Horse Warrior 3.0 or the Maverick 5.5.Both are better bikes,the Warrior 3.0 being the best of the three(I believe the Mav 5.5 performance exclusive is number- the blue one)Then the gold 5.5 as number three.But hey,one of the first things I learned is you don't knock nobody's ride.Think about how many people you know who won't even ride a bike! I get comments like,"If I ride something with 2 wheels,it better have a motor on it! So enjoy your bike,dude.Don't forget to always wear a helmet (even though it might be uncomfortable for you-get a comfortable one),and wear at least half finger gloves to protect your hands if for no other reason in case you fall (so your hands don't get ripped up) .See you on the trail!! ---zarr

  40. #40
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    One reason I liked the Avalanche was the ability to lockout the fork, since a fair amount of my riding will be on pavement with the family.

    Thanks for the tip on the helmet Picked one up today.

    The bike is so much lighter than my last bike, a cheap Norco I got in grad school 15 years ago. I put a lot of miles on that bike though...back before wife, kids, bills...

    Paul

  41. #41
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    Helmets,gloves,riding glasses to keep dust and bugs out of your eyes are very important.Even sometimes cloth surgical masks or some type of dust mask are necessary to keep knats and other bugs from going in your nose and mouth-plus dust.Otherwise you ride and spit,ride and blow your nose. ... ... Take care dude.---zarr

  42. #42
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    Oh Yeah-and if you got plastic pedals on your bike get rid of them and get some pedals with aluminum bodies.(for safety)

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Oh Yeah-and if you got plastic pedals on your bike get rid of them and get some pedals with aluminum bodies.(for safety)
    Safety? Why are they safer?

    Paul

  44. #44
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    I've seen several plastic pedals where the axel busts through the body of the pedal and can cause some serious injuries. Plastic pedals are cool for jamming around town, but i wouldn't do any heavy trail riding on them. Especially if you plan on your tires leaving the ground.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  45. #45
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    If you apply too much pressure on those plastic pedals, there is a good possibility they could crack and break,causing unwanted injury.Stong aluminum pedals are very important.(BMX style platform pedals,aluminum body MTB pedals or clipless pedals.Companies put cheap plastic pedals on bikes to cut costs.

  46. #46
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    Check out danscomp.com for a pretty good selection of 9/16 inch BMX style pedals.(9/16 is the spindle size for mountain crankarms) You can pick up a good set for 20 to 40 bucks.

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    They are speaking the truth. As soon as my trek 4300 left the rack I had the bike shop throw on a set of shimano 520 clipless pedals for free (you can really get some gear if you bargain with the shop owners). If you haven't rode clipless pedals before, do a search on the forums here for a good how to on riding them. Once you go clipless you will never go back to platforms!

  48. #48
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    I can't use clipless because I have Charcot foot (I think I spelled that right-it means a bad foot).(Diabetes complications) But nonetheless,please don't use plastic pedals-no matter what.I would dare to say,get some 1/2 inch aluminum pedals for the kids' bikes too.(You can't be too safe)

  49. #49
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    Should you decide to change bikes,you can buy a lockout separately for some forks (Maybe the Dart2 on the Maverick 5.5 performance exclusive),and have them install it for you.

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