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Used Mountain Bike, what should I look for?
I haven't ridden mtn bike in some time, still have a 1993 Rock Hopper that got slick tires put on it to haul the burley and now the Adams trailer around. I have come across some trails near my parents cabin, and want to give it a try again.

Since I will not be using it very often, I'm thinking of getting a used bike. Would like one with front suspension. I don't know all of the bike models made by all of the manufacturers over the years, and really don't want to. What I'd like to know is what to look for. Obviously condition of the bike will be important.

Correct me if I'm wrong

Rear cassette is stronger than a freewheel hub?
A Rock Shock is rebuildable, some brands are not. How do I know which can be rebuilt and which cannot?
Cranks using the special nut are better than the tapered variety.
Seems to me there is something about the bearings on the headstock too?
Is there a consistent line of shifters that are good? Do the names of shifters change or can I look for certain ones that are consistent throughout the years.

It seems that if it has a rear cassette, rock shock, the appropriate bearings on headstock and the better cranks the components will most likely be better than entry level too.

I'm sure I'm missing a ton of stuff, and probably have some of the already mentioned stuff wrong, or termed incorrectly.

Thanks for any advice your willing to give
I look for bikes from 1owner older people that buy bikes they hardly ride and sell cheap
you know full of dust, flat tires,spider poop and the like.
the key is to know approx. range of components and how much the bike cost new
look it over good for scrub marks on the wheel skewers and rear derailleur bar ends and overall
signs it has been run through the mill
if the paint has hairline cracks near joints it has been stressed
the younger the rider the harder they ride and the harder they crash. If they are like me anyway
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Hi Sparetime and welcome to BT! Keep us posted on the project when you get rolling.
Many of us enjoy fixing up old rides for various reasons; nostalgia, Christmas charities for kids, to keep an 'old friend' rolling, out of necessity, boredom of retirement, the thrill of hunting rare parts and a lot more reasons! My biggie is MTBs from Day 1 to about Y2K for 3 of the above Smile !

painkiller offered some great advice but, I think he holds spider poop in too high of regard. LOL

YES... cassette is a must! Due to design of hub. QR skewers front and rear are a Big plus, too.

Suspension forks (like RockShox) can be a one way street. If you find a fork that is 10 years old, it WILL need service. Just because a brand (Manitou) is serviceable, doesn't mean we can still get parts unless aftermarket. See where I'm going? We talk later.

Cranksets using anything other than the Sq Taper on the axle are great! 75% of my bikes still have tapered, though.

Headsets that are better-sealed tend to last longer against the crud that is continually thrown at it by the front tire! Don't skimp maintainence on either, though.

Shifters - touchy subject. I have a GripeShift sticker around here, somewhere. Wink

Don't discount lower-level component groups of Any brand. For example - the Shimano Alivio line of today is as good as the LX of 2005 which was better than the XT of 1998 which was better than the XTR of 1994. Now we are in 'Happy Hunting' territory.

If you can post a link or a pic of a candidate, I'm sure that you'll get some replies!

Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
in my next post I will go into further detail as to how to remove spider poop! Ha Ha
again robar sound advice as always. And also spare time remember if you like the bike and
you find a good deal you can always upgrade components later and have fun making your new
ride your very own.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Rock, Scissors, Paper! Simple Green defeats spider poop! Big Grin
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
so much for bug poop and tar remover and my stock
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
(04-16-2011, 12:40 AM)RobAR Wrote:  Rock, Scissors, Paper! Simple Green defeats spider poop! Big Grin

Hello RobAr! I wanted to bump this thread. I saw that you like older MTBs. I have the opportunity to purchase a uses 2006 Santa Cruz SuperLight. It is just my size. I would love it if you could give me your expert opinion.
Here are the specs:
It has Rockshox fork
Fox float rear shock
Shimano XT & Deore shifters/derailers
26" Mavvic rims.
My local shop is selling it for $499
What do you think?

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