For a fun, adventurous, relaxing and yet effective way of fitness I would recommend cycling but if you’re unwilling to spend huge on your new road bike the best alternative is to buy a second hand bike but buying such bikes can be a tricky affair.
Although second hand a bike still should last you roughly 4-5 years and beyond with proper maintenance and checks so before you end up purchasing a potato here are 5 things you should check out in a used bike. Remember you’re looking for a used not an abused bike.
There are plenty of different bikes such as road bikes, mountain bikes etc. and knowing your preferred type will not only save you time but make the search process easy. Once you know your type, pick 2-3 models and get all the specs and info such as the size etc.
You can check out sites such as eBay or Craigslist. Also compare the prices on these sites with prices provided by other dealers to ensure you get the best possible deal.
Analyse the frame well
Well since it’s a used bike the odd scratch or chip is acceptable but avoid any bike that has big dents or cracks on the frame or tubes. These dents and cracks are usually found below the lower bracket. The minor dent and paint work is cheap and thus acceptable.
Keep in mind that carbon frames are usually harder and also more expensive to repair as compared to aluminium or other metallic frames so be smart and choose wisely.
See seller reviews
Sites like amazon and eBay have a seller review section. Always opt for a seller with lots of positive reviews. Also ensure that there is a return policy in place in case of faulty or damaged parts or frame.
Sites such as craigslist etc. do not have a review section and thus can be risky. In such cases I would recommend you get in touch with the seller and check out the bike personally.
Check the tires
Since the tires are going to endure a lot of the wear and tear it’s important to pay attention to detail. Buying new tires, forks and drivetrain will require $1000-$2000 thus avoid any bike with these faulty parts. The same amount would get you a brand new bike.
In case you’re not sure take the bike to a nearby shop and get these parts checked or have an expert friend tag along with you for the extra help.
Run a maintenance check
Once you’ve made the purchase head over to a local bike shop or run a maintenance check yourself. Get the old worn out saddle and pedal clip and grips replaced.
If needed also get the bike repainted for a new look. Get the rims and tires replaced too. New parts can easily be found for less than $200-$300. Get the best deals and you’ll have a bike as good as new.