K2 Evo 3.0 downhill mountain bike, $30.

The world of bicycles offers you an incredible opportunity for several reasons. First of all, they're all over the place at yard sales, which means that most people pay little attention to them. Second, although certain bicycles and their components are horribly expensive, few people have trained their minds to see the money when it's staring them in the face. Third, and most importantly, there are many fanatical bicyclists on eBay who are waiting for you to list something that they want to buy. This is why it's so important for you to take at least a little time and research the world of high-end bicycles.

The guy at the yard sale where I found this bike couldn't tell me anything about it because he'd gotten it with a bunch of other stuff from a delinquent storage unit auction. All I could tell was that at some time in this K2 Evo's past, it had been involved in a collision that bent the handlebar and the right side pedal crank. Otherwise the bike is in really good shape. I'm actually glad the seller knew so little about this bicycle, because I'd not have gotten it so cheaply otherwise.

If you've been in your local Walmart recently, you may have seen those really wild-looking bicycles imported from China, which are made to look like really high-tech machines. But what they really are is heavy, cheaply-built bikes that are made to look like something they aren't. This K2 3.0 bicycle is the real deal.

Look at this bike a little more closely. Doesn't it look a little unusual, even for a mountain bike? It's because this bicycle was designed for the very specific sport of mountain bike riding called downhill riding, where the riders start at the top of a hill and then race down to the bottom. As you can imagine, in downhill riding you not only hit the usual roots, rocks and holes you'd hit during normal offroad riding, you hit them with much greater force. All these stresses mean that the downhill bicycle's suspension and braking must be top notch.

What's the first thing that gives this bike away as a downhill bike? Right - the front forks, which look like something right off a motorcycle. This bicycle is designed with a very strong suspension with lots of travel so that it can soak up anything it may hit on its way to the bottom of the hill. As cool as this bike looks, it's nothing you'd ride around town, or even on the terrain that normal mountain bikes are intended to be ridden on. This bike's unusual ergonomics would make for a miserable ride on level ground.

Let's take a quick tour around this bike and see what should grab your attention. This K2 Evo 3.0 bicycle is not designed for the casual rider. It's a hardcore machine that cost a whopping $1299 stock when it was introduced in 2000. I say 'stock,' because the owner of this particular specimen had installed some expensive aftermarket parts, to wit: a set of $1220 Hanebrink front forks (Hanebrink stuff is made in Big Bear Lake, California) and a $300 Risse 'Astro 5' air shock (Risse is made out in Redding, California.) He also replaced the stock brakes with hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. That's right - those are hydraulic disc brakes, just like the brakes used on motorcycles and cars. What's more, they're made by the esteemed Italian company Grimeca, and probably set the previous owner back over $500. So as you can see - Hanebrink - Risse - Grimeca - the former owner spent lots of money on suspension and braking components for this bicycle.

It is of paramount importance for you to appreciate the fact that wherever you look on this bicycle, you see money. You see the names of expensive, high quality, aftermarket performance parts that were made in places you'd expect to expensive parts to come from, like the U.S.A. and Italy. As a matter of fact, it's not hard to see how you could simply disassemble this bicycle and sell it part by part, right down to the bare frame.

This bicycle is a perfect example of something you must always remember when it comes to unusual items like this bicycle - when you learn to see the money, every other aspect of this business will fall into place. In other words, you don't have to be - and you cannot be - an expert in every single area. The field of downhill mountain biking, for example, has a very strong following of dedicated fanatics on eBay, who will know exactly what you have, and will know just what to ask you if they need any clarification on anything. Learn to see the money and everything else will take care of itself!

With so many bicycle fanatics on eBay, you can bet that it really pays to do some research and become familiar with the parts and pieces those people are looking to you to find for them!

Photo of the 2000 K2 Evo 3.0 downhill racing bicycle