Pros & Cons of Buying New vs. Used Bikes | Bike Glendhu
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The Pros & Cons of Buying Used Vs. New Bikes

It may be getting a bit late into the bike season, but Autumn is often the best time to scoop yourself a new bike. Used bikes are hitting the ol’ Facebook Marketplace in droves as former owners finish off the season and look to upgrade in the Spring. And bike shops looking to clear stock might be holding some pretty killer sales.

So whether you’re a seasoned rider or a newbie looking to hit the trails during the best time of year to ride, buying a bike is a pretty massive decision. And deciding to buy new or used comes with its own set of pros and cons.

But fear not! Because we’re here to help you unpack the benefits and drawbacks of each option, as well as understand the right choice for your particular riding needs. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Buying a new mountain bike vs a used mountain bike

Pros of buying a used mountain bike

Cost saving

This is probably the #1 reason why anyone would consider buying used before new. It’s an obvious notion that a used bike will probably cost less than going new. And particularly in the Queenstown Lakes region, you can get some pretty beefy builds for less on the used market, making this an attractive option for the budget-conscious rider or those just starting to dip their toes into mountain biking waters.

Pros and cons of buying a used mountain bike vs. a new one

Upgradability

In the same thread as cost-efficiency, buying a used bike can free up future funds for customization and upgrades. Because you’re not spending as much upfront, you might want to invest in aftermarket components or parts that better suit your riding preference. This is cool because it allows you to fine-tune your “new-to-you” bike to suit your needs and style.

Vintage appeal

Admittedly, you don’t see a lot of vintage nostalgia in the mountain biking space, but for gravel rigs or town cruisers, a little senior status can be kind of showstopping and unique. These older bikes have a certain character that new bikes just can’t capture. Plus, just like our last point, vintage bikes can be a great conversion starter. You could take a badass older frame and upgrade all the components for a true age-defying rig.

Pros and cons of buying a new mountain bike vs. a used one.

Tried and tested

The great thing about a used bike is that it’s likely seen its fair share of kilometres on the trail, which means you can benefit from real-world testing. And if the seller is a GC, they might even be able to give you a little bit of intel about their riding style and how the bike suited them – that way, you have a better idea of what you’ve in for!

Pros and cons of buying a new mountain bike vs. a used one.

Cons of buying a used mountain bike

Potential wear and tear

Again, this first point is an obvious one. One of the main concerns with buying a used bike is the risk of hidden wear and tear. We’ve all heard a horror story from a mate-of-a-mate who bought a bike from a shady seller only to find out that there was a teeny crack in the rear triangle, damage on a stanchion or worse! Components like the drivetrain, suspension and frame experience significant usage, so it’s important to complete a thorough inspection of those parts before committing to a purchase. Without, you may unknowingly inherit someone else’s maintenance problems.

When buying a secondhand bike, be sure to check the frame for cracks. Make sure the brake levers, calipers and lines aren’t leaking oil and that the brakes work. There should be no scratches on the suspension stanchions and ensure that the wheels don’t have big dings or cracks in them.

Limited warranty

Which brings us to our next point. Unlike new bikes that often come with manufacturer warranties, used mountain bikes often don’t offer the same level of coverage or protection. This can leave you vulnerable to unforeseen defects or issues that come after purchase. So while it’s great to save a bit of coin initially, a used bike can become a cash guzzler down the line if you’re not careful.

Compatibility issues

Older mountain bikers may outdate certain components or specifications that could pose compatibility issues with modern accessories or parts. With an older model, it can sometimes be a challenge to source upgrades or replacement components. Generally, when buying a used bike, try to keep it within 3-5 years old, otherwise, innovation and technology might bypass the model.

Buying a used mountain bike vs buying a new bike

Pros of buying a new bike

Latest technology and features

Buying a brand-new mountain bike is not only super exciting, but it also allows you to access the latest advancements in bike technology, including better frame geometry, suspension systems, brakes and drivetrain components. New bikes often feature cutting-edge innovations aimed at enhancing performance, comfort and durability.

Buying a new mountain bike vs buying a used mountain bike

Warranty

Opposite to used bikes, most new bikes come with manufacturer warranties, offering coverage for defects in materials. This can provide you with that little bit of extra peace of mind, knowing you’re hard-earned dollars sunk into a bike are protected against unforeseen issues and any necessary repairs or replacements will be covered.

Customization options

These days, buying a new bike can open a world of customization options. Whether it’s choosing the right frame size, wheel set-up, Bluetooth shifting or traditional, upgrading components – the list goes on. Like our mates over at Trek with Project One, new bikes can be as unique as their rider’s fingerprints.

Reliability and longevity

With proper maintenance and care, a new mountain bike is more likely to offer better long-term reliability and longevity compared to a used bike. In this case, you won’t have to worry about someone else’s wear and tear – you’re starting with a clean slate.

Cons of buying a new mountain bike

Cost

Probably the most significant drawback of purchasing a new mountain bike (particularly in New Zealand) is the increased upfront cost. As we all know, new bikes come with a premium price tag, even at entry level. This can be prohibitive for riders on a tight budget or those looking to save money.

Depreciation

Much like a new car, the minute you leave the showroom, that bike is going to lose significant resale value. And with bikes, they tend to continue to depreciate rapidly within the first few years, which means you may not recoup as much of your initial investment is you ever decide to sell. Luckily, in New Zealand, the secondhand market for bikes is pretty hot and you can usually fetch a decent resell price compared to our Northern Hemisphere counterparts.

Learning curve

New bikes can come with a learning curve, especially if you’re transitioning from a different type or brand of bike. If you’re riding the same model, but a newer version with advancements, even that can feel completely different to your old rig. Adjusting to the bike’s geometry, suspension and handling characteristics may take some time and experimentation before you fully feel comfortable to rip.

In conclusion, the decision to buy a used mountain bike versus a new one ultimately depends on your budget, preferences and riding goals. Used bikes offer savings, but come with the risk of hidden wear and tear. On the other hand, new bikes provide the latest technology, warranty protection and reliability, but at a higher price point. Whichever option you choose, always make sure to do your research, inspect the bikes carefully and consider what’s best for you!

And hey, now is a great time to mention that Bike Glendhu will be putting some of our ex rental fleet up for sale at the end of April! Specifically, our 2022 Trek Rail 7 and Trek Fuel Exe ebikes! Want to be first to the punch? Email tickets@bikeglendhu.co.nz to get your name on the waiting list!

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