• lulu

    So most of the tips are not possible if you are buying online, and trying to encourage cycling amongst family members without over investing. what you really need to do is some research yourself about what the bike is worth and how much risk your willing to take on the purchase. Also know what size and model you are really after. Over the past 2 years my family and i have added approx 7 bikes into the family fleet. 3 new shop bikes and 4 second hand ones (all online, sight unseen). The second hand ones where where we felt we wanted a bike but were not to sure that we wanted to invest in a new one/ one from a shop. I wanted to upgrade my 1998 alumnimum mtb to a 29er carbon. I didn’t know if i would enjoy mtbing as much as i do. The market for lady 29ers is small. Anyone buying a steel second hand mtb is probably going to be buying something old, and unenjoyable. this second hand purchase was completed on gumtree, its carbon, and works like a dream. I have bought second hand mtb, bmx and kids road bikes all online without seeing them first. I would suggest if buying online, gets lots of photos of the bike, lots of details about the person you are buying from (like licence, address etc). I live in small city and if i waited to find something here that i could test ride then we would never get the bikes we have. My advice, take some risks. Nobody is going to guarantee a second bike no matter where you buy it from.

    • Marionabutters

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  • JJ

    Im sorry but some of this advice is pretty much personal opinion.

    “ it’s better to go with a quality used bike than a cheap factory made bike.”
    Ahh yes those Custom Bespoke frames are really all over the place in the used bike market. A cheaper factory made bike such as a cannondale, focus giant etc is not necessarily a bomb waiting to go off.

    “Personally, I stay away from buying a used carbon or aluminium bike. Aluminum and carbon has a shelf life and will depreciate”
    This is just fear mongering. Only buy a steel bike and if its not steel just throw it out? If the bike is 30 years old then yeah sure, but using this as a blanket rule is not very informative for those who would read this and take it as gospel.

    Do you hear any rattles? A rattle is not necessarily indicative of a bad buy. If a bike has been sitting around for a while things can loosen.

    I may have read the tone in this article wrong but it just irked me a little. Also if your going to use a photo of a well known Melb shop in the article header picture, perhaps give him some credit, and dont then use the advice of old mate Trav from Seattle.

  • I started selling used bikes out of my apartment in DC when craigslist got there in 2000. I do about 10% of the things this write recommends (when I buy bikes).

  • jules

    I’m a fan of buying 2nd hand. bikes are not like cars, which are more complex and you can buy a bomb that is a waste of a lot of money. bikes cost less, so the risk is lower if you get ripped off, but they are also simpler so it is easier to identify any problems.

    basically, components are relatively cheap. your biggest risk is the frame and forks. check them carefully for any damage. I don’t agree that buying used carbon or aluminium frames is that risky. just check the frame and forks for damage. if they’ve taken a big hit, there will be signs of damage. if not, then they should be OK. cue horror stories of carbon snapping with no warning – yes it’s possible, you can get hit by a bus too. here’s a secret – it happens to new bikes as well.

    if the components are clapped out, then maybe walk away. this is not hard to tell. don’t go just by the looks – I race my ‘good’ bike and it looks like hell. but I keep it in good mechanical nick. a quick test ride will tell you what you need to know. do the gears change nice, the brakes work? are there grinding noises? look for a bike that rides like a new bike – everything should be smooth.

    even if it’s not smooth, a lot of problems are cheaply and easily fixed. but if you can’t do it yourself it will cost you.


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