Buying a used bike can be tricky. You have to be cautious of scam artists, groms, and people trying to trade their old Xbox for your 2020 Rockshox Lyrik. There are a lot of clapped-out rides for sale that have been subjecting to countless hucks to flat, sideways landings, and shuttle abuse. However, as you sift through used bikes on Facebook Marketplace, Pinkbike, Pro’s Closet, or Craigslist, you can still find diamonds in the rough. These gems come in many shapes, sizes, and with varying descriptions. You might start to notice one thing that all these diamonds have in common. They all have a line in the description that states “RideWrapped since day one!” Some deals may be too good to be true, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find deals that are too good to pass up.
The Current Bicycle Market
An important aspect of buying and selling used bikes is the current market climate. In 2021, used bike prices increased dramatically because of supply chain shortages making it hard for bike shops to acquire new inventory. With these issues continuing far into the future, and manufacturers’ lead times remaining at an all-time high, it can be expected that used bicycle prices will remain high.
When to Buy
Even with a seller’s market, there are some things you can do to ensure you get the best deal on your used bicycle. Purchasing in the winter may seem counterintuitive. Since your opportunities to ride are few and far between. However, fewer individuals are looking for bikes to buy. The lack of demand should bring the prices of used bikes down. If you are willing to purchase in the winter months, it could benefit your pockets.
Things to Look Out For When Purchasing
When buying a second-hand, whether it is carbon fiber, or aluminum, a road bike, or a mountain bike, it’s best to view it in person. Unlike at your local bike shop, the bicycle may not be in perfect condition. Don’t be afraid to take it for a test ride to check the brakes, bearings, bottom bracket, and gears to ensure everything is in working order. In addition to the mechanical condition, check if the bike fits you correctly.
The bike doesn’t need a carbon frame to be the ideal bike for you. The component package makes up a lot of the ride feel and can improve ride quality significantly. An aluminum frame with middle-of-the-range-components in good condition can ride better than a carbon frame with worse parts.
When assessing the bike, some things to look out for are:
- Grip wear
- Bike cleanliness
- Tire wear
- Brake pad life
- Has the seller maintained the bike?
- Are the wheels true and tensioned?
- Is there frame protection/ RideWrap?
Ideal Scenarios for Second Hand Bikes
An ideal scenario for a used bike purchase would be a pristine bike. The frame looks good with few scuffs, scratches, and cable rub. The rest of the parts are in good working order and show few signs of wear. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality. The best compliment a bicycle can have is a RideWrap protection kit. A RideWrap Tailored Protection™ kit ensures that the frame has been taken care of and is protected. Damage to the frame from shuttle rub, bike storage, and the occasional crash is minimal thanks to RideWrap’s protective film. If you do not like the protection kit on the bicycle, you can remove it to reveal a virtually new frame.
Wrapping A Used Bike
Even if the bike does not have frame protection, if it’s still in good condition, it can be worth purchasing. You can install RideWrap Frame Protection on a used bicycle. RideWrap can often revive a used frame, the transformation from a used frame to an almost new-looking frame is incredible. In addition to protecting the bike from future accidents, RideWrap’s matte or gloss protective film returns the factory’s original shine, minimizing the visibility of existing scuffs and scratches.
Finalizing the Purchase
When purchasing your new ride, it’s important to remember, that it’s your hard-earned money changing hands. To ensure you are happy with your purchase, know you can look at multiple bikes and walk away from the purchase. The seller may come down in price over time or, the bicycle may not have been the right fit for your riding style or specific needs. The choice is yours. Good luck with finding your dream bicycle.