A new mountain bike can be very expensive. Still, if you want to enjoy the trails, it is good to buy a used mountain bike.
Buying a used mountain bike is not easy. If you buy a bike that has suffered a lot of damage, you will have to shell out a lot of money on repairs. That is not always convenient.
The best way to buy a used mountain bike is to know the things which you should check. Once you know the parameters, you should check out the checklist to follow while buying a used mountain bike, then choosing the right one becomes easy.
Today, I will share the things which you should check while vetting such a mountain bike.
What to look for when buying a used mountain bike?
1. Frame condition:
The frame of the mountain bike bears the maximum brunt of the trail. That is why, while buying a used mountain bike, you must look at the frame quality.
The question is, how should you judge the frame?
I will share with you a few tips for the same below.
• Firstly, you should look out for the dents as well as the cracks. Only after that will you know whether the used mountain bike is up to the mark or not.
• You should check things like the shock mounts, bottom bracket, and the chainstay??. They suffer from a lot of vibration. That is why only if they are in proper condition can you go ahead and buy that used mountain bike.
• You should check the print quality as well. It should not have a lot of thin lines.
• Similarly, the welded parts of the frame should not be covered with thin lines. If the welded parts of the frame are under stress, the frame quality is not good enough.
• You must look out for chips in the frame of the bike as well. If there are chips, it indicates rock damage. In that case, once again, you shouldn’t buy that used bike.
When you judge the frame on these few parameters, it becomes effortless for you to judge the quality of the used mountain bike.
2. Suspension strength:
The suspension system of the mountain bike is another part of the bike which undergoes maximum stress. Also, if the suspension system is not proper, you will have to shell out a lot of money to repair it sooner than later. Not only that, your ride will not be comfortable till then.
There are a few questions to which you need to find the answers to judge the suspension strength. I will highlight these below.
• Are the bushings of the bike worn out?
• Is the bike creaking or making any noise?
• Are adjusters of the bike functioning properly?
When you know the answers to these questions, it is easier to judge the strength of the suspension system.
There is an additional test that you can execute as well. The results of the test will let you know whether the suspension strength of the bike is up to the mark or not.
You have to push the rear wheel of the bike into the ground and try to pull up the bike’s frame at the same time. If the bike makes any noise, the suspension system is not proper. If it does not make any noise, the suspension system is excellent.
Once you follow these few steps, judging the suspension strength of the bike is easy.
3. Seatpost adjustability:
The seat of the bike plays a crucial role when it comes to the right quality. If the seat is not proper, you won’t be able to ride the bike.
Firstly, you have to look at the condition of the seat and especially the padding of the seat. Once you judge these, you can determine the comfort.
After that, you have to try adjusting the height of the seat. When you do so, you will come to know whether the seat post is in the proper condition or not.
Only when you conduct these two tests will you know about the seat and the adjustability of the seat. Consequently, you can decide whether the seat of the bike is in the proper condition or not.
4. Wheel condition:
The condition of the wheels also matters a lot when buying a used mountain bike.
Firstly, you have to look at hub bearings, hub flanges, and so on. They should be in proper condition.
Then, you have to look at the threads of the wheels. The threads of the wheel should be in proper condition. Only then can you get proper traction on the trail.
The tires should be straight as well. In that case, the alignment of the bike will be proper, and you will be able to drive it around.
Once you judge the wheels on these few parameters, choosing the right used mountain bike is easy.
5. Drivetrain condition:
If the drivetrain of the bike is not proper, you will not be able to take it anywhere. That is why judging the same while buying a used mountain bike is crucial.
It would be best to look at the condition of the chain. It should not be worn out.
After that, you must look at the shifters, and that’s to judge the condition of the drivetrain. They should not be worn out either.
Also, if there is excessive noise while pedaling the bike, it means that the drivetrain is not in proper condition.
You have to check the drivetrain in these few ways. Once you do so, you can decide whether the used mountain bike is worth buying or not.
6. Brake stopping power:
While buying a used mountain bike, its brake system is essential. Only if it can stop the bike at a short distance, buying a used mountain bike is safe.
The best way to check the brakes is to look at the wear and tear of the same. If you’re buying one online, it is good to ask for pictures and videos of the brakes.
Moreover, if the brakes are incredibly filthy, it indicates that the owner hasn’t paid attention to the braking system. You have to look at the brake pads as well as the rotors. They should not be filled the either.
There should be no sign of discoloration.
Only when they are not discolored can you be sure that the brakes’ stopping power will be retained.
7. Research the seller:
When buying a used mountain bike, there is always a risk that you might end up buying a stolen mountain bike. In that case, you can get into trouble down the line. Moreover, nobody likes to buy a stolen bike either.
The best way to avoid this is to research the seller. Instead of randomly going with any seller, you have to look at the seller’s feedback if you’re buying online. In case you are buying it offline, you have to go with the established store. That will undoubtedly help you avoid a stolen mountain bikes.
Thus, if you are wondering what you should look out for while buying a used mountain bike, these are the few parameters which you should consider. Once you do so, choosing the perfect used mountain bike is easy.
In case you want to look at other bike accessories, you can go through my post like 21 speed mountain bike (here), outdoor bike rack (here), women mountain bike helmet (here).