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Old 03-24-16, 06:47 PM
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Beginner Intro

Hello to all! I'm Omar, 32yo Marine Corps disabled veteran, posting from Chicago, IL. Out of the blue recently, I decided to try my hand at cycling. I wanted to try something other than running for cardio, but I hate going to the gym to sit on a stationary bike, so I figured it might be worth my time to hit Craigslist and see what I could find. I have never been into this in the past, and never really had a bike when I was a kid. I did have one, briefly around age 10, and it was stolen. I never really cared to have a bike after that. I would just ride my friends' bikes sometimes. I like to tool around with German cars, sports cars... BMW, Porsche, and own a few. Cycling seems to be one of those hobbies that will allow me the same satisfaction that I get from fixing up and tuning my cars, but on a smaller scale.

I did some light google searches on beginner cycling, what kind of bikes to look for, and how to shop for a used bike. I decided on a mountain bike to start with. I found this Trek 820 Mountain Track being listed at $85. I originally wanted to spend about $40. The closest other options were a Nishiki bike that looked rough and was being offered for $40, and every other Fuji, Giant, Specialized or Trek I could find was either under $100 and too far, or over $150 and local. I went to view the Trek 820 and it looked clean enough. Rear wheel didn't wobble, front wheel had some wobble, frame was not cracked or abused, saddle was clean, handle bar grips show age and wear, didn't see any serious rust anywhere... things looked good enough. I went for a quick ride and the shifting was good, but the brakes were rough and squeaked. I figured it had something to do with the front wheel. I talked to the owner some more. He bought used and rode it about two years, and now has a road bike. He said he thinks the model year is 1997 on this Trek. I asked him about maintenance and he had nothing done to it this whole time, but he said he lubed the chain. I offered to pay $60 and was on my way.

I went to a bike shop immediately. The bike was looked over and praised for being in such decent condition, considering it appeared to be about "20 years old", which is consistent with the previous owner's claim that it may be from 1997. The tech showed me that the front Shimano Altus brake caliper had some plastic covers that had broken, causing the front brake not to engage properly. He noticed the front wheel wobble and offered to have the wheel trued. He then checked the shifting, and said it was a tad bit noisy and offered an adjustment of the rear derailleur. Finally, the rear brakes needed adjustment also, as one side of the calipers engaged lazily.

The bike will be ready tomorrow. I hope to spend a ton of time this spring and summer riding this new-to-me, rescued Trek 820. It looks like my new hobby has been discovered.

These are the pics from the craigslist ad

These are from my trip to the shop

Last edited by OT_8391; 03-25-16 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 03-24-16, 10:12 PM
10 Wheels
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Hey Omar,

Welcome and thanks for all the pics.
Fred "The Real Fred"

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Old 03-27-16, 04:25 AM
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Semper Fi and welcome. The bike looks great. I also hate sitting on a stationary cycle trainer. You should love getting out and about on your new bike.
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