A few words of warning about buying 2nd Hand bikes…….

Just left a customer in Watchfield who bought two bikes 2nd hand from an Auction site.   The bikes were in clean condition but sadly plagued with faults which had not been disclosed.

A litany of problems including:

  • 2 out of 4 Gear shifters not working in most gears, gear cables very rusty
  • Rear Tyre perished
  • Freehub not rotating correctly (this could have resulted in a nasty fall)

The estimated cost of repairing all these items and getting both bike running safely was in excess of £150.00

Naturally the customer decided it was not worth the expense.  I was able to cannibalize one of the bikes to get the other is a reasonably rideable condition

I hate being the bearer of the bad news and also don’t like charging folk for my time when I haven’t been able to resolve the issues, so I loose out too.

There are some good 2nd hand bikes around which have been outgrown, or the owner has been bitten by the cycling bug and is upgrading his old steed to a better model.

If you are looking to buy a second hand bike and don’t know much about bikes then go to a reputable shop that may have some part X models in or to one of the growing number of Bike Recycle centres which are being set up, often as social enterprises.  A good example is Re-cycles in Swindon run by the Salvation Army.

Or take someone who is knowledgeable in cycle mechanics with you

Other things to be wary of:

  • Avoid stolen Bikes .  Ask for the frame numbers before you agree the purchase.   Never agree to exchange your cash for a bike in a pub car park or other place.  Also insist on picking it up from an address.
  • Bitsa Bikes:   Bikes made from bits of this and bits of that.   Obviously sometimes a bike needs a component such as a brake or gear lever which is no longer available so a different lever is fitted and  they don’t match but are compatible and work fine.  A wheel might need to be replaced in time.   But so often I have been called out to work on a bike where the new component is NOT COMPATIBLE with the rest of the bike.  A good example is a rear wheel change where the old wheel had 7 gears and the replacement which had  been taken off another bike which had 9 gears. It just won’t work!!!!!

Finally if are thinking about selling your bike on the 2nd Hand Market why not have it serviced by a competent mechanic who can then give you a written MOT style report.   This should add a few pounds to the asking price for the bike and make the sale easier to conclude, then you put that cash down on a new bike for you!