Buying used carbon bikes can be awesome.
It can also be not awesome.
Time after time, we’ve seen broken-hearted people walk in with broken carbon that they just bought. After four years of repairing damaged carbon fiber, we’ve seen some few dodgy deals.
Learn from our customers’ mistakes. Follow these tips and your next bike will be runnin’ real good:
If you’re buying a used bike for hundreds or thousands of dollars, you deserve to inspect it extensively – no matter how time-consuming it may be or how much of a pain in the ass it may be for the seller. The bottom line is that if you don’t know the seller, you don’t know if they’re lying. It unfortunately happens.
What’s more, the seller may legitimately have no idea how screwed up their bike is.
Do a serious inspection or have us look it over.
What to inspect: The entire bike
-Frame and fork for paint cracks
-Frame and fork for paint irregularities
-Anything taped over. Ask to remove the tape and look underneath.
-Carbon steer tubes. We realize this is a pain in the ass, but we’ve seen a few cracked, over-clamped, and too-short steer tubes in our day, so give it a once-over.
-Chainstays – look carefully for damage caused by chain suck
-Serial number. If it’s too good a deal to be true, write down the serial number and give it a quick Google search.
Get the right stuff to go with your bike!
Aero seatposts. Tapered forks. Steer tubes that are too short. Seat masts without the clamp. Make sure that anything made for your bike comes with your bike. Because if you come to us afterward and say “can you make me a bizarre seatpost for this bike that they only made ten of?” we’ll probably say, “sure.” But custom carbon fabrication is expensive, and it might make your screamin’ deal off ebay not-so-screamin.
Seems Too Good to Be True? Probably is.
It’s a damn shame, folks, but most of the time when a deal seems too good to be true, it is. Give the bike a serious inspection, and remember that if you buy something broken or stolen, your path to Bike Nirvana will get very uncertain.
Insure the shipping!
We’ve seen a lot of bikes that were “damaged in shipping.” Whether this was true or not, always insure the bike when shipping!
Inspect a shipped bike upon receiving.
Inspect a shipped bike for all the same things we mentioned above, and make sure it jives with the item description before you leave feedback, before you call the guy and tell him it looks perfect, and before you slap it together to go for your maiden voyage!
No warranty? We’re your second warranty.