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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, new to the forum,

When I was younger I did a fair amount of BMX, half pipe and mountain biking. This was in the 1980's and early 1990's before mountain biking was what it is today. Well, my grilfriend wants to buy a couple of his and hers mountain bikes. But she keeps eyeballing the costco and target kind of bikes. I have her somewhat sold on getting something from REI clearance, but I don't think I want to drop a grand on something we may not do much. I also took a look at local bike shop clearance deals on last years models, but nothing in my size nor having two bikes available.

Heres what I was thinking: Picking up a couple of Trek or Specialized bikes from craigslist, garage sale etc and having them serviced. Now before I get the whole "you can get great bike used.." I don't want to spend over $250 per bike and that includes servicing costs. I was thinking of getting couple of rockhoppers or hardrocks specifically because I see the ones without front suspension forks going for a song on craigslist (around $50-$75). Any body think this is a bad idea? Should I avoid the older ones from the 1990's? I am not afraid to use ebay, buy piece by piece etc.
 

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Adding to 72's advice...

momosgarge said:
Hi, new to the forum,

When I was younger I did a fair amount of BMX, half pipe and mountain biking. This was in the 1980's and early 1990's before mountain biking was what it is today. Well, my grilfriend wants to buy a couple of his and hers mountain bikes. But she keeps eyeballing the costco and target kind of bikes. I have her somewhat sold on getting something from REI clearance, but I don't think I want to drop a grand on something we may not do much. I also took a look at local bike shop clearance deals on last years models, but nothing in my size nor having two bikes available.

Heres what I was thinking: Picking up a couple of Trek or Specialized bikes from craigslist, garage sale etc and having them serviced. Now before I get the whole "you can get great bike used.." I don't want to spend over $250 per bike and that includes servicing costs. I was thinking of getting couple of rockhoppers or hardrocks specifically because I see the ones without front suspension forks going for a song on craigslist (around $50-$75). Any body think this is a bad idea? Should I avoid the older ones from the 1990's? I am not afraid to use ebay, buy piece by piece etc.
I'd stay away from 1" threaded headtubes. Many rigid (w/o front suspension) fall in to this category. Make sure it fits you properly.
 

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Ken in KC said:
I'd stay away from 1" threaded headtubes. Many rigid (w/o front suspension) fall in to this category. Make sure it fits you properly.
Good advice if you plan on ever upgrading fork, but nothing wrong with 1" steerer on a budget used bike. You can probably pick up an old fully rigid for under $100.
 

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Yep...

JPark said:
Good advice if you plan on ever upgrading fork, but nothing wrong with 1" steerer on a budget used bike. You can probably pick up an old fully rigid for under $100.
I agree. The only reason to stay away is replacement. It's pretty hard to find a 1" rigid, suspension corrected fork these days. Unless Heff has a couple in his basement.
 

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I bought my 2007 Giant Yukon for $220 on CL. My buddy bought a 2008 Giant Boulder SE with Dart 3's for $120. Ride both everyday since bought, have not had to change anything. It did take me about a month to find one, as I am a big guy and there are not as many large as there are medium frames out there. Its hard to be patient and wait for a good deal to pop up tho.
 

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Make sure the bikes fit you. It doesn't matyter how good a deal you get if you don't get a good fit.

Building piece by peice is usually expensive. Try to find bikes that you can test ride and work as is. For $250 you should be able to get something decent. I surfed Cl and put every promising bike into the MTBR reviews to see what others thought. Take everything there with a big grain of salt, but it can clue you into common faults or benefits of certain bikes.
 

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My Bro likes to buy 90's era Trek 800s-steel, heavy, solid. He trains on them then when he gets on his lighter rigs he can fly. He just retired his late 80s after ~20 years of use and abuse with little to no maint. They are nice solid bikes either way and last forever.

I would try and buy the complete bike BTW. Cheaper, you have a complete bike, and you can upgrade as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I have found a seller with an old trek and an old rockhopper. I have also found a repair guy with a reasonable fee. What should I look for when I go to check out the bikes? What kind of wear and tear would make the bikes unsuable?
 

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momosgarge said:
Well, I have found a seller with an old trek and an old rockhopper. I have also found a repair guy with a reasonable fee. What should I look for when I go to check out the bikes? What kind of wear and tear would make the bikes unsuable?
I would concentrate more on signs of over-use/abuse rather than signs of age or neglect.
Tires, tubes, and cables/housings can be replaced, derailleur/brake adjustments can be made at a low cost. But, bent/cracked components(including frame) and worn items(drivetrain) can prove to be more costly than the bike is worth.
If you have found a good wrench, as you have suggested, then have him check out the bike for you before you purchase it.
 

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Ken in KC said:
I agree. The only reason to stay away is replacement. It's pretty hard to find a 1" rigid, suspension corrected fork these days. Unless Heff has a couple in his basement.
LOL! was Heff locked in a time capsule for 10 years or somthing??:thumbsup:
 

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ae111black said:
LOL! was Heff locked in a time capsule for 10 years or somthing??:thumbsup:
Yes. My mom had it installed in her basement years ago.

I'd suggest the same thing. Try to stick with newer standards, if you can. Makes things easier to repair, and repair you will. Obvious stuff like dings and dents, be aware of. See what the frame material is. There were plenty of steel hardtails then, those aren't as big a deal. Aluminum........yeah, be careful. A nice ding is a recipe for a cracked frame, even just riding off a curb a little too hard. And if the seller refuses to let you take it to a shop to look over, walk away. Same as you would a used car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
See what the frame material is. There were plenty of steel hardtails then, those aren't as big a deal. Aluminum........yeah, be careful. A nice ding is a recipe for a cracked frame, even just riding off a curb a little too hard. And if the seller refuses to let you take it to a shop to look over, walk away. Same as you would a used car
Most of the ones I found are being sold by the parents of thier now older kids for less than $100 USD, so a repair shop inspection will be out of the question. I have a friend that was a bike mechanic before he became a mechanical engineer, so maybe he will go out and make some of the rounds with me.

Also I have a question about Trek 830 antelopes. I see these quite frequently, are they a 1 inch threaded headset or a 1 1/4" or 1 1/8"? Same question for the 1990's era threaded headset for rockhoppers or hardrocks.
 

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momosgarge said:
Most of the ones I found are being sold by the parents of thier now older kids for less than $100 USD, so a repair shop inspection will be out of the question. I have a friend that was a bike mechanic before he became a mechanical engineer, so maybe he will go out and make some of the rounds with me.

Also I have a question about Trek 830 antelopes. I see these quite frequently, are they a 1 inch threaded headset or a 1 1/4" or 1 1/8"? Same question for the 1990's era threaded headset for rockhoppers or hardrocks.
1" threaded on both bikes. 1 1/8" came out later, 1 1/4" didn't really catch on until 2002 or so. Maybe 2003. Still not a common size on commuter/cross bikes or XC bikes, although some of the bigger names are starting to use it.
 

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momosgarge said:
Also I have a question about Trek 830 antelopes. I see these quite frequently, are they a 1 inch threaded headset or a 1 1/4" or 1 1/8"? Same question for the 1990's era threaded headset for rockhoppers or hardrocks.
It depends on the model year. Some of them were 1" and others were 1 1/8".

1 1/4" is the Gary Fisher Evolution size that was never used on any Treks except for the tandems.
 

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I picked up a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp for $150 on Craigslist about 2 weeks back. Overall, I was really happy with it. All XT componets and Specialized fat boy tires. It's a rigid frame bike, which I was looking for. Frame needs a repaint and new decals, but it's mechanically sound and rides great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I picked up two bikes a couple of weeks ago a Trek 830 and Rockhopper. The frames and wheels look good. The derailleurs, cranks, brakes and cassetes look salvagable. But the teeth on the chainrings on both bikes are a mess. I couldn't really tell when I first bought them, but after a good cleaning they definately need to be replaced. I also looked up the Shimano parts on this website and they are on the low end:

http://datenbanken.freepage.de/cgi-bin/feets/freepage_ext/41030x030A/rewrite/traut/SHIMANO.html

The Trek 830 has parts from the Exage 300LX line and the Rockhopper has parts from the Atlus A10 line. What can I do from here. The cassetes appear to be 7 speed CS-HG70 or CS-HG50. I have been checking ebay for chainring replacements on ebay, but stuff from th 300lx abd Atlus a10 lines are scarce. ANy recomendations?
 

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I would replace the crank, it seems that is almost the same cost if not going to high end. Going to want to change the cassette and chain too, probably see if you can go to 8 or 9 speed and get a shifter, ebay has lots or some take off's from the online stores.
 
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