Bike Buyers Guide
BIKE BUYER’S GUIDE
For most of us, the purchase of a bicycle is a significant one and so we recommend that you
consider the type of bike, the size and if it is a second-hand bike, the safety of that bike. The
following resources will be helpful in your decision-making.
PART 1
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TYPE OF BIKE
Before you make a purchase, you will need to consider:
What type of riding you intend to do
How often you intend to ride
Health considerations.
Helpful online resources:
http://www.ebicycles.com/article/what-type-of-bicycle-should-i-buy.html
http://www.bikewise.co.nz/news/2012/08/23/choosing-right-bike-you
Pay your local bike store a visit; generally, you will find knowledgeable staff members who are
prepared to help you choose a bike that is right for you.
PART 2
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE BIKE
Now that you have decided on the type of bike you need, you are ready to shop! Choosing the
right size bike will help your comfort level whilst riding. The more comfortable you are the more
you will enjoy the cycling experience. There are many factors to consider in getting the right size,
such as: frame sizes, seat position, handle bar shape and width, wheel size and crank length.
Again, your local bike shop can help with selecting the right size – and with your setup.
Bicycle frame size calculator
http://www.avantiplus.co.nz/content/bike_buyers_guide.html
For tips on seat position, handle bars, wheels, pedals and cranks visit
https://www.ebicycles.com/article/what-size-bicycle-do-i-need.html
PART 3
BUYING A SAFE USED BIKE
Where to find a quality used bike
Buying a new bike from a bike shop generally assures you that the bike is safe and roadworthy,
but buying new is not always an option.
Places to look for used bikes include markets, pawnshops, garage sales and police auctions.
Online shopping is another great option, especially as it allows you time to research the bike,
size and condition. Check out ‘Trade Me’ and similar websites such as:
Sella http://www.sella.co.nz/general/sports/cycling/mountain-bikes/
What should you pay for a used bike?
It is worthwhile doing a little homework. Compare the model and age of the bike you are
considering against a similar bike online on sites such as Trade Me and at the bike shop. Factor
in the cost of repairing the used bike you are considering, to see if it stacks up.
BIKE BUYER’S GUIDE
Evaluating a used bicycle
If you are unsure about the condition of a used bike, take it to your local bike shop for inspection
before you commit to buying it. The frame and drivetrain are usually the most costly items to
replace, so make sure you check them over.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Seat/saddle
Seat post
Rear wheel
Front wheel
Pedal
Derailleur
Brake levers
8 Brake pads
9 Headset
10 Crank
11 Tyre
12 Rim
13 Handlebars
14 Cables
15
16
17
18
19
20
Fork
Chainring
Spoke
Cassette
Hub
Chain
Frame Set: It is inevitable that a used bike will have a few dings and scratches. Major dings are a
concern. Check the frame joints – make sure the welds are even, and walk away if there are any
cracks. Check the front fork to make sure there is no movement or flexing of the forks. Don’t be
fooled by a bright and shiny frame – most of the wear and tear on a bike is unseen and hidden
inside the hubs and bottom bracket, as described in the next paragraph.
Drivetrain: The drivetrain includes the cranks, sprockets (cogs), and chain. These components
can be costly to replace. Wriggle the crank set by holding a pedal in each hand and rock them
from side to side. Any side to side movement indicates problems with the bottom bracket, which
is not a cheap fix. Turn the pedals with the rear wheel off the ground; there should be no
clunking or crunching. Whilst turning the pedals, change gears to make sure that the gears are
shifting crisply. Also, check the rear derailleur hanger for bends or cracking.
Remember, however, that some issues can appear to be major problems, yet may just require
some adjustment. If in doubt, ask someone who is knowledgeable for assistance or insight. The
local bike shop can also be called on for an opinion and for sourcing your cycling items.
Helpful on line resources:
http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/stories/how-to-buy-a-great-used-bicycle
http://www.bikewise.co.nz/sites/all/modules/filemanager/files/BBTU/BBTU_self_help_guide__how_to_do_a_basic_bike_maintenance_check.pdf
BIKE BUYER’S GUIDE
Other items to check include handlebars, saddle, brakes and wheels. These are included in the
BIANZ Safety Checklist over the page.
BIANZ Cycle Safety Check List
PASS
Handlebars
Handlebar stem is securely tightened
Handlebar stem is in line with frame
Handlebars are level and aligned
Handlebar grips are secure
Pedals
Both left & right pedals are secure
Chain Set
Sits straight in the frame
Turns freely through a complete rotation
Pedal crank lock nuts are secure
Wheels Tyres
Both tyres have enough tread
Both wheel rims are straight
Tyres inflated to recommended pressure
Chain
Chain moves freely with no catching
Chain joining link is securely fastened
% wear of chain
Derailleurs
Can be adjusted up/down through the gears
All cables run smoothly with no sign of
damage
Seat
Seat is adjusted to suit the rider
Seat is secure in line with the frame
Seat does not exceed max extension mark
Brakes
Brake pads are securely attached to the arms
Wheels stop instantly when brakes applied
Total cost to fix
FAIL
PRICE TO FIX
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