If you are in the market for a new bicycle, but you don’t have a lot of money instead, you really should consider looking into buying a used bike. Often, you can get some pretty great deals on bikes that are pretty much next to new, and barely driven. But, there are always risks when buying a second-hand bike or anything else that has been used for that matter. With that in mind, here are some tips that will help you get the best used bike for the best price.
Where to Look
There are all kinds of places to look for used bicycles. One of the first places to look is in your local newspaper’s want-ad section. Then there are sites such as Craigslist, where you will find all kinds of ads for used bikes. Don’t forget to check out bulletin boards at stores, schools, etc., because there are often ads that you won’t find any place else. And the easiest way is to visit BikesOrBicycles.
What to Look For
Once you have found a couple of ads that sound promising, it is time to check out the bikes and see if they are what you want. There are certain things that you really need to watch out for when buying a used bike, including:
- Fit – You want a bike that is going to fit you perfectly, so you will be comfortable riding it. Remember, this is a private sale, and there will likely be no sort of return policy, so you will be stuck with the bike once you buy it.
- Speeds – The number of speeds a bike has will depend on the type of riding you want to do. If you are in the market for a used mountain bike, a 10-speed is your best option. If you are simply commuting or pleasure riding where there are no big hills, a single speed option would be good. Do some research before buying so you know how many speeds your bike should have.
- Brakes – Making sure that the brakes function properly is probably one of the most important things you can do when you are buying a second-hand bike. Test the brake levers, making sure that both are in perfect working condition. Also, look for certain types of brakes. The best are the V-brakes, which have plenty of braking capability and are easy to adjust. There are also centre-pull brakes, and side-pull brakes.
- Safety Features – Any bike you buy should have all of the latest safety features. These include front and rear reflectors and wheel reflectors. You may even want to consider installing a headlamp for night riding if there isn’t one already on the bike.
Finally, when you are buying anything from a stranger who has posted a classified ad, make sure that you take plenty of safety precautions. Arrange to meet the seller at a location other than their home, such as a public park, where there will be plenty of people around. Also, be sure to meet in the day time. Not only is this safer for you, but it also makes it easier to look the bike over carefully. If possible, bring someone along with you when you go to meet up with the seller.