Do you need a bike and want to look at the second-hand market but don't know how to go about it? Here are our tips and tricks to help you decide what to look for.
The first thing to do when you've spotted a bike you're interested in is to look up the price of the new bike. This will allow you to compare prices and make sure that the offer you are getting is not too high. Also consider the current market supply and market tension. Some people sell bikes for more than the price they bought them for (not to mention the price for vintage bikes, which may be higher).
Get in touch with the seller and ask for information about the condition of the bike. This will reveal certain things or anticipate certain breaks in the bike, even though it is visually in good condition. Ask whether the bike was used daily or occasionally, what it was used for and whether it was regularly maintained. A bike that is used every day is not necessarily in a worse condition than a bike that has not been used for several years and has been damaged by the humidity in the room, for example. An unused bike still needs to be re-greased from time to time. For example, if an electric bike has been stored with its battery in a place with very different temperatures (very hot in summer and cold in winter), the battery will be more damaged, even if it has not been used much, than a battery stored in a place that is sheltered from humidity and at a moderate temperature. Finally, ask if any parts changes or repairs have been made and ask for invoices if they have.
Beware of internet scams! Buy face-to-face from individuals. If it's an authorised dealer such as a sports shop, the bikes have been tested and the condition and characteristics given on the advert are true to the bike. This is different for private individuals, where face-to-face contact minimises the risk.
In all cases, we strongly advise you to try the bike. In fact, apart from ensuring that it works properly, the bike that suits its owner will not necessarily suit you. So if you are not a regular rider and do not have access to the complete technical data sheet with the dimensions, it is imperative to try the bike out to ensure that you have a good posture. This depends on the length of your legs and torso, which differ from person to person and change the position on the bike.
Also make sure the bike is in good condition by checking the brakes, the chain and all the essential parts of the bike: find the procedure to follow here. Don't hesitate to ask someone with cycling knowledge to accompany you.
If you have any doubts about the condition of the bike, the good faith of the seller and do not necessarily have the knowledge to verify his claims, ask for a diagnosis, which will be paid for in most cases but is very useful. You can ask the seller for this before buying the bike, or you can meet the seller with the bike in front of a bike shop to carry out a diagnosis on the spot. This is a safe bet and will ensure that the bike is in good condition and that the price/quality ratio is as advertised.
Don't hesitate to ask the bike technician who will receive you the price of the parts of the bike you are about to buy and their availability. It would be a shame to find yourself without a bike because of parts that are not available and/or no longer manufactured.
Stay tuned for more adventures with Paulette!
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