Author Topic: Would you buy a used bike with visible rust on the frame?  (Read 3863 times)

scottydog

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Would you buy a used bike with visible rust on the frame?
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:21:18 AM »
I'm in the market for a used bike, and found a potentially good deal on an old chromoly single-speed (http://www.kijiji.ca/v-velo-de-route/ville-de-montreal/large-panasonic-single-speed-road-bike-cromoly-frame/1018209468?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true).  The owner has stated in an e-mail that there are some spots of visible rust on the frame.

I've been perusing Bakari's advice on buying used bikes (http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.ca/2012/01/buying-bikes-from-craigslist.html), and the following line seems to apply:
Quote
If you see rust on the outside, unless the person is a bike enthusiast that you trust maintained the bike, assume there is internal rust as well.
This makes sense to me, so I'm assuming that there is some internal rust.

The new-to-me bike will be used primarily for winter riding, although I'm also hoping to like it enough to ride it year round like Ottawa has done in this thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/bike-broke-so-i-made-one.  Then I could sell my summer bike - a 2005 Rocky Mountain RC-70 - and reclaim some space in the basement.  I've considered riding my RC-70 through the winter, but the vertical dropouts make it tricky expensive to convert to SS and it has disc brakes so the expected cost of replacing derailleurs and brakes every few years actually outweighs the cost of a new (used) bike.

Incidentally, I'm also considering a touring bike (http://www.kijiji.ca/v-velo-de-route/ville-de-montreal/devinci-caribou-touring-bike-large-aluminum-frame/1007626573?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true).  I realize that it's totally different than the single-speed, but I've never tried a touring bike before and it's rare to see one in my size on kijiji or craigslist.  If you feel like sharing some advice, I'd appreciate it.

fireferrets

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Re: Would you buy a used bike with visible rust on the frame?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 09:28:54 AM »
I think if I were to purchase a bike with visible rust, I would want to either A) know the owner of the bike personally, or B) get a very deep discount for the bike. Buying any item with a known defect is a risk, so you may want to reconsider this option if you are going to rely on the bike for long distance transportation (in which you would be stranded in a rural area). The least you could do if you are strongly considering the purchase would be to go check it out or at least ask for photos showing the rust damage locations.

usmarine1975

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Re: Would you buy a used bike with visible rust on the frame?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 10:01:03 AM »
Another thought would be to find out if you have a Recycle Bicycle or bike co op in your area.  They may have a bike to your liking and the reality is you could trade it in if you wanted to try something different.  They would also help you set it up.  Just a thought.

I have been perusing CL for bikes out of curiosity but currently have about 7 bikes in my basement that I got for free.  3 of them are parts bikes.  That's not counting the bike my wife uses or the Trek I got from my Co-op.  I am hoping to have a 2nd bike fixed up in the next week or so it needs new cables and bearings.  My initial bike was a huffy that I got from a rental.  I will either give it to a friend or donate it to the co op with the rest of the bikes I do not need or use.  I want to keep 2 bikes for myself, to have a back up.

5 of the bikes came from a family members back yard the kids simply didn't use them and I asked for them at a family pig roast.  Kid's helped me load them.

scottydog

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Re: Would you buy a used bike with visible rust on the frame?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 12:11:01 PM »
I took a look, and there was a LOT of rust on the frame, especially at the seat stay attachment points - top and bottom.  The bike rode nicely, but I decided against buying it because there was too much rust.  I don't know the owner personally, and it was clear that the bike was stored outside 24/7.

Thanks for your replies!  I was thinking that some rust might be acceptable, perhaps because as a kid our cars and farm equipment often had a fair amount of rust but still worked fine.  Upon further reflection I can see a big difference between cosmetic rust on the body panel of a car vs a rusty bike frame that could collapse catastrophically.  I'll aim for something with zero visible rust on the frame.

It's a good idea to look at the Recycle Bicycle or bike co op.  So far I've avoided the co ops here because they're only open during prime family time.  I'm thinking I'll spend more time there when my kids are older and can learn how to maintain their bikes.  There is a Recycle Cycle nearby with more typical opening hours so I'll take a look there and at some other used bike shops.