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buying first mtb

Old 05-10-15, 04:03 PM
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benzaote
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buying first mtb

I have really wanted to get into the sport for a while and now i have the chance. a few days ago a neighbor of mine let me barrow his mountain bike. after riding it around and having i good time, he told me he would sell it to me for $250. is it worth it? i can upgrade this bike if needed i believe its from 2002 but not quite sure. im 6 feet 1 inch tall will these bike be the right size? It also does not have disc brakes is that something i can upgrade? sorry i know almost nothing about this. any info on would be awesome. my dream would be able to eventually be able to jump on some of my local trails. can you jump on this bike?here are some pics of it http://imgur.com/a/EDwii

ps it does have a front wheel i just took it of to replace a tube
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Old 05-11-15, 06:14 AM
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I'd look for something newer. Not sure about the frame size, but it's old-school geometry -- long stem and short top tube. It's probably got a steep head-angle too, and the result is a bike that won't inspire confidence going down hills.

The gearing looks a bit tall. Those front rings look to be 48/36/26. Newer bikes having three rings up front typically have 42/32/22.

Upgrading to disc brakes as you suggest you'd like to do often requires a new wheelset on a bike that old, and the upgrade can exceed the value of the bike.

Your friend has done a wonderful job in taking care of it though. The bike looks to be well-maintained and in good shape for something so old. You'd get your $250 out of it assuming that you find it comfortable to ride.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:57 AM
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ColinL
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2002 sounds right for the fork and 9 speed XT would've been new around then, as well.

It's in great shape, looks hardly ridden and was not exposed to the elements. It could be worth $250 to get started, depending on your local market. I've seen less capable bikes for more money but it would be nice to get it for less if you feel comfortable negotiating on it.

But first, you should ride it. If it's not the right size, or the fork needs service, it's not a good purchase.
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Old 05-11-15, 02:02 PM
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The frame looks to be disc compatible. I can't see the hubs but I'd assume they aren't so you would probably need new wheels or at least new hubs if you wanted to tackle wheel building. Looks like a pretty nice starter bike to me. I don't know if it is worth $250 or not but you certainly aren't going to get something new that is better than that for twice the money. Just have to make sure the frame is the right size. You should be on a large or maybe even an XL 19-21ish inch frame. As for the gearing keep in mind most of us are use to having to turn big 29er wheels and this is a 26er, the gearing is fine. Jumps just depends on what you consider a jump. I wouldn't want to huck that thing of a 6ft to flat jump but catching a bit of air should be ok. I don't know if the frame geometry would really be that much different from current bikes or if just slapping wider bars on it and a shorter stem would bring it up to more or less modern standards. You'd have to find the geo charts on the interwebs somewhere.
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Old 05-11-15, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
I'd look for something newer. Not sure about the frame size, but it's old-school geometry -- long stem and short top tube. It's probably got a steep head-angle too, and the result is a bike that won't inspire confidence going down hills.
Stick a shorter stem on it, it will do wonders for the handling, ok not as good as a 2015 bike, but for a beginner, will be a cost effective option. wider bars may be useful, but local terrain will determine this.

Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
The gearing looks a bit tall. Those front rings look to be 48/36/26. Newer bikes having three rings up front typically have 42/32/22.
That bike has a current spec 42/32/22 crank, a Shimano M571 LX, it's compact drive, Standard drive hasn't been around for MTB's since the very early 90's

Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Upgrading to disc brakes as you suggest you'd like to do often requires a new wheelset on a bike that old, and the upgrade can exceed the value of the bike.
Why? yes disc's are nice to have, rim brakes aren't the be all and end all, although if riding with others who have disc, would want to have the same stopping power as them, for cost, if looking at say Shimano M395 brakes, and say Shimano MT15 wheel, this can be done very cheaply, the v-brakes will also have some retro value if you are looking to go for disc's to bring the cost down as well.

Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Your friend has done a wonderful job in taking care of it though. The bike looks to be well-maintained and in good shape for something so old. You'd get your $250 out of it assuming that you find it comfortable to ride.
Agree with this, the bike looks barely ridden, if buying , would look to removing the fork boots, as they really aren't needed.
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Old 05-11-15, 06:28 PM
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benzaote
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Stick a shorter stem on it, it will do wonders for the handling, ok not as good as a 2015 bike, but for a beginner, will be a cost effective option. wider bars may be useful, but local terrain will determine this.



That bike has a current spec 42/32/22 crank, a Shimano M571 LX, it's compact drive, Standard drive hasn't been around for MTB's since the very early 90's



Why? yes disc's are nice to have, rim brakes aren't the be all and end all, although if riding with others who have disc, would want to have the same stopping power as them, for cost, if looking at say Shimano M395 brakes, and say Shimano MT15 wheel, this can be done very cheaply, the v-brakes will also have some retro value if you are looking to go for disc's to bring the cost down as well.



Agree with this, the bike looks barely ridden, if buying , would look to removing the fork boots, as they really aren't needed.

Thanks everyone for all the info it is really helping! dumb question what exactly are the fork boots? you said sticking a shorter stem? what kinda size would be appropriate? and another dumb question how do i tell if it fits me? i have the seat kinda high and it feels fine to me on the pavement but i probably dont have it set up right.
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Old 05-11-15, 10:55 PM
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The fork boots are the black accordion dohickys on the shock that attempt to keep them clean. I wouldn't worry about them unless you are up to doing an oil change which it probably needs.
http://my-sport.spb.ru/manual_1/2002...ce%20guide.pdf

A lot of frames have a sticker on the seat tube around the bottle cage showing the size if not you can measure the seat tube.

I can't find any geometry charts for your specific bike.
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Old 05-12-15, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by benzaote View Post
you said sticking a shorter stem? what kinda size would be appropriate?
I have to be careful in answering, because so much is down to preference and riding style and your own comfort.

Long stems come from the road-bike world. They put a lot of your weight over the bars, and they increase the leverage of that weight too. The result is a greater likelihood of going over the bars if, say, you are going down a bumpy hill and hit a bump just wrong.

Whereas in the worlds of BMX and downhill riding, stems are quite short, sometimes simply "as short as physically possible". That same thinking has been making its way into the world of mountain-biking. For example, here is a link to an image of the Trek Remedy, and notice how short that stem is:

http://s7d4.scene7.com/is/image/Trek...0,0&iccEmbed=0

Here is where riding style come into play. When I'm in the woods on a trail that is twisty and humpy and technical, I prefer as much as possible to ride BMX-style in what is termed the "attack position". I'm not sitting on the bike, but am standing on the pedals and balanced over the bike like a BMXer would be at your local BMX track. A short stem helps me keep weight balanced between the wheels, and allows me to shift weight forward and backward as needed.

OTOH, if you are just riding along a smooth dirt path in the woods that's straight and easy, then maybe you will be sitting for long periods, because it's tiring to stand for miles on end, and then you'll begin to notice whether the distance from handlebar to seat allows you to stretch your body out comfortably. You might need a longer or shorter stem to get your body position to where you can be comfortable for hours at a time.

Personally, I won't run longer than an 80mm stem on any new bike that I buy. I'm looking at 65mm, and maybe 50mm, but probably a 65mm stem for the cross-country frame I'm building this spring.

and another dumb question how do i tell if it fits me? i have the seat kinda high and it feels fine to me on the pavement but i probably dont have it set up right.
This also gets to riding style and preference. I like a smaller frame for twisty and technical trails, and a slightly larger frame for just riding along and sitting. Many if not most people can fit onto two sizes of frame. As a generality, I'd look to see whether your seat is within an inch or so of being level with the bars. The distance from seat to handlebar also matters, and newer bikes tend to have longer top tubes than older ones, and hence why older ones are often spec'd with longer stems.

It's really hard to tell from the photos, but that frame looks like it might be a 19" or 20" frame size, that would be in the zone for a six-footer like yourself.

Don't overthink the size. If the bike feels comfortable on a longish ride, then you're probably in the zone of reasonableness. I am 5' 9", and usually ride a size-medium frame, which is going to be 17.5" or 18" depending upon the brand. The next step up is a size large, and those are usually 19" or 20", again depending upon the brand. Some brands go up in even inches, and others go up in odd inches.
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Old 05-12-15, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
The fork boots are the black accordion dohickys on the shock that attempt to keep them clean. I wouldn't worry about them unless you are up to doing an oil change which it probably needs.
Fork boots are great till they get dirt and grit under them, then they just grind away at the stanchions; notice that no bikes/forks have been fitted with them since the late 90's (these are very late to have them fitted in '00, I have a set of Dukes of the same age, no boots from the factory). Early MTB stanchion wiper seals (think early 90's) weren't that great, hence the need for boots, the Judys should have decent wipers (would check this before removing), and these could be upgraded to Enduro Seals which will be better then OEM seals at a service.

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Old 05-12-15, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by benzaote View Post
Thanks everyone for all the info it is really helping! dumb question what exactly are the fork boots? you said sticking a shorter stem? what kinda size would be appropriate? and another dumb question how do i tell if it fits me? i have the seat kinda high and it feels fine to me on the pavement but i probably dont have it set up right.
The bike looks to have a 110mm stem, would look at say a 90mm, but to start with, would give the current stem a go, it's long by 2015 standards, normal by early 00's standards, and short by mid 90's standards.

For the saddle height, looks right n the photo for how would expect to see it on a bike, but only you will know if it feels right.
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