What full suspension second hand bike for £500 for a friend?

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  • What full suspension second hand bike for £500 for a friend?
  • A hardtail 😉


    maybe look around for a first version santa cruz superlight.


    What should I try and find?

    Premier Icon tomfun

    i got a 2008 Kona Dawg deluxe for £500. 140mm Fox Float & RP2 shock. It was my first FS and did me proud, i thought it was a great bike. Still got it now but just about to swap everything over to a new frame.

    Premier Icon tmb467

    I got my 06 enduro for about that price

    Rode it for a few months until everything started to fall apart then spent the same again to put new brakes, bearings bracket headset and a new back wheel on it, along with spending money to get the shock serviced/rebuilt.

    Lesson being that 500 isn’t a lot for a full suspension bike but you could get a good long-travel hardtail for the same cash

    Premier Icon Paceman

    Place an ad in the wanted section giving details of your mates dimensions, and the intended use for the bike. Insure you’ll get something perfectly decent for that money.

    Give us a shout if you’re offered something you’re not sure about.

    Cheers – Paceman


    £500 is a tall order for a susser in my opinion.

    However if the budget can be increased to £699 then one of these are great value brand new from Rutland Cycles…….



    second hand bike for £500


    I’d recommend a Kona Coiler. They’re a bit old and agricultural, but they’re easy to service the pivots etc, and they’re tough as nails. Cheap too.

    Here, here, here, and here are a few examples, all well within budget.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Giant Trance. The base models are very upgradeable.

    Premier Icon kimbers

    i have an 08 kona dawg and its still a brilliant bike from 08 onwards they jave the lighter scandium frame too, the 120 and tanukis are worth looking at too

    The older style Boardmans go for around that, pretty well spec’d too.


    My old man has a 2007 (i think?) Trek EX7 that has about 200 road/canal miles on it so everything is mechanically spot on with loads of life left. It’s a large with Recon 130’s up front, Fox RPL at the back. Mixture of Bonty and Shimano kit.

    I shouldn’t think he’d want more than £400 for it by now as it just takes up space in his garage. Hasn’t been ridden at all for around 2 years apart from when i bimble around the drive on it to check it’s all still working. Would be a great starter bike for someone.


    Might get a second hand camber for about that?


    I’d look for a Giant Trance, Trek or Stmpjumper … good frames with loads of spares knocking about and, as chackaping said, very upgradeable.


    Mr Tall’s dad’s bike is a bargain …. I’d get that one if its the right size

    I sold a 2008 Trek fuel ex8 a bit ago for £750 with lots of upgraded bits so you should be able to get something like a 6 or 7 for £500. If you get one though check the bearings because if they get corroded in its a hell of a job getting them out.


    My friend definitely wants a full suspension, so unfortunately the hard tail route does not work .

    I think second hand is definitely a better route, even with that great sale offer.

    The trek seems like a fair price. He is around 5ft 10, so might be on the big size?

    Not a fan of Konas, no real reason.

    A trance or a stumpjumper sounds like a good shout, will have to see what they go for.

    It seems a bike with around 120mm travel, reba and slx drivetrain is not possible for this price?


    I’ve been watching this Spec Camber Expert on ebay for a while, started off near a grand and has been relisted down and down… starting to look like a bargain. Not my ad btw 😉

    Premier Icon vincienup

    Think you’re going to need to be very careful for that money and accept/expect repairs.

    I got an old 2008 Spicy for 700 as my first FS which is awesome but put around 300 quids worth of replacement parts at mostly sh prices on to bring it back from flatlander/mini DH to usable AM.

    As many have said, if budget is strict a nice sh hardtail with decent fork is far less likely to disappoint/break second time out. Bear in mind that bushes and fork/shock servicing alone could easily stick 200-300 on and still around 100 even if you do it all yourself.

    Good luck! There are bargains out there but also bikes with knackered pivots, cracks, wrecked shock/forks…

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Not a fan of Konas, no real reason.

    To be fair, that’s why they are cheap.


    Premier Icon alibongo001

    Firstly, I do have a vested interest in this topic as I have a bike for sale!


    My mid 2000’s Marin Wolf ridge has served me well over the last few years and taken me to the same places as my friends with much more expensive machines.

    It is a large 17.5″ and has a lot of good kit (fox suspension, Hope brakes etc)

    Marins could be a good choice for an older FS bike as the bearings have a lifetime guarantee (not many others do), they also seem to be less trendy than some other brancs and therefore are relatively good value.

    PM me if you like the sound of my bike for you friend!

    As Vince^ says, a half decent bike at that price is likely to need the shock servicing (if not the fork too) as well as bushing and potentially bearing replacement. If he has a vice, mechanical knowledge and the tools he may be able to do the work. Or will need to pay a pretty penny for the service and parts. I’m assuming as you’re asking on his behalf he’s new to MTB.

    I recommended a HT as that’s what I’ve got. No more faff with pivots and once you learn how to ride properly they can be capable of a hell of a lot. I’ve got a Blue Pig X with a 150mm Revelation. As for FS, I’ve had a Commencal Meta 5.5, a Giant Trance and a Marin Attack Trail which have all been great but had a drawback of one sort or another (frame cracking potential, bottoming out on moderate size features, crap bearings & heavy/vulnerable pivots). Decent pedals and shoes are particularly important with a HT as your lower body needs to be more active at times. I’ll go out there and say the pedals more than the shoes. I don’t necessarily think your chum needs a LTHT or even a steel frame as I don’t have a clue of what or how he rides.

    Legs have far more travel than anything made by Fox, Rockshox or Marzocchi. Arms have a fair bit too!

    Additional to a high chance of a shock/pivot service need, there’s also the fork to consider aswell as the drivetrain and brakes. A little job here and there to bring it up to standard could easily bring the price up to a prohibitive level. A £500 FS is being sold before the work is needed and something fails, or was not a bike worth considering in the first place; cheap FS bikes are heavy and inefficient (some expensive ones are too!).

    Either save more money for a FS you can examine in person (still 2nd hand though), or seriously consider a less complicated bike.

    All Terrain Cycles and a few other online shops offer 3 years interest free finance which will mean full warranty across the bike and an easy way to buy something decent if he insists on a FS.

    It would not be far fetched for a fork, shock, pivot, hardwear and bearing job to be £300, in fact I think that’s cheap by current standards! Forks and shocks should be serviced at least annually, there are a lot of bikes out there that have never been seen to and the problem gets passed over to you. Say you need brake pads, a chain and cassette and a pair of cables you’ve added £60+ taking your service cost to £360ish.

    Let’s add tyres to make it a round £400 and he’s spent £900, which is easily done in increments. He could have bought a new Scandal, Inbred or 456 for that and have all things tickety boo. Equally that £900 could be the majority of a lovely new FS on finance spread over 36 months.

    As with Vince, I’m speaking from experience. Learn from our mistakes :mrgreen:

    I have to butt in (again), Marin won’t cover the bearings on a second owner and the parts are becoming harder to find. My Attack Trail was only 2009 and it wasn’t straightforward to sort out the linkage/pivots/bearings. The bearings are a faffy niche type which cost a hefty sum, rather than a standard size which can be easily sourced. It doesn’t help that you may need 16 of the little b***ers.


    If he can put his budget up a bit he can have my 2012 Trek Fuel Ex 5 for £600. Postage extra. Seem to be quite a few Fuels about for that sort of money.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix

    My Marin 2010 had the bearings done for free under the lifetime warranty (second owner) and can get all the parts for it still 😉

    The 17.5 is also a medium not a large 🙂

    Premier Icon vincienup

    I don’t regard my Spicy as a mistake… I love it! Although it would have been a disaster if I couldn’t have afforded the parts it needed. It was a 1000 quids worth of sh AM awesome instead of 700 is all…

    But that’s the thing.

    MTB’s wear out and need parts and service regularly if they’re being used, and some bits ‘go off’ even just sitting unused. Tyres and tubes can be good examples of this.

    What looks like a great deal *may* be but may also be a repair bill someone else didn’t want to cough for, just like with cars.

    Try before you buy is very recommended if you need to spend your entire budget on a properly working bike.

    This isn’t a dig at anyone wanting to sell something – it helps seller and buyer if there’s a clear understanding of what was sold and no nasty “give me my money back” scenarios whether justified or not. There was a thread here moths ago about someone who’d sold a cracking bike and two weeks later after it had been abused to —- the buyer wanted to give it back after breaking it… This is why sh receipts tend to say ‘sold as seen’ although this is different if a shop is involved!

    Premier Icon chakaping

    My advice would be look on ebay for an array of unfashionable bikes.

    Watch ones with a low enough starting price and favour the ones with “locak pickup only”, as this narrows the buyers down considerably.

    Don’t be fussy on brand, but do be fussy about condition.

    Aim for something that’s still got the reflectors on the wheels because the buyer just never got into MTBing.

    Premier Icon kimbers

    voodoo canzo reviewed well and halfords snobbery keeps price low


    Think I did very well 🙂 I picked it up today, and my mate is picking up tomorrow.


    Its a 2005 Turner 5 Spot H.L in medium (grease gun supplied) with push rockers. It just needs the chainrings to make it back into a triple up front as he had removed the shifter and front mech.

    Build is :
    2005 Turner 5 Spot H.L in medium
    Push rockers
    Fox van forks 140mm travel (soft,medium and hard springs) supplied.
    Renthal bars
    ODI lock on grips
    Hope headset
    Nukeproof 50mm stem (now changed to a longer raceface one)
    Fox RP3 rear shock
    Mavic crossride wheels
    Raceface evolve seatpost
    salsa qr seat clamp
    Chromag trailmaster 2 seat
    Sram X9 shifter
    Sram X9 short cage derailer
    Shimano deore brakes
    Shimano floating 160mm discs
    StraightLine silent guide (will be going)
    DMR v12 mag flat pedals
    Truvative stylo cranks
    36 tooth hope chainring (will be going)
    Specialized nimbus road tyres (will be going)

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