Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-13-06, 11:16 AM   #1
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
2nd hand basics

Can anyone give any points about basic things to look out for and do when buying a secondhand bike, what tests I should run through, or perhaps point me to an existing thread (searched but did not find anything suitable)? eg turn bike upside down and check that wheels are aligned, no wobble etc


steveeg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-06, 12:40 PM   #2
San Rensho 
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,624
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
1st thing is to look for is frame damage. If its a steel bike, it will usually bend from a hard crash, not break. Look at the bike from the side and check to see if the forks are bent back. a straight line through the head tube should run straight down the middle of the upper 1/3 of the blades of the fork. (The upper 1/3 (approximately) is the part of the fork before the fork curves forward.)

Next, check the intersection of the tubes attaching to the head tube for any wrinkles, kinks or cracks. Look especially at the bottom of the down tube, thats where the majority of the forces are concentrated in a crash. Check all the connections between tubes for cracks or kinks.

Check the rear dropouts for cracks.

Aluminum tends to crack, rather than bend. Look at the same areas as above for cracks.

Ride the bike and see if it rides fairly straight, not pulling. See if you can ride with no hands, if you can't, probably something wrong. Go through all the gears, check the brakes.

Check the bearings in the hubs, bottom bracket and pedals for stiffness, loose can be fixed easily, stiff is usually more serious.

Lift the front wheel slightly and turn the bars. If you feel a notch and catch at dead center, the headset needs to be replaced.

Spin the wheel and look at a brake pad for reference (or the fork) to get an idea of true, same for the rear. Check the tension of spokes by squeezing two adjacent spokes, they should feel very tight. If they feel like guitar strings, no go.. On the front, the tension should be the same on both side of the wheel. On the rear, the freewheel side spokes will be very, very tight, on the other side, you will feel less tension but still tight.
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-06, 01:41 PM   #3
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
Retro Grouch's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.
Posts: 27,921
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Is it the right size?

If the bike doesn't fit it isn't a good deal regardless of price or equipment.
Retro Grouch is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:28 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.