Frames

While by no means comprehensive, this section aims to list mountain bike frames from the major manufacturers, as offered for sale on eBay. Because people don’t always list items in the proper category it’s inevitable that some whole bikes will turn up here and maybe some other things that aren’t MTB frames, but in general we hope you can browse the sections by manufacturer and find that killer frame you were looking for.

If you are new to frames, do some reading on them first. Although frames like most mountain-bike parts are highly interchangeable, there are a few things you definitely need to know:

– frames are different sizes! And it DOES matter – I rode a 19.5″ frame for a couple of years even though I am 6’2″ (187cm) and it was too small. It was good for trail stuff, small and nimble, but in general was causing neck pain, especially during longer rides on the flat. There is a lot to frame-fitting and it’s ideal if you can try a bike out with the same frame, but as a very general rule if you’re over 6 foot tall then you probably need to be looking at something around 21″.

– hard-tail or rear suspension? There are two types of frame which differ quite significantly depending on whether they are intended to take a rear suspension unit or not. It’s pretty obvious from the geometry, but worth mentioning!

– disc or v-brake? If you are intending to install disc brakes at some point in the future, you need to make sure that the frame has drop-outs at the back for this purpose. The front will depend on what forks you install – most forks have disc brake drop-outs, but still, you need to make sure of that too. Also, there ARE frames that do NOT have drop-outs for regular v-brakes, so if you aren’t planning to install disc brakes don’t go making the mistake of buying a disc-only frame (as I nearly did once)!

Also, of course, there is the whole topic of materials, which we won’t go into here. Suffice to say that a general rule is: the lighter the frame, the more it’s going to cost. Light but strong materials tend to be the more exotic alloys (you’re not really in the market for a carbon frame, are you!?) which are therefore more expensive. Be sensible – are you the kind of rider to whom a pound or two up or down makes a difference (popularly known as “weight weenies”)? Remember, your own weight may well fluctuate more than that anyway!

Lastly, sellers are obliged to disclose any problems with an item they are selling – with a frame there’s not too much that can go wrong except catastrophic failure, so when the item is delivered you need to inspect it carefully and make sure there are no cracks, failing welds or other weaknesses that the seller did not disclose, so you can react quickly and get your money back.

Happy frame-hunting!

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