Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My Next Bike Dilemma

Time for a new(ish) bike, but what to do – what to do?

First of all let me explain – I need to get a new road bike – my go faster hybrid is great and fast, but I suffer into a headwind and I want to get a lighter bike and slightly better set-up (the current bike weighs 9kg and has a mostly SRAM Rival groupset or better). I have approximately £2,000+ to spend (but I would like to spend less). So there are 3 options:

  1. Buy a new bike
  2. Buy a complete second hand bike
  3. Buy a mixture of old parts and part new parts and then build the bike.

Option 1 is really a non-starter – I am not going to get a bike that is a lot better than my current one for £2,200

Option 2 – would probably get me the best bang for my buck – a bike that was £5,000 3 years ago can easily be bought for £2,000 and it will be super light and have a top groupset. But there are some real dangers.  Firstly I don’t want to end up with a stolen bike and funding thieves, also I may end up have to replace quite a few parts sooner rather than later due to wear and tear.

Option 3 – is the most time consuming but in many ways the most rewarding. I can pick up a top frame that is a couple of years old for under £1,000 and then buy something like a SRAM Force groupset to add to it. I already have a saddle and handlebars that I have no intention of changing as they are best for me and I also have an excellent set of everyday wheels (I can buy a set of better wheels for weekends within the budget) all I would need to buy is a stem and cables (assuming the frame comes with seat-post and headset). At least this way I would be getting new moving parts and to be honest I am never going to be good enough to make the difference between a Force and a Red groupset of any real value.

So I think option 3 is going to be the answer – that is unless an excellent 2nd hand complete bike comes on the market!


When looking for a good second hand bike I tried looking in Craiglist – basically it is a total waste of time. Either bikes on offer are not good enough or too old and any high spec bike is basically part of a scam - I haven't even gone down the road of stolen bikes that must be on there!

I thought I would write about a common scam here, just in case it helps someone to not fall into this trap. 

You will see a high end bike advertised (normally in London) and the price will be good – not totally unrealistic but good enough that you won’t want to miss it.

Next you email the person asking a few more details and location. They will give you the details and then they will inform you that they are in Scotland – either they had to go there to deal with a family death or they live there and advertised the bike in London as they got no offers in Scotland. 

The next stage (though I have never been dumb enough to fall for this) is they will suggest that you pay them and then they will post the bike down to you. Now because the price is good they will hope you will take the chance so that you don’t miss out on a good deal. Obviously you pay them the money and the bike never gets posted to you!

I tried this on four high spec bikes with the same results, every seller "lived" in Scotland – I now don't eveb bother looking at Craiglist.

Has anyone else come up against other scams?

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