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Any top tips on how to buy second hand?(3 posts)

Any top tips on how to buy second hand?marstoni
Jun 9, 2003 6:24 AM
For some one with very little experience of such things. What would you say were the most importing things to check when buying a second hand bike?

Very new to the sport and thought i could replace my very old Peugoet 12 speed with a newer model. But i don't want to spend the big bucks yet. Thought i could get a second hand model and then if i continue to enyjoy then I could save up for fancy machine. Where do i start when buying second hand. Top tips any one?
Make sure it fits, first. Then....Silverback
Jun 9, 2003 8:12 AM
It's a smart way to buy, IMO. My last bike was new, but the one before that was a 2-year-old Allez that I got for less than one-third of the new price.
Fit is the MOST important thing, so find out as much as you can about that. You'll never be comfortable or happy on a bike that's too big or too small. There are books and websites with information, but many of them are aimed at racers or would-be racers, and recommend frames that are too small for the average, non-obsessed rider. You might check the sizing section at for another view--I followed that, and it worked really well.
Gearing is another issue--most bikes are geared too high for the average person--but easily (though not cheaply) changed if you find a bike that works otherwise. Depending on where you live and how strong you are, you'll very rarely use a 53-tooth chainring with any cog higher than 18 or so. But that's all you're going to find used.
Components are pretty well standardized these days: Shimano is universal. Dura-Ace is the high end, down through Ultegra, 105 and (I think) Tiagra. You WANT 105 or better, but Tiagra is acceptable. Dura-Ace will be way too expensive for what you're looking for.
There's way more to know than this, but it's a start. If anything's seriously wrong, it will probably show when you ride. And if you're contemplating a serious expenditure and aren't sure of your ground, it would be worth paying a bike mechanic a few dollars ($20? I have no idea) to check the thing out first. It's a pretty quick and easy job for a knowledgeable person.
Cheers for the info (nm)marstoni
Jun 9, 2003 8:22 AM