How To Buy A Used Bike – Step By Step Guide

Bike riding is an important activity that people engage in either for fun or physical fitness. Bikes do not pose any negative impacts on the environment, and they also provide you with low operating costs. For instance, you can use a bike to commute to work, school, physical fitness or any other recreational activity.

You might be new to the bike market, and your budget doesn’t allow you to acquire a new bike. This doesn’t mean that your dreams are shattered. You can get a quality second-hand bike and enjoy riding for many years.

Many people have the perception that used bikes do not work well. It can be true, but this doesn’t mean that it applies to all bikes on the market. There are a wide range of used bikes at pocket-friendly prices that you can pick and still get the best experience.

Now that you want to purchase a second-hand bike, there are a few important tips that will help you acquire an incredible bike. Follow the following point listed below to help you avoid picking the wrong bike.

Determine The Type Of Bike That You Want

You should narrow down your options. What type of bike do you want? Do you want a road bike, mountain bike or commuter bike? You need to identify a bike model that will suit your needs. Once you have identified the type of bike that you want, the next thing should be to look for a perfect size then you can begin searching online on the best sites that sell second-hand bikes.

Check The Frame

The frame is one of the most crucial parts of the bike. When you are purchasing a used bike, you should consider the condition of the frame. The frame should not be too old such that it is rusty, has dents or cracks.

Small chips and cracks can be acceptable, but you also need to check the bike carefully especially under the bottom bracket and around the frame joints where cracks mostly take place.

Check The Tires And Wheels

The worst thing that can happen to you is purchasing a used bike only to realize later that it has problems that will end up costing you more money. Always ensure that the tires and the wheel are in their best condition to boost the overall performance of the bike. Replacing the wheels, drivetrain or suspension fork can be very expensive.

You need to check the condition of those parts and ensure none of them has problems. If you do not know how to tell if the parts are in good condition, you can take the bike to the nearest bike shop, and they will advise you. You can also ask a friend who is well conversant with bikes so that you can be assured that you are getting a quality bike.


You also need to find out whether the bike has any chain wear. You can use a chain checker to test and if you do not have one, just lift the chain, and if it lifts past two-thirds of the way above the valley between the teeth, this chain requires to be replaced. You should also check whether the tooth profile is even on both sides and ensure that the forward edge is not hooked.

Check The Brakes

The brakes should provide you with efficient and reliable stopping power. Before you bring home a used bike, look at the condition of the brakes. Are the pads worn out? Do the brakes rub the rim? Are the cables rusty? By answering these queries, you will be in a position to chose a bike with quality brakes.


What is the condition of the handles of the bike that you want to buy? Are they bent or rusty? Are the handlebars firmly attached? You can examine the condition of the handlebars by turning the bars to find out whether they turn with ease or whether they provide you with a lot of resistance.

Ask More History About The Bike

Sometimes you might buy a used bike only to realize that is stolen. You know how this can end up causing you problems. Before you purchase the bike, it is important for you to find more history about the bike so that you do not end up encouraging further bike theft. If you have any doubts when you are purchasing a used bike, just walk away and look for another option.

Test The Bike

After you have ensured that all the parts of the bike are in good condition, the next thing is to put the bike into a test. Grab the bars firmly and twist them firmly. You should not hear any creaking noises, and it should feel firm when you are holding.

You can try riding the bike with your hands off the bar to find out if the bike tracks straight. You can stand on the pedals and put a little effort when swinging it right to the left. If the bike is in great condition, it should not produce crunching or cracking sound. Once you find the bike rides well, you can now bring it home, and you will enjoy riding.

Final Words

Buying a used bike doesn’t imply that you are getting a poor quality product. There are a wide range of bikes on the market that are of quality, and they are available at affordable prices. If have a less budget and want to acquire yourself a quality second-hand bike, I believe you will find it easy to pick the most recommendable bike that will provide you with smooth and efficient riding.

Make sure that the bike you purchase is worth your money. It should not cost you a lot of money to put it in the right condition. Once you buy, take care of your bike, and it will serve you for many more years if you maintain it properly.

About the Author Matthew R. Duncan

I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle for bike advice. I take it personally when someone I know buys a new bike without consulting me first!

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