How to Buy a Bike That's Used, Not Abused

Considering purchasing a second-hand bike? You could spare yourself a pile of money by being aware of the potential pitfalls. We explained all the things you should stay away from to make sure you don’t have to replace all the components after buying the bike. Read our advice and you could bag yourself a bargain.


Bicycles are maybe the best human creation ever.

They get you from where you are to where you need to somewhere around 2 and 5 times as quick as you could walk there, however they use no fossil fuel or external energy what-so-ever, which implies they have fundamentally no environmental impact and no other operating costs past the original purchase.

On the other hand, if you’re not already a "bike person", the number of choices in brand, type, accessories and size can be overwhelming. In the event that you purchase a new bike from a nearby bicycle shop, the salesman will walk you through the process of choosing what bike will fit your needs, however in the event that you need to spare cash you should purchase all that you possible can used.

Along these lines, for the novices who know pretty much nothing about bicycles but want to buy one online, or maybe a yardsale or thriftstore, I'm going to break down for you precisely what to search for and what to stay away from.

Mountain bikes in an outdoor store. Learn how to buy a second bike here.

Why buy a second hand bicycle?

On the off chance that you are not bothered by visual marks, don’t mind doing some repair and cleaning, and just want a bike even though it’s not new, then you could definitely find something that performs splendidly for a small amount of the cost of a new bike. 

Discover what to look for when buying a used bike.

What to look at when choosing a second-hand bike

  • Type

What are you buying the bike for?

Will you carry plenty of stuff with you? (consider touring bikes)

Will you want to go faster sometimes? (maybe you are often running late and need a quick commute – choose a racing bike)

Are the roads in your area well paved? Will you ever want to venture on trails? (for inclement weather choose a mountain bike)

Will you climb steep hills? (you’ll need low gears, preferably the external ones)

Will you cycle frequently in rain?

Is comfort important for you?

What about efficiency? (there’s a big trade off between comfort and efficiency)

Will you want to work to high mileage in the future?

  • Size / Set-Up

A conventional bicycle with a cross-bar ought to give you two or three inches clearance in between the groin and bar when you stand astride the bicycle. Mountain bikes ought to give you no less than 4 inches of clearance. Always choose the little side when picking a bike. If it’s too big, the bike will be way too uncomfortable, and you could easily get injured.

Seats ought to be set at a proper height, one that allows your leg to be completely extended at the base of its stroke, while the base of your foot should be on the pedal. At first, cycle with the saddle further down if you have doubts, yet raise it at the earliest opportunity.

Regarding handlebars, check if they can easily be adjusted. Try never to raise them and the saddle above the ‘min’ mark that’s on the bike’s components.

  • Is it worth purchasing?

A bicycle that needs a great deal doing to it will definitely cost a great deal to fix the problems. Bent cranks, worn tires, buckled wheels: they need cash. Therefore, it definitely pays off to take these into consideration when buying a used bicycle. Cared for appropriately, a second hand bike can be used for other many years.

  • Is it stolen?

Purchasing a bicycle that you think is stolen is a big wrongdoing, and supports further thefts. Get some information about the ‘two-wheel vehicle’ you want to buy. This likewise gives you a chance to evaluate how effective the bicycle might have been cared for. If you’re in doubt just leave.

 Run through this checklist to see if the second bike you chose is well looked after.

The ‘Used Bike’ checklist

In other words: what to take a gander at when you see a bicycle available to be purchased. General idea: is it pretty rusty or taken care of? Are the tires in great condition or cracked and bald? Is the frame dented and the paint scraped, or maybe are there only a couple of noteworthy scars of highly used however cared for bike?

  • Tires

Are they bald or well inflated? What about the sidewalls – perished and cracked? Tires ought to be well inflated – they should scarcely give when pressed.

  • Wheels

First thing: rims – alloy or steel? Are steel edges corroded? Are the wheels running well? Grip the wheels, are you able to wobble them – yes? – There’s probably bearing damage. Can you find any broken spokes? On the off chance that 2 or more are not there, then others will be en route out. Are any of these slack? – that’s a bad sign!

  • Brakes

Check the pads to see if they are worn? Are they solid? Do they scuff the tire? Do they touch the rim? What about the cables – frayed, rusty, or properly lubed?

  • Chain

Corroded and rusty? If you take it at the front point of the chain ring (the gear-tooth by the pedals), can you pull it almost clear of the gear teeth? If yes, you might be dealing with a pretty worn chain. Know that it might be so worn that the sprockets are also worn. This is quite pricey, so watch out.

  • Sprockets and chainwheel

On the off chance that teeth have a weird shark teeth appearance, walk away, as the entire drivetrain can be excessively worn. A well used chain on hub-geared bicycle can frequently be replaced easily. On the off chance that it has been left to wear for a really long time you will have to change the entire drivetrain – which is really expensive.

  • Bottom bracket (the area between the two pedals)

Hold the two cranks and attempt to shake the pivot side to side. A weird noise? – Needs some adjustment or substitution. How do the cranks rotate?

  • Pedals

How do the pedals spin? How are the ends? Do they shake free on their shafts? The moment you cycle you might feel a moving sensation in the lower legs brought on by either bent cranks or bowed pedal axles. You can easily replace the pedals; and the same is true for bent cranks, but this requires big money.

  • Forks and Frame

Take a gander at all the tubes, particularly at their ends. Any wrinkles in the paint or dents that may show crash damage? Walk away every time you suspect a bent frame. Continue with inspecting the bike and check whether the main frame twists between seat tube and head tube. While checking the frame from the front, make sure that the forks are actually symmetrical - not twisted in reverse from a crash. You should be extremely cautious here, and walk away if in doubt.

  • Handlebars

How do they look – bent, rusty, in good condition? Everything should be attached firmly to them. Take a gander at the stem – are you able to see the ‘min’ insert mark? No? - Perfect. Position yourself in front of the bicycle with your knees holding the wheel. Attempt to turn the handlebars. How is the movement - effortlessly? – Not good. Loads of resistance? - Great. Seized? - awful, and probably rusted solid.

  • Mud guards, racks, ancillaries

Everything should be bolted on perfectly. If not, utilize this as a bargaining reason. Cracked or distorted plastic mudguards ought to be replaced due to safety reasons – sometimes they can easily jam and break into the tire while riding. Racks ought to be solidly joined and rigid. In the event that dynamo lights are present, make sure they work.

 Check every detail of a used bike before buying.

Quick Checklist for Buying a Second Hand Bike

1. Choose what sort of bicycle you are searching for, and the exact size you require.

2. Do some research to guarantee the bike is not stolen.

3. Get in contact with the seller, request more details on the bicycle, and in case you like it then arrange to meet to finish the deal.

4. Meet somewhere in a public space and bring a friend with you. Tell your family where you’re going.

5. Check the bicycle for damage and inspect it using the checklist from aboce. Take it for a speedy test ride.

6. On the off chance that you are satisfied, buy the bike.

7. Ride your new steed off into the dusk!


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