BUYING A SECOND HAND BIKE
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…