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Everyone recommends used bikes...(25 posts)

Everyone recommends used bikes...jtkirk15
May 23, 2002 6:22 AM
but where in the hell do you find these bikes? I've shopped around in DC for a couple of months now and I haven't found one used road bike for sale between $500-$1000. This is a great biking town but really, everyone suggests a newbie get a used bike, but they aren't to be found, at least in a short amount of time. I don't want to buy off Ebay. For those who constantly recommend used, where does one find them?
on the RBR classifieds, and on rec.bicycles.marketplace. nmweiwentg
May 23, 2002 6:39 AM
RBR classifieds, but...MSA
May 23, 2002 6:47 AM
Go to your LBS and ride several bikes so you know what you want, frame material, gruppo, etc, and get the fit kit from the LBS so you know what size to is the best $40-$50 investment you will ever make in this sport.
By the way, I for one do not recommend a used bike for a newbie. The technical aspects of bikes these days are many, and most newcomers have no idea what they really need or want. It is much easier to work with an LBS and get an appropriate bike than trying to save some bucks and getting the wrong size, type, etc.
Just ignore the adviceelviento
May 23, 2002 6:48 AM
If you are not experienced in bike fit, componentry, and comfortable sending hundreds of dollars or more to a stranger 1000 miles away, it's easy to get screwed on a used bike deal. Go get a bike in a bike shop.

If you do want to save that 30-50% off retail by buying used, then be ready to do lots of research and be prepared for the risk involved.
Amen...I learned the hard way. nmMSA
May 23, 2002 6:49 AM
Don't give up on RBR so quick...bigdave
May 23, 2002 11:51 AM
I found my bike on the RBR classifieds, but I wouldn't have ponied up for it if it were 1000 miles away and I didn't know *exactly* what I was getting in terms of fit, etc.

I *found* my bike on RBR, but in reality I just had to drive 30 miles away to see/ride it. Then I knew it was the right fit, condition, etc.

So don't totally discount RBR's classifieds. If you can see the bike in person and ride it, you'll know.

Who knows? You might get lucky like me and save yourself $500-700 bucks over a new one.

ebay, or better yet.SteveO
May 23, 2002 6:56 AM
ask around your local cycling club...alot of guys have perfectly-good bikes they've never considered parting with...until theyre asked.
Too much risk unless it's from someone you know & trust. nmrideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 7:00 AM
whats the risk?SteveO
May 23, 2002 7:21 AM
bikes are simple machines which can be easily examined in next to no time.

Assuming you're comfortable with proper fit and the price, any boyhood-shadetree would be able to confirm its mechanical and structural integrity.

I trust most cyclists more than many shops.
I hate to say this...elviento
May 23, 2002 7:34 AM
people seem to think cyclist have better morals than the general population. I am sorry but I don't think so. I think cycling has nothing to do with one's honesty and integrity. Remember the bank robber? And believe it or not, a local bike shop DOES have more at stake than a stranger 1000 miles away.

Not many people will rob you directly but many will exaggerate retail price, condition, year model, etc., and can give inaccurate information.

Warranty and refund and service are non existent for sure.
Warranty and refund and service are non existent for surerideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 7:53 AM
And if I'm buying from someone I know - I know their riding abilities, history, honesty. So I don't need a warranty.

And usually, they won't be as greedy.

Bought a steel bike and alloy bike from different friends. Hopefully will never have to buy again.
Good for you...elviento
May 23, 2002 9:32 AM
If you already have many friends whom you know and who have happen to have used bikes IN YOUR SIZE for sale, then good for you.

But for a newbie to do that before he even has a bike, it's probably harder than paying the 30%-40% difference and buying from a shop.
I agree-rideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 11:25 AM
I wouldn't recommend buying from a stranger.

Either a bike shop or a friend. (and yes, I was very lucky - twice)
...i guessSteveO
May 23, 2002 8:04 AM
that all depends on your area and acquaintences, i guess. I dont think cyclists have better morals than the general population, i just think they have more morals than the shops who are in it purely for profit. Ive seen a lot of unnecessary advice/suggestions/'upgrades' being offered over the years.

regardless, the main point of my post was that theres not much to be wrong with a bike.

Sure, warranty is nonexistant. but for the 50 percent savings over new, thats an expensive warranty (for something most people never need).
Hold on...elviento
May 23, 2002 9:29 AM
I thought the 50% (often less) discount should be divided among use/wear and tear, risk factors, lack of warranty/service/refund. Why do you attribute it solely to warranty?
May 23, 2002 10:08 AM
lack of warrenty is the only 'risk' I see.

wear/tear is discernable at the time of inspection. If I'm looking at a bike and determine the sprockets too worn, rough lever action, 32 bent spokes, or exposed fiber, i simply wouldnt buy the bike. no need for a warrenty.

If i actually DID get a frame which broke within 12 months of purchase, it would certainly stink, but at least i still have the 50 percent i had saved with which to purchase another.

again, i just dont know any people who actually took advantage of a warranty. Though im sure many have, im also sure many more have not.
That's no what I mean...elviento
May 23, 2002 10:23 AM
Lack of warranty is only one of many reasons why the price is discounted for a used bike, so it's odd for you to say all the savings should be attributed ONLY to the absence of warranty.
i know what you meant,SteveO
May 24, 2002 3:39 AM
what i meant was simply, that someone who knows what they're looking for in a used bike only 'loses' on the warranty (and personally, i feel, that's not even a loss)

can you name any reasons other than 'wear and tear' (which 'someone who knows' would have already taken into consideration) ?

Perhaps i'm simply ignorant of the 'many' reasons.
re: Everyone recommends used bikes...Bike Fool
May 23, 2002 7:39 AM
Well, you could cruise to VA Beach (hey, make a weekend of it, it's only a 3-hour drive) and go to Conte's Bike shop. I bought my used Kestrel from them. It was traded in for a titanium frame bike from the former owner, and they told me how many miles he'd put on it. They've got lots of bikes on consignment and trade. Check out their web page at
re: Everyone recommends used bikes...tincanman99
May 23, 2002 7:42 AM
I agree with what the people say about fit and having knowledge of the componentry and frames.

I have bought/sold many things off of Ebay and others web sites and have yet to have a problem. It is a bit scary though to send your money to a stranger far away.

I think its better if you can find the bike locally because than you get to inspect it beforehand. There is a lot than can be wrong with a bike like a car. I would not buy a whole used bike off the Net sight unseen. No way. New bike/parts - yes via a reputable dealer but thats it.

Try the following besides roadbikereview for used bikes.

Another option to save some money is to buy a left over from last year. They are usually quite discounted. Thats what I did.

One caveate though, if you buy from a store - find a reputable store that sells a lot of road bikes. Where I got mine subsequently changed owners and now is basically a Huffy bike kind of store. I rolled my Klein in for some work one day and they looked at me like I was a martian. There are not a lot of Klein dealers in the area.

One of the reasons I bought my Klein (besides the eye popping paint) it that it has a lifetime warranty on the frame. I would stick with one of the big bike companies - Trek, Cannondale, Klein, Giant, etc... Word of warning though - most warranties are ONLY for the original owner.
yard sale or internet, don't forget to budget for...JS Haiku Shop
May 23, 2002 7:44 AM
rim tape
cables & housing
brake pads
bar tape
bottle cages

...and labor, if you're not doing the "update" yourself.
Just buy a new bike that fits you and your buget. NMLowend
May 23, 2002 7:58 AM
re: Everyone recommends used bikes...peter1
May 23, 2002 8:52 AM
My only experience buying a used bike was on EBay. I got a Santa Cruz mountain bike at a fair (not great) price, but it was in even better condition than I thought. I'm pretty happy, but I can see how easy it would be to get screwed.

I just bought an IF Crown Jewel new after looking for a used one for a year. I saw a few that would fit but the problem with a lot of used bikes (and cars) is that people order some really strange color schemes that just don't age well...I think this may be particularly acute with IF...cheers
Wiseman say: Never buy from a man you can't punch in the face.Sintesi
May 23, 2002 11:16 AM
Not really, I bought mine online but that was from a reputable dealer. Honestly, if you can't find a local buy then save your money and buy retail. Also, what the other guy said, pay for a professional fitting so you don't have to worry about measurements that is the smartest thig you can do. Research research research. you can still save that 30-40% but it takes a serious investment of time and thought. May not be worth it to you to wait for the right buy. I know what it's like - Best of luck.


brand new Dougals "Motive" bike for $999.
My experienceno excuses
May 23, 2002 12:34 PM
I lucked out when RBR had a much simpler (for me)menu. I found a Lemond Zurich in my size about 10 miles from my house. (I wonder if anyone can beat that one.)
Your toughest limitation is that you want something fast. Buying used is definitely a wait and hope, then research and buy opportunity.
Best advice I've seen is to check a local bike club. The Baltimore Bike Club runs a Swap every year or so. Again, timing is everything.
Also prepare to spend on fit adjustments. An LBS is still a necessary resource if you buy used to help fine tune the fit.
Good Luck.