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  1. #1
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    Purchasing a used bike from a bike rental/tour company - no good?

    I'm interested in purchasing a bike for an active weekend hobby (mainly for exercise). I haven't really ridden any bikes since the huffy my dad bought me when i was 10....many many years ago. I don't imagine i'll bike more than once or twice a week nor travel particularly long distances, so I don't need anything super fancy. I've been eyeballing hybrids, particularly the specialized sirrus and trek 7.3fx.

    I found bike rental/tour company on craigslist selling used 2009 specialized sirrus for $335. The ad states:

    - the bikes can have anywhere between 200 and 5000 miles on them
    - professionally maintained
    - tuned before sold
    - armadillo tires + extra set of specialized all condition tires

    would it be dumb to purchase a used bike with so many miles? is this not a good price? what exactly does it mean for a bike to be "tuned"?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
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    The mileage doesn't seem like much at all. I have bikes with well over 100,000 miles that still run fine (although they have had some components replaced (mainly tires/chains/cassettes/cables). A "tuneup" for a bike doesn't have a standard definition, so you should ask the company what they include. Typically it might include adjusting brake and derailleur cables, truing wheels, repacking any adjustable bearings, and general cleanup and lubrication.

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    The big question to ask is, do they have a bike in your size? Do you know what size bike you need? If the bike you pick isn't your size (doesn't fit) you'll hate it.
    If you don't know your size, stop by your local bike shop and ask for help determining your size.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon 105

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  4. #4
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I am a mechanic for such a company, and a poorly maintained bikes are bad for business and even worse for the mechanic. A rental bike must operate smoothly or the rental company will end up refunding and fighting credit card companies. I won't allow a bike to be sold unless it is in good working condition and does not need any new parts when it is sold.

    Test ride it like you would any bike purchase. Ask about return policies, but many used bike sales are final and non-returnable.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Depedns on the Sirrus model. If I can get a new one for another $150, I do that rather than buy used. That's just the way I am though, and I aint got money.

    $499
    https://shop.sunrisecyclery.com/item/41737

  6. #6
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    i bought a rental bike a few years ago. apparently it was a demo and never ridden. i saved about $300-$400.

    i think they are a great deal because they are usually paid for many times over and therefore sold at reasonable prices. also, they are generally new since they get new bikes every year or 2.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    The big question to ask is, do they have a bike in your size? Do you know what size bike you need? If the bike you pick isn't your size (doesn't fit) you'll hate it.
    If you don't know your size, stop by your local bike shop and ask for help determining your size.
    I've only been lurking for a few days, but I've lurked enough to know that sizing is crucial. i believe they have several sizes. I'm guesstimating i'm either a 17.5 or 20.0 going by the chart on the specialized site - both of which they have in stock. I plan on test riding, regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Depedns on the Sirrus model. If I can get a new one for another $150, I do that rather than buy used. That's just the way I am though, and I aint got money.

    $499
    https://shop.sunrisecyclery.com/item/41737
    I can understand and respect this point of view....though I look at it sort of differently. I could easily be satisfied riding a used bike and spending that $150 saved elsewhere. cosmetics and sentiment are not a huge deal to me. Plus, biking is not extremely high on my interests list (yet?). I guess the question at hand is...

    Will there be a noticeable decrease in performance between a brand new bike and a bike with 200-5000 miles on it (assuming it's been well maintained)?
    Last edited by ATM1980; 04-27-10 at 08:34 PM.

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATM1980 View Post
    Will there be a noticeable decrease in performance between a brand new bike and a bike with 200-5000 miles on it (assuming it's been well maintained)?
    Understandable! ..........I'm the type that wants to know where the bike has been. Just as I wouldn't buy a used wheelset or "USED" carbon components, stem, handlbars etc.

    IMO, if someone is selling something, usually a reason. 200-5000 miles desciption leaves plenty to wonder about without anything close to specifics. Just my .02.

    Actually, it could run better than a new bike, again, that's ASSUMING that it's been well maintained. I'm sure not all touring companies are the same which means, not all are top notch maintainence oriented.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 04-27-10 at 09:27 PM.

  9. #9
    Pat
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    Well, the mileage that you mention is pretty low. Chains, brake pads and rear cogs can wear out in that time. But those should be in good shape for a sale of this kind (assuming the seller is responsible).

    You really do not get components wearing out until you reach mileages over 20,000 and more like 30,000. Also most cyclists ride under 2,000 miles per year.

    So if the price is at a decent discount below new, the seller is reputable, it is the type of bike you want, it is in your size or you can modify it cheaply to fit well, then it could well be a good deal.

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    We got our teenage son a nice mountain bike that had been a bike shop rental. It was well maintained and did not appear to have much use. It was a good deal, about 60% of the retail $$. I changed the tires to Big Apples and put on salmon kool stop brake pads - didn't need to do this as neither were especially worn. He was going to commute to school with the bike.
    ride long & prosper

  11. #11
    Senior Member BikeNewEngland's Avatar
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    I have 3 year old Jamis Coda bikes for my touring company-- they are still like new, and are cleaned, touched up, checked out and adjusted before every new participant rides on them
    Gordon Harris
    www.bikenewengland.com

  12. #12
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post

    IMO, if someone is selling something, usually a reason. 200-5000 miles desciption leaves plenty to wonder about without anything close to specifics. Just my .02.
    odds are, as this is a rental company, they depreciate the rental units over an x year period. once the bike is depreciated to zero, it comes off of the books. so they sell it and reinvest the proceeds into the business.

  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    odds are, as this is a rental company, they depreciate the rental units over an x year period. once the bike is depreciated to zero, it comes off of the books. so they sell it and reinvest the proceeds into the business.
    Makes sense!

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