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Best used MTB for less than £150

Bozy09Bozy09 Posts: 14
edited September 2016 in MTB buying advice
Hello,
This is my first post on this forum and I have a battered old MTB which is incredibly worn out so I would like to buy a used bike. I have checked gumtree and was looking at the carrera vengeance bikes. I am 16 years old (175cm if that helps because I'm not sure what sized frame would suit me either) and will use it mostly for commuting to and from school (the roads are bumpy and I'd like to use it off road from time to time). I don't know what I should be looking for in a bike so I'd like to know what lines are best. I'd like to also know if it makes much of a difference between tourney, altus and alivio groupsets as I'm thinking of upgrading the bike 2 years down the line. Lastly I'd like to know how to service the bike on my own properly (chain/gear/brake/tyre care). Thank you all for your help :D

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Hi, and welcome to the forums.

    The Vengeance is not a bad bike - but for £150 you could probably do better. We can only generalise as the used market varies wildly, but bargains do crop up. I'd look out for an older (4 or 5 years old) Carrera Kraken or Fury, Decathlon Rockrider 520/540 or even a Specialized Rockhopper. These tend to have better forks and brakes than say a Vengeance, and you'll notice this off road.

    Altus/Acera/Alivio are step up above the Tourney stuff - Tourney (or TX) is very budget and tends not to last that long. You can see and feel the difference even with Altus.
  • supersonic wrote:
    Hi, and welcome to the forums.

    The Vengeance is not a bad bike - but for £150 you could probably do better. We can only generalise as the used market varies wildly, but bargains do crop up. I'd look out for an older (4 or 5 years old) Carrera Kraken or Fury, Decathlon Rockrider 520/540 or even a Specialized Rockhopper. These tend to have better forks and brakes than say a Vengeance, and you'll notice this off road.

    Altus/Acera/Alivio are step up above the Tourney stuff - Tourney (or TX) is very budget and tends not to last that long. You can see and feel the difference even with Altus.
    Thank you for your recommendation. How will I judge the condition of the bike when I go to collect it? What should I look out for in particular?
  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    First of all take a general look at the bike. Is it reasonably clean, how does the drive train look - has it been lubed, or is it just a gunky black mess, is it rusty underneath. What are the tyres like? This will give you an idea of how the bike has been looked after and maintained

    Have a good look at the frame, checking for cracks or major dents. Inspect the junction areas (head tube, bottom bracket, seat tube / seat stays) especially carefully. If there's ANY cracks, just walk away. Small dents are probably ok, but if anything 'feels' wrong then it probably is.

    Check the forks will at least compress and rebound though budget forks sometimes barely move when new!
    Check the wheels are round and more or less true.
    Brakes and gears - hard to say. If they're not working well it may be that they're farked but they may just need some adjustment

    Kinda depends on your level of knowledge, take a friend who knows more if you can

    Finally, beware stolen bikes on Gumtree and remember if a deal looks 'too good to be true', then it is.

    Edit: Just re-read your post and noted your age

    A word of advice on buying 2nd hand. Assuming you'll be looking at bikes local to you, DON'T take your cash with you. Not so much because you'll get 'mugged' though I guess it happens. No, having to make a return visit to buy the bike will give you a bit of a 'time-out' away from the seller and allow you to consider it properly without the temptation of the bike in front of you. A genuine seller should understand

    Oh, Park Tools website is an excellent start point for learning how to maintain your bike. Well worth it - it will save you plenty of £s that you can use to upgrade your bike
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