What should you watch on a used bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    What should you watch on a used bike?

    What should you watch on the bike?

    I know that you gotta watch the frame if there is any crack. (Where is it likely to break?)
    Except that I really don't know what I should watch for :S


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 3034's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    stress cracks at all rear triangle welds.
    bring a magnifying glass

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Quarashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    The headtube. If it is not connected to the frame don't buy it.

    But really, check out the bearings. They may be able to replace but they give you some idea about how much the bike has been used and taken care of. MOST of the frame failures I see are because of bearing failures and user stupidity.

    Check if the paint is the original job.

    Check the tires and the brake pads on the "barely used" banging deals.

    Different frames have different weak points so it can be quite varied.
    About buying a bike:
    Quote Originally Posted by No MSG
    It's like finding a wife. Personality is important, but you gotta look at that face every morning.

  4. #4
    No Fear
    Reputation: Iranian-Mechanic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    The over all usage style of the rider…..Whether if the rig has been ridden only or the owner has took care over it….

    All stressable joints like round the headtube. Rear drop outs. Also the place seat tube welds to the toptube.

    Then check the suspension see if the seals are ok and if the Anodisation on the stanchions or the shock shaft havnt been worn out that shows lack of service.

    Also check if the damping adjusters work properly . then go for the brakes .See if the return stroke of the levers are fast enough and the grip feel isn’t too spongy. Also check both pads and rotors for wear.

    The rims should be inspected round the nipples for cracks . also take a look at the chain see if its stretched or not if yes the cogs and chainrings must have been worn out too.

    The rear derailleur parallelogram has to be firm enough too worn out pins allow it to free play too much .indeed the spring strength has to be mentioned too both the parallelogram spring and the cage torsion spring..

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 11053's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    There are so many things to look for.

    Starting with the front suspension:

    Oil on the stanchions from leaky seals and a drip from those seals should not be a deal breaker.

    When looking at used forks I am more concerned about scratches/gouges on the stanchions and slop in the bushings.

    If all the adjustments on the fork work, and there is no slop/knock between the lowers and stanchions, and no scratches on the stanchions, you are most likely good to go even with leaky seals.

    A well used, but well maintained bike can often be a good buy.

    Take it for a ride. Check for slop in the headset and bottom bracket.

    Grab the top tube and lift the rear wheel off the ground. Is there a clunking or knocking sound when you do this? If so, it's commonly from a worn out DU bushing-also an easy fix and a standard wear and tear item. No Clunk? Good.

    Wiggle the wheels side to side. Are they snug or do you feel/hear some play and slop?

    Look at the spokes on the rear wheel on the drive side by the cassette. Are they all smooth with no knicks and chips? Knicks and chips can mean a chain was tossed into the rear wheel's spokes at one time. That's not a good thing. No knicks and chips? Good.

    Check all the adjustments on the rear shock. Do they all work?

    Remove the seatpost and look at the seat tube in the area of the seat collar. No cracks, bends, ripples in the seat tube? Good.

    Grab the rear and front derailluers and wiggle them back and forth. Is there any slop or excessive free play? No? Good.

    Look at the rims all the way around where they meet up with the tire. Do you see any dents or flat spots?

    Look at the rims everywhere a spoke/ nipple meets up with the rim? Do you see any cracks in the rims near the nipples? No? Good.

    Are all the spokes straight on both wheels and do they feel evenly tensioned?

    Do the brakes feel good? It's pretty obvious when something is wrong there. Is there still some life in the brake pads?

    Look over every inch of the frame for cracks. Pay close attention to the rear triangle, welds, and supension linkage. Check for dents and rippled/bumpy paint as well.

    There are several additional things to check and many ways to go about it.

    If most things look pretty good and the bike doesn't make any nasty clicks, pops, creaks, groans, etc when you ride it, then go for it if you like the bike.

    I always budget additonal cash for any used bike purchase. I figure there is always something I am going to need to replace or get dialed in.

    If you can do the basic repairs yourself additonal out of pocket cost will be minimal.

    If you need to hand it over to a shop for a tune up, seal change, and basic look over, I'd budget an additional $150-$200. Bike mechanics can always find something "wrong."

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