Buying a new bike can be a costly affair and for this reason most of the people are going for second hand bikes. However, most of the time people have a hard time making their mind whether used bikes are the best for them or not. Although I wouldn’t advise to buy a second hand bike as your first bike, it may be your best choice when you want to save some money on the purchase. In most of the cases, when you buy a used bike as your first, you may end up hating bikes for good in case it gives you a hard time in terms of repairs and fixing some parts.
Nevertheless, when people ask me questions whether they need to buy a used bike or not, I give them a simple answer, buy but look for a used bike not an abused bike. When you are looking for a second hand bike, you still have several things to take into consideration.
When you are looking for a bike, you need to first of all consider the amount of money you are willing and able to pay. If you can afford a brand new bike, then its better getting it. On the other side, if you cannot afford a brand new bike, just hold on because am going to guide you on how to buy it.
Buy a bike that is used not abused
This is the first thing that I thought I should share with you. When you are buying a used bike, you need to be sure that the bike is used and not abused. If the bike is damaged, then do not attempt to buy it. Repairing an abused bike is a very expensive affair and may as well waste a lot of your time. If you are buying a second hand bike for your 4 years old, then you need to consider the history of the bike. In case the bike was involved in an accident, then it may not be the safest for your daughter/son. You need to check several other parts of the bike to ensure everything is okay. You can find more info to be sure that you are getting the best bike for your child. Take your time to check several parts of the bike before you finalize the purchase.
Scrutinize the frames
If you are checking for a second hand bike, you have to check if the bike is used the right way. As a matter of fact, small chips and scrapes in the paint are acceptable but avoid rusty frames and those frames that have dents or cracks. These are signs of rusting metals. Just take time to check underneath the bottom blanket and around the frame joints. These are the places where cracks are more likely to form.
Check the tires
Replacing bike’s tires can cost a lot of money and take most of your time. For this reason, you should make sure that these parts of the bike are on their best conditions. The wheels should be in the right shape. If you don’t know how to check for these things, you can get a friend with bike experience to check for you. You can as well get it to a bike shop for checkups.
Check the return policy
If you are buying a second hand bike on online retail shops, then make sure that you are certain you can be able to return the bike in case of any damages or dissatisfactions. You need to check the return policy. In case you can be able to return the bike when you detect any problem then this is the best place. If you are buying it on eBay or any other online retail shop, then you need to first of all check the return policy and how you can be able to ship it back.
Check the contact zone
From a safety stand point, contact zone are sensitive places. They have carbon bars and seat posts; you need to check for any signs of stress. You need to ensure that these places are in good conditions to avoid future problems. If you are using your bike on a constant basis, then you shouldn’t go for a bike which is very old. A maximum of 5 years is allowed for parts under normal conditions but if you are using your bike for racing, this period of time is shortened into 2 years.
Check the Chain
You also have to spare some time and check the chain for any tear and wear. If you don’t have the right tools to check for this, then you can lift the chin from the gear and check. If you detect that the chain is damaged, you should replace it. Cracks have a way of breaking at times of stress and for this reason; the chain should be in its best conditions. What this means is that you should check the inside of the crank arms at the point where the specs are engraved because this can lead to cracks. Additionally, spare some time to inspect the pedal threads. Ensure that they are on their best condition before you finalize the purchase.
To confirm that everything is on its best condition, you need to take a test ride. However, before you do this, you should grab the bars and twist firmly. Listen if you hear any creaking or cracking noises. If you hear any, then there’s something wrong here. After that, check for a car-free area and test your ride. Just try riding with your hands off the bars to see if the bike tracks straight. The other thing is that you should stand on the pedals while putting some stress on it and swaying the bike from left to right and observe for any problem. There should be no sounds.
The bottom line
The question of whether you should buy a used bike or not depends entirely on your personal needs and ability. If you cannot afford a brand new bike and you still want to own one, why shouldn’t you? However, you need to invest a lot of your time searching, inspecting and testing the bike to ensure that everything is okay. After considering all the above factors and testing if the bike is okay, you need to finalize the process and start using it.