Buying a second hand bike can be a great idea when you want to save cash or are new to cycling. You wouldn’t want to spend your money on a new bike when you cannot do justice to it completely. So, second-hand bikes are good for the starters.
But buying one can be one hell of a deal. You might want to know about the history of the bike you’re buying so that it doesn’t surprise you later on.
Here are a few tips to make sure you buy a good bike with a bargain and not loss.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
You don’t want to lay your eyes upon a bike just because it’s a good deal. You need to be very clear what all you want in a bike.
If you want to plan road trips, look for a road bike, if you want to hit the trails then mountain bike is your catch. Otherwise, you should look for a hybrid if you want both features well working in your bike. Also, the most important thing is that the bike fits you. Buying a bike at a great deal and still not being able to make complete use of it is a waste.
You need to compare the bikes from different places such as online, newspapers, advertisements, etc. and make sure the owner has provided sufficient photographs of the bike before fixing a meeting. You can demand the seller to provide a size guide which can help you to conclude whether the bike will fit you or not. Unfortunately, every brand has a different size guide, so look for the size guide of the bike you want on its individual brand website.
KEEP AN EYE OUT
Avoid buying a stolen bike. If you’re getting a bike for a very cheap deal to be true, then it’s not right. Ask the seller for the bike history and the duration they’ve had it for. A responsible seller would keep the bike receipt as well. If not, then there is an ID number on the bike frame which you can check from Bike Register database. This will confirm the honesty of the seller.
Moreover, if you’re making a purchase online, use a service like PayPal which offers you protection if anything goes wrong.
CHECK THE DAMAGE
It’s better we accept the bitter truth that all sellers are not genuine. There are many who want to sell their products at the cost of risking others’ money and passing damaged bikes for their own good. So it’s better you keep your eyes open and consider the following things before buying a bike.
The frame: Check for any cracks especially near chain stays, seat posts, bottom brackets and forks.
Replaced parts: There is a possibility that the seller may replace some parts of the bike before selling it to improve its performance. In order to avoid this, compare every part of the bike to the original model.
The drivetrain: The chain, cassette and chain set shouldn’t be rusty. Also, if the cogs are worn down, they definitely will need a replacement.
The tires: Firstly, check if the wheels are travelling in a neat and straight line, and not swinging to and fro. A cheap set will. Also, look for slashes or cracks on the tires.
The cables: Check that the cables are not tattered or rusty and are in a proper working condition.
The seat post and handlebars: Check if the seat post and handlebars are adjustable, either by undoing the bolts or not as you don’t want a bike you can’t ride comfortably.
MAKE SURE IT FITS
This is a very vital part of buying a bike. You have to be truthful with yourself. Even if the bike has amazing features, it is available at a great deal, etc. you shouldn’t fall for it if it doesn’t fit right as it’ll never give you the comfort while riding that you want.
Sit on the saddle with a foot on the pedal, you should have slight bend in the knee with no need to stretch more. Your hands should be resting comfortably on the handlebars keeping the same circumstances in mind.
Also, you should have an option to adjust the saddle later for farther extent in terms of height so preferably you should be somewhere in the middle.
IT’S TIME TO TEST THE RIDE
Once you’re satisfied with the condition of the bike, ask the seller if you can take the bike for a test ride of around 30 min.
Check the tire pressure before you go for a ride as a bike is not at its best with low tire pressure and risks a flat. Check if the brakes and gears are working efficiently and you’re good to go.