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  1. #1
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    Bought a used mountain bike, is it worth it?

    Hi All,

    I bought a used 1997 Mongoose Tetra SX mountain bike for $250 last week. Apparently, the original owner paid about 1000 bucks when he bought it and it was just sitting in his garage for the last four years. Well, the bike rides pretty well, and me being new to mountain bikes and all, I can't really appraise this bike because I don't know anything about it (or bikes in general).

    Did I get a good deal? Or is 250 for this bike daylight robbery?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Sorry dude, you got robbed. 1997 Mongoose Tetra SX Alivio is lower end, and a 14 yo front suspension fork is stone age tech. Get your money back if you can and hit up a bike store for a Specialized Hard Rock. It'll be more than $250, but not much more and it'll be much better.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  3. #3
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Don't feel too bad, maybe do some more research and never trust people's valuation of their own property.... usually they're waaay off.

  4. #4
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Ouch! Well try to get $250 worth of riding out of it.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. I actually knew my first mountain bike was going to be crappy. I just didn't want to walk into a bike shop and be sold an expensive machine that turned out to be crappy.

    I will definitely try to get 250's worth of riding out of the sucker (how much riding is that? lol). Surprisingly, I took it for about a 20km ride on the humber river trail last week and it rode pretty well.

  6. #6
    Buddy Ratzinger's Avatar
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    TO get your money's worth, also check out he Don river valley. There are paved paths like the ones in the Humber river valley, but also many dirt paths. It's the wilder valley. I ride my road bike through there and it's made me want to get a used mountain bike to hit the dirt.

  7. #7
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    What Ratzinger said. If you can find someone that knows the DVP trails, have them show you around. You don't want to get in over your head, but you do wanna get $250 worth of skills and fun out of it. Learning on crap will make riding on your next bike so much easier. I know there's an entrance around Pottery Rd. and Bayview, but that seems to start at the bottom and you climb from there. Ratzinger might be able to chime in w/ more info.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  8. #8
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    Mongooses of that era are not the Walmart rigs of recent years. I own a Tetra SX that I bought new in 1997. It has survived some rugged terrain here but has been converted to around town commuter duty since 05. Components can and have been replaced over time but the key to a great bike is the frame and my Tetra has one of the best frames I have seen. I would put it against any frame of that era. I don't think you got ripped off at all. You could easily spend 250 bucks in the bike shop on services for one of these newer rigs with hydraulic discs and full suspension. It all depends on what you are doing with it. What are you doing with it? If you are hitting some single track and ripping around a college campus you got a great deal. I would buy my bike again today.

    Shed contains...
    1977 Motobecane Super Mirage
    1997 Mongoose Tetra SX
    2003 Cannondale Jekyll 1000 2011-06-29_16-04-36_157.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRS_ View Post
    Mongooses of that era are not the Walmart rigs of recent years. I own a Tetra SX that I bought new in 1997. It has survived some rugged terrain here but has been converted to around town commuter duty since 05. Components can and have been replaced over time but the key to a great bike is the frame and my Tetra has one of the best frames I have seen. I would put it against any frame of that era. I don't think you got ripped off at all. You could easily spend 250 bucks in the bike shop on services for one of these newer rigs with hydraulic discs and full suspension. It all depends on what you are doing with it. What are you doing with it? If you are hitting some single track and ripping around a college campus you got a great deal. I would buy my bike again today.

    Shed contains...
    1977 Motobecane Super Mirage
    1997 Mongoose Tetra SX
    2003 Cannondale Jekyll 1000 2011-06-29_16-04-36_157.jpg
    Hi CRS_, I'm doing trail riding (humber river trail mainly). Want to try some dirt trails in the DVP, but that's about it. Nothing too serious.

    Is maintaining a 1997 Tetra SX worth it? Should I take it to a bike shop and spend 40 bucks on service, or should I just let it wear out?

  10. #10
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    It depends on what condition it is in now but 40 bucks doesn't sound like much to put into this bike. I looked at a few videos on YouTube at DVP since I have never been there and it looked like lots of fun, hardpack, mostly void of roots and rocks. I would not hesitate to bring my Mongoose (street tires and all) there but would prefer my Cannondale. Also looked at humber river trail videos and it looks like a pretty pedestrian path. You should have no problem rocking this bike in either place. You will know when you hit its limit and since you said you are just starting out this will take awhile. I have hit Chimney Rock here is Jersey with the Tetra many times. Snapped the rear derailer on a big rock one time and it is much cheaper to replace/upgrade Alivio components than XTR.

    You will learn alot about bikes for the money you put in and, in my opinion, this is a good frame to start on and keep as a spare when/if you decide to buy new. I have seen so many people who spent a lot of money on the wrong bike. So many people riding downhill bikes on flat surface not realizing they are designed to utilize gravity to descend and ski lifts to ascend and guys on $3,000 carbon road bikes hunched over like crazy to look cool on their 10 mile ride. Post some pics and enjoy the ride.

    The one thing I did recently to this bike was replaced the flat bar with a riser. The Origin 8 urban to be exact. It is installed in the pic. The geometry change made it so much more comfortable. If you are going to get it serviced think about doing this at the same time. Should not be more than 25 extra bucks for the same bar.

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