RaceThread.com: What to Look For When Buying a Used Road/Triathlon Bike

Cycling | What to Look For When Buying a Used Road/Triathlon Bike

What to Look For When Buying a Used Road/Triathlon Bike

February 22nd, 2017

by Michael Ryan

Cycling

Triathletes are always willing to spend for speed. Nevertheless, can they go for a used bike instead of buying a new one? Here is a handy guide to buying a used road/triathlon bike. However, like buying any other product, buying a used road/triathlon bike may involve checking a number of things. 

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A road or triathlon bike needs to fit the needs of a cyclist the same way a good suit fits the body. That is why it is important to go and visit the sellers even when the pictures look great in the ads posted by them. Once you feel the bike fits you perfectly, you must inspect other important things before buying a used road/triathlon bike.

Initial Inspection

The inspection you make before buying a used road/triathlon bike is crucial. A thorough visual inspection is enough for an experienced triathlete to ensure the seller is not cheating him. You may be required to pay some extra bucks for bonus features or less if the bike needs some further work. Before handing out any cash to the seller, make sure you carefully inspect the following components of the bike.

Assembly

Before buying a used road/triathlon bike, you must inquire the seller about the technical specifications of the recent latest model of the same bike. You can do a little homework yourself to research the product, the brand and its recent versions on the internet. This saves you from buying any discontinued model that was removed due to any flaw or complains. In addition, when you compare the specs of the old and new models, you can find out if the seller is lying about the manufacturing date. 

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Seat Post

The adjustable seat post should be able to work properly. This can be done by simply lifting the bike a few inches from the ground and letting it go. Listen attentively as it drops. A rattling sound often means the seat post needs some adjustments. Moreover, you can also use a flashlight to assess the area around the clamp that holds the seat post together. No holes should be present in the material. This should be specifically checked if the bike has a carbon frame. While doing all seat post checks, also inspect the saddle twists in the post.

Frame

Don’t just rely on daylight for checking the frame of a used bike. It is always a good idea to make all frame checks with the help of a flashlight. This allows you to detect even the smallest of cracks. You can also feel any defects by running fingers along the length. This is important because even a tiny crack can lead to a dangerous fall if there is a pothole on the road you are cycling on. Moreover, there should be no powdery deposit on the mounting plate of the front derailleur. The presence of this deposit indicates corrosion. Slide your finger or a pen over the surface to check for any residue. 

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Chain and Pedals

For checking the chains, you can use your hands or a chain checker to lift the chain off the teeth. You will need to replace the chain if it lifts up past the teeth. It is also important that you check the pedals of the bike that you are going to buy. The pedals may appear to be in a great shape but used bikes have pedals that are notorious for succumbing at the worst moments. Inspect the pedals for cracks in the joints and where the brand name is engraved. Grooves can pose serious risks while cycling.

Wheels

Ideally, you should purchase a used bike that has the original wheels attached to it. The tires must be in good condition for you to use it for a considerable time. You should also check the spoke holes for signs of rust. Inspect the rims and see the condition of the brake shoes. There may be some cut grooves into the rims.

Cables

You should inspect the cables at the point when they are closer to the rear wheels, because this is usually the place where a cable gets damaged easily. Make sure you check the tension in the cables by pressing the brake and then letting go right away. A lever that works efficiently will snap immediately, but mediocre cables may result in delayed action. 

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Go for a Ride

The best way to see if all the parts of a used bike are working correctly is to go for a test ride. Only then you will be able to see whether the pedals, wheels and brakes are working smoothly. Ride it on a pace that you want to accomplish with the bike during your next biking adventure.

Keeping these pointers in mind, you will be able to buy a used road/triathlon bike that perfectly fits your needs and gives you the best value for your money. 

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