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Good bike or lame-o?

Old 03-23-12, 01:05 PM
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Good bike or lame-o?

I'm still on the hunt for a bike, and I have decided that a CX bike would suit my needs for commuting, trail riding, and light touring. I've found this one on ebay, however I'm not sure if this is a good deal... Any help would be most appreciated!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/GRAVITY-LIBE...item2c638082fe
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Old 03-23-12, 01:18 PM
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Will it fit you? The sizes only seem to come in 4 cm intervals. That's the most important question.
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Old 03-23-12, 01:21 PM
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Looks nice, in the black, not so much the yellow, decent spec, the ony thing that isn't great are the brakes, replace the pads with some Koolstop Salmon or similar; it's got rack / fender mounts if you need them. Biggest question is will it fit you?
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Old 03-23-12, 01:33 PM
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That's the thing, I need to go and find a gravity dealer in seattle and get fitted... I'm about 5'9" so I think the medium size frame would work however, I'm a little wary about buying a bike sight unseen. Also, it comes assembled. Would it be too hard to assemble a bike for someone who rebuilds engines? After assembly I would take it to a lbs and have it adjusted...

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Old 03-23-12, 01:56 PM
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Sorry, I meant to say it comes UN-assembled...
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Old 03-23-12, 02:04 PM
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Corn,

I have been a guy who worked with his hands his entire life.... a few years ago I bought a recumbent from eBay and it was delivered "unassembled" with about a 16 page book of photos and fractured english instructions from the Chinese manufacturer. It took me about two days, and a half dozen tools to put it all together, including cutting the cable sheaths to size and routing all the cables. If you can rebuild an engine, you can put together a bicycle. Things like that tend to just 'make sense' and mostly only go together one way. I'm NOT trying to minimize the wonderful things that a bicycle mechanic can do, I still take my bikes to the bike shop to have them tuned, but if it's an assembly, you can probably do it.

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Old 03-23-12, 02:05 PM
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This is a Bikes Direct (see: bikesdirect.com) bike, so good luck finding a local shop to try it out; I have a similar model, the Gravity Zilla 29er and, for the money its been a great bike. I'm 5'7 with a 29" inseam (not that that's an exacting measurement, but it helps) and I went with the 50 centimeter frame. Any bigger and I'd not fit it, so I think right around there might be OK for you as well.
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Old 03-23-12, 02:17 PM
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You won't find a local dealer because they're a web brand (AFAIK, based on the bikesdirect model). I've not heard of the retailer on that ebay listing, but if you want the Gravity Liberty CX, and you don't want to pay their $45.00 shipping fee, you can get the same bike at www.bikesdirect.com for the same cost, with FREE shipping to your door.

BD bikes aren't bad, from the reviews I've read and the people I've ridden with who have them. They do require some assembly and adjustment when you get one, so if you don't know all the ins-n-outs of assembling a bike you might need to enlist some help. There are some light things that should be done which aren't always done to the best degree upon their factory assembly (like greasing the bottom bracket) so you might want to fully disassemble and inspect things. But, they are good rides overall. For the money, they're tough to beat.
I wouldn't suggest racing it at the local MFG or SCX series, but for commuting/touring and even hitting the Thrilla trail in Woodinville, you're probably fine.
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Old 03-23-12, 02:18 PM
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I was thinking it was a bikesdirect bike. If so, you're not going to find a dealer to try it out, but it also will probably come with minimal assembly required. At least assuming the seller is bikesdirect and not a reseller that stripped the good parts off and has put some other (lower grade) stuff with it for you to assemble.
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Old 03-23-12, 02:43 PM
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The bike looks like a fair deal for $400. As others have said, get the one from Bikesdirect.com and save on shipping. The Alex R450 rims are decent, look like 36H and the Sora/ST230X series derailleurs and shifters are typically on the better end of the entry level component spectrum, and I can't fault Tektro Oryx cantilever brakes. I own them and ride them, and they work very well, although I'd wish they made a set with just ever slightly less spring tension for long down hills riding the brakes.

If it's the same company that laces the wheels with Alex Rims and Formula hubs that many of these mass production bikes have, then you'll likely need to overhaul the hub bearings just to make sure they didn't over tighten, and be prepared to replace the drive side spokes on the rear wheel. The wheels I've seen coming pre-laced can have one or more spokes fail in the first 500 miles on the rear drive side. The spokes will have no imprint on the ends and so it's unlikely you'll be able to determine the maker.

But otherwise, CrMo fork, threadless 1 1/8 headset, and standard braze-ons means the frame has upgrade and accessories potential. A decent price at $400 and decent value if it ships intact to your door with no mechanical issues. If you buy one, it'd be great to have your give us a review. I bet others will be interested in that specific bike and your experiences with it.
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Old 03-23-12, 02:55 PM
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Here is my do-it all bike, Surly Cross Check, 36 spoke wheels, mix of components, 37c tires, uncut steerer tube. I also have a set of wheels with 28c tires for faster rides. If you commute fenders are a plus.
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Old 03-23-12, 03:16 PM
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If you look at the address listed, there is indeed a bike shop there. Anyone in Houston know of them?

The way I've seen bikes come in from suppliers is that they are mostly assembled and then packed for shipping. So all the cables are run, bars are taped, tires mounted, etc. They generally ship with the wheels off the bike, and the handlebars removed from the steerer. Not too tough to assemble.
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Old 03-23-12, 03:27 PM
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A cx bike is not a bad choice...... take a look at commuting.

One question about a web bike is: how good are you at bike mechanics? if you can't twist a wrench you should add some dollars to the cost for:

Initial check, adjusment

tune up after a few hundred miles

also if there asre issues you don't have a LBS to go to in person so you need be mentally prepared.
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Old 03-23-12, 06:01 PM
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As noted by others, save the shipping and buy from Bikes Direct (you could take the shipping cost and put it toward the next CX bike up on BD to get a better fit if you happen to fall between sizes). The bike has low end components but nothing that looks bad (other than the need to upgrade brake pads). I have a CX bike as a commuter and it has been great. Needed to go down a size from my road bike for a proper fit.
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Old 03-23-12, 06:31 PM
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It wouldn't be a bad bike for $400, but I'd buy it from bikesdirect and pocket the $45 shipping difference. Just don't be fooled by the $900 MSRP. A bike spec'd like that would maybe go for $500-600 at a LBS and they'd probably drop the price or throw in free or discounted accessories. Even the $600 CX bike at Nashbar is a pretty significant step up in components.

Depends on where you live, but I've seen some used Surly Crosschecks listing for about $500 on craigslist lately that would probably be a better buy.
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Old 03-23-12, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wvridgerider
Here is my do-it all bike, Surly Cross Check, 36 spoke wheels, mix of components, 37c tires, uncut steerer tube. I also have a set of wheels with 28c tires for faster rides. If you commute fenders are a plus.
Is that one of Topeaks big saddle wedges?
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Old 03-23-12, 07:09 PM
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The seat looks really cheap.

Check with your local LBS, many of them have free tune ups & discounts on helmets and other bonuses if you buy a bike from them. For example, one local LBS in my hometown has two free tune ups, 35% off a new helmet, free bike registration with the city, and other benefits which amounts to $250 in value for every new bike purchased. If you bought a $400 bike, you'd get more than half of the purchase price in free benefits and discount savings.
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Old 03-23-12, 11:51 PM
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Wow, thanks for the reply guys! For now, I think I'll wait and try my luck with craigs list for a little while... We'll see. I'm just starting grad school and on a budget and so far I haven't found many older used CX bikes up for sale. The oldest ones I've been able to find date back to about 2007 and still go for about $600...
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Old 03-24-12, 04:29 AM
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Make friends with your local bike dorks. Stop in your local shops and let them know what you're looking for and what your price range is.

The best used deals get snapped up long before they ever hit craigslist around here.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:45 AM
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No it is a JANDD. It is expandable.
Originally Posted by jethro56
Is that one of Topeaks big saddle wedges?
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