Many people believe that buying used bikes is cheaper than buying brand new ones. Many times this is the case, but many times it is also not the case at all!
There are several things that you need to be careful of when buying used mountain bikes. You will need to be far more educated about mountain bikes to be able to ensure that you make a sound purchase. In addition to the information that I outline in the bike buying book (click here to check it out), you also need to consider the following factors.
Determining market value of Used Mountain Bikes.
It is a lot trickier to tell whether you are getting a good deal on used mountain bikes. There are two ways you can make an educated guess. The first way is to compare the used bikes, to new bikes.
Firstly you might want to compare the price of the used bikes to when they were new. So you might need to go and ask someone at your local bike shop to inform you on what the retail price of the used mountain bikes when they were being sold in the store. You should also look at the price of equivalent new bikes at the point in time.
You might want to look at what you get in a new bike for the same price as you are prepared to pay for the used bikes you are looking at.You then need to look at the used mountain bikes and take into account their age, condition and history to assess the depreciation of the bike.Then you need to compare it to other second hand bikes of similar quality to the one you are looking at. By doing this, you can see if the market value
Look at the wear and tear of used mountain bikes!
One important thing you need to look at when you are assessing a second hand mountain bike is to try and ascertain it’s wear and tear. Firstly, it is a good idea to ask the previous owner if possible a few questions. You should ask them questions like:
- How often they rode it
- Where they rode it
- Whether they are the only owner
- Whether it has had any frame repairs
- Why they are selling it
- How often they had it serviced and maintained.
You should also give all the bikes you are looking at a thorough check over! Look at all the key wear and tear areas to check how they look. Take it for a test ride. Some of the things you should look for are:
- Are the chain rings and sprocket teeth sharp or still rounded? Sharp teeth on cassette and chainrings are a sign that they are worn out.
- Are the wheels still straight?
- Do the gears change quickly or are they sluggish?
- Do the gears slip when you put a lot of pressure on the pedals? Test the most commonly used gears (usually the middle sprockets of the cassette) to assess this.
- Look for cracks in the frame around the bottom bracket and head tube area. They are the parts of the bike with the highest stress levels. Cracks can be very small so check carefully. If the bike even has the smallest crack, steer well clear of it!
Used mountain bikes and their resale value!
Whether you are buying new mountain bikes or used mountain bikes, it is unlikely that you are going to keep it forever. More than likely you will be upgrading in the near future, and you will want to get the best price for your bike. There are a few keys to getting the best price for your second hand bike when it comes time for the upgrade. Here are a few key points:
- Buy a bike with a well-known brand name. People are more sceptical when buying second hand bikes, so it helps to rely on the reputation of well known companies to do the selling for you.
- Get it serviced regularly, and keep the service receipts.
- Try not to ride in the rain. In terms of wear and tear, for every hour riding in the rain (or mud) is like riding 10 in the dry.
Warranties on second hand bikes?
Bikes these days unfortunately are not made to last forever, unlike in past times. You must remember, unless you are buying a used mountain bike from a bike shop (which offers their own warranties) you generally will have no warranty cover on a second hand bike. This means you are running a bit of a risk when buying used bikes. Buyer beware!
Many bike companies will only give their warranties for the owner with the original receipt. So try and obtain the original receipt from the person you are purchasing the second hand bike from to help your case if a warranty claim arises.