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Newbie buying a 2nd hand bike

Skinny tyres, drop handlebars and mud. Lots of mud.

Moderator: Eshnar

Newbie buying a 2nd hand bike

14 Dec 2011 12:28

Hi There

I’ve been looking for a second hand bike as the budget is fairly limited and have found a 2011 Marin Toscana going pretty cheap and I’m going for a look this weekend. I was wondering when looking at a 2nd bike is there some specifics I should be checking for?

Also if I buy it should I be doing anything like have it serviced?

Any advise is appreciated as haven’t bought a bike for over 15 years since I delivered newspapers :)
118118
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14 Dec 2011 15:31

Spin the wheels and make sure they don't wobble side-to-side, or up & down.
Squeeze each pair of spokes to verify that none are 'real loose'.
Try to push-pull the rims sideways, a very tiny 'tick' of movement is OK, but visible looseness needs fixing.

Eye-ball the tubing looking for any signs of damage, especially the fork.

Verify that brakes and gears all work.

With chain on the large chain ring, pull outward on the chain at the 3 o'clcok position - if the chain can be pulled more than halfway out of the teeth then the chain should be replaced.

Check that the size of the bike is ok for you -
You must be able to stand over the top tube with feet flat on the ground.
Seat height should be able to be set so that you can reach the pedals with your heals - without having to tilt your hips.
Most riding is done with hands on the bars near the stem, or resting on the brake hoods - this must be a comfortable position.
The bike seat itself might or might not be comfortable for you ... if not plan on spending some more money for one that is!

Be careful if any parts are missing - they might be difficult to find -- regardless of what the seller says.

What kind of pedals are on the bike? Will you need special shoes or cleats?

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
JayKosta
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Posts: 831
Joined: 25 Nov 2010 13:55

17 Dec 2011 13:19

Thanks for the tips, it came in most useful and I now own a bike. It's less than a year old not had much use and was 70% cheaper then brand new so will keep me going and happy for now.

However didn't have to worry too much about the pedals as the owner removed and kept them once sale was agreed. Now my next dilema is which pedlas to buy. Looks like there is far more choice than I ever realised.

I'm thinking of staying away from cleats since as a newbie there is a good chance I could just fall off :eek:

I'm think maybe I shopuld get some with clips so I get power in the push and pull, but any assitance, suggestions or advice much appreciated again.

I'll get out on this bike yet!
118118
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Joined: 13 Dec 2011 21:49

17 Dec 2011 15:27

If you are in the USA, the crank arms most likely have a 9/16 inch thread for the pedals.

For 'recreational' & 'exercise' riding, regular old style pedals without toeclips & straps are fine.
Toeclips & straps are ok, but some people have trouble getting their foot into them (because they hang toe-down).
And if the straps are tight it can be difficult to quickly remove the foot.

Clipless are supposed to be easier to get in & out of, and should be safer than clips & tight straps.

What I would do.....
Get a pair of inexpensive regular pedals that you can use with regular shoes (a fairly stiff sole is best).
Try buying used pedals from bike shops, or other riders in your area. Or even from a Walmart, K-Mart type store.

That way you will be able to ride without spending much more money.
After you have ridden for several weeks or months, you'll be experienced enough to know if a different style pedal would be better for you.

My 'fast bike' has clips&straps & cleated bike shoes, another one has plain regular pedals - they both work fine and I enjoy riding both of them.

In wet , cold, nasty weather, regular pedals make it easier to wear whatever shoe or boot you'd like.

BTW - plain pedals, and toeclips are viewed as being 'old fashioned'.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
JayKosta
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Posts: 831
Joined: 25 Nov 2010 13:55

18 Dec 2011 20:31

Thanks again Jay,

I'm in Scotland so wet, cold, nasty weather covers most months of the year. A set of cheap regular pedals have now been purchase (£4.99) so will get me out and about this week, if the snow melts a bit.

Thanks again for the help and I'll no doubt be back once I'm confused with something else.

Steve
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