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Should I Buy New or Used Bike?

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Your ride is your identity, your pride, and the gear you choose helps you meet your goals, whether those goals are competitive, fitness-related, or both. You’re ready to find your new bike online but not sure if you should get a new entry-level bike or maybe something better but second hand?

After spending a few hours digging into the topic I found out this:

Buying second hand is almost always a better idea because you can get a higher-quality mid-range bike for the same money you can invest in a new entry-level bike. But you should opt for a second-hand bike only if you are an experienced biker and know what to look for. Also, I would suggest buying a new bike if this is going to be your first bike. It will be your pride and joy.

Now let’s dive into more details.

Start your search on an informed note by reading about what other athletes confronted with making this choice did about their dilemmas: peruse the Beginner Triathlete website where a heated discussion on the topic of new v. used road bike is likely to push your mind into a higher gear.

Tips for buying a used bike

What better authority to consult when considering a used bike than Fred Dreier of Bicycling.com? One of Drier’s self-admitted goals is helping cyclists like you avoid “picking a lemon,” and his advocacy is all about saving readers thousands of dollars if a new cycle is an impossible dream.


When starting your search, determine your optimal bike size. Here you can find all our bike size charts.

Next, compare prices using reliable resources like:


Fill your shortlist with at least three options so you can compare them. Scrutinize each frame so thoroughly, you are proclaimed the Sherlock Holmes of cycle inspection.

Do a cursory tire kick, inspecting wheels, suspension fork, and drive train. If circumstances allow, have a bicycle shop expert take a look at your final choice so you feel confident and don’t suffer buyer’s regret after the fact.

Buying a used bike could save you a ton of money especially if you are a broke college student looking for a frugal bicycle option


Buying a used bike

PROS:

  • You save money while helping someone unload their bike
  • The used bike you choose could be loaded with features
  • Minor flaws can help you negotiate a better deal
  • Garage sales are ideal ways to find affordable used bikes and they’re everywhere
  • Lots of bike shops sell used cycles so this is an ideal way to go.

CONS:

  • Apply due diligence when inspecting for flaws and damage
  • Pre-owned bike sales are usually final
  • You probably won’t have to warranty to fall back on
  • Don’t know the seller? Are you sure the bike you want isn’t stolen( How to check if a bike is stolen )?

Buying a new bike

PROS:

  • Acquire the latest technology and design
  • The warranty is worth its weight in gold
  • Enjoy immediate recourse if you’re not satisfied
  • You may be able to negotiate prices on new “older” models 
  • Can’t come up with cash? You may be able to finance it.

CONS:

  • You will probably spend more money than you would buy a used bike
  • Your budget may preclude “extras” you desire
  • New bike owners tend to worry more about theft 
  • If it’s stolen, you can kiss the money you paid for it goodbye. 
About Alek Asaduryan

Alek Asaduryan is the founder of YesCycling and has been riding bikes and in the cycling industry since 1991. Since then, his mission is to make cycling more accessible to everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people to achieve that. When he's not out riding his beloved fitness bike, Alek reports on news, gear, guides, and all things cycling related.