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I'm a single speed rider and I'd like to buy an MTB. My main purpose for MTB is hardcore forest riding(rocks and little downhills). I thought of buying an used one and I saw today Marin Rock Springs 2007 at a local shop. The original price is about 1650 euros($2300) and their call is 500 euros($700)

The shop has pretty good reputation and the bike seems to be in good condition. Fortunately there is a tiny "mountain" behind the shop so I could testride it and the feeling and the fit were just great.

Is it a good idea to purchase a 7-year-old full suspension MTB? Will I struggle with constant repair of breaking components? Thanks a lot in advance :)

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Do you plan on doing maintenance yourself? –  Carson Reinke May 7 at 17:31
    
Only the cleaning. I know how to take care of chains and cassets. I don't plan to open the hub and clean bearings –  YOUNG May 7 at 18:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Worries about breakdowns and maintaiance - buy it for 500, if it breaks down, buy another one for 500, if that breaks down, buy another one - and you have spend the same as a new bike, and have lots of spares. Don't spend all your money on the bike (but that applies to a new bike as well), allow some for maintance costs, maybe a bit more, but not much more, for second hand over a new bike.

As the bike is coming from a reputable shop, and you say its in good condition, I would expect it to be as reliable as a new bike. Many bikes get bought and never ridden hard, if at all, so they are hardly used after 7 years. The shop would not stock a worn out bike, and will have serviced it.

As far as ride goes, bikes have changed over the last 25 years since the first full sus became popular, but that change has slowed down significantly. Current models (with same travel suspesion), while better than a 7yo bike, are bit lighter and a bit smoother, but significantly the same. The big difference is suspesion travel has increased as they can make longer travel while maintaining stiffness and reliability with better design and lighter materials. Question is - do you really need 500mm of travel? Can you afford the luxury of a newer, better bike?

Read back at many of my previous answers - I always recommend a second hand bike, if possible from an LBS, for people on a budget and new to riding. The bike described sounds ideal.

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Thanks for your answer mattnz. I checked your other answers and they were very helpful too. I made an appointment with the dealer for next week. I have to make sure what kind of after service I could get from them :) –  YOUNG May 8 at 17:18

Being the owner of a 2004 dirt jumper, and a 2007 full-suspension, I can say it's just fine. However, be prepared to solve problems...creatively. Certain things that are specific to the bike may not be available anymore, but there's usually an after-market part to fill the gap.

The main reason not to buy an older mountain bike is the difference in how it's made, what it's made of, and what it can ride.

How it's made: Newer carbon, and even alumninum, is much stronger and prepared in different ways.

What it's made of: New steel is generally lighter than old steel frames, this reflects both material and manufacturing changes. Some things like carbon and titanium have come down in price, but are still worth more even on older bikes.

What it can ride: The downhill of yesteryear isn't what it is today. 3" of travel back then was more than enough for some serious trail riding, but now that same style of riding might require 4", 5", or 6" of travel.

However, these are just general problems that can arise or should be taken into consideration. I've had zero trouble with my older bikes (although the full susser is pretty heavy and not the greatest to pedal!). So, I would recommend that test ride and then compare to what a new model would cost and make a decision. Good luck!

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