Second hand bike under $300

Amyiee00
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Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:58 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm new here, and unfortunately don't know much about bikee, but I have done some basic research. I've had a cheap kmart bike for many years, but recently hired a bike to ride around and enjoyed how much easier it was to ride. Hence, I am interested in buying a better-than-kmart bike, where the gears ACTUALLY work.

Through some research, I've narrowed it down to a hybrid bike, and looking at Norco, Merida, and Giant? I'm a small 5'2" girl, 47kg.
The purpose of this bike is just to be able to have a nicer ride around parks like Bicentennial park. Will ride once a month (realistically).

I know that people say it's better off spending more on a nicer bike for a better ride, etc, but at the moment, I'd like to start with a budget second hand bike to gauge my enthusiasm. If I do stick to riding and end up doing it more often, I may look further but otherwise, I dont want to risk not riding and wasting money.

I'm based in Sydney, and have found a couple on gumtree - could I please get your thoughts? Any helpful input would be appreciated :D

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/neutral ... 1186390507
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hornsby ... 1185508958

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Ivanerrol
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Ivanerrol » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:14 am

I.M.H.O.

Go and see Reid Cycles. They have brand new bikes with warranty for the price you are asking or not much more.

I'm leery of buying "like new" bikes that have been barely ridden. They always require attention and a $100. visit to the local bike shop alters the cheap price upwards over the original budget.

Others may have a differing opinion.
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:56 am

Also Polygon from Bicycles Online. A problem with second hand is that you don't get a warranty, there could be issues (which are costly to repair) and unless you know bikes, it is easy to get a lemon.

An alternative is get a friend onboard who knows bikes and can help you make the right choice. I have done this for others and can set them on the right path.

I agree on setting a budget... smart move.

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby bychosis » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:08 am

I think second hand is a great way to get a quality bike. Lots of people start out with good intentions, spend up and then sell after they decide that riding is not for them, or upgrade after a short while if they get the bug.

Either of those bikes seem in good condition and there are probably plenty more out there.

Overall a bike is a simple machine and you should be able to tell with a quick test ride if everything is working properly. with a modicum of mechanical ability you can learn how to fix and adjust most things easily too. Some things will require assistance or special tools, but a brand name bike shouldn’t need it like a Kmart bike will.

IMO $300 for a second hand bike is a healthy budget and with patience you should find a great bike that doesn’t need repairs. I’ve bought plenty of cheaper second hand bikes and not had any dramas with them, but they tend not to be as shiny!
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby twowheels » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:08 am

Either, but be aware of the different method of gearing. The red bike has a 3 spd internal hub. Less maintenance, but if something goes wrong potentially expensive. The white bike uses derailleur gears. May need occasional maintenence. If something goes wrong replacement possibly not too expensive with potential to upgrade quality.
If you know someone who can give the bike a quick once over it would be good, eg check bearings for play/binding, wheels true, brakes, gears.
Either is a quality brand that a bike shop will service.
Enjoy.

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:39 am

Buying used is a better way to get bang-for-buck. Have found this :

Image

in Macquarie Park which is similar to the Norco you'd listed, but more realistically priced. Is a hybrid type bike with 7sp at the rear. Appears to be in good condition but with the better price, makes a visit to the LBS (local bike shop) far more viable, and would recommend this moving forward. $130 for the bike, $120 at the LBS for service, cables and maybe tubes, and there's a nice bike for $250.

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/macquarie-park/women-s-bicycles/norco-rideau-women/1184424499

Will be similar in quality to a similar Reid bike, perhaps slightly better. The red Merida listed is a nice enough entry-level bike but the 3sp Nexus can be a bit demanding for lighter/newer riders with big gaps between each gear.
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:08 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Also Polygon from Bicycles Online. A problem with second hand is that you don't get a warranty, there could be issues (which are costly to repair) and unless you know bikes, it is easy to get a lemon.

An alternative is get a friend onboard who knows bikes and can help you make the right choice. I have done this for others and can set them on the right path.

I agree on setting a budget... smart move.


I've sort of heard about Polygon bikes. . . are they on the same level as Flight bikes? I noticed rebelsport are selling Flight bikes at around half price as I believe they are moving towards not selling bikes anymore. I googled this and a post came up from a couple of years ago about someone enquiring around Flight and Polygon bikes. What are your thoughts on the Flight ones?

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:20 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote: more realistically priced. Is a hybrid type bike with 7sp at the rear. Appears to be in good condition but with the better price, makes a visit to the LBS (local bike shop) far more viable, and would recommend this moving forward. $130 for the bike, $120 at the LBS for service, cables and maybe tubes, and there's a nice bike for $250.
The red Merida listed is a nice enough entry-level bike but the 3sp Nexus can be a bit demanding for lighter/newer riders with big gaps between each gear.


Oh yes! I did see that one, but mustve missed it in my bookmarking! Is there anything in particular/ red flags you think I should look out for if I go to inspect it?

By "big gaps between each gear" for the Merida, do you mean the twisting part at the handlebar? Thanks :D

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:21 pm

Thank you everyone for your input so far! I'm blown away by all your responses :D

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby RobertL » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:31 pm



By "big gaps between each gear" for the Merida, do you mean the twisting part at the handlebar? Thanks :D



No - that's just the gear selector. What 10speed means is that the bike has 3 gears in the rear hub. When you are pedalling along in the easiest gear, and you start travelling faster, you will want to change up to the second gear. There is quite a difference in the ratio between the two gears, so you will go from pedalling fast in the lower gear to pedalling really slowly in the next gear. Then you might speed up some more and do it all again when you choose the highest gear.

And the reverse will apply when you change down to an easier gear.

Those big changes in pedalling speed (cadence - to be technical) are quite uncomfortable. You will spend a lot of time either pedalling a bit faster than you want or a bit slower than you want for any chosen road speed.

The bike that 10speed showed has a lot more gears. This means that the gear ratios increase/decrease in smaller jumps so you have smaller changes in pedalling cadence and it's more comfortable and more efficient.
Image

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:43 pm

RobertL wrote:



No - that's just the gear selector. What 10speed means is that the bike has 3 gears in the rear hub. When you are pedalling along in the easiest gear, and you start travelling faster, you will want to change up to the second gear. There is quite a difference in the ratio between the two gears, so you will go from pedalling fast in the lower gear to pedalling really slowly in the next gear. Then you might speed up some more and do it all again when you choose the highest gear.

And the reverse will apply when you change down to an easier gear.

Those big changes in pedalling speed (cadence - to be technical) are quite uncomfortable. You will spend a lot of time either pedalling a bit faster than you want or a bit slower than you want for any chosen road speed.

The bike that 10speed showed has a lot more gears. This means that the gear ratios increase/decrease in smaller jumps so you have smaller changes in pedalling cadence and it's more comfortable and more efficient.


Oh I get it! Thank you so much for the explanation, makes a lot of sense. Seems like the one 10speed linked might be the way to go :mrgreen:

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:51 pm

Amyiee00 wrote:
10speedsemiracer wrote: $120 at the LBS for service, cables and maybe tubes, and there's a nice bike for $250.


Do you think that price will include changing the chain? If now, whats the price range? I've asked the person selling the Macquarie Park bike, and I've been told it was purchased 2014, ridden to and fro shopping trips. Chain has some rust, but otherwise no damage. What are your thoughts?

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Philistine » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:52 pm

Amyiee00 wrote:....Seems like the one 10speed linked might be the way to go :mrgreen:


10speed's bike looks like value, but I am not sure I'd be taking it in to the LBS and spending more money until you have ridden it a bit. If the cycling bug really bites you, you are likely to get an attack of upgraditis fairly soon, and it will be easier to unload a bike that owes you $130 than one that is into you for $250.

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby RobertL » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:59 pm

Amyiee00 wrote:
Amyiee00 wrote:
10speedsemiracer wrote: $120 at the LBS for service, cables and maybe tubes, and there's a nice bike for $250.


Do you think that price will include changing the chain? If now, whats the price range? I've asked the person selling the Macquarie Park bike, and I've been told it was purchased 2014, ridden to and fro shopping trips. Chain has some rust, but otherwise no damage. What are your thoughts?


Chains don't often get damaged, although it can happen. They need to be changed when they stretch through lots of kilometres of usage. I don't think that any of those bikes will be in that situation :)

A bit of surface rust will come off with a clean and re-lube. All of which will be included in a bike shop service. Or to save money you can easily do that yourself. Hint: YouTube bike maintenance videos can be a big help for everything from the most simple to the more complicated.
Image

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:03 pm

Amyiee00 wrote:
10speedsemiracer wrote: more realistically priced. Is a hybrid type bike with 7sp at the rear. Appears to be in good condition but with the better price, makes a visit to the LBS (local bike shop) far more viable, and would recommend this moving forward. $130 for the bike, $120 at the LBS for service, cables and maybe tubes, and there's a nice bike for $250.
The red Merida listed is a nice enough entry-level bike but the 3sp Nexus can be a bit demanding for lighter/newer riders with big gaps between each gear.


Oh yes! I did see that one, but mustve missed it in my bookmarking! Is there anything in particular/ red flags you think I should look out for if I go to inspect it?

By "big gaps between each gear" for the Merida, do you mean the twisting part at the handlebar? Thanks :D


Ok, sorry I wasn't overly clear. With the Merida (or any similarly equipped bike), when changing from 1st gear (easiest) to 2nd gear, the effort required to get your legs spinning to an acceptable rate (cadence) without straining is higher than for a bike with more gears. And 3rd gear on these (Shimano Nexus3 hubs) is almost unusable. And as someone else has mentioned, if they go wrong they can be expensive to repair. If a normal geared bike has a gear issue is usually much easier and cheaper to resolve unless it's a catastrophic event.

When looking at a prospective bike, look for anywhere where the tubing doesn't look nice and tubular.
Looking for significant dents, kinks or cracking, especially where tubing meets other tubing.
The rear tubes (the thinner ones) should be parallel to each other and nice and straight. Same with serious rust, especially rust where tubes meet other tubes. These are the big issues and can affect the structural integrity of the frame, and therefore the safety of the rider. If any of these issues present themselves, walk away.

The rubber bits in the brakes (brake pads) that make contact with the wheel rims (the smooth shiny surface just under the tyre) should be nice, chunky and even in width. Work the brake levers and gear shifters. Brake levers should be nice and firm (but not too firm) and not squeeze in too far.

Sit on the bike, take it for a test ride if you can. Bounce it around a bit, listen for noises and trust your instincts. If it looks like a neglected bike, it probably is.
Lift each end of the bike and spin each wheel, listening and feeling for any grindy, lumpy type noises or vibrations. If present, it may (probably) mean bearings need re-greasing or replacing. Also watch the wheels while they're spinning, do they spin straight or is there a kink (called out of true) ? Not a big deal, but means an added expense.
Do the same with the pedals. They should spin easily and relatively quietly (although not expensive to replace). Same for the handlebar. Lift the front of the bike slightly with one hand, turn the handlebar with one hand on the stem (the middle bit) feeling for the same. Again, if lumpy or noisy, means bearings need re-greasing or replacing. Not a big job, but is an indicator of the the bike's maintenance history (or lack thereof).

Last bit. If the seller asks to meet somewhere other than a residential address, be wary. Lots of bikes get stolen, and occasionally make their way on to Gumtree and similar, although a lot also end up in 2nd hand stores.

If you know anyone who rides or is familiar with bikes, take them along. A second set of eyes can be good value.

Good luck.
Last edited by 10speedsemiracer on Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:07 pm

Aaaand I've just seen that everyone else has chimed in with what I've written so, sorry for the essay.
I would still recommend a service at the LBS, even just for safety. Is possible that the Macquarie Park bike has the original tubes (in the tyres) and cables from 2014 in there, and probably even the original brake pads which isn't great for brake response. Notwithstanding the economics of a $120 service on a $130 bike, the process will give you peace of mind and help you to enjoy riding the bike even more.
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:00 pm

Avoid flight bikes - they are from a general sports store but the bikes are generic and you usually can't get servicing or the type of skilled sales assistance as from a real bike store.

Polygon are better than Flight... but it also depends on the level (price / spec).

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote:If the seller asks to meet somewhere other than a residential address, be wary. Lots of bikes get stolen, and occasionally make their way on to Gumtree and similar, although a lot also end up in 2nd hand stores.

If you know anyone who rides or is familiar with bikes, take them along. A second set of eyes can be good value.

Good luck.


Thank you so much for all the tips! I will definitely use them when I inspect the bike. Unfortunately, I dont know anyone who's familiar with bikes, hence asking on this forum, but I'll bring a friend along to tell me their gut feeling hahaha

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:52 pm

RobertL wrote:Chains don't often get damaged, although it can happen. They need to be changed when they stretch through lots of kilometres of usage. I don't think that any of those bikes will be in that situation :)

A bit of surface rust will come off with a clean and re-lube. All of which will be included in a bike shop service. Or to save money you can easily do that yourself. Hint: YouTube bike maintenance videos can be a big help for everything from the most simple to the more complicated.


Thank you! I'm a bit noob with fixing mechanical things, so I might get it serviced once just to be safe and know nothing's been missed. After that, I'll hopefully be able to pick up on anything that might be off, and can give it a go myself :D

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:06 pm

Some of the advice here is a bit over the top for a lady who simply wants to buy a bike to ride. To advise that hub gears may be more troublesome than derailleur gears is ridiculous. Hub gears are foolproof and perfect for ladies bikes.
Anyway, Amy have a look on Ebay ..type in Electra Townie or Electra Amsterdam. None local but have a look. I bought my gf an orange Townie, 7 speed in perfect condition for $250 in Croydon, Sydney. Its great. The ultimate in my opinion is an Amsterdam with 8 speed hub gears. Hard to find but they are around. These are lightweight aluminium bikes, not heavy Chinese steel junk.
I dont live in Sydney otherwise I would offer to help you look at something and do any minor adjustments for you. Taking a bike for a $120 service at a bike shop is over the top in my opinion. Surely someone on here can do some minor adjustments for free? How many people on here live in Sydney? Thousands.

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:18 pm

Hi guys,
so after discussing with my folks, they're interested in a second hand bike, too! hahaha. They'll be using it for the same purpose as me - the occasional day out at a park, and same budget :)

So, I had another browse online, and came across these- what are your thoughts? Pa is 5'8" about 78kg. Would prefer not getting a bike that requires a lot of bending forwards, as he has a bad back.
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/blackto ... 1186366906
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/bondi/m ... 1183416193
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/thornle ... 1181964570
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/woodfor ... 1181300809 (never heard of this brand but. . it looks pretty lol)

And Ma is around my size, a tad taller at 5'4", and would prefer a bike with a lower thing so it's easier to get on :)
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/lane-co ... 1186389720
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hornsby ... 1185508958
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/north-s ... 1186699164
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/gymea/w ... 1173298463

They're not as fit, so I remember someone saying something about the different gears, and how some require more effort - would you guys be able to check these out for me? I really appreciate all your help so far! :D

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Amyiee00 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:22 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Anyway, Amy have a look on Ebay ..type in Electra Townie or Electra Amsterdam. None local but have a look. I bought my gf an orange Townie, 7 speed in perfect condition for $250 in Croydon, Sydney. Its great. The ultimate in my opinion is an Amsterdam with 8 speed hub gears. Hard to find but they are around.


I just did a search, but as you said, there isn't anything local. Are there any other recommendations you have? :)

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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:59 am

Amyiee00 wrote:..
Thank you so much for all the tips! I will definitely use them when I inspect the bike. Unfortunately, I dont know anyone who's familiar with bikes, hence asking on this forum, but I'll bring a friend along to tell me their gut feeling hahaha


No problem, and I know it sounds like a lot to check but in reality will only take a short while and doesn't require any tools or disassembly. I'm in Melb otherwise would offer to help out with checking it out and tuning it up for you.
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:22 am

Derny Driver wrote:Some of the advice here is a bit over the top for a lady who simply wants to buy a bike to ride. To advise that hub gears may be more troublesome than derailleur gears is ridiculous. Hub gears are foolproof and perfect for ladies bikes.
Anyway, Amy have a look on Ebay ..type in Electra Townie or Electra Amsterdam. None local but have a look. I bought my gf an orange Townie, 7 speed in perfect condition for $250 in Croydon, Sydney. Its great. The ultimate in my opinion is an Amsterdam with 8 speed hub gears. Hard to find but they are around. These are lightweight aluminium bikes, not heavy Chinese steel junk.
I dont live in Sydney otherwise I would offer to help you look at something and do any minor adjustments for you. Taking a bike for a $120 service at a bike shop is over the top in my opinion. Surely someone on here can do some minor adjustments for free? How many people on here live in Sydney? Thousands.


Agree with what you are saying but was specifically talking about the Nexus3 being a less enjoyable riding experience than something with more, better spaced gearing. An 8sp Alfine would be much better but I didn't see any. I also don't live in Sydney however would have been happy to tune up a bike for OP. Didn't however think it was my place to throw that possibility out there and create an expectation in OP's mind only for no-one to put their hand up.
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Re: Second hand bike under $300

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:15 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:Agree with what you are saying but was specifically talking about the Nexus3 being a less enjoyable riding experience than something with more, better spaced gearing. An 8sp Alfine would be much better but I didn't see any. I also don't live in Sydney however would have been happy to tune up a bike for OP. Didn't however think it was my place to throw that possibility out there and create an expectation in OP's mind only for no-one to put their hand up.

cheers mate, all good :D

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