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Shady carbon fiber pawn shop bike - should I take a chance?

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Shady carbon fiber pawn shop bike - should I take a chance?

Old 01-23-17, 05:24 PM
  #1  
jdurango
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Shady carbon fiber pawn shop bike - should I take a chance?

Local pawn shop has a Trek OCLV 110 Ultegra, Ritchey bars, Cane Creek head set, Rolf wheels (stock). The hardware is pretty beat, but works well....looked and felt around as best I could for cracks in the fiber, couldn't find any. But someone has spray painted the entire bike black, supposedly to as a theft deterrent.

It looks like hell, but it fits me perfectly, seems to work well and I can probably snag it for $400! Watcha think? Worth the risk, or spend a little more on something newer/nicer? This will mostly be a commuter bike, so honestly I kinda like the idea of it being blacked out/uglied up as theft deterrent.

There's also a 2012 Specialized Amira Race Comp in gorgeous shape I can probably grab for $800. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-23-17, 06:32 PM
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Any advice is appreciated? Mine is this: a pawn shops bases its business on preying on someone's desperation and then exploiting other people's greed to cheat them. Even if there's an off chance that it's actually worth $400, my advice is to deny them the business anyway.
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Old 01-23-17, 06:48 PM
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I'd prolly pass because of the home spray job - unless it doesnt bother you at all. But $400 for all the negatives would put me off. It's a substantial amount of dollars - yes not in terms of carbon bikes but a lot in terms of a used ride, imo. You can do better.
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Old 01-23-17, 06:49 PM
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Bypassing the stigma of the pawn shop's business model, and focusing purely on the bike.

$400 is decent deal for this bike if the frame is sound,and it doesn't need much work. Of course, there's no guaranty, and there won't be much resale value, but if you're buying is as a ride, I doubt you'll find anything comparable at this price unless you follow Craig's list and ebay carefully for a while.

So, it really boils down to how you assess the condition of the frame, and you need to be careful and cold hearted about that.
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Old 01-23-17, 07:56 PM
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The bike being spray painted would be a huge concern to me, theft protection or not. Can the shop prove it was for theft protection? Or was it really for covering up a fixed crack or breakage? Granted, I have read that many fixes for a broken carbon frame can be done well, but painting the entire bike black seems strange to me.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
The bike being spray painted would be a huge concern to me, theft protection or not. Can the shop prove it was for theft protection?
Heck, can the shop prove it is a Trek, and not a cheap Chinese knockoff?
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Old 01-23-17, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
The bike being spray painted would be a huge concern to me, theft protection or not.
That was my thought. Too great a chance it was done to conceal damage.
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Old 01-23-17, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
Granted, I have read that many fixes for a broken carbon frame can be done well, but painting the entire bike black seems strange to me.
I'm going to guess that someone who would pawn their stuff is not likely the same person who would have had a carbon repair "done well", because that would cost money. Spray paint and auto body spot filler, not so much.
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Old 01-23-17, 10:35 PM
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It's not like your health and safety would depend on whether or not there is some hidden damage ....
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Old 01-23-17, 11:01 PM
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All good points. I'm tempted to ask the shop if there's any kind of guarantee period, and if I can use something like Carbolift to strip off all the paint and inspect the frame without effecting the guarantee/return period. Long shot, but I really need a good deal, and $400 for a Trek OCLV 110 carbon w/ Ultegra and decent components seems like a steal....IF it's legit...and I realize that's a very, very big IF.

Thanks everyone!!!
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Old 01-24-17, 06:11 AM
  #11  
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You could get a frame xray if those work; instead of trying to strip off the paint.
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Old 01-24-17, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Any advice is appreciated? Mine is this: a pawn shops bases its business on preying on someone's desperation and then exploiting other people's greed to cheat them. Even if there's an off chance that it's actually worth $400, my advice is to deny them the business anyway.
I have to agree. When my house got robbed a number of years ago the police suggested checking the local pawn shops for my stuff. I wouldn't trust anything there. Spray painted black does not inspire a lot of confidence either.
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Old 01-24-17, 09:03 AM
  #13  
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Do knockoffs come with a serial # ?
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Old 01-24-17, 09:10 AM
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obed7
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I would suggest that the theft deterrent did not work.
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Old 01-24-17, 09:11 AM
  #15  
Chandne
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Also, dip it in a disinfectant bath if you get it.
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Old 01-24-17, 10:57 AM
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how much does $400 dollars mean to you, and how secure would you feel bombing down a hill at 30 mph on this bike?
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Old 01-24-17, 11:05 AM
  #17  
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I don't think the black spray paint is so much a theft deterrent as it is proof it was probably stolen to begin with
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Old 01-24-17, 11:23 AM
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I would not. Spray painted is really shady. It's either an attempt to hide damage or to keep its rightful owner from recognizing it. Maybe both.
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Old 01-24-17, 11:39 AM
  #19  
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There are downhills around me that are so steep I can get speeds up to almost 40mph. No way I'd get on that bike for my rides!
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Old 01-24-17, 11:56 AM
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The energy attached to the bike is problematic. Its not always about a good deal. If you believe in that sort of thing..
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Old 01-24-17, 12:19 PM
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If it's just to be a commuter bike, I'd take the $400 to my LBS and buy a brand new Giant Escape 3, and then get the necessary accessories with the money left over. The Specialized, however, may be worth it so long as it's in very good shape, and it actually fits you. This is what the bike blue book value shows it to be, based on the info you provided:

https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/sear...spx?id=1000226
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Old 01-24-17, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
I don't think the black spray paint is so much a theft deterrent as it is proof it was probably stolen to begin with
I agree. Thief steals bike, then spray paints it to change the color so the owner doesn't recognize it and hides the decals so nobody knows what brand it is.

I was once walking around a used car lot when I saw an entire car spray painted black. Apparently the car had been stolen and the thieves decided that since the cops would be looking for a stolen blue car, nobody would suspect a thing if they were riding around in the same make/model with a crappy flat black home paint job.

Guy at the lot said I could have it cheap, might just take a bunch of paint thinner & elbow grease to make it look presentable again. I declined.
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Old 01-24-17, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
I have to agree. When my house got robbed a number of years ago the police suggested checking the local pawn shops for my stuff. I wouldn't trust anything there. Spray painted black does not inspire a lot of confidence either.
When my bike was stolen the responding officer said Craigslist had pretty much replaced pawn shops for stolen goods in my city. There's a city ordinance requiring photo id on all pawns and purchases by shops, with lists of purchased items sent to local PDs. He said from what they had been told, the bike might show up on Craigslist for the other large cities within a few hours drive.
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Old 01-24-17, 02:28 PM
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I wouldn't buy it
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Old 01-24-17, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
When my bike was stolen the responding officer said Craigslist had pretty much replaced pawn shops for stolen goods in my city. There's a city ordinance requiring photo id on all pawns and purchases by shops, with lists of purchased items sent to local PDs. He said from what they had been told, the bike might show up on Craigslist for the other large cities within a few hours drive.
I can believe that. My house was broken into pre CL. I'm still skeptical that pawn shops are all that above board. However, I'm not sure how pawn shops are regulated here.
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