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Old 07-23-09, 12:25 AM   #1
Miyata7Ten
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Quite Some Claims-- Any truth to this?!

So on CL I asked if any mountain bike enthusiasts would help me find a bike and I got this reply... Here it is...

I don't have anything to sell you, but I wanted you to know that this is a buyer's market for people who want to purchase well-made, well-designed mountain bikes from the early to mid 90's. For a little over a $100.00, you can find a very good non-suspended, chromoly steel bike that is rock solid and will get you through the most demanding of trails.

I started mountain biking in the early 80's, with my first steed being a Schwinn High Sierra. In just 10 years' time, MTB design really took off. By the early and mid 90's, you had great steel bikes like the following:

Trek 930, 950 and 970
Specialized Rockhopper and Stumpjumper
Jamis Dakota
Mongoose Iboc
Novara (REI brand)

I would suggest that you keep your eyes peeled for a used Trek 930 or 950, or a Rockhopper. There's a woman selling a Rockhopper in fine condition for $40.00 in Petaluma. That is a frickin' steal if I ever saw one, and I would jump on it if I didn't have 2 kids and needed to be home all the time.

Don't believe anyone who tells you that you need an aluminum bike, a bike with suspension, a bike with disc brakes, etc. I used to do NORBA races in Big Bear on my Trek 950 (chromoly steel) and I easily placed in the middle of the pack without being in that great shape.

Yes, aluminum is a bit lighter than steel, but a steel frame will last forever, while Aluminum frames tend to get beaten up with chain slap.

If possible, find a bike with thumb shifters, which are bomb proof and almost never break.

Being 5'9", you will probably fit a bike that measures 18" or 19", measured from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to middle of the point where the top tube intersects with the seat tube.

Never buy a cheap department store bike including the following:

Pacific
Schwinn (department store models)
Mongoose MGX

If you spot a bike and want to know how much it cost when new, log on to www.Bikepedia.com and pull up the year, then the brand and model. Bikepedia is a great resource when buying used bikes.

Look for bikes with the following Shimano drivetrains, which are reliable:

Alivio (the lowest grade reliable gruppo)
STX entry level, good functioning
LX: great mid-level gruppo that lasts a long time.
DX: even better
XT: best early 90's drivetrain that you likely won't find on bikes around $100.00.


Is this guy crazy? Or just bad ass? Or right?
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Old 07-23-09, 12:29 AM   #2
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The rockhopper he is talking about is this bike right here
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/1284206116.html
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Old 07-23-09, 01:36 AM   #3
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I like my current bike with suspension and disc brakes a lot better than my bike that didn't have either, but there is definitely fun to be had on bikes without either.
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Old 07-23-09, 06:15 AM   #4
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1. Were his "races" XC races? Sure...a rigid steel bike will do fine.
2. Yes a 930 will get you through the gnarliest of trails. You may have to hop off now and then...and don't expect to get through it in record time. Any bike will "get you through". Modern technology is just more fun.
3. He sounds like a burned out hold-out. Try freeriding on a 930. Try riding aggressive "AllMountain" on a 930. You will get through it...but you won't be able to enjoy the nice drops and jumps...etc...
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Old 07-23-09, 07:23 AM   #5
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disc brakes make a big difference in the wet settings.
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Old 07-23-09, 07:32 AM   #6
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I do think those old steel bikes are a good deal now. Not the best-performing option on rough, fast descents, though.

Probably your best bet for $100, and a very versatile option for paved paths, commuting, and city riding, too.
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Old 07-23-09, 09:32 AM   #7
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Gosh, it's "advice" like this that just keeps me on the edge of my chair wondering what other golden nuggets of wisdom await here .
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Old 07-23-09, 11:15 AM   #8
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Is this a good deal? If I don't like it how much could i possibly sell it for?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/1284206116.html
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Old 07-23-09, 11:55 AM   #9
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a) Don't trust someone who calls their bike a "steed".
b) If his children keep him home all the time, when was his last time on a trail?
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Old 07-24-09, 01:49 PM   #10
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Go to your local Specialized dealer and buy a Hardrock. Read Chelboed's sig for an explanation. You've been struggling with the craigslist thing for too long without, seemingly, getting any closer to figuring out what you want.
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Old 07-24-09, 02:20 PM   #11
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WTF is DX and STX? Way to keep up with the Shimano line there.
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