How to buy a used bike: Tips for finding the best second-hand bikes

A woman cycles through a city street on a hybrid bike
(Image credit: Getty Images)

New bikes are great. You can ride them straight out of the shop complete with everything you need for the maiden voyage knowing that everything works perfectly and is covered by a warranty, but it all comes at a cost, and often a pretty steep cost at that. If you want to save some money on your next bike purchase, it's useful to know how to buy a used bike.

New bikes are also currently in short supply. We're all aware of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses across the world, and the cycling industry hasn't been immune. Factories were forced to close and while many of them are back up and running, some remain shut to this day, and many of those that have reopened are working with social distancing measures in place that restricts workflow. At the same time, cycling has boomed in popularity, so while production was slow, sales were high and this inevitably led to a product shortage.

Zach is a freelance writer, the head of ZNehr Coaching, and an elite-level rider in road, track, and e-racing. He writes about everything cycling-related, from buyer's guides to product reviews and feature articles to power analyses. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science at Marian University-Indianapolis, Zach discovered a passion for writing that soon turned into a full-fledged career. In between articles, Zach spends his time working with endurance athletes of all abilities and ages at ZNehr Coaching. After entering the sport at age 17, Zach went on to have a wonderful road racing career that included winning the 2017 Collegiate National Time Trial Championships and a 9th place finish at the 2019 US Pro National Time Trial Championships. Nowadays, Zach spends most of his ride time indoors with NeXT eSport.