how/where do I buy a used bicycle in Greater Boston?
May 27, 2014 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I would like to purchase a beater bicycle. I will use it to go several miles along a maintained bike path to get to a subway station. My ideal scenario: I travel to a location where there are several shit bicycles. I select one of the shit bicycles, I hand someone a smallish amount of money, and I stop thinking about purchasing a bicycle. I don't care if it is a pink bicycle covered in swastikas provided that it works and is reasonably priced. Let's make this happen!
posted by Mayor Curley to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check out Menotomy Vintage Bikes in Cambridge. They say vintage but they have a lot of perfectly rideable old bikes.
posted by kinetic at 4:00 PM on May 27, 2014

I got mine at a garage sale in Brookline. Just go round the suburbs on a weekend looking for yard sales. I got a pretty sweet Peugeot road bike for under $50.
posted by anateus at 4:09 PM on May 27, 2014

Craigslist would be where I'd start. If you a act fast, you may get the deals from college kids at the end of the school year.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:21 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you'd posted this last weekend, you could have come to our garage and had your pick of three shit bicycles! Or, well, one shit bicycle and two fairly decent, well-kept bicycles that were starting to show their 7-10 years of age. None of them were pink or had swastikas. One had quite a lot of rust, though.

As it was, we sold them on Craigslist. Spring is a great time for it - it's when everybody's getting rid of their old bikes so they can afford newer, shinier bikes. It's quick and easy. And you're in luck - in Boston, it's still actually spring!

Pro-tip for bike-buying on Craigslist: Use your grammar, and make sure you include all the words needed to make a coherent sentence. I automatically assume anyone who sends a reply along the lines of "u sell bik how $$ where???" is not going to be a breeze to do business with.
posted by kythuen at 4:44 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

There's a guy in my neighborhood (Porter Square, Somerville/Cambridge line) who sells bikes on the sidewalk outside his house. I don't know what your budget is, but he's cheaper than the bike shop down the street. If you live in the burbs, I'd say check out the dump. My friends in Wellesley have scored several kids and adult bikes from their dump's swap shop.
posted by SobaFett at 6:17 PM on May 27, 2014

Seconding Metonomy, in the Cambridge Antiques Market. Also Quad Bikes, generally aimed at the Harvard population but open to the public.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:18 PM on May 27, 2014

There's Bike Boom in Davis Square in Somerville. They have used bikes in the 200 dollar range.
posted by carmel at 6:42 PM on May 27, 2014

I've bought bikes from Menotomy before and would vouch for them. The guy that runs the shop (I think his name is Vinny) does a decent restoration job on the bikes he finds (usually new tires, new cables, lube job, etc.) and provides a 30-day warranty on anything you buy from him. The bikes he carries tend towards the "vintage" rather than "used", but you can definitely find something for about a hundred bucks if that's all you want. Expect to see mostly older three-speeds and the ubiquitous ten-speeds from the 80s.

In addition to all the other suggestions, there's also house on the Minuteman Trail out in Arlington that I usually see with bikes for sale in the back yard when the weather's nice. Never stopped to check them out, though, as it's kind of hard to buy a bike when you're already riding a bike.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:42 AM on May 28, 2014

Man, I loved Broadway Bicycle when I lived in Boston. But that was a decade and a half ago, so who knows. If it's anything like it was, then I doubt they have a huge selection but you should just go and chat with them pre- and/or post-purchase. One of their techs put my exploded rear derailer back together with his bare hands in 45 seconds... I had to force him to take $5.
posted by pjenks at 11:00 AM on May 28, 2014

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