buying guide

We sell used bikes when they are available to us, and repairs that are not claimed (if you leave it here over a year we will sell your repair). However, most used bikes that are offered to us are not worth fixing!

If we sell a bike it absolutely must be safe to ride.

  • ‚Äč‚ÄčTake the bike for a ride, make sure the brakes are smooth and powerful.

  • The gears should shift smoothly and accurately.

  • The frame rides straight and does not pull right or left.

  • Check the gear system for wear (a worn out gear system cost between $100-200 to fix).

  • Wrap the chain around the large sprocket and you shouldn’t be able to lift the chain off the sprocket but slightly (if you can see the top of the teeth the gears are shot and will need replacing). Also, the gears will slip under a load (pedaling hard).

We give free estimates on used bike, so if you can bring it by we can tell you how much the bike is worth.

Most used bikes will need a tune up at least ($35 here).

First, don’t buy a Wall Mart bike used for more than it sells for new (yes, we see it all the time).

You want a Raleigh, Fuji, Nishiki, Trek, Specialized, Giant, old Schwinn (new ones are junk), brand.

Old French or Italian bikes, such as Peugeot or Bianchi, are good bikes but difficult, if not impossible to find replacement parts cheap.

Something sold at real bike shops (not Wall Mart, Dick’s, Rei, or Performance house brands).

Check the retail price for the bike and go from there (pay less than a new one costs).

We’ve seen some really good deals come off Craigslist, but most are overpriced. How do you tell?

We get a lot of repairs that have been bought off Craigslist and E-Bay.

A surprising number of these bikes are not worth the repair bill. You figure on about 40% depreciation a year as a new bike ages. After a couple years this drops off (5 or 6) to a much lower value.In fifteen or twenty years the value begins to rise (so-called vintage bikes).

Things to consider:

  • Is this person the owner of the bike I’m buying, is it stolen?

  • Spin the wheels, check that the rims are straight.

  • Look at the gap between the brake pad and rim it should be consistent as the wheel turns.

  • Next spin the pedals, make sure the chain is not bent or kinked.

  • Inspect the frame for cracks, look at the joints for cracked paint or bends in the tubes.

  • Turn the bike upside down, both wheels should be in the same plane.

  • Check the tires for wear and sidewall cracks.