How to Buy High Quality Used Bicycles
Used bicycles are a great investment. Most people don’t need a new bike--especially people who are just starting with this outdoor activity.
When you invest the proper amount of time and effort, you can find a used cycle that will perform well and give you the riding experience you desire. Additionally, buying a used bike instead of new is an eco-friendly way to reduce the number of bicycles that end up in the landfills taking up space.
Before you go bike hunting, you need to decide what you will use the bike for. This will determine the types of bicycles that you should consider. A commuter bike doesn’t need to be as fancy as one used for off-roading.
You can find used bikes just about anywhere. Bike shops, secondhand stores, classified ads, and even online auctions are good places to look for cheap bicycles. The best place to go, however, is a bicycle shop because you can actually look at the bike to make sure it is in good order. Reputable bike shops will have actually performed the hard work of vetting the bicycle to make sure it is road worthy.
Another great place to buy a used bicycle is from cycling enthusiasts. Look to see if there is a local cycling club where you can talk to members to see if any are selling their bikes. You can find them online as well.
If you are out shopping by yourself for a used bike, here are a few things to be aware of before you hand over the cash. Because the bike is used, you can expect a few chips and dings in the frameset. However, beware of rust spots and significant dents. These can signify potential breakdown areas.
The saddle should be firm on the bike with very little, if any, wiggle room. You will need to replace torn and worn out saddles for comfort and safety. Handlebars should also be firmly bolted to the bike and should be replaced if they are unplugged.
Inspect the brakes and note any worn or dried out brake pads, frayed or rusty brake cables, or bent brake levers. These will all need to be replaced. There should not be any wiggle room in the crankshaft. If there is, you may want to give the bike a pass.
Lastly, the spokes should have a good tension when you squeeze them and there should be no wiggle room when you move the tires around. For more information on buying used bicycles, join us in the
Bicycle Buying Guide