A buyers guide to second hand children’s bicycles

The sun is shining and everyone seems to be enjoying spending time outside.  One activity that seems increasingly popular is cycling.  Many schools throughout the past week have taken part in The Big Pedal 2012 encouraging children, parents and staff to cycle to and from school and has been very successful in our area, with children really enjoying the fresh air.

I know that my children now have the bicycle bug and will spend plenty of time outside on their bikes during the summer. There is just one problem, and that is that they have outgrown their bikes. The solution to this is simple for me and that is to sell their current bikes and purchase some good condition second hand children’s bicycles.  If you are thinking of doing the same, please see below a few tips to help you find your child’s next bike.

Buying a second hand bike

Brand new children’s bikes can be expensive and in the current economic climate spending large sums of money on new wheels is just out of the question. Children grow fast and a bike will only last them a couple of years at the most, so a good option is to purchase a recycled bicycle and there are plenty available to choose from.  Also remember that if your child has a bike which they have outgrown, you can always sell it and raise cash for their next one. Too many used bikes end up on the Skip or in a landfill.

A few things you need to consider before you buy:

Size is important

For safety reasons buying the right size bike is probably the most important aspect of buying a second hand bike, especially for children.  If a bike is too big young will have difficulty getting on and off and this can cause accidents and if a bike is too small, they will bang their knees on the handle bars and find pedalling and steering difficult.

 This sizing guide will help you:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bicycle condition

Our advise would be to always inspect a bike before you buy, so if you are buying on-line, meet with the seller and take a good look at the bike before you buy, also take your child so as they can try the bike for size.   It is always a good idea to check the following:

  • Ensure brakes are in good working order and also that your child can reach them easily.
  • Make sure wheels are not buckled and spokes are rigid.
  • Check that the frame of the bike is structurally sound, superficial marks and scratches are not a problem but you should always avoid frames which have dents and cracks or are rusty.

If  you are not able to view before you buy make sure you check the condition of the bicycle by looking at the photograph’s closely.

Ask questions

For peace of mind it’s always best to ask the seller questions about the bicycle, this will give you a good idea of how long the bike may last you.  It’s worth asking:

  • Where the bike has been stored, indoors or outdoors?
  • When did you purchase the bike? or how old is the bike?
  • Have you ever had any parts replaced on the bike?

If you are happy with the answers for the above you can then discuss the price.  It’s always a good idea before you meet with the seller or make any offer to check similar bicycles on-line and make sure that the price they are asking is reasonable, if you don’t agree with the price always ask if they are open to offers before you meet, to save wasting anyone’s time. Remember if the bike needs repairs or servicing before your children can ride it you will have to factor that into your price.

Good Luck with finding your child (or children) a second hand bike! 

If you have anything to add regarding buying children’s bicycles please leave your advise in the comments below.

 

 

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