Before getting in touch with the seller and getting around, take a look at online classified ads to see the range of the bike, its value on the used market and the price, equipment ratio, accessories, general condition, and number on the kilometers meter.
The actual number of kilometers of the bicycle is difficult to establish. It must, therefore, be assumed that this figure will be underestimated. You can also see if the seller has a Strava profile and if the number of kilometers advertised correlates with his volume of activity.
Also, determine your final negotiation budget. That is to say, the final price on which you are ready to take action. To do this, assess the cost of the parts that will need to be changed. This means that you will have taken the trouble to take note of the market price of the accessories mentioned below. So, it is necessary to take your time even if you miss a great deal: The market is vast!
Check Cleanliness of the Bicycle
The general state of cleanliness is directly related to the ability of the owner to maintain his bike. First of all, the one who presents a dirty bike to a potential buyer does not have the desired vision, and secondly, it shows the little interest he devotes to it.
So, prefer a well-presented bike, to a specimen full of dirt and with a fluorescent black transmission! Road cyclists are meticulous, better a bike from this tradition!
Ride the Bike
Whether it is on excellent websites, numerous bicycle exchanges, or word of mouth, to buy a used bicycle, there are many good deals available. The main advice is to be able to try the bike on an outing.
Pragmatically it already allows you to see if the bike suits you. If not, which devices will be upgraded to optimize your position? It is also important to get to try the bike in order to establish a first visual and audible contact.
Check the State of the Frame
Check for any impact on the paint or varnish. Whether it is a carbon or aluminum frame, check that there are no crack points on all of the frame tubes. The connection points of the tubes at the welds or fittings are the most subject to possible cracks. Check the condition of the rear derailleur hanger. It is an aluminum part that makes the connection between the frame and the rear derailleur. Check the aluminum or carbon legs on which the wheels are fixed: cracks, breakage, etc.
Condition of the Wheels
For tires or tubular wheels, the state of wear is essential. It also allows us to see what is the behavior of the owner. Indeed, laxists tend to wear the tire to the cord without being overly concerned with this detail. The tire must not be cracked, full of cuts, or sheared at the sides. This criterion nevertheless has a small impact on your overall budget.
Acquiring bicycle wheels second-hand helps ease the cyclist’s finances. But this choice involves sometimes expensive risks. You will need to carefully check the wheels on the bike.
Check the Transmission Status
Let’s talk about physical condition first. The transmission of a bicycle is the whole linked to gear changes which involve the cassette, the chainrings, derails, and chain.
Before being regularly lubricated, this set must appear before your eyes in perfect working order. No oxidation, no noise when you pedal, easy gear change
Likewise, the play present in the gear levers must be reasonable. The wear causes some small vibrations during use related to the play taken by the removable parts of the mechanism.
Check the Condition of The Sheaths, Cables, and Brakes
For a mechanical group, the ducts route the cables to the brakes and the derailleurs should be checked that they are not cut or cracked.
For an electronic group, the cables directly contain the harnesses. Be careful to check their condition as well as the connection connectors. Likewise, check the condition of the battery and its capacity to hold the charge.
The cables must not be tapered. This can be checked at the connections with the derailleurs. Also, check at the frame exit points that they are not worn. Some cables have a Teflon sheath which covers them. Checking its condition allows you to see the wear condition of the cable.
Has the Bike Fallen?
It is easy to quickly see if the bicycle has been dropped. This requires checking the condition of the parts (scratched or damaged) located at the end. These are the ones that are very quickly affected during a fall: brake levers and brake lever caps, handlebar tape, the pedals, Saddle, and wheel quick couplers. So, you need to check these things before you buy them.
Avoid Unethical Confusion
This is obviously not necessarily the case, and even if a lot of unsophisticated people will not be able to tell the difference, it is important to be able to detect if the bike has been repainted. Indeed, in addition to the sympathetic aspect of a redone painting, it may be a mask at different points. So, you should understand and know if the bike is stolen, the bike suffered a break in the frame, was repaired and repainted.
Invoices and Guarantees
It is always interesting to see and have the original invoice if possible. Workshop invoices allow you to verify the seriousness of the seller in terms of maintenance. Some manufacturers guarantee their frames for life. Please note, this warranty is only valid at first hand. This means that only the person who bought the new bike benefits from it. It will be canceled if you buy a second-hand bike.
Also, think of all the additional accessories to equip your bike that is added to the final budget. Also, equipment such as clipless pedals and saddle may not be suitable, they may need to be changed.