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Old 09-10-12, 10:51 AM   #1
JonathanGennick 
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Your worst bike purchase blunder

It's Monday. We need a new topic.

What is the worst blunder you've made when buying a new bike?

Spring 2007. I had just gotten fit enough to clean all the paved hills surrounding Munising. Had been reading the hype-machine all winter about the new Enduro SL. Treated myself to one as reward. Then I went on to learn first-hand just how unsuitable an all-mountain bike is to the roadie-on-dirt terrain by which I am surrounded.

It's a nice bike. Rode it for a while. Still pull it out for a pity ride now and then. Kids love it when I hand it out as a loaner ride. But mostly these days it hangs alone on its hook in the basement -- a poignant reminder to me to step back from the hype before making a major purchase.

Come on. Fess up. What's been *your* worst blunder?
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Old 09-10-12, 11:47 AM   #2
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My worst blunder wasn't necessarily a certain type of bike, it was just a certain bike. My trusty old MTB had been stolen and I needed a new bike.
I saw a beautiful black Cannondale F6 (I believe you call it the Furio 600 in the states) that was just outside my budget, so I bought that without even test driving it.

It was a handful in the corners and every time I rode it, the ride ended with a breakdown of some kind. Either the shifters would jam or break, the derailleur would implode, or the brakes would stay on, etc etc. Sold it for $350 after 4 years, during which I had covered around 400 miles on the road.
That bike literally spent more time in my workstand being repaired than it spent on the road. It put me off both Cannondale and SRAM for life.
It almost put me off cycling too. It's only after getting another bike that I started to enjoy riding again.

Shame really, it really was a beauty. Now I wish I had kept it as decoration.
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Old 09-10-12, 11:56 AM   #3
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Not necessarily a bike but a bike part. Shelled out the cash for a Hammerschmidt, BB, and carbon XO shifter to go with it thinking it would be the holy grail for a front 2x setup. Though I did get a rather killer deal on it those parts still sit, unused, unboxed gathering dust. The amount of bikes that can take one arnt that great not to mention install is a nightmare. Not only does the bike have to meet specific requirements, you also need a very expensive tool to install it. I have a feeling that hammerschmidt is never going to leave the box.
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Old 09-10-12, 01:15 PM   #4
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Easton EC90 Aero wheels. (road wheels). ****ty wheels spent more time fixing than riding. when they worked, they worked well though...
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Old 09-10-12, 02:38 PM   #5
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bought a new hybrid without researching enough to know a road bike was what I needed.

bought old used bikes instead of a new one. took many rebuilds and tons of junk in my basement to get something rideable.

set up a mtb tank for winter commuting when the regular commuter did just fine with studded snows. spent too much time money effort when i didn't have to
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Old 09-10-12, 03:46 PM   #6
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Bought clipless pedals right when I started. Picked up all sorts of bad habits.

Got saved from a big blunder also soon after I started. Friend who was all into bikes recommended a Cobia 29er. He loved 29ers and said it would be way better to learn on. Guess he forgot that I'm 5'3. Luckily for me, another friend happened to find a relatively new and in good condition 26" on Craigslist before I made the purchase.
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Old 09-10-12, 05:34 PM   #7
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In 2005, I bought a brand new Santa Cruz Blur 4x - $3000. Had zero clue that the bike was designed for downhill (7-speed only). Rode it 100 miles or so and hung it from the garage rafters for the next 7 years. Sure was pretty though. I was too fat for the FS and too inexperienced to ride it. Just finally sold it so I hope its having fun out there

Oh, and specialized road tires (roubaix) at $55 a pop. Ive been fool enough to buy two and both have blown out on me after a few miles. Im on $15 Nashbar tires now - solid as a rock.

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Old 09-10-12, 05:35 PM   #8
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Everything I've ever tried from Crank Bros.

No, I'm not joking.
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Old 09-10-12, 06:02 PM   #9
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Biggest and first: against the advice of people who knew better - - in 2000, I bought a Mongoose MGX D50i from my local Costco.

Here was how Mountain Bike Action graded it in the Nov. 1999 issue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBA
C - Value
F - Weight (34 pounds)
C - Frame design
D - Fork performance: RST 281-R
C - Rear suspension: DMN coil/over shock, monoshock type, 2.5" travel
D - Component selection
D - Climbing efficiency
C - Cornering ability
D- Descending prowess

Teacher's notes: You get what you pay for with this inexpensive dual-suspension bike. You should probably spend your money on a lighter, more dirt-worthy hardtail. The Mongoose MGX D-50 is exciting to look at, though, and performs well enough for a beginner to have fun in the dirt. We thought it was a pile - - but a lot of mountain bikers will get their first off-road thrill on this department-store cheapie.
Yup.

Miraculously, it survived everything I did to it, up to and including installing a dual-crown fork and a beginner season of downhill racing.
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Old 09-10-12, 06:50 PM   #10
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Everything I've ever tried from Crank Bros.

No, I'm not joking.
This. So true.

And on a side note, anybody wanna buy a hammerschmidt . But seriously...
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Old 09-11-12, 01:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiRider1316 View Post
Not necessarily a bike but a bike part. Shelled out the cash for a Hammerschmidt, BB, and carbon XO shifter to go with it thinking it would be the holy grail for a front 2x setup. Though I did get a rather killer deal on it those parts still sit, unused, unboxed gathering dust. The amount of bikes that can take one arnt that great not to mention install is a nightmare. Not only does the bike have to meet specific requirements, you also need a very expensive tool to install it. I have a feeling that hammerschmidt is never going to leave the box.
The Hammerschmidt drive also intrigued me when it initially came out. Seemed like a innovative idea similar to a Schlumpf but more complicated. I thought the only frame consideration was an ISCG mount. Several frames with those nowadays. I'm thinking the Hammerschmidt would be great on a fatbike.

Luckily, I don't have any bike buying blunders. I'm patient and take a while to research before I buy anything, not just bike stuff.
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Old 09-11-12, 07:37 AM   #12
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Everything I've ever tried from Crank Bros.

No, I'm not joking.
Agreeed.
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Old 09-11-12, 07:49 AM   #13
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For my closest trails, I like a 5" dual suspension in the summer. Once the snow falls, it's hardtail country. I bought a rigid SS 29 for the winter trails bike and brought it out too early. It was jarring, slow and not fun. I cut the ride short but on the way back, endoed at the top of an off-camber roll and broken my collarbone. Due to some complications, it kept me off a mountain bike for more than a year. (It didn't keep me from skulking around here though.)
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Old 09-11-12, 01:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The Hammerschmidt drive also intrigued me when it initially came out. Seemed like a innovative idea similar to a Schlumpf but more complicated. I thought the only frame consideration was an ISCG mount. Several frames with those nowadays. I'm thinking the Hammerschmidt would be great on a fatbike.

Luckily, I don't have any bike buying blunders. I'm patient and take a while to research before I buy anything, not just bike stuff.
The hammerschmidt certainly has its applications and is a phenomenal piece of equipment when applied to the right bike. Unfortunately, just never worked out for the bikes I've owned. And yes technically the only pre req would be iscg 05 tabs. But that being said it doest work well with bikes with a free floating rear triangle ala DW link, VPP, Maestro etc (DW being whats on my current bike). The gearing is to low on the HS for those platforms resulting in massive pedal feedback. So yes though technically itll mount up to a lot of those bikes, you wouldnt be optimizing the suspension for how it was designed.
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Old 09-11-12, 02:41 PM   #15
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That makes perfect sense and not something I had considered.
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Old 09-11-12, 07:30 PM   #16
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The biggest mistake was listening to bike shops as to what size bike I should ride. Some said 18", others 17" frame MTBs. Finally, by accident, I rode a small frame, heavy, dual sus Ironhorse and loved how easy it was to throw around. Moved to small Stumpys, biggest improvement I ever made.
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Old 09-11-12, 07:51 PM   #17
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Last weekend I dropped $150. for a cassette and chain for my road bike. I needed better gearing, 39/25 is too steep for my old legs. Told the bike shop to get the biggest granny gear they could get on. Gave me a 27n instead of a 25. Bit of a dispute going on here. Feeling pretty burned.
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Old 09-11-12, 08:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The biggest mistake was listening to bike shops as to what size bike I should ride. Some said 18", others 17" frame MTBs. Finally, by accident, I rode a small frame, heavy, dual sus Ironhorse and loved how easy it was to throw around. Moved to small Stumpys, biggest improvement I ever made.
That's interesting. I've been all over the map with frame size. Used to believe there could be only one size that was correct for me. But I've come to learn that I prefer different sizes for different types of riding. I've also gone from favoring small sizes because I wasn't flexible, to liking long sizes because I was stretched out, to liking small sizes again because I can apply more body-english on technical trails. Go figure.
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Old 09-11-12, 08:07 PM   #19
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... Told the bike shop to get the biggest granny gear they could get on. Gave me a 27n instead of a 25. Bit of a dispute going on here. Feeling pretty burned.
So....where you hoping for a 32 or a 34? Going that high might force you into buying a new derailleur, and maybe new shifters too. Maybe 27 was as high as the shop could go without triggering the cascade effect.
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Old 09-11-12, 09:46 PM   #20
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Old 09-12-12, 07:41 AM   #21
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So....where you hoping for a 32 or a 34? Going that high might force you into buying a new derailleur, and maybe new shifters too. Maybe 27 was as high as the shop could go without triggering the cascade effect.
Exactly. If you've got a standard crank and a 11-25 out back, you probably have a short cage rear derailleur. You might be able to cram in a 11-28t but a 30t in the rear could rip off your derailleur. Compact cranks are your (slightly expensive) friend.
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Old 09-12-12, 09:36 AM   #22
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I rode MTBs on the road, commuting (pre- and post-car at age 16), and fire roads. I literally had no idea there were any singletrack trails nearby. Sad, huh?

Then for a lot of years I didn't ride at all. Got fat, lazy and very out of shape. In 2010 I started bicycling again and I did a ton of research. But there's only so much you can know on paper versus things you learn getting out there and doing in.

Anyway, my biggest mistake was buying a Cannondale Quick CX Ultra. It's a relatively expensive hybrid, and money that would've been much better spent on a real CX bike or a decent hardtail MTB. I did some longer rides on it on the road and tried various tires on singletrack trails. The Cannondale Super Fatty Ultra headshok fork might have been state of the art in the late 90s, but it sucks today. Don't even think about trying to climb or sprint without it locked out! And I'm sure some of you are skilled enough to ride my local singletrack trails on cross tires, but I wasn't. (still am not. )

Since making that purchase the first thing I did was get a real road bike, which I log the most hours and miles on by far. And now this summer I finally got a real MTB, building up a used SC Blur frame with new parts. The Cannondale isn't totally wasted by any means because now it's a rain and winter road bike, and I might even do some CX races with it.
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Old 09-12-12, 10:19 PM   #23
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So....where you hoping for a 32 or a 34? Going that high might force you into buying a new derailleur, and maybe new shifters too. Maybe 27 was as high as the shop could go without triggering the cascade effect.
That is what the shop said. Shimano specs only allow a 27 with a short DuraAce RD. 30 would have been good enough for me. Looking back $150 for a compact double would have provided more range. But might have needed a FD.
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Old 09-12-12, 10:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
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I rode MTBs on the road, commuting (pre- and post-car at age 16), and fire roads. I literally had no idea there were any singletrack trails nearby. Sad, huh?

Then for a lot of years I didn't ride at all. Got fat, lazy and very out of shape. In 2010 I started bicycling again and I did a ton of research. But there's only so much you can know on paper versus things you learn getting out there and doing in.

Anyway, my biggest mistake was buying a Cannondale Quick CX Ultra. It's a relatively expensive hybrid, and money that would've been much better spent on a real CX bike or a decent hardtail MTB. I did some longer rides on it on the road and tried various tires on singletrack trails. The Cannondale Super Fatty Ultra headshok fork might have been state of the art in the late 90s, but it sucks today. Don't even think about trying to climb or sprint without it locked out! And I'm sure some of you are skilled enough to ride my local singletrack trails on cross tires, but I wasn't. (still am not. )

Since making that purchase the first thing I did was get a real road bike, which I log the most hours and miles on by far. And now this summer I finally got a real MTB, building up a used SC Blur frame with new parts. The Cannondale isn't totally wasted by any means because now it's a rain and winter road bike, and I might even do some CX races with it.
I like fat tires for the stability and reliability. I can't imagine trying CX tires off road for anything more than just cutting a corner here and there.
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Old 09-13-12, 08:53 AM   #25
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