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Old 03-14-08, 08:18 AM   #1
BlueR6
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Officially bought my first real mountain bike, how did i do?

Well i spent a good time doing some research and decided given the amount of money i had i would need to buy used. I spent a good bit of time looking through craigslist and i pulled the trigger on one last night.

I bought a 3-4 year old Trek 4500. They guy said he only rode it about a half a dozen times due to the fact he likes riding his road bike with his wife more. He wanted $300 for it.

The bike looked to be in GREAT shape, no scratches at all, no cracks or anything in the frame or welds either. But what does worry me was the largest sprocket in the front had like 3 or 4 teeth that were rounded pretty bad and 2 that look like 1/2 of tooth is missing. I wasnt sure if this is common or if this is going to be something i will need to fix soon. before i bought it i took it for a ride and went through all the gears, and didnt seem to have any problems.

I ended up getting it for $270, did i do ok or am i in trouble with the teeth?

P.s. came with an after market seat (oasis) which looks like it cost around $50.
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Old 03-14-08, 08:28 AM   #2
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Hard to say about the gear teeth without pictures. Some of the teeth on the gears are shaped differently to aid shifting, could that be what you're seeing? If not, then perhaps the guy bashed the front sprocket against something really hard. Gears typically don't "round" when they wear (the gap between them wears which can round one side of the tooth, but not the top of the whole tooth), and they shouldn't break off. If he bashed something hard with the bike then you may need to replace that cog.
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Old 03-14-08, 08:30 AM   #3
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ill try and see if i can figure out how to post pics....

Last edited by BlueR6; 03-14-08 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 03-14-08, 09:03 AM   #4
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here is a picture of it

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Old 03-14-08, 09:53 AM   #5
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those looks like they are for shifting


CLEAN THAT CHAIN!
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Old 03-14-08, 10:26 AM   #6
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If the rest of the bike looks like the one pic thats showing up on my screen, I think you did real good for $270. Do you have a full pic of the bike? How about posting it?
I tried the Trek site to identify the year of the bike, but I could not get the archive to work correctly.
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Old 03-14-08, 10:59 AM   #7
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i will post more pics of the bike in just a sec

I did find out what year it was using bikepedia.... its a 2000, so the guy plainly lied to me, kind of dissapointing. It has pretty low end componantry compared to the 2004 version i thought it was... (Acera levers, altus C90 front derail, Alivio rear derail, and Rock Shox Jett, 2.5")

http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...4500&Type=bike

dont those teeth look pretty messed up though?

I think i will ride it like it is till i get some more experience, i have a ways to go before im doing things hard enough that i will actually need all of those teeth.

in the end i think i got a bit of raw deal but i will survive, next time ill do a bit more research
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Old 03-14-08, 11:03 AM   #8
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Old 03-14-08, 11:21 AM   #9
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Ha ha Dude! clean your garage! Looks like a good find! I do suspect one of those teeth to be a tad shorter than it should be. Shouldn't cause any trouble though. What tires are those? they aren't Velociraptors or Mythos, maybe old smoke/dart combo?
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Old 03-14-08, 11:25 AM   #10
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lol not my garage, its my father in laws. He has TONS o crap in there.

anyways the tires are the original ones i believe they are:

- Front: 26 x 2.10" Bontrager Jones, Rear: 26 x 1.95" Bontrager Jones

i thought they would be in way worse shape being 8 years old though lol
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Old 03-14-08, 11:39 AM   #11
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I had seen one of those old "Jones" front tires before come to think of it, but never saw the back one.
Any how enjoy it man!
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Old 03-14-08, 01:59 PM   #12
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I had nearly the same bike, only with a different color scheme and slightly better components. Put probably 4k miles on it before giving it to a friend. Now he's riding it. Those are indeed the original tires, my old bike still wears that same front tire, but the rear wore out long ago. I kinda liked that rear, not a great tire but not awful. The frame however is, as near as I can tell unbreakable. Heavy as a boat anchor (but that's what you'd expect at that price point), but solid.

I wouldn't worry too much about the big ring in front, I only use my on the road. And even then I don't use it often.
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Old 03-14-08, 02:21 PM   #13
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Looks real good for $270....

Maybe you can work for your inlaw and clean that garage for some $ for upgrades.. put those coolers on ebay
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Old 03-14-08, 02:38 PM   #14
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haha no can do those coolers are used for his boy scouting mountain climbing group. He takes them out and mountain climbing and repelling about once every few months and they got a lot of use. The garage in reality isnt that cluttered its like a 5 car garage that is just a small space of it that is slightly cluttered, ill put up a pick of the whole thing so you have a better idea a bit later

I feel much better now that you folks are telling me i got a decent deal, its now time to start learning this new sport!
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Old 03-14-08, 03:45 PM   #15
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I suspected your bike was older than 3-4 years when I saw the pictures. Not a bad deal, but the seller was clearly not honest with you. Ride it and enjoy it until it is time for an upgrade!
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Old 03-14-08, 08:40 PM   #16
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I think you did well. Ride it until the teeth wear out.
Now go add a Cane Creek Thudbuster Suspension Post and some clipless pedals are you're in business!
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Old 03-14-08, 11:29 PM   #17
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I think you did well. Ride it until the teeth wear out.
Now go add a Cane Creek Thudbuster Suspension Post and some clipless pedals are you're in business!
Why are you posting this particular piece of advice everywhere? Suspension seatposts work for some people. Apparently it did for you. But the reality is that a lot of people dislike them, and they do not perform, like you claim, like a real full suspension bike.
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Old 03-15-08, 05:56 AM   #18
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I think you did well. Ride it until the teeth wear out.
Now go add a Cane Creek Thudbuster Suspension Post and some clipless pedals are you're in business!
I think the OP got a decent bike at a decent price.He should just slap on a helmet and get on the bike and he's in business. He'll know what he needs to add/change with a little bit of time on the bike.
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Old 03-15-08, 05:59 AM   #19
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I think the OP got a decent bike at a decent price.He should just slap on a helmet and get on the bike and he's in business. He'll know what he needs to add/change with a little bit of time on the bike.
Well said.
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Old 03-15-08, 07:37 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the encouragement guys, thats exactly what i plan on doing. Gonna grab a helmet and go riding. I figure maybe after i get the basics down i can grab some clipons, but for now im gonna try and learn what the heck im doing lol.
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Old 03-15-08, 07:40 AM   #21
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I think the OP got a decent bike at a decent price.He should just slap on a helmet and get on the bike and he's in business. He'll know what he needs to add/change with a little bit of time on the bike.
+1

The bike will be great to go out and have fun mountain biking. If and when the time comes to spend money on the bike, it will be to replace parts that broke or wore out, but a Thudbuster is one of the last things I'd spend my money on.
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Old 03-15-08, 07:40 AM   #22
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while it's possible that what you're describing is a chainring meant to 'grab' the chain when shifting under power, i've never seen such a component group on a midrange bike.

more likely someone bashed the chainring on a log or rock and used a dremmel to file down the bent teeth--it'll still work... just not that well.
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Old 03-15-08, 08:31 AM   #23
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lol i said clipons... sorry i meant clipless pedals, was thinking of clip-on for motorcycles at the time i was typing
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Old 03-16-08, 09:03 AM   #24
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Ha ha Dude! clean your garage! Looks like a good find! I do suspect one of those teeth to be a tad shorter than it should be. Shouldn't cause any trouble though. What tires are those? they aren't Velociraptors or Mythos, maybe old smoke/dart combo?
As far as price goes ... Caveat Emptor. He paid too much considering that similar or superior quality new bikes can be had for about $300. These would have come with warranties and likely free checkups. The bike should have cost $200 or less. For anyone else reading, go shopping before you buy a used bike.

The missing half-tooth is intentional, it's there for shifting. And if it wasn't intentional, it will help shifting.

In general, the bike looks to be in good condition. Do, clean the chain ASAP and use a dry lube to oil it. While the big ring looks to be in good condition, the dirtiness of that chain would suggest wear to me.

Another posted AGAINST Thudbusters. What I have found is that some people love them and some people hate them. If you are super finnicky about where everything is, the Thudbuster might annoy you as it does change the orientation of you body vs. the cranks. If you can "go with the flow" Thudbusters are great as they allow you to stay seated rougher terrain which lessens fatigue.

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Old 03-16-08, 02:33 PM   #25
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The missing half-tooth is intentional, it's there for shifting.
Here is a middle chainring,(deore) excellent example of ramps, pins and "special teeth". No where on it is a tooth as short as the third one down from the chainstay, on the OP's picture.


Here is an big chainring from and LX setup. Again the special teeth are no where near as short as the one I'm reffering to on the OP's bike.

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