So, you want to buy a bike (GREAT!) and you want to spend as little as possible. You have some options. You could buy privately (craigslist, friend, etc), from a retailer that does not specialize in bikes (ie-big box store, pawn shop, thrift shop, etc), or you could buy from a bike shop that sells used bikes. There are pros and cons to whatever option you choose to go with.
If you buy privately or from a retailer that does not specialize in bikes, you might get a great deal if you are lucky or knowledgeable enough to be able to discern whether the bike is the right one for you and worth the asking price; or you might not get what you expected. In these situations, the seller may not know a lot about the product they are selling and whether it might be suitable for your needs, may not be well versed in maintenance of it and able to discern the true condition it is in, and may not be able to offer support if you buy it and there are problems later on. This is why cheap bikes are cheap.
If you buy from a bike shop like Hub City Cycles, we take the uncertainty out of the equation. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about bikes; our trained mechanics will ask you some questions to find out exactly what you need and then do our best to customize a bicycle to fit your needs and your budget. We will make sure you have a bike that is the right size for you, comfortable, well-suited for the type of riding you will be doing, and is in great mechanical condition! We also provide a 48 hour money back guarantee and a 30 day parts and labour warranty. This is why our used bikes cost approximately $200-400.
“It will cost more to repair than I paid for the bike” is a statement we often hear. Sometimes this is a result of a long period of neglect or because it was a bought from one of the other sources mentioned above. Caveat Emptor. The cheapest bikes are often the most expensive.
If you are shopping for a used bike, I implore you to come see us. You might pay a little bit more up front compared to other sources mentioned above, but it will be worth it, as you will likely pay less in the long term, it will last you much longer and you will also be supporting a non-profit community co-op!