If you’re new to cycling, it makes sense to buy new. If you’ve been around cycling for a while, you’ll probably still want buy new. Why you ask? Lets go through the reason riders should be buying new vs used.

What to look for when buying a bike

Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I know…

  • How to fit the bike?
  • How to make adjustments to make the bike fit?
  • How to check the components to see if they are working properly?
  • Where to check the frame for cracks?
  • How to check to see that the frame isn’t damaged elsewhere?
  • What a broken wheel looks like?
  • Where to look for cracks on a wheel?
  • What a used bike is worth?

The above questions are your starting point. If you can answer yes to all of these questions then you may be in a better position to buy used but you may want to keep reading…

If you’ve answered no, you may want to seek out the advice of experts to guide you through your purchase. For your own safety and comfort, a “new” purchase may be preferable.

Assuming the cost of replacement parts and/or mechanic fees
If you can do your own mechanical work, you’ll probably be fine but that’s assuming you have properly estimated the costs of parts. However, if you don’t know the basics of how to adjust the cable controlled components of a bike…the most common problems with bikes…you’ll end up spending all the cash you saved on mechanics bills. Leaving you with a used bike that cost you the same price as the new bike would have.

There’s always a reason it’s for sale

In my experience with used items, the seller always has a reason to sell and most of the time its not to the buyers advantage. Make sure that your good deal doesn’t turn out too good to be true. So ask the questions but be weary of the answers…

  • Why are they selling it?
  • What parts have been changed?
  • What is its usage history?
  • Has it ever been crashed?
  • When was it last serviced?
  • Who did the service?
  • Where did they buy it from?

These are all very important things to consider when making any purchase.

Put safety first

Your safety is number one. Are you willing to risk it? Purchasing a used bike is doing just that. Whether it’s a broken frame, wheel rims, hubs, crank, saddle, handlebars, shoes or fork, some broken components are not obvious upon initial inspection but lead to many safety concerns. In general, yes, the frame is the most durable part of the bike.

But it too can be damaged beyond repair. And if you don’t bring your newly second hand purchased bike in for an inspection you may be at risk.

I will conclude by saying this, in the end the purchase is your choice, but honestly, there are many, many pitfalls to buying a used bike. Whether it’s a wrong purchase, a damaged purchase or even potentially purchasing a previously stolen bike, the chances of you spending excess money trying to get the bicycle in good riding condition is just not worth it. Seek out the professionals and let them guide you.

Believe me…it will lead to a much better experience. And who doesn’t like the look of a shiny new bike?