Important considerations when buying a used bicycle

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I am writing this guide to offer other members some advice on how to stay safe, and ensure you are getting what you expect when buying a used bicycle. I am aiming this guide at the casual buyer, I have tried to keep it as simple as possible.q There are a number of important things to be aware of when collecting a used bicycle. There is a frame number stamped on the base of the frame, below the crank. Frame numbers come in a variety of shapes and formats. It is important to look at the frame number, and ensure that it has not been tampered with. It is also important to ask a bit about the history of the bike, how long has the seller had the bike? What is the reason for the sale?. Okay so they are the fundamentals, what about the mechanical considerations. There are many things to mention but I will try to list the most important things. Check that both of the wheels are straight and that the tyres are good. To do this lift each wheel off the ground, and spin them one at a time.  Once happy, move on to the brakes, do they feel firm and in good order, also check for leaks. Satisfy your self that they work as they should. Now move on to the chain and gears. A useful small tool is a chain wear indicator. By using this tool it will give you an idea of how much use the bike has had. If you don't have this tool, look at the chain, is it rusted, look at the chain wheel teeth, do they look worn. Ask the seller about the bikes usage and storage. Rust is an indicator that the bike might not have been looked after very well. Bicycles use bearings to work. There are two key areas to check for issues. First go to the crank and check for left to right movement if facing towards the front of the bike. There should be no movement left to right. If there is movement, known as play, this could be a problem. Now do the same for the wheels. Again, there should be no left to right movement. Probably the final check is that the forks, and or shocks are working as they should. Compress the forks and shock, check that the lock out is working if there is one. Different bikes have different parts, not all of these points apply to all bikes. I hope that this helps you in some way, and thanks for reading. 
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