Is Buying A Used Bicycle Worth It? (Explained and Solved)

So, you probably want to buy a new bicycle.

But you are not sure whether to buy a new or a used one.

That’s why in this article, I will go over all the details you need to know about purchasing a used bicycle as well as answer a few beginner questions about it.  

So let’s hop into it.

Is It Worth To Buy Used Bicycle?

Used bicycles are totally worth it, especially for those people who don’t want to spend too much money on a bike. They are significantly cheaper than new ones and if you manage to find a good deal, the quality of the bike will be almost as good as the brand new bike.

That’s how I bought a used KTM for $350 which at the time cost around $1000.

That’s insane, isn’t it?

Since bicycles have a terrible resale value, you can usually find a great deal on a used one.

It is about 50% cheaper to buy used bikes than new ones.

Buying a used bike is much simpler than buying a used car or motorcycle because you can inspect everything just by looking at it, and in the worse case by using your hands.

Basically, all you have to do is know where to look, which I will cover a little later on.  

Where You Can Buy A Used Bike?

There are a few places where you can find used bicycles like your local bike store, craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and The Pro’s Closet which is a more cycling-specific site.

If you are a beginner at all of this I will highly recommend buying the first bike at your locale store. It’s simple it’s safe and also a shop employee will be there to help you out.

Craigslist is definitely one of the best places up there for us-residences.

It’s great because you can meet the seller and test out the bike before buying it.

But you need to be careful because usually there are a lot of stolen bikes on craigslist. Ask the seller to give you the bike’s serial number and just paste it on Bike Index and see whether the bike was stolen or not.

When it comes to eBay you pretty much solely rely on seller pictures, listings, and reviews because you can’t test ride the bike.

That’s why you need to be extremely careful, check the seller’s ratings, descriptions, pictures very carefully and avoid misspelled lists.

Even if the seller has only one negative feedback I would stay avail from him.

What Is A Good Price For A Used Bicycle?

For a nice used bicycle, you can expect to pay between $200 and $800, depending on the brand and type of bicycle.

Here is the table of average used bicycle prices.

Type of BicyclePrice
Kids Bicycle$100 – $150
Commuting Bicycle$200 – $300
Road Bicycle$350 – $500
Hybrid Bicycle$400 – $550
Mountain Bicycle$400 – $600
Electric Bicycle$600 – $1000
used bicycle prices comparison

I am showing these numbers just to give you a rough idea of how much it might cost.  

If you are looking to buy used commuting or a kids bicycle you can easily find one for $100 to $300. They are not so difficult to find at good prices.

However, with road, hybrid, and mountain bikes you must dig a little deeper in order to find something good. The prices usually range from $350 to $600, which is not that much compared to the new models.

When it comes to electric bicycles you must be really picky with them cause usually, they are much higher priced than an average bike. Also, it has a battery that must be checked.

You might want to save some money for the gear as well instead of spending all your money on the bicycle.  

What To Look For When Buying A Used Bicycle

A few hundred dollars extra spent on repairs and new parts is the last thing you want when buying a used bicycle.  

That’s why it is important to inspect the bike in detail before you buy it.

1. Good Frame

The first thing you need to check is the frame, it’s the most expensive part of the bike and you want to make sure it’s in good condition.

If you see signs of bubbling and dents on the frame that might indicate that it’s becoming corroded which is not a good sign.

Furthermore, you want to check if the frame started bending. You can easily do this by riding a bike without your hands. If you feel the bike tilting to the left or right it could be a sign of a crooked frame.  

2. Strong Wheels

A second thing you need to look at is the wheels themselves because they can often be quite pricey.  

Give them a good spin and make sure they are straight.

While you are down there check the wheel spokes and make sure they are nice and tight.

You can also check the tires if you want but usually, they are not that important because you can always replace them for a very low price (around $10).

3. Chain and Cassette are in Good Condition

Next on the list are chain and cassette, most of the time they are not that expensive to replace but if you need to replace one thing there is a high chance that you will need to replace a bunch of other linked things.

Therefore, make sure that the chain isn’t too stretched and that it isn’t rusted.

Also, look at chainrings to make sure that the teeth are in good condition, and that they are not completely worn out.  

4. Derailleurs Working Smooth

Changing gears on a bicycle is primarily done through derailleurs.

Sit on the bike and start shifting the gears and make sure everything works smoothly.

If it doesn’t either the problem is in derailleurs or in the rusty gear cables that need to be replaced.

5. Brakes Working Good

The last thing you want to make sure it’s working well are the brakes.

Squeeze the leavers and the calipers directly, if you feel any stiffness it could mean that it’s time for a replacement.

All these things must be in place before you can purchase your bike and go for a ride.

If you are still not sure you can always bring someone with good bicycle knowledge to help you out.

I hope this article was helpful!

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