By-Cycle is a specialist in fix and sell used and second hand bicycles. Classic bikes are the ones that are more familiar to us, but we really repair and sell all kind of models. From a classic dutch rod brake bike to the most modern fixie bicycle you can see around the city. Our experience buying, repairing and selling bikes helps us to know where and what we have to look for when we buy a second hand bicycle to know what we have to repair and if it worths the effort repair it.

Where to buy a second hand bicycle

The first tip we can give you is that you buy your bike through a shop or specialised platform. Buying through web pages or mobile apps can be risky. If you decide to go on your own, we will help you to check the critical points on a used bike.

What we have to pay attention to when buying a used bike

There are some key points to inspect when we pretend to buy a used bicycle. According to what we find we have to decide if we ask a price drop or even in extreme situations choose not to buy the bicycle. Let’s point out what parts do we have to check.

Foto de manillar de bici de ocasión clásica

The frame

We have to check the frame looking for dents, deformations or oxidations. Have a close look at the weldings where the frame bears the biggest efforts. Those points are at the handlebar, below the seat and around the bottom bracket. Do not buy a bicycle with a frame in bad state for having suffered an accident, with deformations or oxidation on the weldings. The frame is the soul of the bicycle and if it has irregularities you will have a dangerous, useless machine that nobody will want to buy you back. Check meticulously for cracks and fisures: you won’t see them unless you apply some force and they open.

Transmission of second hand bicycle

The transmission

Check the sprockets of the chainring and the gears. They should be symetric and with a flat tip. When the sprockets are wasted they are not symetric, they have a sharp tip and probably they will be “wave shaped” that means worn out from the inner part (where the chain applies the force). Check the chain for oxidation and good tension.

Old second hand bicycle wheels

The wheels

When checking the wheels you have to test if the alignement is correct. Make the wheel turn in front of you and look for irregularities in rotation. If you see one check that all the spokes have the correct tension: maybe you will need to make an alignement or even change some of them. You have look for deformations in the rims, caused by hits. The last and more obvius thing is the state of the tyres. A worn-out tyre will not offer you any grip when the floor is wet or on rainy days.

Frenos de bicicleta de ocasión y segunda mano

Brakes and cables

Check that the state of the brake pads, maybe you will need to change them if they are very worn-out. Check as well the precision of the brakes when closing the calipers (they should close symetrically) and the force of the biting. A good state of the cable housings will mean that they have been changed recently.

Sillín de bicicleta de segunda mano

Test the bike

You should test the bike to make sure all the parts work correctly. Check that the gears work without any problem. Try all the combinations and pay attention that the chain moves up and down without problem.


Pay attention to clearances in some parts, specially where the bike suffers more stress:

  • The handlebar: push and pull to check that the handlebar and fork don’t have clearances.
  • Bottom bracket: pedal with energy and move your body weight from one side to another to detect clearances in the bottom bracket.
  • Seat: make sure the seat is firmly tighten and doesn’t move.

Conclusions when buying a used bike

Buying a a used bike shouldn’t be a bother if you know what look for and where to look at. With these tips you can check any bicycle you are interested in and be sure you are in the safe side. And if after all you don’t want to risk yourself and you prefer to buy from a specialist, contact with By-Cycle to find your ideal second-hand bike!