Best with a contract: This is how you can buy used bicycles

Buying a used bike can save you money.

Best with a contract: This is how you can buy used bicycles

Buying a used bike can save you money. Or fall on your face. Because without a test drive and a good checklist, defects can easily be overlooked. Buyers should pay attention to this.

You can look for a used bike in classified ads in newspapers and on the Internet - or in online auctions, flea markets and auctions by municipal lost and found offices. Here, however, a test drive can be difficult. Usually a little more expensive, but usually checked by a specialist are used bikes from the two-wheeler trade.

According to the ADAC, trustworthy providers can be recognized by the fact that they speak openly about existing damage to the bike. It is also a good sign if providers can state the age of the bike or which parts have been replaced, for example. Interested parties can also query the number of previous owners. In the best case, there is a purchase invoice.

Be careful with a remarkably low price: it could be a stolen bike. And that can end up being annoying for the buyer: if the actual owner of the bike reports, it has to be returned to him - and in case of doubt the money is gone.

When inspecting the wheel, look for rust spots or severe scratches. The front and rear wheels must run in one line. The bike should slide easily and the bottom bracket should rotate smoothly. Care should be taken with small cracks in the weld seams: These can expand into a frame fracture.

Once the bike has passed the first check, it's time for a test ride. The brakes should be tested extensively here. It also makes sense to shift into all gears once and check whether they can be engaged properly. You can also test whether the suspension of the bike meets your own requirements by driving around the block. Even if it is bright, check that the light is working both in front and behind.

If you want to take the bike home with you, you should ask for the original documents for the bike to be handed over, such as the invoice for the first purchase and repair invoices. Also important: conclude a written sales contract. The engraved frame number of the bicycle should be noted here as well as the name of the seller and his ID card number.

The ADAC also advises showing the seller's identity card and, in the best case, having a copy given. If the used bike was stolen and has to be returned, you can contact the seller and ask for your money back. A detailed description of the bike in the purchase contract can also help to understand subsequent defects.

By the way: If the purchase contract does not expressly exclude liability for material defects, private sellers are liable for all defects that were already present when the bike was handed over. Dealers cannot completely rule out liability for material defects. You are liable for defects in the bike for at least one year. The ADAC provides sample sales contracts for private suppliers.

(This article was first published on Saturday, May 07, 2022.)


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