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by Anne-Marije Rook
March 18, 2016
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
Between the rise in bike commuting, the hipster trend of riding vintage steel bikes and the re-use and recycle movement, there is a huge market for used bikes. Just take a gander at sites like Craigslist and eBay and you’ll find thousands upon thousands of bikes for sale. There are also second-hand bike and sporting goods stores in just about every city, and we all know a friend or two looking to sell their old steed because they’re lusting after a new one.
If you’re just getting into cycling or a discipline within it, buying a new-to-you bike can be a great way to get started. But it’s not for everyone and there are some things one should know before buying a used bike.
Kathleen Emry is one of Seattle’s first female bike mechanics, and the proud owner of FreeRange Cycles, a quaint neighborhood bike shop she’s owned for nearly 20 years now. When starting out in 1997, the business was mostly a bicycle repair shop and used bike retailer. Today, FreeRange Cycles specialized in commuter and touring bikes, and rarely sells used bikes.
“As a shop owner, there’s a liability in selling used-bikes. You rarely truly know the bike’s history, whether it’s been crashed, how many miles it’s got on it or even if it was stolen. You just don’t know where it has been,” said Emry. “With that said, there is a huge market for them and when you’re new to riding or have a small budget, it’s better to go with a quality used bike than a cheap factory made bike.”
We talked to Emry and her shop mechanic, Travis Morgan, about used bikes, what to look for and their tips and tricks to ensure you’re getting the right bike for you.
Tips and tricks for buying your first used bike:
Before you start shopping around, educate yourself and know what you want. Emry encourages to ask yourself the follow questions: