Are you looking for a cheap bike? Second-hand bicycles are a great option to investigate.Here are some important things which kept in mind before buying a second-hand bicycle.
Size is key
You do not need a bespoke bike to get a great ride. Bikes are manufactured so that they can be adjusted to fit your body shape. For example seat posts, stems and handlebars are all easily adjusted or swapped out to improve the fit.However, if you are test riding the bike, make sure you can stand over, and sit on, the bike comfortably.Avoid any feeling of stretching for the handlebars or being cramped over them. If you are buying online, refer to a good online sizing guide to get the right size.
Check the bike’s condition
Second-hand bikes come in all sorts of conditions: almost new, vintage, lovingly restored, well maintained, left in the shed. Each of these could turn out to be ideal for you. However, checking the bike’s condition will help you find your perfect two-wheeled partner
Inspect the frame and fork
Superficial marks or scratches to the frame are not a problem, but avoid a frame or fork which is rusty or has cracks or dents. In addition, avoid frames or forks with any bends or distortions. These will result in the wheels not being aligned and the bike not running smoothly. Because it’s difficult to repair damage to the frame or fork it is best to avoid bicycles with frames or forks in poor condition.
Check out the bike’s components
A bike’s components can be replaced if necessary. However, new parts can be expensive so it’s well worth checking out the components before buying a used bicycle.
Gears, brakes, chain and tyres
Using the Park CC2 Tool, is one of the easy and useful tools to own, it can clearly show when a chain is new, 50% worn and the time it reaches 100% and will need replacing. We recommend to change the chain at 50% to get longer wear on the chain and cassette. Those chains between 75% and 100% will need both a chain and cassette/sprocket.It is not the end of the world if these components are not quite right but you will want to factor the labour and cost of parts into the price you pay for your second hand bike.
Get the right price
One of the reasons to choose a used bicycle is the great value for money you can secure. There are some simple steps to make sure you get a great deal. Go online to do some price comparison of second hand bikes.Check the online second hand bicycle markets and also find out what an equivalent bike would cost new. You can get some great prices at online auctions and don’t forget that you can also make offers below the asking price to fixed price sellers in the online classifieds.Many people ask us what a second hand bike will cost. The answer depends on the type and age of bike you’re after. In addition there are certain brands which keep their value very well, road and mountain bikes tend to be the most expensive.Either of these, in good condition from a well-known brand, will cost in excess of £200. Town bikes, fixies and hybrids are a little bit cheaper and childrens bikes tend to be the cheapest.An example of a brand that keeps its value well is Brompton, they rarely appear on the auctions for less than £400 and can still go upto £700+
Make sure the bike is not stolen
At Pedal It we are passionate about creating a legitimate market for used bicycles. We have suffered too many times at the hands of bike thieves and we do not want you to buy a stolen bike.It encourages thieves to steal bikes and can result in the police having a discussion with you about handling stolen goods. However, if you take steps to check the legitimacy of the bike being sold then there is every reason to believe you won’t be buying a stolen bike. The best thing you can do is check the bike registers to see if the bike matches one that has been reported stolen. There are three bike registers which act like a cycling equivalent of the DVLA. They store details of the bicycle and owner, including whether it has been reported stolen.BikeRevolution.org and BikeRegister.com are bike registers which allow cyclists to check their registers online for free by inserting the frame number or a registration number.In addition there are certain places, physical and online, which have a reputation for selling stolen bikes. Avoid these areas and trust your gut instinct about a seller if you think they stole the bike, DO NOT buy it from them.
Ask questions of the seller
One of the best things to do when buying a second hand bike is to ask the seller lots of questions. Below are a few things to find out:
- How long the seller owned the bike and did they buy it new.
- Get a feel for what type of rider they are and how many miles they’ve done and how many of those were in wet weather.
- Has the bike been stored indoors in the dry, or outside in the damp?
- When was the bike last serviced and how new are the components?
In addition, if you are buying the bike from a second-hand bike shop, you may be able to get a warranty for any problems the bike may develop in the first few months, at Pedal It we offer between 3 months and 1 year depending on the bicycle, including a first free safety check (ask in-store for further details). That is a question worth asking!