Every used bike has a story to tell; sometimes it is one of loving, proper care and sometimes of neglect and abuse. But as with used cars, buying a used bike requires a little strategizing and a careful balancing act.
The Internet, signs on the street, garage sales, friends, department stores, bike shops – you could hardly call the market for used bikes monopolized. But if price is your only consideration you may end up spending more money in the long run.
Private sales always bring the risk of a stolen or shoddy product – or both. And unless you have considerable experience in repairing bikes, when sizing up a used one you may overlook early warning signs of costly or dangerous trouble. Superficial imperfections like scratches in the frame are one thing, but structural damage is another altogether – the frame is the bike’s starting point and once it loses its integrity you will have to replace rather than repair. The seat post too should be structurally sound.
Most bike shops perform in-house repairs and maintenance, including on bikes to be resold. Some even offer warranties in case of unforeseen trouble, so consumers can be sure they won’t be left stranded. If you do choose to buy from a private seller, consider whether you might have to replace certain parts and whether the extra money wouldn’t be better spent on another, ready-to-go model.
With new bikes rolling into stores every year (usually in the fall), used models offer opportunities for good savings, particularly for riders who don’t mind not having the latest gear. They also make sense for those who want a cheap winter option or are just looking to try a new type of bike altogether.
Of course, one of the lesser realized positives of used bikes is the environmental benefit. Used bikes have already gone through the intensive manufacturing and transportation stages, so by giving one a new home you make a contribution to cleaner air.
In addition to its many new bikes, Backpeddling carries a wide selection of used bikes, each tested for quality and backed by a warranty. Visit www.backpeddling or call 519-763-7878 to learn more.