Beginners - buying new or second hand?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Veater, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Veater

    Veater New Member

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    My friend has decided to take the leap and invest in a bike. She hasn't cycled since she was a child and asked my advice today about whether she needed to buy a new bike, or whether she should find a second hand bike until she's certain she wants to ride regularly. I thought that as long as she buys from a trustworthy seller and views it first, and has a test ride, a second hand bike will probably be fine while she's just getting used to it. But now I'm wondering if I gave her some bad advice, because maybe a beginner should start off with a solid, new bike - and she can get advice from the sales person in the store, to make sure she gets the right fit for her.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. cyclenthusias44

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    Well, if you are a cyclist enthusiast and you are passionate about riding, I would recommend you to opt for a new shining bike instead of an old one. If you are facing a financial problem, then you can opt for the second choice. You are right, a beginner should use a new buy. I would never opt for the old one.
     
  3. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Buying a bike is no different from buying a car. When you buy a second hand bike, I think you have to know the owner pretty well. We are kind of superstitious here to mean that it's not good to buy a car that figured in an accident, that goes the same with a used bike. But superstition aside, you check the bike by test riding it not only for a spin but for a longer distance and not just once, maybe go back the next day and ride again.

    For the fitting, regardless of brand new or used, the bike should fit your body particularly the feet with the pedals.
     
  4. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    If you buy a second hand bike have a mechanic look at it before handing over any money. And do NOT try to screw someone that might need the money.

    I NEVER buy new bikes. It's easy for me since I do all my own work on a bike but since you can generally get a two or three year old bike with top of the line equipment on it for a quarter of what it would cost new it does make sense to go that route.
     
  5. Acheno84

    Acheno84 Member

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    I wouldn't say that you gave her bad advice at all. I see nothing wrong wtih getting a bike second hand to start with. I mean, who knows. She might get tired of it instead of embracing it and will end up locking the bike in the garage or the shed until it rusts over (I truly hope that never happens; a rusting bike is heartbreaking). Have someone check it out and make sure it's good to go or needs very little maintenance. There are bikes for sale all of the time and they're usually in excellent shape. I bought one new bike before and ended up selling it to someone else because my second-hand bike was my best fit.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    A person who hasn't ridden a bike since they were a child is NOT an enthusiast, and talk is cheap. A first time buyer and rider should not invest heavily into a bike because the chances are very good that that bike will become garage art.

    Therefore I cannot recommend a new bike because new bikes in the lower price ranges are all junk from the store! They won't last long and they create all sorts of mechanical issues, and they use non standard parts for the most part that even an LBS can't get replacement parts for.

    I would recommend finding a used bike that has been well cared for and lightly used from the early 80's and forward. Even those those bikes use drivetrain components no longer made they were built better than even today's best stuff, and all wear items like chains, gears, seats, cables, brake pads, tires, etc can all be found brand new. Even if a derailleur were to fail a modern derailleur can be made to work without changing the entire driveline to make it work, or you can find a vintage derailleur that is new in a box still or new old stock for that not that much money.

    Be careful of buying used aluminum bikes, you need to make sure it wasn't ever crashed or ridden a lot because aluminum frame bikes due wear out faster than any other frame material.

    ALL OF THIS IS JUST MY OPINION, please feel free to disagree.
     
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  7. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    It depends for the quality of the second hand bike you're thinking in buying. A new one from the cheaper side are just crappy stuff and you'll eventally not get the most bang for your buck. If you find a bargain price for a second hand bike from an expensive but quality bike, you are set, given
    of course, the bike is in decent conditions and you can trust the seller.
     
  8. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    I recommend that she buys a new bike if she has the money to. A second hand bike may be having other mechanical issues thereby forcing the buyer to spend more on repairs. If she doesn't want to spend more on a new bike then she can buy a second hand one. If possible, I advice her to check the bike's condition before buying it.
     
  9. Norjak71

    Norjak71 New Member

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    I would buy brand new, and I say that because cycling isn't just some off the wall hobby people come up with, it's more of an investment in your health and energy. You probably plan on doing it for a while, so why not buy something you can grow into and think of it as an investment purchase? I bought a very expensive one about a year ago just starting out and I never regretted it. If you buy a beginner bike you won't be getting the same benefits and you won't be getting the same knowledge. Then again it is all about your personal finances as well and what you can afford, I'm definitely not telling you to break the bank; however, if you can afford it and it is within reason, absolutely buy something you can have for a long time and enjoy.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Actually for 73% to as high as 80% (depending on whose facts you read) of the people who get into any kind of physical activity like cycling, buying gym equipment, etc, it does become a wall hobby that after 3 to 6 months they're no longer doing the activity that they bought into. This is a very well known fact. Which means there are a lot of bikes on the used market that only saw maybe 3,000 miles if that and are being sold after sitting in a garage for years.

    I suppose you don't buy used cars either? especially since 100% of car buyers use their cars and it's an investment to get you work etc, and used cars will have mechanical issues, so buy only new cars. Problem with that is even a new car becomes used than it starts to have mechanical issues, so as soon as the first mechanical issue shows up immediately buy a new car. Same with a bike, as soon as the first mechanical problem happens with your new bike just run out and get a new one. That all makes sense right?
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    We agree.

    Buy a decent used bicycle. Very few commodities drop in value as fast as a bicycle does. Bargains are easily had 'if' the shopper is good at looking at mechanical devices. If not, a jaundiced eye and stab at the overall condition for care and storage condition will usually suffice. Even if the shopper is brain dead regarding bikes, there is usually a friend that can lend a more expert opinion on the prospective purchase.
     
  12. chelsknits

    chelsknits Member

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    Personally, I bought a second hand bike. I wasn't sure if it was something I was going to use often so I didn't want to sink a lot of money into a new bike. As long as the bike they're buying is a good one, I don't see a problem with it at all.
     
  13. rz3300

    rz3300 Member

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    Well I say that you might as well go with the cheaper option, and that is usually the second hand bike. It is just most likely not the bike that they will be riding the most, so I would say save a bigger purchase for a little later. If you have the resources though then go ahead and get a nice one. I always grew up with everything second hand though so I will always advocate for that.
     
  14. SkerleeWerg

    SkerleeWerg Member

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    I went secondhand and got a great deal. I had a friend look over the bike for me and it was spec'd by somebody that knows what they're doing, which is great because I don't lol. I would recommend it, I used craigslist.
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    CONGRATS! Tell us what you bought please so we can all drool!
     
  16. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Buy used, my only bike so far was bought that way. Saved upwards of $400 dollars and got a pretty good upper entry/low mid ranged road bike(alloy Cannondale Synapse Tiagra) for 800. The alternative would most likely be me buying a new lesser model for the same 800 and craving a new one sooner. Haven't had any problems with it that weren't caused by me own stupidity, the shop sold it with the same perks that come with a new purchase, and its all the bike I need at the moment. A little over a year and close to 4,000 miles on it.

    The thing is, many of the components that will get used the most, you'll want to personalize yourself anyways. Here are some things I've felt the inclination to change:

    Wheels - The wheels didn't feel 100% new, but it didn't really matter. A little truing and rim tape did the trick. I upgraded when my bank account allowed for it. Even new they were a cheap $100 set and the upgrade 8 months later was fantastic.

    Tires- Again, not 100%, but good enough. You'll want to pick tires at a later time on preferences anyways.

    Bar Tape- Depending on the usage, you may want to get new bar tape. The stuff is cheap and makes your bike look a little cleaner.

    Saddle- Haven't changed it yet, but it is a little scratched up/beat up. I looked it up this week and the stock saddle is only $40 new....Know wonder its so uncomfortable on longer rides. Just like the others, I'd most likely look to replace if it were a new purchase as well.

    A grand total of +- 700 bucks for all those upgrades to make a used bike function as well as a higher model in the $2000 range. Buy used and upgrade/customize with the savings.
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Even more expensive new bikes a buyer will upgrade. I bought a brand new Lynskey 3 seasons ago and immediately after riding it I had to upgrade the saddle and the tires, but that is typical regardless if you buy a new or used bike. I did "recycle" the seat and tires, the seat went on another bike that I rarely ride, and one tire went into storage and the other is on the front of my commuter bike. Bar tape? obviously if the bar tape on a used bike is worn it needs to be replaced but on a new bike there's no point till it's worn out.
     
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    If a person hasn't ridden in quite a long time and they're not sure if they're going to take to it again, then maybe a second hand bike is the way to go. As long as its safe and reliable, I think spending as little as possible might be the way to go for now, at least until they make a decision as to if they're going to carry on cycling or not.
     
  19. warrengeb

    warrengeb Member

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    It depends on you. I would never suggest you to buy a second-hand bike. I have bought the second-hand bike many times. The truth is that people always sell their bike because of a specific reason. No one would sell a good bike at a very less price. So, you should know the background of the person from whom you are buying. So, I would never recommend you to buy second-hand bike. Go for the new one.
     
  20. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Buy used at a reliable bike shop and their will be no problem.
     
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