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Old 11-02-18, 09:04 AM
Clark W. Griswold
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 8,045

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

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Here is a good trick, go post in other threads and make friends and become a member of the community. Don't just ask a question a leave like so many others. This is a great forum with tons of different opinions and some decent people.

Just for your info Fuji's number system goes like this x.y where x is the quality of frame and y is quality of components the lower number like 1 is going to be higher quality a 4.0 is generally going to be the lowest quality. Fuji is also owned by ASI which owns a lot of cool older brands that have now been kind of lost in a see of mediocrity. Joe Breeze pioneered the first mountain bike in the U.S. (or at least one of them) and Kestrel did some really early full carbon frames, SE did some awesome BMX stuff at one point well before ASI took over but Performance used to sell Campagnolo (a high end Italian component manufacturer that won probably most of the road races in the 20th century). The quality has significantly declined and was at a similar point in 2012 as well.

I would try and test ride some bikes and get a feel for what you are looking for. Your local bike shop or LBS will usually allow you to do this and sometimes private sellers on craigslist will allow it but with used bikes you need to worry about several factors. Is the bike stolen? Has the bike been well kept maintained? Was it a mid range or higher end bike (especially if an older bike). The reason you want a higher end bike when looking used is because lower end stuff doesn't hold its value well and sometimes wasn't worth the initial selling price. Some older higher end stuff can still hold some value or is more likely to hold value. Also check to see if there are dents or cracks in the frame. Especially with aluminum and carbon fibre dents and cracks are bad and mean a frame that is unsafe. It is useful to note that with a used bike you won't get any warranties on the bike so if it has issues you are SOL.

The reason to test ride bikes is so you can get a feel for the frame and components and see if it is something you want to ride. The saddle won't really tell you much so you can ignore that (yes pain is a possibility in those short rides) but you want to see if the frame is comfortable because typically aluminum frames and forks are a bit more stiff and rigid and lead to a poor ride. Also you want to know if the gearing is going to work for your needs. Granted your gearing can be changed but that will add cost and sometimes it can be quite a bit of cost if you also have to replace derailleurs and shifters.

When looking at a bike if you see Tourney or a derailleur that just says SRAM and nothing else you will certainly want to avoid that. Generally most quality components are going to be 9 speed on up and lower quality stuff is going to be 8 speed and below at least these days the farther you go back the more likelihood you can have of finding some higher quality 8 or below components. For mountain bike components generally it is good to look around Deore and up and for road I generally will stick around 105 to get good quality but the 1 step down from those Alivio and Tiagra is certainly better then in past years.
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