2nd hand bikes - Yes or No??

Having competed at a few Tris over the last 12 months from novice to IMCH, I'm still astonished at the level of kit some people have.
I can't believe that people's first bikes are the dream machines I see when I'm racking (and usually on a bike rack leaving the event as I'm completing the run). So what I'm wondering is where the unwanted bikes go? I'd like to upgrade my bike, but would be fully prepared to buy a higher spec. bike that is maybe 2/3 years old rather than a brand new one of a lower spec. for the same price.
Obviously ebay is a source for bikes, but I was wondering if there is a 'marketplace' for used (but still in good nick) bikes?


  • Second hand bikes are definately worth buying as their value plummets as soon as they've been wheeled out of the bike shop.  If you know what size you need then start looking on eBay, in your local paper and on websites like Gumtree.
  • I got my "number one" bike second hand from eBay. It had only done a couple of hundred of miles and looked virtually brand new. It was much cheaper than new roughly half price and I got it for the reserve price.

    The big plus is that it's yellow.

    The original owner worked in a running shop connected with a bike shop so probably got it at trade prices. He had just been accepted for MDs so needed the money.

    I think I was lucky and got a good buy. However, I had to spend a bit more to replace the handle bars which were too wide and also I put a compact chain set on it with a wider rear cassette which I need for IM Nice. However, I've used the originals other than the handlebars on a time trial bike I put together so not wasted.

    I also asked about a very very cheap felt bike on Gumtree that was obviously a scam when I was asked to do a bank transfer of the money. So be careful.

  • My bike was also from eBay - rang the seller to chat to him about the bike to satisfy myself that I wasn't buying anyone else's stolen baby, and his story and general cycling / tri banter rang true. Also sent the specs to Bassy for approval / advice. Got a bargain, though like Donald I changed the handlebars (seller was a marine, and unsurprisingly had somewhat broader shoulders than me) and the chainset (being a wuss I wanted a compact).  Am completely happy with the bike, but there were scary moments, waiting for it to arrive and hoping it would be as described, which thankfully it was.
  • NamNam ✭✭✭
    This is probably a good time to look for second hand if you know what you need or have someone who can advise you what a good buy is.  With the economic climate being what it is I reckon a few people will reconsider their expensive hobbies. 
  • Like others, I also bought my bike second hand off ebay..  it was a one year old at the time and I got it for about half the price of a new one..  I met the guy and paid in cash, as I didn't want to be scammed.  Very pleased with the bike and have had no problems at all with it.   The guy even gave me the original purchase receipt and documentation, just to prove that it was his and hadn't been stolen.

    If you are careful, there is certainly an opportunity to grab yourself a perfectly decent bike for less money than a new one...

  • Do what DTB said though and check its not stolen, apparently there are lot of bike thefts a few of which turn out to be end of season (want an upgrade) dodgy insurance jobs - I had an interesting weekend due to a bike that a friend bought in good faith that was stolen - safely back with its owner know but I was threatened with the police even though I had made sure it was advertised locally to see if we could find the owner once we knew it might be dodgy
  • Tritallk has ads for tri kit  - sometimes has bikes.
    There are classified ads on the British Cycling fed website.
    220 Tri magazine also has a for sale section.

    Also I am selling a tri bike, been too lazy to advertise it.  If interested email me.

  • Bikeradar has a forum for people selling stuff as well, might be worth a look
  • yeah go for ebay.  get the frame and transfer your stuff across to it.  loads of cheap good used frames on ebay if you take your time to look.  i picked up a cervelo soloist frame from £300 instead of £800.  it's like new so far as i can tell.
  • Cycling weekely's classififieds are always worth a browse
Sign In or Register to comment.