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Older Giant MTB: Should I buy it?

Old 04-09-24, 08:48 PM
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Older Giant MTB: Should I buy it?

Hi all,

I enjoy riding bikes, but am just starting off in terms of getting a "more solid" bike than my big chain store model. I came across an older Giant (A 950?? or A 450??) that is listed on Craigslist for $125. Pictures are included and I would appreciate any feedback on whether this bike is worth it or if I should splurge a little more on something with better frame, components, etc.

The sellers says the bike is in good shape and recently tuned with new tubes and chain. The bike frame is a fit for me. I would use the bike for some trail riding and in the town I live in to run errands.

Is this worth getting or are the components crud and not worth it, even for a beginner bike?

Thanks in advance for any input.




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Old 04-09-24, 09:02 PM
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It doesn't look like a high end bike and someone put a saddle from a wally-mart special on it but overall the bike from the pictures (which don't mean a huge ton) looks like it is in decent enough shape minus the front quick release skewer facing the wrong way and on the wrong side and the basket potentially causing cable issues (which they are want to do) I would probably try and offer less but you could probably easily find worse. The frame overall has a nice paint job.

I would probably save money and put it towards a better bike personally but if you were stuck with that minus a few changes it wouldn't be so terrible.
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Old 04-10-24, 03:21 AM
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At that time the A950 was a good quality frame made from double butted chrome moly. It is very similar to the Specialized Rockhopper of that era, likely due to Giant being the manufacturer of said Rockhopper. If it is mechanically sound, my opinion is $125 is a fair price and will work well as a commuter. With a few upgraded parts, namely wheels and gear ratios, it will make a fine touring bike.
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Old 04-10-24, 04:24 AM
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My wife has an early 1990's Specialized Hardrock -very similar to the bike in the picture.

Low end spec bike that is absolutely bomb proof. Shifts every time, never really needed any adjustment. Wheels stay true. All the original bearings and parts. I may have been professionally serviced once or twice back when my wife used it for short triathlons.

Take a look at the soft stuff - tires, tubes, grips, seat & possibly cables... all the hard stuff from back then is bombproof. Assuming that is not all old and rusty...
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Old 04-10-24, 05:20 AM
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I agree it looks ok for the money. It is good that it has a rigid fork at that level because cheap suspension forks are garbage. That kind of frame is quite versatile and pretty bombproof.
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Old 04-10-24, 06:11 AM
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From the pics, it looks like a pretty solid bike for the price.
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Old 04-10-24, 06:29 AM
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I bought a low-end Nishiki Blazer for $450 in 1997. It was my only bike until 2009. It is now my winter bike/utility bike. Studded tires in the winter, big fat smoothies in the summer. I had to convert it to drop bars a few years ago, but it still runs with its original gears and deraillers...except for the large chainring, which I replaced with a 53-tooth ring, the biggest one that would fit, in order to obtain a higher cruising speed.

The original Shimano cross-fire shifters stood up to daily commuting for 20 years before a small metal part snapped. The front wheel is still original, the bearings repacked only once. The bottom bracket has never been opened. The rear rim failed after 25 years of regular riding, but not catastrophically.

I did replace the original brakes, similar to yours, with V-brakes, which use the same mounts. In my mid 50s my hands became crampy, and the V-brakes require less squeezing power to brake.

With big, fat smoothies, the bike is fast, fun, sprightly and maneuverable despite its considerable weight.

Parts are still readily available at the bike co-op should I need them, and tire choices are still plentiful (especially online).

I love it!

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Old 04-10-24, 08:16 AM
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I would get the bike. Very girly - probably purchased for and ridden by a kid that didn't ride it a lot. Probably did go to the bike shop for maintenance, which is good. The non-adjustable rear rack and mounts are hard to fit so very likely original. The front basket with the pony (unicorn?) likely did not come with the bike.
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Old 04-10-24, 08:45 AM
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If everything is in good working condition, chainrings not worn and the wheels are not cheap aftermarket with a threaded freewheel, it is a good way to go.

The only concern is if it is Suntour equipped. Early 90’s was the end of the line for Suntour. Their earlier index drivetrains were not compatible with Shimano, but I’m not sure of the last offerings. Generally a red flag going forward.

John
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Old 04-10-24, 08:55 AM
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Thread moved from General Cycling to Classic & Vintage Appraisals.
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Old 04-10-24, 09:03 AM
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It's a fine bike and well worth fixing up but it's overpriced at $125. This would be a decent deal at $50-$75. That said, if it's your size and you have a hankering to fix it up and ride it, go for it. I love old MTBs with rigid forks. These are very versatile and solid bikes.
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Old 04-10-24, 09:37 AM
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I just had eye surgery and I am unable to clearly see the images of the bike, however from what I think I see this bike is the second generation of the AT frames, the ATX series. I could be wrong, but if not, the frame is as I previously stated in a post. The key tell tale sign is a 1-1/8" steerer/headset. Components look to be Shimano GS200 or something close to it. Lower mid-level group, but still durable enough to use every day.
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Old 04-10-24, 11:57 AM
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as others have stated - appears to be a good but not great bike

don’t have a good look to determine level of the frame - but (again) as others have stated it has a rigid fork which is a *huge* plus

the bike is equipped with lower end components - that typically work well and are durable - but often weigh more than the higher level components

when you combine the frame (?) … lower end components with the corresponding lower end wheelset - the weight of the bike could / probably will hover around 28 lbs … as opposed to 24 lbs … or whatever … for a similar higher level / spec’d bike

bikes like this - vintage rigid MTB - are among my fav type of bikes - very versatile … ‘jack of all trades - master of none’ … if I could have just one bike this is probably the type of bike I would have

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Old 04-10-24, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I agree it looks ok for the money. It is good that it has a rigid fork at that level because cheap suspension forks are garbage. That kind of frame is quite versatile and pretty bombproof.
Totally agree, those frames can last a lifetime and you can upgrade wheels and the tranmission if you want. This is what I did on my 1993 Giant Tourer and on my 1995 Giant Bronco which I have had assembled as a complete project

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Old 04-10-24, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
I just had eye surgery and I am unable to clearly see the images of the bike, however from what I think I see this bike is the second generation of the AT frames, the ATX series. I could be wrong, but if not, the frame is as I previously stated in a post. The key tell tale sign is a 1-1/8" steerer/headset. Components look to be Shimano GS200 or something close to it. Lower mid-level group, but still durable enough to use every day.
I had altus C10 which is what I had before on my 1993 Giant Tourer Hybrid and changed to XT 780 T, my oldest mountain bike is a 1991 Merida Albon LX but fully equipped with XT 780T and tubeless wheels. I need to change my tires which are begining to be worn out
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