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Buying & selling

Buying a Bike?

What sort of bike should I buy from Preloved?

As a beginner cyclist and a first-time buyer, the bike market can be quite a daunting place to shop. Words like hybrid bike, road bike, racer, fixed gear, suspension and mountain bike can easily lead you to overwhelming confusion; resulting in the inevitable question: ‘which one is right for me? ‘

Fear not, because here at Preloved we’ve put together a guide on what sort of bike you should be looking for. Whether it’s a speedy racer, a vintage classic or an off-road beast, you can save hundreds of pounds by going second hand, and more often than not, this way you’ll get a much better bike than you would if you were buying a new one.

Read on to find out all about the different types of bikes out there, and buying the right bike for your needs.

The vintage ride – is a bygone bike for me?

Vintage bikes, or classic bikes as they’re also known, have a wide appeal to a large group of cyclists of all ages. Their cool continental looks, their simple no-nonsense construction and their easy ride means that vintage bikes are often a no-brainer for young city-clickers and experienced cycling connoisseurs.

You can usually get a good first-time vintage or classic bike for anything between £50 – £200; the higher end being restored versions and collectibles. If you don’t mind an old rust-bucket, pick up a cheapo for less than £70, but expect to pay a bit on new tyres, components and brake cables etc. It always needs to be safe to ride, especially on the road.

This Vintage Peugeot Elite Racer is currently listed at £160 and comes with new tyres and a full restoration job, making it good to go straight away.

Pro tip: be wary of gear shifters; expect them to be mounted on the down tube, which can take a bit of getting used to when riding an older bike for the first time.

The racer – what to expect from a road bike

For the speed demons out there, or those wanting to get into racing, a road bike is the only option. Built with speed and lightness in mind, road bikes are designed to go fast and tackle hard climbs as well as handling technical descents. These are the bikes you see on the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, built to race and super light.

So if you think you’ll be riding hard, entering long-distance sportives or trying to beat personal records, then a road bike is the best for you. Be sure to check the frame size to make sure it matches up to your height, and look for any tyre damage/wear as with all bikes.

The Specialized Allez is a popular mid-entry level road bike and will see you through a good few years – if not more – of quality road cycling.

Mountain bike guide

If getting off road and muddy is your sort of thing, and you prefer the uncertainty of the rubble and dirt, then a mountain bike is the one for you.  With suspension, thick dirt tyres and robust frames, mountain bikes are tough, rough and ready for any terrain. If you’re the sort of person that would take a hillside dirt-path over the straight and narrow, then look no further than these bikes.

Suspension is the one thing that really affects the price in a mountain bike, if you go for both front and rear, you can soon rack up a substantial bill. Go for no suspension and you could find yourself on a bit of a bumpy ride. We suggest going for a ‘hard tail’, which is a bike with just front suspension.

This Specialized Rockhopper is a great hard tail listed at only £125.

Make the right choice for you

Remember, try not to be too influenced when buying a bike, you have to think about what you’ll be using it for yourself.  Imagine where you’ll ride, and how far, once you find the perfect bike for you, you’ll be inseparable! Have a look to see what second hand bikes you can find in your area today!

Liv Serrage

Liv Serrage

Writer and expert

Liv writes the newsletters and looks after the Preloved social media community, hunting out the quirkiest, most beautiful items on site just for you! As an English Language and Literature graduate from the University of Oxford, Liv is passionate about all things fictional, bookish and creative. In her spare time, she loves to go to gigs and scour vintage and charity shops for one off items!