Used Bicycle Shops

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.


Nancy Stimson February 21, 2011, 3:45 AM

Don't forget about community bike projects when looking for a used bike! They specialize in reconditioning old bikes that have been donated.

joseph February 20, 2011, 4:00 PM

I recently bought a new mtb frame on Ebay for a very good price. This will allow me to build a bike and thus learn bike craft before I ride the GDMBR.

Darren Alff February 19, 2011, 10:16 PM

I've found that many local bike shops have used bicycles for sale, but they don't always have the used bikes out on the shop floor. The shops get more money by selling new bicycles, so it makes sense for them to push the new bicycles first. So sometimes you just have to ask about their used bikes... and once you do that you will find that they often have a number of used bikes for sale - but they are hidden in the back.

I bought my LeMond racing bike from a local bike shop after looking at the new ones for sale and then asking if they had any used ones on hand. I rode everything they had and liked the used LeMond way more than any of the new bikes they had for sale. So yes, used can be a great way to go.

Log in to post a comment

Forgot Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email that will allow you to reset it. If you no longer have access to the email address call our memberships department at (800) 755-2453 or email us at

Not Registered? Create Account Now.