Forget the tempting prices on eBay or Facebook – most used bikes are more trouble than they’re worth.
The old adage has never been truer: “If something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.” Over the years, we’ve all seen great-looking bikes advertised online at fantastic prices, and been enticed towards getting ourselves a ride beyond our usual means.
But those dreams rarely turn into reality like we hope. Buying second-hand is a risky experience, both financially and physically, and unless you get very lucky, there’s every chance you’ll end up bearing the brunt of the damage. Why?
Reason One: how do you know they aren’t stolen?
Bikes don’t have the same HPI checking facility that you can use when you’re buying a used car. So unless you know and trust the seller, there’s no way of verifying the bike’s ownership history. It’s for that reason, amongst others, that we don’t sell any second-hand bikes at Dorvics.
Our owner Ashley explains: “We get too many people coming in with bikes and saying: ‘my mate gave me this and asked if I could sell it’. So if we buy second-hand bikes, this just encourages bike theft by providing thieves an easy route for selling them.”
It’s also worth remembering that if you buy a bike that later turns out to be stolen, you could end up without a bike and without any refund. Ashley warns: “If you buy a bike that is stolen and the police find it, the original owner gets the bike back and you will be out of pocket.”
Reason Two: second-hand bikes can be worn out and unsafe.
Whether stolen or not, there’s normally a reason why a particular bike is being sold on second-hand. Naturally, there are occasions where diligent, responsible riders have upgraded and are recouping some money on their old machinery. But in many cases, it’s simply because badly-cared-for bikes have been worn out and the owner wants to get rid.
Ashley recalls: “We’ve seen some nightmare bikes that are bought for a bargain and the customer comes in and asks us to “just check it’s safe”. Generally, bikes sold on Ebay are not in good condition and have often clearly had a hard life.
“We’ve even seen bikes come in that are made up from components from many other bikes. If they were cars, they’d be described as ‘cut and shuts’. They’re extremely unsafe and are not economical to fix.”
Reason Three: second-hand bikes can come with hidden costs later on.
What may look like a bargain bike at face value might not seem so cheap when it turns out that it needs extensive work to make it roadworthy. Even the most expert of bike enthusiasts can easily miss something when checking out a potential purchase that could prove costly further down the line.
Ashley says: “Would you buy a car without a mechanic looking at it? Why spend about the same on a bike without expert advice? Some disappointed customers have ended up spending so much on making a used bike safe to ride that they could have had a brand-new one from us for half the outlay.”
“In the long run, buying a bike new is not as expensive as it seems. At Dorvics, for example, you get a six-week service and the first annual service for free, which saves you £100 straight away. What’s more, the bike will be under warranty, expertly prepared and roadworthy before you ride it, and we’re always available to help fix any minor niggles as they arise.”
Don’t take the risk in the used market – come to Dorvics and get yourself a brand-new bike, prepared and maintained by experts, for less than you thought. Explore our range of brands here or pop into our Leighton Buzzard store (opening times below).