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Where to buy

You can buy a new bike:

You can get a second hand bike from a:

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

Bike shops

Bike shops have experienced, professional staff who can help you select a bike of the right size that will meet your needs and budget. They will also provide:

  • bikes that are properly assembled, safe and roadworthy
  • after-sales service
  • staff who can teach you to maintain your own bike.

Department stores and discount houses

Benefits:

  • departments stores and discount houses have enormous buying power, which allows for a possible good deals, especially during sales
  • you have the protection of the organisation's good name and any customer service guarantee

However:

  • they concentrate on mass-produced, 'lower-end' models (although they may also stock well-known brands)
  • they employ staff members who may be less specialised—be sure to check for size and roadworthiness (see ensuring your bike is the right size and safety check)
  • they don't usually provide after-sales service.

Mail or internet order

Electronic commerce means companies operate with few overheads so prices can be low. The reputation of the company may protect you if you are dealing with a major manufacturer or well-known dealer. Be aware that you will be buying the bike unseen and that you will have to ensure fit, correct assembly, safety and roadworthiness.

Bike shops that accept trade-ins

Many bike shops will accept an older bicycle as a trade-in, recondition it, ensure it is roadworthy and sell it at a reasonable price. Bike shops offer the same professional service that you would get buying a new bike. The range of second hand bikes a shop holds at any time might be limited, but they will often agree to 'keep an eye out' for you, until a suitable bike is traded.

Specialist bicycle recyclers

Community-based bicycle recycling cooperatives are a recent innovation. They specialise in repairing, recycling and rejuvenating bicycles. They stock a broad range of recycled bicycles and have professional staff that will ensure the bike is roadworthy and a good fit. Services and repairs are also usually offered.

Pawn brokers or second hand shops

Pawn brokers and second-hand dealers often have a small range of bikes for sale. They can be good places to scout around for your first bike, although bikes may be sold 'as is' and may need significant work to ensure they are safe and roadworthy. After-sales service is rarely provided, although some dealers may offer an after-sales warranty.

Second-hand bikes for sale privately

You may be able to find the bike you need through a friend or through advertisements in local papers or the Trading Post. Many excellent bikes are sold this way. Be sure to check size, suitability and roadworthiness.

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Last updated
26 June 2018