Cycling Plus - - CENTURY MAKER -

If you’re look­ing for an in­ex­pen­sive first road bike, or per­haps a win­ter trainer/ bad-weather run­about, go­ing sec­ond­hand may be the way to go, es­pe­cially if you have a rea­son­able amount of me­chan­i­cal knowhow.

Your lo­cal bike shop may have them, and lots of cities have shops spe­cial­is­ing in sec­ond-hand bikes, some run by char­i­ties. The ad­van­tage is that they’ll come with some sort of guar­an­tee, though you will pay more. Other meth­ods in­clude lo­cal small ads – yes, they still ex­ist – and on­line av­enues such as Gumtree and eBay. These could be less ex­pen­sive but you are po­ten­tially tak­ing more of a risk.

We’d sug­gest you set your bud­get first, keep­ing some money aside for new tyres and ca­bles, which may well be nec­es­sary, and that you don’t buy with­out see­ing it. Si­mon did and it worked for him but he only he found the list­ing a cou­ple of hours be­fore it closed, and he’d fallen in love with the Dura-Ace hubs, and was very fond of an ear­lier M-Trax he’d owned. If you don’t have the ex­per­tise, go along with a more me­chan­i­cally minded mate. As we go to press there are 1443 road bikes on eBay and nearly 700 hy­brids, so get brows­ing…

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