The Extremely Useful Bike Buying Guide
It's difficult finding a reliable secondhand bike, so we've put together some useful tips and links to assist you in your search.
Common Problems | Things to consider
Golden Rule: If it's too good to be true it probably is.
• Bent forks (crashed) | Check photos and read description carefully
• Bent frame (crashed) | Check photos and read description carefully
• Seized Seat Post | Read description or ask the seller
• Seized bottom bracket | Read description or ask the seller
• Bent derailleur hanger | Can usually be straightened in the workshop
• Dents, dings, scratches, chips in the paint, rust in the tubing etc. | Dents can be filled and frames can be repainted, but it can be very expensive
• Worn out or bent rims | Replace the affected wheels
• Worn out drivetrain | Replace damaged or worn sprockets and chain
• Damaged and worn out tyres, saddle, grips, pedals, brake pads etc. | Replace where necessary
How much does a bike cost in London?
High end mountain and road bikes usually loose 50 - 70% of their original value within the first two years.
For instance: A new aluminium 105 racing bike can cost around £1000 >> After two years it may only be worth £350 - £450.
Older bikes (pre-2000), will generally be valued in line with the overall condition and the level of restoration required to get it road ready.
A basic bike without any problems will typically cost a minimum of £100. A lightweight road or town bike will usually cost at least £200.
Bear in mind: A comprehensive service, including new tyres, chain, sprockets, cables, brake pads, pedals etc usually costs between £120 and £200. If the bike needs new wheels, cranks and shifters the cost of repair can be much higher. Test riding the bike to make sure it works as advertised is the best way to avoid disappointment.
Recommended classified listings:eBay
London Fixed Gear & Single Speed Forum
Our extremely useful eBay bike search links:531 Bike (Filter: Lowest Price)
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Bike Fit Guide
In general, bicycles don't follow a typical sizing convention, so it is necessary to consider both the type, and age of a bike, in order to establish a suitable configuration that achieves a correct and comfortable fit for the intended use.
With the help of a plastic goniometer, something to support yourself, and helper to take the readings, you can check that you're riding position conforms to the following recommended angles, provided you've already set the seat height, reach and stack appropriately.How to take frame measurements | ebicycles.com
How many different wheel sizes are there? | Sheldon Brown
What about the kids? Childs Bike Sizing Chart | Wiggle
What are reach & stack?
Vintage Bikes: The easiest way to size the bike is by the standover height, as the top tube lengths are nearly always 22.5" long.
Modern Hybrid Bikes: It's usually safe to follow the recommended height chart, however we'd recommend that riders shorter than 5'6" check reach (by comparing the top tube length & stem options) and crank lengths before ordering.
Modern Road Bikes: Same as with Hybrid Bikes (above).
Proportional Road Bikes: Consider changing the stem and seatpost to get a better fit, but otherwise follow the chart.
Hardtail Mountain Bikes: Consider changing the stem, crank length, & handlebar width to get a confident riding position.