Getting around towns can be difficult and stressful. If you are used to walking it can be hard when you are running late to get there quicker. For people who use public transport if the bus or train is late it can ruin their entire day. And even the people who may think they have more freedom while driving their car can be frustrated by rush hour traffic. One alternative you may not have considered is travelling by bike. If you know how to buy a used town bike on eBay you will not only be able to enjoy the benefits of cycling but you will also be able to do so at a more affordable price.
Benefits of cycling
- How cycling benefits you
- No carbon emissions
- A pleasant way to take in the surrounding area
- Less likely to get caught in traffic
- Quicker than walking
- No need to find a place to park
- No need to worry about the bus or train not turning up. Alternatively you can often take the bike with you if you do need to use public transport
In short cycling offers a lot of benefits. It is also relatively low cost. Once you have purchased the bike itself you only need a few basic things like having the right puncture kit or a sports bottle for your drink.
The Right Bike
The right bike for town purposes differs from one that you would use on a dirt track or through a wooded area. There are a number of key differences to remember. While these ought to be clearly displayed in product specifications on eBay it is worth remembering a few simple differences.
Usually driven on roads or possibly around parks
Mountain bikes designed for woodland or dirt tracks
Fewer gears due to flatter surfaces
More gears due to steeper hills and bumpier surfaces
Thinner wheels for speed
Thick wheels to withstand bumps from obstacles
No need for suspension system as it will be mainly ridden along flatter surfaces
Suspension system designed for more shock
Talk About It
If you know friends or family who are keen cyclists it is worth discussing with them the kind of bike that they use and whether it is appropriate for you. They ought to be able to explain what things are right for your particular needs. Ideally you want to find people who mainly cycle through towns as they are more likely to have similar needs to yourself.
In other cases you may not know people who regularly cycle or if they do their particular style of cycling is better suited to racing or travelling through rougher terrain. If this is the case then you ought to look for product reviews from other eBay users. This is an effective way of learning more about the various manufacturers and the advantages and disadvantages of their particular products.
The right fit
Like clothes you need a bike that fits you. While it is possible to get replacement stems, pedals and so forth this can be quite inconvenient. You need to ensure that you have properly measured yourself so that you can get the equivalent bike for your height.
Most bikes ought to allow you to adjust the seat both in terms of its height and the angle. It ought to feel comfortable and you should not have to reach too far in order to hold the handlebars. As a general rule you need to remember to include an extra 2cm from your shoulder height in order to compensate for your reach.
One concern people may have when cycling for the first time is the danger of getting a puncture. A lot of bikes come with puncture kits so you ought to be able to repair them if need be. However if the bike does not come with a puncture kit then you need to look for a bike that includes flat protection as this reduces the risk of getting flat tyres.
It can be difficult to balance the need for a quicker ride with a smoother one. More lightweight materials such as aluminium can make a bike faster. However a more solid steel frame or carbon fibre can handle more shocks and may offer more protection from unexpected bumps on the road.
If you want speed and additional solidity titanium is the material for you. While this makes it more expensive than other materials it tends to be a sign of quality.
Can vary according to how the fibre is woven but often more solid than aluminium
More solid than aluminium
Solid and speedy
Some assembly required
When ordering from eBay the bike may arrive in various parts. If you are practically minded then you ought to be able to put them together yourself. There are also tuition videos available if you feel reasonably confident but wish for more advice before you try and put it together.
For maximum safety it is advisable to find a professional to assemble it for you. This will ensure that the bike is ready to take to the road.
Safety is something that is very important to remember when you are riding a bike through a town. Keeping to the rules and regulations of the road is not only legal but will also keep you and those around you safe. If possible try to leave before rush hour traffic and be wary of pedestrians and the traffic around you.
- If you ride at night make sure your lights are working and consider wearing a high visibility jacket so that vehicle drivers can see you.
- Do not go the opposite way of traffic or ignore traffic lights.
- Do not ride on the pavement
- If you are riding with children make sure they do not ride away from where you can see them
- Make sure you wear a safety helmet. This is especially important if you want to encourage your children to wear them.
Comparing options on eBay
eBay offers numerous options when it comes to choosing items from various sellers. The process for finding and buying items is relatively simple. Knowing how the process works can make it easier to find the items that you want to bid for or in some cases you may be able to choose the buy it now option where you can simply pay a price and take it away without getting involved in the bidding process.
- Go on the eBay website
- Look up a category such as town bikes
- If you know the manufacturer you want put their name in
- Look at customer reviews of the products
- Look at customer feedback of the sellers
- Check the product description of what they are selling
- Check the photographs
- Ask the seller any questions you may have
- Buy or bid on the product
- Receive product
Searching and reading reviews is one part of the process that is very important. It allows you to compare what is available and how close it is to your personal specifications. Ideally you want to find reviews that are detailed and written by people who are either in a similar situation to you or who offer advice that is relevant to your personal situation.
Checking the photographs is also something that needs to be done carefully. The photographs should be genuine. One indication that the photo is genuine is if the seller is pictured with the item. The item also should be shown from various angles so that you can get a closer look. Keep an eye out for any signs that bits have been painted over as this could be covering up rust or wear and tear. The product description should also clearly indicate the age of the bike and its current condition. If the description does not indicate shipping costs or a return policy then consider asking about that as well.
Once you are confident that you know the type of bike you want you can then look at the people who are selling them. eBay top sellers are the ones to look out for as these are the people who get consistent high ratings and positive feedback. They tend to be the people that offer quality products and deliver them promptly. Do not be afraid to contact sellers directly if you have any queries or concerns as they should be willing to answer them and give you reassurance before you make your purchase.
In short knowing how to buy a used town bike on eBay is about knowing what you want and checking carefully before you make your purchase. While getting something at an affordable price is worth doing it is equally worth taking your time and making sure that what you are buying is appropriate for your personal needs. Checking carefully and researching will ensure you get the town bike that is right for you.