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Advice On A $85 Mountain Bike?

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Advice On A $85 Mountain Bike?

Old 05-07-12, 01:04 PM
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Advice On A $85 Mountain Bike?

Hi everyone, coming over from Bicycle Mechanics and the C&V forum, to ask about a pretty low-end mountain bike . . .

I'm looking for a cheap, basic, durable MTB to send to summer camp with my 16 y/o daughter to ride on her days off, on the local fire roads and back roads. She's not a serious "mountain biker" by any stretch of the imagination. We'd better call it "riding casually on dirt roads". Local CL turns this up:


"We purchased the bike at an LL. Bean store, so it has the store logo, however I believe it is a "Specialized - Rockhopper". I measured it as an 18" frame, which is basically a standard size. It is a 21 speed.

Used on-and-off during college and outings. Normal wear and tear, and has been maintained & oiled. Very sturdy and light. Brakes and gears are Shimano and all work well with the exception of 5th gear which sometimes slips. Bike disassembles quickly and very easily.
" Price is $85.

And you can follow the link to see the pictures. Basically, I'm interested in this one because it is < $100, not a Walmart bike, is a hardtail, and looks not-thrashed.

My questions are:

1. Does it seem likely, that this is a re-badged Rockhopper?

2. "Slipping 5th gear" - worn cogs? what else?

3. Any obvious red flags?

4. What do you think?
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Old 05-07-12, 01:21 PM
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As long as the frame is in good condition and most components are functional, anything else that could pose a problem is sure to be minimal.

As long as the bike fits, I'd say you have a spectacular and awesome deal...Grab it, before anyone else can!


Just have your LBS shop or bicycle co-op leader, give it the once over, after the purchase. Make certain that you take an expert who "knows bikes" with you, before making the purchase. The person purchasing the bike should do a test ride for at least 15-20 minutes, before the money transfer. Don't buy any bicycle that doesn't feel perfect!

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Old 05-07-12, 02:14 PM
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That should be a nice days off and dirt road cruiser. Most of us chipped our teeth on those bikes in the early 90s. We took them everywhere. Technically, so can your daughter.
But she will enjoy just bouncing around the washboard roads and a few trails. Make sure the rims and wheels are true and roll smooth.

I am cheap and would show the seller $50.
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Old 05-07-12, 05:28 PM
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A while back I had some mid-90's Specialized Hard Rock's pass through my hands. That bike looks exactly like they did, right down to the color paint. My guess is they're Hard Rock models. Still for your purposes, I'd check out the bike. If it's the right size, make a good offer. Once you get it, take it to the bike shop and have them check the chain. I'll bet it's worn out and needs replacement. Have them adjust the rear derailer, then ride it. It should be a good bike.
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Old 05-08-12, 04:01 PM
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OK, this is a hybrid...but it should probably suit the purpose nicely, and would be useful to have around. The 730 was a couple steps up from the basic 700 Multi-Track. If it's in good shape it's a great deal. Just throw a pair of cyclocross tires on it for the summer.

Trek Multitrack 730 - $100 (NE Portland)http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3004050816.html

Date: 2012-05-08, 2:24PM PDT
Reply to: bvcrz-3004050816@sale.craigslist.org [SUP][Errors when replying to ads?][/SUP][HR][/HR]
This bike is lightly used. Still in great shape. I'm not much of a bike person so I don't really know what to list as far as features on it. I do know it includes an air pump. I could also throw in a lock and lights if interested.

  • Location: NE Portland
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 3004050816


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Old 05-08-12, 04:34 PM
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It's plausible that it's a rebranded RockHopper, though I think HardRock would be more likely (because it was Specialized's entry level bike). Basically, any steel mountain bike of that era will be the same as any other with the same components, with some minor differences in the quality/weight of the steel.

It doesn't strike me as an amazing deal. The local craigslist is crawling with similar bikes, so hold out for one with a very good fit and in top condition (or offer less money). I got this RockHopper a couple of years ago for $120 in near perfect condition.

(I added the tires and pedals. Everything else was as pictured.)

The bike cycleheimer linked to looks like a good option.
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Old 05-08-12, 09:52 PM
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Thanks, guys. I didn't see the last two posts - work was heck and mother in law went to the hospital, quite a day - and picked up the green LL Bean bike. It checked out fine. Nothing missing or broken. Everything works though needs adjustments. Wheels are true, surprisingly. Reasonably light. Good fit. Cosmetically pretty okay. Tires good. Being badged as some weird store brand should make it less theftworthy. For our purposes it is perfect, and I needed to get this thing done - she leaves in a month.

Pretty fun to ride, too. Nice stomping low gear and fatty aggressive knobbies.
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