5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Used Bike

Alexandre Langlois
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If you’re in the market for a bike, you may be wondering what the benefits are to getting a new bike or one that’s simply new to you. For starters, buying a second-hand bike is a far simpler process than buying say, a used car because it’s a lot easier to assess a bike’s condition without having to “look under the hood” for chassis or transmission failures. On average, a bike is only used for 15 percent of its maximum lifespan before being replaced so a previously-owned bike may be closer to new than used but can no longer command the price of a new bike. Also, every second-hand bike has character, whether it crossed a finish line or crossed the country.

That’s not to say a used bike can’t be overpriced or is free of sneaky defects that can go undetected. It does help to know what to look for. To eliminate the need to know about every quirk or proprietary potential for failure, it helps even more to enlist someone who has the kind of profound, almost clairvoyant talent for appraising a used bike. This is a guaranteed part of the process when buying a bike from Cycling Avenue, yet there are more reasons (and more than just five) to buying a refurbished bike from us. Should you still need convincing, let these reasons motivate you to make your next purchase a used bike.

1. Each bike has a story

For every used bike buyer, there’s a seller who has one of a million reasons for selling the bike. Whatever emotion is compelling him or her to sell the bike, the fact that the bike has already been pre-loved and has traveled around the proverbial block, it has likely picked up some character-building battle scars that also tell a tale so get the bike’s story. A few questions to ask are:

  • Who was the previous owner?
  • Why is he/she selling it?
  • What year is the bike?
  • Where was it ridden?
  • How much was the bike ridden?

You might find that the bike has an incredible story of adventure, victory and loss, valor, or unwavering reliability in service to its owner. No matter the narrative, an awesome bike STAYS an awesome bike from one owner to the next.

2. Better bang for your buck

One of the indisputable reasons for buying a used bike is to get a higher quality older bike instead of a lower quality new bike without paying a premium. But are used bikes worth it? Let’s say the seller is someone who must have the latest/greatest technology the moment it’s announced, he or she will have to make room for the new component, wheels, accessories, or bike, and the easy solution is to sell off older equipment. This is where you luck out for a couple reasons. First, you’ll get more bike for less money, and second, it's probable that if the previous owner is an enthusiastic cyclist, he or she has the know-how to properly care for the bike. So, while you may be getting a used bike, how it was used (and maintained) can also give you a bike in tip-top shape. As hypothetical as this scenario may sound, there is some truth here but to be sure that the bike you’re buying is in good working order, you wouldn’t be able to buy one from Cycling Avenue if it wasn’t.

3. Age of a bike (advantages and disadvantages)

Some bikes age better than others and those that do age well win loyalty among their fans for their superior craftsmanship and ability to endure the test of time. In fact, entire websites have been erected in homage to certain categories of bikes, like steel bikes or recumbents. Newer bikes without the benefit of history can often surf the brand’s reputation (provided it’s a good one), unless of course part of the brand’s reputation is built on its post-sale warranty, which is void if it’s resold (more on that later).

Like cars, most bikes depreciate with age, which isn’t necessarily a testimony to a bike’s diminishing value but rather a signpost marking the direction of the market. Put more simply, each year manufacturers launch new bikes into the market, which reduces the value of previous years’ bikes. Frame composition and drivetrain technology (including e-bikes) are the two biggest evolutionary changes to bikes in the last 20 years, and the demand for lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic, more power and so on has resulted in bikes that fit these specifications, while leaving bikes that are more than capable of meeting lesser demands in their wake. The advantage to getting one of these more “mature” bikes is the opportunity to try out state-of-the-art technology that may only be a few years old and may still be as relevant now as it was when it was first introduced. 

More advantages to buying a used bike

The quality of a complete bike is also evident in the sum of its parts and unfortunately, no matter how well-made those parts are, they will suffer wear over time, which has a direct impact on the bike’s performance. Fortunately, most of those parts, like chains, chainrings, cassettes, cables, tires, and bearings are relatively cheap and easy to replace or even upgrade as new trends evolve.

4. Used bikes can come with a warranty

A brand that knows one of its product models has the potential to fail will often build the cost of replacing the frame or component into the bike’s original price – or even calculate the average lifespan of the bike up until failure and then offer a warranty that expires just short of the targeted fail date. A more ethical brand, however, may offer a limited lifetime warranty…to the original owner, which isn’t you if you bought the bike second hand. Two different scenarios with the same result, which puts you out of luck if your bike breaks down.

To offer a warranty on a used bike is a bet that Cycling Avenue is willing to make on the skills of the experienced technicians who refurbish our bikes. That's why we offer a 30-day full satisfaction guarantee on all refurbished bikes sold on our website! Before that however, we make sure that each bike entering and leaving our shop is in perfect condition to give you the confidence to ride worry-free on your next adventure.


5. Searching for a bike takes time, but Cycling Avenue is there to help

The process of searching for and weighing the pros and cons of every bike that captures your interest should be enjoyable. After all, this bike is a means to an end whether it’s transportation, recreation, performance, adventure, or simply an upgrade from your current bike. Dream big if you like and think of everything you’d like to get out of your new bike (light weight, durability, electric assist, suitable for your kiddo, superior stopping power, versatility, and so on).

If you need help deciding what kind of bike you need, pour yourself a cup of coffee and check out How to choose your bike with Cycling Avenue. There you’ll find a guide for all the major bike types currently on the market. Once you’ve determined what kind of bike you need and what features you want, book a 15-minute personalized video consultation with Cycling Avenue. Think of it as a pressure-free discovery chat to talk through your needs, preferences, and level of experience with a goal to find the right bike for you. Something to consider is that – as a refurbished bike reseller – Cycling Avenue is under no obligation to any one bike brand or any monthly sales quota, so our only motivation is to pair you with the perfect bike. Alternatively, if you already know what you’re after, you could just hit up the website where the easy search filter can help pinpoint precisely what you’re looking for.

Searching for and purchasing a used bike is a worthy pursuit for all the reasons above plus a few more, like buying a refurbished bike extends its life and helps reduce waste, or the probability of finding something rare and/or unique is much higher with a second-hand bike than an out-of-the-box one. There’s also no need to pay top dollar to get a top-quality new bike when its near equal can be purchased used. Whatever your story is for buying a used/pre-loved/second-hand/refurbished bike, it's yours alone, and it’s yours to own.