Bike Swaps
Max Silverson
A pair of skis are the ultimate transportation to freedom. - Warren Miller

Bike swaps are a great way to get a new ride at a discount or sell that trusty steed. But what’s the best way to make sure that you’re not investing in a lemon or forced to ride that bike home that failed to sell? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate the nuances of bike swaps for buyers and sellers.

There are a few essentials that every buyer and seller at a bike swap should keep in mind when the next one rolls around. Hopefully you’ll get the most out of your next bike swap.

Tips for selling your bike:

  • Wash it. Nobody wants to buy a bike that’s caked in dirt or road grime. A clean bike will always look nicer and sell easier. The cleaner you can get it the better, and that includes servicing the drivetrain.
  • Get it fixed. Is there something wrong with it? Nobody wants to buy a bike that comes with glaring mechanical issues.
  • Attach a list of repairs. Whether it’s a recent spiff or you’ve been keeping track of repairs for the history of the bike, it helps to show exactly what has been done. The more transparent you can be about recent service and repairs, the more trust you’ll earn from the buyer. Also, add a list of upgrades you’ve made. Custom parts can make a bike look very appealing compared to the factory spec.  
  • Price it realistically. You may have paid big money for the bike, but is it still worth that much? If you really want the bike to sell, set a reasonable price.  

Tips for buying at a bike swap:

  • Test it out. A brief ride around the parking lot will tell you a lot about the bike. Does it fit? How does it handle? Does it make terrible noises?
  • Check the brakes. Maybe do this before test riding just to be sure. It’ll probably stop, but be sure to check the brake pads. How much wear do they have? Do they need to be replaced soon or are they brand new?
  • Check the wheels. Beyond the easy identification of tread wear, pick the bike up and spin the wheel to see if they’re in true. If there’s a big wobble, you might have a bit of an issue on your hands.
  • Inspect the frame. Are there any cracks? Does it have signs of several crashes? Always be sure that the frame (and honestly, the entire bike) is safe to ride. Really get in there and check out the details once you’ve narrowed down your selection.
  • Ask questions. Anything you’re unsure about? Ask a professional. Most bike swaps will have a knowledgeable host or two who can answer any questions you might have.  

And if you’re looking for the nearest bike swap to flex your knowledge, we host a few swaps throughout the year. Click here for details.

Bike swaps are a great way to get a new ride at a discount or sell that trusty steed. Read about the essentials every buyer and seller should keep in mind.
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