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Buy New or 'used' FS MTB ??? need opinions

Old 01-07-22, 04:11 PM
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cyclezen
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Buy New or 'used' FS MTB ??? need opinions

Hi All,
So after riding a 29r, I've decided to get a new FS bike (coming from a mullet '04 Epic 27.5x26).
I do have a budget limit $2300-$2500 USD, out the door.
so the question and need for 'opinion' is: Buy New -something similar to a Polygon T7 (out the door $2100ish) or get a 'used' bike of higher grade (looking 2016 Stumpy FSR Carbon Comp 9r, can get for $2300 ish)
Wish I could afford a NEW Scott Spark 970, but that would be $3100 out the door. So maybe some future time...
I'm not a hard rider, but do technical terrain at easier speeds, go easy on downhills also, 150 lbs, buying a Lg,size. - prolly class me as a 'down country' rider. Even so, most of the rides I do are rocky trails, not smooth forest trails. Lots of climbing, like doing long mileage rides (14-20 mi, 2k ft gain usually)
"New" means new drivetrain, lower level components though... missing dropper post, etc...
Used ('16 Spec Stumpy FSR Carbon Comp) means worn drivetrain ( but still not 'worn out', chain is still well within limits), good, but used tires, frame in good condition with minor blemishes, mid to top level components ( Fox suspension parts) but 2x crank (I'm ok with 2x, I don;t consider that a big factor for me) , good dropper post, topline shimano brakes, overall appears lightly ridden over it's 'use' span. It was clearly a superior bike when new...
I do tend to keep bikes for a long time, and keep them in good working/mechanical order...
I have been a 'roadie' for 58 yrs, quite high level for some of those years. Casual MTB'r for about 25 yrs, but tending to much more mtb time in the remaining years.
Skill level is 'passable' for what I ride, and expect to improve quite a bit, as I ride and learn more...
Not sure If I'd 'outride' either option, ever... But I have a good sense and feel for good performance equipment.
Would love all opinion on what you all might do, possibly something I haven't considered in reviewing the options ???
Thx
Ride On
Yuri

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Old 01-07-22, 05:07 PM
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Unless you find a used bike that has seen almost no use and it is a screaming deal I would keep shopping for a good deal on a new bike. FS bikes have lots of moving parts and these can have surprisingly short life spans, meaning rebuild or replace soon after buying, when you should be able to be enjoying your bike.

Also, there is no warranty on used bikes, and the more moving parts means more that can go wrong, and things like swingarms and linkages are often not available to buy as replacement parts, so if your swingarm cracks you might be SOL (Surely Out of Luck).


I am sure many people have a different view on this than me.
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Old 01-08-22, 09:28 AM
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My teenage son and I had been shopping around for FS for several months now. We did have similar questions as the OP and I did compare the Polygon heavily against my now Giant Trance.

My thoughts: buy the best you can afford within your budget.

The Polygon you listed, I have read the reviews and, watched Youtube reviews and have heard nothing but good things on that bike. With exception to some minor things some reviewers upgraded, like saddles, handlbars, grips and etc....

Some reviewers do point out, that it is a bit heavier than other bikes, but it does not at all hinder the performance. There are reviewers that are completely satisfied with the Tektro Orion brakes on the bike, others want more power and upgraded.

In general, the reviewers seem to really like the geometry, components and how it rides. Seems to me it's a great bike. It was a tough decision to choose that or my Trance 3.

I too would advise against a used FS bike if you are going to pay upwards of $2000. Mainly due to warranty reasons. FYI, I am starting to see many used FS bikes on Facebook Marketplace, that look new and people still want what they paid for them. You don't get a warranty on those bikes.

I actually would suggest getting the D7 which is on sale now over buying used:

https://www.bikesonline.com/2021-pol...on-mountain-bi
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Old 01-08-22, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Unless you find a used bike that has seen almost no use and it is a screaming deal I would keep shopping for a good deal on a new bike. FS bikes have lots of moving parts and these can have surprisingly short life spans, meaning rebuild or replace soon after buying, when you should be able to be enjoying your bike.
Also, there is no warranty on used bikes, and the more moving parts means more that can go wrong, and things like swingarms and linkages are often not available to buy as replacement parts, so if your swingarm cracks you might be SOL (Surely Out of Luck).
I am sure many people have a different view on this than me.
Let me add a couple of my considerations...
1. Won;t go into detail, but I've been and 'environmentalist'/TreeHugger almost all my life. In the '90s I decided to buy 'used' stuff whenever I could. Lotsa reasons... Although some things just absolutely need to be 'new' (underwear, shoes, etc... LOL!)
2. I do buy 'online', but for Big stuff I prefer to have 'hands-on' , especially Bikes... We have 4 LBS in our area, and in what they have NEW for the only possible close cost bikes are the Spec Stumpy Alloy - at $2900 out the door, and a Giant Stance for the same price.... Both would prolly need upgrade in the forks within a yr or 2 - so Think another $500+ soon, not sure about the shocks, but they're no prize winners either...
...so your comments are welcome - 1. do I break my budget and just go high in initial outlay? There seem to be no 'Deals' coming on bikes - The shops can;t get enough stock to cover their possible sales... don;t think that will change for the entire coming year.
Or, maybe I just use absolute patience to find the 'screamin deal on a mostly garage kept bike, with little use..
Thanks for your considered thoughts...
Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
My teenage son and I had been shopping around for FS for several months now. We did have similar questions as the OP and I did compare the Polygon heavily against my now Giant Trance.
My thoughts: buy the best you can afford within your budget.
The Polygon you listed, I have read the reviews and, watched Youtube reviews and have heard nothing but good things on that bike. With exception to some minor things some reviewers upgraded, like saddles, handlbars, grips and etc....
Some reviewers do point out, that it is a bit heavier than other bikes, but it does not at all hinder the performance. There are reviewers that are completely satisfied with the Tektro Orion brakes on the bike, others want more power and upgraded.
In general, the reviewers seem to really like the geometry, components and how it rides. Seems to me it's a great bike. It was a tough decision to choose that or my Trance 3.
I too would advise against a used FS bike if you are going to pay upwards of $2000. Mainly due to warranty reasons. FYI, I am starting to see many used FS bikes on Facebook Marketplace, that look new and people still want what they paid for them. You don't get a warranty on those bikes.
I actually would suggest getting the D7 which is on sale now over buying used:
https://www.bikesonline.com/2021-pol...on-mountain-bi
Thanks...
see my notes, above...
I strongly considered the Poly Siskyu D7, still on the list...
But whatever I buy will immediately have a dropper post added... really important for the riding I do...
My Son has had the Poly Siskyu T7 for a bit over the year, and is now needing to rebuild both the fork and shock. He's a much harder rider than I, but my OLD Epic has good top level Suspension stuff - FOX fork and FOX/Spec Brain shock. They made a difference over other bikes I had and got rid of...
Can I ask you : What made you decide on the Giant Trance (which version did you buy?) over other bikes in that class ?
Thanks for your comments
Ride On
Yuri - Still thinking about the Scott Spark 970...
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Old 01-08-22, 11:22 AM
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I don't think there is anything prohibitive about an older bike. I'd treat a used bike as an opportunity to try nicer stuff, starting with a fork that is better than Motion Control. I personally love the newer style and would keep it to bikes that launched in MY2017 or later and have a dropper, but really the older bikes function as they were intended to. It's not going to explode and kill you just because it's not current. Of course you want to worry a little about wear and tear, or old oil in the shocks, but if you are ok buying used things you are probably handy enough to rebuild a fork.
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Old 01-08-22, 11:28 AM
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I always buy used higher end over new. But I like to tinker and have just enough knowledge to know when something is worn out. Even cars and clothing. If I can find a higher end one for the same money as a lower end new, I'm there. That's just me. Do what you're most comfortable doing. I've known people that wouldn't even buy a 'used' house.
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Old 01-08-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Can I ask you : What made you decide on the Giant Trance (which version did you buy?) over other bikes in that class ?
Thanks for your comments
Ride On
Yuri - Still thinking about the Scott Spark 970...
I have some really great local shops that service Giant (Element Sports and Shepherdstown Bikes). This was the main reason, even though I do most of my own wrenching, the shops are very helpful on advise and ordering parts for me. BUT, my Trance was only in stock in my size at a shop 85 miles and further away from where I live. That shop (Mole Hill Bikes) was a very nice shop and the people working there were extremely helpful. I wanted to see the bike to make sure I was comfortable on it and wanted to see it rather than order something unseen.

I have the Trance 29er 3. https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-29-3

This is my first bike with Fox shocks, Marzocchi is a Fox brand. I had read the Z2 is essentially a Fox 34, but a bit heavier.

It's also my first full suspension bike, first with a dropper post. So I really wanted to really check out the bikes first hand rather than order online. I did look at the Specialized, think Stumpjumper, but was priced higher and felt more aggressive than what I wanted. Trek shops didn't have anything for me to look at so that was passed.

There were also other brands I could have looked at from shops further away from me, but honestly after checking out the Trance, I felt like it really fit what I wanted.

PLUS, have to give the honest but a realistic reason as well: I liked the color better! Honestly, Giant needs to figure out a way to showcase their bikes better on their website. This bikes paint looks much better in person. I've gotten to a point in my life that I didn't want a bike with bright colors to be noticed so easily. In the early 90's, I used to have a yellow Schwinn Prelude that could be seen miles away. Just not into that anymore.

Just an fyi, I tried to check out the new blue Spark 970, (my son really wanted that bike). My Scott LBS only had the orange/yellow color in stock. Was told that Scott sold out of the blue 970's and they were no longer producing any more for this fiscal year.
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Old 01-08-22, 04:07 PM
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With a used bike, it all comes down the the condition, and a 5 year old bike could be great or terrible.

If the bike has seen light use, or seen heavier use but been well maintained, the condition could be quite good. My FS bike is quite a few years old (2012 frame, 2013 fork, 2011 wheels), seen very heavy, hard use, but is in fantastic mechanical condition (though quite scratched up) because I maintain it very well.

Other people trash everything in a third of that time.
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Old 01-08-22, 05:00 PM
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The current Marz Z2 has an open bath damper with only one compression adjustment. In theory, this is a step down from cartridge dampers which have a volume compensating piston or bladder so the oil won't mix with air. It has a shim and needle type damper valve which gives a nice response (digressive, damping increases less with more shaft speed) but it can't be locked out. This also gives it a thematic link with the pre-Fox forks which were also open bath. It's probably a dead end for upgrades, but really good for the price

Rock Shox Motion Control on equivalent price forks is also an open bath with only one compression adjustment, but instead of shim and needle it has orifices with adjustable area. The feel isn't as good (linear, proportional to shaft speed) but it can be locked out, and the lockout has a blowoff. Older versions of MoCo had adjustable blowoff called Floodgate that let it act like a shim stack but now it's the middle option and no adjustments, all the nicer RS forks now have Charger cartridge dampers instead. RS "Gold" forks can't be upgraded to Charger, but Reba and Revelation and Yari can be upgraded to Sid and Pike and Lyrik Chargers.

Z2 also has a lot of cost saving things similar to the RS Gold forks, like plastic knobs, and thicker straight not butted stanchions made of less expensive alloy,

Probably too nerdy for this thread...
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Old 01-08-22, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
The current Marz Z2 has an open bath damper with only one compression adjustment. In theory, this is a step down from cartridge dampers which have a volume compensating piston or bladder so the oil won't mix with air. It has a shim and needle type damper valve which gives a nice response (digressive, damping increases less with more shaft speed) but it can't be locked out. This also gives it a thematic link with the pre-Fox forks which were also open bath. It's probably a dead end for upgrades, but really good for the price

Rock Shox Motion Control on equivalent price forks is also an open bath with only one compression adjustment, but instead of shim and needle it has orifices with adjustable area. The feel isn't as good (linear, proportional to shaft speed) but it can be locked out, and the lockout has a blowoff. Older versions of MoCo had adjustable blowoff called Floodgate that let it act like a shim stack but now it's the middle option and no adjustments, all the nicer RS forks now have Charger cartridge dampers instead. RS "Gold" forks can't be upgraded to Charger, but Reba and Revelation and Yari can be upgraded to Sid and Pike and Lyrik Chargers.

Z2 also has a lot of cost saving things similar to the RS Gold forks, like plastic knobs, and thicker straight not butted stanchions made of less expensive alloy,

Probably too nerdy for this thread...
Thanks! Actually that was very helpful! Been trying to better understand some of the differences so I do appreciate it.

Just started getting interested in MTN Biking a year ago rather than just riding rails to trails with my hybrid. I do feel like I have a lot more to learn. At the age of 51, I'm not afraid to say there is a lot I don't know.
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Old 01-10-22, 04:57 PM
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Get the 970 - you only live once. In the grand scheme of things, mountain bikes are cheap and good for your soul !
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Old 01-11-22, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Unless you find a used bike that has seen almost no use and it is a screaming deal I would keep shopping for a good deal on a new bike. FS bikes have lots of moving parts and these can have surprisingly short life spans, meaning rebuild or replace soon after buying, when you should be able to be enjoying your bike.

Also, there is no warranty on used bikes, and the more moving parts means more that can go wrong, and things like swingarms and linkages are often not available to buy as replacement parts, so if your swingarm cracks you might be SOL (Surely Out of Luck).




I am sure many people have a different view on this than me.
I'm not one of them; well stated!
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Old 01-12-22, 03:35 AM
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Right now used bike prices are high. I don't think you are going find a great deal. at least I have not. I have been looking for about 6 months. I either see really beat up 5+ year old mountain bike or 2 year old mountain bike the same price as new. There just hoping bike shop is out of stock in your size. I would rather just order and wait for for my bike
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Old 01-12-22, 06:50 AM
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I'm one of those who also likes to buy nicer used stuff rather than new, but it takes patience and time investment to find the good deals. You've got to scour craigslist, pinkbike etc regularly and be ready to make a quick decision because the good deals go quickly. For FS bikes specifically, I also agree that the added complexity of suspensions means that it's harder to evaluate condition accurately with a quick lookover, so there's a greater chance of getting burned. But generally speaking, if the bike clearly has low mileage (look for original tires with little wear for example) and the rider seems like someone who wouldn't be hitting aggressive trails, it's likely that everything is in good shape. And I would still always budget a bit extra over the selling price on the assumption that there will be at least a few small things to deal with.
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Old 01-12-22, 11:17 PM
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Ok, quick update. I will post more details later... cause I'm not sure I'm quite "there" yet (still not sure about '29' vs '27.5').
I bought a used Marin Rift Zone 3, v-nice bike 2018, excellent condition, looks and rides almost new, old Owner seems fastidious about everything - as shown by the condition of the 2 Motos he had in the garage with the Marin...

2018 Marin Rift Zone 3
Good suspension - Rockshox Revelation fork, Rockshox Delux RT Debonair shock
All Shimano Deore 1x 11 drivetrain and brakes, Tranx 120 dropper, fairly new Butcher tires
for an Alu frame and tubed wheels it weights in at 31.5 lbs, not unreasonable...
I got it for about 38% of the 2018 MSRP for this bike ($2800 ish ?)
really sweet riding bike, a bullet on the downhills, not bad on uphill...
...but... I'm not sure if '29' is really me... I really like to pick lines tightly, like quick handling, especiallly in really tight, twisty sections...
I gotta get some serious time on a newer 27.5 (same era as this bike) to decide which suits me more....
stay tuned...
And thanks for all the great comments - keep them comin...! as well as any thoughts about the above machine...
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: It still has the 780 bars on it, which I don;t really likie... Way Too wide for me. I have some 720 bars on the way, and those may make all the difference in the steering speed and response. There's just too much 'windshield wiper' goin on for small steering/line adjustments. The 720 bars may be just what this bike needs... will report back...

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Old 01-13-22, 08:25 AM
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If you want to try shorter bars, just move the controls inwards on the bars you have. If you like it, simply cut the bars down.
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Old 01-13-22, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Ok,

...but... I'm not sure if '29' is really me... I really like to pick lines tightly, like quick handling, especiallly in really tight, twisty sections...
I gotta get some serious time on a newer 27.5 (same era as this bike) to decide which suits me more....
stay tuned...
...

Nice bike -- you'll get used to it - the extra speed of the 29'er is worth it
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Old 01-13-22, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
If you want to try shorter bars, just move the controls inwards on the bars you have. If you like it, simply cut the bars down.
yeah, been thinking of that... need another set of grips, the current ones are closed end and sticky to bars, as opposed to ones with a clamp collar...
but will also give a newer 27.5 a try.
we have a great rental company in SB, which has current topline mtbs ... will get a day rental, and then do some head to head comparisons on a nice, varied local trail...
this is a fun thing, trying to find the sweet spot...!
Ride On
Yuri
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