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Does it make sense to buy a bike older than 10 years old?

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Does it make sense to buy a bike older than 10 years old?

Old 04-11-21, 03:07 PM
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ccollins3890
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Does it make sense to buy a bike older than 10 years old?

I am in the market for a used bike. I was wondering what your thoughts are on buying a well maintained 10+ year old bike versus buying a relatively new used bike? Here is an example of a bike I am looking at, although I wouldn't buy it for the asking price. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...Anull%7D%22%7D
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Old 04-11-21, 03:30 PM
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I may have already commented on this topic on one of your other threads. IMO, you can get a good deal on a used bike if you can live with some risk, and IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR. But because even a well maintained bike can need occasional repairs, don't spend too much. My benchmark is not to pay more than half on a ready to ride used bike that you would spend on a decent new bike that doesn't suck. Now, the goalposts have moved a bit in recent years. In the old days (about 3 to 4 years ago), you could get a decent entry level hybrid for about $400, a really nice one for $700. As for mountain bikes and road bikes, the price for a trail worthy mountain bike was more like $800 or more, and road bike, also $800 to $1,000 and even that was pretty entry level.
So my advice was, don't pay more than $200 for a used hybrid, $350 to $400 for a used road bike or mountain bike. With prices going up on new bikes the last few years, maybe go up a bit on the used bike prices. Nonetheless, look for clean well maintained bikes. If you can see the bike obviously needs work, drop your offer accordingly. But, beware buying from private sellers. Unless the seller can show you receipts for work recently done, assume you will need to fix something on it within the first year, maybe the first couple of months of owning it.
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Old 04-11-21, 06:31 PM
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Yeah, this was a more generalized question. Thanks for explaining a bit more. How do you value the bike as a whole if major components have recently been replaced or upgraded? Do you half the value of the upgrade as well?
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Old 04-11-21, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I may have already commented on this topic on one of your other threads. IMO, you can get a good deal on a used bike if you can live with some risk, and IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR. But because even a well maintained bike can need occasional repairs, don't spend too much. My benchmark is not to pay more than half on a ready to ride used bike that you would spend on a decent new bike that doesn't suck. Now, the goalposts have moved a bit in recent years. In the old days (about 3 to 4 years ago), you could get a decent entry level hybrid for about $400, a really nice one for $700. As for mountain bikes and road bikes, the price for a trail worthy mountain bike was more like $800 or more, and road bike, also $800 to $1,000 and even that was pretty entry level.
So my advice was, don't pay more than $200 for a used hybrid, $350 to $400 for a used road bike or mountain bike. With prices going up on new bikes the last few years, maybe go up a bit on the used bike prices. Nonetheless, look for clean well maintained bikes. If you can see the bike obviously needs work, drop your offer accordingly. But, beware buying from private sellers. Unless the seller can show you receipts for work recently done, assume you will need to fix something on it within the first year, maybe the first couple of months of owning it.
How do you value a bike if major components have been replace or upgraded recently? The bike I shared as an example (which is a different bike than the one we were talking about before) is a 2009 StumpJumper Comp 29er with new wheelset. So how do you value that when looking at a bike?
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Old 04-11-21, 08:25 PM
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It all depends on what you plan to ride. On relatively casual beginner trails, then it is not a big deal to buy an older bike. Try to find one that has not been ridden much. Upgraded components can be nice unless the bike was thrashed in the process.

But if you are going to ride more difficult and technical trails, then it is more about frame geometry than components.

John
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Old 04-11-21, 08:38 PM
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With a hard tail it matters less than a full squish. Plus with a XC hardtail geo hasn't changed drastically, they are bit slacker and all pretty much 29ers these days but still pretty much the same. The specialized would be a good bike if the price was right. Only really dated bits on is the 2x drivetrain but doesn't really matter and can be cheaply changed if you care. Has a good fork though it is a straight steerer so you are pretty much stuck with that fork and it looks like the owner cut the bars down pretty narrow, don't think they were that narrow even 10 years ago.
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Old 04-11-21, 08:50 PM
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Depends on if you can live with the old geometry. Even the younger used bike can have outdated geometry (outdated for its time)

Geometry and fit is everything and can't be upgraded.
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Old 04-12-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Depends on if you can live with the old geometry. Even the younger used bike can have outdated geometry (outdated for its time)

Geometry and fit is everything and can't be upgraded.
I think the OP is mostly looking at buying a bike for general use, not single track.
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Old 04-12-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I think the OP is mostly looking at buying a bike for general use, not single track.
this post is in the MTB section. So if this bike is NOT for MTB use, then it should be posted in a different section of the forum.
My advice or opinion is based on the assumption this is the MTB sub-section. My advice will suck for road bike use :-)
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Old 04-12-21, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
this post is in the MTB section. So if this bike is NOT for MTB use, then it should be posted in a different section of the forum.
My advice or opinion is based on the assumption this is the MTB sub-section. My advice will suck for road bike use :-)
That is why I mentioned it. OP has also been posting in the hybrid forum. Apparently he is looking for something between a hybrid and a mountain bike for general use. IMO someone told him to look at a used mountain bike, which is why he is posting here. Personally, I think mountain bikes have become a lot more trail specific than they might have been 20 or 25 years ago, and are not the best choice for general use.
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Old 04-12-21, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
That is why I mentioned it. OP has also been posting in the hybrid forum. Apparently he is looking for something between a hybrid and a mountain bike for general use. IMO someone told him to look at a used mountain bike, which is why he is posting here. Personally, I think mountain bikes have become a lot more trail specific than they might have been 20 or 25 years ago, and are not the best choice for general use.
and it is right in the name....MOUNTAIN riding requires a bike that is good for climbing and descending technical trails.

A bike actually good for MTB, will suck if used for the road/bike path.

The only reason old MTB are used for road/bikepath duty is that they actually sucked for MTB riding (compared to modern MTB). So that disadvantage actually is an advantage :-). And they used to be popular and relatively sturdy, so many old ones available.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:26 PM
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Well, to be fair, older mtbs did not suck at mountain biking; they were a great improvement over the other choices available.

Back in the day you had your choice between a 10 speed, a cruiser or a utility bike like a Raleigh. The new (now old) mtb offered better brakes, fatter tires, a stronger frame and lower gears.

The disconnect is that mountain biking back then was more like general trail riding now. Not particularly technical. Dirt tracks, FSRs, game trails. Few were intentionally building dirt ramps to launch off of or seeking out big drops or ledges as part of a route.That's why older mtbs are often suggested for general trail use.

In the 2000s braking and suspension advanced so much that mountain biking, as we now know it, became a far more technical activity. Add modern geometry designed for steep, not horizontal, slopes and the two styles of bike begin to look like they are from different genres.

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Old 04-12-21, 01:37 PM
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If the bike is a reasonable price, in good condition, and meets your needs, then absolutely yes. MRT2 gives a starting point to determine what counts as a 'reasonable' price. YMMV.

If you are buying a bike with the hopes of upgrading to more modern parts then that is almost definitely a 'no' because many standards have changed - number of speeds, wheel axle attachment system, fork and headset sizes, brakes, wheel sizes have all changed such that a good quality bike from 15 years ago might be hard to find high end replacement parts.

But a good quality bike from 2010 is still a good quality bike today, it just doesn't have al the features of a new bike.
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Old 04-12-21, 03:34 PM
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If the price is right And it is something to get started on... sure.

For hardtails, the difference will not be as big as for FS, but even for the latter, if the price is right a 2010 FS will still take you far.

Yes, geo has changed a lot in the pst 5 years. But here is the thing: I am riding a frame from 2012. Turner. 5-Spot which is one of the last of the high end 26ers. In the time since I got it, most of the guys I have been riding with for the past 20 year have gotten new bikes with updated geo. They all like it. You know how much difference this has made in the pecking order of climbs, decents, and who can clear what stuff? Practically zero. I am sure a stopwatch or some careful metrics would show a difference (particularly on downhills) but no one is riding stuff they could not before.

Would I spend a lot on a high end 10 year old bike? No. Why? Because the standards are all phased out dead ends. And money you put into most parts are going to be useless to you moving forward. Selection of high end 26 tires are getting thin. No new high end forks will work. Axle standards are all different. Even fitting new drivetrain options gets wonky. I love riding my 5 Spot, and just did a full rebuilt of all the suspension (pivot bearings, shock/fork rebuilds), wheel bearings, etc, and it rides like a new bike. Yet even for this like-new high end bike, I would not pay even $1K for it if I needed a new bike today. It locks you into old geo and old standards.

Last edited by Kapusta; 04-13-21 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 04-12-21, 05:01 PM
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Another way of looking at this is, what has changed in ten years? And that's a good one, because I think you could argue 2011-21 has seen bigger changes than 2001-11. Most of what's standard now existed in the prior decade but only on special types of bikes.

Probably the biggest changes that were around before but fully metabolized this decade have been forward geometry and dropper seat posts, which very much go together with a new riding style that's more like a dirt bike. XC bikes are no longer the main frame of reference, trail bikes have seen more influence from enduro racing, which has uphill stages that are not timed, but downhill that are, so the bike has to be good downhill and comfy uphill and not necessarily fast pedaling. With a few notable exceptions, hardtails have been firmly relegated to the budget end of the market, and bikepacking.

Tire sizes have come in faddish waves.

1x drivetrains have gone from aftermarket bodge jobs to standard.
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Old 04-13-21, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Well, to be fair, older mtbs did not suck at mountain biking; they were a great improvement over the other choices available.
Actually they kinda did. They were road bike geometry frames that accepted larger tires and the frames were built more robust.
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Old 04-13-21, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I am riding a frame from 2012. Turner. 5-Spot which is one of the last of the high end 26ers.
That's a nice looking bike!
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Old 04-13-21, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Another way of looking at this is, what has changed in ten years? And that's a good one, because I think you could argue 2011-21 has seen bigger changes than 2001-11. Most of what's standard now existed in the prior decade but only on special types of bikes.

Probably the biggest changes that were around before but fully metabolized this decade have been forward geometry and dropper seat posts, which very much go together with a new riding style that's more like a dirt bike. XC bikes are no longer the main frame of reference, trail bikes have seen more influence from enduro racing, which has uphill stages that are not timed, but downhill that are, so the bike has to be good downhill and comfy uphill and not necessarily fast pedaling. With a few notable exceptions, hardtails have been firmly relegated to the budget end of the market, and bikepacking.

Tire sizes have come in faddish waves.

1x drivetrains have gone from aftermarket bodge jobs to standard.
Good article on it...

https://enduro-mtb.com/en/revolution...sixteen-years/
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Old 04-13-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Actually they kinda did. They were road bike geometry frames that accepted larger tires and the frames were built more robust.
I'll take that with a grain of salt coming from a guy who in another thread admits he knows nothing about older mtbs.
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Old 04-13-21, 09:08 AM
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I rode older mountain bikes in the 80's and 90's Just because I'm not "in tune" with the some of the celebrities of the time doesn't mean I admit I know nothing.

But the truth is what I stated. Old mountain bike geometry was the same as road bike geometry...Only difference being beefed up frames that could accommodate larger tires. That old geometry is the reason for a lot of endos on bike trails at the time.
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Old 04-13-21, 09:56 AM
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Meh...
Why you spend so much time commenting on bikes you obviously don't ride or like is a mystery. I guess the negativity feels like positivity somehow.
Hope you can get out and ride soon so it becomes more about the activity than the gear.
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Old 04-13-21, 10:20 AM
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Get out and ride soon? I've been out numerous times already. Over a 1000 miles since the beginning of the year already.
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Old 04-13-21, 10:33 AM
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As for the OP...

No, don’t buy that 2009 Stumpjumper. If there is any chance you might ever use the bike on a trail, get a bike with a tapered steerer.

I used to not give it much thought, but 1-1/8” steerers are essentially dead, except for low end suspension. If you find a good bike with a good frame, you can ride it on any intermediate trails, and upgrade any of the components if you want and you like the bike enough. But you’ll never fit a larger steerer into a smaller head tube.

Disc brakes would be nice. But it is possible to run disc front and V rear on a newer fork.

John
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Old 04-13-21, 10:46 AM
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As far as new vs old...

In virtually everything, new high quality functions better than old high quality.

High skill almost always trumps equipment.

High skill on new high end destroys everyone else.

John
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Old 04-13-21, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Get out and ride soon? I've been out numerous times already. Over a 1000 miles since the beginning of the year already.
You've put a thousand miles into mountain biking so far this year? Do tell. I distinctly remember you saying you didn't mountain bike in the winter.

Fwiw, I have been mtbing throughout the winter on a bike made in 1992. 3-4 times a week. This Sunday was the first time I did a road ride in 2021. Crazy but true. I must be a masochist or having too much fun to be aware of how much my bike sucks.

Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
As far as new vs old...

In virtually everything, new high quality functions better than old high quality.

High skill almost always trumps equipment.

High skill on new high end destroys everyone else.

John
True. However, that does not mean that old high quality is not worth owning, which is the premise of the thread.

I look at mountain biking as an activity and the bikes as tools used for that activity. Depending on where one is on the spectrum of trails an old high quality tool is good enough. Sadly, "good enough" gets a bad rap these days in consumer centric discussions where the solution is always "buy a new one".

Last edited by Happy Feet; 04-13-21 at 11:51 AM.
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