Just like buying anything second hand, shopping for used mountain bikes can be a strenuous task on its own. Not only do you have to be aware of what things to look at, you will also have to buy it knowing that there will be no warranties whatsoever. To help you in your search of finding a used mountain bike, we have dedicated a quick guide just for you folks to follow! For a more detailed list of things to be aware of when shopping for second hand bikes, check out our featured guide over here!
The Pre-Shopping Phase
Before shopping around for a used bike, you should be clear about what type of bike you actually want. If you are low on budget, honestly any bike would work. If you are not, however, you can expand your search to include different types of bikes. You will notice that even though two types may look very similar, they may actually be designed for two very different purposes.
Take note of your usual riding purpose (city commute, mountain trial riding), as well as the terrain that you will be riding on too. Again, different types of bikes are designed for different purposes, and a road bike will not survive long in mountain terrains.
If your budget allows, it is also nice to take note of the build material of the bike frame. Is it built with titanium, chromoly, carbon fiber, high-tensile steel, or aluminum? The latter is lightweight and easy to maneuver, while high-tensile steel is heavier and more common (thus cheaper). Carbon fiber is used on tier-one bicycles, and is very durable yet lightweight. Titanium, on the other hand, fuses solid durability with aluminum’s lightweight benefits and as a result is very expensive. It is our recommendation to always go for the lighter material if your budget allows.
If you have decided what you want is a mountain bike, read on, and don’t forget to check out our second hand bicycle purchase guide too (mentioned above)!
6 Important Things to Consider:
When shopping for used mountain bikes, you should be very aware of the following:
- Quality of the bicycle wheels (i.e. hub and spokes)
- Wear on rim or disc brakes (Pro: cheap to replace)
- Effectiveness and/or noise of rear and front suspensions
- Type of shifting system (paddle, thumb or trigger)
- Size of the frame size (check out our bike size chart)
- Quality of the saddle and other accessories
Then buy them online!
- Again, be certain on what type of bike you want. Is it really a mountain bike, or more of a hybrid one?
- Base your purchase on your desired frame size, budget, condition, and preferred brand, and don’t deviate off your initial list too much.
- How is the condition of the bike? A large amount of bicycles allow add-on accessories or customization, such as adding disc brakes and drop handlebars. Is it worth the upgrade?
- When buying online, always check seller feedback and ratings. If a seller is sketchy, look for another bike. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Always pay through Paypal (not through gift option) or through credit cards. Paypal has a very effective Resolution Center, and credit cards allow chargebacks on frauds and scams.
- If you are in a bicycle-friendly region such as Santa Monica, Log Angeles, New York City, or Delhi, India, it is also nice to head over to the local bicycle shop and look around. It might not be as convenient as going on eBay while sipping your morning coffee, but the ability to test ride a bicycle before purchasing is a big plus in anyone’s book!
You can always find great deals on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist (be careful!) with a little research and patience. If a seller happens to live in the same city, ask if you can test ride the bicycle. This will ensure what you actually end up getting a bicycle that you like, and not just look good. Best of all, there will always still be time for regrets while you drive back home with the bicycle in your trunk!
Best of luck! Please post down in the comments section below to share your bike-buying experiences!