Key Things on Used Bikes?????- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Key Things on Used Bikes?????

    Been out of the bike world for about 10 years and bikes have changed 10 fold. Looking at buying a used freeride 7"x7" bike and wondering what are the major things I should be looking at to determine whether the bike is in decent shape or not. Any info would be great. Thanks!

    HORTON

  2. #2
    LBS Manager
    Reputation: Johnny Hair Boy's Avatar
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    Buying a used free ride bike is a big risk. If you can one being sold by some rich dude who had to have it but never road it that is your best bet. other than that I would look very closly at maijor components obviosly inspect the frame for cracks or stress lines. Also check the forks for signs of play in the bushings or worn out stanctions or cracked drop outs. Check all rear suspension pivots for play and if there is anything signifigant stay away. They drive train is not as important becuase it is easier and cheaper to fix but check it anyway.

  3. #3
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    Look for dents or anything that can result in future frame damage. Cracks can be hard to spot, so go over the frame top to bottom at all of the welds. There are plenty of threads on mtbr that sound like this: "I bought a used frame and found a tiny crack at the seat tube junction, now what?". Dont let this happen to you. I won't buy a bike with a dent. A tiny ding maybe, but not a dent. Not all dents affect structural integrity, but it is something I look for.

    Look for leaks in the suspension, front and rear. Cycle the suspension to see if it still works properly. Check the adjustments on the suspension and see if they still work properly. Look for play in the bushings and scratches on the stanchions. Stanchions are the shiny part of the fork that slides in and out of the internal housing.

    Check the brakes for wear and tear. Look for leaks and how much pad life is left. If the brakes are mechanical look at the wear and tear of the cables. Look at the rotors to see if they are true and in good condition. If the brake levers feel spongy and pull into the bars easily, the brakes need to be bled.

    Check the wheels and give them a spin to check to see if they are still true. Check all the parts on the bike for wear and tear. Take a ride and see how everything feels and go through all of the gears. The crankset should spin freely without any resistance. The same holds true for the wheels/hubs. Check the drive train for wear. If there is "shark finning" on the rear derailleur and crank rings, the drive train is nearing the end of its life span. Shark finning is when the spaces between the ring engagement points becomes deep and pronounced. New rings and rear derailleurs have shallow spaces between the points on the drive train.

    Buying used freeride rigs can be a mixed bag. Many riders take good care of their bikes and some don't. If a guy is selling a bike that has been used "lightly" at Whistler or the North Shore for a couple of seasons. Be very wary. Try to buy something that is only a year old. There are great deals out there for mint condition freeride and all mountain bikes.

    Ask a lot of questions. Most guys are pretty honest.

    Pinkbike.com, Mtbreview, and NSMB.com are good resources for used bikes.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    "gently used"

    Stay away from any bike ad that claims it was "gently used". No mountain bike is gently used.

    Just teasing. It's definitely buyer beware on the used sales side of things. The previous posts definitely had a lot of good recommendations, so I'll just stick with the advice of be careful, inspect thoroughly, and don't waiver. If something seems wrong, go with your instincts. If the bike seems sound and the price is fair, buy it. Be decisive.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  5. #5
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Check your LBS for used bikes, they are more willing to support you if there is a problem that comes up 2 weeks latter. Some of the manufactures sell there demo bikes after the the photo sessions are over, check their web sites.

  6. #6
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    Wink

    Wow Thanks guys, lots of good stuff there. I liked how everything was explained in simple terms, Thanks Ronny. I am an engineer and I do a lot of my own work on my motorcycle so I'm not mechanically challenged too badly, but I'd rather pretend I know nothing and learn than pretend like I know everything and get screwed (unless she's really hot, then I'll take the screwing any day of the week).

    Cheers!

    HORTON

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