Today I went to Taizhong to check out a mountain bike. I was told it was about 3-4 years old and had less than 100 miles on it. It was a downhill racing mountain bike, so it wouldn’t be a lot of use going uphill. Still, I was thinking of adapting it to daily use.
All the components are the best in their class and have less than 100 miles on them. It is worth pretty much three times what I am asking, but not many people want such a serious bike.
What was supposed to be a quick meet, greet and inspection turned into something completely else as we searched for a bike shop to service the said bike. The shifter wasn’t working. To get it specced up like I wanted, I’d have to buy a new crank, a new front derailleur and new shifters.
The bike itself hadn’t been used in years. I later learned that it was actually 6 years old and that it had more miles on it. There were some scratches all over the frame. The chain was rusted, the Hayes trigger shifter didn’t work properly and it was dirty.
So dirty and covered in grime, that I wasn’t sure if there was any rust on the bike.
I was concerned when I learned that the guy didn’t have it serviced in about four years. I was a bit dumbfounded that he hadn’t taken it upon himself to make the bike presentable or serviced. There was no way that I would buy something as filthy.
My plan was actually to install a front derailleur and a new crankset, so that it would become manageable on everyday use.
I then spent 4 hours driving around Taizhong trying to find a bikeshop to have it serviced. Needless to say that I had already made up my mind. I wasn’t purchasing it. We were told that changing the crank and adding a derailleur, even though there was a mount for it, would change the geometry of the bike. I don’t know what the guy was smoking, but in my book, adding a few gears doesn’t change the geometry of a bike. The service guy said that it wasn’t possible. He had tried it before.
The guy wanted about $850 for it. He had bought the bike for $1800 6 years ago. In my opinion, the bike isn’t worth more than $500. Cleaned up and properly serviced that is, with any broken or unfit parts replaced. Even at that price, I’d think it over. For $300, the bike would be worth the price. The frame itself isn’t worth more than $100. The frame cost $250 new. The components are badly maintained and they are old. I could see some rust.
I think that it became clear to him that it wasn’t going to happen. I was surprised to find a full JBC Pro Lightning hardtail carbon fiber frame for $850 in the JBC shop. I had already researched a few different framsets that interested me on ebay. Sure, assembling a bike from scratch, component by component would be more expensive, but it would have a lot more value than what I was presented with. I could easily find the frame that suited me best for $600-$800. A Cannondale Scalpel with a carbon fiber lefty comes to mind. I’m more of an XC kind of guy, even though downhill must be amazing, XC is easily adapted to everyday use. Plus I could get a carbon fiber frame, an older frame, but a carbon fiber frame nonetheless. For the Scalpel frames, there isn’t much difference between the alloy and the carbon fiber frame. I’d want something extremely light, around 20-22lbs, no more. The bike I looked at was easily double that number.
You can easily find a bike like that on ebay for between $300-$500.