February 19, 2011
About a month ago, I wrote up some tips for purchasing a used bike. What I neglected to include in that post was where you could go to find a used bike. In the past, I have found places such as Ebay, Craigslist, and local listservs for bicycle clubs useful. These are all good places to find a used bike; however, in some cases, your local bike shop can also be a good starting point.
Over the past few years, it seems as though there has been a growing interest among bike shops to start selling used bikes. Some shops add them to their lineup of new bikes, while other shops deal exclusively in used bikes. Some shops will even post photos of their stock online, as is the case with Hellgate Cyclery, which resides across the street from our home office in Missoula, Montana; so too is the situation with 30th Century Bicycle of Iowa City, Iowa.
If a used bike shop operates in your area, this is where I would recommend starting your search for a used touring bike. You will be purchasing a bike from a skilled mechanic who knows what needs to be replaced (if they haven't replaced it already). He or she will also help you find a bike that fits well, and provide advice on any technical questions you may have for future accessories or upgrades.
TOURING GEAR AND TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead.