When I first read the most important thing in cycling is getting a decent bike ~ a name-brand bike, not a huffy from a department store I completely said.
Well, we all know I lived to regret that decision quite quickly. It took less than a week for me to realize that advice was spot on and decide I needed a better bike. However, I still didn’t have a ton of money to drop on a bike ~ and hubby still wasn’t believing I was going to stick with this whole “biking” thing.
At this point, I had to figure out how to get a good bike cheaply. Here are a few ways I found you can find a cheap bike for sale. Please ~ go this route so you don’t have to hassle with returning that department store bike. I assure you it’s quite a hassle, especially if you have lost your receipt.
5 Places to Buy a Good Bike Cheap
This is my absolute favorite place to find a cheap bike. I’ve bought and sold a lot of things on craigslist including a bass boat and a dump truck. It’s a great place to find a better bike.
If you haven’t used Craigslist you are in for a treat! To get started simply go to Craigslist.com. When you get there choose your state and then your city. You will see under “for sale” a bicycle category. Check and see what’s available in your local area.
If you don’t see what you want immediately, be patient, people are posting new items every day, all the time. If you notice bikes just aren’t posted very often or not the types of bikes you want then look at the next largest town.
This is what we did, there weren’t many decent bikes in the Wichita area when I was looking. I did end up getting my bike in Wichita, but when hubby started looking he couldn’t find anything. He ended up looking in Oklahoma City ~ which is about 2 hours from us. There were TONS of bikes listed in OKC and he was able to get a great deal on his bike. The money he saved on the bike made it well worth the time and effort to drive to Oklahoma City.
2. Garage Sales
Another great way to find a cheap bike for sale. Much like my hubby worries I will do, many people go out, buy a great bike and then never, or barely ever, ride it. It sits in their garage collecting dust and then at some point they put it in a garage sale.
That’s a great day for you. You can check garage sales in your area through Craigslist ~ just enter bicycle in the search bar and it will bring up listings for bikes from any category (including the garage sale area). You can also check your local paper. Bikes are good sellers and will often be mentioned in a garage sale ad.
3. Flea Markets
If your town has a flea market make sure to keep your eyes peeled for bikes. Flea markets can be a great place to get a decent bike really cheap!
I haven’t really found awesome deals on bikes themselves on eBay, but you should still keep it in mind. Chances are you will need to swap out something on your new bike and eBay IS an awesome place to get a great deal on bike components. They definitely have bikes available, I prefer to be able to ride it and take a good look at it first. Plus you have to pay the shipping to get it to you as well.
5. Pawn Shops
This is the last on my list because although it’s a great place to find a nice bike it can be a dangerous way to do it as well. Bikes are one of the most stolen items and frequently when they are stolen they are then sold to pawn shops. You can find GREAT bikes at pawn shops, but I might check with your local police to see if it was stolen before you buy it.
How Much Should You Spend?
I was recently talking to my lbs (local bike shop) owner about pricing on used bikes. He told me a good guide is to find out the retail value of the bike at the time it was produced. Then cut the price in half. Then from there take into consideration the condition of the bike, any additions that have been made, or whatnot.
So for my bike:
It originally retailed for about $350.
Cut in half that would be $175.
The owner had added new wheels, tires, a bike light, and the bike were in pretty good condition.
I paid $160 for my bike and I think I got a pretty good deal.
If you want to know what year the bike was made flip the bike over and you will usually see a number on the frame right where the pedals connect. This will indicate the year the bike was made. Then you can look it up online and see what it’s retail price was. Bikepedia.com is a great place to get this kind of information.
There you have it 5 great places to find a cheap bike for sale. If you are interested in doing longer rides or think in the future you might do anything other than ride around your neighborhood I really, truly, recommend you buy a decent name brand bike the first go around.