Video: Buying 2 Used Mountain Bikes & Testing Them - Budget vs. Baller Episode 1

Dec 6, 2021 at 14:27
by Pinkbike Originals  


Carbon wheels or alloy? Electronic drivetrains or cable-actuated? We're here to answer these questions and more in our brand new series: Budget vs. Baller. Join Jason Lucas and Henry Quinney as they purchase two identical 2017 Giant Reigns and systematically upgrade them to see where to spend and where to save. In episode one, the pair give the bikes a good once over before heading out to the trails to get some baseline timed testing in.


Presented by

photo

Jenson USA





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Member since Feb 15, 2012
1,118 articles

146 Comments
  • 335 0
 That is the content we need!
  • 68 0
 Totally agree. These are the real-world decisions to be made. Where to upgrade and where not to when money is limited. Especially in the used bike market.
  • 11 2
 ^^^THIS!!! thank you
  • 7 0
 Agree, this is an awesome...
  • 21 2
 Agreed, tho NSMB has been championing "Min-maxing" for quite awhile.
  • 2 0
 Love it! As someone who pieces my bikes together by combing the classifieds, the past 1+ year has been a bit of a bummer with even clapped out parts being >80% of new cost. Can't wait to see how Henry pulls it together
  • 79 1
 This is great. Please continue to use ideas from car youtube! All Cars go to Heaven, Top gear Cheap Car challenges, Modified, Icons, all of these great shows would be awesome in a MTB version.
  • 47 3
 They just need to copy off donut.
  • 41 0
 Oh boy a Roadkill type show would be entertaining with old clapped out 40+ lbs freeride bikes, making them run (barely) and then going on a roadtrip to as many bikeparks and freeride spots as possible
  • 18 1
 @kanioni: we have Jordan for that.
  • 5 2
 @kanioni: I’m living that whenever I walk my M9 out of my garage.
  • 7 0
 Regular Bike Reviews - dress Levy up as the stereotypical Niner lycra dentist
  • 5 0
 @mikeu412: and make his bike BROWN
  • 6 0
 @kanioni: everything about this comment is awesome. Basically Pink Bike academy, but with drunk 40 year olds. I’m in.
  • 1 0
 @BikesNRussets: came here to make this comment. It’s HiLo for bikes. Which is a great format.
  • 74 1
 Some guy somewhere: Dude I sold my Piece of junk reign to some sucker on Pinkbike classified! LOL didn't told him the break were dead.

His buddy: Bro You should check pinkbike this morning... your bike is there.
  • 1 0
 It was me JK…
  • 42 1
 We all know the answer is tires and suspension but this is fun content none the less.
  • 117 0
 And carbon stem spacers obviously
  • 13 0
 And brakes
  • 24 0
 Custom top cap is a must
  • 25 1
 Absolute black derailleur cage and ceramic pulleys....just ask Hambini. Totally worth it.
  • 9 1
 @L0rdTom: My bike has a Carbon frame, bars, stem spacers, saddle, magnesium pedals, XTR M9000 drivetrain and TI bolts on almost everything LOL yet it still weighs 33lbs.

My coworker asked why I waste time putting lightweight parts on a heavy bike and I said because I want to.
  • 4 0
 @mashrv1: Bentley tallkwhacker for the win!
  • 4 2
 @takeiteasyridehard: Does Hambini cuss continually for an entire episode about them, or does he genuinely like them? I'm guessing it's the cussing. Love that guy
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: Dont forget carbone valve stem caps. Those must exist...
  • 3 0
 @mobiller: I think he actually cussed about them for 3 episodes. But I got the jist and only watched one.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: That's frustrating but going to 36-38lb isn't better. At some point you stop weighing it and start riding it though.
  • 10 0
 @mtnmbc: The trick is to never weigh it in the first place. Ignorance is bliss.
  • 1 0
 if this reign has poor shifting like the 2nd hand one I bought, upgrading the derailleur and adding a new shifting cable/ housing was easily the best upgrade. For one of those bikes on video, front fork is the obvious upgrade though.
  • 43 15
 HiLow Presented by Donut Media Oops sorry I meant to say Budget vs Baller by Pinkbike
  • 18 1
 I mean... is it a bad thing though? HiLow is a great series and I think a lot of people would love to see a mtb version, I know I would.
  • 9 0
 @nbram: No it's a great thing. I enjoyed HiLo a lot and I am definitely looking forward to the next episode of this. I was just poking fun at the concept
  • 46 0
 Yep! Just like we said in the video, we're big fans of Donut and thought this concept would apply to bikes as well.
  • 9 0
 @jasonlucas: I thought it was cool you gave Donut credit.. I'm curious how much new stuff Henry gets versus how much he gets to just repair to save money..
  • 4 0
 @lumpy873: to really be on the budget/low side of things Henry should do the repairs himself...
  • 2 0
 @Gruta: agreed..
  • 2 0
 @jasonlucas MO POWER BABY!
  • 25 0
 "To see where YOU should spend your hard earned money!"
What about if my money for improvements isn't hard earned? Maybe it's passive income or from ill gotten gains...does that change anything?
  • 41 0
 Why yes sir it does.. allow me to show you our S-works, Yeti, & Ibis department. Hahahaha
  • 1 1
 @Cbc4447: That was an amazing flip by you. Probably the best subtle context flip I've seen in PB comments. Love it.
  • 4 0
 @Cbc4447: you've covered the passive income clientele but you need to show your more seedy customers with their cash rolls in rubber bands around the Santa Cruz, Evil, and Transition section.
  • 4 0
 I understand you will be paying in cash only !
  • 21 0
 Jason's bike was definitely "rode hard, put away wet." That thing is clapped! Can't wait to see how this series goes
  • 21 0
 Yeah I probably should've squished the fork before letting Henry choose the other bike. Haha.
  • 3 0
 @jasonlucas:
Really surprised you guys didn't splurge for a 2018+ Reign for Boost spacing out back and Cascade linkage option.
  • 15 1
 "My fork might be blown"


Seems like every Yari I've ever seen...
  • 9 0
 This is awesome. Love the idea. Wondering how they got two nearly identical bikes in this seller's market. Demo mules from a local shop?
  • 21 0
 Got lucky on the PB buy&sell!
  • 15 0
 @jasonlucas: just curious, what did you guys end up paying for these bad boys? Would love to get a baseline
  • 1 1
 @jasonlucas: Good to see you guys eating your own dog food!
  • 1 0
 @snowwcold55: I sold a very similar Trance (2016) this year for 2400, although it was in better shape than these 2
  • 2 0
 @snowwcold55: based on the specs and market I would expect no less then 6k CAD per bike Big Grin
  • 11 0
 @snowwcold55: I think we say it somewhere in the series, but around $2500 each.
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas: Didn't know they had a personals section.
  • 16 4
 @jasonlucas: the 2017 Reigns you bought originally retailed for $2999 CAD. Both bikes are trashed and require an absolute minimum of a full tune up, new shift & dropper cable/housing, bleeds for both brakes, a fork service + seals, and a shock service + seals. And don’t forget a tire sealant top up.

Let’s assume you’re able to do all the work yourself and that things like oil, chain lube, cleaning supplies, tools, and so on are all “free”. A Yari service kit is about $40, a Monarch service kit is roughly $60. Shift cables, $5 each. Cheap bulk shift housing, $3-5/foot. Let’s say you need 8 feet at $4/foot. $32 for housing. Guide R pads are about $35 per brake, you’ll need 2 sets so $70 for brake pads. Don’t forget the $20 for DOT fluid! And of course, $25 or so in sealant.

That’s $257 for the absolute minimum needed to get these bikes running safely. Remember: your tools, supplies, labour, plus your in-depth knowledge of bike mechanics are all being valued at $0… so these bikes are now costing you $2752 plus taxes on the $257 in bare necessities needed to get the bikes working properly. And we’re also assuming that no parts need to be replaced. On a nearly 5 year old entry level Reign, parts will absolutely need to be replaced so you’ll easily crack $3000+ on the cheap build.

For an extra $650 or less, you could order a Canyon Spectral 27.5 specced with Deore 12 speed and Fox suspension. Prefer shopping at a bike shop? Cool, for an extra $800 you could have bought a brand new Giant Trance X 27.5. Both bikes are new and come with a warranty. The Giant might even come with some free service from the local shop you bought it from. Either bike is a way, way better deal. And that “extra” spend assumes you aren’t replacing any parts on the used Reigns which, again, you will be.

All you’ve managed to prove so far is that the used bike market is a huge rip off.
  • 4 0
 @simonlavoie: no the used bike market is not a rip off... If a 3k reign is very used and sold at 2500, maybe not buy it?
  • 3 0
 @simonlavoie: My thoughts too after Jason mentioned the price. I assumed way way less.

Seriously, 2500 CAD (that would be about 1500 GBP for me) for absolutely clapped out barely rideable bikes that weren't even that good when new in this base version.

Just find a decent deal on a new bike at this point.

I just checked the first UK online shop that came to my mind (Tredz) and they have 5 full sus models in stock in various sizes between £1700-£2700. All decent bikes with good geo, new standards, brand new with warranty. Even including a 2022 Stumpy! Base models, but nothing much lower end than those Reigns and obviously ready to shred without hundreds of £ in fixes.

As much as I'm not a fan of getting in debt because of a hobby, financing the missing 1000 bucks/quid if you already have the 2500 cash is a no brainer here. You'll get a sorted bike that will ride well with no additional expenses for a good while and because it has current geo/standards, you'll easily extend its life to years of happy riding by swapping whatever you break.

Entertaining show but I'd tell any newbie to stay away from junk like this in the real world.

The upside is now I know that when my new bike hopefully shows up in spring I should milk the shit out of whoever buys my old one that's actually good to ride unlike those two.
  • 4 0
 @jasonlucas: for such clapped out base models?! seems like it's been some time since you last had to buy a (used) bike
  • 6 0
 @jasonlucas: You spent WHAT on these clapped pieces of crap?
  • 2 0
 @jasonlucas: That seems on the steep side even in the Covid market. I would think that those two rigs wouldn't be such hot sellers that you could not negotiate a better price. Doing a wee bit of research would tell you that both would require some costly maintenance and upgrades (even more if a shop does them) to get them functional* for the kind of riding you do. I look forward more to seeing what money will be spent/efforts made on the budget bike than the baller model. Anyone with cash can turn an okay bike into a feast with a Michelin-starred meal, but turning around one with a Ramen budget is far more compelling.

*Sure they'll work right away as shown, but bringing their suspension into a usable range, having working brakes, losing the creaks and tires that have grip is whole different thing especially where you are riding,
  • 1 0
 @simonlavoie: I am not sure where you from but this is just a reality of used market in Canada right now. I sold my Specialized Enduro Evo from 2010 for 2400 CAD ( I paid 1800 CAD for it in 2015 for MINT shape). Bike was TRASHED because it was my first real bike and I had no clue I need to do service, replace seals, oil etc. I disclosed type of riding and the fact that new owner WILL need to do service and how much it cost.... at the end people were still FIGHTING to purchase it. I sold it to the first person I met with within 2 days of posting it online.

Also keep in mind Jason probably paid CAD not USD which makes a difference ( about 25% )
  • 1 0
 @simonlavoie: I think you are missing the point here, i mean what you wrote is 100% correct when you are in the market for a bike. However, and i believe this is the real point behind this material, if you already have a bike that you purchased new in 2017, spending 250~500$ to get it to proper usability vs shellig out 3.5~4k on a brand new bike is a different scenario, and for such case this might be quite helpfull. Sure one could sell what they have to pinkbike staff for another cool project but this isn’t too likely ;-) anyhow, just my 3 cents…
  • 31 24
 You bought a Giant Reign, you’re pretty much set outside of maybe tires to suit your terrain. Everything else is frivolous spending with silly justifications to make yourself feel better that you bought a $600 AXS shifter or $1,200 carbon rims.

Replace stuff with better stuff if it breaks, keep riding, then sell it if you want a better frame. Or, just acknowledge that you’re blowing money because you have upgrade fever. Admitting it is the first step.
  • 42 5
 Nothing wrong with frivolous spending if you have the dough and it makes you happy.
  • 52 2
 Its a hobby, lets just do what we want
  • 6 0
 Loved my 2016 Reign, so underrated. Just sold her, watching this makes me a bit sad. Might have to queue up the Greenday tracked memory montage... Frown
  • 3 0
 @Moonie2123:
Girlfriend and myself are still on our 2016 Reigns. Going to replace all the bearings for the 2nd time to get one more year out of it. Overall a solid bike. Have gotten so much use out of it that if it completely self imploded I wouldn't even be mad.
  • 2 0
 @Kamperk87: It was just that lower shock mount bearing on mine. Replace it once, then just started popping the bearing cover and squeezing new grease in couple times a year and it was problem free.

Such a good bike.
  • 3 0
 Ya my first couple full sus bikes I felt like I had to have the best of the best everything and swapped basically all components for higher end stuff. In reality, my bike was more than suitable for my needs out of the box. My newest bike has Deore drive train and brakes with mid level suspension and it is more than sufficient. I hate adjusting suspension anyway and prefer the set it and forget it style. I did buy new wheels but that is all I plan on doing unless something breaks.. probably.
  • 1 0
 @Kamperk87: just bought my mate this exact bike to get him started. Wondering whether I should put him onto this series or not tbh…
  • 2 0
 That's why I still have my 2015 reign alloy. I only changed broken/weak parts with good value parts and I have serviced shocks and bearings. 14.2kg (31lbs) I see no reason to change it.
  • 4 0
 @wpplayer18: I didn't say there was anything wrong with it, just don't start trying to justify it like you NEED it like this series is doing. Just buy it because you want to.
  • 2 0
 @nickfranko: I'm just trying make myself feel better about myself Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @wpplayer18: Lol. Time for a Fox 38 factory!
  • 1 0
 @Kamperk87: Couldn't agree more, but it won't implode! Too tough. My Reign was so fun, capable and reliable. Nothing but good things to say, once I upped the dropper to 150mm it was perrrrfect.
  • 3 0
 @Moonie2123: I'll take good care of it and I approve of the Greenday track.

It does seem the Reigns are highly underrated.
  • 10 0
 Great idea. Loved the vid.
  • 10 0
 Thanks guys! This is EXACTLY the type of content I'd like to see more of!
  • 9 0
 Brakes: Let me play you the song of my people...
  • 8 0
 Two guys on buy and sell are like “I can’t believe I sold my clapped out Reign”
  • 8 0
 i love HiLow, im so f**king stoked about this series!!!
  • 4 0
 I'd love to see this as a longer running series. Starting with 2 identical bikes is awesome, but even if you just took one older bike and upgraded it I think it would be entertaining.

And, oh boy, that was a brutal test track/conditions for the benchmark timing!
  • 3 0
 I hope this doesn't turn into one of those fork is blown time to get a Ohlins that was twice the cost of the used bike, wheels suck, time to go full carbon. Would be great if this series talked through the different routes, e.g replacing the damper in the Yari with the higher end charger for a few hundred vs. a whole new fork. Not all of us can buy a used bike and then go out and throw another few grand at it.
  • 4 0
 I hope Henry gets a budget and can shop BuySell and look for bargains not just cheap. If everything is off of Amazon and called XXZX components, I think this loses all practical value and just becomes entertainment.
  • 5 0
 I for one look forward to the alphabet soup brand Crashima Coping suspension he has to run on his bike
  • 4 0
 Would love to see some hacks and bodges too, like replacing wheelbearings instead of new wheels entirely. I think Henrey can pull it off!
  • 2 0
 Yea I was hoping it would be like, bike park versions of tires, a proper bleed with maybe a new reservoir or lever, self service and maybe a custom tune on the suspension rather than all new bits. But i've never heard of the tires they listed so this might not be realistic.
  • 2 0
 I'm glad you took the Reign to do the job. If my newbie friend would ask me what to get it's Reign. I don't like it personally, mainly because I prefer horizontally placed shock, but it's a lot of great bike for the money and with a wise suspension choice it's simply a workhorse
  • 2 0
 Great concept. Love it. Would also love a 'same budget, different choices' version. You get, say 3k and have to get a do-it-all bike together any which way you want. See what they end up with.
  • 3 0
 What I want to see is a comparison of what can be bought used vs new for 1500$ or different used bikes of the same price tested à la Top Gear.
  • 1 0
 I had this exact bike and have been through the upgrade cycle with it. It's a great solid frame and the budget spec out of the box rode fine, but not great.
First upgrade required is to put a charger damper in the Yari. The MoCo damper sucks balls and the improvement from this one thing alone is incredible. It's like a different bike!
Second is to replace the awful lever for the dropper with a Wolftooth one. the Giant dropper posts are actually decent until the cartridge fails and Giant doesn't stock the replacement. Hack for that is that it's the same part as the Bontrager one and Trek probably will have stock.
The original low end SRAM rear derailleur is garbage and the SRAM cranks are 5mm too long and flex like wet noodles.
The Giant branded rims are ok (not great) but in the 28 spoke construction on this bike they are wet noodles too.
Rear shock is ok, but I liked the bike a lot better when I swapped it out for a CCDB coil. Pedalled worse, but descended and jumped 10x better.
A trap for young players on this bike is the mixed hub widths - Boost fork with 142mm rear, so you won't be able to just buy an off the shelf wheelset.
I'll be interested to see how the boys get on with this.
  • 1 0
 This is gonna be awesome to watch, Jason and Henry will do awesome on this. Stoked! Those bikes were definitely clapped haha I imagine half the budget upgrades are going to be undoing blown pieces.
  • 3 0
 I love this, but please use a sticker kit or dyebro protector so we can distinguish between the bikes! .
  • 3 0
 After a few choice upgrades, it’ll probably be very easy to tell the two bikes apart.

Especially if Henry goes with all the best purple anodized parts from Amazon… Wink
  • 2 0
 I'm beyond budget... my reputation's about polishing turd into something somewhat acceptable so I can relate to this content for sure!
  • 3 0
 "Would you take 2 pair of skis and my 1992 suzuki dirt bike in trade"
  • 2 0
 Always spend your money on suspension first (as long as your brakes are adequate.)
  • 1 0
 Donut Media is doing great! They are funny! If one day you are doing a special edit on cars and bikes, I'm all in! #nochoice #noexcuse
  • 2 3
 Nice video.
From someone who always buys used bikes and bike bits I am going to be interested what upgrades you go for..

I always do my cockpit first (I love the old Jerome Clementz bars and some nice Burgtec grips), then pedals (vaults) followed by suspension.

My last bike was the redbull hardline winning Trek of RC from a few years back. 3rd hand. It's got a pedigree I can never live up too Smile
  • 3 0
 at 10:42 nice hellraiser reference...jesus wept
  • 1 0
 Hey @jasonlucas, I could really tell that SUBSCRIBE!! scream was hard for you. It seemed like the brain did not want to say it.
  • 1 0
 This is great! I own a 2017 Giant Reign, so I'm looking forward to more episodes Smile
  • 4 2
 This sounds fun, worked for donut media lol...
  • 2 0
 Wait. Sealing leaking from the sidewall isn’t “normal”!?
  • 2 0
 Love this content. Keep em coming. Thanks
  • 1 0
 Would love to see some of these bikes get run against the new field tests too btw.
  • 2 0
 That was good fun! I think Jason needs some riding pants, haha!
  • 2 0
 What was the price for one of those bikes?
  • 1 0
 Around $2,500 each off the PB buy & sell. I think they say it in the video.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: Yikes - that seems like alot for those! Apparently, I need to ask more for what I sell.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I'll contact Pinkbike first once I sell the next bike Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Some Buff horses and moa powa baby!
  • 3 0
 MO POWA BABYYYYYY
  • 1 0
 Such a great concept! Stoked to see this through, Jason scored a boinger for sure.
  • 1 0
 The paint durability is rubbish, the first time I rode mine with knee pads the top tube was scratched up.
  • 1 0
 cool experiment - waiting for part 2
  • 1 0
 And I thought my fork was bad
  • 1 0
 Suspension, Brakes, Tires and Transmission... what else? lol
  • 1 0
 This episode is also sponsored by Playmobil #nicecap
  • 1 0
 The Clappers go to Maui! this should be entertaining!
  • 1 0
 I bought this bike! And sold it 3 months later !
  • 1 0
 Well this is gonna be fun. Clap clap clap clap clap
  • 1 0
 Finally, a content we don't deserve but we all need so much Smile
  • 2 0
 Jensonusa. Eh
  • 1 0
 Yes, love Donut Media! Keep this kinda content coming.
  • 1 0
 I enjoyed this, thank you.
  • 1 0
 An indexed headset! Love this comment
  • 1 0
 Appropriate bikes for that ride (Giant Reign/rain)
  • 1 0
 So glad they gave props to Donutmedia for the idea!
  • 1 0
 I'm really hoping one of the bikes will be covered in AliExpress parts....
  • 1 0
 love this content!
  • 1 0
 Jesus wept.
  • 1 1
 Donut media hi low anyone?
  • 1 0
 FULL tear down/rebuild.
  • 1 4
 Do it again but get some bikes off of Offerup or Craigslist. I see some insanely good bikes on Offer up sometimes, the post covid clearance event is here!
  • 2 0
 My local experience is that prices have lowered slightly for winter, but nowhere near pre-covid levels.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: might be location specific, I live in a fairly populated area so I think most people bought bikes when the bars closed and are selling them now that they're open.
  • 4 5
 shouldnt we be paying for stuff like this?
  • 3 0
 JensonUSA is paying for us.
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