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Used Bicycle Purchasing Guidance
May 22, 2014 2:19 PM   Subscribe

What guides do you recommend for purchasing a used bike on Craigslist? Your input is much appreciated, too.

My problem is that I find the variety of brands dizzying, and beyond basic knowledge of what makes for a functioning bike, I'm a total newb.

I've found this guide, but I would love more resources. I want to voraciously read as much as possible from your recommended reading, so lay it on me!

Bit more info: I am planning on getting a bike I can use for commuting to work 1-3 times a work week (x<6 miles one way) and on the weekends. I'm open to anything decent used between $75 and $250, but might just spring for a bike up to $300 if there's a compelling case to be made. Sizing is less of an issue than learning how to spot good brands, years and options.

Any tips you can provide will be welcomed, too!
posted by glaucon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
> Sizing is less of an issue than learning how to spot good brands, years and options.

Why is sizing less of an issue? Get a bike frame that fits your height, period.
posted by planetesimal at 2:27 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


At that price point, sizing is the only issue. You're not buying a car, so the idea that you're going to get a good or bad brand/year doesn't exactly translate. You just want a bike that feels good to ride, so you're going to have to do a test ride. Whether you want a hybrid or a road bike is up to you. Get an idea of what size frame you want (try an online sizing calculator) so you don't go look at bikes in person that clearly won't fit you.

Options- there's pretty much no component on your bike that you won't be able to replace for less than $50 other than the frame and wheels. So make sure those are in good condition.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 2:31 PM on May 22


Why is sizing less of an issue? Get a bike frame that fits your height, period.
posted by planetesimal


I'm familiar with the process of making sure a bike fits me for my size. I feel comfortable with that aspect and agree it's important.
posted by glaucon at 2:36 PM on May 22


I kinda gave some advice about buying a used bike a while ago.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:42 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Don't buy a stolen bike, if the price is too good to be true, don't buy it and don't support the stolen bike network.

Compare the serial number with the various stolen bike registries to help make sure as well.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:03 PM on May 22


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