Buying bikes

Stop! Don’t buy that department store bike! Read this first, and save yourself hours of pain.

Second-hand Bikes

These bikes from the Bower were $135 each

These bikes from the Bower were $135 each

A lot of people have been asking where to buy a cheap or used bicycle in Sydney. The truth is that is quite difficult to buy a second hand bicycle in Sydney. There are several reasons for this. One is that people tend to throw things onto the street when they don’t need them, instead of keeping them to sell at garage sales, markets, second hand papers etc.

A bigger factor is that the trend has been to buy cheap bicycles from department stores. These bicycles do not usually enter the second hand market because they are so poorly made that they reach the end of their useful life with the first owner. So before you go and buy one of these terrible bikes, try to find a second hand one first. Even if you spend more on the second hand bike than the new department store bike, it will give you less trouble and repairs costs and you will be able to sell it when you don’t need it anymore. Common department store brands (bikes to avoid), are: Cyclops, Huffy, Royce Union, Triax.

Here are some tips for buying bikes, in order of price range:

There are many free bicycles to be had in Sydney, as people throw things onto the street for fun. Check council websites or call them to find out when the ‘council clean ups’ are on. Then you can find them on the street. Otherwise, keep your eyes out for bikes thrown away, even on campus.

The Nunnery Bike Workshop, located in Waterloo, runs every Monday from 5pm til late. You can go and get a used bike for free. You’ll need to spend some time fixing it up, but there are experienced people there who can show you what to do.

The Bower reuse centre has bikes for under $20. These bikes usually need quite a bit of repair. They also sometimes sell fixed-up bikes (as of November 2008, they had three 21-speed bikes in good condition for $135 each). You can use the UNSW bike club’s tools for this or take the bike along to the Nunnery Bike Workshop where there are more tools and spare parts.

The Mitchell Road Auctions… don’t exist any more. Sorry.

Pedallin Pete might be able to help you out with a bike.

The Trading Post is a second hand paper. Ebay is worth a try but not very good. Gumtree is also worth a look. When buying second hand bikes, we suggest that you request a photo of the bike’s serial number (a number stamped into the underside of the bike), as a means to check if the bike was stolen.

Omafiets Dutch Bicycles sells high-quality second-hand bikes from Holland; it’s run by some ex-UNSW Bike Club organisers. Not dirt cheap, but high quality and high resale value. They also operate a buyback scheme, perfect for exchange students.

New Bikes

Europa Cycles is our local bike shop to campus, on the corner of Anzac Parade and Doncaster Avenue. With good quality bikes, you can sell the bike when you are done with it because it will still be working! For short term students, Europa Cycles has another option. You can buy the $400 bike (including helmet and lock) and return it within 6 months to get $100 cash back (as long as it’s not completely trashed).

For the higher price range, bike stores are a good option.

34 Responses to Buying bikes

  1. Frank says:

    I had a look at http://www.sellyourbike.com.au, I reckon the site looks sick! I haven’t had my new pushy for long, but I’ll def be back in the future…

  2. Tenika says:

    Hi,

    I am wanting to buy a second hand bike and was wondering if anyone has any they are looking at selling??

    Thanks
    :)

  3. Manny says:

    Hey Guys,

    I’v got a 21″ Hybrid Progear KX40 for Sale. 21 gear, all shimano parts and aluminium frame. As for the size, I’m 1,83 and the bike fits great. As new condition as i bought it a month ago. Comes with receipt and warranty.
    Price was 400 dollar, will sell for 280.

    If you interested give me a call:

    0437522810
    Manny

  4. Andy says:

    Hi,

    I am looking for two bikes one femaile (for my girlfriend) and one male for me. I don’t want to spend more than $50 for each as we intend to use them for only about 4 months.

  5. Deepa says:

    Hi,

    I am looking for a female’s bike to ride about 10-15 kms a week. I dont want to spend more than $50 as I intend to use it for only about 6-8 months.

    Deepa

  6. Adrian says:

    hey guys, I have used sellyourbike.com.au before, I was looking for a cheap bike (<200), there wasn’t many bikes in my area :( I think it is pretty new, ow and I live in woop woop :) it has lots of potential to be a great site but. As for places like ebay, its just a hassle knowing what is real and what is bogus…and gumtree is cumbersome and just plane ungly….well thats my two bob :)

  7. Steve says:

    heya, I’m arriving Sydney end January and need a decent secondhand bike as am planning a ride to Brisbane. Prefer a hybrid with good quality gears, mudguards and a rack. if you have one to sell email me stevvia@stevvia.demon.co.uk

  8. Seiji says:

    Hi, I’m a Jpaanese.

    I’m going to round trip around Australia, and am looking for a fold-up type bicycle to save environment and money.

    Do anybody know how to find a cheap fold-up bicycle?

    I’ve already found a fold-up bicycle costs me $500, is it reasonable?

  9. Catherine says:

    Hi, I am looking for a women’s road bike by end December. I am willing to discuss price, please let me know if you have a bike to sell!

  10. Dini says:

    Hi guys, just moved to Sydney and looking for a second hand bike which is reliable, yet doesn t have to be fancy – ideally with some sunflowers painted on it;) If you need to get rid of one, please drop me an email on nadine@netbalancefoundation.org.

    Ta, Dini

  11. christophermoore says:

    Hey Scott,

    Single-speed bikes are relatively hard to come by second-hand. Most people tend to convert them themselves, and hang on to them. One option is spending an afternoon converting an old bike to a single speed at the Sydney Community Bike Workshop (http://bikeclub.wordpress.com).

    Another is to check out the forums of the Sydney Bike Messenger Association. Their official market forum is pretty dead, but you might be able to find someone who’s offloading a bike.

    Also consider checking out ebay.com.au, there are sometimes bargains on there.

  12. Fabio says:

    Hi. I will to stay four mounth in Sydney and i’m thinking to buy a second hands bike.
    Do you have one for to buy me?
    Please, send me e-mail: f-adao@ig.com.br

  13. hey bike club! glad to find you! I’m a fixed gear rider visiting Sydney in january for the whole month. anyone riding single speeds out there? what if you just need a ride for a month – for around town and the occasional haul out to obelsik beach? I don’t want to get wrapped up in a fixer upper, or I just might have to bring my bike from the states. . . yikes, extra luggage!
    I’ll follow up on the tips here – let me know if there’s anything else? thanks

  14. Ana Gibbons says:

    Hi – thanks for the great tips! I want a decent bike but am on a budget and was thinking of one of the cheap brands before I saw your warning. Now I’ll try these auctions and other second-hand options first. Ta Ana.

  15. Hazel says:

    Hey bike-hunters,

    I too was looking to buy a second-hand bike a couple of months back, and as you might hear it is not easy, so I thought i’d chuck in my two-cents!
    You need a fair bit of luck to find something second hand.

    Gumtree.com.au is worth a look, but you’ll have to be quick as bikes are snapped up super fast. And you’ll get addicted to checking every 5 minutes hoping that someone posts a great bike in your price range.

    There’s an outside chance you might come across some form of rideable object left out in the street for council clean-up, but Murphy’s law dictates you will only find this after you have purchased a bike.

    Try cycle-hire places- you might get a good deal on an ex-hire bike, but if it is fairly new it’ll still be fairly expensive.

    In the end I was so fed-up with schlepping everywhere on foot and by bus, that I paid more than I was intending to ($300), but now i realise that it’s worth it to have a half decent bike you can happily whizz about on.

    If in desperation for wheels you start feeling a strange tempation to purchase one from Kmart or similar- RESIST!!!

    Good luck in your quest for a nifty bicycle bargain

  16. Joka says:

    Hi..
    I’m looking for a men-style bycicle(including helmet would be perfect) less than $100. Does anyone can help me? Thanks!

  17. pyko says:

    interesting article :)

    I’m thinking of buying a bike as well, but have close to zero knowledge on what is good/bad etc…any tips will be great! My main usage for getting the bike would prob be general exercise and if I’m fit enough, ride to work (ie. ride to city).

    Went to Europa Cycles (one near uni) last week and they said their cheapest bike was ~$400…does that sound about right? (it’s a bit out of my budget – i was hoping $300max)

    Also, seems like a lot of people suggest buying 2nd hand bikes which I would imagine could save quite a fair amount of money initially – but how about maintenance, safety, bike-life etc?

  18. Craig says:

    For those of you who are more irresponsible with your money and are looking for a deal on a nice fixed-gear bike, I recommend Europa at Doncaster & Anzac Pde (right near the uni, the orange shop with the Colnago club painted on it). They are knowledgeable old codgers who put together nice road-to-fixed/single-speed conversions for pretty good prices. They track down some really high-quality old racing frames, repaint them, often adding new decals, and throw on new wheels and components. I got a rebuilt DeRosa painted a lovely royal blue with a low-profile flip/flop hubset, Velocity Aero rims and Shimano Alivio cranks for $595. The only complaint I have is that some of the components are too much of a bargain and you’ll probably want to switch them out fairly soon if you’re picky; I plan to switch the nylon pedals for proper alloy track pedals, and the front brake could be a little higher-quality for a bit more mechanical advantage when it matters. But they put the money where it really counts: on the wheels, hubs, and frame, so it’s quite a bargain if you’re like me and had to leave your precious steed back in your home country. They mostly sell these things to hipsters with mustaches in the US, so grab yours before someone buys it on eBay.

  19. Hiddo says:

    I am looking for a second-hand men’s bike for approximately $100. Does anyone wants to sell his bike?

  20. Dana says:

    Does anyone have a second-hand woman’s bike they want to get rid of for less than $50?

  21. Alex Pollard says:

    Gary Fisher ‘Katai’ Cross Bike (Hybrid) for sale.
    (Gary Fisher ‘cross bikes’ are hybrids, but on the tougher, more mountain-bike side of the hybrid concept)
    700C wheels. X Large size. Avid BB disc brakes. Colour: black. New tyres (kevlar anti-puncture). Accessories include: bike rack, lights, tools, paniers.
    New in 2006. In excellent condition. $900 new. Any reasonable offer considered. Collect from Enmore.
    Reason for sale: – owner returning abroad.
    Contact: Alex Pollard: 0401 726 992 pollardinoz@gmail.com

  22. tiger says:

    i want to buy a second hand bike or bycilce. who can help me?

  23. tiger says:

    i stay sydney for 3 months. i ?ant to buy a second hand bike or bycicle around 20$. who can help me.

  24. Arvind says:

    Hi Guys,

    Any used bike for sale ?. I am looking for a decent one for around $100. Please mail me at arvindsc at yahoo dot com.

    thanks
    Arvind

  25. Alfin says:

    Hi Lucy,

    Where can I have the bikes?

  26. Hi there
    Just wanted to let you guys know that there is also another alternative to the above . . . . . . EBAY
    We salvage & buy bikes from all over Sydney – most of these bikes were destined to be bulldozed into landfill or crushed up for scrap metal!
    We give all our bikes a thorough full service, that means we put new tyres, new tubes, a new wicker basket (on the girls bikes) and often a nice 2nd hand alloy rack plus we service/replace/repack all bearings in the headset/wheel axles/bottom brackets, install brand new gear and brakes cables, basically rebuild them – we ALSO offer a 6 month warranty (except for crashes & flat tyres) and we also deliver to Sydney metro for FREE!
    I hope you think that we’re worthy of a mention on your site as we really do try our very best. All our bikes (road too & some single speeds) start at around $80 and go to auction! Nearly all of the bikes we sell are quality brands that originally were sold in bike shops not supermarkets! Some brands like Apollo Giant Graecross Kuwahara Repco Southern Cross Raleigh Peugeot – Puch – Indi – too many to mention here.
    I don’t know anywhere else that offers a 6 month warranty/guarrantee on 2nd hand (quite often 20yr old bikes) We do our best to have HAPPY CUSTOMERS!
    Laurie (mechanic) has over 20 years experience in the bike industry as a bike mechanic, he’s a professional cycling team mechanic (when he gets time) and he also used to race at an elite level so I would regard him as a very qualified bike guru! LOL
    If you think we’re worthy I would appreciate a mention on your page!
    We would be happy to assist with any tech questions.
    regards Lucy

  27. Kim says:

    Mark is the man for a cheap, rock solid guarantee, knowledgeable to by a bike from! Find his info on the top of the page!

  28. ariadna says:

    hi! just I am in Sidney one week ago.I would like buy a second hand road cycle, or maybe a second hand mountain bike.Really I need not a very good bike …just aluminium one, I am travelling in a boat and I need no rusty and little wheigt.
    Thank you!! Good time!

  29. Vinnie says:

    FOR SALE:
    1x SHOGUN men’s bike 21 speed gear , new $ 400
    1x PROGEAR ladies bike 21 speed gear, new $ 200
    Only 5 weeks old! Incl. 1 x Childsesat & helmets
    Mail your offer to vinmobiel@xs4all.nl
    I’m staying in Sydney at the Lane Cove Tourist park till Sundayt 25 nov!!

  30. Chris says:

    Hi Armin,

    We can sell you a bike for $50. If you come along to Bike Club on a Wednesday between 12pm and 2pm on the Quad Lawn, I’ll show you the bikes we’ve got at the moment.

  31. Armin says:

    Hi…I am searching for a second hand bike as mine was stolen this week-end. I am searchin’ for a men-bike less for less than 100 AUD.

    Thx!

  32. Lionel says:

    Hello happy riding people!

    I just want to suggest you http://www.gumtree.com.au as a place to buy second hand bikes.
    this website is just an a free ad site but you can find anything you want! I found my place like this so why not your bike!

    Enjoy

    Lionel

  33. bikeclub says:

    Sure you can. We’re still working out where to put the tools and how to arrange access while we try to get a workshop space.

  34. Joe Bloggs says:

    I got a bike at the mitchell road auctions for about $20. it needs some minor repair work. Can I borrow the tools to fix it?

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