Invest well for your city bike

Investing well for his bike ;lo de ville

As the good weather has finally arrived, if you don't have a bike yet, it's time to get one. But how much should we pay for a bike used only for our daily trips in town? Metro inquired.

With a budget of around $600, you should be able to find a new bike that holds up, says Jacques Sennechael, editor-in-chief of Vélo Mag. For a good new bike at a local bike shop, Lisa, volunteer mechanic at the Mile End Bike Garage, thinks you should expect to pay around $1,000.

A good quality new bike paid more for is “made from higher quality components that are stronger, lighter, and last longer, and most importantly, can be repaired,” Lisa says.

< p>“Buying new is a simple purchase where you don't worry as much. You leave the store and get on your bike, but that has a price,” adds Nico, also a volunteer at the Mile End Bike Garage.

In any case, if you want to buy new, avoid the big chain stores that are not specialized in the sale of bicycles and which risk selling you a frame of poor quality, warns Nico. 

“New bikes are cheap when built from low-quality components that break easily or cannot be repaired,” says Lisa 

Buy used 

If you want to save money, “it's much better for the same price to buy an old, good quality bike than a brand new, inexpensive mass-market bike,” she adds. 

In short, if you have less money to invest, or even if you possibly want to find something better, the option of buying a used bike is interesting. 

“Most people who want to find a good used all-around bike in good condition to get around town can expect to shell out around $250 to $500 to start and $600 to $1500 for something fancier, [from a high-end brand like Marinoni for example],” says Lisa. suggests aiming for between $100 and $400.  

Used bikes can be purchased at a local bike shop where they are serviced by a professional mechanic or directly at a especially on sites like Kijiji.  

The first option will usually be more expensive, says Lisa, but will most likely come with a warranty. 

“Buying from private sellers can be more risky as the bike may have problems. You will then have to spend time and money to repair it after purchase. You also risk discovering fundamental damage or safety issues that a professional shop would have recognized and therefore would not have sold the bike,” she says.  

What to watch? 

Also beware, on Kijiji, price really doesn't mean anything because many sellers have no idea what their bike is really worth. “Of course, those that are well underpriced are quickly bought up by savvy buyers,” Lisa points out.

So what should you look out for when buying a used bike?

– The mechanic suggests a bike dating from the 1980s to the present, bikes that she believes are “likely to be lighter and easier to maintain, made of higher quality material.”

– Look at the frame of the bike, everything else can be replaced. The first thing is to make sure it is well suited to your body and the style of riding you want to practice

– Also make sure it is in good condition: no rust, dents or cracks, the fork and chainstays straight and not bent.

– Check that you can move the seat post – without proper maintenance, it can fuse inside the seat tube.

– Check that there is no “play” in the bottom bracket shell (the crank should be firmly seated with no wobble) and the crank should roll smoothly with no resistance.

– The steering column should also turn smoothly with no “play” or wobble.

– The wheels should not wobble.

– Also make sure the brakes work well and the gears shift easily.

– Finally, check that the tires, cables, brake pads and handlebar tape are in good condition and not excessively worn.

Expensive labor 

Of course, as Nico and Lisa point out, for anyone interested in bike mechanics and good with their hands, it's possible to get a bike for next to nothing and fix it up yourself.

Otherwise, the work of the bike mechanic may cost more than the bike itself.  

In this regard, Lisa points out that “you won't if you refuse the $300 bike in favor of the $150 bike which needs $150 in repairs and new parts”.  

When you buy a bike, the goal is that it lasts and you don't have to buy a new one every spring. To do this, it must be well maintained. If you don't do it yourself, a little tune-up at a bike repair shop every year is recommended. This one should cost around $50 if you paid attention to your bike. Otherwise, it may be more. A little trick: Jacques Sennechael suggests doing this interview at the end of the season in autumn since the shops will be less overwhelmed than at the start of the season in spring.  

Other things to consider 

Add to this amount a few other dollars. In particular, you have to buy a good padlock at a minimum of $50. “You don't buy a padlock for $10,” warns the expert. For an act of Vélo Mag, we tested the resistance of different padlocks and some could break in two seconds. » 

Preferable: a U-lock, a sturdy chain or a folding padlock, but especially not a cable! Kryptonite, OnGuard and Abus are good brands, says Lisa.  

It is also recommended to get some accessories. For example, a mudguard and a luggage rack are two very useful items in town, believes Jacques Sennechael. For these accessories, let's add another $100, he estimates. 

In short, in total, the price of a bike for riding in town will vary depending on the type of cyclist you are. and how you take care of your bike.

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