Your Guide to Buying a Town Bike on eBay

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Your Guide to Buying a Town Bike on eBay

Buying a bike can sometimes be a confusing a lengthy process, especially if unsure what the exact specifications that are required in the buying process. eBay offers a plethora of bicycle options, from mountain bikes, to town and road bikes, bikes for children and numerous bicycle accessories. Their website payment services are completely safe and secure and they offer a great deal of advice on how to buy and sell items affectively. This guide will give you a simple, easy to read introduction into buying a town bike and how to do this on eBay.

What is a Town Bike?

Typically a Town Bike would be described as:

  • A lightweight bicycle frame, the lightest being a mere 14lb, combined with thin smooth tyres, a comfortable riding position and handlebars that allow different sitting positions for the diversity of city roads.
  • There are however, numerous variations on all components of the bicycle that allow changes to terrain, bicycle structure and material, riding position, weight and aesthetics.

This guide will ask a few questions to make sure that the search for a bike that is suitable for your desired purpose, fitness and size, whilst ensuring it is also within budget is an easy process.

What Are They Made From?

Town bikes will, the majority of the time, be constructed from a carbon, aluminium or titanium matter since they create light and durable frames. They all offer certain advantages and disadvantages:

  • The carbon structure is popular simply because it is the lightest and offers an affordable price.
  • Aluminium, depending on the quality of make and the work of the tubing can sometimes be pricier, but however, offers an incredibly durable and sturdy option.
  • The titanium, at the top end of the price range, is favoured for its longevity and strength.

The wheels are usually thin and smooth for speed and fast breaking, which when combined with the frame creates a successful and speedy structure.

Town Bike Requirements


What kind of bicycle riding is the new bike going to be purchased for? When looking at bikes designed for the road, they fall into two categories; road or recreational. Both are designed for tarmac, pavements or city cycling, but differ immensely in style and seating position.

If you are a casual weekend cyclist, you would be best searching for recreational bikes:
  • They are a comfortable option, and sit you upright in the seat, which is an enjoyable option for looking at scenery of talking to other cycling companions.
  • The tyres tend to be thicker and the frames a little heavier, and have fewer gears for flatter terrain.
  • If you are a more adventurous cyclist but would still enjoy a recreational bike, then search for a ‘Hybrid’ bike that offers thinner smoother tyres of 700c (or millimetre) instead of the 26 inch tyres more likely to be found on a regular recreational cycle, and get a chain-ring that allows free reign of higher gears.

Alternatively, if you are more interested in ‘serious’ cycling, racing, fitness cycling or just plain commuting, you may be more interested in a typical road bike:

  • It has an extremely lighter frame, thinner tyres and lower forward seating position to compliment its aerodynamic nature.
  • Similarly the road bike also has variations in regards to its handlebars, the ‘drop bar handlebar’ sits you further forward on the bike, where you are bent at the waist. This would not be recommended for the less flexible, or those suffering with back problems.
  • On the other hand, you can always opt for a ‘flat bar handlebar’ that sits you up and straighter in a more relaxed position, it also reduces the strain on the wrists, shoulders and lower back whilst still providing a faster more affective cycling experience.


Think about current fitness levels before making a purchase, as it is appropriate to buy a road bike that is appropriate for the level of fitness of the rider (for example, ensuring it has a good level of gears and its frame isn’t too heavy to ride).

If it is your first bike, and hoping to ride casually, research recreational bikes or ‘hybrid’ bikes with a ‘triple’ chain-ring, this means a maximum amount of gears to enable acclimatisation to the bike, the build-up of stamina and for the rider to confidently battle hills and inclines.

On other hand, for a confident cyclist with a high level of fitness consider a ‘compact’ or ‘standard’ chain-ring that has a narrower range of gears and gives an adequate speed for the effort put in.


These can often be the most confusing part of buying a town bike, since there are so many different brands, makes, sizes, and thicknesses. Often when purchasing a bike frame, the wheels will also be included, but even once acquiring your bicycle, the wheels may be the first thing that will be replaced. A lighter or hybrid framed bike, will work best with the thinner tyres, since the bike was designed to reach its optimum level of speed that way. The heavier or more recreational bikes may need thicker, or studier tyres to deal with the weight of the bike, and handling the terrain. It is also important to consider the type of rider that you are, a casual weekend cyclist would require a completely different tyre to an aggressive every day commuter.

Tyre basics can be explained by placing every tyre in one of two categories;

The Clincher:

  • The standard tyre that the majority of people have changed or seen changed at some point in their lives.
  • The tube that fits inside the outer rubber tyre and blown up to the desired size.
  • This tyre is the easiest to replace, as tubes are easy to get to, and affordable, the most common tyre and more than simple to find online, or at any high street bike shop.
  • Unfortunately, it has been found that flat tyres are a frequent occurrence with this type of tyre and therefore make them somewhat unreliable.

The Tubular:

  • This design has the same principle but the inner tube is sewn, or glued to the outer rim making the structure stronger, and less likely to be punctured.
  • They have a high tread count, and wear slowly, meaning that they will normally last longer than a standard clincher.
  • The inner tube remains incredibly difficult to get to, and in many cases, when faced with a flat, people result to throwing the tyre and buying a new one which consequently is extremely costly.


There are a great deal of things that can be added, to personalise your bicycle, including coloured, patterned, leather or themed bicycle pads, front or back lights, stickers and logos, or a helmet for your own use. Baskets can be added to the front, for design or for a purpose, bells or horns are sometimes used either for fun or safety.

The colour of the bike frame, and the construction of the top tube, down tube and seat tube, some road bikes will be incredibly triangular and blunt, other down tubes will curve upwards, and some lack a top tube altogether.

Look at the shape and design of handlebars, do you prefer straight handlebars or drop bar handlebars?


The simplest way to find a bike that fits the rider well, is to either one, find a bike from a friend or relative that is of a similar size, and make notes in terms of:

  • What needs to be higher, or lower?
  • Is the frame too big?
  • When sitting on it, you must make sure that there is at least one inch clearance from foot to floor when sitting straight, then when riding. Is the seat too high?
  • Make sure the seat is at the right level, rotate the pedals round, and when your foot is at the lowest possible point of rotation ensure there is still a slight bend in the leg. Are the handlebars too far away?
  • Hold onto the handlebars, and check that your elbows are also still slightly bent whilst holding on. They must not be straight, or feel like you are reaching for them.

If unable to borrow a bike, alternatively use this chart based on your height and inside leg measurement.

Bike Frame

Height in ft

Inside leg


5ft 2”



5ft 4”



5ft 6”



5ft 10”



6ft +



If concerned about safety issues whilst cycling here are some tips on cycle safety.

  • Wear a helmet whilst cycling as it is essential for basic road safety to protect the most vulnerable part of your body.
  • If using a bicycle at night, wear some reflective clothing or stickers on the bike; make sure the front and back lights are working effectively so other drivers can see you.
  • Don’t wear loose trousers that may become caught in the cycle chain and cause an accident, or damage your clothing.
  • As much as possible use the rules of the road in cycle proficiency. Signal when needed, use bicycle lanes designated for cyclists only, and avoid congested or particularly busy places that may be dangerous for bicycle users.

Things to Think About Before You Buy;

  • Think about the purpose of the bike, your current fitness, the aesthetics and accessories or safety equipment that might be needed to purchase. Make notes about the specifics of the bike you’re looking for.
  • Measure the rider against a friend of relative’s bike, or take down the height and calculate what size frame is needed from the chart.
  • Shop around for a few different bikes, don’t buy the first one, There may well be a similar bike at a more cost effective price.
  • Look online, there are thousands of nearly new bikes to choose from within budget, and half the cost of the high street.

How Do I Buy a Town Bike on eBay?

eBay is a great place to find a variety of different bicycles and cycling equipment all at competitive prices and with a safe and secure payment plan.

If you decide to search for town bikes on eBay please either, type into the search box found on every eBay page ‘town or road bikes’, or, follow the links from ‘Sporting goods’ to ‘Cycling’ and then onto ‘town bikes’ or ‘road bikes’.

Spend some time thinking about what you’re looking for, and look carefully through all the information and the images the seller has provided. If there are more questions to be answered, do not hesitate to Ask the Seller for more information about their product.

Visit the 'Buying Tips' page that has advice regarding the easiest ways to use eBay in case you have anything that is left unanswered.

Once ready, either, 'Place a Bid' or 'Buy it Now' and get one step closer to riding around town.

All customers are protected by the Buyer Protection Plan on eBay.

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