The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Bike Frame on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Bike Frame on eBay

When planning to buy a bike frame, eBay offers a variety of new frame or used frame sizes and styles for purchase consideration. When planning to purchase a used bike frame, it is important that any questions are asked directly to the buyer. Any specific questions may include how much the bike frame may have been used, if any parts on the bike frame have been replaced or if the bike frame has been in an accident.

eBay recommends that the buyer reads any information from the seller about the used bike frame and any potential limitations, damage or restrictions. This is to ensure awareness of any immediate repairs or future costs which may arise. eBay cannot be held responsible for any information when buying a used bike or any costs that may arise immediately following the purchase.

The bike frame is the main stability and structure of a bike and is generally made from metal or polymer materials. It is the materials which will determine the cost and strength. If the aim is to replace only the frame, and re-assemble an existing bike, or custom design a bike, flexible options are available to purchase either a used bike or a stand-alone used bike frame.

When purchasing a used bike frame the following issues need consideration

  • Who the bike is for in order to understand the right size
  • What roads or terrain are to be cycled on to determine the style and suitability
  • How the bike will be transported may affect the desired weight
  • The type of terrain to be covered may determine the shape of bike frame that would suit such as road bikes
  • The cyclist’s height would determine the type of frame, wheels and what it should be made from
  • In addition to a certain level of comfort, the budget will determine much of the decision-making about the bike

    Choosing the Right Type of Used Bike Frame

    Bike frames vary in terms of:

  • Size
  • Height
  • Length
  • Shape
  • Weight
  • Handlebars

    Questions to Consider When Buying the Right Type of used Bike Frames:

  • Is the bike to be used by an adult or a child?
  • Would the bike frame be for a man or a woman?
Does the bike need to be powerful and sturdy for covering long distances, comfortable for short leisure trips or the ultimate aerodynamic bicycle for competitive sport?

The many different types of bike frame are summarised in the table below.

Diamond Bicycle

A frame intended to lean forward over

Step-through Bicycle

Predominantly a ladies bike with a lower central frame in order to mount more easily


Generally a curved frame such as a cruiser bike

Recumbent Bicycle

The main frame is lower and infront of the seat so the posture is more reclined and relaxed


Somewhat rare where the cyclist rides with their body position forward and head lowered

Cross or girder

Where the bike tubes form the shape of a cross


Double top tube remodelled from original truss arch bridge bike design in 1910

Monocoque Bicycle

Translation as ‘single shell’ or one chassis

Folding bikes

Portable and space saving as literally foldable

Penny Farthing Bicycle

Tall large front wheel and small back wheel

Tandem Bike

Generally two cyclists share same frame sitting one behind the other with separate pedals

Bike Frame Materials

There are various different types of metal and strong materials from which the main bike frame is constructed which affect the strength, durability, weight, budget and weatherproof characteristics of the bike. The main bike frames are made from steel, aluminium, titanium, carbon fiber, thermoplastic or magnesium material.

Used steel bike frame

Strong, heavy and can offer shock-absorption varying in price from steel to alloy

Used Aluminium bike frame

Rigid but not generally as strong as steel although can be lighter

Used Titanium bike frame

Highly sought-after as light and strong but generally more expensive

Used Carbon fibre bike frame

Non-metal avoids rust, flexible to shape, light and strong but expensive and less robust


Plastic polymer moulded to a shape


Rarely produced but less strong than aluminium

Choosing a Suitable Frame Size

The frame and wheel sizes determine whether it is more suitable to a child, lady or male cyclist which may be available on eBay.

When standing astride the frame of a bicycle with the feet flat on the ground the cyclist should allow approximately 1” between the body and the top of the top tube. Children need to be able to stand with the balls of their feet on the ground and be able to reach the handlebars and the brakes for both comfort and safety.

The size of the bike frame needs to be assessed in order to avoid any discomfort and to allow full leg rotation with the use of the pedals. The cross bar is usually slanted forward diagonally for ladies to be able to mount easily.

The seat should be able to increase or reduce in height and be adjustable. The saddle seat height must only be raised until the safety grooves appear to avoid weakening the shaft.

An approximate guide to the suitable size of a bike is considered to be generally measured by the wheel size for children and the frame size and height for adults.

Buying Used Bike Frames Separately on eBay

Stand-alone bike frames can sometimes be purchased or sold separately on eBay as the central metal or polymer structure without having to purchase the wheels, seat and axle. They vary with different brand, materials and prices. The bike frame can be purchased as an independent item on eBay and can either be repaired by the purchaser, or potentially through a bicycle repair workshop. It is important to double-check that all the necessary spare parts are available to reassemble the bike effectively and safely.

Considering Bikes with Gears

Bicycles are made either with gears or without. The physical effort contributed by the cyclist can be significantly reduced when ascending or descending hills if the gears can be changed.

Gears can vary from road bikes not generally requiring gears covering flat hard road surfaces or recreation purposes to mountain bikes which generally have a wide range of gears for minimising the effort in ascending or descending sloping hills.

Bike Frame Handlebars

Handlebars can vary greatly in width and height and position or shape but are generally either raised or dropped. The lower position of the handlebars can change the centre of gravity of the cyclist to improve the streamlined position of the cyclists and cover long distances at speed. Most handlebars are slightly adjustable in terms of height and position for the cyclist’s comfort. 

  • For racing bikes the handlebars are usually much lower than the saddle
  • For road bikes the handlebars tend to be much higher than the saddle

Bike Repair Cost Considerations

It is important to review the information listed from a used bike seller carefully and with particular reference to any frame damage, rusting chains or frozen seat posts which may involve repair work with additional costs.

Budget Considerations when Buying a Bike Frame

Before setting out to buy a bike on eBay, the affordable budget should be considered. Generally a more expensive bike frame may have a better quality, durability and last beyond the average lifetime of a bicycle.

Buying a Used Bike Frame on eBay

eBay offers a wide variety of styles, prices and choices of frames and bicycles including new and used bikes for different uses of racing, commuting, leisure, sport and exercise or fun. The advantage of buying on eBay is the range of prices from a used frame or bicycle (which may have been rarely used, outgrown or no longer required) to new bike options.

Bike Frame Payment and Search Options

To search for bike frames, visit the Cycling portal. Alternatively the search box can be used to type in specific information relating to the requirements of the bike frame. For example the search box will enable a more accurate search for the specific type of bike frame or bike of interest. Look at the photographs from all angles of the bike frame or ask questions about any parts of the bike that cannot be seen or scrutinised.

How to Buy on eBay

Once the bike frame that meets all requirements has been selected, it’s time to consider how to buy. There are three choices:

  • Place a bid in order to buy at auction by the date that the seller has advised if you are the highest bidder
  • Buy It Now allows immediate purchase of the treadmill
  • Best Offer means the seller is prepared to accept Best Offers from buyers, possibly at a lower price than the Buy It Now price

Delivery and shipping information is provided by the seller and needs to be considered at point of bid or purchase, along with delivery insurance information.

Buying through PayPal will ensure the transaction proceeds directly between the seller and buyer. eBay users are protected by the Buyer Protection Programme.

It is recommended that you only purchase from sellers which are authorised through eBay. It can be convenient for both the seller and the purchaser if they are local to each other in proximity (so that the goods can be collected easily).

Bundles are sometimes offered where the listing on eBay may include the specific main core product such as the bike frame with one or two accessories offered to be included and built-in to the purchase price

Conclusion on Buying Used Bike Frames

When choosing how to buy a used bike frame the buyer must consider their individual needs for the type of material the frame is made from as well as the use of the bike, image and budget and the quality of the used bike.

The frames tend to be made from different types of metal including steel, aluminium and titanium with varying degrees of strength and weights which must be assessed.

The buyer must check directly with the seller regarding any previous accidents, damage or limitation to the bike.

eBay offers a wide variety of flexible options for cyclists to update, renew, or replace an existing bike or purchase a new or used bike and the guide and information to help with the buying decision.

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