View Full Version : Buying a Mtn bike (woo hoo!) Questions
02-22-2007, 04:04 PM
Hey there - I fell in love with mountain biking at the end of last fall, and want to be sure to buy a bike before the dry season arrives. A few issues have come up for me.
Hardtail vs. full suspension: Is a full suspension bike worth the money, or is a hard tail sufficient for learning?
Along those same lines, I am thinking of buying a cheapy hardtail off craigslist, and seeing how it goes, then investing in a nicer bike once I know I'll ride it enough to make the investment. Does this seem reasonable?
Is there anything I should always ask the seller before buying a used bike? I do plan to take any privately sold bike to a bike store to be checked out before I buy it.
Finally, if anyone is selling a used mountain bike with a 13-15" frame, feel free to be in touch (yes, I'm keeping my eyes on craiglist, sellwood cycles, etc etc).
Thanks for your help and advice!
02-22-2007, 09:14 PM
A full suspension bike is worth the money, but only if you are willing to spend some (a cheap FS will just be heavy and not work well). Starting with a hardail is a good idea, that is how most people get into it. Having a mechanic go over a used bike is a smart idea, make sure they check the front suspension as well for bad seals or stickiness (I am sure they will), if the fork has the abililty to be adjusted to rider weight have someone at the shop set that up while you are there, it only takes a moment and have someone check to make sure the bike is a good fit for you. I see people all the time on bikes that don't fit, this causes poor handling, discomfort and prevents you from enjoying your ride, which is what it is all about. If you can't find a good used one, most companies produce fairly inexpensive yet capable hardtails. Good luck and have fun!
02-26-2007, 04:57 PM
If you do not have the money to spend at this time, just by a hardtail. If you have the money, go with a FS. I now ride a FS and love it. It allows me to ride longer without killing my lower back.
You should be able to pick up a good used hardtail in the $400 to $600 range. Expect to spend at least a grand on a good used FS. Anything less is probably trashed or has cheap components.
Do not buy a cheap bike if you are serious about mountain biking. It will just frustrate you on the trail when the bike won't operate properly.
02-27-2007, 08:08 AM
How exciting :) Check out Sellwood Cycles, they have lots of used bikes and best of all, you can try them out before you decide. They also have photos of used bikes on their website, updated daily. Good luck.
02-27-2007, 04:13 PM
If you are seriously looking for a good used bike, I would also recommend sellwood. It sounds like you are new to bike buying and the chances of buying an ill fitting and overpriced used bike are very high if you get it off craigslist, ebay, etc.
I think it is a terrible idea to take a used bike to the shop to get checked for many reasons. First off sellwood does that already! Secondly, good luck with getting someone you just met over the internet to allow you to take the bike away to get it looked at. I am not saying this will be impossible, just difficult and unlikely. People are either just trying to get some cash quick, or are trying to screw you on Craigslist. Neither of those groups will be interested in the time consuming shopper that you sound like. I know there will be exceptions...
Another issue is abusing the local shops. They are in existence to make money. That allows them to invest in all the goods for sale. It also allows them to pay all the employees, so they can pay their rent/mortgages, buy food and every now and then have some fun. It also allows them to train their employees, you know investing in the knowledge that you appear to desire...
Expecting them to examine your used bike, adjust the shocks for you, place you on it to determine if it fits you properly, adjust it to fit you properly, answer all your questions, tell you whether or not to buy it, and on and on and on. They are there to provide those services.... For people buying bikes from them! Why should anyone expect all that treatment, knowing they are just using the shop to save a few bucks?
If you are after a used bike and a deal, great! More power to you. Just bear in mind that trying to save a buck adds risk and that you should own that risk yourself.
Or be prepared to pay the local bike shop for their time.
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