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  1. #1
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    Bike Swap Strategies

    Hi,

    I'm heading to a bike swap this weekend with a friend that needs her first real mountain bike. I imagine this will be one of those tester bikes. So, I think she's basically looking for something a bit more fun than her 35 pound rigid behemoth, and after 6 months when she decides what kind of riding she likes to do, she'll get a lighter or beefier or fully suspended bike. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think she'll be too picky about what type of bike she gets as long as it's in decent shape and fits her.

    So, any hints for the rather inexperienced? Should I grab the buyers guides for the last few years, go early, go late, avoid bike swaps all together...

    What's a good estimate for % depreciation each year?

    Any things to look for that would make a used bike not worth buying (deal breakers even if it's a great price)?

    Any great bikes from the last five years that would be a great buy (maybe they were under-appreciated or have great frames with crappy parts that can be upgraded)?

    Thanks! And feel free to state the obvious (it might not be obvious to me)

  2. #2
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    So, any hints for the rather inexperienced?

    try and get one that fits closely, if its way too big or too small it doesn't matter how good it is it will be no fun

    What's a good estimate for % depreciation each year?

    i think its like 25% off per year if its in immaculate condition and 50% off if its well used but well taken care of each year, and 75% off if its heavily used and treated like crap all year

    Any things to look for that would make a used bike not worth buying (deal breakers even if it's a great price)?

    if you don't wanna deal with repairs, any seriously malfunctioning part or physical damage (wheel taco, large dent in frame) would be dealbreakers for me. perhaps stuff like worn brake pads would be ok, worn tires would be useable, torn seat perhaps, but if it's something $20 can't fix i'd keep looking. unless its a sweet bike then maybe $50 would be my limit on repairs

    Any great bikes from the last five years that would be a great buy (maybe they were under-appreciated or have great frames with crappy parts that can be upgraded)?

    nothing specific comes to mind, just watch Fit, Condition and Quality. you don't need another 35 pound junker. anything from a known brand should be ok for a starter bike i'd think. I rode a $30 goodwill bike for a year as my tester bike, it's still a good backup bike too.

    Thanks! And feel free to state the obvious (it might not be obvious to me)[/QUOTE]

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlh122
    So, any hints for the rather inexperienced?

    try and get one that fits closely, if its way too big or too small it doesn't matter how good it is it will be no fun

    What's a good estimate for % depreciation each year?

    i think its like 25% off per year if its in immaculate condition and 50% off if its well used but well taken care of each year, and 75% off if its heavily used and treated like crap all year

    Any things to look for that would make a used bike not worth buying (deal breakers even if it's a great price)?

    if you don't wanna deal with repairs, any seriously malfunctioning part or physical damage (wheel taco, large dent in frame) would be dealbreakers for me. perhaps stuff like worn brake pads would be ok, worn tires would be useable, torn seat perhaps, but if it's something $20 can't fix i'd keep looking. unless its a sweet bike then maybe $50 would be my limit on repairs

    Any great bikes from the last five years that would be a great buy (maybe they were under-appreciated or have great frames with crappy parts that can be upgraded)?

    nothing specific comes to mind, just watch Fit, Condition and Quality. you don't need another 35 pound junker. anything from a known brand should be ok for a starter bike i'd think. I rode a $30 goodwill bike for a year as my tester bike, it's still a good backup bike too.

    Thanks! And feel free to state the obvious (it might not be obvious to me)

    Other things to look for are cracks in the frame or wrinkled paint. Take time to look under the tubes at or near the joints. That's were breakage usually occurs. Have her ride the bike too. If she is at all uncomfortable, look elsewhere.

    On timing; if you go early you can usually find really cool bikes for more money. Something really special gets snapped up right away. If you go late, people are tired and do want to lug the stupid bike back home and are more willing to make deals. You may not find a great bike but you might get a better deal on a good bike.
    Stuart Black
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