With such a diverse, contested and varying market for bicycles today it’s increasingly important for consumers to be making sure their money goes the absolute furthest it could. For many this means trawling through countless websites, some that you’ve never heard of before or with dubious reviews, looking for the one company that are willing to offer the absolute lowest price on that model you’re looking for.
But what if we told you that there is one sure fire way of avoiding all those internet searches and ‘sorting by lowest price’, whilst getting better specs for the same price, and still being able to ride away knowing you’re covered under a warranty? The answer is simple, here’s why you should buy a used bike the next time you start looking.
An important place to start is to understand what you’re actually getting for your money with a new bike and why some of those costs are certainly avoidable. For starters, 20% of any purchase of a new bike goes straight to the government in VAT and is effectively value lost immediately.
Plus, much like cars, the second that bike leaves the shop it is officially a used bike, as most manufacturer’s warranty will not transfer over to any second or future owners. With such a rapid loss of value in such a short amount of a new bike’s life - before you’ve even taken it out for the first ride! – it becomes quite apparent that buying new is certainly not the most economical purchase to make.
There will be a few of you pointing out that the one thing you can’t always rely on a used bike to have is the latest and greatest tech. Whilst there is always going to be a certain timeframe between a brand new generation of something being released and one making its way into the store as a used bike, this is in fact another cover for a lot of where the value in new bikes trickles away.
Despite the illusion, tech in cycling actually moves pretty slowly. There may be a near constant barrage of press releases, brand deals, and sponsored youtube videos all pointing to the latest this and the most recent advancement in that.But in reality, last year’s tech is almost always this year’s tech too.
For example, Shimano released the Dura Ace 9000 11 speed groupset way back in 2012, and there have been facelifts and minor improvements since then. But we’re still waiting on the illusive 12 speed Shimano road groupset that will replace this current series. Which means that we’re rapidly approaching 10 years of quite similar tech. To rush out and buy a bike at full RRP in order to keep up with trends is usually not worth it in the long run.
The easiest way to avoid the aforementioned inevitable loss in value on your bike is to skip the VAT and new/old threshold altogether and go straight to a used bike where these factors have already been priced in. Used bike are essentially a minimum 20% saving right from the get go.
Building on from the previous section where we pointed out that tech doesn’t actually move that quickly. When buying used this means that you’re able to get last year’s tech with this year’s saving. Thus your money naturally goes a lot further.
Many people will look to buy their first road bike at around £1,000. With most brands that will get you a low spec carbon frame with Shimano Tiagra or 105 at a push, if that. However, if you go used, with that kind of money you can usually end up buying a higher spec bike with something like Shimano Ultegra.
There are of course some perfectly valid reasons why people are reluctant to get a used bike. Warranty and peace of mind being the main ones. Whilst there is always going to be a question around trustworthiness with eBay and other private sales, at Cycle Exchange we have spent years putting together a process and reputation in order to allay these fears.
So how do you know you can trust a used bike purchased from us? Simple – we put a warranty on every single one of our bikes. With a minimum of 3 months you can ride away knowing that you’re covered should anything go wrong.
Further, we are able to offer warranties on our used bikes because we have a strict multistage check over process that means we know exactly what work has been done to the bike before it has been released to you. This means that not only have you got a huge saving compared to a new bike, but because it is fully serviced and warrantied you also get to ride a bike that feels like new.
But buying used goes a lot further than simply saving some money. There are other real tangible benefits to be had as well. For starters there’s the huge ecological benefits of buying a used bike. By extending the life of a bike you are actively taking part in reducing the cycling industry’s huge carbon footprint. Thus there is a great green benefit to buying used bikes.
On top of that there is also the fact that when you come to sell on the bike or look for an upgrade, you’re going to lose less value than at new as the value has already been reconfigured to take into account age etc. Plus, with schemes like our Exchange Guarantee it’s super easy for you to keep your bike kit up to date whilst making savings at every step along the way.
When it comes to buying your new bike there are so many different options when it comes to spec choice that it can be quite the minefield. Bicycle gearing is perhaps the biggest and most complicated one of those mines with different brands, all with different groupsets, all at different speeds,mechanical or electronic, etc - if you don't already know the key differences between groupsets then it's easy to get lost. In this blog we strip back those complexities and offer a simple and basic guide to modern bicycle gearing.
Trek are a huge company, both on the high street and in the peloton. Given the size of the company they naturally produce a huge and diverse collection of bicycles across almost all disciplines. In this blog we're going to take a quick look at the three main offerings they have for road cycling; the Madone, Domane, and Emonda.