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20 year old Ross never ridden

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20 year old Ross never ridden

Old 04-23-20, 04:02 PM
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20 year old Ross never ridden

I found a 20 inch Ross (I think 20 speeds) bike I bought for my son over 20 years ago. It was in a leaky shed the whole time and has some rust as expected. I now have 7 and 9 year old daughters who love the bike. I brought it to the LBS and he wants $135 plus tax to get it in shape. After a quick look he said the gears, frame, brakes all look good. The chain needs to be replaced. After reading some of the posts here, I think it's crazy to spend that kind of money. Where do I start? Thoughts? TY
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Old 04-23-20, 04:10 PM
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What do you have more of? Time, or money?
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Old 04-23-20, 04:16 PM
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Depending on where you are 135 is not that bad since they store needs to make a living.. I recently started working on a bike my son left in the garage and like the way it rode. It was worth maybe 100.00 tops & I already spent 100 on some new parts to clean it up.
About 8 years ago I pulled a 40 year old Scwhinn ten speed out of my mothers fruit cellar that my brother bough new. Back then maybe worth 200.00.. I put at least that into it with new cables, tubes, tires and a descent seat.
Moral of the story the 10 speed looks like it did in 1980 and I love to ride it. The new project after I paint it will have double of what it would cost to buy somewhere into it but I would have done it..

Value negative dollars but personal value priceless.. If you can afford it and kids like it....Nice project with dad to dismantle, lube, clean ect.. SOS pads work great on chrome. Maybe use some simple green first on the whole bike. Then maybe a grandkid some day will learn to ride on it also ... Just my opinion.

Otherwise eBay & craigslist have tons of 50-100 bikes probably depending on where you live.
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Old 04-23-20, 04:26 PM
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what all did the shop say there were going to do? hard to tell but doesn't sound outrageous

if it were me, even though it has been sitting i would be doing:

new tires and tubes (rubber gets bad over time....but inspect closely) and maybe rim tape
replace all the cables and housings (could try to get by with silicon lube in the housings)
clean old and regrease front and rear hubs, bottom bracket and headset
adjust brakes, put new brake pads on
adjust shifting
lube brakes and deraillers

This is totally doable if you are handy and have the right tools.....
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
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Old 04-23-20, 04:42 PM
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Didn't Ross stop making bikes in the 80s? Making this bike more like 35 years old. Or was there another Ross bike?

Regarding "worth it", I'd want to know more about the bike. What components, etc. Sure, there's nostalgia, but if the bike was a lousy one to begin with I think I'd find a Schwinn or Raleigh of similiar vintage. Your son never rode it, so that also limits the nostalgia factor. Depending upon condition, and the state the LBS delivers the bike to you in, 135 may be way too much or possibly even too little. For 135 I'd expect a lot of the rust to be cleaned up, the chain replaced, and probably bearings repacked with fresh grease.

If the water got into the hubs and/or bottom bracket then you may have to pop for new bearing races or hubs.

So... tell us more. If you post an imgur or google pics link we could see the bike.

BTW, I'm thinking that a 20 inch bike from 1985 (or 2000) is not going to have 20 speeds. So I'm wondering about this thing...

If its a high-tech mountain bike, that might make it worth spending on:

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Old 04-23-20, 04:42 PM
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You say your daughters love the bike--I would consider that $135 well spent.
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Old 04-23-20, 04:42 PM
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I wouldn't do it. For $135 there are superior bikes in this category by Giant, Trek, and Specialized that are much newer and made of aluminum.

BTW, a 20" bike for a 7 year old usually refers to the wheel size.

Last edited by Tony P.; 04-23-20 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 04-23-20, 04:47 PM
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Ah, from wikipedia comes one more reason to be careful. The original Ross company went under in 1988. And then (according to Wiki)"

"The Ross name was purchased by Rand Cycle in Farmingdale, New York, which suffered a recall of 11,000 mountain bikes in 1998.[11] "

From the CSPC, in 1998:

"WASHINGTON, D.C.- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Rand/Ross Bicycle Co., of Farmingdale, N.Y., is recalling for adjustment 11,000 mountain bikes. The front suspension fork can separate from the frame of these bikes, causing riders to lose control and fall.

Rand/Ross is aware of five reports of serious injuries which reportedly occurred when an improperly adjusted front suspension fork separated from the frame. These injuries included facial fractures and lacerations.

These mountain bikes were distributed under the names Rock Machine 2600, Rock Machine 3600, Tarantula MRX 1200 and Ross Mt. Washington. They are adult sized and sold in various colors including silver and gray, blue, moss green, burgundy, metallic green and luster yellow. Their name and model numbers are written on the bike frames."
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Old 04-23-20, 04:49 PM
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Doesn't sound too far out of line for me either. All the likely needed work is easy to do but does require some bike centric
tooling that might cost a big chunk of that $135. Parts: squirtdad's suggestions are a sort of minimum. 4 cables, 4 housings
and brake pads will retail at $40-50 by themselves. Tubes may be ok but tires will get pretty rotty but this can be determined
by inspection: lots of cracks and won't hold air then you throw in another $60-100 for that on top of the $135. Walmart might
save you some there. Disassembly, cleaning and regrease of hubs/bottom bracket and headset and all adjustments will take 2-3 hours
and require some of those bike specific tools. But that is all that several of us would do if it were ours. Dunnoh what the bike guy
When you say 20" is that the frame size? and the "20 speeds": chainwheel a triple in front with 6 or 7 cogs in the back?
A bike for 7 and 9 yr old suggests 20" wheel size, so the CPSC warnings cited would not apply.

Last edited by sch; 04-24-20 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 04-23-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
What do you have more of? Time, or money?
skills and tools as well
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Old 04-23-20, 05:22 PM
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$135 to overhaul a 20 yr old bike really doesn't sound that bad. I checked into my LBS to tune my bike up once they're able to re-open and I'm probably looking anywhere from $60-$80 and my bike won't need a chain, nor tires & tubes at the very least.
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Old 04-23-20, 06:56 PM
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If there is little wrong with it, I suggest doing it yourself. From what you said, this is probably the case.

If there is a lot wrong with it, I would buy another bike.

With 2 girls, you are going to want 2 bikes.

I don't spend money based on sympathy. I would not have it done at a bike shop, if I can do it cheaply myself.

Last edited by alo; 04-23-20 at 06:59 PM.
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