top of page

8 tips for buying used bikes

It is always difficult to buy something that requires technical background knowledge. In this guide we have tried to be comprehensive and to create an understanding that does not require technical insight.

1. Brands

The brand of a given bike is of less importance. If you look at the 'brand' of the bike, there is a great risk that you will make the wrong assumptions. Most brands have made both good and bad bikes, and have been around for many decades, making new models every single year. It is also common for a given bike brand to have sold rights to the name. Thus, today you see honored old bicycle names from the beginning of the 20th century pasted on modern bikes in, for example, Supermarkets. Two bicycles with the same 'brand' can thus be very, very different.


When you buy a used bike, it becomes even more relevant to close your eyes to the stickers on the frame:


1) There may be several owners who had the bike before it was discarded and it ended up with us. It is not known how well these people took care of the bike or what elements of the bike they made changes and improvements to.


2) And then Buddha Bikes get the bike. We change parts and repair the bike according to what we consider best. In some cases, the only original part on the bicycle is the frame and the stickers thereon, and it thus reminds very little of the bicycle that rolled out of the factory in its time.


"Well what the hell am I supposed to go after?" Read on and get answers

2. Appearance vs. quality

Of course, you should have a bike that you think is nice and delicious. However, you must not believe that there is a correlation between stains, scratches, surface rust and then the quality of a given bike as a vehicle. And then it really does not matter if you think quality is durability or driving characteristics. Instead, ask us about the condition and quality of brakes, gears, tires, etc. on a given bike, instead of assessing the durability of the gear based on the number of spots on the frame.

3. Size is crucial - For the most part

In fact, many of the people who bought a bicycle with a bad experience just bought a bicycle of the wrong size. The quality of a given bike is of course important, but it is at least as important that we find a bike for you that fits you in size. We can help with that in the store, and you can read our size guide here .

4. Selection of gear

We meet many who believe that external gear requires much more maintenance than internal gear. However, it is not that simple. When choosing gear, there are two main things to pay attention to.


Your needs. How far will you ride and how often? Are there many hills or much wind? External gears are typically faster to shift, weigh less, and involve less resistance. Generally speaking, exterior gear is more efficient, but it also depends a lot on which system and setup are involved.


Exterior gears are available in a huge range, and can thus be a little difficult to generalize over. But unless you go to the bottom of the quality spectrum, exterior gears are better and more expensive, while internal gears are cheaper, heavier and slower. If your bike rides are typically long and filled with hills and strong winds, choose external gear. Are your trips often short then internal gears is probably your choice.


That said, it's best to try bikes with different types of gear, compare and choose the one you like best!


Maintenance . The biggest factor in your maintenance costs is always a matter of how many km you ride your bike. Regardless of the gear type. The weather also has a lot to say, not least if you park your bike outdoors.


Exterior gear is probably more vulnerable to the effects of the weather, so if you always park your bike outdoors, there is an argument for interior gear - Or just 1 gear, often referred to as singlespeed. But if you park your bike a little protected and remember to lubricate the chain every now and then, this is not a significant maintenance argument for either gear type.


In general, the greater the need for continuous adjustments, the more gears a given bike has. The reason why many people have bad experiences with external gear is often here. They bought a bike with 28 gears of very low quality. Then you get an advanced system, but at a quality level with the worst chances of living up to those advanced requirements.  It is more reliable to have fewer (exterior) gears and of better quality.


But as said - if you don't need the benefits of an external gear system, buy a bike with internal gear. If you need the outside gear and commute a little far, then we can make sure that it also becomes reliable.

5. Choice of brakes

Brakes can be divided into 3 general categories: rim brakes, internal brakes and disc brakes.


Rim brakes have in common that they function by a brake pad clamping on the rim and thus creating braking ability. The advantage is that these are often cheap and that they have a powerful braking effect. The downside is that they wear on your rim and their braking ability is typically worsened in rainy weather.


Internal brakes are either roller brakes or drum brakes, where the braking mechanism itself is encapsulated. The advantage of these is that they require substantially less maintenance than other brakes and they do not wear rims or have a frequent need for changing brake pads. The downside is that they are heavier and more expensive. They also have a softer braking effect, which can be a problem if you can cope with very hard braking.


Disc brakes work by holding brake pads on a disc that sits on the wheel. The advantage of these is that they have unmatched braking ability and both brake pads and brake discs last very long. Their braking effect is also unaffected by the weather. The downside is that they are often more expensive and then they are somewhat more delicate to common urban use, especially if you park your bike outside. If soot and particles come from the air on the brake disc and bricks, they will tend to howl so violently. This can be cleaned, but it will come back soon if the bike is parked in open city space. On the other hand, if you have a cellar to park in, it is a minor problem and some disc brakes also have less tendency to howl than others (it should is said, we have not been able to prove this. It is a theory based on experience and observation).

6. Warranty and Service

The right bike, in the right size at the right price is important.


BUT bikes are not the least troublesome creatures, and if you use the bike, you will need maintenance. It cannot be avoided. Likewise, all products may contain defects and deficiencies. Therefore, it matters a great deal where you choose to buy your bike. At least we think so, and therefore make a great deal of it.


Many have tried to deal with complaints cases and long waiting times, especially at low-cost places. Which is typically one of the reasons why they are so cheap. Bikes bought privately inherited 100% without any warranty or product liability and thus must be called the riskiest, albeit the cheapest. At least they should be. Regardless of one's choice, it is at least important to make clear what one wants and what comes with a given purchase. We have tried to formalize our approach and describe it. You can read about it here .

7. Watch these components

There are a number of components that just wear out when using the bike. If you buy a bike where all these parts are very used, you can expect a lot of repairs in the near future. If you drive only a few kilometers on your bike, this will be less important than if you drive many kilometers. Pay particular attention to the parts below that typically require replacement of used bikes:

- Tire

- Chain

- Saddle

- Brake pads

- Gear cables

- Brake cables


8. Pitfalls

Here we could probably make a very long list, but we stick to the worst pitfalls.


Corrosive rust. Rust just lying on the surface is no problem, but if the attack is deep, it can cause breakage, which is pretty problematic if it's on the frame.


Crank bearings. There are bearings between the two pedal arms, and many may have a hard time on this expensive repair. It can also be so hard for mechanic that they give up. And without functioning crank bearings, it becomes quickly impossible to ride a bike.

Distortions. If wheels or frames are crooked, it can also be a very expensive affair and this can be difficult to see without the right measuring know-how

Gear and brakes. If a bike does not change gears optimally or does not brake properly, then it can be difficult to assess the scope if you are not a professional. These may be small cheap adjustment tasks but can also be repairs for several thousand kroner.



bottom of page