What did you end up getting Monster?
Never saw this thread before. If it's not too late, consider a couple of things:
If there are any problems you don't know about, you can die from them. That's not drama. That's real. If your chain snaps, chances are it will just bash up the underside of your bike, but if it gets wrapped around anything and locks up the wheel, you'll probably go down in traffic -- best of luck. Same with tires and breaks. I had a front tire blow out once when I was going about 85. Scared the living shit out of me.
Don't take a small bike on a fast road. There are 4 possible ways to get out of a jam: Go left, go right, go back (break), go forward (floor it). If you're already winding that little engine out as much as you can, you've just given up 25% of your chances of avoiding getting smashed up. That's a really, really big deal.
Make sure the tires are good. Much more important than in a car. You've only got a few inches of contact with the ground between the two tires. Don't have a bald spot or hard tires on those few square inches.
Make sure the breaks are good, especially the fronts.
Make sure there's no problem with the clutch. I had a clutch give out when I was approaching a red light at speed and had to speed-shift down one gear and floor it through crossing traffic. Talk about adrenaline.
Other than that no problem. I rode a bunch of junked out older bikes when I was a kid, but I'll never buy a used bike again. Too damned dangerous even when they're in perfect shape. Any problem that could potentially lock up a wheel, interfere with breaks, seize up the motor, reduce the throttle, cause the tires to slip, or kill the clutch and you could be ended super-fast.
Also, wear quality leather. Connecticut is a free state in terms of helmets and whether or not the save lives is open to debate. Riders who die are occasionally partially decapitated so a helmet would not have helped.
By far, the best place to locate a ready-to-ride used bicycle is your local bike shop. If the shop is of any quality at all, you can be reasonably assured their used models have been vetted, adjusted and are ready to hit the road. Private sales are another good option. Cycling enthusiasts looking to upgrade their equipment are a great source of lovingly ridden machines. You'll find them on eBay, Craigslist and specialized listings such as rec.bicycles.marketplace newsgroup. Finally, there are the old standbys of garage sales, flea markets, pawn shops and police auctions. You can find some great deals here, but you'll also need enough bicycle knowledge to recognize which bikes are junk, and which are treasures.
Thanks and Regards,
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