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Bought a used bike on ebay and .. please share your thoughts

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Bought a used bike on ebay and .. please share your thoughts

Old 08-05-17, 09:39 AM
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jimicoltrane
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Bought a used bike on ebay and .. please share your thoughts

Hi, I've been a lurker and occasional poster here for a while but recently had to change names from wrxrider when I was unable to log in using that moniker.

I recently bought an expensive road bike used on ebay. Seller had lots of great feedback. Bike was advertised as having "no modifications other than handlebar tape."

I got the bike. It was professionally packed and looked great. Brought it to my LBS for a professional, computer fitting. Fitter and tech shared that the steerer column had been trimmed so low by previous owner that getting proper fit may be impossible. Further, there is no extender that will fit the bike as the manufacturer chose a unique diameter. The proper fix, if available, is a new fork/steerer tube, which may or may not be available as the colors on the bike have changed since this one was made (2015). It's possible that other things can be done to get close. Will know more later.

I reached out to the seller. His reply: "All steerer tubes are trimmed on new bikes to accommodate for the stem on the bike. Just like cables would be trimmed. Not that this bike has any cables. So, my point is that it as original/unmodified as a used bike can be." Nevertheless, seller seems open to making things right.

The fitter/tech says this is in fact a modified bike. I also have $175 invested on top of the purchase price for the fit.

The story doesn't yet have a conclusion. I'm heading back to the fitter today to get his view but I thought I'd share now hoping some of you could share your thoughts based on the story so far. I ride bikes but have zero experience w/ the technical side.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-05-17, 09:59 AM
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That is a tricky subject. Assuming the bike was ridden, then the steer tube would be cut to length.

Presumably you had photos of the bike in the ad, and it should have been clear in the photos that the steer tube was cut short, and the bars were set quite low. Although, close-ups aren't always provided.

What is the steer tube diameter?
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Old 08-05-17, 10:09 AM
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are you sure you bought the correct size bike?
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Old 08-05-17, 12:44 PM
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Answering Wspsux's question, the bike is the right size. And with a new stem the fitter believes it will be "fit" as it should be based on the data he uses.

But I just returned from the LBS with some new info: the bike has an 11x23 cassette rather than the stock 11x28. The seller was in FL, so the 23 might make sense for him there, but I'm in Central NJ where it's quite hilly. Referencing the ad again the seller lists the stock 11x28. I've reached out to the seller on this. Hopefully he'll make it right.
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Old 08-05-17, 01:07 PM
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You bought a used bike that the original owner set it up so it worked properly for him. Probably you should have expected that.

So far as the cassette, if he listed the bike with an 11x28, then he owes you that. If he did not, then he does not -- my opinion. Last time I bought a new bike I traded the stock cassette for the cassette I wanted before I left the shop. He might have done the same thing. So what is spec'd with new on some company's website isn't what you might get when buying used. Plus, cassettes are wear items, so they need to be replaced occasionally. I'd say just buy the cassette you want, keep the 11x23, and don't make a fuss; it's nice to have a few different cassettes around.

Hopefully you love the bike!
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Old 08-05-17, 01:31 PM
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Cassette doesn't count, it's a consumable, wear out and replace just like tires or the chain, so I think it's unreasonable to expect the original cassette to be on the used bike. Or the exact gearing of the stock cassette. If he listed it as 11x28 and it's 11x23 you have grounds to complain, but personally I'd be inclined to use it and replace it later.
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Old 08-05-17, 01:33 PM
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There are some sellers that look up a bike and copy the specs off of the manufacturers website without verifying what is actually on the bike.

So, as GuitarBob said, if the ad specifically says 11x28, then the seller should supply that (and maybe a new chain if needed). If not, and you got that information off of some other site, then it shouldn't be a big deal to replace with the cassette and chain that you want.

I would imagine some shops in Florida would automatically upgrade a cassette to 11x23 before putting bikes out on the floor.
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Old 08-05-17, 01:46 PM
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I wouldn't call cutting the steerer tube a modification. It's something every bike owner should do once a proper fit is dialed in. Too much steerer tube above the stem looks dorky, and if there's a whole lot extra you can argue that it's a safety issue.


If the stem was slammed, you should have known from the photos. If you have some kind of special fit that requires a lot of steerer tube, that's something you should have been looking out for.


At the end of the day it's not the seller's fault. Take it as a lesson that you should pay more attention to that when you buy a used bike.


You do have an argument with the cassette if he listed it wrong.
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Old 08-05-17, 02:05 PM
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Nope. Cutting the steer tube is what happens when someone rides it and fits it to them.

This is something you ask before buying a used bike.

If I was the seller I probably would tell you to pound sand and I'd be prepared to defend myself in an eBay dispute.

You probably should have had a fitting done first.

But that's just my opinion.
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Old 08-05-17, 02:11 PM
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Get a riser stem and a new cassette and ride the **** out of it.

Trying to go after the seller for your inexperience sounds petty.
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Old 08-05-17, 04:27 PM
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let's see how short this steerer tube really is. post a pic of the bike in its current setup!
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Old 08-05-17, 05:04 PM
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Have to agree with DXchulo and Brianmcg123, cut steerer is to be expected.

All steeertubes come way to long. They have to be cut by the owner. When buying a used bike, verifying there is enough steertube is important. This is not the seller's responsibility.

And 11x23 vs 11x28 is pretty trivial, IMO.
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Old 08-05-17, 05:15 PM
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The steerer tube not sticking out of the stem in an unsightly fashion should have been obvious in any pictures.
A permanently slammed stem is a 41 approved feature, not a bug.
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Old 08-05-17, 08:25 PM
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Am by no means an expert on anything bike related, but never knew that you were supposed to cut the steerer tube down, but surely you cannot describe something as "no modifications except bar tape" when you have in fact modified it, even if those modifications are perfectly reasonable and possibly even to be expected. Same with the cassette, it is the sellers responsibility to check his description. If he copies and pastes the specs,there is nothing to stop him correcting the bits that are wrong.
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Old 08-05-17, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jimicoltrane View Post
Further, there is no extender that will fit the bike as the manufacturer chose a unique diameter.
The steerer tube is non-standard? Does it have a unique headset too? This is very rare.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 08-05-17 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 08-05-17, 09:45 PM
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Yes, slamming the stem and cutting the steerer is a modification, certainly in excess of new bar tape. I have a Jamis carbon bike with the stem/steerer as it came from the store, it looks like the catalog; it is unmodified. I have a CAAD10 with a slammed stem/cut steerer; it has been modified. However, the slammed stem can be seen in the worst picture. So I think it's a push.

There's a good chance the seller is not selling his own bike, and when you enjoy the savings of buying used on ebay you have to look out for discrepancies between the photo and the description. You learn a lot buying used.

Finally, if you didn't know to look for stem/steerer height in a photo, how do you know the fitter has your one correct height? I have bikes that fit more relaxed, and bikes that fit racier. Maybe as you get into it you'll like a racier fit than what a fitter would choose for a new-ish rider. I'd ride the bike for a while. If your neck is killing you, ok, that was too low.
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Old 08-05-17, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jimicoltrane View Post
I reached out to the seller. His reply: "All steerer tubes are trimmed on new bikes to accommodate for the stem on the bike. Just like cables would be trimmed. Not that this bike has any cables. So, my point is that it as original/unmodified as a used bike can be." Nevertheless, seller seems open to making things right.
Tell us more about this bike with no cables.

Link to original ad would be good too.
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Old 08-05-17, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Tell us more about this bike with no cables.

Link to original ad would be good too.
Fixie?
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Old 08-05-17, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Fixie?
Nope, cassette. Probably hoses and wires.
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Old 08-05-17, 10:34 PM
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Isn't SRAM doing wireless shifting?

Of course one still has to stop. Perhaps wireless hydraulic.
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Old 08-05-17, 11:35 PM
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Hopefully you at least looked at some photos of the bike, was the steerer shortened or not.
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Old 08-06-17, 12:57 AM
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For the OP,
Have you tried riding the bike?
You may find that you can adjust to bars lower than you had initially expected.

Most stems have 2 directions, up and down. Flipping it up will give you at least some rise.

You have never answered what was unique about the stem size. Perhaps someone will have some suggestions for better stems. Length? Angle? Size?
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Old 08-06-17, 01:37 AM
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What bike did you buy?
Just A quick look I see some new road bikes with slam stems and others with spacers.

This seller or any seller should not list A bicycle as "no modifications except for tape etc.".Just too much grey area here.Did they buy this bike new and just change the bar tape?
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Old 08-06-17, 06:44 AM
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Cutting the steerer is a normal part of setting up a new bike and I would not consider it a modification BUT then again if I were buying a used bike I would be asking how long the steerer is. A new rider who does not know these questions to ask would be much better suited buying from a respected dealer who can help guide them through the process and get them on the right bike. I am in the market for a handgun and I am a complete newbie. Ill be buying new as I don't yet know all the questions to ask to insure buying the proper one used.
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Old 08-06-17, 07:47 AM
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what kind of steering column does the fork have? if it is non-taper alloy you might be able to get a column extender inserted. If it is carbon, you still have a few options to bring the handlebars up.
+ rise stem.
riser handlebars (specialized Aerofly or Hover, there are some Asia specials also if you want to try)
lastly would be a new fork.

Cutting a steering column is part of fitting. The Seller was over zealous listing it as "no modification" this is the type of wording that can get you in trouble.
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