Everyone loves new bike day but being able to get yourself a new bike can prove incredibly pricey and difficult, especially now, with bikes being tougher to get your hands on. No doubt lots of people have seen how hard it is to get hold of one, new or used and it’s just as hard to get the parts you require, often with an increased price tag. However, in the shortfall of the ‘new’ bikes marketplace, the second-hand one has grown massively and picked up a lot of the slack.
Many bike shops will have seen an increase in used bikes being serviced for forwarding sales, as the price they’re selling for is quite something. However, not everyone can provide a guarantee the bikes they’re selling are mechanically safe, as they don’t have the means to check them appropriately and that’s where it becomes useful for you to know what you’re looking for when buying from the used market.
A large chunk of new bikes are manufactured abroad, lowering build cost but increasing shipping costs, delivery times and emissions. Nobody really thinks about that side of buying a new bike, but it is one to consider – we ride bikes not only to enjoy them but to be eco-friendly, so why don’t we factor that into our decision?
One of the stand-out positives to second-hand bikes is the lack of waiting time on delivery, you can usually have them the same day as purchasing. New bikes can take a long time to manufacturer; going through countless stages to ensure they’re strong, ensuring they meet safety requirements and are built without any faults, then the painting, and quality checks take place, as it’s the first time they’ll hit the market they have to meet brand standards. Unlike used bikes, they have already had the original checks from the manufacturer and are likely to have had some safety checks done in shops since original purchase, and if taken care of they can be ready to go immediately.
Buying a second-hand bike is like buying a second-hand car, you really need to know your stuff to be able to not only get a bargain, but to get something mechanically sound and safe.
The second-hand market is where many people flock to in this day and age, why buy something new and at full whack when you can be more eco-friendly and essentially recycle products, while getting it cheaper? There really is no need for the extortionate prices and long wait times.
There is an array of marketplaces and websites to buy ‘used’ bikes from, but it’s rare that they will provide you with a guarantee or warranty, that the bike is in safe working order, and more often than not there are marks that hadn’t been mentioned or work that needs doing. Finding yourself a reliable seller is very important, one you can trust and go back to if you come across any problems.
Let’s have a look at some pros and cons:
Pros to new bikes:
- Everything is new, it should work perfectly and if not, you can go back and get it sorted
- It should last longer, you are the first one to add wear and tear
- You should be able to resell it at a later date, if you take care of it. Some brands and models hold their value very well
- They’ll come with a manufacturers warranty
- If you buy in store, you can often go back with any queries you have, and they’ll be happy to assist you
- You can choose exactly what you want, climbing bike, commute bike or race bike, the list goes on
Cons to new bikes:
- Mainly the price, new bikes are incredibly expensive due to demand
- Delivery time – it can take a long time for your bike to arrive, often due to the country they’re built, and this has now increased further due to Covid-19
- You can rarely customise them to have the equipment you want
- Often bikes are branded as ‘upgraded’ but in reality, the margins for upgrade are very limited.
Used bike pros:
- You can get the same bike you wanted new, but with a big discount. Meaning you can get an ‘upgrade’ on the bike you wanted new, as it’ll be cheaper
- You won’t have to wait for delivery from other countries, or manufactures to produce your bike
- The second-hand market is a great place to start as a beginner cyclist, you won’t have to spend anywhere near as much money, and you can get bang for your buck
Used bike cons:
- Depending on where you buy it, there will be no warranty
- You need to be able to check the bike over, if buying from an individual to ensure the bike is as described
- Some Ebay users, marketplace users will try to scam you, you need to be aware of that
As you can see, there will always be pros and cons for new or used bikes and it’s all about weighing up what you want as a buyer, but it’s worth considering the second-hand market as an option where possible.
One of our members of staff purchased her first bike second-hand, which helped her get into cycling without the price tag, she says her experience was positive:
I bought my first my bike off Ebay, to allow myself to experience the sport for an affordable price, while having a quick and aerodynamic bike, once I got more into it I upgraded some parts through the second-hand market as well. Luckily I have a friend who helped me check the bike was safe.
The second-hand marketplace is a popular one for those who know what they’re looking for, can negotiate and compare the products. However, it can be a hassle and a risky place, so much so, many people won’t even consider it and that really is a shame.
A Second-hand Bike With Less Hassle
There are bike shops and companies out there that buy second-hand bikes, assess them, and then service them to make sure they’re like new, to sell on – at a cost that is still lower than buying it brand new. They’re so certain you’ll love the bike and that the product you’re buying is safe and mechanically sound, they also sell them with a warranty for peace of mind for the buyer, including any manufacturer warranty details that still stand.
These companies take out the hassle of; viewing bikes not worthy for sale or travelling around the country to collect bikes, because those shops do it all for you. Admittedly, you will pay a bit of a surcharge on the products, but that surcharge comes with the knowledge that you’re buying something worth having, and still works out cheaper than a ‘new’ bike.
It makes complete sense, when you think about it carefully, by buying a used bike you; help the economy, are playing your eco-friendly role in the system, spend less money, and getting the same quality product, and if you buy through a ‘used’ bike shop then you’ll also take out the hassle of haggling and the responsibility of knowing your stuff.
At Cycle Exchange, we can help you if you’re looking for a used or often ex-display (new) bike, we regularly have new bikes direct from brands, part exchanges that are in new condition and partner shops that can assist you in exchanging or upgrading your bike, have a look here to check out current stock. We take out the hassle, we provide various options, and we charge a fraction of the price. We can also buy your old bike or part exchange it for credit in store, let us know if you’re interested in our help.
Happy Cycling CE Legends!