Ask Pinkbike - Buying New vs Used, Which 29er and Shift Cables

Jul 8, 2014
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.

Which Bike?

Question: Pinkbike user Yikes123 asked this question in 29ers forum: I'm considering either the Rocky Mountain Instinct 970 or the Ibis Ripley. Any thoughts? Assuming a standard Shimano XT build on both, is there much of a weight difference? Comments on ascending and design appreciated.

bigquotesBoth the Rocky and the Ibis are great machines that won't disappoint, but they also have very different personalities despite there being just a 10mm difference in real wheel travel. Which one is best for you? That depends on what you look for in a bike, and if you're looking to address your strengths or weaknesses as a rider. Let's look at the 130mm travel Instinct first: it's generally thought of as a bike that you can literally ride anywhere, and that's further enhanced by Rocky's Ride-9 system that allows you to tweak both the bike's geometry (for handling) and suspension to suit whatever terrain you're on the most. It isn't an on-the-trail kind of job, but Ride-9 works as advertised and is a neat setup for anyone who likes to tinker. I'm pretty sure that anyone out there who's spent time on both the Instinct and the Ripley would tell you that the former is the more capable and forgiving descender, and that it's better suited to rougher, steeper and rowdier terrain than the Ibis. Does that make the Rocky the better bike? Not really, just different. The Ripley is a badass bike that, as I said in my review of it last June, is a ton of fun: ''Hunting for different lines on the trail was a pleasure, a trait no doubt helped by the bike's willingness to leave the ground at the slightest hint of possible fun, and we often found ourselves with either the front or rear wheels up in a manual or nose wheelie in places where we'd usually just be hanging on to bikes of a similar ilk.'' In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the Ripley is one of the most playful and fun bikes that I can remember spending time on, and it also happens to accelerate faster than Lindsay Lohan on the way to see her pharmacist thanks to the anti-squat properties of its dw-link suspension. It isn't as sure-footed as the Instinct on rough ground, though, and not as adjustable, so it comes down to where and how you ride.

The bottom line: if you're looking for a bike to make you quicker on the downhills, go with the Rocky Mountain. If you want a bike that is playful and feels like a long-legged cross-country bike, go with the Ripley.
- Mike Levy

2013 Rocky Mountain Instinct

The Instinct is more adjustable and more forgiving than the Ripley, but that doesn't make it better. Despite there being just 10mm of rear wheel travel separating them, they two couldn't be more different.

Older High-End Dual-Suspension Bike or a Newer Model Specialized?

Question: Bencartwright wrote in the Beginners Forum: I’m getting back into mountain biking after many years off and looking to get an FS XC bike. My budget is around $1200. What I've been looking at mainly are Santa Cruz, Ellsworth and Turner bikes from around 2004-2008. However, there is a nice Specialized Camber 29er from 2012 that came up for sale in my town. My question is: Is it better to get an older, really high end FS like a 2008 Santa Cruz Heckler, Ellsworth Truth or a Turner, or has technology changed so much since then that a decent 2012 or newer bike (like a 2012 Specialized Camber - standard version) is way better because it's newer, but not necessarily a really high-end bike?

bigquotesI am going to anger a number of loyalists, but you may be better off with the Specialized in this case. For starters, while its components are still looking relatively sharp, a well ridden mountain bike is nearing the end of its service life as it reaches three years. That's not saying that the bike won't go for another ten years, but this is the point where the wheels can't be trued or tensioned perfectly, the cassette cogs and chainrings don't mesh well with a new chain, suspension pivots are needing replacement and the time to rebuild the shock and fork cannot be ignored any longer. Properly maintained, the 2012 Camber should be in better shape mechanically. Of course, it is possible that the seller rarely used it, is moving onto another sport, and is dumping a perfect $6000 superbike for $1200. It happens, and if you can score a SC Heckler or a Turner Sultan in that condition, go for it.

The more compelling reason to pop for the Specialized Camber is that, as you suspected, a lot of industrywide changes have occurred since 2008 - especially among 29ers. Almost every brand has redesigned their key bikes to include more trail-friendly frame geometry, improved forks and shocks, added suspension travel, through-axles, wider rims, better brakes, one-by and two-by drivetrains, and some significant innovations, like Shimano's clutch rear derailleur. The Specialized Camber 29 is a good example, as it was one of the first big-wheel bikes from that brand to be designed with modern trailbike geometry, and the Evo model remains a favorite choice among Specialized employees. The base model Camber that you are considering ticks the boxes necessary to make it a sharp-performing trailbike, but its component spec errs on the 'functional' side. If you can score the better-spec'd Camber Comp 29, I'd say you'd be better off with that choice, than with most fancy circa-2008 XC-type trailbikes. - RC


Specialized's 2014 Camber 29 sells for only $1850 USD and yet its handling rivals many big-ticket bikes that were must-haves only five years ago. Since then, the basic trailbike has undergone a rapid evolution which has affected every aspect of its design and componentry.

Shifting woes and what can cause them?

Question: PB user n3v3rsumm3r asked the following in the Mechanic's Lounge forum: I have a 1x9 drivetrain and I seem to have issues shifting over time. Maybe an hour into the ride I start having delays in shifting up AND down. If I am trying to shift down into a lower gear and it delays I can do a very minor turn on the adjustment dial at the shifter to get it to go, but then it will lag on shifting up. Usually when I get to the trailhead my shifting is in order and I am able to shift without a problem up and down, and after a while this problem starts. Could it be dust? Could it be my Novara Teflon Slick cable? Could it be my Forte shifter?

bigquotesDrivetrain issues can be frustrating, especially when they happen intermittently. The first thing I would do is have the alignment of your derailleur hanger checked, since even a slightly bent hanger can create shifting problems like the ones you are describing, although the fact that your issues start later in the ride is pretty strange. This will be something you'll want your LBS to do for you, since it's difficult to gauge hanger straightness by eye, and a hanger alignment tool isn't in most home mechanic's arsenals. Next, I'd inspect the cable (remove it completely from both the shifter and the housing) to see if there are any kinks or bends in it. A bent cable can cause the bike to shift perfectly fine in some gears and poorly in others. You'll also want to check to make sure that your housing is long enough, especially if this is a full suspension bike. Housing that's too short can cause the derailleur to act up when the bike is weighted and the suspension sags into its travel. As far as the Forte shifter goes, I'd recommend checking that it shifts smoothly when the cable is disconnected, and that there isn't any skipping or sluggishness when up or downshifting. Shimano 9 speed rear shifters are also fairly inexpensive, so if the shifter turns out to be the culprit it won't be too costly to replace. If none of this solves the problem, the derailleur itself could be at fault. Check for worn pulley wheels, a bent cage, and excess play at any of the pivots.

It's best to tackle a problem like this one step at a time, starting with the easiest and least expensive possibilities (bent hanger, kinked cable) first, and then moving onto the other potential reasons (a worn out derailleur or shifter). While you're at it, you may as well check your chain and cassette for wear, since those can also contribute to shifting issues.
- Mike Kazimer

cable and housing

A kinked cable can often be the cause of erratic shifting performance.

Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


  • 119 5
 "a well ridden mountain bike is nearing the end of its service life as it reaches three years."

Really? If its properly maintained, I find that really hard to believe.
  • 12 8
 sadly and fortunately, with the rate of progression bikes do seem to have that kind of shelf life if you like to have new technology and the whatnot :/
  • 13 11
 Maintenance can only do so much. As is mentioned, things wear- chainrings, bearings, spokes, seals, etc.- and no amount of maintenance is going to prevent that, not to mention not every bike is going to have been maintained perfectly. Don't forget that aluminum and carbon both fatigue, so a well ridden frame (or rims, etc.) of either of these materials will eventually break, and no amount of maintenance is going to prevent that.
  • 35 1
 Maintain my bike often by end of season I replace everything damaged so I laughed at 3 year thing don't care if I get negs. I just want my tech to be strong and light without hurting my wallet but not happening with this sport blowing up in popularity.
  • 18 4
 What XC/AM game changing innovations came out in the last 3 years that would justify dumping a 3 years old setup? Seriously? The only thing that I can think of is maybe wheel size if 29ers make sense for you (yes deeeight, we know they've been around since 2001 or something like that). You don't need to sell your bike to get gettho 1x11, wider bars, dropper posts or a clutch derailleur.

Bought my current AM bike in 2012 and aside from under 700$ worth of upgrading, I find it my rig has stood up very well to the test of time. All I'd get from a new bike would be slightly lighter parts with mostly insignificant performance changes, nothing that would have me consider dropping 6k on a bike for. Yeah ok, I'm probably less gullible than the average person when it comes to marketing schemes but I failed to keep up.

As for stuff wearing out, drivetrain parts and tires are relatively cheap and suspension maintenance has to be done regularly anyway.
  • 12 1
 I'm still riding my 2011 TR250, and it's in near new condition. Why? cause I have maintained it. The frame is far from old school.
  • 10 7
 PLC07 - when it comes to 29ers there are major improvements in geometry of the latest bikes. Let's take a 2010 Niner EMD and 2012 Kona Honzo - those are world apart. Same with some 2010 Giant Anthem 29 and recent Epic 29, Or Tallboy LT and Enduro 29. When it comes to 26ers, then well, my previous bike, 2008 Nomad with 2007 Lyrik would still kick some Enduro asses, particularly with angle set.
  • 10 0
 Im still riding my 07 Brodie Recluse, minimum maintenance, maximum abuse. Obviously doesn't ride like when new, but I can still keep up with the carbon wonder bikes and such no prob.
  • 11 0
 I second this.
My Reign '10 has already done the Mega, SuperEnduro, The Alps from Morzine and Champery to Chamonix, and spent half of her life in Sintra, Portugal, among other thousand places. I cannot find a reason to replace it. I treat her well, though. :-)
It's like Port wine. Gets better with the age. Love her. errr... it
  • 3 1
 It's maybe more true for downhill bikes. My 2010 glory was starting to run really loose by the time I sold it last year and it was always cleaned well as well as getting a service every couple of weekends or when something broke
  • 50 0
 You people crack me up with the materials break down thing. I once flew on a 1964 tail C-130, we're talking 4 seperate wars of combat flying, assault landings, and the aluminum in that air frame was just fine. I'm supposed to believe that in 3 years my bike is done. LOL
  • 5 5
 Aluminum fatigues, cahbin dont. Ride it til it dies anyway
  • 29 1
 That response was way off base. If a bike lasts no longer than 3 years, it was a poor choice to begin with.
  • 14 2
 hmm, I think it what Mike Levy wanted to say that a bike shows wear when ridden. And at some point in in a bikes live so much parts will have to be replaced that it is actually more Cost efficient to buy a new Bike instead of changing and servicing everything. So if you don't have a love Relationship with your current bike like many of us pink bikers have, me too, might make more sense to buy newer and save on maintenance and wear which happens even on the best bike. With a certain mileage every bike needs to get the wheels trued, bearings changed, a new chain and sprockets, a little service for the suspension. Depending on how the bike is equipped this can easily get more expensive than a year old pre-ownd mid segment bike.
  • 22 8
 Or one could grow some neuro-connections in his brain by learning to service it, which would cut the price dramaticaly, as the labor costs would be excluded? Wait... That would make some LBS a bit poorer - there is no perfect solution, we are entangled in Jungian duality! Every decision is a good decision, I want to kill everyone in the world!!!
  • 17 1
 It's called planned obsolescence, bro, and it happens with all products. Truth be told, between say a 2009 and a 2014 Demo 8, there's probably about a 2-3 percent increase in performance but you'll never admit that. Your mind has been programmed since birth to accept new technologies as being superior and worth throwing your old gear aside for: it it's your phone, your car, your bicycle, your TV, climbing gear or snowboard. We are all victims of it and it happens world-wide. Check out the documentary series 'Century of The Self' for an in-depth way of how manufacturers and corporations manipulate your spending via social engineering and tapping into your base carnal desires. PinkBike is part of the same machine as you can tell.

Treat your bike with respect and put effort into maintaining it and it'll last ages.
  • 8 2
 Wow, Michibretz seems to be the only other one that understood what Mike meant by service life. Everyone else just jumped at the opportunity to boast about their bike maintenance. It's like buying a high km used car, it may be far from dead but things like timing belts could cost more than you're saving.
  • 5 2
 RC has given good advice here; experience tells me that I can expect to have to replace some parts on a second hand bike that is older than three years; seals, bearings, bushings perhaps, cassettes, chainrings. that makes it imperative that, if you wish to buy second hand and at the same time keep down costs, you learn how to identify and then be able to perform component replacement.

In addition, when you come to sell, you can ensure you get a good price for your bike by doing some of the work that might put off potential buyers..... learning how to do a bearing /pivot replacement for example.

So, if you are someone who does not feel confident in getting your hands dirty and you problem solving skills honed, buy a newer, perfectly good lower spec example over the older higher spec ones especially given that the tech on even Deore these days makes it realistically very hard to justify any more for someone like Ben who is looking to get back into riding rather than needing to shave seconds off their times.
  • 2 0
 Where do all the old bikes end up? It's reassuring to hear so many speak of no impending requirement to change or upgrade.
  • 4 0
 Where all the old bikes go? never heard about n+1?
  • 2 0
 @MangoSentinel, absolutely on point. Also would like to mention that our world economic growth depends on production of goods and advancement in technology, not to mention exploitation of natural resources.

For me the biggest issue of switching bikes would be the learning curve of getting used to new bike geometry, suspension, material, etc. I think once you have ridden a bike for a certain period of time, you become really comfortable on it and it almost becomes an extension of you. Furthermore, if you stick with one bike you can focus more on progressing your riding instead of getting used to new equipment. I also doubt that an average rider can fatigue an aluminium frame that's well engineered to the point of braking in 3 years.

So do yourself a favour, find a bike that fits you well, stick with it, become a better rider. If it brakes in half replace it.
  • 6 1
 My 1999 Balfa BB7 rides just as well as it did when it was new. Drive train components can be replaced for much much much less money than it would cost to buy an entirely new bike. I don't think the argument presented in this article holds much water.
  • 4 5
 @allix2456 "I don't think the argument presented in this article holds much water".

Then you didn't read it very well then I suggest. The gentleman concerned (Bencartwright) doesn't have a bike on which to replace anything therefore is looking to buy a second hand bike for around 1200 USD and is asking..... no, wait a minute, why should I explain it to you. If you want to understand, try reading it carefully yourself.
  • 2 1
 I have 4 mountain bikes. Only 1 frame and a hand full of parts are less than 3 years old.
  • 1 1
 Carbon does not fatigue. Chips and impacts will weaken its strength and uv rays will degrade carbon that has not been properly top coated. It doesn't have aluminum's crystalline structure that slowly degrades with every bit of stress put on it. Carbon fiber if taken care of properly will last decades if not longer.
  • 2 0
Aircraft are around that long and still flying because thay are constantly rebuilding them and replacing worn out sections. Planes are riveted together not welded like bike frames. Bad and cracked sections of metal are completely cut out and repkaced with new. You cannot maintain a bike frame the same way.
  • 3 1
 Buying new stuff is fun.
  • 1 1
 you guys should try riding modern bikes...
  • 1 0
 michibretz, thank you for sitting us old broke guys down.
  • 1 1
 WAKI, You don't strike me as a person who thinks a 1990ies bike rides just the same as a modern bike...
  • 2 0
 Yes as I thought from your first comment - you have a very large penis and you need to prove it on the internet
  • 1 1
 do I have to understand that??? thanks for the compliments anyway...
  • 2 0
 Just fascinates me why do you think that people commenting here have not ridden or do not own a "modern" bike? How do you define that by the way? Production year? Modern heh... I challenge you for making bigger comparisons between a modern Blur TR or Yeti Asr5 and Spesh Enduro from 2003. Good luck! wiki modern, do it for me hehehehe
  • 1 0
 Waki Wiki... so you are trying to make play on the fact that in art and design modern would be about 50 years old by now?
In common speech, and i am pretty sure you are aware of that modern is used as an substitute for "not old".

Indeed I do have most of my older bikes still around so i actually have something to compare.
from a 92 Yeti ARC to a 2013 YETI SB66C I have one from every other year or so...

They are all still in good condition so if you want to stop by and compare yourself or just check out the size of my Penis you are more than welcome...
  • 4 1
 I believe that there was a clause in there about bikes lasting ten years or more. Personally, I profess riding or driving the wheels off of every thing that rolls. It's a fact that a well-ridden mountain bike has a defined life cycle - it won't stay fresh for long. We don't notice the degradation because it happens so gradually, and our brains are hard-wired to compensate for minor changes. If you had the opportunity to ride a new model of an older bike that you are riding today, you would probably be shocked at how fresh the new one feels and operates.

Those in the market for a used bike, however, should understand that most of the big-ticket components of a mountain bike will run trouble free for three years or so before the enevitable replacement and rebuild cycle sets in. At three years, most bikes look great, so it's the perfect time to sell. The cost of a SRAM 11-speed cassette is $400 USD. Add shock and fork service a new chain and some chainrings. A replacement carbon handlebar (for insurance purposes) and a professional wheel tune, and "basic maintenance" begins to add up.

Don't cry about buying a new bike every three years unless you first consider the economics: The seller gets a new bike for half price, the buyer gets a used bike for half price - but the seller doesn't have to worry about fixing big ticket items - ever - and he or she enjoys the latest geo and technology. If bike design remains stable, used bikes are a good deal. When geo and components are rapidly evolving, as they are at present, a new purchase arguably makes more sense. That said; bikes are pretty damn good these days, so new or used - ride what you own and be happy.
  • 3 2
 This statement is all the more evident when you're a bike mechanic. I could always easily tell the difference between a 3 year old bike and a new bike. New bikes just work better. People would bring in older bikes to work on and yes they would work fine, but when you jump on a new bike that shifts amazingly fast, the brakes modulate and are stronger, and the suspension is so much understand the reason to spend more money
  • 1 2
 Aluminum ages without being ridden.
Micro structure changes with time.
~3 years and a bike will start to become weaker wet her you rode it or not.
  • 1 1
 wet het
  • 1 1
 Carbon fiber frames actually age too and the age much faster than metal frames for that mater.

A Carbon Frame is made from two Components, hence the name composite material, One being the actual Fiber which which in case of Carbon, does have a longer life time than metals and second the resin which is called matrix. There is tons of different matrix materials most commonly it is Epoxy or Polyurethanes which basically is "Plastic"
Bottom line is they degrade fast and if they are failing the the strongest and most Durable Fibers are not going to help.

IF you don't believe me take an old bike seat and put it in the sun. After a few weeks the Synthetic Leather, mostly Polyurethane or PVC will start showing tears and breaks on the surface in stressed areas where the material is pulled and wrapped around corners (due to UV exposure) but the metal rails of the seat will not have changed noticeably.

Anyway I don't think the regular aging, when the bike is just sitting, of material has to be considered when buying a bike no matter if metal or Composite frame. Stress due to use is a completely different topic,
  • 1 0
 @mitchibretz Interesting. I didn't know that about CF.
  • 1 0
 If not used and stored properly, cf has a significantly longer shelf life than aluminum. The strength of the aluminum alloys we use rely on a balance of two micro structures. The aluminum shifts towards the more dominant micro structure at room temperature. The strongest is usually approached. The normal time to reach the other side of the curve is around 3 years.
  • 1 0
 I have a cf frame with a lifetime warranty. Not exactly worried about it's longevity. One good reason to buy a new bike and hold onto it.
  • 21 1
 I Buy used everytime, apart from throw away/comsumable components. Chains cassettes etc. You get so much more for your money. Built my Orange 223 with shivers, hope pro 2s hubs, tech brakes. 10 speed.sram XO, for £600.
Yeah its old, suspension tech is basic but it works and it makes me grin like a loon when I pass troy lee fan boys at my local trails on there £5k Yt industries and Mondrakers.

At the end of.the day its not what you ride, its how you ride it.
  • 10 0
 And I gotta say, replacing a few bearings and throwing some grease here and there every couple months has made my 2009 Devinci Frantik ride pretty much like new. It really doesn't seem that difficult. In fact, I like ripping apart my bike and rebuilding it, because it's a great excuse to drink beer!
  • 1 0
 Well said bud.
  • 2 0
 Do you have a garage paulwatt? God I wish I had a garage.
  • 15 4
 I always struggle for the new vs. used choice when buying a new bike. For me, it comes down to the fact that new bikes often have a lifetime warranty thats only good for the original owner. Im a pretty big kid so I am not easy on my bikes so I like knowing that if a frame cracks it will get replaced!
  • 27 57
flag deeeight Plus (Jul 8, 2014 at 12:42) (Below Threshold)
 Except most lifetime warranties only cover "defects in materials or workmanship". Your having a fat ass isn't a defect, nor is how you treat bikes.
  • 29 3
 For starters, I am 6'5 195. So I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a "fat ass". Secondly, I have had to use a warranty on two occasions and in both cases I walked in with something broken and they replaced it no questions asked. Thats the value of buying a bike from a company that stands behind their products.
  • 10 0
 I Bought a 2008 Coilair (1st gen magic link) second hand and cracked the frame where the seat tube meets the top tube. Kona warrantied it and sent me a brand-new 2010 (2nd gen magic link) frame!
  • 10 32
flag deeeight Plus (Jul 8, 2014 at 13:03) (Below Threshold)
 Those are exceptions, not the rules... for every person who claims they got a replacement there are ten who didn't, but also didn't feel the need to complain about it either.
  • 5 0
 I'm with you bobo. I'm 6ft 5 and weigh 210lb which is fine for my height but I know my bikes get a hammering because of it. Both my shocks are in guessing range for PSI I.e. if you weigh above this psi needs to be €£¥+ but no more than y (giving a gap of all other ranges together). So thats 210lb on my chain up hill, 210lb on all my bearings and wheels and at limit compression through my shocks which can easily be trippled off a jump or drop. It's scarey when you think about it as a larger lad.
  • 16 1
 deeeight. Maybe if you weren't such a d-bag, you would have got your frame/component replaced. You sound like a sourpuss.
  • 13 1
 Deeight don't ever knock a fat dude riding a bike... I respect those people then wasting money eating mcdonalds and lounging on the couch...
  • 2 14
flag deeeight Plus (Jul 8, 2014 at 17:58) (Below Threshold)
 I don't take advantage of companies "liberal" warranty moods, I know frames fatigue, accept it, and move on with my life. Of course this being the place full of folks complaining about prices, wanting to be crooked and neg propping facts wasn't surprising.
  • 9 3
 fuck you deeeight your a troll
  • 4 13
flag deeeight Plus (Jul 8, 2014 at 18:55) (Below Threshold)
 Still don't know your yours from you're eh? Also big language while safe behind your keyboard.
  • 4 12
flag Terrafire (Jul 8, 2014 at 19:08) (Below Threshold)
 @deeeight is no troll, man speaks the truth.
  • 11 3
 Deeeight your a dick straight up,a crotchety old bike shop employee.And your calling people a fatass from behind your screen is no better.fuck you.
  • 4 9
flag deeeight Plus (Jul 8, 2014 at 20:04) (Below Threshold)
 I'm 210Ibs, 6'7" on bike weight and I have no illusions about the usable lifespan of frames or components. And as far as being old bike shop employee, yes that AND bike shop operator and I've forgotten more about bikes than you'll ever learn. And I'm not afraid to post facts here unlike many PB members. But go on ranting from across the country, I'm done with your moron arse.
  • 3 0
 The difference between crash damage, lack of maintenance, normal wear, used beyond intent, and a manufacturer defect is night and day, especially in context of the whole bike. The issue with warranty is the few ruining it for the many, especially those who think they are smarter than those who work with the products and their variants everyday. Everyone who has worked in some form of consumable retail knows this... Yet only a few ever look beyond their own nose. No one wants to admit they aren't a smooth rider, or should have bought burlier heavier parts, or their bike is a consumable. But by the same token some manufacturers wont openly tell you what their product is rated for; especially in the age of 'do it all' marketing... In fact lets just call it marketing.
  • 8 1
 Deeeight, you ruin the value of any bike knowledge you may have by being deliberately offensive. Calling people a 'fat ass' and implying people are 'moaning' when a warranty doesn't pay up means you deserve any shit you get. If you have anything about you an opology should be given to everyone you just bad mouthed.
  • 8 3
 Actually getting upset by deeeight, are you this new to the internet, let alone PB? He makes the comments more colorful for sure if you aren't a candy ass.
  • 3 1
 well I've listened to his BS on here for a couple of years and have come to the conclusion he's a dick,and also he's grossly mis informed and loves to pass on his "knowledge" deeeight tell me again how thick the anodizing is on your stem.You stated it was .050" 1.25mm thick, absurd and total's statement like these that lead me to believe he's not really contributing anything positive but just acting like a know it all.
  • 3 0
 yeah, deeeight's kind of a dick but I always un-hide his heavily neg-propped comments to see what he's saying. . .
  • 1 4
 speak up deeeight or be gone.
  • 10 0
 I support used bikes and promote them quite often as I have had good experiences with them. I think the difference between a 2012 component and a 2014 component is some creative marketing and a few minor tweaks. Not things a person shopping used bikes will notice anyways.
  • 1 0
 yep, though I'd agree with Matt on stuff older than that. geometry really has evolved in a positive way in since about 2010, even moreso for 29ers, and even moreso for shorter travel bikes. But even modern Ellsworth Truths feel like garbage. seriously, test rode one and the front wheel hit my foot if I had the cranks parallel and turned the bars. WTF?
  • 6 1
 2 year gap is no big deal, agreed. But if you go much more than that you're looking at a high probability of buying worn out crap or tech that just isn't that good anymore, in my experience. For example going back to the 2004-2007 period like in #2, you're talking about pre-shadow, pre-clutch, atrocious front shifting, sometimes funky geometries or suspension designs, not to mention how far brakes and certain suspension platforms have progressed in recent years. Then there are compatibility issues; what if that used fork with a straight steerer craps out and it's a bitch to find an upgrade? I do a lot of used part/bike buying and selling and it's always a mixed bag, sometimes good sometimes not, but unless someone REALLY knows what they're doing I usually tell them not to go more than 2-3 years old if they can help it. A bit different for hardtails, commuters, and road bikes and stuff but you get the idea.
  • 1 0
 You have raised a good point with compatability bkm303. I would like to think that a tapered steer tube really does lead to better performance, but maybe it just seems like a good idea? This is just an example, and of course is a very skeptical way of thinking. I do believe the manufacturers are trying to make better products every year. Some times it just isn't possible to make leaps and bound differences in design in one year though, and yet people are lead to believe that the new version will really lead to a direct performance benefit. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.
  • 3 0
 I definitely believe tapered steer tubes improve stiffness and longevity; from a physics standpoint they have to. I think most of the current standards for axles, steer tubes, etc have a lot of merit, but it's really easy to fall into compatibility traps like that buying used, unless you're very well versed in the technical developments over the years. A few years ago I had no idea tapered tubes, different axle standards, etc even existed because I'd always bought old-ass used stuff. And now that I know I'd take a Recon with a thru axle over a SID with 9mm QR in a heartbeat. In some cases the 4 year old stuff is fine and works great, but in other cases the progression of the technology really has made a big difference. I was on 9mm QR until last year... you wanna talk about standards... 15TA was a game changer for me. Never knew how much that noodle of a fork was holding me back til I got on something newer.
  • 2 0
 I have a buddy who keeps ending up with nice bikes with straight steerers(currently a '09 Enduro.) buying used straight steerer forks , if you're a bigger guy and need a longer steerer, is a freaking nightmare.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter mentioned this in a thread last week, but you can still get SR Suntour Epicons and Duroluxes brand new with straight steerers and 15/20TA. They stock them to support their customer loyalty upgrade program, but you could probably buy one outright. It's worth emailing them if he needs a new fork again. Support is great and I have zero complaints about my Epicon TR.
  • 1 0
 I have a durolux that I was going to rebuild, and have found one specific problem with them that has kept me from doing so: their seals are simple(one piece,) but you can only get them from Suntour, and the want $40, which is a freaking joke for something that doesn't even have an oil seal.
  • 1 0
 Wow, $40 for just the wiper seals? Still not terrible if it revives a dead fork though I guess.
  • 1 0
 So they're not just wipers, they're one piece seals. If they were just wipers, I'd go look at SKF. the lower portion is what keeps the air in on the spring side, it's a seal, but not a full oil seal, since they use grease in the lowers, not oil. It's enough to keep me from buying them since the fork has some significant dings in the stantions.
  • 3 0
 I had an '07 SJ FSR, replaced it with an '08 (back over the first one with my truck - yes I'm a buffoon) and definitely noticed a difference, but not one worth paying for. Then the '08 was stolen so I got a 2012 SJ Evo. The difference between the '08 and the '12 was night and day. I would absolutely choose a '12 Camber over an '08 Ellsworth. And the Ellsworth Truth was my dream bike back in the day.
  • 6 0
 Obviously the three year rule depends on how big you are, the types of trails you ride, riding style, and -most importantly - how often you ride. I go through stuff way faster when my job/life situation allows me to ride a lot. It also depends on what components you are taking about. I tend to swap frames and suspension because I just want something new rather than because they are worn out, but when I have stuck with something for a few years, I agree that 3 years is about the limit for wheels, suspension, and frames. Upgrading those components is often not that much different than buying a whole new bike.

Like a lot of debates here on PB, the answer depends to a great degree on personal variables.
  • 6 0
 Should've dumped my pitch even before I bought it I guess ('0Cool . Nevermind all those people racing ~25 years old cars (AE86, etc)...

Newer =/= better.
More expensive =/= better.

As already mentioned, main thing you should be worried about is whether the bike has been maintained, and what you'll need to do to fix it up if needed be.
  • 6 2
 Other issue to consider on #2 is how components have progressed. Yeah, you could pick up a 2004 rig kitted out with XT/XTR, but chances are 2012 Deore or SLX (especially 2012 SLX) are as good or better, not even taking into account the condition of the parts. Rode my buddy's 29er hardtail with 2012 Deore drivetrain a while back and was seriously impressed. Rock solid.
  • 3 0
 "... a well ridden mountain bike is nearing the end of it's service life as it reaches 3 years..." I read that statement carefully, though about it a bit, then considered what a new bike can cost. For the kind of money they do cost, and for all the marketing from companies that love to point out how advanced their bike is with all these new lightweight, strong, everlasting materials they use - don't consider the cost, they tell us, consider the strength and the performance these materials allow you to access - , I feel like someone's lying to me......
  • 2 0
 i think with #2 there are some well maintained bikes out there that are old but most are in need of new parts. not many people service suspension, pivots or even change their chains. so when buying an old bike you have to consider the price of fixing it up. If you don't know what kind of wear and tear to look for when buying used you could end up with a repair bill close to what you paid for or more. by the time you service everything and get it in working order again you may be close to what you could afford to spend on a new bike
  • 2 0
 I haven't ridden the Rocky Mountain, but everything stated about the Ibis Ripley in the above answer is true. I would, however, add that the Ripley can take up to a 140 mm fork. I rode it both ways and I didn't find the difference in head angle with the 140 mm Fox 34 to hinder me in any way, and the bump in front travel added more stability in the rougher stuff. I bet with a Pike it would be even better.
  • 2 0
 Yikes123 should buy a cheap second hand bike with the intention of selling it on in a year and replacing it with the bike he actually wants. Because you don't know what you really want if you are only just getting back into riding.
  • 1 0
 But Yikes 123 never says anything about "just getting back into riding". He's trying to decide between the Rocky Mountain Instinct and the Ibis Ripley.
  • 2 0
 The bike industry wants to sell us things, that is a truism. Without new kit there would be NO industry. No development. Fair enough But too take the position that older stuff is not viable is nothing more than pure commercialism, tinged with an air of technical superiority which pisses on the heritage of our sport. Does any one here really think that such a narrow minded view is applicable to the real world? Talk about a culture that is up its own arse? Mountain biking has become a boutique sport for the above averagely wealthy. What has happened to the budget end of our sport that welcomes new riders who dont earn a fortune? Elitism is despicable and ugly, and HAS taken over mountain biking. I wont have anything to do with it, not as a luddite, but as some one who lives by they're means and who wants to take part. The second hand market makes it possible for me to own half decent kit, even if its not cutting edge, at affordable prices. Pink bike is an extension of the industry and as such will always place its interests above consumers, just like any commercial entity. Thank god a secondhand market will ALWAYS exist. It is most peoples gateway to a decent ride. F*ck your elitism up the ar*e.
  • 3 0
 I float on my intense for over 12 years. Everything except frame and brakes (4pots shimano xt's) was replaced as time goes by.
3 years - what are you talking about?
  • 3 0
 I think what RC means to say is that a 3 year old bike with ZERO maintenance is approaching the point of needing service. I still see pro-flex bikes on the trail.
  • 1 0
 I'm thinking the comment should have been bikes are "out of date" in three years as opposed to being "end of its life". Im a mechanic and there are tones of bikes out there that are pre 2011 and are excellent just not as advanced as the newer ones.
  • 1 0
 Hot damn, if bikes are toast after three years my 2008 Giant that gets ridden hard 3 days a week must have been the most well engineered bike ever built. Granted, the crank, bars and wheels are the only stock parts left, but they've been maintained properly. It's a hell of a lot cheaper to replace a few parts here and there than throwing down 2500+ on something that would actually be an upgrade. I paid $300 for the bike and even with an upgrade to a Recon Race fork and X7 components I've got just under 1k in the bike. Buy your components for half price a couple months after the new model year comes out and you're GTG.
  • 4 0
 Its a lot more gratifying to rip by some guy on his new 6k rig on my 8 year old hardtail than anything else
  • 1 0
 Cassettes and chains, wheels and bearings all need replacing after a few years. Period. You can do that no prob, but do you want a bike that needs all of it at the same time? I have done that. It sucks. Better to buy a new bike and have to ipgrade , but be able to ride until you can.
My current ride I bought used, but gently so. We are talking stock tires still had nubs on them. Great rig, but weighs 10lbs over the modern standard. In a way though it is he best of both worlds. I paid half of the retail and am upgrading parts while I ride. By next year it should be 35-38lbs and I will be shredding the park.
Still, I would really like a 12mm rear axle so I had more wheels choices.
  • 2 0
 Three years! I own two bikes older than that, and by the way our consumer driven passion/hobby/past time is going, I could be in for 20 grand! And they won't even be 26"!
  • 2 1
 maintain your bike and it will at least pay for itself in time. 3 years is a joke. as for new bikes, I demo`d many at FFT festival this year and was not impressed. still riding my tried and true and keep upgrades when needed
  • 1 0
 I sell my bike after 2 seasons and get a new one! As a mechanic, and a passionate rider, I think it is a SMART move. And, the person who buys it, gets a smokin" deal! Then they can retire it after two seasons?
  • 1 0
 I used to be all about buying used bikes...but in the long run I think it's actually more expensive. There's lots of great deals to be had if you shop around, and buying a new bike is a lot more fun.
  • 1 0
 Still riding a 2005 giant reign, all parts have been swapped out over time and pivot bearings are done when needed, thing is killing it harder than ever. Getting a little scared of the idea of aluminum fatigue though...
  • 1 0
 About the shifting issue, make sure your derailleur pivot is smooth. I came across one that was sticky in the higher gears. When fully extended by hands, it would not fold back at all! A little lube helped a lot.
  • 1 0
 I bought all the tools I needed and figured out how to do all bike work myself and almost everything I buy is used from Pinkbike. Why? This way I never have to speak to creepy old bike shop people like Deeeight EVER AGAIN!
  • 1 0
 I'll be there to give the guys 1/4 of the bike value when they decide 3 years is enough.
Unless it is a DH bike, there will still be a ton of life in it probably as is.
  • 1 0
 bike swaps are good, you can actually see in person if it's thrashed or not.
  • 1 0
 29er....2014 Cannondale Scalpel 4, not carbon version...get a shorter steem and a Rental "rocks" Smile
  • 1 0
 Hey Sucker- buy buy buy. They need the cash more than you do.
  • 1 3
 So bikes only last 3 years till everything needs replaced wtf I go through a full rebuild/tune for next season lol....
  • 2 4
 As to shifting, if you're replacing cables at a store, ask for stainless ones.
  • 2 3
 Ew 29ers
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