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Help me pick a good deal? local craigslist ad

882 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  04silverex
seems like a good deal but I'm debating on these bikes.... I do some light uphill, mostly around Orange County locations. My budget is 400-800. I just want the bike to last and carry some pretty good resell value. I'll ride probably 3 or 4 times a month so not too crazy.

Iron Horse MK3 Sport


Iron Horse Carbon


Motobecon700 DTS


Cannondale Gemini 900

Thanks everyone! I'm really leaning towards the Cannondale and Iron Horse Mk3
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On that budget I would keep an eye out for a solid hardtail....I got a super nicely spec'd Chameleon off EBay for $800 and I havent touched my bighit since
im not sure about any of those

ive bought several used bikes (for me and my bros). they are a great bargain compared to new bikes, but it will take some time and research; it should take over a month to find exactly what your looking for. dont rush it...

i recomend you try to get:
marzocchi or fox suspensions, not mantinou or rockshox.
hydro disc brakes (except hayes sole seem to have problems).
SRAM or shimano LX, XT or XTR shifters/deraileurs.
a specialized or giant frame.

most importantly, you should get a bike your size! something big enough to be comfortable for those long uphills, but small enough so you can easily get your weight back on the downhills.

also, give the bike a complete inspection, do the brakes stop well under high speeds? are there any marks or dents in the frame? how does it feel to ride off a curb? how is the shifting (check every gear independently)? is there any thing loose like the crank/pedals or anything (maybe bring a tool and check some of the screws)?
put it on its back: see if the rims are true, if there are any chips in the teeth of the crank (front or back), check the tire wear, missing spokes, anything else you may notice.

ive never done this, but you might ask the seller to let you ride it once before you buy it. what i have realized is that youll be riding whatever you get for a long time... so it better be exactly right. sometimes youll notice things about the size or condition of the bike on the first trial ride that you wouldnt have noticed on a quick road test.
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to be honest...none of those bikes looked like anything id buy for myself. you say you do "light uphill", did you mean to type "downhill". If your looking for a bike that climbs well you should be looking for either a hardtail or an xc/trail full suspension bike. If you meant that there is only a little uphill so climbing shouldnt be the primary focus, id suggest looking into a 6 in all mountain bike.

Like previous person stated, the components on the bike are really gonna make it a more enjoyable experience. If you go to too cheap, you run the risk of breaking parts frequently. Id suggest staying away from mantinou and marzocchi forks and looking for something that has fox or a higher end rockshox fork (tora, pike,lyric, etc).

Im not sure what your really trying to achieve from your bike purchase but I can almost guarantee you that getting a better quality build will benefit you. Yes, those bikes were once good bikes and are capable of having fun on most trails, but technology in recent years bike is much better and should be considered.

When i picked up my first bike I had the expectations of buying a long travel do it all bike. After doing many hours/months of research and talking to almost every local shop, i came to the conclusion that a 5 in. trail bike would best fit my needs. I wanted an entry level bike with a high end frame that could easily be upgraded.

Personally, id go with a new bike...mainly for the reasons that you will get service from the shop you purchased at, the bike is covered under warranty, and a lot of places (trek stores, etc) will give you a 30 day replacement policy. To be honest, an entry level bike is gonna run you around 2 grand for a full suspension and half that for a hardtail...but you can also look for previous year models and save 20-30 percent...spending a little bit extra cash might be a better choice for you. Maybe even take your 800 dollars and finance the rest for something new and equipped with quality components.

If you look on craigs list long enough you can find yourself a good deal on a newer bike too....a few months back some guy had an 09 giant trance x1 bike on craigslist for 800 bucks...i own the x3 model and am still kicking myself for not buying one and swapping out the components and reselling it with my old components for the same price.

This forum is your friend, go to the manufacturer forums and read what others are saying about different model bikes...its not hard to tell which bikes stand out and which bikes are lacking. You really need to figure out what kind of riding you plan on doing so you can get the correct bike, you might find it difficult in rough terrain using a 4 inch travel bike, tough to do a lot of climbing on 6 in+ travel bikes..which is why i think the 5 in trail bikes are a good medium..... no bike is gonna do it all.... everyone is also gonna have there own opinions on these subjects but this is what ive learned from experience and tons of research. also, welcome to the forum, we all are here to give you positive feedback so keep your questions coming.
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I got my first "real" bike at a shop that offered 0% interest for a year financing. It was only $1200 but I was able to pay it off well within the year time frame and I got a GREAT bike at the same time.

Not saying used is bad, in fact I just bought another used bike last week. Some great deals to be had for sure. Just don't rush into your homework, like you're doing....
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