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7 Reasons to NOT Buy a Used Bike

Can you actually be happy riding a used bike? Bob doesn't think so. These are all the reasons that riders like Bob think buying a brand new bike is the better option for smart shoppers.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Fun

I went riding with a friend — let’s call him “Bob” — and Bob just bought himself a brand new bike. It's shiny and clean, as if it came straight off the factory floor. 

“Nice bike!” I said when I rolled up.

“Thanks,” Bob replied. “Sorry, I would have bought a bike from TPC, but I don’t buy used bikes.”

Bob didn’t need to apologize to me. He can buy a bike from whoever and wherever he wants. But the explanation he used — “I don’t buy used bikes” — got me thinking. Why would a cyclist be against buying used? Here are some potentially good reasons. 

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1. You want to support your awesome local bike shop

TPC Retail location bike shopThis is a great reason to buy a new bike! If you have a local bike shop you enjoy visiting, buying a new bike from them is one of the best ways to support them. It helps keep them in business and builds your relationship with them. Often, if you buy a new bike from a good shop, they’ll hook you up with accessories and services. 

Bob bought his latest new bike from Awesome Bike Shop USA (name changed for anonymity) and couldn’t be happier. He is best friends with all the shop techs and they throw him shakas whenever he sees one of them out on a ride.  

Just know that not all bike shops are created equal. A couple of years ago, Bob bought a brand new bike from Judgy Bike Bros (name changed for anonymity) and had such a bad experience he didn’t want to go back to get his new bike serviced.

That’s okay, I was able to lure him over to the TPC retail location to get his bike fully serviced with the promise of good vibes and a guaranteed 48-hour turnaround. Mwa-ha-ha-ha, I’m so devious.     

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2. You can easily pay retail prices

New bike retail prices are too highBob doesn’t care that bikes are getting more expensive. He's the type who pays full retail for everything without question. $14,000 for an S-Works Tarmac? Yeah, chump change for Bob. He gets new model-year bikes right when they’re available. He doesn’t have to wait and gets exactly what he wants. I am horribly envious of Bob.  

If regular people like me want to buy new, we have to wait for hot sales (and there are a few out there right now!). While we can get deals on new bikes, we might struggle to find the exact size, color, or spec that we really want. To get the perfect bike, shopping for used bikes is usually my best option.

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3. You don’t care about depreciation

Bike depreciation really sucksThe moment you drive ride your bike off the lot, it loses half its value, right? Well, it is not really that bad, but bike depreciation is real, and the amount a new bike depreciates comes as a shock to many bike owners. I mean, it’s why used bikes are often a better deal. 

For most of us, buying used makes the constantly declining value of our goods sting just a little bit less. Bob buys new bikes with the understanding that it might hurt more when it comes time to sell. Bob doesn't care. He likes the pain. 

4. You enjoy putting in that first scratch yourself

I hope I crash and scratch up my brand new bikeSpeaking of Bob liking pain, nothing gets his juices going like laying down his flawless new bike and accidentally scratching the paint. Oh yeah, it hurts so good. 

If he bought a used bike, it would probably come with some scuff and chips. Where’s the fun in that? You haven’t felt true exhilaration until you’ve taken something pristine and beautiful and then felt the agonizing heartbreak of “ruining” it with a scratch. It’s like setting the Mona Lisa on fire. What a rush. 

5. You have to ride the latest and greatest tech

The newest bike tech will make me fastRiding a bike released LAST YEAR? With such outdated and obsolete equipment, how can Bob possibly compete with all the other MAMILS on his weekly Sunday cruise — err, I mean — race.

Not only will he be 0.0000001% slower (maybe), but he’ll never be able to live down getting dropped because his bike isn’t what next year’s Tour de France winner will be riding. It’s clearly the bike’s fault

6. You’re afraid of cooties

Buy a used bike it's not grossSomeone else, perhaps a complete stranger, has ridden this bike before me!? Ewwwww. No thanks. Virgin bikes only, please.

I think this is the main reason Bob doesn’t buy used. He likes all of his things to be his and his alone. He doesn’t buy used cars either. His house is a new build. And he even refused to split a bag of gummies with me when we stopped for gas station snacks during our ride. Apparently, digging through the bag with my sweaty hands to find all the orange gummies was “gross.” 

7. You fear the unknown

I get it. Who knows how that used bike was treated by its previous owner? That guy on Craigslist or Facebook claiming his bike is “mechanic owned,” is he even legit? We’ll never know.

I tried to tell Bob that TPC bikes are different because they’re Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). That means every bike goes through a full 141-point inspection and gets fully serviced and/or repaired by a team of professional bike mechanics. I even made this video to show him:

“Don’t care,” Bob said. “Look at how many mechanics touch that one bike. Cooties everywhere!”   

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Seriously, though, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a brand new bike. I like new bikes too. I buy new AND used. Even though TPC specializes in servicing and selling Certified Pre-Owned bikes, we carry new bikes too because there are plenty of customers who prefer them.

But don’t sleep on Certified Pre-Owned bikes. They come with 30-day returns, and guaranteed buyback for 18 months so you can buy with confidence.

Not only does shopping used provide more value so you can get your dream bike for less, but it helps keep good bikes rolling. Nothing is greener than riding a bike that already exists, and that’s a major reason why we love used bikes so much.   

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