My experience with Mountain Bikes is never buy used. I bought a used 2006 Cannondale scalpel 2000 from a LBS nonetheless. I had to replace the middle chainring, pay to rebuild the lefty shock, the chain broke, all within 2 months and less than 10 hours of ride time of owning it. Granted, this was a $3000+ bike that I paid $1600+tax for. Then the bike shop (Conte's in Virginia Beach) had the nerve to tell me I was shifting incorrectly. Yeah, ok, and that's why I've had more than 15,000+ road bike miles, and plenty of other time on my other mountain bikes without ever breaking a chain or a chainring.
Saw pictures tonight and agreed upon $160. It's a base model 2002. Looks like its in good shape. A few scratches here and there and I have some cleaning up to do. I'm pretty psyched. If all goes well when I check it out in person, I'll post up some photos.
I figure I can't beat that price for getting into the sport and if I want to sell it, I should be able to get my money back.
Thanks for your input! Aside from visually inspecting wear and running it through the gears, what should I look for?
As long as the frame is in good shape and everything works as it should, I'd say that is a nice bike for the money. Those frames are pretty tough and with the disc brake tabs you have the ability to upgrade the brakes in the future.
Do I just have to make it face up, or is there something else wrong with that qr?
Just make the lever point up, tucked-in to the fork leg, that's all. From the looks of things he might have just taken it out of the trunk and slapped it together for photos.
Rockhoppers were always the "go-to" budget mountain bike, you might luck-out and get one that didn't see much trail riding and all it needs is a clean/oiled chain, oil the shifter & brake cables, air-up the tires and ride! Even if you need to take it to a bike shop for a "$50 tune-up" it looks like a good deal.