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Drop some knowledge on a noob. Need some help with plans for a rebuild/overhaul.

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Drop some knowledge on a noob. Need some help with plans for a rebuild/overhaul.

Old 08-06-20, 03:55 PM
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BuckeyeBiker
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Drop some knowledge on a noob. Need some help with plans for a rebuild/overhaul.

Hi, I've been riding my trusty old tank of a Trek 800 Sport since 1998 with almost no issues. The frame, fork, cranks, pedals, brakes and everything seems in really good shape. No bends/dents or (visible) damage anywhere on the bike despite thousands of miles of use. Recently I've started riding a lot more and dropping weight, going from 370 down to 330... but still lots to go before I can fit on a 'normal' size bike. I just popped a couple of spokes for the first time, the rear hub isn't turning quite as smooth as it once did, so I started thinking about a complete overhaul: replacing the groupset, putting trigger shifters on instead of grip shifters, new crankset, new derailleur etc.

Long story short, I've done a ton of reading to try and educate myself, but I'm feeling very overwhelmed -- there's soooo much to learn, so many standards, so many options! I apologize in advance if my questions are dumb, I'm completely new to this.

The bike has 3 front chainrings (shimano), a 7 gear rear casette, with a shimano sis tourney T30 front and rear derailleur , standard 135mm dropout spacing on the steel frame in the back, with a bottom bracket hull of 68mm. Quill type stem with a threaded steering hub. The wheels are 36 spoke single wall and have held up well to this point, but I'd consider replacing them if needed as well.

Here's the thing: I don't know where to start, other than I figure I have about $750 to $1000 to spend. My local bike shop (they are really nice folks by the way and very knowledgeable) quoted me an option for about $1800 for a full rebuild with really nice components, but that's more than I can afford right now. I can look at each individual component and figure out one that would be compatible with what I have now, but I can't figure out what makes sense to do as a group. What's the best way to approach a complete overhaul like that?? Can I change it to a 1 x 9 or 1 x 10 setup? I have no idea how to build a wheel, so would I just need to buy a new wheel with a freehub, and does it need to a be a specific kind to work with the other components etc? That's where I get lost in the options.

Help a noob learn, I appreciate any insights!
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Old 08-06-20, 04:34 PM
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Noob buckeye guy,
Instead of repeating the I hate Ohio state thing like most big ten skools do, I think a more practical way to get you going again might be in order.
First how about just fixing the broken spokes and keep riding what you have? Then start thinking about best repairs or replacement parts one at a time. A single repair/replacement might be as low as $100 and not a bank breaker. You could do periodic upgrades and be where you want with the total upgrade doing in six months at incremental payments that are affordable for you. The total overhaul and upgrade is always going to be one of those fainting experiences like when playing Monopoly, just because of the cost of replacing individual components verses the cost of a complete new set on a bike. HTH smiles, MH
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Old 08-06-20, 05:11 PM
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You can change a lot of stuff, that's why some of our bike are over 80 years old. Question is should you? Most of us do the work ourselves so we get better parts and little/no labor costs tied in. With shop rates being what they are, are you better off fixing this one or getting a new bike? In most cases, if you are not doing the work yourself, it is almost always cheaper to get a new bike.
Usually when spokes start popping, they won't stop as the more that pop the more the tension gets out of whack so a few weeks later, more spokes go. It can be a vicious cycle if the repair isn't done by a competent wheel person or the wheel/spokes are just beyond service life. I would fix it for right now and keep riding then look at what is available in your price range to see if a new bike might be better than an upgrade. Not exactly sure what the 800 went for but bikepedia has them listed at 249 new... seems like you could probably get a nice bike in your range you've set aside for the work. Then again, it might give you time to think that you really like the way it rides and you want to upgrade it.

The biggest thing with upgrading bikes now is the drivetrain. It usually represents an all or nothing approach for most companies now so that a change in cassette/derailleur usually results in the wheels/derailleurs/shifters/chain/cassette/cranks having to be replaced all at once. If you can keep what your running or find compatible parts then you can do incremental replacements overtime. difficult but not impossible. But sometimes not cost effective at a bike shop.
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Old 08-06-20, 05:33 PM
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Here's the thing: I don't know where to start, other than I figure I have about $750 to $1000 to spend.

You can either get a brand new bike or really excellent quality used bike for that much money. I buy old bikes all the time for anywhere from $50 to $250. Completely refurbish them with all new tires, chains, grips, cables, brake pads etc. etc. etc., and, sell them for $250 to $450. You either need to figure out how to do the work yourself or find a more reasonable bike shop to do the repairs.
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Old 08-06-20, 05:37 PM
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A big problem now in COVID times is actually being able to buy parts. Many common items normally no big deal to obtain are "out of stock" without a known delivery time.
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Old 08-06-20, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Noob buckeye guy,
Instead of repeating the I hate Ohio state thing like most big ten skools do, I think a more practical way to get you going again might be in order.
Ha! I appreciate that.

First how about just fixing the broken spokes and keep riding what you have? Then start thinking about best repairs or replacement parts one at a time.
That's exactly what I'm doing right now, I'm going to take the bike to the shop and have them replace the spokes just to get back on the road. But I'm wondering if I should do one thing at a time or if there are things I should be doing at the same time, or things that are tuned to each other and thus need to be done together.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-06-20, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Noob buckeye guy,
Instead of repeating the I hate Ohio state thing like most big ten skools do, I think a more practical way to get you going again might be in order.
First how about just fixing the broken spokes and keep riding what you have? Then start thinking about best repairs or replacement parts one at a time. A single repair/replacement might be as low as $100 and not a bank breaker. You could do periodic upgrades and be where you want with the total upgrade doing in six months at incremental payments that are affordable for you. The total overhaul and upgrade is always going to be one of those fainting experiences like when playing Monopoly, just because of the cost of replacing individual components verses the cost of a complete new set on a bike. HTH smiles, MH
+1 this is the way to go, fix the spokes and take the hubs apart, clean and re-grease.

then maybe do the Bottom bracket or headset if they don't feel smooth

new brake pads are simple and can really improve breaking

new cables

If the twist grips die, consider the simple thumbshifters as replacement

have fun, learn, get new tools
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Old 08-06-20, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by canopus View Post
You can change a lot of stuff, that's why some of our bike are over 80 years old. Question is should you? Most of us do the work ourselves so we get better parts and little/no labor costs tied in. With shop rates being what they are, are you better off fixing this one or getting a new bike? In most cases, if you are not doing the work yourself, it is almost always cheaper to get a new bike.
I plan to do the work myself. I'm sure there will be lots of mistakes involved and a few choice words ... .but it's a great way to learn something is just do it yourself. Another factor is that with this damned pandemic there are very few decent bikes available right now, every store is pretty much empty. That really limits the options for new bikes too.

Usually when spokes start popping, they won't stop as the more that pop the more the tension gets out of whack so a few weeks later, more spokes go. It can be a vicious cycle if the repair isn't done by a competent wheel person or the wheel/spokes are just beyond service life. I would fix it for right now and keep riding then look at what is available in your price range to see if a new bike might be better than an upgrade.
I didn't think about that, but that makes sense. With it being so old and the wheels being the originals, it's probably that they are getting to end of life.

The biggest thing with upgrading bikes now is the drivetrain. It usually represents an all or nothing approach for most companies now so that a change in cassette/derailleur usually results in the wheels/derailleurs/shifters/chain/cassette/cranks having to be replaced all at once.
That's what it seems like to me as well. I think that's the route I'd have to go, but not sure where to start to identify what "group" of parts I could use. That would work for that bike.

Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
You can either get a brand new bike or really excellent quality used bike for that much money.


These days there aren't many new bikes available around here, every store seems to be out and the big ones (trek, specialized, roll etc) are talking about stock in November. Biking in November in Ohio is about as appealing as a root canal without anesthesia.

You either need to figure out how to do the work yourself or find a more reasonable bike shop to do the repairs.
I'm planning to do the work myself... there will be a steep learning curve for sure, but I'm willing to try. Just don't know how to start.

Thank you for all the answers already, they are much appreciated!
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Old 08-06-20, 07:28 PM
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OP you are getting some very good advice here. You can do the work yourself it really isn't that hard and to get started will require only a few bike specific tools. There are ton's of youtubes on fixing every aspect of bicycles. I personally like those by RJ the Bike Guy and Park tools.

As others have said for now get the wheel fixed it might be worth it to just buy a new (or used) wheel ready to go.
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Old 08-06-20, 07:32 PM
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Start familiarizing yourself with things like threading standards (BB, headset etc), shell width, rear spacing, brake type and reach, stack height, chainline etc.These are concepts you need to understand to pick components that not only fit your frame, but are compatible with one another.
Tools will be needed. Knowing what you have existing and what you plan to install will often determine what specialty tools you require.
Certain tools that will never be wrong are cone wrenches and allen wrenches.

Some places to find good information.
https://web.archive.org/web/20191117...TE_Welcome.htm

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/
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Old 08-07-20, 08:02 AM
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Having upgraded old vintage bikes with new group sets myself, I'd say save your money and just maintain and fix what you currently have. While doing that, continue to add money to that $1000 you budgeted, when it is enough to buy a new really nice bike, spend it.

You'll learn plenty just maintaining your current bike with it's current components.
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Old 08-07-20, 08:22 AM
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Think about a "donor" bike and swap parts as needed.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...166130485.html

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/b...172762885.html

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/b...170817073.html
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Old 08-07-20, 06:36 PM
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I'm still riding my '95 800 Sport I Goodwilled back in Dec 2013. I maintain and upgrade mostly on the cheap: a pair of Rhyno Lite rims off fleabay that came with a 9 speed cassette, necessitating used twisters (that the rubber dissolved, sorta, in a few years). Made the original derailleur mostly work till shop "upgrading" with a new Altus.

Next came cheap, very serviceable, Shimano trigger shifters (again off fleabay). Someone on CL had a smaller, new triple (fdr, crankset and bb) for $20, so replaced original that had cracked (but totally working) middle ring, shelving fder that couldn't fit around water bottle bosses.... Original brakes finally broke a piece, so cheap, really functional, Shimano Alivio replacements. Wanted extra space on the left handlebar, so scored a Forum donor friction shifter. Shelved the left trigger unit.

Somewhere, along the way, added a plethora of racks and bags (mostly excellent used finds on CL). Currently using the bike at least a hundred miles a week (car light) since the pandemic, and commuting now six years running.

It's a solid, steel, workhorse... perfect....


FRANKENTREK



​​​​

Last edited by Digger Goreman; 08-07-20 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 08-07-20, 09:26 PM
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It sounds like the only serious problem is the rear wheel. For some reason I don't understand, people are getting rid of their 26 inch wheels and tires. I see a lot of them on the Craig. It might be possible to find a used wheel that will let you at least put the old wheel aside and think about what to do with it. If all of the spoke nipples turn freely (or if not, apply some penetrating oil), replacing the spokes and bringing the wheel back up to a good uniform tension isn't insurmountable, and they don't have to be perfect. In terms of carrying weight, having sufficient and uniform spoke tension is more important than wringing out a tiny bit of wobble.

In my view a "complete rebuild" of an older bike isn't a thing unless it's an heirloom. Fix what's broke.
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Old 08-08-20, 10:47 PM
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You can get a complete groupset 1x12 sram eagle nx for under 300 dollars. The 12 speed casset will fit a shimano splined hub. It comes with the shifter too. You would also need a bottom bracket for a 30m spindle. Bsa dub sram 30$. I just completely upgraded an older bike. I got mine from backcountry.com. So that would take care of your drivetrain. I would rebuild the wheels. Wheel building is not difficult. It just takes youtube videos patience and a spoke wrench.
I switched from cantilever brakes to shimano hydraulic disc breaks I put on a new suntour air suspension for with a remote lock out. I think it was around 250 dollars. So the front was easy because the fork was made for it. mounting the rear caliper was a bit more difficult but several adapters are available on amazon for around 10 bucks. I used one of those but then modified it by drilling and tapping it so it bolted to the fender eyelet in the frame. That was not necessary. It would of worked fine out of the box. On amazon you can get a complete front and rear jgbikes hydraulic disk brakes set up for 100$. You will only need to buy rotors. Set of 2 for 10$. Eventually you can upgrade handlebars saddle and pedals. I really enjoyed doing it and was suprised how easy the switch to a 1x12 groupset was. As a side note 1x10 and 1x11 are probably a bit cheaper.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:20 PM
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Thanks for your posts, this has been awesome. I'm very appreciative of folks taking a few minutes to share some info / insight / experience.

I've looked around my area for decent new bikes but there just aren't a whole lot around, and I don't want to 'settle' for just some bike because the selection is slim.

So I'm going the route of just fixing what has to be fixed right now. There's a Shimano Deore 1x10 groupset that I've been eyeing that looks good, but I don't know if it would work on the rear freehub that came with the bike. The bike came with a 3x7 setup, does that mean only a 7 sprocket cassette would fit, or would an 8,9 or even 10 work? The dropout is 135mm, which would seem to be enough room for one of the larger cassettes, but I'm not sure.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Thruhiker View Post
You can get a complete groupset 1x12 sram eagle nx for under 300 dollars. The 12 speed casset will fit a shimano splined hub. It comes with the shifter too. You would also need a bottom bracket for a 30m spindle. Bsa dub sram 30$. I just completely upgraded an older bike. I got mine from backcountry.com. So that would take care of your drivetrain. I would rebuild the wheels. Wheel building is not difficult. It just takes youtube videos patience and a spoke wrench.
I switched from cantilever brakes to shimano hydraulic disc breaks I put on a new suntour air suspension for with a remote lock out. I think it was around 250 dollars. So the front was easy because the fork was made for it. mounting the rear caliper was a bit more difficult but several adapters are available on amazon for around 10 bucks. I used one of those but then modified it by drilling and tapping it so it bolted to the fender eyelet in the frame. That was not necessary. It would of worked fine out of the box. On amazon you can get a complete front and rear jgbikes hydraulic disk brakes set up for 100$. You will only need to buy rotors. Set of 2 for 10$. Eventually you can upgrade handlebars saddle and pedals. I really enjoyed doing it and was suprised how easy the switch to a 1x12 groupset was. As a side note 1x10 and 1x11 are probably a bit cheaper.
How do I check to see if that 12 speed cassette would fit on that freehub? Is there some way to measure or verify that? Seeing conflicting info on various sites, some saying only a 7 speed cassette would fit and if you have more (8, 9 or 10 etc), you'd have to remove one or more sprockets.... while others say it would fit.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
I'm still riding my '95 800 Sport I Goodwilled back in Dec 2013. I maintain and upgrade mostly on the cheap: a pair of Rhyno Lite rims off fleabay that came with a 9 speed cassette, necessitating used twisters (that the rubber dissolved, sorta, in a few years). Made the original derailleur mostly work till shop "upgrading" with a new Altus.

Next came cheap, very serviceable, Shimano trigger shifters (again off fleabay). Someone on CL had a smaller, new triple (fdr, crankset and bb) for $20, so replaced original that had cracked (but totally working) middle ring, shelving fder that couldn't fit around water bottle bosses.... Original brakes finally broke a piece, so cheap, really functional, Shimano Alivio replacements. Wanted extra space on the left handlebar, so scored a Forum donor friction shifter. Shelved the left trigger unit.

Somewhere, along the way, added a plethora of racks and bags (mostly excellent used finds on CL). Currently using the bike at least a hundred miles a week (car light) since the pandemic, and commuting now six years running.

It's a solid, steel, workhorse... perfect....


FRANKENTREK



​​​​
That is totally awesome! I love my Trek frame and bike overall.... just want to refresh it a bit.
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Old 08-09-20, 07:25 PM
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Replacing 7 speed freehub with 8/9/10 question
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Old 08-09-20, 08:32 PM
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The sram 12 speed cassette I put on my bike replaced a 9 speed. It's my understanding that shimano 7 -10 speed mtb cassettes all used the same splined freehub. The sram nx eagle is the only 12 speed cassette that I'm aware of that uses the same freehub body. It has to be the nx though. Gx and the others take a srams 12 speed driver. This sounds like a fun project! I might of posted earlier that I did the same thing only keeping the frame and hubs. Everything else was upgraded. I painted it with automotive paint and might of got carried away. handle bars and seat post are color shifting green to copper.


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Old 08-09-20, 08:38 PM
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If I recall correctly, the Trek 800 Sport is a pretty low-end bike...Entry level. If you've got $1,000 to spend, you might be better off by just spending a few bucks to repair it's issues, and then put the rest (along with maybe a bit more) toward a new bike. And since parts and entire bikes are a little hard to source right now, you'll have time to save a bit. For $1500 or so, you'll be able to get a pretty great new bike.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
If I recall correctly, the Trek 800 Sport is a pretty low-end bike...Entry level. If you've got $1,000 to spend, you might be better off by just spending a few bucks to repair it's issues, and then put the rest (along with maybe a bit more) toward a new bike. And since parts and entire bikes are a little hard to source right now, you'll have time to save a bit. For $1500 or so, you'll be able to get a pretty great new bike.
+1 1999 trek 800 was a $249 bike. fix basic issues and focus on new bike (new or new to you)

from new lebanon (I have been there visited a buddy from the coast guard)

Cannondale Trail 5 XL - $800 (New Lebanon)



https://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/d/...174500328.html
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Old 08-10-20, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
If I recall correctly, the Trek 800 Sport is a pretty low-end bike...Entry level. If you've got $1,000 to spend, you might be better off by just spending a few bucks to repair it's issues, and then put the rest (along with maybe a bit more) toward a new bike. And since parts and entire bikes are a little hard to source right now, you'll have time to save a bit. For $1500 or so, you'll be able to get a pretty great new bike.
Indeed it was. Grip shifters, entry level shimano groupset etc, nothing particularly special... but the frame is very sturdy steel and the geometry fits me perfectly, very comfortable. I took the bike to the local bike shop this weekend to get the wheels trued up, spokes replaced etc. Hopefully that should buy me time to decide what I want to do with it.
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Old 08-10-20, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Thruhiker View Post
The sram 12 speed cassette I put on my bike replaced a 9 speed. It's my understanding that shimano 7 -10 speed mtb cassettes all used the same splined freehub. The sram nx eagle is the only 12 speed cassette that I'm aware of that uses the same freehub body. It has to be the nx though. Gx and the others take a srams 12 speed driver. This sounds like a fun project! I might of posted earlier that I did the same thing only keeping the frame and hubs. Everything else was upgraded. I painted it with automotive paint and might of got carried away. handle bars and seat post are color shifting green to copper.
Love the color, nice looking bike.

From the link dedhed posted, it seems a lot of the 90's trek MTB's came with 7 speed specific freehubs that can't easily be upgraded.

Here's a dumb question: assuming the freehub can be removed from the rear hub, if I replace the freehub with a newer one (one that could fit an 8, 9, 10 etc cassette), wouldn't that mean the wheel (rim) is going to be pushed slightly off-center?
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Old 08-10-20, 08:19 PM
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BuckeyeBiker
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
+1 1999 trek 800 was a $249 bike. fix basic issues and focus on new bike (new or new to you)

from new lebanon (I have been there visited a buddy from the coast guard)

Cannondale Trail 5 XL - $800 (New Lebanon)



https://dayton.craigslist.org/bik/d/...174500328.html
If it was a $250 bike back then, I must have gotten royally screwed, I paid a lot more for it. It's still listed on bikepedia as going for $250 today

I've been keeping an eye on bikes in the area for sale, but I'm wary of buying a used bike from someone because I don't know if it's in good shape (other than the visible) and don't know how to correct certain issues and so forth. Definitely worth considering though, just a little more hesitant.
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