Finding a used bike is a great inexpensive and environmentally-friendly alternative to buying a car. Even if you’ll only be using your bike for exercise or the occasional trip around the neighborhood, you’ll still want a dependable one.
Use these five tips to help you find a reliable used bike while avoiding unnecessary costs:
Assess your needs and buy accordingly
Just like with cars, there are different types of bikes designed for different purposes, and not everyone wants or needs the same thing. Do a little research ahead of time to know what you do need. Will you be going off road? Are you riding it to work daily? How many miles per week? A bike designed for racing on paved surfaces probably isn’t going to hold up if you’re riding off road three times a week.
Consider the features you need
Some features are personal preferences, but anything that effects how the bike fits or your ability to operate it safely is important. The right features will make your used bike more reliable by avoiding untimely wear on parts and accidents.
Buy local and avoid online shops
Yes, there are bargains, but there’s also lots of junk and stolen bikes. The biggest problem with buying a bike online is that you aren’t seeing it in person. There are several elements you need to check that just don’t show up in a photo. For instance, you need to test drive it if possible. While you may get lucky at a garage sale, a local bike shop will have a better selection and they perform repairs before putting the bike up for sale.
Check the bike thoroughly
Make sure the frame and fork aren’t damaged. Make sure the bike fits you and you’re comfortable on it. Spin the wheels and make sure they don’t wobble. Avoid rusty bikes. Make sure the brakes work and the gears shift smoothly. Know what can be fixed economically and what can’t.
Plan on having your used bike tuned up
Just like a car, a bike needs regular maintenance. Getting it done when you first buy the bike will give you the peace of mind that everything works well.
Buying a reliable used bike requires a little planning, but you’ll have dependable transportation while getting your exercise too.