Old bikes vs the newer stuff- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Old bikes vs the newer stuff

    So I'm looking on craigslist for a used mtb to start riding. I have lot's of experience with road bikes but none with mtb. I'd want something versatile for technical trails, climbing, and small drops.

    I've seen a few 2007-2009 full sus bikes with decent components for around 800 and more recent entry level full sus bikes around $1200. I was just wondering if I should stay away from bikes that are like 8 years old? Hardtail's are also in mind, but thinking about staying with the sport, I thought a fs mtb would be a better investment.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chadd

  2. #2
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    To deal with older fs bikes you need to learn shocks and forks from that era. What parts are needed and if they're still available to do services. And the bushings and bearings for the rear suspension pivot points. Are they available, what tools do you need. The rest of the bike will be like a road bike except for the brakes. Avoid Avids hydros and you'll be ahead. Shimano will be easiest of the hydros. But bikes have been going through some pretty significant development with good increases in performance lately even into the 2017 models with Plus.

  3. #3
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    I personally have no problem with good older bikes that are steel or ti and have good components. I'm a bit wary of used aluminum bikes because it's hard to tell how much life they have left in them. Even if they visually appear to be in good condition, there's really no way to tell how much or how hard they've been ridden. I do occasionally see deals that are good enough it would be worth the purchase for the components alone.
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  4. #4
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    IMO, I'd only consider used if it's a good full suspension or higher end hardtail less than 4 years old, medium hardtail less than 6 years old, or introductory (beginner level) hardtail up to 15 years old. Older than that, you really start getting into parts that are old enough to not fit current standards (especially 1" forks and threaded steer tubes)

    All depends on what it is and condition. For a good quality bike, I would avoid any full suspension older than 2006. Huge upgrade in suspension around 2006, and really no benefit getting a bike that old. New old stock frame would be OK though. After that, I'd really look at condition. A cheaper bike with coil springs are dead reliable. Hard to mess up a coil spring fork, and even if the hydro circuits are going out, they'll still somewhat work (or not, f-it, it's a cheap fork). If it's an air fork, you always run the risk of the previous owner not taking care of it, bad seals, or just old dry-rot from sitting. With quality suspension, it's always a question of how badly they've been treated over the years. With cheap suspension, it started cheap and it's hard for them to go down much further.

    Drivetrain is about obvious condition. If it's 10 years old and spent it's life sitting in a garage and still shifts smooth, a 10-year old drivetrain is just as good as a 1 year old drivetrain. Value is different though. a 10-year old 8-speed XT drivetrain is still an 8-speed drivetrain. A little bit better than a new Acera drivetrain, but not by much.

    Old tires can dry-rot, so look carefully at the tread area for cracks. I've had 20 year old garage queen tires that felt horrible the first couple rides, but once the hard plastic got worn down some, the fresh rubber under it felt pretty good. I still replaced them though because 1.9" tires with crazy large lugs just didn't feel like my 2.3" tires, and the dry root became very apparent when I had to replace a tube.
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  5. #5
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    If you have any craigslist links you can post, we can probably give you some pointers.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  6. #6
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    Well here are two bike's I have been seriously considering. The specialized is firm at $1300, and the trek is firm at $1000. Both have been tuned/serviced recently so mechanically they should be in excellent condition.

    2014 SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER FSR COMP 29er small

    Trek Fuel EX-8 16.5"

  7. #7
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyuan View Post
    Well here are two bike's I have been seriously considering. The specialized is firm at $1300, and the trek is firm at $1000. Both have been tuned/serviced recently so mechanically they should be in excellent condition.

    2014 SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER FSR COMP 29er small

    Trek Fuel EX-8 16.5"
    I couldn't pick between the 2. The trek wheelset and suspension is way better but it has 26" wheels and it's 5+ years old which is a turnoff for many. The specialized is newer and has 29" wheels but is definitely a downgrade for everything else but the seatpost and the brakes.

    You might try contacting the sellers and see if you can give them a test ride. You may figure out very quickly which one you prefer after riding them.
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  8. #8
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    Well I guess one thing is that I am more into riding cool features and drops/ exploring trails rather than being efficient on climbs and stuff. So a more nimble bike that can better handle descents would be better.

  9. #9
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    A 26 is usually more nimble than a 29. Plus you get shorter chainstays. A 27.5" bike (current DH standard) raises the BB by 3/4 of an inch and changes the intersect angle of an obstacle by a few degrees. I say "f" it. 26" for $300 less with better shocks. No brainer. 29" FS bikes have odd geometry IMHO and you won't find many (any?) used 27.5" bikes yet.

  10. #10
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    2007-2009 is an "old bike" now...? yikes!

  11. #11
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantoj View Post
    2007-2009 is an "old bike" now...? yikes!
    Heck, I've been told my 2012 Blur LT2 is old...
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