There are many things to look for when buying a used bicycle. This article attempts to cover 3 essential things to take into account.
1. What type of Bicycle?
Firstly, decide what type of bicycle you want. For example, it could be a mountain bike or just an ordinary road, or racing bike. You may consider things like how much stuff you are planning to carry with you, weather you have to climb any steep hills, or if there is any likelihood of riding it in snow and rain. If you have to use it in quite harsh weather conditions, normally hybrid, purpose built and mountain bikes perform better. For commuting long distances fast, maybe you should consider instead race bicycles. If any of your friends have a bike similar to the one you are trying to buy it is recommended that that you give it a try to have a feel for it before actual purchase. You may also consider going to your local bicycle shop and test ride a couple of them.
2. Where to find second hand bicycles?
You can check small adverts on newspapers or relevant websites, or maybe even ask some of your friends if they have a bicycle to sale. However, one of the best options is to check with a bicycle shop that also sells used bikes and provides you with a receipt that can be used as proof of ownership. Additionally, a used bicycle purchased from a local bike shop is more likely to be in good shape and have had work done before being put it on sale. Police auctions of lost bikes can also be a good source. If you choose to buy from an individual there are also a number of precautionary steps to take as there is always a risk of buying a stolen bicycle. We covered this in another article entitled How to avoid buying stolen bicycles?
3. Inspecting your Bike
Inspecting the bike you’re interested in is much like a clinical inspection whereby you must pay close attention to detail. For instance, look for things like mismatched set of wheels, corrosion, bonding zones (make sure that the tubes are bonded to their joints), cabling, breaks, saddle, and drivechain. Remember that a bike that needs a lot of fixing can be very costly in the long run. Finally, if you get a chance to test ride it simply go for it. This would be even better as it gives you an idea of the bikes condition, and the extent to what it is a good fit for you.