View Full Version : What do you consider "essential" information when buying used?

05-05-2009, 09:38 AM
I thought it might be helpful to compile a checklist of questions to ask when buying a used frame. My list is...

- Has the frame ever been crashed, dented, or otherwise damaged? - http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=56521

- What is the TT length c-c? My most important measurement.

- What are the HT and ST angles?

- What is the BB drop?

- What is the chain stay length?

- What year is the frame?

05-05-2009, 10:24 AM
Seattube length and TT slope maybe?

Tubeset and rider weight frame was designed for if it was custom (especially if you're big like I am).

05-05-2009, 10:29 AM
Are you the original owner?
Are the bottom bracket and dropout threads intact or damaged?
Is the frame in proper alignment?

05-05-2009, 10:33 AM
This posting includes an ebay link(scroll south). The questions that followed indicate where I sorta slipped.


JD Smith
05-05-2009, 10:46 AM
I thought it might be helpful to compile a checklist of questions to ask when buying a used frame.

Ask the seller to provide a serial number. You may never need this info, but it is a step toward avoiding dealing with stolen merch.
There's a lot of info you can ask for to save some money on components. You can find out if you are able to use stuff you already have, or if you'll have to invest in new components to fit the frame.
If it's a frame with disassembled fork, I like to get the fork crown seat diameter, 27.0 or 26.4. Along with this, try to get the steerer tube length. This helps avoid buying a headset with an unusable stack height.
Try to get the seat tube inner diameter measurement. If the seller has the old seatpost for reference, great.
If the seller can measure chainstay clearance, this gives you an idea of the maximum size tires you'll be able to fit. This helps avoid the situation where you buy the frame only to find out 28's won't fit.
Brake bolt measurements are good to have also. Long, short, recessed, etc.

05-05-2009, 10:47 AM
- all previous and..."essential" are the angles and TT c-c and s/n
- HT length
- Remaining steerer
- ST diameter for FD clamp sizing
- previous owner riding style, weight, usage

05-05-2009, 11:06 AM
Fork rake

05-05-2009, 11:14 AM
in addition to these two:
- HT length
- Remaining steerer,

also steerer tube diameter.

05-05-2009, 11:22 AM
Heat Tube length
Top tube length
Seat Tube Angle

Brian Smith
05-05-2009, 10:47 PM
1) Does the frameset/bike appeal to me?
2) How much would/will I pay for it?
3) When that money is gone from my bank account, will I still eat?

That's about it for me.
I throw plenty of good money after bad and have never been sorrowful nor regretful for it. By the time I'm riding it, I own that sucker.

05-05-2009, 10:55 PM
+1 on steerer tube length...

I bought a frame last year and didn't ask the question, I found a stem to make it work but would prefer to have a longer steerer tube. Not the seller's fault, I just didn't ask...

05-06-2009, 05:44 AM
Not everyone seems to be able to measures TT or ST on a CTC basis accurately or consistently so being able to x-reference with a mfr. geometry table is handy. Also ask if the ST measure is being done CTT or CTC.

Unfortunately that doesn't cover all frames/bikes in which case I generally ask the seller to reconfirm the measures. Sometimes they find they've measured incorrectly, sometimes they indicate that the first set of measurements is correct and sometimes, although rarely, they get indignant.

Hey, they want to sell and I don't have to buy so generally, I drop them at that point. I've bought about 20 frames on EBay in the last 10 years and only one was the wrong size (TT measure was off by 1.5cm). I have over 6,500 pictures from various auctions, mainly for frames/bikes in my size just as a reference for measurements, tubing, prices, models, etc.

05-06-2009, 05:55 AM
How many times will you deposit my check? Will you sue me after the last deposit? :)

Actually, if it had a steel frameset or frame, I would ask if there is any rust and where, and if some type of rust inhibitor had been used.

Old and rusty,

Steel Serotta Sandy

05-06-2009, 06:59 AM
on 70's and 80's frames "what is the rear spacing?".

05-06-2009, 07:05 AM
If I'm buying from Dave T all I wouls ask is:

1. How much does it cost?

2. Will I look good riding it?

3. Can you ship it to my firends house so my wife doesn't know about it?