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Inside the Certified Pre-Owned bike process

By Spencer Powlison


There's a big difference between a used bike and a Certified Pre-Owned bike. Every bike must pass through a rigorous six-step process before being listed for sale on The Pro's Closet's website. 

Here's a look at the process in detail, start to finish. As you'll see, our bike experts inspect and service every used road bike, used mountain bike — and any type of used bike — to make sure we can confidently sell it as Certified Pre-Owned  (CPO). You've got high standards, and we do too.

Bike wash

Washing a bike drivetrain
A bike’s journey (and they arrive daily from all over the country) begins at The Pro’s Closet's production facility. Our skilled intake technicians unbox and assemble each bike to prepare it for our rigorous reconditioning process. Once a bike is built, it awaits its turn in our tailor-made wash. This unique feature of our facility allows our intake techs to quickly and efficiently detail the wide variety of incoming products we handle every day. For instance, for something like stubborn drivetrain grease, the team utilizes an industrial-quality parts washer. This means our customers always receive sparkling-clean CPO bikes. But more importantly, this initial step sets the stage for an accurate inspection and service write-up of each and every bike that we receive.

Inspection and service writing

Checking a bike chain for wear
The service writing team is composed of true masters. They combine years of bike experience, deep knowledge of every brand, and up-to-the-minute familiarity with the latest bike technology. They are the gatekeepers to The Pro’s Closet’s CPO designation. The team assesses 141 different points of service, all necessary to achieve our high standards for resale. They not only inspect the structural integrity of each bike but also evaluate component wear for replacement. The service writing team works closely with the consumables team. They make sure the right parts are matched to the right bikes and prepped for our master technicians. They package any components that do not meet our standards (they’re marked for replacement), and they source pesky, missing or defective proprietary parts, ensuring that all CPO bikes are ready to ride, right out of the box.


Bike technician truing a used bike wheel
Our technicians form a dynamic team that applies their collective expert knowledge to get each bike up to our rigorous standards. This group is comprised of master technicians and line technicians. The master techs are responsible for preparing the bike for entry into our “line stations” by addressing any unique changes a bike might need — a new handlebar or dropper post, for instance. Then line techs then take the bike through the standard services that every single bike gets — wheel truing, shift tuning, for instance, and of course, a final quality control check.


Weighing a used bike
The Posting Team uses its extensive cycling knowledge to create our product listing pages. From individual components to bikes, it’s their job to accurately represent every product that comes across their desks. Using our comprehensive condition chart, the posting team paints a complete picture of each bike’s condition by grading the cockpit, wheels, frame, drivetrain, and tires for total transparency when you're shopping. Beyond assessing conditions, The posting team meticulously catalogs each frame’s geometry and measurements, to remove the guesswork from buying a bike without a test ride.


Used bike photography
It’s not uncommon for our customer experience team to have customers ask to see a photo of an actual bike, rather than what they thought was a stock photo on our site. No, those are the real thing! Our photo team’s industry-leading photo studio and photo processing standards bring each bike to life on our customers’ screens. With 12 photos per bike, from close-ups of minor imperfections to full bike photos that would hold up in any magazine, our photographers’ mission is to inspire confidence in every product we sell.


Packing a Certified Pre-Owned bike for shipmentWe are very proud of our Ridefast shipping experience. The shipping team has parlayed their years of bike-packing knowhow into a box design that helps get our customers out on their bikes in no time. Using strategically-placed custom packing materials and thorough knowledge of how to keep a bike safe and sound during transit, the shipping team ensures that each customer has a superior experience the minute their bike arrives. Most of our Certified Pre-Owned bikes can be assembled in a matter of minutes with tools provided in the box.

Shop used bikes

Note: The photos in this article were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rest assured that now all our employees are observing social distancing, wearing face covers, and disinfecting bikes as they are processed. Safety is our priority. Thank you for putting your trust in The Pro's Closet.

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