The Better For Riding With
After last week’s tongue-in-cheek story about 5 Reasons NOT To Buy A New Bike Online In Singapore, I was given the idea for a follow-up story on why you should buy a used bike instead. Of course, chief amongst the reasons would be price. But there’s also:
- More value for money
As mentioned by the TGP member who goes by the nickname albatross, very often, the used bike you are eyeing has had component upgrades or replacements, often with parts from higher-performing groups.
So unless you have a problem with getting more for your money, you’ll appreciate not needing to shell out your hard-saved money for better performance.
- Already depreciated
Because of the big-hit from first-ownership, you’ll often end up with a bargain. No matter how pristine the paint-job or delightful the ride is, you have grounds to bargain.
Bonus points if it’s a carbon frame or part, because of the paranoia that surrounds most carbon, even though carbon has become the material-of-choice when it comes to building high-performance parts like super-sports cars, the space shuttle, high-end boats, fishing rods, surf boards, motorcycles, and what have you.
- Mix and matchability
Don’t like what comes with the bike? Part it out and sell it on. There’s no need to live with a part that’s below your expectations or the wrong colour. Basically once you’ve entered used-parts territory, there’s no such thing as over-attachment. You’ll learn to see the bike for what it is – an assortment of parts made to hang off a frame.
- Not So Precious
Which brings me to this next point: you are less likely to treat a used bike as though it’s your new baby if you bought it used.
New-bike owners want their honeymoon periods to last forever. So they go to great pains to ride the bikes on pillow-studded trails and agonise over taking their rides out in the rain or mud. How many of you make your new bikes spend their lives on park connectors?
But when you buy a used bike, you probably won’t feel quite the same way about it. It’s a bike! It’s. For. Riding!
If you get in an accident, you won’t worry more about the bike than you do about yourself. Bikes and parts can be replaced. Your body can’t. And that’s how it should be.
Reward your buddies
- Help your friends help you help them
As albatross also said, when you buy used, you’re more likely to sell and buy more used parts from your buddies. And you’ll end up, more or less, with a bin of used parts that you’ll share with your riding buddies.
And givers gain from giving. If you need, say, a 50mm stem to see if it can improve your bike handling skills, you can count on one of your buddies having the exact part you are looking for. Should you require a smaller 160mm rotor for your rear wheel, it’s more than likely that someone you know has upgraded his front rotor and has one in his parts bin. Sharing is caring, yo!
Now that’s all said and done, there’s some reasons why you may not – used can be a hassle.
Have you ever been online and saw someone list a component you really wanted just moments ago, at an unbelievable price? Then you messaged the seller and hoped you would be the first to have got through to him.
Or maybe you were the 6th person but you offered a good price, so the seller told you he’d reserve the part for you.
Except that when it was time to meet the guy up to transact, he refused to answer your messages or pick up your calls. Chances are, he received an even better offer and didn’t honour your reservation – didn’t even message you to let you counter offer. B*stard!
Cash and carry – when to cash and when to carry
And there is the matter of the transaction itself. Apart from latecomers, there’s the question of handling the cash over at exactly the same time the part is handed over. And deposits. And inspecting the part or bike when it’s time to transact. Let’s face it, having to deal with sellers and buyers is a hassle, unless you know how to buy and sell safely.
That’s not going to buff off
Lastly there’s the spectre of having a used component or frame break on you due to previous abuse or defects that were invisible during initial inspections. Who can you go to for redress? If you met a nice seller, you’ll get maybe a few days personal warranty.
But… good luck trying to claim it! Once the cash is handed over, the seller will likely disappear into anonymity once again … unless you buy from your kaki network, lah. All the more reasons to join a cycling group!