Buying a second-hand bike

Buying a second-hand bike

Want to start cycling but can’t afford those ‘brand new bike’ prices? Second-hand bikes are the perfect solution. To avoid getting stuck with a barely functioning hand-me-down, follow these 6 tips and checks for making sure you buy the right second-hand bike at a bargain price.

1. Buy from a shop

To err on the side of caution, you can shop for your secondhand bike at a trustworthy bike store. Most buyers will have someone do a check of the bike to make sure it’s safe before purchasing it. 

Buy Bicycle second-hand

However, if you decide to buy from an individual, these next tips should ensure you end up with a safe bike.

2. Check the frame

Things may look shiny and new on the surface, but a fresh coat of paint could be hiding a dangerous issue. Before buying, make sure there are no dents, bends or cracks in the frame. Pay particular attention to the joints of the frame between tubes. You’ll also want to check for rust, if it doesn’t come off after scraping away then the rust is too deep and you should continue your search. This video gives you a few pointers on how to check for frame damage.

Bicycle frame

Priority Bicycles:

3. Check the wheels and tyres

Having to buy new wheels can cost a pretty penny, so make sure they aren’t bent or buckled before you decide to buy the bike. The same goes for tyres: you’ll want to check that there are no worn down patches or cracks in them.

Bicycle wheels and tyres

4. Check the seat post

You’ll want to ensure that the clamp and seatpost haven’t become rusty and seized up. Test this by undoing the clamp and twisting the saddle to see if there is any undue resistance (the saddle should move easily).

Bicycle bike seat

5. Take it for a test ride

There’s nothing that will influence your final decision more than taking the bike for a spin. Listen out for any untoward noises like cracking, creaking or squeaking. Pay attention to how much resistance there is when steering as well as testing the brakes. Get some speed up to see whether it rides straight and to see if there’s any swaying caused by broken wheels or tyres. Make sure the brakes work!

Test ride your bike

6. Negotiate on a price
Haggling isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s totally worth it if you get a good deal. Its likely that whoever is selling you the bike has heightened the price, so start with an offer even lower than you are willing to pay and hopefully you and the seller will reach a happy medium. Good luck!

Buy bike for sale