As students, money is quite limited. The money which we can spend on cycling is even more limited. This means that every single penny counts.
One of the best ways to save money is to buy second hand. I haven’t brought that much stuff second hand, but on the things I have brought they’ve all been pretty much unused and I have got them for about 50% off RRP. Obviously there are a few things which I wouldn’t like to buy second hand and I have made a quick list below ruling out the items I would buy.
- Carbon items – Unless the item is still in it’s packaging, I would always have a bit of worry in the back of my mind wondering whether it has been crashed/damaged or not.
- Consumables – Things like Chains, cassettes, tyres etc. Unless the cassette is really expensive brand new, and it was a bargain, I would avoid buying them.
- Lycra Shorts – I really don’t like the thought of my little fella being so close to where another little fella has been. I know that they are clean and everything, but it’s just the thought.
- Water bottles – I know that they can be cleaned, but for the sake of £4, it’s not worth it.
I found the best places to buy second hand items are cycling forums. BikeRadar has a really active marketplace and you can find some great bargains there. I also think that there is a higher chance of the items on the forums being not stolen. If you know that the member you are buying from is quite an active and longstanding member, then you know they have a reason to have the item. I’m not saying that stolen items aren’t sold on forums, but they are more likely not to be.
I really do not rate eBay as a place to buy second hand, for good prices. Just yesterday I saw a set of handlebars going for £5 more than Wiggle were selling them for. Of course there are good items at good prices on there, but they are few and far between. There are also risks involved, many auctions don’t have time for you to orginise a test ride before the auction ends. And obviously, a lot of stolen items end up there.
Another site, Gumtree has an absurdly amount of obviously stolen bikes on it, and usually the prices of the bikes on there are way too high.
One of the best places to buy second hand is small local bikes shops. This normally gives you a guarantee, should something go wrong. The prices of the items tend to be that bit higher than the others but I think it’s worth it.
So, to sum it up. If you are going to buy second hand, head to your local bike shop or hit the cycling forums ;). I’ve put some links on the links page for the cycling forums for you to view.—————————————————————————————————–