The first and the most important step is to identify your goal (what do you want from a bicycle).
The main types of non-electric bicycles are:
- Mountain bike for forest / mountain trails.
- Road bike for long distance rides on paved surfaces.
- Hybrid bike is a mix of a mountain and a road bike.
- City (Classic) bike for city cycling.
Afterwards comes your budget. The prices for used bicycles in Germany (Dec. 2022) are outlined below:
- Mountain bike: 175-250€
- Road bike: 150-250€
- Hybrid bike: 100-150€
- City bike: 60-80€
*The main tip is not to fall for a low price. This can be a fraud. Look only on well-known websites such as eBay and Amazon or visit local bicycle shops to inform yourself about the average bicycle prices in your region.
Equally important is the size of a bicycle (Look at the diagram to choose the right frame size for you)
After deciding on the budget and the type of bicycle start searching everywhere possible. Try to find 3-5 bikes you like. Useful platforms for the search of second-hand bicycles in Germany are eBay (Kleinanzeigen) and Facebook Marketplace.
Meet and Negotiate
Here’s the things you should pay attention to:
- Chain Rings and Chain (Any rust present? Are the chain rings’ teeth in good condition?)
- Tires (Flat tires may have punctures; Ask to pump them up and check again)
- Wheels (Any broken spokes? Rust?)
- Frame (Check that it’s not bent, doesn’t have any holes)
- Brakes & Gears & Seat (Try to ride the bicycle. Check that brakes are working. Change the gears and see if the seat is comfortable)
- Lights (Check if they work)
Try to ask for a discount, if you have found bicycles in other regions cheaper or if some abrasions are present.
Seller and Buyer Agreement
It is advised to draw up a Seller and Buyer Contract with passport information of the seller. This is your security, which can help in case there would be any problems with the bicycle. You can find an example of Seller and Buyer Agreement for a bicycle below:
Moreover, check the bike number* on these websites to ensure the bike you want to buy was not stolen (for Germany):
*The bike number can be found behind the chain rings (Hint: Frame Number Example). Search for similar websites in your country.
I found my bicycle in the most unexpected place on Earth – ads stand in a grocery shop! The bicycle turned out to be exactly the one I was looking for (Type: City Bike, Wheel Diameter: 28 inches, 7 Gears).
But I told myself – no emotional purchase today. So I went home and made some research. Surprisingly I found that the prices of such bicycles are lower. That’s why I asked for a discount from 100 Euro (way over the average price) to 50 Euro (average). And the seller agreed!
The next days I was looking for a padlock for my bicycle. I found a reasonable one for 17 Euro and texted the seller. Here comes the most exciting part! We agreed to meet on a national holiday. So I went out earlier to withdraw some cash, however the supermarket with ATM machines was closed! These were the only ones in my district (I live in a small town). So I had to quickly figure out what to do…
I took 2 chocolate bars from home (worth 5 Euro) and 12 Euro, which I had in my wallet. After that I explained everything to the seller and he agreed to the deal! What a friendly guy!
I hope this purchase guide for used bikes was helpful for you.
Share your story in comments below and Good Luck with your purchase!